HAPPENSTANCE

 

 

Incident #1: Laundry room, what?


"Laundry?"

Simon glances up from his book, and answers, "Yes." He tries not to scowl as Jayne dumps his clothes in a pile on the floor. There's a table in this room for a reason, why not use that? As it is, Simon's going to have to wade through a pile of questionable clothing when he leaves.

"Almost done?"

"Yes." This time he doesn’t bother to look up from the book. But it's impossible to ignore Jayne kicking the clothes aside, and coming close.

"Good book?"

Suppressing the urge to roll his eyes, Simon asks, "Do you want me to read it aloud to you?"

Jayne stands close enough that he can read over Simon's shoulder. His lips move. Slightly. And his breath tickles Simon's ear when he says, "Naw. I can read my own self. Good ta practice sometimes."

Does the man not understand sarcasm? It always seems to be lost on him. It's never lost on Wash. Wash always understands sarcasm. And so does Mal. Why can't they be doing laundry now?

"Do you have to?" Simon steps sideways, and back a little, and then he's leaning against the table, and Jayne won't be able to read over his shoulder this way. Simon almost smiles.

But Jayne just crowds close to him again, and says, "I can't read it like that."

"It's not your book!"

"How else am I gonna pass the time waitin' for your ruttin' clothes to be cleaned and shined up?"

Why, why, why can't he have just half an hour to himself on this ship? Is it too much to ask? "I don't know. Go annoy the captain! Go drink! Go clean your weapons, just go away."

"Already been drinkin'. Clean my weapons? You like watching that?"

Simon flashes to the many times he's come across Jayne cleaning knives and guns. In the kitchen, that first time. In the lounge. In the cargo bay. In the infirmary, of all places ("It's got good lighting," he'd said. "Plus the bed's real good for laying stuff out on."). He's surprised he hasn't come across Jayne cleaning his knives sitting on the kitchen table in the buff. Although that's sure to happen one day. "No."

"Seems like I see you 'round a lot, when I'm busy like that."

Oh for god's sake. "That's because you clean your weapons in public spaces, Jayne. It's a small ship."

Jayne leans even impossibly closer, and what is it with the men on this ship not knowing about personal space? "Not that small."

Simon realizes that Jayne wasn't kidding when he said he'd been drinking. The smell of hard liquor assails his nostrils, and he gasps. How can Jayne drink that stuff? And in large quantities?

Jayne, of course, clearly mistakes the gasp for something else, and before Simon can say 'don't put your hand down my pants, you oaf', Jayne's hand is indeed down his pants. Jayne's large, warm hand.

The part of his mind that isn't quickly deteriorating points out that there's no reason for Simon to be shocked. Should he have expected subtle cues from Jayne? Why is he even surprised at this ambush? He should be surprised that Jayne didn't just come into the laundry room, push him against the table, and grunt out, "Sex. Now."

Things go downhill from there. After, Simon tries not to think about it, because it's not his fault that the smells of clean laundry leave him relaxed and happy, leave him unguarded. It's not his fault that Jayne's hand is very large indeed and not just good for cleaning knives.

It's not his fault it's too late at night to be causing what Mal would call 'a ruckus' by pushing Jayne away. Who knows what that might lead to?

And, it's certainly not his fault that he'd been reading a book of erotica borrowed from Inara. Reading, and daydreaming in the quiet. Until Jayne came along and ruined it all.

When it's all over, and he's still in enough of a haze to not yet be annoyed, he realizes the pile of Jayne's dirty laundry that they're lying on actually smells clean. Jayne is dozing beside him, and Simon turns, punches Jayne's shoulder until he says, "What?"

"You don't even have to do laundry, do you?" The man-ape planned something. It's insane, barely believable.

Jayne smirks at him, stretches, and stands. He rearranges his pants, buttoning them up. They hadn't quite gotten to taking off their clothes, and Simon is so, so glad. "Guess you really are top three percent material."

And then he leans down, pushes Simon aside, picks up his pile of clothes, and walks out of the room.

As Simon watches Jayne's ass, he tells himself this can never happen again. Never.

He doesn't care if she has a tendency to take apart his shirts and sew different ones back together again. River is doing their laundry from now on.


Incident #3: Whiskey, pyjamas. No?

When Jayne wakes up, pressed close against a warm body, the first thing he thinks is, yes. Then he remembers it's Simon in his bunk, and he snorts. It'll probably be right amusing when Simon himself wakes up. Jayne settles back in, gets comfortable, and waits.

