One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
Monday, February 9, 2009

One shot written for the Ryane Shippers 2009 Valentines fic exchange. Post BDM, Pre-Rayne Could be stand alone or even a pre- Allan, 'Allanverse' story.


All belong to Joss. All hail the Joss

- -

One shot written for the Ryane Shippers 2009 Valentines fic exchange.

- Un-Beta'd all spelling and punctuation errors are my own -

Setting: Post BDM, Pre-Rayne Could be stand alone or even pre- Allan, 'Allanverse' story.


One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (with apologies to George Thorogood)


It was River's nineteenth birthday and she was going out to celebrate.

Ever since Miranda, River had been able to clear her mind a little more each day. That terrible time had been a catharsis of sorts. She still had nightmares from time to time, but slowly River Tam was becoming the beautiful young woman she should have been, had the Alliance left her mind alone.

Simon had been hard pressed to explain the extent of River's recovery. The only workable theory he could come up with was, that with his sisters prodigious intellect, she was able to 'out think' her unstable emotional state with pure logic.

River had agreed with this. The result was a slightly strange behaving, girl genius who was doing her best to make up for lost time.

River stood by Serenity's ramp impatiently, “Kaylee, hurry up!”

“We're coming, Mei-mei,” Kaylee replied as she and Inara descended the stairs from Inara's shuttle.

Kaylee was dressed in a pale yellow sun dress and Inara wore one of her more understated outfits. It was actually the dress she wore to do her limited chores around Serenity. Kaylee called it her 'doin the dishes' dress.

River bounced up and down on the balls of her feet in anticipation.


She sighed, “Yes, Simon?”

The elder Tam sibling looked disapprovingly at River's choice of clothing. Noting the skintight black jeans, tank top and leather boots. River had been dressing like Zoë the last few months. Forgoing her usual dresses for more practical and more revealing clothing. She was even wearing a little makeup tonight.

“Mei-mei, are you sure you will be alright?”

River shot her brother her usual 'boob' expression in reply.

In an effort to avoid a confrontation, Kaylee kissed Simon and pulled back with a smile, “Jus' a little girls night out for her birthday, Bao-bei. Riv' will be fine.”

Simon tried to look the huffy older brother but as usual, Kaylee's kiss had turned him to putty.

“We'll be fine, Simon,” Inara stated as she took Kaylee in one arm and River in the other. Turning, the trio marched down the ramp and disappeared into the bustling throngs of the Eavesdown docks.

Hearing a clank behind him, Simon turned to see Jayne setting up his weights in the corner.

“Wanna do a set, Doc?” Jayne asked. They had come to a truce of sorts ever since Miranda. They wouldn't exactly be friends but shipmates seemed to be an appropriate term.

“No... thank you, Jayne.”

“Suit, yerself,” the big man rumbled as he laid down on his bench and began lifting.

Simon glanced at the Mercenary and headed back to the refuge of his infirmary.


“This looks like a good place,” Kaylee chirped as she dragged River and Inara through the doors of a busy and very loud dance club.

Peeling off a few bills to pay the cover charge, the three women pressed their way through the crowd and remarkably found an empty table. River was looking about, a bit wild eyed.

“River? Are you alright?” Inara asked, with a concerned voice.

“Loud in here,” the psychic replied.

“It is,” Kaylee replied. The bass heavy music could be felt as well as heard.

River shook her head and tapped her temple.


River smiled, “It's okay. I just need to concentrate for a few minutes. I'll be fine.”

“You're the birthday girl,” Inara said, “What do you want to drink?”

“Not sure... I have no experience with strong drink.”

“I want one o' them peanut colliders,” Kaylee gushed.

“It's called a pina-colada, Mei-mei,” Inara giggled.

“Whatever. I want one.”

No waitresses could be seen. Inara was about to rise to get the drinks when River shook her head.

“I'll get them. Perhaps I can make a decision as to what I would like.”

Inara nodded, “I'll have a mudslide, then.”

River grinned, stood from the table and turned to face the crowd. Pausing a moment to feel the beat of the music, River stepped off into the throngs, headed for the bar. Almost dancing as she went.

A few minutes later she returned carrying a tray with several drinks, a few empty glasses and a few bills.

