Author: Eleanor K.
Posted: 20 Dec 2002
Spoilers: Small ones for Objects in Space and Our Mrs. Reynolds.
Disclaimer: Joss is god. Fox can bite me.
"So that Saffron girl, you didn't ever do her, huh?"
Mal looked up from his soup. Jayne was studying him from across
the table, shoveling something into his mouth as he waited for an
"'Cause it weren't right?" The last word was leaned on heavily,
a hair away from mockery.
"Yes, Jayne. Because it wasn't right."
"And I guess you don't go to hookers neither, 'cause that ain't
"My patience is wearing thin, Jayne."
"I got a point here."
"Then get to it. Or better yet, get back to work."
"I'm eating. So no hookers, and you barely leave the ship except
for business, so no one night stands. And you ain't sleeping with
no one on the crew, are you?"
"Why the sudden interest in my sex life?"
"I'm getting there. So no one on the crew?"
Mal sighed. "No."
It was tempting to just tell Jayne to shut the hell up about what
was in no way his business, but he had to admit he was a little
curious where this was going. Not to mention that the sight of Jayne
looking so intent and serious about this was more than a little
"Well, have you thought about it?"
"Can't say as I have."
Jayne nodded. "Inara don't service crew. And Zoe'd kill you."
"Zoe would laugh. She'd only kill me if I tried for Wash."
"Yeah. Sounds about right. Kaylee?"
Mal met Jayne's eyes and gave him what he hoped was a sufficiently
"Yeah, okay," Jayne said. "Not Kaylee. Not River neither, I'm guessing."
"Okay, you don't need to shout. And the preacher says he doesn't
ever..." Jayne trailed off for a moment, an unsettled look on his
face. "I mean, not *ever*. So I figure that leaves the doc."
Only with Jayne could he ever end up having a conversation like
"This is getting less amusing all the time. You looking to set me
up with someone, is that the idea?"
"Uh-huh. Mind if I ask why?"
"Well, I figure the reason you're so uptight is 'cause you're not
getting any, so maybe if you were you'd loosen up and not go around
blaming me for things that ain't my fault."
"This again? It was your hardware, Jayne. It didn't just walk out
of the locker by itself."
"Four other people on this ship got that combo. I'm just saying,
it wasn't me."
"Enough, Jayne. Getting me sex is not going to make me stop riding
There was a second of silence while they both considered that statement.
"Oh, hell. You know what I mean."
Jayne whooped with laughter. "Maybe I should've been offering my
ass instead of trying to protect it!"
"You see me not laughing over here?"
"'S'what I'm telling you! Uptight!" Jayne's laughter died down to
snorts and chuckles. "You gotta relax more, start getting your ashes
hauled on a regular basis. Do you a world of good."
Mal sighed and stood up. "Okay, I'm done with this conversation."
Jayne caught up with him in the hall.
"So seriously, not the doc?"
"Well... that does only leave me."
Mal pictured the huge, shit-eating grin Jayne had to be wearing
and didn't even bother to look at him.
"Don't talk to me any more, Jayne."
"Mal? May I speak to you for a moment?"
Mal turned. Inara stood behind him, wearing that expression she
had that hovered on the edge of being a smile without ever tipping
Her not-smile warmed. "You always expect it to be a problem."
"I don't know whether this classifies or not. Jayne stopped by to
see me earlier."
"If he's bothering you--"
"Oh, no. Nothing like that."
"'Cause he knows damn well--"
"Really, Mal, it's all right. He wasn't... offensive."
"Well, I guess that's one for the record books then. What'd he do?"
Inara frowned. "I think... I think he was trying to ask my advice."
"Jayne? On what?"
"Seduction...?" Inara sounded unsure, and Mal couldn't blame her.
"We are talking about Jayne here, right? Walking wall of muscle,
none of it so thick as what's between his ears? I'd think his idea
of seduction would be a head start."
"I know, but... he really seemed sincere. Nervous, but sincere."
"Nervous and sincere generally go hand in hand for him. So... seduction?"
Inara nodded, still looking puzzled, and a little creeped out if
Mal was any judge. It was a bit creepifying when he thought about
She started to say something and stopped. "He was... vague."
