Title: Snow White (1/1)
Author: Syn
E-Mail: veruca_werewolf@hotmail.com
Rating: PG-13
Content: Jayne/River
Disclaimer: Jayne and River belong to Joss and his minions.
Spoilers: Ariel and War Stories
Summary: Companion to Apple, Apple: Jayne's POV.
A/N: I got a couple requests to write Apple, Apple from Jayne's point of view and I couldn't resist giving it a try. And yes, I'm going to continue this little series with another story after this. It'll be um...not PG-13 that's for sure. ;)
Dedicated to Meg, my stalker and stalkee.
Feedback: It would be much appreciated. :)


You know that itchy feeling you get after you've been in a battle? That muscle-quivering, bone aching sleeplessness that twists your hands into fists and sets your heart to thumpin' a mile a minute? Well I got that feeling right now and it's powerful strong. Every time I close my eyes I just see blood.

Nothing new, really. I'm used to blood, death and bruises. Kind of a trademark of mine, but sometimes it gets to me. Like tonight. I just can't sleep.

So here I am sitting in the galley, eating those damned apples I bought. When I brought them on the Serenity, everyone just looked at me and I knew they suspected something. They just didn't know what they suspected. And Mal, he had this look on his face and he just smiled and walked away, the bastard. I don't know, maybe I've made my peace for what I did. I certainly don't feel any better about it, that's for sure.

With a sigh, I pick up an apple and pull out my knife, slicing into it and trying to ignore the strange prickling at the back of my neck. There's something out there....

And as soon as I think it, I look up and there SHE is.

She looks like a ghost standing there in a thin nightgown, her hair tumbling down her shoulders, her face pale and her eyes huge in the bright galley lights. My heart lurches and my lip curls. If there's anything I don't need right now, it's her. Everything about her is unnatural and when I look into her face, I see what she knows.

And she knows it all.

"What the ruttin' hell are you doing in here, girl?" I say with a growl, much more forceful than I meant. Can't help it, she spooked me. As I watch her I can't help but notice the way she's watching me. There's a lot more clarity in her eyes than I'm used to and that's even spookier. I shift in my seat and wait for her answer.

"I was hungry." She says, her voice like bells, soft and quiet, but everywhere at once. She takes a step forward and I blink, trying to get rid of the dazzle her white nightdress is causing across my vision.

"Captain says you ain't supposed to be out of your quarters without that brother of yours." I snap, annoyed by her presence and by the way she's still looking at me. Why can't she just go back to her ruttin' brother and sleep in her ruttin' bunk and leave me the hell alone?

"He's asleep. I just want an apple."

"Well take one and get to bed." I say as I slice into my apple. Maybe if I ignore her, she'll just go away. Leave me in peace for once. I've got enough ghosts in my life and I don't need a living one, thank you very much. As I watch, her big brown eyes trail down my face and widen as she sees the knife in my fingers. What is she doing?

"I'm not sleepy."

"Don't much care."

"What are you doing in here?" She says as she wraps her arms around that tiny chest of hers. Uh, not that I was looking or that her nightgown is pretty thin or nothing. She shivers a little bit though and a little part of me wonders if she's cold. Then I come to my senses and realize that I don't care because she's weird and why is she looking at me like that?

"I don't have to answer no questions." I take a bite and chew out my frustration, my muscles quivering again. The urge to bolt out of here and leave the little thing grows, but I stay where I am. Jayne Cobb ain't afraid of nothing, especially no little girl.

"You can't sleep for all the men you've killed. One bite for each bullet. All red, like bloody, shiny apples."

Her voice is a whisper and it rips right through me. That innocent madness in her eyes gleams like jewels and I stop, staring at her in confusion. This is what I'm talking about. The girl ain't right and I don't have to sit here and listen to this.

"Girl, I don't..." I start to make my leave and she interrupts me, sitting down in the chair next to mine, so close I can smell the sweetness on her skin.

"I feel the same way. Couldn't look at the whites of their eyes. They just went pop. How do you do it?" She says, leaning in, her eyes intense. What? How do I do what?

"You need to get back to bed." I say, flustered and entirely too aware of her closeness.

She ignores me and reaches for an apple, taking it into her delicate hands and twirling it like it's some sort of toy, her eyes dancing. She lifts the fruit to her mouth and hesitates before biting into it. When she does, she looks up at me and I'm suddenly riveted to her. As she bites, I see her tongue flash, juice wetting her lips and those gorram eyes of hers trained on me. A sudden flash of heat rips through my gut and I shift in my seat, hoping she doesn't notice.