Kaylee looked at her strangely. River shot her a grin.

“Someone thought I was a waitress.”

The three women giggled as River sat back down. A pina-colada appeared in front of Kaylee, a mudslide in front of Inara and two glasses and a bottle sat in front of River.

“Three drinks, River?”

“Like I said, I have no real experience with alcohol. I must experiment.”

Kaylee and Inara shared a look.

With an experimental sniff first, River slugged back the first drink like she had seen the Captain do on numerous occasions.

River's eyes bugged out and she did her best not to cough. She banged her fist on the table.

“You okay, Riv'?” Kaylee asked.

River nodded while trying to get her breath back.

“What was that?” Inara asked.

“Bourbon,” River coughed.

“Bourbon is meant for sipping, Mei-mei,” Inara smiled as she took a sip of her own drink.

“Now you tell me.”

“What else ya' got?” Kaylee asked.

“Beer and something called scotch.”

“Sip the scotch dear,” Inara advised.

River complied, noting the smoother feel of this particular spirit. By the time she finished the beer, River was feeling quite warm and fuzzy.

A waitress finally came to their table and brought more drinks. Inara advised moderation and perhaps some dancing to help work off the alcohol.

Within a few hours, however. All three women were throughly intoxicated.

Inara retained enough of her wits to hail a taxi. She knew that in their current state, they would be in no shape to get back to Serenity on their own.

Giggling, the three women staggered up the ramp leading into the ship. After tucking a nearly comatose River into her bed, Kaylee stumbled off to her bunk with intentions of molesting Simon.

Demure as always, Inara made her way to her shuttle before collapsing across her bed, She fell asleep instantly, still in her clothes.


Jayne pounded down the stairs next to the infirmary. He'd pulled a muscle lifting the previous night and had awoken stiff and sore. Approaching the infirmary, Jayne heard a strange noise. Quickly pulling his pistol, the big man quietly approached the door leading to the passenger head and showers.

Jayne holstered his weapon when he heard the noise again. Someone was noisily throwing up.

Peering in through the door, Jayne was surprised to see the crazy girl on her knees, head over the commode.

“What got inta' you's moony?”

Jayne's reply was a moan followed by dry heaving.

A smirk crossed the mercenary's face, “Tied one on last night, huh?”

River wiped vomit from the corner of her mouth and glared at Jayne, “Remember how I said I could kill you with my brain?” she whispered.

Jayne nodded, suddenly nervous.

“Be thankful my head hurts too much,” River growled.

Jayne snorted in amusement, “Aw hell girl. You's just dehydrated. Part o' getting plastered. Need to drink water a'fore you go to bed. A smother don't hurt neither.”

River tried to regain her feet but instead, she just tipped over. Jayne's big hands kept her from falling all the way to the floor.

“And from the looks o' things, you're still more'n a bit tipsy.”

“I merely had a disruption in my equilibrium.”

“If that's fancy talk for losin 'yer balance... yep I'd say that about covers it.”

River glared at him, “You are enjoying this.”

“Nah. I 'jus remember the first time I got drunk like that... weren't pretty.”

River nodded. With effort she got unsteadily to her feet. Jayne reached out and steadied her.

River looked up at Jayne. She was surprised at the expression on his weathered face. Instead of the usual contempt or even the anger she was used to. She saw only quiet concern.

“I am not used to you caring like this, Jayne,” River said as she rubbed her temples in an effort to make the incessant pounding go away.

“Ain't carin. Less it's keepin my own hide intact. You're the pilot o' this boat now. Need you up and runnin, hundred percent when the job goes south like it's likely to do this afternoon. Might need a quick getaway.”

River smirked at the big man. His words were self centered but the thoughts behind them were not. River sensed true concern for her well being. Digesting this new information, River merely nodded and immediately regretted it.


Jayne snorted in amusement, “Don't move nothin too fast just yet. Just head on over to the sofa and I'll fetch you some water and a smoother.”

With a few unsteady steps, River carefully made her her way to the sofa. She sat down slowly and let her head fall back, eyes tightly shut.

“Here...” Jayne said as he held out a glass of water and two small white pills.

