Title: SYMBOLS
Author: Michmak
Rating: PG-13

Characters: Jayne, Simon, River
Pairings: Jayne/River
Disclaimers: Of course I own them. I also own the Hope Diamond and Van Gogh's "Starry Night".

Summary: "There are a lot 'a things in the 'verse that are broken, but that don't mean they should be thrown away."

A/N: Okay, so here is number 23 in the series, which is just absolutely nuts, considering this started as a little one-off. This follows FAMILY which I posted here yesterday. I really wish there was some way to just link these all for ease-of-use.

They are also all posted at my LiveJournal – user name is writwritewrote and I post stories there only. And - YAY – they're linked.


Symbols

The feel of her soft hand on the inside 'a his shirt, grazin' across his left nipple wakes him with a jolt.

He'd been dreamin' of her again, somethin' which had become more and more common lately. It hadn't occurred to him until he'd felt the heat of her hand against his chest that maybe it weren't a dream this time.

He is lyin' flat on his back in her bunk and she is above him. He can feel the strength 'a her legs straddlin' him; can see the gleam of her calves and lower thighs were her dress has rucked up.

She has somehow managed to unbutton his shirt completely, freeing it from the itchy wool dress pants he still has on. Her hands are fluttering like little birds all over his chest, fingers skimmin' his ribcage before driftin' lower and skirtin' around his navel, caressin' his sides.

Her hair is hangin' like a curtain around them, envelopin' Jayne in a world he don't recall ever experiencin' before. Her eyes are glowin' at him and even though he can still see the after-effects of her tears, the shine they're directin' at him makes his gut ache.

"Wo de ma," he mutters.

"No, River," she leans down and whispers against his neck, before nippin' at his chin. Her sharp little teeth hit him like a volt of pure electricity, making his toes curl in the gorram dress shoes still on his feet.

"Crazy-girl," he growls. His hands have traveled from his sides to her calves, palms sliding up the soft skin there until they're at the top of her thighs, fingers splayed along the outside, thumbs kneading the inside.

"Jayne-bird," she responds. Her hands are outlinin' his ribcage now, before they trace lower along his abdominals and run around the waistband of his pants. He ain't never felt nothin' more erotic in his whole entire life.

His body is on fire, both where she's touchin' and where she ain't. Each flicker of her eyes across his chest makes him burn another notch and her hands – those graceful hands 'a hers – feel like they're tryin' to memorize every inch 'a him.

She leans down again and her hair sweeps across his chest like a waterfall, each strand a ribbon caressin' his skin. She buries her head against his neck for a moment, before lickin' his collar bone and bringin' her face to a space just inches above his own. He can feel her breath against his mouth, warm and hot and wet. His heart is thumpin', his blood is poundin' and her thighs feel so warm against his hands.

"What're'ya doin', Crazy-girl?" he manages to grit out.

"Kissing my Jayne-bird," she whispers back, before placin' her mouth against his.

His brain feels like it's short-circuitin' and his hands grip her legs convulsively. Her lips are plump and full, not too wet but not dry either. He can tell she ain't never done this 'afore, 'cause – despite the way she'd licked him and bit him moments ago – her kiss is all closed-lips and chaste. It turns him on more'n everythin' else she's done so far.

One 'a his hands moves to cup the back of her head, threadin' through her hair and pullin' her down tighter against him. He opens his mouth slightly and runs the tip 'a his tongue along the seam 'a her lips, growling when she parts them slightly. Her teeth are small and sleek and perfect against his tongue, the interior of her mouth sweet, despite the fact he knows she ain't brushed her teeth since yesterday. Her tongue touches his tentatively, before she sinks against him in complete compliance and moans.

His heart is poundin' somethin' fierce and the rhythm of it sets his hips to rockin' up against her. The hand left on her thigh slides to her waist and grips it, guidin' her movements as she begins undulatin' against him.

His body is a torch burnin', his blood is molten lava in his veins and each whimper and moan he wrings from Crazy's lips brings him that much closer to eruptin'. She's still fully clothed and he's still got his pants on, but he don't remember ever havin' better sex in his life and he ain't even in her yet.

He pulls her down for another kiss, his tongue sweepin' the inside 'a her mouth 'afore tanglin' with her own. It's been years since he kissed anyone like this, and he wonders in a daze if the reason he stopped was because it was always this good.

His mind is spinnin' and he's so ready for her it ain't even remotely funny. He wants to taste every last inch 'a her, working from her lips on down. He wants to remove the dress she is wearing, sliding it off 'a her shoulders as he kisses every new inch of flesh revealed. He wants to slide himself between her thighs and enter the heat he knows is inside her. He doesn't want to leave this bed before taking her as many ways as he can think on.

