Fic: Snow Man
Disclaimers: Joss'. I just kidnapped them.
Rating: G. TOTAL FLUFF.
Summary: Post-The Message. Jayne and River build a snowman.
Notes: I want to thank everyone for the kind words when I was feeling down a few days ago, and for the wonderful fic some of you wrote me. It really helped me feel better. However, I still don't feel quite so wonderful. I'm still in a bit of a funk. The combination of the rude comment, my post-Oscar depression, and seeing Munich (which was a beautiful, amazing film, but was so depressing I just want to curl up in my bed and sleep forever) got me into such a bad mood I couldn't write anything funny. So I figured I'd try writing a little fluff myself to cheer me up, and I think it worked. So I hope you enjoy it!
Jayne felt very uncomfortable staying in the house owned by the parents of a dead guy he didn’t really know too well. Tracy’s parents were awfully nice, given them a place to sleep after the funeral and some warm, real food to eat, but to Jayne it just felt awkward.
So, despite the fact that he was in a warm house in a warm bed with a full stomach, he just couldn’t sleep. He had spent most of the night either pacing the room or just sitting in bed, staring.
It was during one of the his pacing trips past the window that he noticed movement outside. He was suddenly on high alert, grabbing one of his smaller guns and slowly walking outside.
The snow had picked up considerably, and it was a bit difficult to see through. As he got closer, he could definitely make out the movement of a person, but his brow furrowed, trying to figure out what the person was doing. They were hunched over …. Something, pushing it through the snow. And stumbling an awful lot while they did so.
He moved closer, and noticed that the form was definitely a female, by the way the long hair was blowing around in the wind. Wouldn’t be able to really tell any other way, considering all the layers she was bundled up in.
Jayne finally got close enough to be able to see the girl’s face through the snow, and when he saw who it was, he dropped his gun to his side.
“Gorramit, River, what the hell are you doin’ out here?” Jayne roared.
River just smiled at him, not at all surprised by his sudden presence. She was standing next to a considerably large ball of snow. “Making a snow man,” she explained happily.
“In the middle of the night?”
“Captain said we’ll be leaving first thing in the morning. No other time to do it.”
“But it’s a gorram blizzard out here,” Jayne tried to reason. “Why’s it so important to make a snow man?”
“Never made one before,” Rive said simply as she began to roll another ball of snow.
“Well neither have I, but that don’t mean-”
“Then you have to make one with me!” River exclaimed happily.
Jayne blinked. “Huh?”
River stopped rolling the ball of snow and smiled up at him. “Everyone should make at least one snowman in their life. So you should make one with me.”
She went back to rolling the ball of snow around while Jayne thought it over. The crazy girl wasn’t exactly someone he liked spending a lot of time with, what with the stabbing and turning her in and all. Plus, she was didn’t make sense half the time. But she seemed sane enough right now, and it wasn’t like she was asking him to do anything important, or anything that could get him into trouble. It was just a snowman. And he’d rather be keeping busy outside than sitting awake inside.
“Okay,” Jayne finally conceded. “What do I got to do?”
“Well,” River started as she rolled the ball of snow of to him. “Try to get this ball of snow on top of the other one without making it fall apart.”
Jayne nodded. “I can do that.”
River looked at him skeptically. “Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure!” Jayne said, offended.
“Okay,” River said uncertainly as Jayne went to move the ball of snow. River watched him for a moment before turning to start a new ball of snow, which she new she would need.
Jayne went to pick up the heavy ball of snow. He was successful, and he grinned smugly at Rivers back. And then the whole thing fell apart in his arms.
“Told you,” River said as she rolled the ball of snow around.
“Well, how the hell am I supposed to get it up there if I can’t lift it?”
“It’s too big to just lift,” River explained. “Too much fluffy snow. Crumbles if not handled properly.” She finished the ball of snow and pushed it over the Jayne. “You have to push it up. Firmly but gently.”
Jayne grunted. Firmly but gently. What the hell did that even mean.
“Just be careful,” River said. She went to make a smaller ball of snow for a head
Jayne stared at the ball of snow for several moments before moving to push it. After much maneuvering, he finally got it to set atop the larger ball of snow.
River walked over to him, holding a smaller ball of snow. “Good job,” she beamed at him.
Jayne glared at the small ball of snow in her hands. “Thought you said we couldn’t just pick it up.”
River rolled her eyes at him. “Smaller ball. Denser. Less mass. Won’t fall apart as easily.” She set the ball of snow on top of the second ball and then stood back to admire her work. She grinned brightly at the form.
“Don’t know what you’re so happy about,” Jayne grumbled. “Just looks like three lumps of snow.”
River glared at Jayne before reaching up and taking his scarf. “Hey!” Jayne protested.
