the Luck of the Drawback
Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What will the future hold for the crew when they win the Big Damn Lottery?


Prompt: Mal. Inara. Jayne. Lottery Winner Rating: PG Author's Note: This was written for Agent Rouka, who is graciously allowing me to share it with ya' all. This turned out really strange, but this is what came out... sorty angsty, sorta fluffy... I dunno... It's odd.. *G*

The Luck of the Drawback By 2x2

“There you are,” said Mal, startling Inara as he came up behind her in the darkness. She turned, backlit by the orange glow of the distant bonfire, offering him a small smile. The light played around her face, softening her already soft features, framing her hair in a halo of gold as the wind carried the sweet melody of music and laughter past them. He stepped up beside her, hands in his back pockets, and stared down at his crew as they relaxed around the fire, talking, laughing and drinking with the locals, for once free of care or worries. Kaylee’s laugh rang out in the clear night air and he smiled.

“It’s a beautiful night,” Inara said wistfully and Mal turned his gaze to her.

“That it is,” he said softly, eyes lingering. He looked away before she could catch him staring, coughing to cover.

She saw him in her peripheral vision, aware of his scrutiny, but chose to remain silent, sighing instead, the melancholia that had settled on her remaining.

“So, how come you’re up here all by your lonesome?” he asked finally, his voice hushed in the darkness, full of questions he didn’t know if he could ask, but hoping she would hear them all.

“Why are you?” she countered with a tilt of her head.

He shrugged, looking away, kicking at the dirt absently. “Don’t much feel like celebratin’,” he admitted.

She stared at him, her eyes dark and deep. “Walk with me?” she asked quietly, holding her hand out to him.

He looked back at her, meeting her gaze, not for the first time wondering what she was seeing when she studied him like that. He drew in a deep breath and pulled his hands from his pockets, nodding for her to lead on as he wrapped his fingers around hers.

She led him up the hill, her delicate fingers warm in his, taking him farther away from the bonfire until only the sparks floating up into the night sky remained visible. She slowed when they reached the top, turning her eyes to the stars, still holding his hand. He stared up into the black, into his home, feeling a twinge of grief in his heart at what the future would hold.

“What’s going to happen, Mal?” Inara whispered as if reading his mind, clutching his hand between both of hers entreatingly. He swallowed heavily, considered lying to her, but he knew she’d see through it.

“I don’t know,” he answered truthfully. Kaylee and Simon were already talking about finding a little place of their own, and he figured River would go with them. That meant losing his mechanic, pilot and medic all in one blow. It’d be just a matter of time before Jayne split if he wasn’t planning to already. And Zoe…

“Zoe’s thinking about it,” Inara said softly, following his train of thought seemingly without effort.

“I know,” he said, his voice thick, not sure what he would do without her.

“Mal--,” she started and he cleared his throat, not wanting to go down that path yet. He needed the answer to a more difficult question first.

“What about you? What will you do?” he asked, nodding toward her, trying not to let the wave of dread that swept over him show.

She swallowed, looking down at her hands around his. “I don’t know,” she admitted. “In part… I guess it will depend on you.”

Mal sighed, closing his eyes in acknowledgement. He took a step closer to her, taking her hands in each of his, gaze on the ground. “I know you’ve probably been expectin’ more than I’ve been offerin’ of late,” he said, voice rough.

“Some,” she conceded. She was quiet for a long moment before speaking again. “I don’t want to leave you, Mal. But I have to know… did I make the wrong choice?” she asked apprehensively.

His eyes shot up to hers at that. “No! No. Inara…” he said, sliding his hands up her arms and back down to her palms, following the motion with his gaze. “I’m sorry. I guess I jus’ been… waitin’ for things to go back to normal, back the way they was.” He brought his eyes up to hers again. “Foolish, I know. I know that ain’t gonna happen. ‘Specially now.”