"Well, what'd he actually say?"
"He *said*, 'How would you get a man to sleep with you that didn't
want to sleep with you?' I can only hope he was talking about seduction
and not anything involving drugs."
"I'm hoping that, too," Mal muttered. "That's all he said?"
"That was the only complete sentence, yes."
"And what'd you tell him?"
"I didn't get a chance to tell him anything. Kaylee came in, and
he took off."
"Okay." Mal sighed. This just put the cap on a very long day. "Okay,
I'll deal with it. Whatever it is."
Remembering their conversation from earlier in the day he had a
bad feeling he already knew what it was. But... Jayne? Seduction?
Surely not. It could wait till morning anyway.
He reached his bunk without meeting anyone and climbed down with
a sense of relief.
As he reached up to close the door hands grabbed his wrists and
pinned them above his head. In a fraction of a second there was
the feel of cold metal, the click of a lock, and when he tried to
jerk away he found he was cuffed to the ladder.
The lights were off, and the dim light from the open door fell on
him like a spotlight without illuminating the rest of the room.
"Jayne? Right now I'm hoping that's you, so if you let me out of
these in the next thirty seconds I'll forgive and forget."
"Five minutes," said a voice in the dark.
It was Jayne's voice at least, but Mal wasn't reassured. The handcuffs
didn't exactly inspire trust.
"Twenty seconds. And counting."
"No, look, just give me five minutes. If you don't like it, I'll
"You'll stop right now." He had to stop himself adding 'If you know
what's good for you.' Threatening Jayne was a bad idea. You stated
what the future would be, and Jayne tended to fall in line with
it. Threats only made him swagger and push even harder.
Jayne stepped out of the dark. "Come on," he said. "It'll be good.
You'll like it." He hooked two fingers inside Mal's waistband and
moved closer until Mal could feel his hardness pressed against his
"There's a word for what you're talking about, Jayne. Starts with
an 'R' in case you're thinking slow today."
Jayne's eyes widened. He jerked his hand away and took a long step
back. "No! I didn't mean... Jesus, Mal. I ain't never done that.
To nobody. What do you think I am?"
"Right now I think you're the man who has me cuffed to a ladder,
talking about doing stuff I don't want to do." Not going to kick
him in the balls, he told himself. Not going to kick him in the
balls. It won't help. Maybe later.
"Well, it's your fault! You won't gorram well listen!"
Mal laughed shortly. "Listen to what? You and me having sex? I thought
you were joking! Hell, a joke's all it ever could be, and a poor
one at that."
Jayne crossed his arms and glared. "What, I ain't good enough for
you? You said you didn't want the doc, so what's the problem?"
"A few hours ago this was a joke to you, too. Something change and
I didn't notice? I suddenly become irresistible or something?"
Jayne snorted. "Nothing like that, trust me."
"Then what?" Not going to kick him in the balls. It won't get the
cuffs off me. Jayne's crotch was right there, though, perfectly
positioned for boot deployment.
"I guess... I just got to thinking." Jayne stuck his hands in his
pockets and backed off a few steps, vanishing into the dark.
"Turn the damn lights on. Thinking about what?" he added when Jayne
"Stuff. You know."
Mal watched Jayne's profile as he rubbed one leaf of the plant on
the desk between thumb and forefinger.
"I don't know. What stuff would that be?"
"Stuff." Jayne shrugged one shoulder, an uncomfortable gesture that
turned his body away still more. "I never thought about you like
that before today, but once I did it kinda... stuck."
"And you didn't think maybe *asking* should come before handcuffs?"
"Well, I knew you'd say no, so what would be the point? I thought
I could just... convince you."
Mal sighed. "Take the cuffs off, Jayne."
There was a tense second when he thought Jayne might just point
blank refuse, but he did eventually lumber over and unlock them.
Mal rubbed his wrists automatically.
Jayne moved slowly to grab the ladder above Mal's head and leaned
forward. "Just give me a chance," he said. "Don't tell me you don't
want to get your rocks off with *somebody*, 'cause I won't believe
Mal had an answer for that, but Jayne laid a finger over his mouth,
roughened skin catching on his lip. Words deserted him for a second,
and then Jayne was talking again.
