Notes: Jayne/River. Eighth in a series of thirty for the LJ community, 30Kisses.
People are always yelling on Serenity. Always. If it isn't the captan at Wash, it's Zoe at Wash, or Kaylee screaching about something or another. Rarely, though, is it the doctor himself doing the yelling - that stupid, stuttering yell of his.
And rarely is it directed at Jayne.
It's why he doesn't notice at first, just continuing with his weights. Fifty-one, fifty-two, fi- wait, Kaylee's been yelling just a minute ago and he'd been on seventy-five. Jayne sighs, hating to lose count and just continues lifting. One, two, three-
Now Simon's standing right in front of him. Not like he belongs there; his twitchy and nervous. Then again, the doctor just tends to be that way. Jayne doesn't see any reason to make him more comfortable, so he fixes a bored glare on the man. Seven, eight, nine. "What'd'you want, doc? I ain't been near your room or your office today, so whatever it is, it ain't my fault."
"No, I'm not- why, what's wrong with the med lab?" Exasperation turned to worry, Simon looks at him with narrowed, suspicious eyes.
Jayne just grins. So far as he knows, there's nothing wrong with it. But Simon Tam uncomfortable was always good for a laugh or two.
The doctor gets it a minute later and all but pouts at him, though the narrowed eyes make the look more annoyed than sad. "Bi zui- I'm not talking about that. I want to talk to you about... about what happened in there yesterday. With River."
"Y'mean when y'er sister went all murderous on you 'n the captain an' I saved your lives?" Jayne just continues grinning, half because it's funny, mostly because it annoys the doctor. "That what y'er talkin' about?"
"I'm talking about how- how she acted with you in there," Simon says, voice raised and- fists clenched? Is he honestly thinking of /fighting?
The surprise must be showing on Jayne's face because the doctor somehow gets the courage to continue. "She was- she was familiar with you. She trusted you, calmed /down/ for y- when you grabbed her. Wh- when did you get so... so /familiar/ with her!"
"What the guay are you talkin' about, boy?" Jayne realizes belatedly that he's dropped his weights, and that last question was growled. "I ain't been/familiar/ with y'er cracked sister!"
"You're /something/ with her!" the doctor returns, and Jayne is somewhat impressed that the man hasn't backed down yet. But Simon's angry and worried and- protective? "She won't calm like that for anyone, won't touch just /anyone/ like that and I want to know what makes /you/ so gorram special!"
...There's some fun to be had here. Jayne leans back in his seat and just /grins/ at the doctor. "Maybe me an' her... we just got a /connection/. Know what I'm sayin'?"
Apparently Simon does, since his face proceeds to turn red. The fist comes up, to the mercenary's surprise, but all that happens is a finger pointed in his face. "You," the doctor says in a growl impressive from misuse, "stay away from my sister. She's sick and she's a child. Stay away from her."
"Ain't my fault if she seeks me out, doc," Jayne replies with a smirk. "Pretty little thing like y'er sister. Not all there but then again, she don't need to be, huh?" He laughs after that. He doesn't expect it.
Doesn't expect to be /punched/ in the gorram face!
"Gaoyang zhong de guyang!" is hissed, and it takes Jayne a moment to realize it's /Simon/ cursing. Holding a now-bruised jaw, he glares at the young man nursing his hand. He opens his mouth, ready to threaten before giving a thorough beating when suddenly, the finger of the bruised hand is in his face again. "Here's my news for you, Jayne: stay away from my sister. Or I will kill you."
Wide eyes, Jayne's surprised again. How often did this come out of the annoyingly shy and humble doctor? Too often for his tastes so far. So his eyes narrow, glaring from the finger, up to Simon's eyes. "That a threat, boy?"
"That's a /promise/." Another moment of glaring between them and Simon's moved away, down the hall and probably back to his med lab.
And Jayne? He stays still for a moment before picking up his weights. With a sigh, he begins to lift.
One, two, three, four...