Notes: I stole the first line from Sylvia Plath. My apologies. This is much shorter than the last thing I wrote so it hopefully will not take so gosh-darned long. Hope you like it - any advice is much appreciated.
Her blacks crackle and drag.
boil over and lap at her toes.
drowns in the dusk.
catch at her skin,
from her bones, leave her
withered and tired and bare.
A dry silhouette of a girl.
Her spirit has been leached from her body like dew from the desert.
She is an alabaster chalice.
He, he runneth over.
He drips, he leaks, he pours.
it all with outstretched palms.
prostrate before her saint.
it all into her dusty pores.
and she steals
and she drinks him down like chocolate.
spackling her cracks.
her bones now,
thick as pudding,
thick as thieves.
She could wring him
from her hair and fill her cup.
But she's greedy, needy.
And now she wants more.
He notices her acting different when he's around. Usually she'd be vacant-eyed, twirling off through the corridors. But now, whenever he walks in, she stares at him, locking eyes. Her gaze is hard and demanding. He's got no idea what it is she's looking for, but he knows that whatever it is, he sure as hell ain't giving her any.
So when she spends the entire dinner hour staring at him with her dry lips slightly parted, he stares back with his primal glare. And she… she smiles, for a moment. For a moment he sees light in her eyes. Then, it's gone. He gawks until the shock wears off. Gorram girl's weird, that's all, he tells himself. He goes back to eating, not looking up at her again.
A few days later, he is walking towards his bunk when he sees her. She is shuffling away from his door, dragging something behind her. He stops in his tracks and observes her suspiciously. She continues to walk in the shadows of the bulkhead. Jayne shouts out at her and she slowly turns around, her face hidden behind her hair and the dark of the ship. She drops the material she was carrying and it pools at her feet. He recognizes the green fabric of his own shirt. He starts to yell at her, but then she moves. He watches in confusion as she lifts her arms and holds her hands out towards him.
"I came to the well," she speaks in a slightly cracked voice. "Share your cup with me."
Jayne takes a step backwards. He doesn't know how to respond. So he doesn't. He turns away from her and jumps down to his bunk, slamming the door above him.
Every time Jayne sees River over the next two weeks, she's wearing the faded olive shirt she pulled from his dirty clothes pile. Right now, as he tries to lift weights and ignore his spotter's preaching, he watches her out of the corner of his eye. She's seated atop one of the cylindrical cargo canisters strewn about. She's got his shirt pulled over her legs, and her face is half-hidden beneath the worn neckline. Only her dark eyes peak out. And they're focusing directly on him. He tries to concentrate on the weights he is lifting. Finally, his set is over, the shepherd is leaving, and Jayne sits up to towel himself off.
Suddenly, she is there beside him. He jerks at her startling appearance. She's not wearing her customary skirt, just his shirt. Her long, bare legs are covered in goosebumps from the cold. Tangled brown hair falls over her breasts. She points to a droplet of sweat that slides down his chest.
"Liquid effort," she whispers, frantically surveying the perspiration covering his body. "Please…"
Jayne grunts. "Please what, you fruit?"
River lifts her eyes to his, begging, pleading. "Make me wet."
Jayne stands immediately and backs away. "Make you what!"
"Make me wet," she repeats, cautiously taking a step towards him. "Just, touch me. Not fair, you have too much. Share with me. Make me wet like you."
Jayne turns away quickly and heads out the door. "I ain't touching you, girl. Leave me alone."
He stomps out of the cargo bay, weird tingles going up his back, and he barely hears her offer, "I'll make you like it."
A job has gone bad. Nobody died, but only because Jayne took the brunt of the attack. The doctor stitches him up and sends him on his way. Jayne limps back towards the dining room to get something to eat. After grabbing a stale bao, he falls into the closest chair to eat.
He's sore and tired. Chewing his food seems like too much work. And then, he hears it. A soft step. She's here again. He hears her come directly behind him and he stiffens, too exhausted to run away again.
"Go away," he grumbles.
He hears a hitch in her breathing as she curls her hands around the top of his chair. She leans her face near his. He feels her warm breath on his cheek as she examines the stitches on his hairline. Her gasps of air are getting quicker.
"You're bursting," she murmurs in amazement. "It pours out of you."
He closes his eyes, waiting for her to finish her speech and leave.
"I won't take much," she whispers as she moves between him and the table, her thighs brushing the inside of his knees.
He sighs, and opens his eyes to cuss her out. She's still wearing that shirt.
"When am I gonna get my shirt back?" he spits out.
"When you take it off me," she replies seriously.
She reaches out towards his forehead, and gently runs her forefinger across the black stitches. Pulling back, she stares lustfully at the faint streak of red coating her finger.
"You're off your nut, girl," he says quietly.
He stands to leave, but unintentionally pins River against the table as he does so. Her eyes roll back as she gasps at the contact of their hips. Jayne frowns in confusion as she grabs the edge of the table to support herself.
