Disclaimer: I own notta one of 'em.
A/N: I apologize for the delay on this one- RL got in the way. I'm not completely satisfied with this either- but I think it's all that's left of this one in my brain.
Ch.8- Just Desserts
”...wang ni bu yu zheng!”
River skidded to a stop, her socked feet sliding her a few paces further down the smooth metal decking. Silence had fallen again; she froze and tilted her head to the side as if that would help her hear farther. A few slow, silent, excruciating seconds crawled by, then she heard a sound that made her wince. A low, hissing noise, the kind an expelling pressure canister makes when being released. The cursing resumed.
It’s too late, she thought to herself. I cannot stop that which has already been set in motion. She sighed sadly, turned and went back into her room.
Stopping just inside the doorway, she stared again in amazement at her room. Her covered room. Covered in every possible hue of pinks, reds, yellows, purples, even several shades of white. Jayne had painted her room a fresh pastel rainbow palette. River stepped further into her room and breathed deep; Jayne’s makeshift palette smelled sweet. From the peonies on the dresser to the carnations and zinnias laid gently across her bed, it smelled heavenly. He finally gets it right, she smiled grimly, but the timing, oh the timing! Well, to be fair, she hadn’t gone back to her room all day and half the night, and he had to have done this shortly before or after takeoff, thinking that she was going to stop by her room at some point during the day. She sighed, and jerked her head around towards the hall as she heard another round of muffled cursing. Must have been the nuts.
Well, at least they had thought to lure him to the shower room so that he could clean up and no one would see him getting beaten in the prank department. Well, that is at least until tomorrow, when she and Kaylee showed everyone the remote capture they had rigged up by the sink.
River sat on the corner of her bed, thinking hard of how she could rescue the situation, or at least soften the blows of retribution currently being rained down upon the mercenary. She almost immediately decided to not show anyone the capture, she would destroy it. Well, maybe not destroy it, but hide it away for safekeeping. In case she ever needed it.
But that didn’t seem like it would be enough. Since, by the looks of her room, he appeared willing to come around, she would have to work hard to diffuse what would probably be a pretty hefty dosage of current anger. And what would distract Jayne from a killing rage? Ah, yes, that would do it. A little skin was always enough to distract Jayne Cobb from anything he could be thinking about.
River stood and went over to open the bottom drawer of her dresser. Shoving t-shirts aside, she reached into the back of the drawer to grab an article of clothing she had managed to obtain a while back and had kept hidden from Simon ever since. She held it up to her face and rubbed her cheek against it. So soft, even silky-ish. She pulled her dress over her head and slipped on the contraband article of clothing. The item softly draped down to just above her knees. It was a faded red color, almost pink. River loved it, the feel of it, the smell of it. She had been saving it for a while; now seemed like a good time to try it out.
She opened her door just wide enough to stick her head out and look around. The merc’s yelling had not attracted any undue attention. Maybe the rest of the crew thought he had hurt himself stumbling around in the dark since they kept the hall lights turned low during the night to minimize the energy drain. Which was silly, them underestimating him again. She knew from their time working together how stealthy he could be; there had been times even she hadn’t discerned his approach. He was still the only one capable of blocking her from reading him, although he hardly ever bothered anymore. It was convenient while working, and a comfort when he got hurt to have her there. Well, she decided, it was time to let him know he really did have her there, body as well as mind.
She tiptoed around to the door of the bathroom knowing he was already inside. She had counted the cursing- three rounds and then he was done. She paused by the edge of the doorway and listened. His thoughts were loud, unshielded, and tumbling through annoyance, frustration, and, wait, was that admiration? For her and Kaylee’s creativity and perseverance. Huh. A guy who appreciates smart women. River smiled shyly to herself. While she knew the chances of Simon’s wishes of her meeting and getting along with a man as smart and gifted as herself hovered somewhere between slim and none, here she already had better. Someone who appreciated her for exactly who she was. Didn’t matter that he didn’t always understand her. He thought she was great, that was all that mattered. Well, time to show him she thought he was great too.
With a serious, determined look set on her face, River opened the door just enough to slip inside the bathroom. She quietly pushed the door shut and turned around. And all serious intentions flew out a side window and into space, because there, staring at her with a face fit for a funeral, was Jayne the human sundae. River lost it. She started off with a big snort, then a deep breathe, a grab for the wall railing for support, then lost it. She was laughing so hard she lost her grip and slid down onto the floor, alternately looking at Jayne, then closing her eyes and trying to remember how to breathe.
Jayne, meanwhile, had taken a headfirst plunge into the land of confusion- he was supposed to be angry with the girl, but she looked so cute laughing hysterically, even though it was at him, that it was hard to stay mad for long. There was also the matter of what she was wearing; if that wasn’t all manner if shiny distraction. Mmmm. He had wondered of late what she would look like wearing something almost exactly like this, now he knew. And it was good.
