Title: SKIN
Author: Michmak
Rating: PG-13
Characters: Jayne, Simon, River
Pairings: Jayne/River
Disclaimers: Don't own 'a one 'a them. Dagnabbit.

Summary: Little minx is makin' it harder and harder for him ta hold ta his convictions though. She don't think the same rules he's followin' hafta apply ta her and the feel of her cold hands against his bare flesh turn him on ten different ways.

A/N: okay – betaed version not yet received due to frakking email server problems AGAIN. What a waste of $100 to get this computer purged, 'cause it didn't fix the problem. I will make corrections, etc. later, once I actually receive 'em from the fabu bugchicklv

This follows Symbols, which follows everything else. Symbols can be found here or at and at my new livejournal (pimp!) writwritewrote

Feed me, Seymour.


"She likes it when you do that," River moans. Jayne is lightly strokin' her breasts through the thin fabric of her t-shirt with one hand. The other is holdin' her firmly against him so that her back is tight against his chest and that delectable ass 'a hers is right where he wants it.

They've been sleepin' together for almost a week now, either in her bunk or his, and he's become quite adept at makin' her moan – with her clothes on. So far, all his touchin' has been over material only. He might be dyin' ta actually touch her naked skin but he ain't done it yet and he don't plan on it until he's sure she's ready.

Little minx is makin' it harder and harder for him ta hold ta his convictions though. She don't think the same rules he's followin' hafta apply ta her and the feel of her cold hands against his bare flesh turn him on ten different ways.

Doc was pretty acceptin' of the new sleepin' arrangements when he realized that first night Jayne had spent with River hadn't been just an aberration. 'A course, things are different now. Jayne ain't sleepin' in any suits, just a t-shirt and a pair of pajama bottoms, and his Crazy-girl ain't fallin' asleep on him after spendin' a couple 'a hours cryin' in his arms 'afore hand.

Things was goin' purt'near perfect in Jayne's estimation. He got his girl, he got his guns and he got a good job on a good boat with good people and run 'a the kitchen. The only thing that would make things perfect is actually gettin'' ta touch his little butterfly naked and he thinks it will happen soon 'nough.

Doc had actually taken him aside after Jayne's second night in River's bunk and asked him if he had thought about what type a birth control he and his girl oughta be usin'. The younger man had barely managed ta choke out the words, he was so embarrassed and uncomfortable. Jayne had laughed so hard at him he just about bust a gut, before he slapped Simon on the back and reassured him, 'When it's somethin' I have ta be concerned about, I'll let ya know.'

Doc had grinned sheepishly at that, "I thought…when you spent the night with her…I was thinking…"

"I gotcha," Jayne had butt in, still grinnin' at the befuddled look on Simon's face. "You was thinkin' I'd forgotten what ya said ta me about takin' it slow and her bein' young and all. Well, I ain't forgot, Doc. I'm gonna take good care 'a her and one 'a these days I just might ask ya what type 'a birth control ya recommend. That day ain't today, however, so ya can take your dirty mind and go be relieved about it with Kaylee."

All in all, Jayne thought Doc was handlin' things purt'well. He knew if'n it'd been one 'a his sisters beddin' down with a man like him, he wouldn't 'a been so acceptin' 'a it. If'n Simon had tried ta punch him in the face, Jayne woulda understood and wouldn't'a even hit him back – at least, not hard enough ta really hurt him.

He remembered how prissy the Doc had been when he first stepped foot on Serenity, two years ago. He'd changed a lot since – grown more understandin' 'a the way things worked out here in the black. He weren't so straight-laced no more and he was way more open-minded. Doc was the kinda man Jayne would want ta have on his side now, where before he couldn't'a cared less.

And River – well, din't take no reader ta figure out she'd changed too. He remembered the first time he'd seen her, all pink and naked and scared, emergin' from that Cryo-tank. He remembered the countless months of just plain crazy-talk and screamin' and numerous emotional breakdowns. He remembered how much he had told himself he wanted her off 'a the ship.

He weren't proud 'a himself when he thought on how he'd treated her or the Doc back then. He'd forgotten some 'a the most basic things his Ma had taught him – respect, compassion, understandin'… He figured he'd become so used ta bein' the mean-ass mercenary he'd forgotten what it was like ta be human. Simon had called him a 'man-ape-gone-wrong-thing' once. Jayne had ta admit, the description had been a good one. He mightn't 'a thought so the first time he heard Kaylee laughin' about it with Wash, but it din't bother him none now. He had changed just as much as the Doc had.

'Afore, flyin' with Serenity had been nothin' more'n a job ta him. He din't want ta form no attachments ta any 'a the crew because he din't think he'd stick around long. 'Sides, he din't really trust that someone, somewhere, weren't tryin' ta set him up some how. Good jobs with decent folk on semi-respectable ships weren't somethin' that Jayne was used ta. He had decided right at the start he weren't gonna get too attached ta it, so that he wouldn't be too disappointed when they kicked him out or turned on him.

