Crack Fic: Illogical and just wrong (PG)
Illogical and just wrong
Jayne/River (ish) (Jayne/Simon)
Crack fic. I mean it. There's a warning here too. An mpreg (sorta) warning. OMG, what was I thinking?
Mal's just sitting with Zoe, up in the cockpit, nice and quiet, but even from there, he hears it when Jayne yells,
"Qingwa cao de liumang!"
It's followed up by an awful lot of crashing around, and more cursing. Nodding at Zoe, he pushes himself up, and follows the sounds. Ain't really hard; hell, any louder and the Feds would hear Jayne, right through the millions of miles of emptiness outside.
Jayne's in the infirmary, and things are a mite tossed around. Things including Simon, who's pulling himself up off the ground, and brushing off his clothes. Dust ain't there, but Simon brushes anyway.
"What's going on?"
He asks it about the same time as Kaylee comes running in, eyes wide. "What's all the yelling?"
Simon looks at them both, then slides his eyes over to Jayne. Jayne, who's sitting on the infirmary bed, arms crossed, and face so full of anger that it's like to kill someone who looks at it so long.
So Mal, he stops looking, and focuses in on Simon. "Believe I asked what's going on here."
"I'm not at liberty to say."
And that's – well, that's strange. Because if Jayne's been pushing Simon around, it seems off for Simon to be close-mouthed about it. It gives Mal all sorts of suspicions. "Think maybe you'd better."
Simon pulls himself up, straight as he can, and his face just closes down. "Doctor-patient confidentiality, Captain. You may have heard of the concept?
Huh. That ain't what he's expecting to hear. But – "I'm the captain around here. I'd best know what's going on with my crew. So. Jayne, you got something you want to tell me?"
Jayne just shrugs, not looking at anyone.
"Captain, I don't think –"
Holding up his hand, Mal asks again, impatient. Why's it always got to be something with Jayne? "Is. There. Something. I ought. To know?"
"You tell 'im," Jayne says, looking briefly at Simon. "I ain't sayin' it. Don't make any kind of sense."
And there's a pause, the tiniest of pauses, and it's just full of tension. Finally, Simon speaks, slowly. Like he doesn't want to say it himself. "Jayne came to see me. He's had nausea for some time now."
Well, that's hardly new or unusual. Mal's seen Jayne and nausea plenty of times. Usually on his shoe. Usually after a night of really unpleasant hooch.
"I thought maybe it was food poisoning, but – well, we've all being eating the same things."
Yep, ain't much variety these days. Food situation is getting plain boring. Hell, life is. It's been awful quiet for a long while, now, and Mal ain't complaining too much about it. Except for the boredom.
"I ran every test I could. And something – something strange showed up. It didn't make any sense, but Jayne just kept vomiting every day. So." He stumbles over his words a little. "I ran. A standard." He glances down at Jayne again.
"Just say it."
Clearing his throat, Simon continues, "A standardized test. And. It turns out that Jayne. Is pregnant."
Mal feels like someone maybe hit him upside the head with a largish gun. He's got no words, but he knows his eyes are blinking somewhat fast.
So much for boring.
They all end up in the kitchen, Jayne sitting to one side, just looking miserable. Angry and miserable.
Kaylee can't wipe the grin off her face, no matter how many times Jayne glares at her. She's just smiling away, and Kaylee being who she is, there ain't a touch of malice in it. Mal knows if he were to start grinning, malice and mean would be flying all over the place. And fists would probably be following. So instead, he concentrates on keeping his face straight as possible.
It's damn hard. Kaylee's bouncing around, and patting Jayne on the arm, and maybe she doesn't understand the how of it any more than Mal does, but she's still happy as pie. Makes up for the sour face Jayne's got.
"So. What?" That's pretty much all he can get out. Whole situation just leaves him speechless. Though he'll admit he's thought maybe Jayne's been running to fat, the last few weeks. Just a little.
