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29 June 2009 @ 10:11 pm
Cheatin' on my honky-tonk  

Ok, no word of a lie this is probably the first thing i've written in about a three months and i'm feeling a little rusty so I would appreciate any and all feedback, even of the negative kind. My fingers neede to type but the muse wasn't exactly playing fetch. 
It is inspired by Trent Tomlinson who is the first musican to spark a writing buzz on me since last year so cheers for that Trent and I truly believe everyone should listen to this song. It just screamnsd Rayne to me so here it is.

Title: Cheatin' on my honky-tonk
Author- Faythbrady
Pairing- Rayne. Serenity, Firefly. M/I, S/K
Rating- PG
Disclaimer- Joss is ruler of the verse.
Summary- Jayne feels he's betraying his drinking buddies, but why?


Jayne was more than a mite nervous as he strolled into the bar on Sirus.

That in of itself was unusual, Jayne Cobb weren’t afraid of nothing; nor had been since way before he left his ma, and the rock his pa slaved on, and lit out for the black.

Years of seeing the worst the Rim had to offer had made Jayne damn near impervious to any such go se as nerves-- save for when Reavers were around and weren’t no man ain’t afraid of Reavers, unless he’s a damn fool, and Jayne weren’t no damn fool-- and yet here he was with his stomach rolling in waves like Wash was doing somersaults in Serenity.

He was never one to show any trepidation though, so in usual brusque manner he made his way over to the bar with a cocky swagger and a leering grin.

“Hey, Hicks,” he greeted the barkeep with a smile and slapped his hand down on the sticky liquor-covered surface.

“Jayne!” the gruff merchant nodded back, as eager to see his best paying customer as Jayne was to see the ale he slammed onto the table.

Jayne quaffed down about half a pint in one gulp and Hicks was quick to refill, knowing full well that the man would be in a better mood if he kept the alcohol coming.

“You’re friends are here already,” he offered, “guess they wondered why you were late.”

Jayne glanced over his shoulder to where most of his crew sat drinking at a table in the corner.

They’d touched down on Sirus a good long while ago after being in the black for three months solid.

Careful was all well and good when every member of parliament wanted you and your crew dead, but there was only so much space time a man could take before he went ass-crazy. After three solid months of nothing but black, even little Kaylee was throwing spanners at people’s head. A near-concussed Simon had pleaded for some time dirt side and Mal, finally, granted their wish.

Of course being Mal he had chosen some out of the way backwater hole like Gyta on Sirus for them to take their well earned break. It was as much to fly under the radar as it was to keep Inara from finding some high paying client. No one in Gyta had coin extra for much more than drinking.

Kaylee, as usual, managed to find the fun in it and had attacked both the market and the scrap yards with equal gusto, being as plum pleased about a punnet of strawberries as she was about a new engine coil. Simon was her ever present shadow, eager to assist and be near his own special brand of sunshine.

Mal and Inara continued their dance of two steps toward and foot in mouth despite having consummated that burning tension. When their mouths weren’t occupied with each other it was all they could do to have a civilised conversation.

Zoë spent most of the time with Wash, trying to help him regain more manoeuvrability with his stiff shoulder; stiff on account of having being skewered by a Reaver on Miranda whilst River confined herself to the ship, trying to put her broken pieces in some sort of order.

But, when it all went dark, most of the crew ended up at the tavern where food was good, cheap, and alcohol flowed as freely as conversation.

The crew of Serenity had become staples of the tavern and each and every one was greeted like a long lost friend; Wash was adored due to the fact he could tell a good story and had the tavern in stitches. Zoë could play a mean game of pool, Kaylee and Inara fair brightened up the place and even Mal could be prevailed upon to tell the odd tale.

But Jayne was a man’s man. He drank with the locals and helped them with their work during the day, earning himself a little more coin and a lot more respect. He gambled but didn’t cheat and was just as pleased with the company when he lost as when he won and the ladies all doted on him.

Being dirt side suited Jayne and each day he felt the space dust shake off his feet and the tension of always being on guard release. Two weeks in and he’d felt like a new man.

