Dancing With The Devil
Thursday, January 18, 2007

A little one-shot set shortly prior to the series. Kaylee’s fixin’ to get herself in hot water and Jayne has to intervene. He’s not amused.


Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss. Characters: Jayne, Kaylee, Mal. Pre-Jaylee flirt alert. Rating: PG-15 for strong language and sexual references.

Comments are sincerely appreciated. Thanks!


Dancing With The Devil

By the time Jayne Cobb walked into O’Malley’s Bar on Lemnos, Serenity’s little mechanic was more’n a few sheets to the wind. He could hear her laughter, giddy and bubbling, clear across the crowd. Hell, he could tell the damn fool girl was half lit just by lookin’ at her.

The big merc shook his head in disgust. Girl didn’t have no business lettin’ herself get that drunk in a place like this – too damn many hún dàns all too eager to take advantage of such a pretty young thing. He knew Mal had warned her to take someone along with her if she planned to go drinkin’ dirtside, but Kaylee’d just laughed him off and gone her own way.

Girl was as stubborn as she was pretty. Probably why her folks let her sign on with Mal – they just got tired of tryin’ to raise such a headstrong li’l hellion, he figured, thankful she was someone else’s problem. He wasn’t a man to go stickin’ his nose into other folks’ business, unless, of course, there was coin to be made. Kaylee Frye was a growed-up woman and it weren’t his job to rescue her from her own flirtatiousness and stupidity.

Jayne stepped over to the bar and rested his hat on the gleaming wood as he ordered a whisky. He picked up the glass the barkeep set before him and sipped, savoring the burn as the potent amber liquor warmed his gut.

Mal had divvied up shares between his crew and cut them loose for the night. This last job had been especially successful for a change – nobody shot, no problems gettin’ paid. Why, a man could come to like that sort of work. Jayne snickered to himself as he compared his present situation with working for his last boss, Marco. He’d really come up in the world.

The merc was sipping on his second drink when the situation behind him began damagin’ his calm. It was one thing for the girl to hook up with a fella for the night when she had some idea what she was getting’ into, but it was pretty obvious she was too drunk to have a clue of the danger surrounding her. Jayne had seen situations like this before, and they always had an ugly ending.

He couldn’t help seeing the scene reflected in the big mirror behind the bar, and it made the merc plumb uneasy. Them fellas were swarmin’ around li’l Kaylee like hungry wolves.

“Ruttin’ hell…” he murmured to himself, tossing back the last of his whisky. “Man just wants to have a quiet drink on his night off and shit like this comes along.” He stuffed his hat firmly back on his head and loosened the peace strap on his pistol, just in case things came to that, then pulled his old olive drab coat over the weapon and began to make his way through the crowd.

Gorrammit, girl, you owe me, big time…

* * *

Kaylee’s face was flushed and her eyelids heavy over wide chocolate eyes. Lemnos was a warm world and she’d rolled her coveralls down around her hips. Jayne could see a lot of skin. The little embroidered peach-colored top she was wearin’ left her tummy bare and when she leaned forward, as she was doing right then, a man could see half-way to Boros. Damn-fool girl…

There were five fellas all gathered ‘round her, some seated at the table, some standing. One bottle of booze was already empty, and they were well into the second when the hulking mercenary stepped up to the table and the crowd parted like the Red Sea.

The girl mechanic grinned up at him. “Hey there, Jayne,” she slurred. “Why don’tcha sit down an’ have a drink wi’ me.” She thumbed over her shoulder at the wary bunch that surrounded her. “They did.” Her smile was smug and lopsided as she pointed at him, announcing, ‘He’s m’shipmate. Ain’tcha, Jayne?”

He held out his hand to her. “You’ve had more’n enough, girl. Come on, now.”

The ‘wolves’ grumbled and the tension level rose a notch. Kaylee looked around herself uncertainly, suddenly aware of the shifting dynamic.

The man next to her moved his hand toward the table edge and found himself staring down the barrel of Jayne’s revolver as the merc growled at him, “You don’t wanna be doin’ that, buddy.”

In a low voice that left no room for argument, the big man glared at Kaylee and ordered, “Get yer pigu over here, ma shong!”

Jayne held the ‘wolves’ at gunpoint as the inebriated girl pushed back from the table and edged around beside him. As soon as she was close enough, the merc snaked out a powerful arm and pulled her close against his hip.

“We’re gonna just back on outta here” he explained firmly, ”an’ you boys are gonna go on about yer business, nice and quiet like. An’ next time, watch out who you go gangin’ up on…” And with that, he backed out of the bar, hauling a wobbly Kaylee with him.

* * *

Outside in the darkened street, it was cooler and quieter. Jayne holstered his pistol and turned on the girl. “Kaylee, what’n the hell was you thinkin’ back there? Them fellas weren’t playin’ around.”