“No, it’s not,” she agreed. They stared at each other, neither of them speaking until Mal drew in a deep breath, squeezing her hands.

“Conjure there ain’t much reason to keep waitin’ then, is there?” he asked, sliding his hands up to her shoulders.

She drew in a breath, shuddering slightly in anticipation. “Not that I can think of,” she whispered.

“Good,” Mal said, nodding decisively as he pulled her close and buried a hand in her hair, tilting her chin up with the other as he felt hers go around his back. Then he was kissing her, standing on a hilltop beneath the stars on a small border moon, nothing but the wind and sky around them.

They parted slowly, lips lingering, slow, shy smiles between them, knowing there’d be more later, that sweet, first kisses were enough for now. Mal pulled her against him, arms wrapping around her possessively, nuzzling her hair. She held him back tightly, basking in his warmth, face pressed against his breast.

“I don’t care where we go, Mal, I just want to be with you, whether it’s on a moon somewhere, or still on Serenity, I don’t care,” she said into his shirt.

He shook his head sadly. “’Can’t fly without a crew.”

She looked up at him. “You don’t know that’s going to happen. They love you too, Mal. Maybe they’ll stay…”

“Maybe,” he said, unconvinced. He draped his arm over her shoulder, tucking her against his side. “C’mon. Let’s go back down. I wanna go sit ‘round that fire with you, with everybody all together,” he said. “I wanna remember this night so’s I can look back on it if I need to.”

She smiled at him, and let him lead her back down the hill, but when they finally reached the dying bonfire, only Jayne remained, a bottle of Blue Sun at his feet, fingers playing with the dog-eared edge of the Lottery ticket as he stared into the fire.

“Jayne?” said Inara as she and Mal sat, sensing the heavy atmosphere that clung to the mercenary. “Is everything all right?”

Jayne snorted. “Shiny! I’m a big damn lottery winner, I am. We all are! What’s not all right ‘bout that?” He picked up the bottle and took a long pull, running his tongue over his teeth with a grimace as the liquor burned its way down his throat.

“Thinkin’ maybe you had enough a’ that for one night,” suggested Mal.

“Thinkin’ maybe I ain’t,” retorted Jayne, taking another drink, glaring balefully at the Captain. “Gorram Lottery’s the worst damn idea we ever had!” he spat.

“Aye… that may be,” agreed Mal.

“Alls I ever wanted was enough scratch t’ get by on, keep Vera happy, get sexed once in while, send some home to Mattie and my Ma. Ain’t got no needs beyond that,” declared the mercenary.

“Well, those are… are…,” stammered Inara as she looked at Mal, who shrugged, and then back to Jayne. “Good needs,” she finished weakly.

Jayne held up the blue paper ticket, pointing it at the two of them. “This little piece a’ paper’s gonna change everythin’,” he said, voice flat.

Mal ran a hand over his face wearily. “Conjure that’s so,” he sighed, leaning forward, elbows on his knees.

“One little piece a’ paper an’ Kaylee an’ the Doc’ll settle down, take that moonbrained sister with ‘em. An’ Zoe’ll just disappear, fade away an’ die without the rest of us to remind her t’ keep on livin’. Me, I s’pose I’d send some home, but t’ain’t like I could actually go back and live there. Don’t rightly know what I’ll do,” said Jayne softly.

“You’ll miss them,” said Inara in surprised empathy and Jayne looked away.

He stood then, and looked at the two of them, the Companion with her compassion and the Captain with his stoicism, and then he flicked the ticket into the fire, the little blue paper bursting into a quick, brilliant ball of yellow before disappearing into the flames.

“Jayne!” gasped Inara as Mal swore, jumping to his feet.

“Jayne, what--?” he stammered, beyond words.

