Waited Long Enough - Part Eleven: Fancy Feast
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Jayne and Kaylee have had twenty-four wild hours alone together on Serenity. Now Mal's back and definitely suspicious. Count on River to see the truth. NC17 for brief references to adult situations.


Disclaimer: Not mine, no money. Thanks to Joss et al, Goddess Jacqui for beta and courage, to my own Big, Bad Man for indulging me, and to all of you who read this first attempt at fanfic. If this section is your first read, please back up to Part One and read it all the way through. It's been fun, in fact, so much fun, I'll probably do it again. Please comment below, rate the darn thing or e-mail me at

Waited Long Enough Part Eleven: Fancy Feast

Right on schedule the following afternoon, Mal, Zoë and Wash pulled the ‘mule’ up into Serenity’s cargo bay and began to unload the freight and supplies they’d picked up. Mal lifted a crate and passed it to Wash as he speculated, “Guess Kaylee’s got her overhaul all done. Might as well cut her loose for awhile, that is if Jayne ain’t throttled her yet. Wasn’t exactly thrilled when I ordered him to stick close by, help her if she needed it. Man’s been prickly as a porcupine of late.”

“Here, Sweetie.” Wash grinned wryly and handed the crate to Zoë, who stowed it with the others. “Just goes to show what sexual abstinence does to his sunny temperament. Give him twenty four hours in town and he’ll be the charming, personable mercenary we all know and love.”

Zoë snorted. Jayne, charming and personable? It would take more than a trim to accomplish that sort of transformation. “Husband, you’ve lost your mind.” She just shook her head.

After tossing his duffel into his quarters, the Captain found his mechanic and her helper back in the ship’s engine room, cleaning up the hydraulic fluid residue spilled when Jayne had accidentally stripped the coupling. Most of the mess had dripped through to the under grating trays and Jayne had pulled up the floor grid so he could mop up the oily mess.

Kaylee sat cross-legged half under Serenity’s engine, with her toolbox by her knee, her lower lip nipped between her teeth in concentration as she worked at removing the stripped coupling from the supply hose. There were parts and connectors an’ bits of machinery scattered all over. In fact, the engine room looked far worse than it had when they’d landed, a little like a small bomb had gone off.

Mal leaned through the door and took in the havoc.

“Ai ya women wanle! What in the seventh level of hell happened here?” He stomped into the engine room, his face a mix of outrage and horror. “Kaylee, I thought you were supposed to be fixin’ my ship, not brakin’ her down for spare parts.”

Kaylee looked a little sheepish and just shrugged.

He looked around, ran his hand through his hair, an’ shook his head. Didn’t make the chaos go away. “Jayne? Somebody wanna tell me what the cao is goin’ on in my engine room?”

The merc’s voice was surprisingly calm. “Just cleanin’ up, Mal. Don’t get yer shorts in a wad. I over tightened a couplin’ and we made a little mess. Gonna get it taken care of, so don’t sweat it, dong ma?” Jayne smiled at Kaylee, a sweet, conspiratorial little smile that made Mal very nervous. Something was definitely not right.

“I got the Reuter attenuators re-set and adjusted, just like I said, and we tuned up the catalyzer, too. Just need to get the mess cleaned up and she’ll be shiny, Cap’n.” Kaylee gave him a big grin and pushed a stray lock of hair out of her face, smearin’ grease across her forehead.

Mal looked at her in a sideways ‘I’m not sure I believe you’ sorta way, his eyes darting everywhere, taking in the disorder, their body language, a host of intangible signals that set his teeth on edge.

Mal wanted to make sure they both understood his priorities. “So, you’re gonna get all this fei hua cleared away, huh? Can’t go shoppin’ ‘til you do, ya know, Kaylee.” He turned and looked pointedly at Jayne. “Or anything else.”

Jayne remained focused on his work, turned the rag to a clean side and continued wiping. “Not a problem, Mal. We’ll have it done by suppertime.” He said it nonchalantly, quiet-like. Why, he almost sounded contented.

Was this his mercenary, his hulkin’, grouchy, cranky, bullheaded hired gun? The same merc who twenty-four hours earlier was fit to explode if he didn’t get laid soon?

Still trying to put a finger on what was awry in his engine room, Mall stalled as he continued to observe the scene. It was then that he noticed the scabbed-over cut on the side of Jayne’s head.

“Hey, Jayne.” Mal gestured at his own temple. “What happened? Kaylee clock ya one for messin’ up her playpen?” Maybe that explained the merc’s uncommon mellowness. Better get Simon to check him out and make sure he hadn’t gotten himself all addled.

