Title: And She Danced...
Author: Syn
E-mail: veruca_werewolf@hotmail.com
Disclaimer: Firefly charcters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox and whoever else wants to claim them.
Content: River/Jayne ficlet
Spoilers: None
Summary: Jayne tries to figure River out.
A/N: My first Firefly story. I hope I capture the character's voices right. I'm a Jayne/River shipper, mainly because they're so damned different. This is incredibly short, by the way.
Feedback: It's such a small thing, if you please.

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She was dancing again. He could see her through the crack in the infirmary lounge door, her skirts swirling as a nursery rhyme spilled from her lips. Her face was pale in the dim overhead lights, her hair hanging in stringy brown locks that swished wild around her shoulders. Her black boots were stamping out an imagined beat on the metal floor so hard it was making his head ring.

And that was the reason he'd come down here, right? Because she was making a racket and being a pest, not because of her. No, not at all.

So why wasn't he barging in and yelling at her? Good question. Time to assert his manliness.

"You can come in, you know." She said, stopping dead, her face turned up to the door. The inertia of her dance swirled her skirts even more around her thin, dancer's legs. He watched as the pink folds spilled around her knees like frosting.

"How'd you know I was out here?" He grunted, ducking under the doorway and standing uncomfortably at the top of the stairs.

"Didn't." She eyeballed him, tugging at the edge of her skirts as if she wanted to hide her knees from his view.

"Probably not, all the ruttin' noise you're making."

"I was dancing. Do you dance?"

"No."

"Why not?" She challenged him immediately, her chin thrust out. He glowered like an overgrown panther as she stepped forward, then back, wary of him. "All cultures have dancing. Some religions don't. Are you religious?"

"Ain't religious myself."

"Then why don't you? Afraid?" She half-smiled and started walking circles around him, studying his legs with shrewd eyes. He watched her with feined disinterest. He'd come down here to yell at her, but something had gone horribly, horribly wrong.

"Not afraid. I just don't think prancing around like a goram pixie is my look." He answered her as she made her second lap around him. He shifted in place and resisted the urge to reach out and touch her, to make her stop her appraising circles.

"And it's my look?" She stopped once more in front of him and glared through him. The all at once togetherness and ethereal distance in her eyes made him stumble over the insult he would normally have handy.

"Well, you're all girly and stuff. I...listen I just came down here to tell you to shut up."

"Those who can't, don't..or won't." She frowned and then crossed her arms over her chest in an obvious mimic of his stance. He hastily uncrossed his arms and she did the same.

"Stop that!"

"What kind of a name is Jayne anyway?" She said out of the blue, ignoring him and lifting a finger to jab him in the middle of his broad, muscular chest.

"What kind of a name is River?" He countered, trying to keep up with the conversation.

"It indicates that I'm deep. Whereas Jayne indicates that you're...a girl." Her voice was free of that wispy other-worldliness that usually haunted her. Which made the barb all that more precise.

"Hey, Jayne was my Grandaddy's name."

"Sure." She giggled and twirled once more, her skirts flaring out. The pink flashed across his eyes and he blinked, dazzled.

"Girl, I don't get you..." He got that disgusted look on his face that spoke volumes to anyone who knew him. Or didn't know him. It was kind of a universal face.

"Do you dance?" She stopped dead, facing him, her chin tilted upward, a quiet smile on her lips. He looked around the room, as if this were some great, cosmic joke.

"N-no?"

"You never change, do you? All-together sameness." She sighed and sank down onto the couch, looking up at him from behind a mass of dark hair. There was silence a moment as he tried to think of a way to respond to her question. His mind was more than just a mass of confusion now.

"Okay...I gotta go." He made a hasty exit, nearly running up the stairs in an effort to get away from her. If he would have looked backward, he would have seen her taking off her shoes and dancing in her stockings.

It was less noisy that way.

(end)

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