Author: The Frisky Firelily PM
The crew enjoy a game of darts.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Jayne & River - Words: 2,086 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 28 - Published: 06-29-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7129513
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
TITLE: The Program
DISCLAIMER: Not mine
The smoky bar was filled with easy, low bass as the live band lazily plucked smooth jazz from their instruments. Between the hot weather and all the alcohol the bar's patrons were enjoying the evening thoroughly, and so were the crew. It was rare they took an outing like this, but on Independent friendly planets it was easy to enjoy the hot weather with a couple of drinks.
Jayne gulped at his beer as he flung the dart in the board.
He smirked without looking, knowing it had hit its target.
Mal grinned. "Pay up boys!"
The newcomers grumbled as they handed over their hard earned credits. When the Captain had suggested a friendly game of darts he'd made sure to play up his slurred speech, and Jayne always liked when people underestimated them. The bigger one sneered at Jayne.
"Feel like ya cheated us there."
Jayne snorted as the rest of the crew watched the action from a nearby table. He cupped his ear with one hand, feigning a look of confusion.
"What's that? Couldn't hear ya over the sound o' me beatin' yer ass."
Mal jumped in with a charming smile before the fight could start. "Now you may not believe it, but under fire Jayne here's one o' the finest human beings in the world."
Another man rolled his eyes. "Yeah, I jus' bet he is. Wouldn't trust 'im with a dirty dishtowel, let alone m'life."
The strangers muttered as they walked away and Wash joined his crewmates. The pilot clinked his glass against the Captain's, looking over at Jayne.
"You speak the truth Mal! We just need someone to throw hand grenades at him the rest of his life."
Mal laughed as Simon approached. "I'd be happy to oblige Captain."
Jayne narrowed his eyes. "You wanna go doc?"
Wash whispered conspiratorially into the doctor's ear, listing a little and almost taking Simon down with him. "Don't trust him, he promises candelight but never delivers."
Simon laughed and Mal grinned as he ordered another round of drinks that the stranger's credits would pay for.
The girls were comfortably seated at a nearby table with book, fanning themselves with menus and running the ice from empty glasses over their necks. From their position at the table Inara rolled her eyes at Zoe over Jayne's leering bravado.
"At times like this I must admit that he definitely inspires a level of hatred unlike anything I've ever experienced."
Zoe chuckled. "You got that right; man's ego is like to crush us on take-off one of these days."
Kaylee sighed. "I hate ta say it, but sometimes I jus' wanna see him lose one'a these, jus' so's he wouldn't brag fer days."
Simon had gotten up to fetch more drinks, stopping to talk to the other men. The table was laden with empty glasses; even the usually composed Inara was enjoying a decent buzz. Times like this were rare, moments were few and far between when the entire crew could relax and let themselves go, but when they came along there was plenty of fun to be had.
Zoe watched the boys carefully before flicking her eyes over to River. The girl had her arms wrapped around her legs, watching their male crewmates intently. In fact, if it was possible her eyes seemed to be flicking more and more often to the mercenary currently enjoying his victory shot, and Zoe felt the inkling of a plan.
"Maybe it's just the alcohol talking, but I think I've got an idea."
Simon chuckled as Zoe and Inara approached. The first mate watched Jayne carefully.
"Not a bad shot there."
He smirked proudly. "You wanna try me out Zo'? Promise I'll be gentle…til ya ask me otherwise."
Wash rolled his eyes. "Jayne, I'd offer a manly threat but I doubt it'd be as effective as her knocking you out."
Zoe and Inara exchanged smiles. Inara looked at Jayne carefully, letting her eyes run over his bare arms and neck in an obvious fashion that nonetheless had the big man raising an eyebrow. She affected a warm tone, taking a step closer to the mercenary then was absolutely necessary.
"Jayne, you would say you're a good shot, yes?"
He grinned proudly. "Guns, knives an' darts 'Nara, better believe it."
She blinked at him prettily. "Care to wager that?"
He ran his tongue over his teeth. "An' jus' what'll I be gettin' when I win?"
Zoe regarded him coolly. "No septic duty for a month. An' it ain't jus' Inara; how about the menfolk give us girls a chance?"
Even in their drunken state Mal and Wash shared the same glance, the one that said 'I smell a trap, this is a bad idea, and we should avoid it like the plague before we lose our diginity and balls'.
Unfortunately Jayne wasn't in on the glance.
Kaylee grinned lopsidedly. "Shiny!"
Simon felt River move against his side, sidling up next to him without making a sound. He'd been more than comfortable letting her have a drink, although she hadn't wanted more than a glass, and he wrapped an arm around her shoulders affectionately. She leaned against his side, her head dropping onto his shoulder.
He kept his voice low enough that even Jayne's sensitive hearing couldn't pick it up. "Are you planning something mei mei?"
She shot him a cheeky smirk and he grinned. He'd take a month of septic duty to see Jayne brought down a peg or two.
Book clapped his hands together. "Excellent, I shall umpire. Boys against the girls."
Despite a woeful performance from Wash ("Hey, I'm the pilot, not a gorram dartsman!") the boys started with a few points. Kaylee smiled sweetly as he passed over the darts.
