Disclaimer: All characters belong to the creative god known as Joss Whedon and his production company, no profit is to be made here, and in this particular instance, no personal enjoyment, either.
Description: River and Jayne have a secret (but not for long).
Rating: PG (except Chinese definitions...:)
Word Count: 1671
Author's note: This was written under the express request of abbeylovely who for some gorram reason likes the Rayne ship (I believe it's an unholy union straight from The Pit). But, I choked down my resentment and disgust and wrote this, because I <3 her. (And no, Abs, I didn't kill anyone. You should be proud.)
That egg-headed girl was up to something, Mal knew it.
Well, maybe not knew in the strictest sense of knowin', but there was something more unusual than...usual...about the way she slinked and tippy-toed around Serenity. She was spurtin' even more quack-brained gibberish than normal, goin' on and on about stars being all the diamonds she needed and storks flying higher than they're supposed to. But what gave Mal the greatest sense of wrongness was the way she'd be talkin' all moony around Kaylee and Inara, but as soon's he and Simon or Jayne walked in she'd clam up and turn all pink at the neck. When she did that, it made the hair on the back of his neck stand up 'cause it was just too gorram normal of her to be actin' that way.
Jayne, the big ruttin' fool, was actin' just as crazy as the girl. It boggled Mal to no end the nonsense the usually flat-minded man was sayin', and on their infrequent stops to the surface, he'd spend more time sittin' on the ramp, “guarding” the ship than he would shopping for more guns and grenades. Much to Mal's consternation, he'd also stopped visiting the doxies and their saloons altogether.
He'd finally decided to himself that he was conjuring up all sorts of things that weren't really there, until a slip made by Kaylee finally clicked it all together for him. They'd stopped at a commerce planet to refuel and resupply, and Zoe'd convinced Simon that River could do with a bit of fresh air and some pampering, so she and Inara took her to one of them spas to get her looks shinied up. Wash and Shepherd Book stayed behind at Serenity, which left Jayne, Mal, Simon and Kaylee to find new distributor parts and a secondary buffer panel. They'd found their parts and were strolling back to Serenity when Kaylee spied a stall that was selling tiny little clothes, full of ruffles, lace, and that had little animals stitched onto 'em. One was pink, ruffly dress that had a little bird on it that was more leg than anything and mostly resembled an overgrown blue and yellow chicken. Kaylee dashed over and picked the thing, then started wavin' it in Jayne's face.
“Aw, but wouldn't this be the cutest thing? It's all ruffles and shiny little cute-ness, and I just know River'd love it! You gotta get it for her, Jayne, ya just gotta!”
Jayne turned red, then blue as he sputtered around, tryin' to come up with somethin' to say that wouldn't sound like absolute go-se, but all that he managed was a strangled, “Kaylee!”
Mal stopped dead as the wheels turned over and what had been starin' him the face for months finally showed it's ugly head. Simon, for all his book-smarts and brains, was still too slow on the pick-up. He frowned in confusion.
“Kaylee, why would River want that? It's far too small for her, and she doesn't have any dolls to dress up.”
Mal cleared his throat, then clapped a hand on Simon's shoulder, saying, “Doc, River may not have any dolls, but I do conjure that she might be expecting to...ah, well, get...a doll-like thing that she'd be wantin' to dress up all pretty.”
Simon's frown deepened as he replied, “Captain, River hasn't played with dolls in years, what in the Alliance are you...”
He trailed off, then suddenly an expression of horrified realization bloomed on his face. Jayne turned an even deeper shade of red as Simon turned in near slow motion to face the man. His mouth was hanging open, and his eyes were wide in unwelcome understanding. The fingers on his left hand began to twitch.
“You...you and River...b-b-but...”
Jayne began to back away, protesting as he went.
“Now, Doc, I know River's your little sister n' all, but she is a grown-up kind of girl, and well, you gotta admit, she's real shiny about handling herself...”
Simon's jaws snapped shut and if glares were a material weapon, Jayne would have been shredded then and there.
“Handling herself? HANDLING HERSELF? She's 17, Jayne, she's still a CHILD! She shouldn't be EXPECTING one!”
“Oh, don't you be a child, Simon,” quipped River, as she waltzed up to the group. “And I'm 18, remember, my birthday was last week. Ooh, Kaylee, is that for me?” Behind River, Zoe and Inara approached. Zoe, upon reading the tension on everyone's faces, understood immediately. “Empty catbag,” she muttered to Inara.
“Oh, Jayne you ben yi dui rou what did you say now!” Inara exclaimed.
“I didn't say nothin'! It was Kaylee!” he protested.
