The Couch
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

BadkarmaOO wrote a wonderful fic over on fanfiction called 'Jayne Cobb's Guide for the Married Man'. This (also posted there) was what came to me on reading it. No OCs, and you can make Mal's other half whoever you want! Enjoy. (Oh, and it doesn't fit into any of my normal fics, but I thought you'd like it anyway!)


Mal stood still, mouth open, shaking his head and wondering what had just happened. There they were, talking as usual, and she’d asked a question, he’d answered, and suddenly he was outside the bunk, no boots, and being told … no, shouted at … that he wasn't required for the rest of the night. Or ever. Then she’d thrown a pillow and blanket up to him and slammed the hatch shut.

The sound was still ringing through Serenity.

His head still vibrating, he carried the bed accoutrements down the stairs towards the common area, playing back the words, the intonations, and trying to make some kinda sense of it. He’d reached the deck by the infirmary and still hadn’t when he noticed he wasn't alone.

“You too?” Jayne said, plumping the pillow on the old sofa.

“River toss you out?” Mal asked.


“Know why?”

“Not a clue.”

“Me neither.” Mal dropped into the chair. “You laid your claim to the couch?”

“I have.” Jayne shook out the blanket and tucked it in along the back of the cushions. “Why, you considering throwing your captainy weight around and tryin’ to make me give it up?”

“No, no,” Mal said quickly, as if he hadn’t been thinking that at all. “Just wondering.”

“Not that I'm gonna get much sleep tonight,” Jayne admitted. “Damn thing’s got more lumps’n your gravy.”

“I'm captain,” Mal pointed out. “As such I never said my cooking was any good.”

“Shoulda hired a cook.”

“Yeah. Instead of a mercenary,” he added pointedly.

“Then you’d be dead and I’d be working for seven percent.” Jayne sat down. “You sure you ain't got no idea why you’ve been thrown out of your conjugal nest?”

“Jayne, I told you. Stop reading dictionaries. And no, I don’t. I can’t even remember what we were talking about, let alone how it got to be a fight.”

“Ah.” The big man nodded. “No. 5.”


“No. 5.”

Mal shook his head. “No. Still lost me.”

Jayne tugged a piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it over. “Here.”

Mal looked at it suspiciously. “What’s this?”

“Ain't gonna bite ya. Just … aw, hell.” He tossed it into Mal’s lap.

“If this is a love letter –“

“It ain’t.” Jayne pulled his boots off. Apparently his argument had begun before he’d started getting undressed. “It’s my rules.”

“Your … rules?” Mal lifted his eyebrows.

“Yeah. Marital rules.”

“And you’re giving these to me … why?” For a long, hideous moment Mal had a mental image of Jayne down on one knee proposing to him, only for that to happen they’d both have to be sly. And it would be bigamous anyway, on both sides.

Maybe Jayne was catching being a psychic, because the look on his face switched to disgust. “Ain't like that, Mal. You know that.” He nodded towards the paper. “These are just my rules for a happy marriage.”

“Happy marriage.”


“You’ve got rules on how to have a happy marriage.”

“Surely do.”

“That you wrote.”

“That I did.”


“Mal, it ain't like I never picked up a pencil before. I’ve written.”

“To your Ma, yeah. Thanking her for the hat and socks and the like.” Mal picked up the sheet in his lap between the thumb and finger of one hand. “Never thought I’d see the day you wrote something ‘cause you wanted to.”

“Well, I did. And I'm thinking maybe you should read it. Take some of my well-considered advice.”

Mal looked sharply at him, but there didn’t appear to be anything other than honest concern in the big man’s face. “Me. Take advice. From you.”

Jayne sat back. “You know, for a man who claims to be intelligent, you ain't doing so well in this marriage lark. So maybe you should read it ‘fore you turn all high and mighty on me.”

“Maybe I should,” Mal admitted. “And I'm sorry for suggesting you don’t have the brains of an ant.”

“Ants are smart,” Jayne said, suspecting no sarcasm. “Build them great domes, thousands of ‘em all living together. Might be small, but they’re strong.”

“You’re right, they are.” Mal opened the sheet and began to read, piecing the words together from among Jayne’s somewhat flamboyant approach to spelling. His eyes got wider as he went. Eventually he got to the bottom, his mouth slightly open. “Well, that’s … surprising,” he managed to say.

