Rules of the Game. By Lady Cleo

Continuance off Nothin' Goes as Planned in the Verse

All Disclaimers' Apply

Note: Wasn't going to continue but this story popped up and decided that I might try to give Nothin' a few more chapters and round it out…


"The paths we choose in life define us." Jayne's father had once told him. "But it's the games you decide to play that make you who you are. Life, son, is just one series of games waiting to be finished." The teenager had brushed his father's words off like most do. But now that the boy was a man, his father's words came back into focus because he was playing a very dangerous game.

Rough hands gently slide up creamy thighs, pushing the hem of a red dress up.

He had always enjoyed living his life on the edge of control, balancing one way or the other, never quite steady on the path. It was more exciting for him when he held power in his hands, it was more fun to take life as he liked. He loved getting what he wanted when he wanted it, but he also enjoyed the fear that came with the wild and unexpected, he liked it when blood coursed through his veins and his heart ran on adrenaline alone.

Moans whispered against skin, lips begged and pleaded.

The life of a mercenary gave him what he wanted. The choice and power, the fear and adrenaline, theses were all things he could manipulate on the edge of control. To stray either way could mean death. To lose absolute control would be fun but only for a moment and then he'd have to pay the price with his life. To gain absolute control would bring boredom for a lifetime, something he personally couldn't stand. So he kept to his tracks and stayed balanced on the edge.

"Jayne…Jayne…"

But unlike all the other games when his game, this game he was playing, ended, it would be the end of all games. He'd calculated all possible endings, played with the numbers, the situations and the consequences of those situations, and knew he was humped. No matter the outcome he would lose and it would cost him his life. But stopping the game wasn't an option.

Small hands fisted into short dark hair, white teeth digging into the exposed skin of a shoulder blade.

Sleepless nights, strong addictive meds, even an attempt to escape the boat, none of those had worked to stop the old problem and it had cost him dearly, threatening his very sanity. But this game keeps the old problem at bay, lets him sleep through the night at the eventual cost of his life. To stop the game would force the return of old problems. And the dreams of her sprawled beneath him could very well drive him over the edge. He's caught in her trap, tangled up in her limbs.

Fingers slide up arms, curve around shoulder blades, nails digging into soft flesh.

He fights to keep his balance on the edge of control, to ensure that he doesn't fall yet, to keep on trudging along the fine line until he runs out of space. But he's getting tired and finding it harder and harder to fight the pull of gravity. He just has to remember the rules to keep himself balanced. And the rules of the game are simple;

Rule One: Don't get caught.

Because to be caught is to lose the game, to lose control, and though there are multiple outcomes, none of them are good. If he loses he knows that it'll put him six feet under ground, or revolving in space without a suit, deserted on a barren planet where he'll die slowly if he's lucky. There are no alternatives as he can't see any way he'd survive if the crew caught them playing the game.

So he's careful. They only play in the dark shadows of the ship, when nobody's around to watch. When sleep has fallen or everyone else is preoccupied. He'll be walking through the cargo bay and a small hand will reach out and grab him, pull him behind a container and the game will start. Bodies pressing close together, lips meeting in frantic kisses, they'll tumble to the dirty floor where there's better access to body parts. And hands will glide over smooth skin as hips come into tight contact. And there's quiet moaning and long tasting of flesh, arching backs and hands that explore and tease.

Rule Two: Don't take it all the way.

To fully possess her, to join their bodies into one is not an option. Though it may not end the game, she'd have win, she'd have gotten what she wanted; him. To fully take her would cement the addiction he's forming for her flesh, would leave him un-sated for the rest of his life, in constant need of the one woman, or turn him careless and insure the breaking of rule one.

As time goes by this rule may get harder to follow. The touching and kissing may be enough for him today, but maybe not tomorrow. As it is she's easy enough to satisfy on most days, but sometimes it isn't enough, and she'll beg and plead for him, grind her hips, touch and tease, try and coax him into breaking the rule. But he holds steady, fighting her off, tempting her with other thrills. Like foolishly endangering rule one by moving them closer to crew; she gets a kick out of the idea of almost getting caught and it distracts her from what she wants.

Rule Three: No removal of clothing.

Unbuttoned, pushed around, bunched up, anything goes in order to allow better access to flesh, but no removal. It creates too many problems. If clothes are removed they must be returned to the body and that takes time. Time they may not have when a crewmate is approaching. A lack of clothing could also allow for the possibility of losing control and the full meeting and connecting of bodies. Rule three ensures that rules one and two are not broken.