Little while later, when Simon finally gets it in his head to open his eyes, he looks straight at Jayne, pales a little, and says, "No."

Well. That's kinda insulting, 'cause from what Jayne's remembering, last night was pretty decent. Morning could be too; he moves his hand from Simon's leg, upwards. He gets a good handful, and grins. "Not what you were sayin' before."

Simon's pushing at him now, right insistent, and that ain't fair, 'cause Jayne's lying at the edge of the bed. He tries to stay balanced, but no. He ends up on the floor, on his ass. At least he pulls the blanket away with him, and that means he's got all kinds of tasty to look at.

Simon notices the stare, and looks down at himself. His eyes widen at the marks all over his chest, and yeah. Jayne laughs.

"What did we do last night? Are you some kind of – animal?"

What exactly can he say to that? He'd figured Simon would be weird about it in the morning, mostly 'cause he's weird about pretty much everything. But this is just rutting stupidity.

"This is not happening again."

Right. Well, that's O.K. It were fun for what it was. Simon, he's got busy hands, once he gets it into his head that he needs some sexing. Jayne, he'd go for it again, right now, but it ain't worth the little dance and protests that go with it. Hell. It's just easier to pay for sex.

Maybe he says the last bit out loud, 'cause Simon scowls at him. "Yes. It is."

Thing is, it probably wouldn't be as fun. And Simon, he's around. It could be a regular thing.

Plus, he'd save money.

All of these points are enough that he thinks maybe, just maybe, he'd be best to try and make Simon want to stay. Or want more. Or at least shut his yammering, and get with the program.

But Simon's already pushed himself out the bunk, and is standing, without a stitch on, looking around.

"Clothes?"

Jayne gestures to one corner, and Simon turns, steps over there. Bends down. Jayne can't help the grumble that he makes at the sight, and it causes Simon to stand up fast and send him another glare.

Standing himself, he thinks about getting a drink. But they've got a job pretty soon, one with imminent violence, Jayne's sure. Mal would kill him if he showed up with fresh liquor on his breath. Plus, he and Simon drank enough for three last night. Instead, he watches Simon.

Simon, who's staring at the clothes in his hands. Frowning.

"What?"

Simon looks up, takes in Jayne naked in front of him (hell, it's his own bunk), and blanches. But he don't stop looking, least for a few seconds. Then, he shakes his head, and holds up the clothes. "I just got these."

"So?"

"So? They're ruined."

They aren't. Buttons are missing, sure, and maybe that's some sort of suspicious stain on one leg, but hell. Things clean. Buttons get put right back on. Done right back up.

"They ain't." And anyway, it ain't his fault that Simon had gone and bought some kind of fancy sleep clothes. Soft pants and shirt, a real nice blue, maybe a little bit shiny. Ain't his fault that the buttons were too big for the holes, that Jayne had to tug a little.

It ain't his fault that Simon, wandering around wearing those rutting things, had given Jayne thoughts. Enough thoughts that he'd offered to share his whiskey. His best whiskey. Stuff he paid real coin for.

And it sure ain't his fault that Simon gets grabby when he drinks. All kinds of grabby.

"They are. It's true. You are an animal."

Nope. He ain't. It's Simon, he's just one hell of a peacock.


Incident #5: Teeth? Too bad.

Simon stood in the infirmary and surveyed his depressingly small array of medical supplies. They never seemed to last long on the ship, and it was harder and harder to resupply these days. It was frustrating, but mostly, it was worrying.

He was making a mental note of things to ask Mal to get next landfall when Jayne stomped into the room, and lay down on the diagnosing table. "Uhm. Is there something I can do for you?"

Jayne scowled, pointed at his mouth and said, "My tooth hurts."

It was a bit of surprise that Jayne hadn't just come in, taken some pliers, and yanked the offending tooth out of his mouth. He had an annoying penchant for self-doctoring. Then again, it also meant that Simon had to spend less time with him; this could only be described as a good thing. But Simon shrugged that aside, and said, "I'm not a dentist, but I'll take a look."

Jayne opened his mouth, then closed it enough so that he could say, "It hurts when I touch it with my tongue."

"Which one?"

He opened his mouth again, and pointed. Lower right canine. It was a relatively uncommon place for a cavity, but it was possible. Simon picked up a light and moved closer, trying to ignore the reality that this examination meant taking a detailed look inside Jayne's mouth. It was sure to be unpleasant. He could feel his nose wrinkling at the thought, and was tempted to get a mask.