"And don't tell me it ain't right neither." Jayne grinned suddenly.
"However you twist it around in that head of yours, there's no way
you can think you're taking advantage of *me*."
Mal was surprised into laughter. "No, I don't suppose I can." He
looked up into Jayne's eyes and was shocked to find himself considering
it. It had been a damn long time.
He shook it off. It was Jayne, for god's sake.
Aware that he was getting into deeper territory than either of them
were used to, he took a second or two to consider his next words.
"Look, it shouldn't be... Just wanting to get off shouldn't be the
only reason." He forced himself to keep his gaze steady, but it
was tough going. It was embarrassing enough that he thought this
stuff. He sure as hell didn't want to be saying it out loud. "Ought
to be about more than that." He was trying to think how to go on
when Jayne interrupted him.
"Don't tell me you been in love with everyone you ever screwed around
"Don't know about love. I liked all of them."
"Oh." There was silence for a second. "And you don't like me."
It would be so easy if he could just say no, I don't, and let it
go at that. Well, he could. It wouldn't be true, but that wasn't
so much of a problem. The problem was the way Jayne was looking
at him, like he wanted to be told he was wrong, like it would actually
matter to him.
"I didn't say that, Jayne."
"Well, go ahead and say it then. What is this, you trying not to
hurt my feelings?"
"Does that strike you as at all likely?"
"It'd be a first," Jayne admitted.
"I don't not like you."
"If that's the best you can do in the way of compliments it's no
wonder you're not getting any."
"Didn't know you were looking for compliments."
"I ain't. Not looking for lies neither."
Mal rubbed at his eyes. This was starting to get wearing. "I'm not
lying. I don't mostly, if I can help it."
He did like Jayne. There were days when he wondered why, but he
did. There was always a certain relief to being with him. Jayne
never made things more complicated than they had to be, and making
things complicated seemed to be a specialty for just about everyone
else on his boat.
"Let me kiss you."
Mal jerked his head up. "What?"
"You heard what I said. It's no big deal. If you hate it, I'll leave."
"You'll leave when I tell you to leave."
"Yeah. I will." Jayne gave him a crooked smile. "You're the boss
here. That ain't gonna change. Just let me do this."
Mal hesitated. He'd seen Jayne get shot down by Kaylee and Zoe,
at the dinner table and a shooting range respectively. Jayne had
grumbled, but he'd gotten on with the eating and the shooting. It
wasn't like him to get so hung up on this. It was... flattering,
actually. In a weird kind of way.
"And if I say yes?"
Jayne smirked at him. "Been that long?"
"You're a laugh a minute. I mean will you drop all this?"
"If you don't like it, sure."
Damn, but Jayne sounded confident.
"Fine. Do it."
"What, you want me to say it?"
"Yeah, reckon I do." Jayne tilted his head a little, smiling. "Reckon
I'd like to hear you say that."
It was a brief struggle. Mal's sense of humor, warped at the best
of times, got the better of him almost immediately.
He fluttered his eyelashes and then looked up at Jayne through them,
thinking that this would be the first time he'd kissed someone he
*could* looked up at through his lashes. "Oh, please, Jayne," he
said in the breathiest voice he could manage without laughing, "Won't
you kiss me now?"
He waited, trying to keep a straight face and watching Jayne try
to do the same.
"Yeah," Mal said. "*That's* the newsflash of the millennium."
Jayne kissed him.
It wasn't anything like what Mal had expected. Jayne's hands stayed
on the ladder, not even touching him, and his mouth was gentle.
So gentle that Mal found himself pressing forward, making it deeper,
until their mouths were open to each other. Deep, wet, hard joining
of lips and tongues, and Mal put a hand behind Jayne's neck to pull
him closer. He wanted that hard body against his and while the kiss
lasted he wasn't thinking about anything else.
When it broke and he was trapped between the ladder and Jayne without
an inch to spare in any direction, things were a little different.
He wanted to back away but couldn't, and in any case his hands seemed
unwilling to let go. Jayne's thigh was pressed between his legs.
