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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE
~Anyone offended by the idea of the Hero of Canton getting naked, look away now. Rest of you can just be sittin’ up, and grinnin’ like prairie dogs...~
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1077 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
8. Feeling This
Party starts to winds itself down; there’s ice in the wind, and once the sun goes down, it stops being so nice outdoors. Tiy and Juno lift off back to Southam, and that seems to be the signal for folks to start taking their leave. Big absence left by the crates is being filled by the sort of silence has trouble all over it...
“Time to lock up the store, then.” Ilargia stretches. “Been a long day.”
“Lemme walk you home.” Jayne gets to his feet real fast.
“How kind.” She’s biting back a grin, and just a little breathless. Because it’s all of twenty paces, and she could get lost so easily. Takes the proffered elbow, and they are gone before anyone has time to draw breath.
There is a short and vaguely horrified silence. Mal clears his throat.
“Now, I thought you were the one with the pretty manners, doc.”
Simon just twitches faintly, peers past his fingers.
“It’s so cute.” says Kaylee. “Jayne’s like a little puppy dog.”
“Kind as needs a muzzle, honey. Is she going to be okay with him, Captain?”
“Don’t hear no screaming.”
Might do if we stick around, though, he adds mentally. Then wishes he hadn’t. Picks up his coat. “Time to turn in, before impressionable minds are scarred.”
River gives him a brat look.
“I know about sex.”
Winces all round.
“I was thinking of my own mind there, thank you.”
Dark on the porch, and quiet. But Jayne wouldn’t be Jayne, without he got himself certain ideas. An’ she don’t even yelp when he puts his arms round her, just turns and offers up her mouth, sweet as cherries.
He don’t kiss on the mouth.
No, he don’t kiss on mouths where he don’t want to know where they’ve been.
But a soft, clean mouth like ‘Larji’s, a man could forget his own rules. Warm arms round his neck and fingers through his hair, a man could forget his own damn name.
When he growls, “I’m takin’ you to bed, woman.” all she says is “Good.”
Zoe pauses with her finger on the door controls.
“So...you don’t reckon on Jayne’s coming back tonight?”
“Well, he ain’t on a clock.” says Mal brutally, then feels ashamed of himself. Zoe gives him that tight look she has for disapproving of him, shuts the door up. “Ah, that wasn’t nice, was it?”
“Just seems kinda...wrong to me, is all.”
“Fact that she went straight past you for him, you mean?”
“That wasn’t nice, either.”
“Wasn’t meant to be. Sir. I think she’s feng le, but we’re dirtside now. None of our business.”
‘thout her boots on, ‘Larji is a little bit of a thing, a nice size for a man to tuck under his heart. With her hair loose, and losing her shirt, it’s a sight to make that heart rise (and other bits too, gorramit.) Not used to women wearing underwear. Least not delicate, clean stuff. But fastenings he can’t see ain’t any deal - pops ‘em one handed, makes her laugh. Little snarl of frustration when she can’t manage his belt buckle makes him laugh too. She wants him out of his clothes, well, he can fight this battle naked.
Finally gets to see those muscles in all their glory. No spare flesh on him. But a man, still, not some steroidal freak show. Sheer effort went into that six pack and pecs. His body is a history of violence. Runs her hands down across the span of his back.
Nails raking gently down his spine makes him growl throatily. Afraid of his own strength, for all she promises “you won’t break me”, trying to go careful with her, but she won’t let him.
His mouth is sure and strong as the rest of him. He likes to touch, taste, smell. Senses alive with her.
Nothin’ but sweat on skin, heat, whispers and moans, hers and his.
And after, when she expects him to roll away, he snugs himself round her.
It’s been a very, very long time since she went to sleep in a man’s arms.
Ilargia intends to be briskly cheerful and matter-of-fact about things when she wakes up. However, this intention is defeated by the fact that Jayne wakes up first.
No doubts in Jayne’s mind. Wakes up in a warm bed with his woman, so he nuzzles her neck until she makes a surprised noise, opens her eyes. She’s probably the only person in the ‘verse ever been pleased to find Jayne Cobb grinning at close quarters. Man’s determined to work up an appetite for breakfast. Wants to try a little more of that kissin’ on the mouth, too.