Instead they are creative. Skirts and shirts are easy to move around but dresses and pants not so much. Hands can slip under and into and still have decent access to skin. Unbuttoning and unzipping helps expose and are easy enough to fix if someone's coming. Bunched up skirts are more challenging and fun to work around, and it keeps him on the edge. And though most of the time it leaves them in compromising positions with hands and limbs tangled in, under and around clothing, it's still safer then removing them.

Rule Four: Leave no visible marks.

Marks can be called signs of possession, consequences of skin touching skin. But in this game they're dangerous after effects. He can't leave them in visible spots where a pair of wandering eyes might notice them. It would be too hard to explain away a hickey on the crazy girl and he'd be the first and only target. Who else but the "evil mercenary without morals" would touch a crazy girl like that? Never mind who started it, never mind that she wants it.

This rule does not apply to her as he can easily explain off her teeth marks with a waggled eyebrow and a "got lucky in the last town." The scratch marks down his backs are, "one time, got in this fight… with a bear" or other such nonsense they won't believe but won't question either. And she does mark him every chance she gets. She seems to particularly enjoy biting him, but she also uses her nails on whatever skin is exposed. He doesn't mind it, has fun explaining them away and the scars heal, unlike the one on his chest that remains as a permanent maker, proof that he belongs to her.

Rule Five: Keep quiet.

Moans, whispered names are allowed as long as they're quiet or muffled. No screams of passion, or hard loud grunts that may echo in their surroundings. Sound travels through a ship remarkable well, and unless masked by the hum of a nearby engine there's always the chance of being heard. Anything above a whisper can be a threat to rule one.

Being able to control himself and keep quiet is extremely convenient on all accounts. But that doesn't mean they're always silent. He's had to shut her up a couple times, using his hand, his lips, pressing her face into his chest to muffle her louder moans and gasps. He has to watch her carefully and read the signs to know when to kiss her in order in keep the noise level down.

Rule Six: Don't involve a bed.

Beds are places where sleep is allowed to come; they're comfortable places where control is spirited away. And though the security of a room with a locked door might ensure the keeping of rule one, it might also lead to the breaking of rules two through five. Therefore beds are not to be trusted, nor to be used or sought after during the game.

Instead other places are utilized. If the ship's powered down for artificial night, the glow of the engine room is suitable for playing. It provides ample lighting for exposing flesh and though the grated floor is hard, a back pressed up against the warm engine is suitable. If the entire crew's down by the infirmary or in the cargo bay, the dinning table suits all purposes. It's hard enough that it ensures no real comfort and if anyone is coming they can separate quickly, stay in the same room and not receive questioning stares. His favorite though is the cargo bay floor. The containers provide ample security, and it's hard not to hear anybody coming. Her favorite seems to be the empty shuttle. She likes using the pilots' chair. But it's more dangerous in there, he can't hear when someone's coming and if someone does interrupt, there's no place to run.

Rule Seven: Do not at any time become too comfortable.

In all appearances it seems to be the weakest rule, the one least likely to have great and terrible consequences. But this one's a link to rules one through six and a vital key to ensuring that the game continues. To break it may very well break all others and he could lose on multiple accounts, would gain the pleasure of connecting to her only to lose her when Mal throws him out the airlock

But sometimes it's the hardest to obey. When the game's done for the day, it's hard to see how letting her cuddle to his chest could hurt them. It's hard for him to not hold her and gently kiss her over and over again. It's hard not to want to fall asleep with her tucked in his arms or on his lap. It's hard not to wanna stay and listen to her ramblings, her crazy girly talk that he secretly enjoys. And it's hard not to want to comb through her hair with his fingers, soothe down the wild mane and whisper words in her ear. And sometimes he can't stop himself.

The rules are not to be broken, bent maybe, twisted, but never broken. To break the rules would be to ensure his loss, possibly his death. So he must walk on the edge of control and keep his balance in the game he's gotten himself locked into. He must avoid the end the best he can and forget about the other thing his father once told him; "Rules are meant to protect you, boy, they're meant to ensure you don't get yourself hurt or worse; maimed, killed or broken. They're meant to ensure that you stay smart and sane so you can keep on playing the game. But nothing ever goes as planed in the 'Verse, boy, and the rules are sometimes meant to be broken."