The mechanic giggled slightly as she stumbled, and the dart flew wide.
After a few muttered apologies to recently pierced patrons Mal took his hits, which were nothing to sniff at. Inara moved to the board, and Mal smirked.
"They teach ya darts at whorin' academy?"
She lifted an imperious brow as she threw her first shot. It landed close to the centre, and she smiled at his shocked expression. She flung the others in, gaining some solid points, before shooting him a regal glance.
"They like us well rounded."
Zoe punched Jayne in the arm before he could comment on just how well rounded Inara was, and Simon stepped up to the board.
He winced when he only got one dart anywhere near the bullseye. Jayne rolled his eyes.
"Next time you're shot let me see you try to extract a bullet and suture a wound. Then you can start bitching."
The mercenary fell silent, grinning at Simon's display of balls.
Few people were surprised when Zoe took her hits, landing the girls a small lead, and she looked over to Jayne.
"You lookin' forward to cleanin' the septic tank for a month?"
He shot her a wolfish grin as he lit his cigar. He gnawed on the end of it, taking the darts from her. He eyed the board and moved the cigar to one side, speaking from the corner of his mouth as he lined up his first shot.
"Shoulda asked fer more. Like laundry duty too."
"'Nara should get nekkid. With Kaylee."
"Zoe should have ta where a dress fer a month."
"Anythin' really, ain't like we're gonna lose."
He turned, smirking proudly at the neat little cluster of darts he'd left in the centre of the board. He picked up a shot from the bar, slamming it back and taking a lengthy drag of the cigar. Zoe fought the urge to punch the smug look off his face.
"Guess you girl's are all-"
He turned as River slipped from beside her brother and a smiling Book. She was wearing that floaty purple dress, the one that he tended to associate with kitchen knives, and she looked up at him from under her lashes as he shook his head.
"Naw Crazy, ya ain't-"
"Agreement. Girls versus boys in a game of darts. No preclusions on the basis of mental stability."
The sentence alone was her way of saying 'nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah', and he scowled. "Fine, have yer ruttin' shot, but we's ahead by miles, ain't much left ta do but start cleanin'."
She nodded solemnly, holding his eyes as she took the darts from his hand. She didn't look away as she took her first shot. One dart in the centre. His scowl deepened. She smiled sweetly as she took a second one that landed…
Right on the end of the first dart. His eyes widened and he felt Simon clap his shoulder. "Told you, natural as breathing."
His cigar dangled from the end of his mouth as she took her final shot, the dart flying straight into the behind of the other one, tenuously remaining in a horizontal line.
She tucked a chocolate curl behind her ear and grinned. "She is grateful, septic duty binds the olfactory system in turmoil."
Inara and Zoe began to laugh at the gobsmacked look on his face, and Mal shook his head as he looked at this merc. "Girl takes out a room full o' gorram Reavers, shoots three men without lookin', an' ya think she can't beat us at a game o' darts?"
Jayne spluttered. "B-b-but she cheated! Girl done gone an' cheated an'-"
Wash sighed. "Give it up, we lost." He moved past Jayne to where Zoe and Inara were actually leaning on one another as the laughter wracked their systems. Book patted Jayne's shoulder sympathetically, a move that would have been more effective if not for the smirking on his face, and Simon sighed.
"You are such a boob."
As the crew left to find more drinks and mourn their loss (or, in the women's case, cheer over their victory), Jayne stared down at River.
"Girl, ya done made a fool outta me."
She took a step closer, placing one hand on his shoulder as she stood on tiptoes, whispering into his ear.
"Going to make it up to him later."
He smirked down at her, glancing to make sure the crew weren't looking as he wrapped an arm tightly around her waist. One hand grabbed her ass, pulling her even closer and eliciting a sweet sigh from her throat. He leaned down, stubble grating against her neck as he growled into her hair.
"Yer gorram right ya are."
She pulled away just as her brother turned, sneaking Jayne's shot from the bar and heading back for the table. She spun, shooting him a cheeky grin before returning to their crew, her brother putting an arm around her shoulders possessively as the women crowed over their victory.
He ordered another shot, struggling to keep the smirk off his face. He lost, he was meant to be moping and whining like a big baby. Which was hard to do when all you could think of was how damn shiny the girl grappling with you was…specially in that dress with her hair all loose. He imagined his hands tangling in chocolate locks as she moaned his name, lean legs wrapping around his waist and her body straining as she came.
She threw him another wicked smile over her shoulder and he couldn't shake the grin from his face.
Ego or not, losing was worth it when he knew what would be waiting for him back on ship. He moved back to the table, sitting down heavily and forcing a scowl onto his face. He could stand the other girls laughing, could stand Wash and Mal waxing lyrical about his enormous lack of intellect, could cope with Book's condescendingly sympathetic smile.
He could even cope with Simon's gloating over his little sister's brilliance.
In fact he could cope with that damn well.
Largely because there was a pale hand resting on his thigh, and damned if the thought of fuckin' the doc's lil sis didn't make it easier to take the barbs.
He sure loved playing darts.