Sunday, November 6, 2005

"Overhearing something, Jayne puts two and two together and makes five."


TITLE: "WORDPLAY" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: Mal. Book. Jayne. RATING: PG-13. STATUS: Standalone. ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: WEBSITE:

SUMMARY: "Overhearing something, Jayne puts two and two together and makes five." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.


"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

"Now," Said the calm deep voice. "Repeat after me - 'forgive me father, for I have sinned'."

"Uuuuh, are you... are you sure you wanna be talkin' right now?" Came a slightly strangled voice.

Jayne stopped abruptly outside the Captain's bunk and could not move. He was in shock. What the rutting hell was the Preacher doing in the Captain's quarters?

"I said, repeat after me..."

There was an odd sounding sigh from the Captain. "I got it... gorramit you don't play fair, Preacher."

"Never promised I would, now..."

A low long groan from the Captain, then. "Forgive me for I have sinned... That what you wanna hear?" His voice got higher.

"You forgot the father."

Another deeper groan. *Wode ma*, thought Jayne *what the good gorram are they doing in there*?

"This is not a church, Captain."

"Uuuh, an' this ain't no confessional."

"Hmm, have to agree with you there. Now roll over."

Silence. A little creaking and shuffling. Not much talking then more moaning and a little groaning. Jayne could feel himself getting hot. Had to shift his hips a bit too. Book had said he didn't, not *ever*, so what was with him and the Captain doing it? Didn't that count with the Al-gorram-mighty? Huh. Not like no bible he ever knew. He was about to move on in disgust when the moans grew more extenuated and heartfelt, low and all kinds of disturbing.

"Oooh, Preacher, you sure hit the spot."

Book sounded smug now. "Like Kaylee, Captain, I have natural talent." "That what you call it?" Said a breathless Captain.

"How about..."

The Captain's groan came out fractured.

"Or, I could..."

Almost a yelp now then a very breathless moan. The Captain could hardly speak. "Gorrammit, Book, if this is what heaven is I would'a paid more attention in church."

The Preacher chuckled, deep and amused and filled with affection. Jayne could feel his face reddening but try as he might his feet wouldn't move. He was stuck. Ear to the Captain's hatch, mouth open, heart racing and blood beginning to overheat.

"I'm glad you didn't."

"Wha... huh?"

Yep. Captain was definitely losing the power of speech, not so Book.

"I'd rather you didn't commit blasphemy, Captain." "Can't you..... uhhh... c..can't you call me Mal?"

A little low chuckle. Did that sound evil?

"Very well.... Mal, now try and bend a little more. I want to see what your range is."

"Is this gonna hurt?"

"Have I hurt you yet?"

A brief pause. "No."

"Then don't be a *yige yinger*. I need you to give me a better angle..."

"Ahhhh!" A whoosh of air in an exclamation of expended effort puffed out of the Captain. A breathless huff where words were now completely beyond him. Not so the moaning.

"Good, that's good Mal. Now move your leg a bit more."

"Think my mind's turnin' to mush here, Preacher." The Captain gasped.

"It's not your mind I'm interested in right now."


A bit more shifting then came a sudden sharp cry. Jayne jumped back from the closed hatch, alarm registering on his face then Book was talking. His voice calming, soothing and was that ... praising?

"Excellent! You did very well, that's it, relax, let me do all the work."

No reply. Too much breathless panting then more moaning. And what was that? did the Preacher just moan? Jayne definitely could not take any more, quickly he turned and hurried to his bunk. Had a little something to take care of before decent folks could see him. He knew he would never be able to look the Preacher or the Captain in the eye again.

* * * * *

Dinner was an interesting affair. Kaylee and River had cooked up a storm, a real humdinger of a 'something'. Simon wasn't sure what it was but it smelled good and that was something the ship had sorely been lacking for months now. Protein and vitamin bars just didn't do it. For one, they were odourless, and that pretty much described the taste too. But this, this was more like...

"Stew!" Said Wash in happy astonishment as he and Zoe entered the commons area. His finely crafted pilot's nose sniffing out the tantalising smell and leading him over to the kitchen area where Kaylee was stirring a big pot and River was throwing something like bits of greenery in every now and then.

"Herbs." Said River. "From the Monastery."

That stopped Wash in his tracks. "Monastery?" He looked at Zoe. "We have a Monastery now?"

She smiled. "No, Shepherd Book was there yesterday, *bao bei*, you remember?"

Wash smiled and slid an arm around his wife. "Ah yes, while we were doin' the married bathin' thing."

The mercenary frowned, trying to make sense of that sentence. "Married bathin'?"

"It's called washin' Jayne, you know? That part where soap an' water meet grimey - or even sweaty - flesh."

The big man's look darkened. He was half out of his seat before Zoe spoke up. "Stop teasin' Jayne, honey. That bath was only big enough for two. One if Jayne got in it."