After some friendly banter with the bar staff Jayne’s nerves had eased some and he was, once again, in fine form. He picked up his beer and headed for the crew who had become closer than ever after the events on Miranda.

Jayne knew that it something to do with the solider mentality of those who’d been through the same thing forming a connection much like Zoë and Mal. But now they all had a purpose and were, for better or worse, a family.

Jayne even got on some with Simon. Well as much as he could with the pansy-assed Core boy.

He sunk into the seat and raised his glass to his fellow ship-mates.

Kaylee beamed at him. “Jayne, didn’t think ya’d want to come out tonight.”

The tension flooded back and for a brief second Jayne’s heart thumped in time to the drums some farmer was beating hell out of and pretending it was music.

Why, why would she think he didn’t want to come out tonight? Did she know? Did any of them know?

Some of his panic must have shown on his face because Kaylee leaned forward. “Figured your head might be a shot too light after last night?”

Comprehension dawned and the relief made him dizzy.

“Hell, Kaylee, I been drunker than that before I left school.”

Simon’s lips nudged up in a smile. “They do say early drinking rapidly reduces intellect. Every sip kills brain cells. How old were you when you started?”

The other inhabitants of the table sniggered and Jayne straightened.

“Twice the age you’ll be if you don’t quit ragging on me. I got me brain cells aplenty and it don’t take no gorram genius to know when to pull the trigger.”

Simon held his hands up in mock surrender. “Forgive me for being interested in your well being.”

Jayne snorted and sunk back his drink. Holding his glass up, he waited until the barkeep acknowledged him and set about pouring another.

Jayne turned back to see Simon frown at him. “What?”

“All joking aside, you were very drunk last evening, Jayne, and being that… uh…”

“Wasted, trashed?” Wash offered with a grin. “There are many words for it.”

“Some even ruder than that,” Kaylee giggled.

“Intoxicated,” Simon settled on, “It’s very bad for you.”

“Although it was funny to see Jayne fall on his butt wasn’t it, lambie-kins?”

Zoë liked anything that kept Wash smiling these days so she nodded. “All manner of hilarious, it was.”

“Still,” Simon continued, “I can’t help but be…concerned is too strong. Unnerved?”

“Man’s got a point, Jayne,” Mal interjected, “ain’t seen you get so faced since before Miranda.”

They all quieted at the thought of Miranda and Jayne bit his inner lip.

It was true that he had gone above and beyond last night. His head still ached but, gorramit he’d had reason.

A powerful good reason too.

If they figured he was acting as usual they wouldn’t be looking too hard at ways he weren’t all that similar to before. It was right confusing and made him more than a little thirsty.

When Wendy placed his drink down he swiped it and chugged down a good portion before it had time to skim the surface of the table.

Inara cleared her throat and looked at him warily. “Jayne, I realise that as a mercenary you have certain ways of dealing with stress and anxiety.”

“Drinking,” Wash offered.

Inara nodded. “Yes.”

“Shooting people.”

Again Inara nodded. “Yes.”


“Ye--,” Inara glared icily at Mal for interrupting before going back to a bewildered Jayne, “But post traumatic stress is a well documented affliction and you shouldn’t be ashamed of wanting to seek help.”

Jayne blinked. “Huh?”

Inara cleared her throat. “A support network is more than adequate if conversational psychology isn’t to your tastes.”

Inara was rewarded by the complete absence of any comprehension on Jayne’s face.

“Woh de ma,” Mal rolled his eyes. “The lady is saying that she thinks you’re still all sorrowful about Miranda and it may help to express your feelings to us all who care about you or some such go se.”

The sarcasm rolled off Mal and hit Jayne like a blast wave.

Go hwong tong,” Jayne leapt out of his chair. “Ain’t no need to be talking about nothing! I’m fine. What’s the deal? I drink. Ain’t nothing wrong with it.”

“What the mean Cap’ is trying to say,” Kaylee offered with sweet concern, “is you’re behaving different is all. You ain’t seemed to touch a whore in all the time we’ve touched down, you drink more’n usual and you gotta be passed out by nine cuz none of us see you after dark. We’re worried you ain’t handling things.”