He hadn't expected he'd ever actually start likin' any 'a the crew. But he had. Was too hard not ta, truth be told. They all reminded him 'a the people back home – good salt-a-the-earth people, who'd been kicked around by the 'verse just as much as he had. Everyone 'ceptin' Inara 'a course, and he still suspected there was some dark mysteries in her past she just weren't sharin'.

After the Tams had shown up, things had changed somewhat. He thought the Doc was always lookin' down on them and the fact that he and his sister were fugitives just made him more distrustful than normal. He din't want no one on the crew ta be hurt on accounta no 'fugees – 'specially no Core-raised aristocrats that wouldn't'a a pissed on him if'n he were on fire.

He din't really start figurin' out what they was goin' through until that hospital heist in Ariel, the one where he'd almost gotten them all captured by the Alliance. He'd already begun noticin' how Simon cared for his sister with steadfast devotion and how River – when she weren't screamin' or cryin' or mumblin' all crazy-like – had the ability ta make everyone else smile. He tried ta ignore how Doc always made sure ta look after everyone that went inta his infirmary for anythin' – whether it was for a shot or a bandage or a weave – regardless of whether he actually liked that person or not. He'd always treated Jayne with the utmost professionalism, even though they both sorta hated each other at the time.

When he had finally seen that picture of River's brain and Simon explained ta him what had been done ta her, that's when Jayne really started understandin' what the Tams were all about. The guilt at what he'd almost done ta them had eaten at him for months afterwards. And along with that guilt had been a strange sorta protectiveness. River had been hurt bad by people who were supposed ta protect her and Simon had given up everythin' he was comfortable with ta save her – Jayne had ta admire them. They were both stronger than he had originally thought.

And then came Miranda. Jayne had already started thinkin' about River in ways not wholly appropriate before that whole episode had happened. He'd already been admirin' her graceful movements and supple ways and the way she seemed ta dance when she killed a man. But watchin' her fight in the Maidenhead had turned him on more'n he'd ever thought possible and the sheer force 'a the relief he had felt when he had realized she had defeated all 'a them Reavers…

So, yeah, he was a changed man. She was remindin' him 'a all the things he'd learnt at his Ma's knee. She and her brother both were showin' him that the milk 'a human kindness was still in him. He weren't the total reprobate he'd thought himself ta be. Din't mean he were a good man, but it din't mean he were a completely bad one, neither.

He thought he could live with the knowledge.

Crazy-girl is still wrigglin' against him, makin' his blood boil. He wants her so bad, worse'n he'd ever wanted anyone else in his whole life. She's drivin' him insane with it. He sometimes wonders if'n he shouldn't just give in and do what his body has been demandin' a him. He knows she's willin' – she's told him so a thousand times since they started sleepin' together. And if'n the heat in his pants is anythin' ta go on, he knows he's more'n willin' too.

But he doesn't want her just ta be willin', he wants her ta be ready. There's a big difference, in his mind.

He knows that she feels everythin'. Doc told him so hi'self at that hospital in Ariel and he's seen the proof of it too many times ta count. He can't begin ta imagine what it must be like for her, havin' everyone's feelin's and thoughts and responses batterin' at her brain-pan all 'a the time. He knows that she talks the way she does - never sayin' 'I feel this' or 'I want that'; always referrin' ta herself as she – 'cause it's the only way she can distance herself from the way these emotions overwhelm her. He knows this. Don't mean he accepts it though. He don't want her ta be scared 'a the things he makes her feel.

She's his little Crazy-girl and she done made his life somethin' more'n tolerable. He promised her he'd always protect her and that no one would ever hurt her again. He's given her everythin' he has and everythin' he is in the hopes that one day – soon – she'll do the same for him.

He wants her ta feel the emotions as much as he does, without disconnectin' from them. One day, he'll touch her or kiss her and she'll moan 'I like it when you do that.'

That's the day he'll finally touch her skin.

A/N Redux:

Under Your Skin – Tennison Chalee

I watch in adoration
Every little thing you do
The way your smile lights up the room
The easy way you move
And then you take my hand in yours
And then you pull me near
And in that crystal moment
My life becomes so clear

I wanna feel everything you feel
I wanna touch everything you touch
I wanna be everywhere you are
I wanna love everything you love
I wanna breathe every breath you take
Be a part of every move you make
Closer to your heart than anybody's been
Under your skin

I'm without hesitation
I give myself to you
Wrapped up in this emotion
So deep and so true

I wanna feel everything you feel
I wanna touch everything you touch
I wanna be everywhere you are
I wanna love everything you love
I wanna breathe every breath you take
Be a part of every move you make
Closer to your heart than anybody's been
Under your skin