"You liked it." Jayne shifted, rubbing his thigh against Mal's growing
hard-on. "Don't try and tell me you didn't."
Mal was staring at Jayne's chest, trying to think what to do-- or
just trying to think. He glanced up when Jayne spoke, realized that
he was looking up at him through his lashes and that that absolutely
would not do, and tilted his head up to look at him full on.
"I won't," he said finally.
He had liked it, and it was getting hard to remember why this was
such a bad idea, particularly since most of his arguments had centered
on the fact that this was *Jayne*, and, well, sex and Jayne just
didn't go together, or at least not with him in the middle. All
of a sudden that argument wasn't working any more.
"You still gonna tell me to leave?"
Jayne looked at him for a long moment and then cupped his face in
one large hand. He leaned forward and planted wet kisses on Mal's
mouth, his jaw, down his neck. He started to suck, pausing long
enough to rumble, "Fine. You just let me know when."
Mal ran his hands under Jayne's shirt, up over a stomach and chest
hard with muscle, and up further until Jayne lifted his arms and
let him pull the shirt off and toss it away.
"I'll do that," he said.
He lowered his head and leaned forward, the fine hair on Jayne's
chest tickling his cheek. He breathed in, closing his eyes for a
second. He had missed this, the smell and feel and warmth of another
body. Jayne smelled like soap, and like the spicy-sweet cigars he
smoked, and like gunpowder. Mal's lips found a nipple and began
He heard Jayne hiss above him, and then his suspenders were pulled
off his shoulders and there were fingers opening his pants and jerking
them down around his thighs. A warm hand closed around his cock,
and he bit down gently, worrying the nipple between his teeth. Jayne
gasped his name and started pumping him.
Mal tried to get Jayne's pants undone, but found his hands pushed
"Later," Jayne told him roughly.
He gave up, holding on tight to Jayne's shoulders and breathing
hard against his skin, muffling his cry as he came too quickly,
shaking with it.
Jayne's hands soothed him afterwards, running over his back and
sides and down to cup his ass and hold him close. Blunt fingers
slid down between the cheeks, and he pressed back against them.
Part of him couldn't help thinking it was no wonder Jayne had told
him 'later' if this was what he had in mind, but mostly he was wondering
what in the 'verse they could use for lube. Meanwhile one finger
was rubbing back and forth across his opening and making it hard
to think at all.
He did his best to let Jayne know that they were in trouble on the
lube front. He thought the words came out a bit garbled, but Jayne
seemed to understand well enough.
"You gonna be pissed off if I tell you I brought some with me?"
Mal considered that. Hell of an assumption to make. He should be
pissed off. "Probably," he said. "Later."
"But not right now?"
"Not unless you make me wait."
Oh, shit, did he just say that? Judging from Jayne's rumble of laughter,
yes. Well, screw it. He did want it, and not up against the damn
ladder either. There would be bruises tomorrow where the rungs were
digging into his back and thighs.
He pushed Jayne away and did away with boots and pants, unbuttoned
his shirt and let it join the rest on the floor. He walked to the
bed and turned, waiting for Jayne to follow, but Jayne only looked
at him. Stared, actually.
Mal crossed his arms. "What?"
Jayne opened his mouth and shut it again. "You, ah..."
"I, ah, what?"
"You look good," Jayne said in a hushed voice. "Real good."
Mal smiled. "Always nice to be appreciated." He sat on the bed and
leaned back on his elbows. "So are you just going to stand there
It took Jayne less than thirty seconds to get his clothes off and
then he was pushing Mal's legs apart and brushing lips and beard
over his cock.
Mal closed his eyes and let his head tip back as he felt himself
grow hard again. Jayne climbed up over him, sucking at his throat
until Mal pushed him away and turned over. He waited on his hands
and knees, head hanging down, wondering just how he got here so
damn fast. Then Jayne's slick fingers were pushing into him, and
it didn't matter any more.
"Damn, you're tight," Jayne muttered. "Done this before?"
"Not for a good long time." He would have liked to tell Jayne to
take it slow, but he wasn't a wuss, dammit. He could take it. And
even if he couldn't, he wasn't about to admit that to Jayne.
