Author: Lokaia PM
Slightly less light JayneRiver. Second of a thirty-part series for the LJ community 30Kisses.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 912 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 02-06-05 - id: 2253186
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
She's cracked. Crazy. Little girl witch who can read minds and kill you with her brain. Jayne knows it /knows/ it and is reminded by the tear in his Blue Sun shirt.
She walked up to him, dreamlike, where he sat laughing in his chair. No one even saw the knife until the downswing. And then there was a searing kiss of pain, a tear in his shirt, and blood trailing down his chest, seeping into the fabric. He yelled, half a growl, reached out and backhanded her. Crazy, rutting bitch, he thinks of her as he tries to mop up the blood, as most of the crew runs to /her/ aid and he notes, with no small amount of satisfaction, that her lip is bleeding.
Their eyes meet and there's a moment where nothing is said before she says, eyes serious, "He looks better in red."
He liked that shirt. He doesn't like throwing things away but the tear was long and frayed, the blood already dry when he tried to wash it. He threw it away.
Which is why he's more than a little startled to find it folded neatly on his bed. Close inspection proves it's been cleaned, sewn up with thread that's only slightly darker than the shirt itself. He unfolds it, looks it over carefully because no one on the ship would do something for him that wasn't ordered by the captain himself, and Mal didn't give a damn if he had his favorite shirt.
She's standing in the doorway, leaning on it, that long hair of hers unbound and making her look innocent and fey-like. She always looks that way. But the downswing of a blade ruins the innocence.
They stare at each other for a while, though he thinks of how close his guns are during the last few seconds of it. She looks innocent, but she's a witch, distracting him. So he turns his look into a glare, his fist tightening in the shirt and says only, "Why?"
"I'm sorry now."
"Weren't sorry before?"
He doesn't want to ask why. They both know /why, it's there in the way she looks at him, the way his gaze shifts from angry to nervous, the way both of them think of her threat.
She's the first to speak again, lying limp against the doorframe like a rag doll that's been dropped after playtime. But her eyes are bright, no button-black, and she speaks. "Sorry now because /you're/ sorry now." She moves, head cocked like a dog listening to a whistle. "Are we crewmates now, Mr. Cobb?"
He scoffs, fist clenching the shirt again, but he doesn't move from his spot across the room from her. "You ain't crew. Just the doc's crazy sister."
In the silence that follows, she moves her gaze from man to shirt and steps forward. He doesn't step back, but he wants to, wants closer to his guns or the buck knife strapped to the frame of his cot. He glares, bares his teeth, and growls, "Get outta my room, girl."
Her head cocks again, another whistle, and eyes that were alive turn button-black. "You ain't never call me River," she says quietly, and he stiffens at the mimic of his accent. A perfect accent, like the time she'd messed with Badger's head.
He doesn't like it. "Get outta my room."
She's heedless, walking toward him, but the steps are slow and dreamlike. Traveling through swamp. "Jayne's a girl's name, but River ain't," she continues quietly, in an accent that doesn't belong to her. "River ain't a name, it's a thing. You think I'm a river?"
"I think y'er cracked," he growls again and now he moves, the buck knife on his cot held in a fist. He meets her eyes and button-black turns color, her head cocking again, but the chin tilts up to meet his eyes. "Get out."
Her eyes move from his and he can feel her gaze on his skin like a tangible thing. Down his nose, his lips and chin, down his neck and chest- to the shirt. His hold is tight on it, knuckles white, but he lets her reach out and touch it softly, staying away from his skin. "Fixed it," she murmurs, a half-whisper but at least she's stopped speaking in his accent. "Sorry now. Like you." She giggles a little and there isn't a creepier thing in the world than that, looking up at him and giggling as she whispers, "Don't tell 'em what I did… make somethin' up."
Before he can react to that, she's moved again, retreating out the door. He watches her go, eyes trained and knuckles white. And when she's in his doorway again, he speaks. "…Can you still kill me with your brain?"
She pauses, turns and looks over her shoulder at him, blinking like an owl. It's a long moment of silence before she answers, a half-murmured question, "Is that a request?"
He doesn't say anything and lets her leave.
The next day he wears red.