He was admiring a particularly creamy length of thigh lying across the floor when another small riverlet of chocolate syrup ran down his cheek, accompanied by little shards of freshly chopped nut-boats. River convulsed into another round of gasping-for-breathe laughter and slid further down onto the floor, her outerwear sliding even further up her long legs. Jayne was torn between either grinning sheepishly at himself and his current situation, or grinning lasciviously at all those legs. Those long, lean, silky skinned legs. Mmmm, he thought, I gotta get me some of those…
River caught her breathe and paused long enough to notice where Jayne was looking. She stood back up, letting his shirt fall back down to cover her upper legs, and sauntered over to him. Or at least as much as she knew how to saunter; she could only practice what she had seen in the old romantic movies she and Kaylee had been downloading off the cortex of late. Jayne’s eyes grew wider the closer she got to him.
“So I was thinking of going to the kitchen to get a late night snack,” she began, “but it looks as though I may have found something here.” She stopped right in front of him, bent at the waist and leaned forward to trace one finger up the side of his face, then stood back up straight, sticking her tongue out and licking the chocolate off her finger melodramatically. Jayne squeaked.
River paused. Okay, now was the point in the movie where she was supposed to make her demands, now that she had his full, undivided attention. She was getting nervous though, she wasn’t an actress, and she had never attempted to play anyone but herself before. What if she couldn’t live up to Jayne’s expectations? She had imagined that all those glamorously dressed and painted working girls he had been with looked an awful lot like the women in those old Earth-That-Was movies that she and Kaylee had been watching, but she suddenly realized that acting or not, they all had one thing in common: they exuded confidence in their sensuality. An area in which she had absolutely no experience.
Jayne sensed her hesitation; he had had a niggling thought in the back of his quickly ramping up mind that this was new behavior for River, not entirely unpleasant, but also, not really seeming like herself either. Or even like the way he thought she might be if he ever got lucky enough to get closer to her. He realized she was playing a part, this was not really her, she was unsure of herself, and she was getting agitated at herself for her lack of confidence in the area of seduction. Well, he thought, she is inexperienced in this area, but she shouldn’t feel like she had to pretend, not with him.
He wanted her to be herself with him; he could certainly take care of the experience part of their growing relationship. Time to lighten the mood. He smiled and titled his head, causing a big glop of whipped cream to break away and slide down to his shoulder.
“Well, it looks like ya got me good, girl,” he grinned straight at her, taking his eyes off the rest of her cute little Jayne-t-shirt-clad body. When had she stolen that anyhow?
River tried not to giggle. Women, serious ones, did not giggle while seducing their men. But before she could decide the next step, Jayne took control.
“Come ‘ere,” he said, and leaning forward he grabbed her by the waist and pulled her close. Her legs bumped into his knees. He reached up and grasped her by the chin.
“Ya got me good, girl,” he repeated softly, “Ya got me for good, for as long as you want me.”
River searched his eyes. He was being dead serious, no doubt about that. Which was an admirable feat to pull off, seeing as how he was still dripping in syrup, whipped cream that had begun to break down, and the occasional nut that slid down at intervals. She smiled softly.
“Thank you for the flowers, they’re beautiful,” she began, by way of apology.
“You deserve them,” Jayne answered. “It may have taken me a little while to figure out that the one you gave me was meant, well, with a-ffection, and not to mess with me, but, well, I got it, e-ven-tual-like.” He slid one large hand around the back of her neck and gently pulled her towards him. She sighed and leaned in. He brushed his lips over hers, then pressed gently, not wanting to push her. A little stream of chocolate syrup chose that moment to drip down his forehead, down the bridge of his nose, and drip to a spot right between their lips. River’s tongue unconsciously darted out to lick it.
“Mmm,” she sighed. She could taste Jayne skin and chocolate. She started to giggle, but this was more of an evil lascivious giggle, not helped by Jayne as he crossed his eyes at her. She started to stand back up, but he quickly grabbed her hips and before she could react, she was sitting on his lap.
“You think this funny, do ya’ li’l girl?” Now Jayne had the evil grin. He tilted his head forward like he was going to kiss her again, but just as River leaned forward he shook his head vigorously. River squealed and struggled to jump away, but suddenly there were two human sundaes. They looked at each other for a moment, then both began to laugh.
“Ya know how much I want ya?” he asked. She knew he meant everything he couldn’t say.
It was her turn to grasp his chin and raise it to look into his eyes. She leaned in and kissed him again, then proceeded to lick a path up his cheek. He licked her cheek back. She giggled, then leaned in and licked his lips. He parted them instantly, winding his own tongue around hers and leading it back into his mouth where he stroked it softly with his own. She moaned and gripped his shoulders.
Jayne grabbed her around the waist and hugged her close. He decided his new favorite day was Sunday. Only if he could spend it with River of course.