Jayne held up his hands, his heart thumping away. “I’m handling, dong ma? Just cuz I ain‘t falling to pieces n’ crying in my beer don’t mean I ain‘t ok.”

“Ok, you’re manly, we get it!” Wash held up his hands.

Nee mun doh shr sawa!” Jayne muttered and backed away.

They had all gone crazy, there was no doubt about it. Trying to get good, hard-working folks to open up and share, it was down right unnatural. Just because the Doc and the Cap went about dropping emotions every which way don’t mean that decent everyday folks shouldn’t keep stuff like that where it belongs -- inside.

“So where are you gone nine, Jayne?” Kaylee asked curiously. “Cuz I ain’t seen you in the tavern.”

“Kaylee,” Mal said suddenly, “before you ask questions like that be damn sure you wanna know the answer. Maybe Jayne‘s got some tasty trim on the side, someone he don’t want us to be knowing about.”

“Ooh!” Kaylee’s eyes brightened. “You got a sweetie? Is it good sexing?”

Simon grimaced at the mental imagery that statement conjured. “Wuh de ma, my brain!”

“Well if he has then she ain’t no good,” Zoë offered with her eyes narrowed. “I saw him creeping back to the ship two nights ago.”

Mal’s expression went from mischievous to suspicious in two seconds. “Why is that Jayne? You fixing some mischief on board my ship?”

Jayne felt his gut tighten at the implied accusation. Even if he was up to no good he thought he’d been with the crew and part of the family long enough for them to trust him by now. The idea that Mal would still be thinking he was likely to double cross them stung.

“It ain’t like that, Mal. I got wind of a wave from Serenity. My ma ain’t doing too good and my pa sent word.”

“Oh, Jayne!” Kaylee’s face dropped. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t know your ma was sick.”

Simon frowned. “I thought she was dead, didn’t you say she died two months ago?”

Jayne swallowed nervously as all eyes turned to him. “False alarm.”

“Why didn’t ya just say, Jayne?” Mal asked, somewhat exasperatedly. “Why you gotta be all secretive?”

“I dunno,” Jayne said acidly, “spose the same reason why you think I’d be planning mischief on your ship. Trust being easy and all.”

Mal shifted uncomfortably in his seat avoiding looking Jayne in the eye. “Yeah, well…”

“Sorry would be the word you were looking for there,” Inara said with a grin at Mal’s uneasiness.

Mal shot her a glare and turned back to Jayne. “Well, how is the maker of cunning hats and little mercs?”

Jayne sniffed recognising Mal‘s little question for the apology it was. “Ma? Uh, she’s doing better, but…uh I might needs check on her later.”

“Sure,” Mal nodded picking up his beer again. “Give Ma Cobb my best.”

Jayne scratched behind his ear and nodded. “Yeah, in fact I might go do that now.”

Kaylee blinked. “Ya leaving so soon? You ain’t been here that long. Figured we could have us a game of pool.”

There was a moments silence as they all eyed the merc, making Jayne feel like a bug on a windshield. The feeling of having six pairs of eyes staring suspiciously at him brought back those uneasy feelings again and Jayne swiped his sweaty hands on his pants.

“Sure, I didn’t mean right now, little Kaylee. You know me,” he gave a fake laugh, “get me some beer and some coin and all is right with the verse.”

All of the tension seemed to leech out of the crew and they leaned back laughing.

Good old Jayne. Like the tiger who never changed his stripes, as long as Jayne was drinking and whoring everything was all right in the universe.

“Yeah, so I’m gonna go--” Jayne pointed over his shoulder and stepped back quickly, narrowly avoiding colliding with a blonde who seemed far too interested in his bulk to find the spilling of her drink.

The crew of Serenity watched as the huge hunking merc ignored the buxom wench and lost himself in the after-work crowd.

Wash shook his head in amusement. “Some things never change, although I am surprised a man that big can move so fast. It‘s like watching a T-Rex outrun a Raptor.”