"Jayne-bird," she moans inta his ear when he releases her lips to taste her neck. His hands have moved to her back, where they are wrestlin' with the zipper. "Show her what to do. Make her belong to you."

But he knows he can't do none of it the minute he hears her speak.

The feel 'a her against him; the taste 'a her skin, ain't fried enough brain cells yet. With a sigh, he pulls away from her neck and drops his hands to her waist, stillin' her frantic movements against him.

"Crazy-girl, this ain't the time or the place," he growls. "We can't do this."

"She thinks her bed is the perfect place," his girl responds, trying to lift her head so she can kiss him again. When she realizes he ain't gonna let her, she flicks her tongue out and licks the chord of his neck.

"Soon, bao-bei. It's killin' me to stop here – I want you so bad I can taste it. But we can't do this right now. Not after what happened last night. I ain't ever kissed ya 'afore this morning. I don't plan on getting' right to the sexin' ya up…"

"But you said she was yours." He can barely hear her, she murmurs so softly against him. "She needs to be yours. Only Jayne can make her a real girl. I've wished upon a star and the blue fairy told her you could cut her strings."

She sounds like she's gonna start cryin' again. Jayne shifts carefully, pullin' her up his torso so she's not positioned so intimately against him. His body is still urgin' him onward and the feel of him pressin' directly against the apex 'a her thighs ain't helpin' matters none.

"This here ain't no fairy-tale," the big Merc grits out. "You already are a real girl and ya don't need anyone to prove it to ya. Not me, not no one. And we don't need to do this yet for ya to belong to me. You're my Crazy-girl, I done tol' ya so last night and I meant it. I don't want the first time we're together ta be overshadowed by memories of your pissant Pa, dong ma?"

"But you're her anchor," River protests. "She must tie herself to you – she needs something to show her she belongs. If she had you, physically, it would calm her fears."

Jayne groans, "You are killin' me here, little girl. Quit talkin' bout havin' ya all physical-like – it ain't helpin' my resolve none. I ain't gonna take advantage of this situation because it would be wrong for us. I ain't…I ain't gonna desert ya, like your Pa done. We fit, remember? Ain't a whole lot 'a people who do fit with me, and none 'a them are you."

"How will others know she is taken if she is not taken?" River questions.

"Because I'll tell 'em and you'll tell 'em. And…I got ya somethin'. Was gonna give it to ya last night, but we never did get ta eat desert on accounta your Pa showin' up and then you was too upset when we got back."

Mention of a gift distracts her somewhat. She looks up at him and smiles through her watery eyes. "You got her a gift?"

"Yeah," Jayne grunts. "It's in the pocket 'a this damn coat. Hold on." Holdin' her steady, he shifts so that he's sittin' up again and slides his arms outta the jacket he still has on. The unbuttoned shirt comes off with it and he bites back the immediate urge to kiss her again when she sighs and runs her hands across his chest again.

River watches as he retrieves a small leather pouch and gently unties the chord around it. He feels strangely self-conscious as he reaches inta the bag and retrieves the beach glass ring his Ma had sent.

"This was my Ma's ring," Jayne says quietly. "My Pa made it for her when they first started seeing each other. See? It's made with bits a wirin' and beach glass. A couple 'a the beads is cracked, but it catches the light real purty. It'd be wrong to replace 'em anyway, just 'cause they ain't whole no more. There are a lot 'a things in the 'verse that are broken, but that don't mean they should be thrown away."

He holds the ring out to her and River reaches for it reverently. "It's a symbol, like Book's book," she sighs. "Only, this one makes sense to her."

"I got ya a chain for it, so ya can wear it around your neck. Or, if'n ya want, you can wear it on your finger." He don't realize how hopeful he sounds until he says this. Crazy-girl slides the ring unto her finger.

"It fits her perfectly, like it should."

"Sure looks mighty fine on your hand."

"It shows the world she belongs to someone."

"A big someone, who wants the world to know she's his."

She beams at him and leans inta him again, pressing a kiss against his chest just over his heart. "She still wants him naked though."

"Gorram, bao-bei," he grins, kissin' the top 'a her head, "He wants ya naked too."

"As you can see, I am alive and well and with River. I don't feel there is anything else we need to discuss." Simon's voice is cold as he stands stiffly in front of the WAVE screen. From his position behind the younger man and to the left, Jayne can see Tam Sr. frown.

"I want to know when you are coming home. Your mother and I both feel that since you are no longer wanted fugitives, there's no reason you can't return. You could take up your position at the hospital again - they always spoke very highly off you there - and River can go to a different school, if she doesn't want to go back to the Academy."

"I'm perfectly happy right where I am, thank you. I have no interest in returning to Osiris."

Tam Sr. frowns. "Don't be stupid, Simon. You've got your whole life ahead of you. You've had your fun – sown your wild oats, been on your adventure. But now it is time to face up to your responsibilities and become an adult."