River cracked one eye open and winced. The change of light hurt. With one shaky hand, she took the smoothers from Jayne and popped them in her mouth. She chugged back the water glass, suddenly realizing how thirsty she was.

“Thank you, Jayne.”

The big man nodded and sat opposite her on the coffee table, “Them'll kick in n' about half an hour.”

“You speak from experience?”

“A bit. I got a fairly high tolerance fer' alcohol. Ain't always was like that. Took lots o' years.”

River marveled at how she and Jayne were having a conversation. That had never happened before.

“Thank you.”


River expected Jayne to leave then. Instead he simply sat looking at her. His face showing concern. His mind held the same emotion.

Jayne cocked his head and grinned, “So... what did y'all drink last night?”

“I started with something called bourbon.”

“Mighty strong drink to start off with.”

“I had no previous experience. Needed to experiment.”

“Understand that. What next?”


“Not a bad choice.”

“Then I had a beer...”

“Good chaser for the rest. Has more water in it, don't dehydrate as much.”

“Then I had something called a Long Island Iced Tea... there was no tea in it.”

Jayne guffawed, “There sure ain't, girl. What then?”

“I don't remember.”

Jayne smirked at her,” That's cause you're such a skinny little thing. Need some meat on them bones, you want to drink with the big dogs.”

“I am not skinny. I'm... athletic.”

“Whatever,” Jayne replied as he got to his feet, taking River's water glass. A moment later he returned with it refilled, “Drink this before you try to move much. I can fetch yer' brother iffin' you want.”

“I'm fine. The water is helping.”

“Figured as much, Just take it easy for an hour or so and you should be fine.”

“Thank you Jayne.”

“You're crew. Crew takes care of each other.”

“Yes we do,” River smiled.

“My turn to make breakfast,” Jayne said as he rose to leave, “Oatmeal will be good. Soak up all that extra alcohol. I reckon Kaylee and Inara tied one on too.”

“I think so... it's all very fuzzy...”

“Oatmeal it is then.”

“I shall help you in a few minutes.”

“I got it.”

“Least I can do.”

Jayne shrugged, “Whatever.”

As Jayne stomped up the stairs, River smiled. They had a conversation. Perhaps there was more to the ape-man than she had thought.

This warranted further contemplation...



Tuesday, February 10, 2009 4:05 AM


Awwhttp://www...I liked this. It was very cute and rather romantic in a Jayne sort of way....

very good and happy V day!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 1:09 PM


End? No, how can it be? What further contemplation? Oh, I know, it was a one off, but you can't stop a girl from hoping. Lovely tale, particularly River trying the various drinks. Thanks!


You must log in to post comments.



I Choose You - Chapter 2
A Scoobie joins Serenity's crew

I Choose You - Chapter 1
My first foray into the Buffyverse/Crossed over with Firefly. 500 years from now, two nearly immortal Slayers, a powerful Witch and the Immortal Key struggle with the same thing they always have. Love, Family and Vampires. Willow/River pairing.

Discovery - Chapter 8
Mal and John Henry discuss Time travel and Sarah Connor Realizes she isn't in Kansas (or California) anymore.

Discovery - Chapter 7
Back in my FF/T:TSCC crossover verse. John Connor and the crew of Serenity go out to a bar. The inevitable occurs.

Undying - Chapter 4
On Santo, the crew sees to supplies while River, Zoe and MacLeod meet with two of Mac's oldest friends.

Quest - Chapter 32
Done!!!!! Last chapter in this story arc. The Allanverse will continue at some point, however.

Quest - Chapter 31
Some more fluff as I finish off this arc. The extended Serenity families relax on the beach while waiting for the rest of the wedding guests to arrive.

Little Girl Lost - Chapter 2
Chapter 2 of my AU River story. River meets someone on the trip to Persephone who will changer her life forever.

Tales of the Rangers - Chapter 14
Back in the present, the crew has a little downtime. Relationships are strengthened and after a teenaged tantrum, Jessie finds herself (and Inara ) in a situation

Little Girl Lost
Yet another plot bunny that attacked. What would happen if River didn't go to the Academy? Drama at home leads to her running away. Will eventually include all the characters from the show but don't expect a rewrite of Season 1. Totally AU folks