“Of course it is, dear,” Zoë humoured and there was a moment of appreciative humour before Kaylee spoke up.

“Well I think it’s darn cute how much Jayne loves.”

Inara sighed. “I hate to say agree, but Jayne can be awfully sweet sometimes.”

Mal spurted his beer over the table earning a disgusted look from Inara at his distinct lack of manners.

“Jayne, sweet?! This must be what going crazy feels like!”

“How would we notice?“ Inara quipped dryly.

As the table got back to its usual round of insults and misrepresentations Kaylee noticed that Simon was distinctly quieter than usual.

“Bao bei? What is it?”

Simon gnawed on his lower lip, an unconscious gesture that Kaylee found endearing but a sure sign that his thoughts were far away from the tavern.


He shook himself and turned back to her. “It’s just that… I’m sure Jayne told me his mother died the week we landed… and then two months later.”

Kaylee frowned, an unusual sight on her little face. “He said it was a false alarm.”

“Three times? And he didn’t seem so sure. I mean if he was so concerned about hi smother why not wave her before he came to the bar. And another thing Jayne hasn’t been to see me recently for any of his usual inoculations-- which means either he isn’t perturbed about the class of woman he’s sleeping with, or he isn’t sleeping with anyone and that,” he finished deliberately, “isn’t Jayne.”

Kaylee shrugged. “Maybe he has got himself a sweetheart an’ he diont need to be ‘nocced.”

“But it seems so unlike Jayne to be as fidgety as he was. He’s here at the start of every night, like we are but I never see him as it all starts to wind down. He’s just gone. Now with this thing.” Simon sighed. “If I didn’t know any better I’d say he was embarrassed and lying to us to cover something up.”

“But why lie?” Kaylee said, “I never thought Jayne was scared over nothin’.”

“I don’t know,” Simon admitted. “Its probably nothing but something is going on with Jayne. I‘d stake my medical license on it.”

He was interrupted as Mal leaned over the table. “Now Doc, you tell her that what she just suggested just plain ain’t possible for a man with only two legs.”

And Simon forgot about Jayne as he was drawn into the argument.

The band was just heating up and the tavern was crammed practically wall to wall with patrons enjoying the fruits of their labour.

It was the same as was being played out all over the verse, men drinking and women dancing; flirting and gambling; hearts being broken and deals being made.

The atmosphere was one of unbridled joy and even Mal found himself toe-tapping to the beat.

Jayne, of course, was right in the thick of the crowd, downing ale with the hardiest workers and throwing his hand in for a game or two. No one noticed his odd distraction and the way he‘d twicth his head round occasionally to check on something behind the bar.

He had just finished taking the hard earnings of some not-so-hot shot poker player when a chance glance up at the bar had his grabbing his coin and stretching.

The motion caused his opponent to groan.

“Hey, Cobb, gimme a chance to earn back my pay! Wife‘s gonna kill me if I come home with only half again.”

Jayne just shot him a grin as wide as Osiris. “Then either get better, Joe, or quit playing with Martha’s housekeeping.”

The friends of Joe laughed as if this was the funniest thing they had ever heard as Jayne shoved the coin in his pocket.

“How come you’se off anyway? got the whole night, s’only eight,” Joe grumbled.

“Ain’t going nowhere,” Jayne said defensively, “’cept to the head.”

“Huh, about time, all that beer you been downing I’m surprised you’re bladder and done bust.”

Jayne merely hitched himself together and leered at the man. “That’s what sorts us men folk from you boys. We can hold our liquor.”

Joe’s friend, once again, fell about and Jayne sauntered away to use the facilities.

No other man was in there as Jayne closed the door behind him and leaned against it. He was lucky Joe was such a piss poor player as Jayne’s attention was shot tonight. He was so distracted that he coulda played any hand at any time without cari8ng how much coin he lost.

It was getting ridiculous.

Speaking of ridiculous Jayne headed for the back of the bathroom, only to pause as he heard footsteps coming towards the door.

The door creaked and Jayne just had enough time to face the wall and haul down his fly before another guy walked in.

By unwritten law the man observed proper restroom etiquette an nodded his greeting before resting his attention on his own business.