Eventually, she sends him off to summon the others, as the only way she’s going to be able to get anything done. And she’ll never look at the kitchen table the same way, either. Man’s an animal. Stretches herself with a grin. Doesn’t feel used, feels...worshipped.
Mal is not good with mornings. People bangin’ pans together was not something calculated to improve that situation. Crawls out of his bunk to kill the person responsible. It’s Jayne, chewin’ on a stogie, and looking smug.
“Bit early for you, ain’t it?”
“’Larji don’t like me smokin’ in bed.”
The implications of that are so horrible that Mal’s mind flinches away, whimpering. Jayne continues.
“Sent me to see if anyone fancies real bacon for breakfast.” Gives a sudden cracking yawn, and a grin. “Woman’s plum worn me out.”
“Go. Away.” Mal blinks. “Real bacon?”
“Yep.” He’s already sidling back off, probably to do something horrific. Stopped by Zoe marching in.
“What in hell was that noise?”
“Jayne. We have a breakfast invite.”
Zoe glares at Jayne, who looks remarkably cheerful for man two paces from death. Her expression changes from homicidal to horrified. Man has a gorram lovebite. She shudders. Coffee. Lots of strong, black coffee. Jayne steps round her hastily, and causes Simon to flatten himself against the doorframe as he barges past. Doc looks after him.
“Do I want to know?”
“No.” Both Mal and Zoe chorus.
“Was that Jayne coming home?” Kaylee knuckles her eyes sleepily. “Did he have a nice time?”
“Yes.” says River, before Mal can die of horror. “Sated. Or satyr. Howling at the moon all night.” She already has her jacket on, solving the mystery of how he got in to annoy them.
Hecate has another surprise for them. It’s snowed in the night, and the world is white.
They make a deal of noise and knock at the door just in case something may be happening that will upset anyone‘s appetite, but Jayne lets them in like it‘s his own front door, and Ilargia waves out of the kitchen.
She don’t look so much like a Sunday School teacher now, with her hair bundled back, loose and soft. Sad fact is, she looks smug as Jayne does. Way he puts his hands on her hips and nuzzles at her don’t leave no doubt in anyone’s mind.
“There’s children present.” Mal glares at River as she opens her mouth, and she subsides.
Snow. Enough to play in. Yellin’ and squealin’ and great handfuls of cold down necks. Simon and River are enacting an age-old sibling behaviour. Jayne walks straight into a faceful of snow, takes off after Kaylee with a roar.
“Where did he get that hat?” Ilargia is packing a snowball with neat, practiced movements, under cover of the ramp.
“His mother made it.” River, doing likewise.
Ilargia’s still laughing, as they stand up and pelt him. Jayne promptly changes course, and River basely swings up out of harm’s way, leaves Ilargia squealing for mercy. Which is so not going to happen, Jayne gets her cornered...
Mal watches his crew at play. Been a while since they were this relaxed. Feels vaguely dignified and paternal. Turns to make a remark on the same to Zoe - whereupon his treacherous First Mate gets him upside the head.
Sometimes a man has to make a stand and fight. Sometimes he just has to run until he’s got a good mitt of snow...
Zoe is settled back on the couch, mug of something warming cradled in her hands. Fact is, this is the nearest to peace they’ve been since...she blinks. Could imagine Wash just wanting to settle here. Luring Kaylee away from the cooking was going to be hard. Luring Jayne out of bed...was a nasty thought. They should get moving soon. But it would be so tempting to sit out the winter with peaceful, lawful folk.
Mal looks at her sidelong. Can follow her thoughts, because he’s known her long enough to read that stone mask.
“We got no more reason to be here, and we need to get another job.”
“I know it.” She sighs. “Few days R and R wouldn’t hurt, though, would it, sir?”
“You’re just in love with that bath-tub.”
(The bath is mad. It dwarfs the room, a huge enamelled tub with clawed feet.
“I got it when Juno renovated the bath-house.” Ilargia grins at them. “You’ll be the first menfolk ever to use it, I‘d guess.”)
