Jayne remembered the first time he'd seen 'er—all fresh-faced an' excited. She looked like she'd been raised off of corn bread an' cream. Like she'd never even seen a Firefly, none less been inside've one's belly.
She weren't one've them cool companions who cost a fortune to have 'em be chilly at ya. Weren't one've them cheap, dirt-side whores either.
Not that there was somethin' wrong with cheap, dirt-side whores.
But Kaylee was a Woman. Jayne capitalized it in his head when he thought of it. Woman. All curvy an' soft.
He'd wanted to pin 'er down when he'd first seen 'er. Lick 'er all over an' make 'er shiver.
But when she'd first come on, she'd only had eyes for one thing. Serenity.
She spent every second in that engine room, tinkerin' an' cooin' an' settin' things right after that gorram Bester idjit had mucked it all up. Sometimes he'd stick his head in. Ask her if she wanted help. Really he just wanted to see her layin' on her back under the engine.
Nice to have a visual at night.
After she'd fixed the boat up enough to suit her, there had been a few times that he'd caught her lookin' at 'im. A few times he'd let her see him lookin' at her.
There was one time… God… it was burned on Jayne's brain, he conjured it up so often. There was one time when him an' Kaylee was paintin' the kitchen. She'd picked up a bunch of buckets of yella paint somewhere. Decided it was perfect fer the kitchen.
He'd offered ta help. When there weren't no jobs bein' done, he didn't have much to do. Plus he liked bein' around her. So they was paintin'. Makin' small talk about growin' up an' such. Kaylee picked up a bucket of paint an' it slopped all over 'er front. She'd set the can down an' whipped her shirt off 'fore she even thought about it.
She weren't wearin' nothin' underneath. Seemed ta realize that when she'd seen where Jayne was lookin'. Jayne knew fer certain she'd let him have an eyeful before she'd wrapped a kitchen towel around herself.
Quite a Woman.
Jayne wanted her. Real bad. But he din't want ta start nothin' too messy. Close quarters in Serenity. Could end up good. Could end up bad. Could end up spaced.
Weren't no doubt in his mind that Mal preferred Kaylee to him. If things went wrong, it'd be Jayne's fault.
Yeah. Too messy.
He didn't want Kaylee ta be a conquest, anyway. Jayne Cobb was no romantic. In an' out. Maybe more than once—maybe even a regular thing—but nothin' else. He didn't know how to handle women outside the bedroom. Or whatever make-shift bedroom they was usin'.
Somethin' in the back of his head told 'im Kaylee deserved more than a regularly scheduled poking.
But gorram. Somethin' else was just tellin' him that he wanted her.
After the yellow paint thing, he'd been hopin' that she'd start to warm up to him more. Maybe spill more paint. Maybe… show up in his room covered in naught but engine grease.
If she'd started somethin', he'da been rude to've said no.
And then the gorram doc had shown up. Taken that little flame that Jayne had tryin' to fan in Kaylee and taken a leak all over it.
It really got under his skin how the doc got ta touch Kaylee. How he'd gotten to be the hero after she'd been shot in the belly, even though it was his gorram fault she was.
How she looked at him all the time. And how when she looked at Jayne it was like she didn't really see him. She saw the doc talkin' in a Jayne voice.
Made 'im mad, the way Kaylee mooned after the doc. The way the doc didn't even seem to notice.
It got worse when the doc did notice. When Jayne would see them walkin' somewhere and could tell that the doc was figurin' things out.
It was torture livin' in the same boat as Kaylee. Worse to be livin' with both of 'em. An' now that the doc had finally grown the rocks to do somethin' about Kaylee's moonin…
Jayne was in Hell.