Jayne shifted uncomfortably as the man seemed to take the longest pee in history before giving Jayne another nod and heading out again.

This time Jayne didn’t even hesitate. He raced to the back of the room and grabbed the window pane, hauling the old glass wide enough to stick his upper body through.

There was no one around to see the odd sight of a huge mercenary crawling out of a bathroom window to land straight on his ass in the mud.

With a gruff snort Jayne got to his feet and, with a furtive look back at the tavern, headed off into the night. Surreptitious--like.

A couple of miles away in a rusting ship that they called home, Jayne Cobb finally let himself in to the cargo bay and shut the doors behind him, leaning against the bulk head and wiping the sweat away.

“Ee da tuo da bien, I‘m getting too old for this.”


Jayne jumped as a voice floated out of the empty cargo bay and echoed around him.

“Dammit, Crazy!” he grabbed at his chest, “I swear yer trying to kill me.”

River popped up from behind a crate and grinned at him. “Sorry, Jayne. She wanted to make sure you were alone before she showed herself.”

“Well, good.” Jayne sniffed and pushed away from the door.

“Did they see you leave?” River asked curiously, her big eyes peering up at him.

Jayne snorted. “Nah, too busy playin kissy face with each other. Its downright disgusting it is. Put folk off their games.”

River cocked her head. “Beware the green eyes.”

“I ain’t jealous,” Jayne maintained. “Just think it’s unfair that they get to play out in public and I gotta sneak around behind their backs to get me some alone time with my girl.”

With a pleased smile River allowed her big merc to pull her into his arms and scratch his beard along her tender neck. She shivered and ran her fingers over the muscles in his back.

“Won’t be forever bao bei,” she soothed, kissing her way down his neck.

“Good,” he said, “cuz I’m running outta ways to lie. Poor old ma’s done died three times, hell even Mal’s gonna start catching on at this rate.”

River pulled back. “No need to lie, tell them Jayne has a sweetheart.”

“Uh huh, if they think I’m missing valuable drinking time for some talking with a broad I won’t ever hear the end if it. Trim is one thing but I got me a reputation and don’t want ‘em calling me any less of a man.”

River nodded slowly. “Male abandoning friends for intercourse is acceptable but they will ridicule you if they believe you are in a relationship?”


River gave him her patented “stupid” look. “Then tell them you went to get sexed.”

“No,” Jayne voice was surprisingly firm. “If I say I’m going for trim and they find out I’m with you I don’t want ‘em coming up backwards, dong ma? Til we come clean I ain’t even pretending to get some. You’re what I want now.”

River rewarded him with her biggest smile and held him tightly, his words meaning more because they came from Jayne.

“Speaking of, baby, how much longer are we gonna be hiding this from the crew?”

“Twelve days and thirty seven minutes until Captain Daddy had other things on his mind.” River tilted her head with a fond smile.

Jayne pulled back this time, eyeing her suspiciously. “Why, he gonna get shot again?”

River bit her lip and smiled impishly. “Companion forgot pills from training house don’t work when sick. She had a cold one month six weeks ago and in three days will discover missing menses. Four days to get test. Five days before Inara announces her impending pregnancy and Captain Daddy and Simon have other things to think about.”

A slow smile spread over Jayne’s lips. “Mal’s gonna be a daddy?” A guffaw escaped his lips. “Ain’t no power in the verse is gonna make me miss that revelation!” He stared down at her. “Twelve days, huh? I think I can keep the secret up for twelve days.”

River smiled serenely and reached up to plant a kiss on her mercenaries lips.

Jayne reached for her and ran his hands over her sides before pulling her into his body and wrapping his large arms around her tiny body. He just loved the way she felt against him, all dainty and fragile, but with a core of steel running through, never letting him forget that beneath that sweet exterior was a ruthless killing machine. In fact that was one of the things he loved most about his girl. He allowed her the distraction for several minutes before pulling away. “As long as its only twelve days, dong ma? I don’t wanna be hiding this any more. I wanna be with you, open and free.”