“Now Cap’n, that ain’t nice.” Kaylee scowled. “Don’t you go pickin’ on Jayne. He didn’t mean to cause a problem and I sure didn’t hit him.” She finished tightening the coupling and torqued it down, then tossed the wrench back into her tool box.

“Just a little cut. I got it all cleaned up and he’s fine. No call to fuss.”

She smiled at Jayne and he smiled back, then went back to diligently scrubbing at the remaining smears of hydraulic fluid in the catch pan, whistling a little tune as he worked.

Something was definitely fishy, but for the life of him, Mal couldn’t figure out what it was. And it was gonna drive him crazy.


After she an’ Jayne finished their cleanup and fitted the flooring grates back into place in the engine room, Kaylee packed up her tools an’ glanced around to make sure all was ship-shape. She noticed Jayne’s t-shirt, stained with his dried blood and hydraulic fluid, balled up an’ tossed behind her hammock where she’d dropped it the day before.

“Guess ya better take this before Mal start’s to wonder why ya was takin’ off your clothes in here.” She winked at Jayne. “I think he’s suspicious.”

Jayne slipped his hands around her waist for a minute an’ chuckled. “Hell, Kaylee, I know he’s suspicious, but we can keep him guessin’ for awhile yet, if we play this right. Gimme a kiss, girl, an’ go get cleaned up for supper. Ya look worse’n I do.”

She stuck her tongue out at him. “Do not!”

“I’m ‘fraid ya do.” He spit on his thumb an’ scrubbed at the smudge on her forehead, then pulled her closer an’ kissed her, light ‘n tender. Took his shirt from her an’ pointed her toward the door. “Git. I’ll see ya at supper. It’s Wash’s turn to cook, so it’ll probably be gorram awful.”


When Jayne got down to the galley, the rest of the crew, with the exception of Kaylee and the Tams, were hanging around the big table, chatting an’ telling jokes, sharing experiences from their time in town. Mal was smilin’, had his hands up behind his head, fingers all interlocked, leanin’ back in his chair the way he did when he was feelin’ easy.

Book had taken pity on the crew an’ was lending assistance to Wash in the supper preparations. Whatever they were fixin’, it smelled downright savory for a change.

Mal cocked an eyebrow at Jayne. “Got that mess all cleaned up?”


“I’m surprised you didn’t head on into town soon as ya got through.” He studied Jayne.

“Ain’t in no hurry.” Jayne shrugged. "Whatever they’re cookin’ don’t smell half bad.” Jayne filled his mug with some of Kaylee’s hooch an' sat down in his usual seat, smilin’ at Mal in a blank, poker-faced sorta way.

Bouncy footsteps rattled the flooring.

“Hey, you guys! Kaylee bubbled, smooching Mal on the cheek. “How’s my favorite Captain?”

“Howdie, mei-mei. Mess all fixed?”


“Good enough.” Mal smiled, but he just still couldn’t figure what was going on. Jayne was too cheerful. Kaylee was even too cheerful. Cheerful made him nervous, meant somebody was up to somethin’. An' whatever the somethin’ was, it had happened in the past twenty-four hours.

Jayne focused on his cup, takin’ slow sips an' trying not to look too much at Kaylee. It was kinda like tryin’ not to look into the sun.

She’d wound her hair up in those bear-ear rolls that looked so gorram cute, a tight little flowered top pulled on over her jeans, feet tucked in pink jelly shoes. Jayne thought she was just the most adorable thing he’d ever seen.

In the kitchen, Shepherd Book could be heard telling Wash. “Now, son, don’t let it burn. I told you to cut the hot plate down. It’s going to scorch if you’re not careful.”

Kaylee reached over the divider and picked up the stack of plates piled there, then began to place then around the table. “Guess Simon and River’ll be along in a minute.” She set places for them, too, and made a special point of not leanin’ too close to Jayne when she moved around him.

The not looking and not touching did nothing to neutralize the connection that now flowed between them. She could feel his awareness following her as she gathered up cups and chopsticks and forks and brought them to the table, knew he pointedly wasn’t watching her, yet knew he was.

In the background, a loud clang could be heard, followed by sounds of exasperation and fumbling. Wash blurted out. “Kwin-gwe-je deh!”

Rolling his eyes heavenward in supplication, Book suggested. “Now, son, we can just wipe that off…” A cook Hoban Washburn would never be.

The folks at the table looked nervously at one another, then everyone looked at Zoë, who just smiled cryptically and shrugged.