Jayne grunts at that, and moves a little closer to Doc. He smirks when Pa Tam's eyes widen slightly, as if he's only noticin' the big man for the first time.

"Have you even listened to anything I've said," Simon replies angrily. "River doesn't want to go back. I don't want to go back. We're happy here and we're safe here and she doesn't want to go to a new school. The Alliance doesn't seem to have the type of education she's looking for. Do you know what they were doing to her? She was a human guinea pig, for God's sake."

"I'm sure she's just exaggerating," Tam Sr. responds icily. "She could always get you to believe anything she told you."

"I saw the scans, father. I read the files. I know what they did to her – and you know it too, only you won't admit it. Besides, if I recall correctly, you disowned us. When River needed you most – when I needed you most – you turned your back and said if I did what I was planning, you no longer had a son. I'm going to hold you to that. I'm not your son anymore."

"What did you want me to do? Help you break the law? Put yourself in our shoes for just a moment. Can you imagine how we felt when you stole our daughter from the academy she was at and became a wanted criminal? We had Alliance officers at our door, questioning us and looking for you and we couldn't tell them anything. Your mother is still suffering from the stress of it all."

"At least they didn't cut into her brain-pan," Jayne mutters from behind Simon.

"Mother will get over it," Doc snorts. "After all, Gaia has the best therepuetical spas in all the 'verse. That's why you were there, isn't it – to get away from Osiris, where everyone would know you were the parents of wanted fugitives? You chose your superficial friends and your superficial life over that of your children two years ago. You don't get to take it back now."

"I'm your father, gorramit!"

"No. I don't have a father anymore."

"Simon, think for a minute. You are a skilled surgeon - you don't want to waste your talents as a general practitioner at the back end of beyond, dealing with in-breds and mercenaries the rest of your life.

"I will work where I choose," Simon responds calmly. "And, speaking of mercenaries – you remember Jayne don't you?"

When Doc says his name, Jayne glowers and steps even closer, heftin' Vera up on his shoulder as he smirks at the man. "How's your wrist, Tam?"

The older man steps back from the WAVE slightly, as if the big Merc could somehow reach through it and grab him.

"He doesn't take too kindly to anyone hurting River and he thinks you've hurt her an awful lot," Simon offers steadily. "He'll hurt you even more, if you try to do anything to get us back to Osiris."

"Who is he?" Tam questions icily. "Why was he with River last night?"

"Because River is my girl, you piece 'a shit. I promised her I would never let anyone hurt her ever again, and I aim to keep that promise. Like I done tol' ya last night, she ain't yours no more."

"You gave your sister to this big ape?" Tam is aghast. "Is that how you've managed to survive while you were a fugitive – by pimping out your sister?"

Jayne growls angrily, "My girl ain't a whore, ya xi-niu hun dan."

"You're really pathetic," Doc adds. "Don't WAVE us ever again; don't come looking for us – this is our home now. You're just someone I used to think I knew."

Jayne is lifting weights in the cargo bay when his girl finds him. The gold chain is around her slim neck and the ring glitters prettily on her finger. She hasn't left him alone for more 'n twenty-minutes at a time. It's almost as if she wants to make sure he don't up and disappear in a poof 'a smoke or somethin'.

"Hey, little butterfly, I thought you was gonna go play with Kaylee?" he grunts, settlin' the weights back inta the cradle and sittin' up.

River shrugs, "Jayne-bird is not marked as hers yet. There is no symbol to keep you with her; nothing to anchor you to her reality."

"Her reality seems pretty mixed-up to me," Jayne replies, "don't know if it's a place the two 'a us should be. 'Sides, I don't need nothin' to know that you're mine."

"But she got you something anyway," River chirps happily.

The big Merc grins as his girl steps closer and slides inta his lap.

"Really? Ya got me a gift?"

"She did," Crazy nods gravely, opening her hand. "It's a symbol too."

Lying square in the middle 'a her palm two trigger guards which have somehow been welded together and smoothed down so's that they look like almost like a circle. Jayne picks it up gingerly and stares at it.

"Huh," he states after River looks at him expectantly. "It's nice?"

She rolls her eyes at him and plucks it from his hand. "It's gun parts that became a ring to become a symbol," she explains. "Jayne-bird must wear it to show her claim."

He looks at the welded metal she is holdin' dubiously. "I don't think it will fit."

"It will fit," River replies, slidin' it onto his ring finger. "She's good at design and knows the size of her Jayne-birds finger."

She smiles when this mission is accomplished, before snugglin' inta his lap and admirin' both 'a their rings, before askin', "Now, when can we get to the naked bits?"


Wo de ma – mother of God
xi-niu hun dan – cow-sucking bastard