Wash rubbed his eyes. "Ignore me while I scrape that image off the back of my eyeballs."

Just then Inara walked in and smiled, a pleased look on her face as she looked at Kaylee and River. "Something smells good."

"An' it ain't Jayne." Quipped Wash.

Zoe cut a stern look in Jayne's direction before he could smack the pilot. "I can hurt you."

The big man considered the odds and sat down again. Inara got an assortment of bowls and dishes out of a cupboard then helped hand them round the table as Kaylee filled them. River grabbed a large plate full of rolls which she placed as far away from Jayne as she could manage. He scowled across the table at her in irritation, River stuck her tongue out at him then laughed. He had just risen to his feet and stretched to grab a roll when the Captain and Shepherd Book joined them. Jayne almost dropped his roll then ducked his head and concentrated on the food in front of him. Zoe frowned at the mercenary then dismissed the oddity of it to look up at a smiling, happy looking Captain. A flicker of amusement sailed in her eyes as she watched the Captain take his seat at the head of the table. Shepherd Book sat next to Jayne. The big man dipped his head even lower, his nose almost touching his bowl.

"You look very happy, Cap'n." Said Zoe. She thought she heard a quiet choking sound from Jayne but when she looked at him could not see his expression. The man was too busy praying to his food. It figured that eating would be his only religious experience.

"I am that." Came the smug almost proud reply. The Captain looked across at the Preacher and nodded. "Thanks to the Preacher here, that was a mighty fine *sermon*."

Jayne did choke now. His face red, his eyes bugging out he looked up and stared at the Captain. Being helpful Simon, who was sitting on the other side of him, slapped him hard on the back thinking something had surely gone down the wrong way. Or the way Jayne ate probably a whole mouthful of somethings.

"Didn't think you prayed, Cap'n." Said Kaylee with a teasing smile.

"Not that kind of *service*, little Kaylee." Now there were a few puzzled looks around the table. Inara caught Mal's eye and smiled, getting a sense of the deliberate play on words. Knowing the Captain liked to mess with his crew's minds from time to time. But he really was in a very rare good mood and she was curious as to the reason. The Captain looked down at his full bowl. Was that actual meat in there? And that gravy, was that real vegetables and doo-dads thickening and flavouring the mix? "Somethin' smells real good. I'd say if this tastes as good as it looks I may never leave this table for wanting for more."

Kaylee beamed at him and broke her roll. "Why thankyou, Cap'n. River helped me with the herbs an' spices an' such."

Mal's spoon paused halfway to his mouth. "Spices, huh?"

She nodded, River got up and curtsied then sat down again, then everyone dug in to eat. For several minutes all that was heard was the happy munching and approving sounds of folk eating. The mood in the room was almost vibrating with happiness and content. Simon smacked his lips as he cleaned his bowl with the last of his bread. "What did you say this was called?"

Eyes twinkling, River looked across the table at Jayne who was studiously ignoring everyone. "Reaver Stew!"

Jayne jerked his head up and spewed a mouthful of food across the table in shock, his face filled with horror then outrage. River looked back at him, calm and unaffected by the slick slide of meat, gravy and mushed up vegetables sliding down her thin but pretty dress. Her smile if anything grew bigger. "More for me!"

"It ain't no such thing." Defended Kaylee with a little frown in River's direction. "It's somethin' called... Hungerin Stew."

The mercenary frowned. "Hungerin what? That don't make sense."

Inara smiled and daintily finished her repast. "Hungarian Stew or Goulash. It's a famous dish from Earth-That-Was. Usually there would be paprika but this is excellent, really tasty. *Xie xie ni* Kaylee, River."

A chorus of thanks and such went round the table leaving Kaylee bright and flushed with happiness and River sing-songing the ingredients until Inara asked the question that had been hovering in the Companion's mind since the meal began. "Are you going to tell us why you're in such a good mood, Mal?"

The Captain affected a look of shock that wasn't fooling anyone. "What? Can't a man just be happy? Glad to be alive with such a shiny and handsome crew? Not to mention some really fine vittals?"

Inara smiled. "No. Not this time. Last night you were ready to rip people's heads off and space anyone who looked at you wrong. What happened?"

"What? I didn't space no one?" He paused then smiled, couldn't keep the grumpy in place when he was feeling this relaxed and happy. "I have the Preacher to thank for that."

All eyes turned to Shepherd Book. Simon wondered why Jayne had suddenly gone a deep shade of red. If he didn't know better he would have thought the man looked embarrassed.

"I don't think I heard you right," Said Wash shaking his head and poking his ears as if he had something clogging them up. "Did you say Book's the reason you're happy?"