But Simon doesn't have answers. Fact is, for once in his life, seems he's pretty low on opinions. "I don't know. I've just got the test results. I don't know – how this would happen. It doesn't make any kind of logical sense. We'll need to get to better medical facilities before I can give you answers."
"And we'll need to go shopping." Kaylee leans down on Jayne, and then jerks herself away real fast. "Sorry! Didn't mean to put pressure on the baby." She pats Jayne's shoulder again, peers down at his belly. "Where'd you think it is? Simon? Where could it go?"
Before Simon can answer – and by the look on his face, the possible answers disturb him on all manner of levels – Jayne pushes Kaylee away and stomps to the cupboards. They all watch him yank open cupboards and generally muss around, until Kaylee asks, "You know if it's gonna be a boy? Or a girl?" Her eyes get that far away look, and she goes on, "Jayne with a baby boy. Just like him! Oooh, or a girl? Bet she'd be just like him too. But maybe prettier." She laughs. "We can get 'em little toy guns!"
Mal can't stop the tiny shudder that runs through him. Tiny little Jayne babies. It's just all manner of wrong. And one thing's bugging him. "Who's the – father? Mother? Who's the other person that went and started this abomination?
Simon's eyes cross a little. "It wasn't me."
"Good, 'cause I –"
"I mean, we haven't actually had – well, done – at least not yet – it wasn't me."
Oh, that is just. Not right. This whole night's telling him all sorts of things he never, ever, wanted to know about. Or think about.
He's trying to ignore Simon's half-confession when River drifts in, focusing right down on Jayne. Jayne, who's found a bottle of something thoroughly inebriating, and is taking a swig right now. Carefully, Mal steps over, says, "Hi there, River," and as Jayne turns, distracted, Mal plucks that bottle right out of his hand.
He figures he's going to have slap Jayne around a little after, but then there's River, suddenly wrapped right around Jayne's waist, head pressed tight to his belly.
"Mal!" Jayne yells, trying to push her off. But the girl's a limpet some days, she ain't never been one to let go of something she gets her head set on. "Mal! Gorram, git her off me!"
There's something fun about looking at the two of them like that, though, so Mal ain't inclined to move too fast. Not until she starts saying, "Mine. Inside. Mine. Baby." She's stroking at Jayne's belly now, and Jayne's eyes are white around the edges, and Mal figures he's about to start foaming at the mouth.
That kind of stress, it can't be good for the baby.
So jerks his head at Simon, and together the two of them converge on River, prying her hands loose from Jayne's waist.
Course, she sets up a fuss, howling about it being hers, and they can't take it away from her, it's not right. How she wanted a baby, and Jayne's strong, and he's good for carrying loads.
And on a normal day, Mal would say no way would River be the daddy of Jayne's baby. And not just because of the biological insanity of it all. Jayne? Letting River? And man-babies? Don't make any kind of sense.
But hell. Normal days suddenly seem real scarce all around.
Things are real tense for the next couple of days. Mal's half-glad they're taking the long route to Persephone, and are in the black. Nothing in him wants to deal with Jayne trying to go on a drinking, whoring and fighting binge right about now.
The thought of the costs of the damages just makes him rub at his temples.
Still, having them all stuck together on the boat's almost as bad. Serenity suddenly seems an awful lot smaller than Mal ever imagined she would.
Jayne ignores River, which has to be hard, considering how she almost attaches herself to his side. Mal's never seen Jayne so restrained – he only tries to break her neck once, and she just giggles and dances out of reach.
Sometimes, Mal catches River stroking at Jayne's belly again. Surreptitiously, while Jayne is dozing. Seems he's dozing an awful lot, but then, pregnant folk, sometimes they get tired.
Wash, when he wakes up and gets coherent, laughs and laughs, kind of horrified. Then he moves closer to Zoe and asks Simon, "She isn't going to do that to me, is she?"