River's appreciative smile turned to an exasperated frown, even as she continued to finger the soft baby clothes. “Kaylee, I expected Jayne to say something stupid. You were supposed to keep him quiet. But, it's okay, I suppose, because we weren't going to keep it a secret forever.”
River turned a beaming smile at Simon. “Surpise! You're going to be an uncle.”
Simon's glare could have cut steel. “Chu fei wo si le. You are not having Jayne's child.”
River's glare was equally as alarming. “Chui niu I'm not. Now, you listen here, Simon Tam. You've taken care of me very well for a very long time, but you need to get your head out of your pi yan and realize that I can make my own decisions!” In a flash the angry glare was replaced by another beaming smile. “Besides, I love Jayne, he loves me, we already got married and we're going to be very happy and have lots of babies together. If you're a good big brother, we might even name one after you!”
Simon was thunderstruck. “Already married?!?”
Jayne's expression became offended. “Well, sure Simon, you didn't figure I was the piece of go se kind of man that's out to just sex a girl up and not get priest-linked, did ya?”
“You didn't seem to mind sexing up whores all the time!”
Now it was Jayne's turn to glare. “River is nothin' like those girls. They ain't no sheep in the woods, and they sign up for that kinda thing. They don't expect no better from men. River, she's something different and special, and I'd be a gorram fool to think any diffren't. Hell, you're a gorram fool, 'cause it ain't like we were neither of us very good at hidin' it! And if you're thinkin' that you can stop us from being together or having a family and being happy about it, you're just feng le, cause River wouldn't like it and I wouldn't allow that.”
No one said anything for a moment, and Simon just stood there, clenching his jaw. Mal was the first to break the silence.
“Simon, I know you're mighty protective of River, but I don't conjure anyone can protect someone from love. I'm of a mind that love is one of the few things in the verse people aren't needing protected from. Now, we don't have to understand it, we don't have to like it,” at this, he glared at Jayne. “But I if you love River, and she loves Jayne, and most of the time we can all put up with them both, then I suppose we can at least tolerate their being together, dong ma?”
“After all,” Kaylee timidly ventured, “we're all like a family. And that's what families do, when they love each other. They put up with all kinds of things they'd never be big about with other people.”
Simon's glare lightened to a frown as he considered. “I suppose you're right.” He glanced at Mal, then his eyes turned back towards River and his expression softened to one of concern. “River, I just don't want you to get hurt and, well, I'm just not sure Jayne won't ever cause you harm.”
“Simon, Jayne's nothing more than a teddy bear in barbed wire,” she explained, “He may look scary and dangerous, but really he's just soft and loves to be cuddled with. Besides, you think he'd ever be so stupid as to really hurt me? If he did, I'd castrate him with my brain.”
While Mal and the rest snorted with laughter, Jayne hesitantly put his hand out for Simon to shake. “I promise ya, Simon, I'll the best care of her. I'll treat her even better than I did Vera. I'm sorry we went and got married without tellin' ya. We can do it again, if you want to be there.”
Simon slowly shook Jayne's hand, still not looking entirely happy with the whole situation. “No, Jayne, that's alright. I guess I'm just going to have to trust River about this. And know, that I'll still be keeping an eye on you. On you both.”
With that, the crew made their way back to Serenity, Jayne with River tucked underneath his arm as they coo'd over the little dress that had caused such a stir in the first place. As they walked up the ramp, Wash could be heard complaining about missing the confrontation (“I miss everything exciting!”) to an annoyed Zoe.
Jayne paused in closing the ramp, swinging around to look at River. “What you said back there, about...ya know, castrating me with your brain. You can't do that, can you? You wouldn't really, right?”
River just smiled, leaned up and kissed Jayne on the cheek. Then she sauntered away, leaving him slightly panicked at the controls. “I don't know,” she called over her shoulder. “Never hurt me, and we'll never have to find out.”
*Hugs and kisses, Abs. You owe me one.
*Special thank you to Ying @ http://fireflychinese.kevinsullivan
ben yi dui rou – stupid sack of meat
Chu fei wo si le – over my dead body
Chui niu – bull crap
feng le – loopy headed
go se – shit
dong ma – understand
pi yan - butthole
*Edit note:12/7/09, changed "the" to "they." Grammar Nazi.
*Edit note:12/8/09, lol, just realized Jayne's "priest-linked" comment came not from Firefly, but from Patricia C. Wrede's Mairelon the Magician. :D
*Edit note:12/9/09, gorramit, I'll be done tweaking it eventually...changed "people are needing protected from" to "people aren't needing protected from."