Mal laughed. "Yeah, I admit it does sound kind'a unlikely. Not that I'm makin' a point against you here, Shepherd." He added quickly. "Just after the last job I was so gorram sore. Had more knots in more muscles than even Simon could count. How was I to know that our Good Shepherd had such magic hands?" At the baffled look the others gave him the Captain grinned. He glanced at Book. "Looks like your secret's out, Preacher."

"I may never celebrate mass again." He countered with a straight face but his eyes were merry. "I should perhaps explain that I give a pretty mean massage. The Captain was in pain and if you'll pardon my saying, very cranky. I offered to help. The biggest shock was you saying yes, Captain."

"Now I come to think on it," Said the Captain slowly, pretending to be deep in thought. "I was a mite shocked my own self."

"So," Said Jayne slowly, trying to put the pieces together in his mind and not go blind. "You sayin' you was massagin' him?"

Books' eyebrows rose, an inkling of what was disturbing the mercenary flashing in the Shepherd's very quick and agile mind. "Yes, what did you think it was?"

There. A full blown flush so deep it burned his gorram skin. A light went on in Books' eyes. He glanced at the Captain and saw the same realistion on his face. Unlike Book, the Captain did not smile. His eyes took on a blank expressionless look that hid what he was thinking as effectively as any mask. "Were you listenin' at my door, Jayne?"

The effect on Jayne was comic. Horror then panic at being caught out made it near impossible for him to speak. His eyes widened, the chair slid back and tipped over as he jumped to his feet. Gorrammit the Captain was gonna kill him now. "It weren't my fault!" He wailed.

"What wasn't your fault, Jayne?" Said the Captain in his stern no-nonsense voice.

"I was walkin' past, didn't mean to hear nothin', but there was noises."

"What sort of noises?" Asked Kaylee, a curious expression on her face.

"Well, there was moanin' an' groanin'..."

Now everyone was looking from the Captain to Book and then back to Jayne. The big man was squirming and that was all kinds of hilarious.

"You were eavesdroppin'." Wash put the pieces together then chuckled. Zoe squeezed his hand and the two shared a look. "Don't you know that eavesdroppers never hear anythin' good, Jayne?"

Feeling cornered the mercenary blurted out the only defence he could think of. "Weren't my fault, I thought they was doin' each other!"

Stunned silence. Eyes wide, mouths open, everyone stared at Jayne in shock.

"An' he told me he don't - ever. I mean *never ever*."

"Who doesn't what?" Said Zoe.

"Ya know," Jayne paused, trying for words beyond his vocabulary.

Simon shook his head, amused and wanting to move on before the man embarrassed everyone. "Just a misunderstanding then?" The mercenary gave Simon a grateful look which vanished when he looked at the Captain. "I'll be in my bunk."

After he left murmurs and laughter went round the table then folk started to get up and clear away. Everybody in a fine old humour. Simon drew Book to one side, his voice pitched low so that only the Preacher would hear. "So you don't... not ever?"

Book looked him dead in the eye. His expression serious, voice steady. "No. My order is celibate, doctor."

Simon raised his eyebrows and just looked at him. The Preacher flicked a glance at the Captain who was leaving the commons area with Inara's hand on his arm. Neither were looking in their direction. When his eyes met Simon's he frowned in mild disapproval.

"You have a smutty mind, doctor."

"And you have led a far too interesting life for a Shepherd."

The Preacher's expression softened slightly, a look Simon could not fathom in his eye. As Book left the commons area he could not help murmuring half under his breath. "You will never know how interesting."

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*wode ma* = mother of God *yiger yinger* = baby *bao bei* = precious/treasure *xie xie ni* = thank you


Monday, November 7, 2005 2:10 AM


HI-larious! I love it when Jayne gets all embarrassed and blustery. :)

Monday, November 7, 2005 5:00 AM


I am so amused. That was great.

Monday, November 7, 2005 5:52 AM


Oh, that was funny! Jayne was absolutely priceless.

Monday, November 7, 2005 6:20 AM


Laughing out loud and breakfast do not go together. You've now had the privelege of being added to my "Do Not Read While Eating" list of authors.

Congrats! This was hysterical! And yah, if I were Jayne I woulda been thinkin' the same thing. But then, I DO got a smutty mind.

Monday, November 7, 2005 10:11 AM


oh, i am SO your bitch!!!!

that was pure genius. all of it. every syllable. loaded with genius. there is now pb&j all over my screen.


Monday, November 7, 2005 10:11 AM


that was pure genius. all of it. every syllable. loaded with genius. there is now pb&j all over my screen.


Monday, November 7, 2005 12:37 PM


I got hurt holding my laughter in! Awesome!

Saturday, November 19, 2005 6:01 PM


"Overhearing something, Jayne puts two and two together and makes five."
That is the best tag line EVER! it's so . . . Jayne!
Ooh, my mind went there too! Great crew interaction :)

Thursday, October 5, 2006 2:48 AM


I liked it.


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