Simon shrugs. He's awful quiet, though Mal's seen him and Jayne, heads pressed close together, having what look like some real fun chats. And Simon's in the kitchen all manner of hours, looking frazzled while he's cooking up this or that bit of food.
"Cravings," he says, "and nothing we have is working. Mal, when we land, we're really going to have to go shopping, because I can't – I don't know what Jayne's going to do if he doesn't get something he wants soon." His tone of voice is a little desperate, enough to make Mal not ask any more.
A few times a day, Mal finds himself looking at Jayne's waistline and thinking about it expanding. Then he has to go and have a bit of a lie down, because it's so – wrong. Wrong.
Kaylee starts talking about knitting. Turns out she's good with her hands in all sorts of ways. The first time she holds up a tiny boot, beaming, Mal has to look away. Though, Jayne don't. He just stares at it, face kind of horrified, kind of fascinated. The way he looks at those tiny boots (and the tiny hat Kaylee whips up in no time), it gives Mal the sneaky suspicion that Jayne's getting broody. Broody. Jayne.
Kaylee also waves Inara, passes along her good wishes to Jayne. Jayne doesn't take them with any sort of grace. Though maybe he's got a bit of a glow around him.
It ain't until they land on Persephone, with a doctor's appointment lined up for Jayne (on the sly, of course, and thanks mostly to Inara's contacts), that River lets something slip.
It's an awful big something. Mal knows that, because once again, he can hear Jayne bellowing clear across the other side of the ship.
He doesn't quite run, but he gets there fast enough. "What?"
Situation in the infirmary's almost like the last time. Jayne's angry, Simon's on the floor, things are tossed around. This time though, River's standing there too, eyes wide. And shun-sheng duh gao-wahn, what now? It better not be twins. He's thinking that hard enough that he just comes out and says it, "It better not be twins. I mean it. No twins on my boat."
Standing up, Simon says, "It isn't twins."
"So? So what's the ruckus?"
But Simon, he just stands there, staring at River. Horrified. And Jayne's moving slowly, reaching for a scalpel behind Simon's back. Surreptitious-like, but nothing Jayne ever does is real stealthy. "Jayne, drop it."
Jayne's hand flicks back, and Mal knows what that's leading to. "By drop it, I don't mean drop it into someone's shoulder."
Jayne's face twitches, and there's no funning in it. Someone is going to pay for whatever the hell is going on, Mal's sure about that. But the future ain't his problem. It's the now.
It's River who speaks. "It's just chemistry."
Holy hell, this better not be some kind of exposition about Simon and Jayne's – sex chemistry. He ain't sure he wants to know, but he asks anyway, "What's chemistry?"
But River has drifted off, out of the room, smiling to herself. Jayne's staring hard in the direction she went, and Mal can practically hear him thinking about getting an ear. Or a finger.
"What?" He yells it. The suspense. He ain't cut out for this kind of thing. "Some kind of baby problem?" And how gorram insane is it that he's worried about Jayne's baby here?
Simon looks at him, face still shocked up a little. "Oh. There's no baby."
Oh. Guess it makes sense that maybe Jayne – Kaylee's going to be awful disappointed, but –
"There never was."
And that leaves him mostly without words. Except, "What?"
Simon starts rubbing at his temples, "My equipment was contaminated. River was – playing a game."
"I got a game for her," Jayne mutters, almost quiet enough that Mal doesn't notice.
"So, there won't be – ?"
And that's got to be relief washing right over him now. All sorts of relief. Because Jayne going out on jobs with Vera slung over one shoulder, and a baby carrier over another, it just spells all sorts of trouble.
Probably it'd make Jayne even more troublesome than usual. And no way was Mal looking forward to the Jayne-baby growing up. Two of 'em just would be too much for a captain to bear.
Wash is going to be mighty relieved; maybe he'll stop hiding out in his bunk, stop twitching and laughing nervously whenever River looks at him. Though Kaylee, she's going to be pouting for a week.