But Jayne gestured, and asked, "You gonna just stand there?"

It wasn't worth the aggravation. Best to just get this over with. He took a deep breath and pointed the light inside Jayne's once-again open mouth.

Somewhat shockingly, there were no bits of food stuck in his teeth. Hideous breath was not assailing Simon's nostrils. It was just – clean. He picked up a probe, poked at Jayne's tooth. "Does that hurt?"

"Ope."

"No? Hmm." He tried another spot, looking at Jayne, who shook his head slightly. And another. This time, Jayne just rolled his eyes.

Pulling away, Simon shrugged. "It looks fine to me."

"It hurts when I touch it with my tongue."

"But it doesn't hurt when I probe it, so I think you're probably all right. Maybe you have some gum inflammation. Just be careful when you brush. You can go."

Jayne just lay there, arms crossed. "It hurts."

This from a man whose idea of a good time included 'tussles'? The results of those fights had to be more painful than this tooth problem. A slight suspicion dawned. It had unpleasant implications. "When you touch it with your tongue?"

"Yep."

"And you want me to –"

"See what's wrong. Fix it."

Narrowing his eyes, crossing his own arms, Simon asked, "And would this by any chance involve me inspecting your tooth with my tongue?"

Jayne shrugged, and it was hardly nonchalant. "Whatever doctorly skills you wanna use, who'm I to argue?"

"You have got to be kidding me."

"Hey! I ain't the doctor."

He could feel his lips thinning. "Indeed."

Jayne sat up, grinning. "So, you gonna –"

"No!"

"But it hurts!"

"Oh, I'm sure." This was truly ridiculous. "Is this your idea of pre-sex conversation? Jayne. Are you trying to woo me?"

"Woo?"

Simon sighed. "Never mind. Get out of my infirmary."

"Doc –"

"No. I said no."

Jayne swung himself of the table, clearly annoyed. "I just thought – after –"

"Forget it. Just go."

And he actually did. It was a relief. Because Simon had promised himself that it would never happen again. Never.

No matter that Jayne had walked in shirtless.


Incident #24: Oh, fine.

It's been a day. One of those days, not just for Jayne, but for all of them. People went and shot an overabundance of bullets at them, for no good reason that Jayne can see. Simon stitched up a passel of hurts, include Jayne's own. And Mal's. And Zoe's too.

Kaylee had been given not one, but three rutting engine screw-ups to deal with before she got whacked on the head by falling Serenity bits. Wash had been steering a little bit wild. They'd been getting chased.

Weren't Wash's fault, but they're all feeling a little bad about Kaylee, lying there in the infirmary, all bruised and cut up, hair shaved off one big patch on the side of her head. Simon had spent a long time on the stitches there.

So it's been a hell of a day, and Jayne, he's beat, but also wired, and he can't sit still. The weights are good for a space, but his arm's hurting too much, and Simon said not to strain the stitches, so that finishes that. He ain't got the concentration to be cleaning guns right now – he'd likely forget one thing or another, and just end up blowing half his face off.

So he's wandering, and right now he's up above the cargo bay. Ain't nothing to look at, but he's wandering, not thinking, and wishing he could sleep.

Maybe he's kinda sleep walking, though, 'cause he almost walks right into Simon. Didn't even see him there, standing in a bit of gloom, dressed all in dark colours.

"Watch it." Except, he says it kind of nice, since Simon did all the fixing today.

"Oh. Fine. If we must."

That don't make much sense. Maybe he's worse off than he thinks, and he's missing what people are saying. "What?"

"I said, fine. Just this once."

Some days, Simon makes no sense. Sometimes it's because he gets into using big words, or maybe he starts telling them all strange bits of knowledge; or hell, maybe he's just breathing. This seems to be one of them confusing, nonsensical days. On top of everything else. "I don't get it."

Simon crosses his arms, moves a little closer. Maybe he's thinking about smiling, but it can be awful hard to tell. He's gone one of those faces. When he speaks again, his words are slow, real slow. "Jayne, just this once, I'm not saying no."

It takes him a minute to figure, and then – oh. Yeah, O.K. Yeah. He grins. "I don't remember askin'."

"You never do." Simon turns, walks away, and this is good. This is just what Jayne needs. Figures a doctor would see it, when he didn't know it his own self.

Jayne sure as hell ain't going to mention that Simon generally only says no after it's all gone down. Most times, he says it while his hands are saying yes, yes. Hell, yes.

 

 

The End

 

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