"Please, Jayne," she begs again as she leans back on the table, "fill me."
He hesitates, watching her writhe against the wooden table-top. One of her legs has lifted onto the chair he just vacated and she is using it to rub against his thigh.
He grabs at her leg to pull it off him. She immediately stills, waiting with bated breath as he tightens his fingers around her thigh. He's never seen her like this, her chest heaving; her eyes squeezed shut; her nails digging into the hard wood. He doesn't know what to do.
He jumps as Simon enters the kitchen and stares at his sister laid out before Jayne, his large hand wrapped around her thigh. Simon rushes to save her, asking Jayne what is going on.
"Your baby sister's horny, doc," the mercenary sneers as he pushes River's leg away and limps out of the room.
He glances back, and sees Simon fussing over River, who sits obediently. But her flushed face is staring at Jayne, watching him as he backs away.
A week passes. Jayne is lifting weights again. He keeps glancing around the room, looking for her. Finally the preacher notices and asks what's bothering him. Jayne brushes off his comment and tries to focus on his set. But he keeps seeing glimpses of pale skin and dark hair that disappear when he turns to look at them. After Book leaves to wash up, Jayne stays, waiting to see if she'll show up. After fifteen minutes, he feels like a fool and stomps off to shower.
Kaylee has turned the locker room into a shower, using the engine to heat the tanks of water. Jayne sits on the small wooden bench to wait as the water heats up. He kicks his boots off then pulls his sweaty shirt over his head, throwing it in a ball onto the floor. He rubs a hand through his short hair, sending a spray of sweat into the air.
A small, dry hand reaches out from the shadows and caresses Jayne's shoulder. He stiffens, but doesn't say anything. He waits, knowing she'll do something wacky again. He feels her kneel behind him, her hand trailing down his back.
"You waste your sacramentals," she admonishes. "Bless me, Jayne, for I have sinned."
Jayne shivers at her words. He doesn't bother trying to decipher what she means. "Don't understand, girl. Now, get." But he is half-hearted in his rebuke, his curiosity about what she'll do next winning over.
"Purify me, wash me?" she asks, her lips against the skin of his lower back.
Jayne freezes, fingers of electricity following the path her lips make.
She continues speaking against his back. "You're soaked through. Need your water, your fluid."
Then, using the flat of her tongue, she laps up a bead of sweat from the top of his waistband to the back of his ear.
Jayne waits as she sucks up the last bit of moisture from his neck. He waits until she starts to pull away. He waits until she turns to leave.
Abruptly, he cracks his neck, tilting his head from side to side, and, in one fluid motion, stands up and grabs River around the waist, pulling her back against him.
"Quit talking weird, girl," he hisses in her ear. "Tell me what you want."
"You," she groans as she rubs her face against his neck.
He sheds his pants with a grunt, and then turns her towards him. He lifts her up his body and wraps her legs around his hips.
"So, you want to be wet, huh?" he asks before licking her neck.
She murmurs her assent before dropping kisses on his damp forehead.
He takes the few steps to the shower and slams their bodies against the metal wall. He lets the water of the shower flow over his back as he yanks off the shirt she wears and lets it fall to the floor. He feels her legs tighten around his waist, locking him against her. He presses his body against her, crushing her breasts between them. She's licking his neck, kissing his face, frantically holding his head to hers.
He bares his teeth against her cheek. "Wet enough yet?" he asks.
He doesn't wait for an answer. He lifts her hips off his just enough to bury himself inside her. She cries out and arches against him as he shudders at the sensation.
Their bodies are slippery from the shower and their sweat, and he has to hold on to her tightly to keep her against him. He supports her ass with his forearm, while he uses his other hand to press against the back of her neck, keeping her face close to his as he rhythmically slams her back against the wet wall.
He watches her face through the rain of lukewarm water as she thrusts against him. Her mouth is so close, but he refuses to let her kiss him. Her eyes are closed, but her lips are parted, letting the water fall against her mouth. She stretches her arms up above her head. She's catching the water in her hands, letting it trickle down her arms and mingle with their sweat.
Her writhing becomes more frenetic; she clutches his shoulders and tries to pull him closer. Her voice is keening out a wordless cry. He bites her jaw as she throws her head back, her muscles milking him. Her chest heaves with each shattered breath. He latches onto her neck with his lips and sucks as he empties himself into her.
He stays leaning against the wall with his face buried in her neck for a moment, trying to catch his breath. The only sound is their slowing gasps and the water falling all around them. He pulls her closer to him, ready for another round. She catches his face between her hands, smiles beatifically at him, and licks the corner of his mouth. Then, before he can seize her hips, she wriggles down to the floor, deposits his sopping wet shirt on the bench, and turns to leave.
"Wait…" he calls out.
She turns back to smile at him, stark naked and soaking wet. "No more desiccation. Don't need you anymore."
"But… yes, you do," he argues. ""When do I get to do that to you again?"
"When you kiss me," she answers before skipping off.
He scowls after her. "You're off your nut, girl."