Jayne looked smug. “No. 5, right?”

Mal checked. “Uh, yeah. I think that’d be about the one.”

“Did figure on making it more than twenty, but I guess that just about covers it. I mean, it’s mostly about River, but I think your little woman’d come under it too.”

“I thought it said not to call her that.”

Jayne beamed, like the other man had just answered a very difficult question correctly in front of the whole class. “No. 17. See, you’ve got it.” Mal went to hand it back, but Jayne shook his head. “Nah, you keep it. I got other copies.”

“I … thanks.” Mal folded it carefully and slid it into his pocket.

“You’re welcome.” Jayne yawned hugely and stretched, his joints popping, and allowing his own personal perfume to fill the room. “Now, I'm gonna get some shuteye, since we got that job tomorrow.”

Mal nodded. “Should be smooth. Badger’s info should –“ A cough stopped him in mid-word and he looked up. His wife was standing at the top of the stairs, arms crossed like a shield in front of her breasts. “Hi, xin gan.”

She glared at him. “Are you coming to bed or not?”

“I didn’t think I was wanted. You seemed to …” Jayne caught his eye, and he saw the big man mouth ‘Rule 13.’ Quickly scrabbling through what he could remember of the list, Mal finally came up with, “I’d like to.”

Her face relaxed, and she uncrossed her arms. “Come on, then,” she said, holding out her hand.

In a moment he was on his feet, up the stairs and slipping his fingers into hers. Without even a backward glance, they disappeared around the corner.

River floated in through the door from the cargo bay, her bare feet making no noise on the metal decking. “I thought he was never going to go,” she said, coming to join her husband on the couch.

“Me neither.” Jayne grinned, lifting her up so she was on his lap.

“Did you give it to him?”


“Did he read it?”

“There and then.”

River smiled. “Good boy.”

“Ain't a boy, moonbrain.”

She snuggled closer. “Wasn’t talking about you.” Sighing happily, she looked up into his blue eyes. “Is it going to do any good?”

Jayne shrugged. “Not sure. Maybe.” His brows drew together. “How come they fight so much? Thought they were so much in love with each other –“ His mouth made a small moue of distaste. “– that they couldn’t keep their hands to themselves?”

“Not their hands that are the problem.”


River closed her eyes the better to feel her husband’s heart beating in his chest. “Hormones,” she said succinctly.

“You mean …”

“Little Reynolds.”

“A kid?”


“You saying there’s twins?” He glanced towards the stairs where the couple had disappeared. “That why she’s all –“

“Doesn’t know. And that’s a whole new list of rules.”

He chuckled. “Ain't you gonna tell ‘em?”

“Mal will make her see Simon in the morning. After she’s thrown up again.” She began to purr.

“Hey, you going to sleep?”

“No. Just comfortable.”

He stood up, River securely held in his arms. “Well, don’t get too comfy. Now your grand plan’s been achieved, I intend sleeping in my own bed tonight.”

She opened one eye and smiled at him. “Sleeping?”

“’ventually.” He laughed throatily, and strode towards their shuttle.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008 7:43 AM


ROFL! Bravo! Bravo! I love it!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 8:42 AM


Brilliant. This was great.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:36 AM


Second that Brilliant

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:46 AM


So true! Laughing all the way to the end.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10:25 AM


And this was a perfect compliment to the rules of Jayne. Thank you

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 11:22 AM


I loved Jayne and River scheming to give Mal a clue. And twins? Oh yeah, double trouble ahead but what fun. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 2:37 PM


*grins from ear to ear* What fun!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 2:44 PM


This was great!...Why does everybody think Jayne can't write?.....

oh, yeah. third grade.....missed that

great work Jane0904!

Sequel for the babies, maybe?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 4:48 PM


Someday Mal should realize how often he gets maneuvered by his crew. This was fun!

Thursday, February 14, 2008 7:31 PM


Three Words.

That. Was. Perfect.

I nomrally don't go for Rayne but I loved it.


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Now and Then - a Christmas story
“Then do you have a better suggestion? No, let me rephrase that. Do you have a more sensible suggestion that doesn’t involve us getting lost and freezing to death?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XV
“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]