River all but melted as the brusque man gave her a little more of his heart.

“Besides, honey girl, the sooner we become official like, the sooner I can stop cheating on my drinking buddies and start making the crew sick with our own kissy face.”

River looked intrigued. “Have never played kissy face before.”

A wolfish grin swept Jayne’s face before he replied gruffly; “Then we better get some practise in,” and he swept her up the cargo bay stairs and into his bunk.

Tyen shiao duh


Cheatin’ on my honky-tonk by Trent Tomlinson.

I still show up at five:
Let everybody know I've arrived.
I order up my usual thang,
I don't want no-one to think:
I'm not the guy they've come to learn to like.
Somewhere around about eight,
When it's all, wall to wall, in this place.
I sneak into the bathroom stall,
Lift the window, out I crawl:
Better things to do than drink.

Hey, I'm cheatin' on my honky-tonk,
'Fraid my friends are gonna talk.
Tryin' hide it best as I can.
Well, I don't want no-one to know,
What I'm doin', where I go:
Think I'm any less of a man.
I know they'll ridicule me,
Try to pull me back if they only knew,
I've been cheatin' on my honky-tonk,
An' comin' home to you.

First time I slipped away,
I felt guilty 'bout it all next day.
So next night, just to throw 'em off,
I got so drunk I had to fall,
On my butt to save a little face.
They still don't know I'm doin' wrong,
But they been noticing how I've been gone.
An' I'm running out of ways to lie,
My poor ol' Momma's died three times:
I think they're close to catchin' on.

Hey, I'm cheatin' on my honky-tonk,
'Fraid my friends are gonna talk.
Tryin' hide it best as I can.
Well, I don't want no-one to know,
What I'm doin', where I go:
Think I'm any less of a man.
I know they'll ridicule me,
Try to pull me back if they only knew,
I've been cheatin' on my honky-tonk,
An' comin' home to you.

Hey, I'm cheatin' on my honky-tonk,
'Fraid my friends are gonna talk.
Tryin' hide it best as I can.
Well, I don't want no-one to know,
What I'm doin', where I go:
Think I'm any less of a man.
I know they'll ridicule me,
Try to pull me back if they only knew,
Yeah, I been cheatin' on my honky-tonk,
An' comin' home to you.

I know they'll ridicule me,
Try to pull me back if they only knew,
I been cheatin' on my honky-tonk,
An' comin' home to you.

vt_browncoatvt_browncoat on June 29th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
Awesome! You must write a sequel. I want to see Mal pass out when Inara tells him the news. Then pass out again when He finds out about River and Jayne.
(Deleted comment)
Ally Star: Rayne-Bunk?alsunwunderland on July 1st, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
TOT: I love your icon!
RJrjsteamboat76 on June 29th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
oh i liked this. hope there's more!
柳树: FIREFLY/SERENITY - RAYNE [LIGHTS]willow_reece on June 29th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
LOL!! This was great.♥ & I agree, need a sequel.=D
the girl with the mousy hair // stark raving sanean_ardent_rain on June 30th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC)
Oh, good job! I really enjoyed this. I love sneaking-around!Rayne. :)
SunshineAlisunshineali on June 30th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
Standing Ovation. Clapping wildly. I loved this. I sure hope there is more. :)
harpo2112 on June 30th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
So awesome!

and I LOVE the 'honey-girl' endearment :)
yours truly: firefly: cowboysonebrightmoment on June 30th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
Aw. I love this! Poor Jayne all nervous trying to keep a secret and loving River. I agree- I'd love to read a sequel!
Pia: adam-sunglassesidyllictorture on June 30th, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
This was a good fic. :D I enjoyed it a lot. I'd love to see more too. :D
Vuombie of DOOOOMM!!!!: raynesilentpheonix on June 30th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
There are several unfortunate word switches you might want to have someone pick out.

Also, I'm pretty sure every mandarin word has a vowel in it.

That said, I would enjoy a sequel.
Ally Star: Raynealsunwunderland on July 1st, 2009 01:57 am (UTC)
I love song fics & this one was no exception. I hope to decide to continue this story.