Jayne stared at them, defiantly. “T’ain’t worth more’n family,” he said gruffly and they stared back, mouths open in astonishment. He shrugged, uncomfortable. “Ain’t worth tradin’.” He picked up the Blue Sun bottle and drained it, tossing it into the fire too before yawning with a stretch. “Well, I’m for bed. Conjure I’m gonna have a lot a’ people all yellin’ at me come mornin’, so…” With that he stumbled away, heading back to Serenity, uttering a string of curses under his breath as though he himself couldn’t believe what he’d just done.

Mal and Inara stared at each other. “The man’s obviously drunk,” Inara said and Mal nodded enthusiastically.

“An’ crazier than a….” He laughed, ginning madly, unable to think of anything as remotely insane as what he’d just seen.

“Well… I guess… things will go back to normal,” said Inara. He laughed again.

“As normal as they’re ever gonna be on Serenity,” agreed Mal joyfully and she smiled, leaning up to touch a kiss to his lips as he grinned. She took his hand in hers, feeling her heart swell with happiness.

“Let’s go home.”


Tuesday, April 18, 2006 7:11 PM


Well damn...that was quite the switcheroo;)

I was surprised too that Jayne actually sacrificed the ticket for the greater good of the crew and Serenity...guess Miranda and the BDHs continuing adventures have really shaped things a certain way for ole Jayne:P


Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:10 AM


Oh this was just perfect! That's our Jayne, just when you think you've got him figured out, he goes and surprises you. This is going to be one of my all-time favorite fics! Good work!

Thursday, April 20, 2006 3:15 AM


This was wonderful! And Jayne was exactly right to burn that stupid ol' lottery ticket. They're his family just like they're Mal's.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 6:23 AM


aww, jayne, you big ol' softy...*snuggles*



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History of an Object
There’s no reason to keep it, damaged as it is. Save one. Doesn’t matter that it’s finer than any other cup on the ship, even with the crack. Doesn’t matter that it would never hold liquid again without some of it seeping through. Burning your fingers. Was only one reason he still has the cup.

Five Years' War
The night was warm. Clouds, low on the horizon, blue black in the last light of the setting sun. Nothing but the breeze and the buzz of the cicadas breaking the stillness. A perfect evening.

The Close Shore, At the End, Untenable
“Dead ’re in my head tonight,” he said finally. “Can’t get ‘em out. Don’t got the booze or the bar to distract me. Don’t know why I’m here ‘cept I don’t think I can go through it alone.”

The Slower Path: All the Difference - Part 15 - Sequel to The One Less Traveled By
She let out a breath, saying nothing for a long moment before she raised her eyes again. “There are some things I want you to know,” she said softly. “Things I want you to understand.”

Much as he wished he could ignore it, he could see it was important to her that he know whatever it was she wanted to tell him. He knew he wouldn't have let himself see it in the past, but that weren't where they were anymore, or at least, not where they wanted to be, either of them. Their relationship had changed, was changing, and he weren’t so stupid he didn’t recognize that. He didn't know that he wanted to know it, much less understand it, but she was reluctant enough to talk about any aspect of her life as it was; could be he might ought not stop her when she wanted to.

Unlucky at Cards...
“I… You can’t be that lucky!” Mal moaned as Inara beat him again, laying out her cards with a flourish.

The Slower Path: The One Less Traveled By - Part 14 - Sequel to Regrets
They fell silent again, struggling to find the ease that they had found, before; before the argument that had almost ended things.

"I feel like-," she started.

"This is-," he said at the same time.

They looked at each other. "Awkward," they both said, laughing lightly.

Always Had Faith
Faith in a higher power? That was always Mal's thing, the Captain, back in the war.

Loved and Lost
Love’s the biggest kind of hurt there is.

And I wouldn't trade that love for nothin'.

The Mood That Passes Through
He felt the first trembling shudder go through her, heard her breath hitch and felt her fingers grip his skin; knew it was comin', the wave that was cresting the walls she'd built to hold it back, whatever it was. Knew they were about to come crashing down around her. The first sob still hurt though, still lanced through his heart like a searing hot blade to hear her make that sound.