"Why did you buy these, Jayne?" I start when she says my name, her voice a tickling whisper around the sliver of apple in her throat. I swallow hard and shake my head, clearing it of whatever that was I was thinking. What the hell is wrong with me?

"What's it matter to you?"

"Matters a lot. You think a crate of apples can make it all better. Like Mommy kissing your knee."

My hands suddenly feel cold, like I've dipped them in snow or something. The knife in my hands seems heavy and I set it down on the table, my head swimming. I glance away from her, suddenly not hungry anymore.

"I don't know what you're talking about..." I set the guilty apple down and look back up at her.

"Apples are yummy." The corners of her mouth turn up and I can see the truth in her eyes. Oh yeah, she knows. She takes another bite, her tongue darting out and sliding along her upper lip. Another flash of heat sears my gut and I swipe at my own lips, realizing how sticky they are. I force myself to look away from those eyes of hers, studying the floor with disinterest.

"You won't...won't tell the others, right?" I venture quietly, knowing I can't hide it from her.

"Never. None of their business." She says, her voice walking up and down my spine. I believe she won't tell them though and just as I look up, I see her hand reach out, heading for my forgotten knife.

I lunge for it, remembering all too well the way she sliced me down the middle. A spasm runs across my chest when she reaches the knife first. It dangles from her hand and her eyes rake hungrily down the blade.

"Give me that..." I say cautiously, extending my hand and praying my thumb doesn't get severed. She pulls the serrated blade closer to her and I lean in, edging closer than I probably should. Then, with her eyes barely on the apple, she slices it down the middle and a wedge comes out in her hand, juice dripping down the knife blade and onto her hand. Before she can move again, I close my hand around her wrist, surprised at how small it is in my sticky hands. "Give me the knife girl..."

She shivers once more, my breath stirring the wild snarl of hair draped on her shoulders, her face inches from mine. Flexing my muscles a little, I squeeze her tiny, bird-like wrist, pressing on the nerves in her fingers. The knife clatters from her hand, hits the edge of the table and falls down at our feet.

I'm suddenly far too aware of her body, sitting so close to me, our knees touching and the snow white cloth of her nightgown nearly transparent. This close, there isn't much that's hidden from me. She doesn't blink as she sets her apple down with her free hand and looks up, capturing me in the spider webs of her mind. Her hand touches my face out of nowhere, light and sticky and sweet smelling. I bet she tastes like apples now.

"River..." I whisper uneasily, not really sure what she's doing and why I'm not pushing her away from me.

"You wonder if I taste like apples now." Her words run right through me again and I tighten my hold on her wrist, squeezing a little more than I mean to. I can't help it though because she's touching me, studying my face like she's never seen me before. A moment later, she reaches down between us and takes my free hand, lifting it to her face and peering at the sticky, callused fingers.

"What are you--" I choke off my question as she suddenly sucks one of my fingers into her mouth. I'm too shocked for words as she swirls her tongue over my fingertip, her eyes slammed shut. There's an all too pleasant tightening in my groin and I jerk away from her, dropping her wrist and nearly throwing myself backward in the chair. "Girl, I don't know what you're doing, but it's...you're..."

"Forgiving you."

"Forgiving me? I don't think that's what I'd call it."

"Maybe this is a new definition."

"Maybe you should go back to your brother."

"Maybe I don't want to."

"Maybe I'll make you."

"Maybe you could try."

"Maybe I'll slap that smartass smile off your face."

"Maybe I'll kiss you."

It takes me a second to realize what she's said and when I do realize, I stop in mid-sentence, letting my well thought-out insult die in the air. I stare at her, seeing the smile on her lips a second before she leans in and presses her mouth against mine. I'm too stunned to really do anything and it takes me another precious second to push her away, my hands on her shoulders. Through those wild tumble of curls, she stares at me, hurt, her lips wet and inviting.


I cut her off as I grab her shoulders in my hands, thought and good sense be damned. She wants to play, she can play. I kiss her as hard as I can, feeling her squirm in my grip until finally she pulls away and pouts at me like a princess.

"What?" I say breathlessly, expecting her to slap me or tell me off like all the others girls have...never done because I never get rejected, you know. Still, I brace myself to duck a hit.

"You're not doing it right." River says with a lot more patience and a bit of exasperation in her voice.