Kaylee plopped down into her chair across the big table from Jayne. She liked to sit there so she could watch him an’ tease him, but tonight, she was supposed to not be watchin’ or teasin’ or thinkin’ about exactly what he’d been doin’ to her not twenty-four hours before further down on that very same table. In fact, doin’ it right about where Mal was currently sittin’. An’ doin’ it mighty well.

She smiled secretly to herself, and the color rose in her cheeks. As she glanced up at Jayne, he raised an eyebrow and imperceptably shook his head in warning, nudging her in the shin with his boot toe.

More footsteps could be heard coming down the corridor, Simon’s business-like, crisp ones accompanied by River’s almost silent barefoot ones. He led her into the galley, his hand firmly on her wrist, looking slightly flushed and winded.

"I'm so sorry we're late. I hope we haven't held up everyone's dinner. We got separated in town and it took me a little while to find River again." He pulled out a chair for his sister, clearly exasperated.

River looked at her brother and made a face. "Lost me. Looking for more pieces. Didn't find them." Simon guided her into her chair and slid her up to the table, then sat down beside her.

The girl carefully studied Mal's end of the table, gazing at the vacant space in front of him intently.

"Well seasoned. More than a mouthful."

Mal sat up, clearly puzzled. "Shumma?"

"No utensils. No plate. Finger food, serve it raw and juicy."

Quizzical faces turned to Simon, hoping he could interpret. He shrugged, obviously as bewildered by his sister's remarks as the others. "What do you mean, mei-mei?" He asked.

River's quick, dark eyes flickered from Simon to Kaylee. "He doesn't know. Never tried any. Best enjoyed by connoisseurs."

"Make way! Comin' through… ". A very red-faced an' obviously frustrated Wash carried a platter piled high with slices of overly-done something an' set the steaming mass in the center of the big table, directly in front of Jayne. The Shepherd followed, shaking his head in dismay at the unfortunate meal.

He studied the dish before him with a pained expression, and with a big sigh, Jayne finally speared a slab of the dubious protein and plopped it on his plate. After the meal he'd enjoyed the night before, nothing could compare.

River leaned toward Kaylee with a twinkle in her eyes and whispered, "A feast for the Beast."

** The End - For Now **


Wednesday, March 1, 2006 12:09 PM


Very shiny.
Maybe there could be one more- with the crew finding out.
I especially want to see Mal's reaction as he leads Jayne to the airlock by the ear.

But regardless of whether there's more I loved this. Keep writing.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 12:16 PM



Jayne just pussy-footing around, trying nor to let anyone kow what happened between him and Kaylee.....

And Kaylee trying not to look at Jayne....

Then River walks in, and withina few seconds knows EXACTLY what went on - right on the kitchen table, where Mal is sitting!

Tee-hee1 That's hi-larious!!! So Shiny!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 6:02 PM


You can't leave it there. I want Crew Reaction, dammit! ;P

I love the tip-toeing around, and that awareness of each other, even when they're not looking. All that tangible tension makin' Mal all twitchy. Wonderful stuff.

Putting in a request for one more chapter... maybe even two...

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 7:57 PM


"finger food... best enjoyed by connoiseurs!"
Wicked wonderful! Ten points to River, Foul to Wash for his cooking, and a time-out for our clueless captain.
Love it!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 8:41 PM



River was so hilarious!

And I love the tension and knowing looks between Jayne and Kaylee. Really, just perfect!

Thursday, March 2, 2006 2:23 AM


*chuckles* I love River with the raw & juicy finger food! Mal not having a clue is so typical.

"Jayne focused on his cup, takin’ slow sips an' trying not to look too much at Kaylee. It was kinda like tryin’ not to look into the sun." Great description.

Thursday, March 2, 2006 5:01 AM


OK Guys, ya made me a happy camper with such great feedback. So glad ya enjoyed my first efforts.

More coming, in the form of several short bits set in the next few weeks,following this story, so hang in there with me.

Friday, March 3, 2006 6:02 AM


Patience, folks. Remember, all good things come to those who wait. Jayne got lucky after all... maybe you will, too!

Monday, May 21, 2007 9:12 AM


Hey, mazzshiny - thanks for your kind comments on this, my first-ever fanfic.

When they've been out there for awhile, they begin to feel a bit like lost children and it's always gratifying when a reader takes the time and makes the effort to let you know someone's still reading 'em and they enjoyed your work.

Lucky you --- there's a WHOLE LOT MORE where this came from!


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