River glared at him over her should as she wrapped the scarf around the snowman. “He needs features and clothing to make him more than just snow.”
River back up and studied the snow man for a moment. She tilted her head to the side, thinking. There wasn’t much around that could be used. There was a pile of stick a few yards away that she could use for arms, but other than that she couldn’t think of anything. She looked down at her coat. It was long, far too big for her. One of the captain’s old coats he’d wrapped her up in before they’d left the ship. But there were a lot of buttons. Plenty of buttons. She went to work ripping of two, hoping that Mal wouldn’t be mad about it.
“What’re you doin’?” Jayne asked as he watched the girl tear the buttons from her coat.
“Man of snow cannot see,” She said as she placed the buttons on the snow man’s head.
River stood back once again and smiled at her snowman who had half of a face. “Don’t know what you’re so happy about,” Jayne said from behind her. “Don’t got a mouth.”
River frowned again, and looked over her shoulder at Jayne. Jayne felt a little guilty for being so mean when he saw the look on her face. He fished through his pockets, looking for something that could be used for a mouth, but he found nothing. He looked up to see River still frowning at him. Desperately, he looked back down at his coat, hoping that it would give him some idea of something to use.
Luckily enough, it did. He noticed a small string starting to unravel at the end of his frayed sleeve. He began to pull on it gently, so not to ruin the entire coat, but to get enough to make a decent mouth. He broke it off, and held it out to River. River frowned deeply at him in confusion.
“For the mouth,” Jayne explained. River slowly smiled up at him as she took the string from his hand.
“Thank you,” she said quietly. She stared at him smiling for a few moments before saying, “There’s a pile of sticks over there we can use as arms. Will you go get two while I put this on?”
Jayne nodded and River turned to the snowman to add the mouth. He walked over to the stick pile and was picking up to sticks when an idea struck him. He placed the two sticks aside and picked up some snow, rolling it into a tiny ball.
“Hey, River!” He called.
River turned around, and when she was facing him, he threw the ball of snow, hitting her in the arm. Her face went from smiling from indignant in a second. “What was that for?”
Jayne grinned at her. “Well, if everyone has to build a snowman in their life, then everyone has to have a snowball fight in their life, too.”
River’s expression slowly turned back into a smile as she bent over to gather some snow in her hand. “Are you sure you want to do this?” She asked.
Jayne laughed. “What, am I supposed to be afraid of a little girl?”
River smirked at him before throwing the snowball, hitting him right in the middle of the chest.
From there on it was all out war. Snowballs were flying, Jayne and River trying desperately to hide behind little shrubs and bushes for cover. Jayne was impressed, the girl had a deadly aim, even better than his own. He was most definitely losing this war. The only chance he had was to tackle her while she was moving from one shrub to the next.He threw one last snowball, and then waited until she made her move. As soon as he saw her came out from behind the shrub, he lunged, tackling her to the ground.
For a moment he though he might have hurt her, until her felt her little body shake beneath his and heard the sound of her giggling in his ear. He pulled back to look into her laughing face and smiled. Her happy eyes met his, and his world started to get a little dizzy. He’d never noticed how pretty River really was, and she looked like an angle out here in the snow. Her cheeks were red from the cold, and her hair was fanned out around her head. And she was smiling at him with the brightest smile he’d ever seen.
Jayne’s heart started to beat a little faster, and he started to feel a way that he could only describe as weird. He wasn’t sure what to do. For a moment he thought maybe he should kiss her.
River heard that thought. For most of the evening, Jayne’s thoughts had been of the “I can’t believe I’m out here building a gorram snowman” and “I can’t believe I’m spending time with the crazy girl” variety, so she’d just started to ignore him. But when they turned to pleasanter, pro-River thoughts, she started listening again. And she definitely heard the kissing part.
She’d stopped giggling, and now they were both just lying there on the ground, smiling at each other. River waited, thinking that he might actually kiss her, and unsure if she wanted him to. After a few minutes of inaction, she raised her head and placed a soft, chaste, quick kiss on Jayne’s lips before moving out from under him to go grab the forgotten sticks.
Jayne watched her, dumbfounded, as he stood. Had she really just kissed him? His world was spinning a little bit more now as he watched her push the sticks into the snowman’s sides. She stood back and beamed proudly at their finished product. She turned to Jayne and smiled lightly at him, almost shyly. “I think our snowman is very handsome,” she said.
Jayne walked over to stand next to her, still a little dizzy from what had just happened. He searched for something to say, but all he came up with was, “He’s bald.”
He winced slightly at his words, worried that River would look at him with that frown once again. But she glanced up at him with that small smile, looked into his eyes, and said simply. “He’s very, very handsome.”