He didn't have to worry. By the time there were three fingers inside
him, he was more than ready. His hair was damp with sweat, hanging
in his eyes, and his hands were clenched on the sheets.
"Enough already," he growled.
The fingers left him. "Whatever you say, Captain."
Hands held his hips, and Jayne entered him in one hard push that
left him gasping.
"Yeah... oh, yeah that's good." He was faintly disturbed when his
voice came out sounding every bit as breathy and desperate as when
he'd asked Jayne to kiss him.
Jayne pulled back and thrust in harder, and Mal gasped as he hit
that spot inside him dead on, sending a spike of pleasure through
his body. His cock was hard again, and Jayne reached for it unerringly,
sliding a slicked hand up and down and then moving to pinch his
nipple sharply as he drove in again.
Mal pushed back to meet every thrust, red pleasure swimming behind
his eyes as he shut them tight and lived in sensation. Jayne's hand
moved between his cock and his chest, rolling one nipple in his
fingers and dragging his hand down over Mal's stomach, nails scratching
gently at tender skin.
It seemed almost like a dream, and yet too real to be disbelieved.
This was Jayne fucking him, beard scratching against his back, making
it so good, and if he'd ever thought about his mercenary like this
he would have imagined something more along the lines of wham, bam,
thank you, sir. A breathless laugh escaped him, turning into a low
moan as Jayne's hand closed over his cock again.
It was too much to keep track of. Scents of sweat and sex filled
the air. His skin was hot and sensitized, and his body thrummed
with his racing heartbeat. His mind shut down as their bodies moved
together, quickening, the pace building until Jayne drove even deeper
with a choked cry, taking Mal with him as he came.
Mal collapsed onto the bed, and Jayne pulled out and flopped down
next to him. Without thinking, Mal rolled over and pressed himself
close, smiling with eyes still closed as Jayne's arms came around
After a few minutes of heavy breathing Jayne asked, "You gonna kick
me out now?"
Not a chance in hell. It felt too good. He was all but clinging
to the body against his, and he couldn't make himself give that
up just yet.
"I said I'd let you know, didn't I?"
Jayne grunted, seemingly content with that, and settled down.
It was too insane, the both of them here together like this. But
what in his life wasn't insane? He made himself let it go, stop
worrying at it. It was done, and if there were to be dire consequences
they could wait till morning.
"I'll make you a bet," Jayne said suddenly.
"What?" Mal asked, feeling wary.
"Bet if we keep this up for a week at least half the crew tells
you to your face you're in a better mood than usual."
"Three and a half people?"
"Seven people on the crew if you don't count the two of us. Half
of seven is three and a half, so if you're saying three and half
people are gonna comment on my mood, that's a bet I'm definitely
"My mamma always said learning fractions would come in handy some
"Bet she called you a smartass, too."
"Three of them, then. You can't count the doc's sister. Nothing
she says makes any sense anyway."
"How much are we talking here?"
"Fifty credits," Jayne said promptly.
"And you can't act grouchy on purpose. You got to play it straight."
Mal was silent for a moment. "Did I just agree to have sex with
you for another week?"
"You sure did."
It was Jayne's shit-eating-grin voice, and Mal didn't bother to
open his eyes and confirm the expression that went with it.
"I'm going to sleep."
Any second now, by the way he was feeling. Moving to get under the
covers seemed like too much trouble. He stretched out and turned
onto his side.
A minute or so later he felt Jayne get up, heard the rustle of fabric
and muttered curses as Jayne hunted for his boots. He expected the
sound of the door opening shortly after that and hoped Jayne would
get the lights on his way out, but there was only silence.
He could feel Jayne's presence by the side of the bed, and then
the mattress dipped as Jayne sat and pulled a blanket over him.
He tried not to smile.
One finger ran lightly over his bottom lip. "Bad joke," he heard
Jayne mutter. "Huh. Showed you."
The words weren't nearly as smug as Mal would have expected, and
Jayne lingered a moment longer, brushing damp hair from Mal's forehead
and tugging the blanket more securely around him.
The lights went off, and Mal was asleep before he heard the door
continue to Fifty Credits.