Upstairs, they can hear Ilargia banging on the door.
“Out in five, kids, or I’m turning off the hot!”
(Kaylee had made the excuse that a large tub like that, she could slip and drown. Ilargia had promptly handed Simon a second towel and punted him in through the door. One good turn deserved another.)
River, lying on the hearthrug, drying her hair, laughs. Jayne comes in, stamping snow off his boots.
“Furnace is good and stoked.”
Ilargia leans over the banister and grins.
“You better have the next slot, Captain, then Zoe can have a real long soak.”
“You are a very nice woman.” Zoe tells her solemnly. Ilargia looks conspiratorial.
“I got a little black market bubble bath stashed. What’s it worth?”
“Trade you an oaf. I got a choice of two.”
“I’ll take the big one.”
“Man could take exception to that.” Mal says mildly.
“Only ‘cos you come second.” Jayne reaches out, snags ‘Larji round the waist as she goes by. “You gonna dish up that stew any time soon?”
“You are all appetite.”
“Ain’t I just.” Grins hopefully at her.
Woman really is one hell of a cook. Mal's ribs feel tight, but he has to have another spoonful of that gravy. Ilargia hands him the dish.
"First winter here was hard until I got the knack of skinning rabbits."
"Easier'n skinnin' squirrels." says Jayne.
"Good eating on a fat squirrel." She grins at Simon's horrified expression. "Why, Dr Tam, did you think you were eating chicken?"
"Is rabbit." River assures him. "Jenner brought them. I helped cook." She's very proud of that.
"I'll eat it, he don't want it." Jayne makes a grab for Simon's plate; doctor moves it hastily.
"You won't have room for desert." Ilargia warns him.
She opens the oven. Smell hits Mal. Warm fruit stewing under golden pastry...That's hitting below the belt. Zoe gives him an odd look.
"Are you...whimpering, sir?"
You can catch Kaylee with strawberries; Mal is a fool for apple pie.
A slow, sleepy end to the day. People picking over the plates, stacking dishes. Mal’s resigned to Kaylee and Simon cuddling on the couch. Still can’t get used to the sight of Ilargia sitting on Jayne’s lap.
“We’ve run out of chairs, and I’m too old to sit on the floor. Besides, he’s comfy.” She wriggles in a way makes Jayne smirk. Mal has a feeling that he’s not going to get his mercenary back this evening either.
She speaks before she thinks,
“If I’d known you were this much fun, I’d have jumped you that first night.”
“Reckon we’ve a few days to catch up on, then.” Those big hands of his start wandering...
He was never supposed to be so sweet.
He’s also sweaty.
“Never did get your bath, did you?”
“You gonna wash my back, then?”
Quite a lot of the water ends up on the floor. Now Ilargia sits in her robe, towelling her hair dry in front of the fire. Jayne, nothing but a smile on, sprawls on the couch, watching. She reaches for her hairbrush.
“Let me do that?”
Surprised, she hands him the brush, settles back, sits within the fortress of his thighs as he kneels behind her.
“It’s a nuisance, hair this length. I’m thinking of cutting it.”
“Hell, no!” Startles both of them. “Be a crime, woman.” Knows what he is about, holding the mass of hair in one hand, soft, careful strokes of the brush.
She knows what he is, what he does. But she wonders if those people he lives with have ever seen this tenderness in him.
Those hands can strip and reassemble a rifle in the dark. Hands that could beat a man to death, can wield a hairbrush with tender care. Fingers, knuckles marked with brawling, finding music on a battered old guitar. Killer’s hands, laid gentle on her skin.
First heat has burned into a steady flame now. He’s not going anywhere, puts his arms round her waist, mouth finds that part of her neck that just makes her lose it. Loses her robe, too...
Sunday, May 14, 2006 10:41 PM
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 10:35 AM
Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:48 AM
Sunday, September 03, 2006 2:15 AM
Saturday, September 16, 2006 4:14 PM
Monday, November 27, 2006 10:36 AM
Sunday, August 17, 2008 10:43 AM
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