The pretty mechanic pouted and swayed, punching the merc’s arm in frustration. “Ya went an’ spoiled m’party, Jayne. Ya ain’t my Pa and ya ain’t my Captain and ya ain’t my ge ge. I was just lookin’ for a good time, s’all.”

“What you were doin’, girl, is dancin’ with the Devil.” Ai ya, she was a pretty li’l thing, but Lord, what a handful. Jayne just shook his head and sighed in exasperation.

Kaylee stepped closer and patted him clumsily on the chest. “’S okay, Jayne.” She grinned up at him. “You’re real swai, y’know. I c’n just party wi’you instead.” She wound her arms around his waist and wiggled closer to him.

Jayne straightened up, leaning away from her embrace as his body began to respond to her proximity. “Uh, Kaylee, this ain’t such a good idea…”

The girl couldn’t help but take note of the sudden pressure against her tummy. She glanced down at the growing bulge in the merc’s cargo pants and smirked up at him, “Well, ‘he’ seems to like th’ idea just fine.”

“Well, girl, ‘he’ ain’t got no brains an’ I’m startin’ to think you ain’t got none, neither.”

He clasped her shoulders and turned her in the direction of Serenity. “C’m on, now. We’re headed back to the ship before you do somethin’ that gets me shot.”

So much for his night off.

* * *

They’d gone a few hundred yards before Kaylee caught the toe of her sandal on a root and tumbled headlong onto the path. Jayne quickly knelt down beside her and dusted the dirt and leaves off her scraped hands and knees. “Ain’t broke nothin’, have ya?” he asked with concern, running his hands carefully up her arms and shins. “You okay, girl?”

Kaylee nodded uncertainly. “I think so.”

He stood and held out his hand. This was one night he’d be glad to have done with. As soon as the little mechanic tried to stand, she yelped in pain. “Tzao gao! I think I sprained my gorram ankle.” She looked plaintively up at Jayne. ‘I ain’t sure I c’n walk on it. Think you can carry me?”

The merc bowed his head for a moment, gathering his composure and patience. “’Course I can carry ya,” he snorted. He bent and slipped an arm around her back and another under her knees, easily lifting her, and continued on toward Serenity.

Kaylee allowed her face to loll against his muscular chest, inhaling his scent. His powerful arms supported her easily and gently and she slipped her arm loose and around his side, drawing them closer. “Mmmm. This is nice…” she nuzzled into him.

For his part, the big mercenary was doing his best to be careful with his cargo, and strugglin’ to ignore all the wicked ideas Kaylee’s soft, curvaceous form was puttin’ into his head. He had no desire to get shot or skinned or spaced or any of the various other things Mal had threatened him with if he manhandled the girl, but damn she smelled good and felt good and if he had to carry her much longer, he just might not care.

* * *

Mal had dragged an empty crate down the ship’s ramp and was sitting on it, with his back leanin’ against the ship, just lookin’ up at the stars. Even when he was dirtside, he was restless to return to the Black.

The sound of something big coming up the path caught his attention and he cocked his pistol. “Who’s out there?”

“Don’t shoot, Cap’n. It’s us,” Jayne hollered, emerging from the darkness with an apparently sleeping Kaylee in his arms.

Serenity’s captain looked at his merc skeptically, one eyebrow raised.

“She twisted her ankle, Mal, an’ I had to carry her.” Jayne looked down at the girl in his arms. “See, she got herself all drunk and a bunch a fellas was gonna take advantage of her an’…”

“Did not,” Kaylee mumbled sleepily.

Jayne and Mal locked eyes and Mal grinned knowingly. “So then, what was you really doin’, mei-mei?”

Kaylee lazily raised her head and grinned up at Jayne with a goofy smile that ran from ear to ear.

“I was dancin’ with the Devil an’ he’s handsome as hell.”


The end


Thursday, January 18, 2007 3:23 PM


I really liked this piece - a very believable peek inside of Jayne's head, and some excellently written lines.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 6:57 PM


Yep...definitely some brilliant stuff here. Title might cause some confusion though, since qwerty's got a series currently in production with that title 'round these parts;)

Still...gotta love Jayne's superficial growling and grumbling. He's just big ole teddy bear;D


Friday, January 19, 2007 2:56 AM


Hey qwerty, sorry 'bout any title confusion - I wrote this a while back and put it up over here after recently posting it at lj. When I checked the fic archive, I found nothing with this title.

And BEB, thanks for commenting.

Friday, January 19, 2007 6:00 PM


Actually, mine is "Dealing with the Devil", so no conflicts. ;o) And considering BEB is my beta...he should have known that! :oD

Great Jayne fic, as usual!


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