"Gorramit! I do not get you! First you wanna and then you d--" She cuts me off again as she slides onto my lap, her legs draped over the side of the chair and her arms wrapped around my neck. I'm a little shocked. "This is new."

"I'm going to forgive you the right way." She says slowly, as if I'm some sort of child.

"Huh?" I say, confusion a definite direction, and she sighs with patience.

"Like this." Then, she kisses me slowly, her lips light on mine. This is definitely new. I'm used to hurried, hard kisses that I have to pay for. No, not a Companion either. Could never afford one. I'm talking about run of the mill whores you find on podunk planets. But this little thing in my arms is nothing like them. I realize I'm playing by her rules and I'd better stick to them if I want to keep playing. Several times I get too rough on her and she pulls back and makes me start again.

And when I finally get used to her, it's sweet, slow and damned if it doesn't feel good. Her mouth is warm and I can feel her hands tickling the back of my neck. Her tongue darts out at odd intervals and I learn to anticipate it's arrival. Her shoulders are still cold and I rub them, letting my fingers slip under the straps of her nightgown. She doesn't stop me and I wonder if she'd let me go even further.

My hand inches down her side and up her thigh, the thin nightgown crumpling under my fist. Just when I think she might actually let me have some fun, she slaps my hand away and makes me start over again. I growl and she smiles against my mouth. I'm not sure how long we stay like that, but her stomach rumbles against mine and she pulls back.

"Still hungry." She says, wrinkling her nose. My eyes rove down to her mouth and the sight of them swollen and ripe makes me want to lay her out on the table.

"Me too." I say, reaching for her again. Her mouth slides possessively over mine and of course that's when that ruttin' horse doctor has to come in and spoil my fun.

"River? Where are you Mei-Mei?" The Doc's voice calls from the corridor, all whiny and cultured.

"Crap." I mutter as River slides off my lap, leaving me feeling slightly naked without her draped all over me. Cursing under my breath, I watch as he walks into the galley, his eyes looking bloodshot and his hair standing on end. He looks like shit. Good. My gaze travels over to River and I see her take a bite of her apple, her expression the definition of innocence.

"What are you doing up? And what are you doing here with her?" He says to his sister and then turns to me, his eyes blazing. I ignore him and eye the knife on the floor as he wraps his arms around her shoulders. Maybe if I just cut his arms off he'd stop touching her.

Not that I care.

"I was hungry." She says, glancing over at me from under the curtain of her hair.

"Why didn't you wake me? And what are you doing here?" He says, glaring at me again. I glare back and take a bite of my own abandoned apple.

"Just eating, Doc." I say as I take a bite and stand. "I'm going to my bunk. Night."

"Goodnight Jayne." She calls as I walk out. I hazard a wink and get rewarded with a smile. I hit the corridor, intending to go to my bunk, but stopping when I hear the Doc's voice again.

"Why didn't you wake me up? You know the Captain doesn't want you walking around by yourself. And I don't want you talking to him..."


"He saved us, you know."

What? She's defending me? I lean against the metal bulwark and listen, a smile on my lips despite my best efforts to keep it off. She said she wouldn't say anything and she hasn't.

"Yes, well...I still don't want you talking to him. Now come on, we have to get back to bed."

I hunch up against the hallway and watch from the shadows as he steers her out of the galley, heading toward their bunk next to the med bay. I watch her walk away, bare feet so light on the metal floor that I can't believe she's even there. The doctor's arm is still wrapped around her and my eyes narrow.

"Gorramit!" I cuss under my breath as they disappear around the corner and into their bunk. Frustrated, I head back to my own bunk, kicking the door in, climbing down the ladder and throwing my half-eaten apple onto the pile of trash in the corner. The room seems empty all of a sudden and I know exactly what I want to find in it. "Why me?" I say, sitting down the edge of my bed and staring up at one of my favorite girlie pictures on the wall. For some reason, she's just not doing it for me right now.

I sit there for a moment, listening to the hum of the engine and my own breathing. Then my muscles start to itch and I get that familiar shark-in-a-cage feeling that lead to my insomnia in the first place. My head is still swimming from what happened back in the galley and yes, I know what I want to do.

I just wonder if she wants it to.

With a sigh, I lay down on my bunk and listen to the hum of the engine some more. I'm too awake to sleep and all I can think about is her, sleeping a few doors down like one of those fairy tale princesses my granny used to tell me stories about. Yeah, she's like some sort of Snow White, hiding out in the forest with the seven dwarves.

But I gotta wonder, "Does she still taste like apples?"