Title: Hair Fetish
Author: babies stole my dingo (agilebrit)
Length: Short-short (999 words)
Disclaimer: Joss is the genius behind these characters; I am but a lowly follower. I make no money from any of this, so please don't sue me.
Feedback: Concrit adored! If you see something that can be improved upon, please let me know.
Written for: LJ Community FF Friday's "hair" challenge.
Notes: Post-BDM, another in my Jayne/Zoe series, post-"Cactus," post-"Weeds." Seeing as how the first thing that came to mind was Jayne's massive amount of (yummy) chest fur, the fact that anything else came out of this idea is a miracle.
Zoe liked to settle herself after a tense job by taking her gun apart on the kitchen table and cleaning the pieces of it one by one. The smooth symmetry of its gleaming parts, and the way they fitted back together just so, were a comfort to her the same way strawberries were a comfort to Kaylee.
This job had actually gone well, and they had coin in their pockets and cargo in the hold, but she still felt the need to de-stress. She sat at the head of the table; Jayne sat on her left, stripping and oiling his own weapon. She caught him looking at her a time or two, but he always jerked his eyes back to his work when she glanced up. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore.
He twitched, guiltily. "Nothin'." Then he cleared his throat. "Only...Nevermind."
"Spit it out, Jayne," she said with an impatient frown.
He said it all in a rush: "C'n I comb your hair?" His gaze was glued to his guns.
Were his ears turning red? She blinked a couple of times. Yes, yes, they were. Wouldn't do to laugh at him, so she controlled herself--with difficulty. "You want to comb my hair."
"Been wantin' to get my hands on it for a fair bit." He still wouldn't look at her. "I like your hair, Zo', and that's the truth. It's all..." He flexed his hands. "I just like it." His eyes flicked up to meet hers for the barest instant before dropping back to the table.
His gruff insecurity made her smile, a little wistfully. Nobody but her had touched her hair in quite some time. Might feel good to have someone else doing for her, even if it wasn't--
She stomped on that thought. Wash was gone, and not coming back. He would not have wanted her to be alone and miserable for the rest of her life, although she doubted very much that Jayne was the man he would have picked for her. Hell, Jayne wasn't the man she would have picked for herself, not really. But, then again, the big mercenary had revealed some hidden depths that no one would have believed possible.
The current situation being a case in point. Who would have thought that Jayne, of all people, would have a thing for women's hair? She turned the smile on him, tilting her head slightly. "All right, Jayne. We're about done here anyway, right?"
He put the last piece of his gun together and stood up. "Yup. Whyn't you sit over in the common room? I'll be right back." He practically ran in the direction of the bunks, while she moved over to the couch in the lounge area.
He didn't make her wait long. Holding a small, ornate, wooden box, he sat beside her and opened it with a ridiculously tiny key. He took out a wide-toothed comb and waited while she took her hair down and turned her back, shaking it loose and letting it fall past her shoulders.
He took a hank of it in his hand and ran the comb gently through the curls, then another, and another. She closed her eyes, relaxed, and gave in to the sensation of another person doing this for her. Oh, it felt phenomenal. And Jayne was good at it, too. She wondered who he practiced on. She'd figured he'd be kind of rough, yanking on the tangles he found, but he worked them out gently, never tugging too hard on her scalp.
All too soon, he completed his self-appointed task. His last action was to bunch up a handful of it and press it to his nose, breathing in its scent--and making her glad she'd washed it that morning. She turned around and faced him, a smile of genuine delight on her face. "Thank you, Jayne. That felt amazing."
He dropped his eyes and turned beet-red. "Just...thought you might like it, is all. The whores--" He snapped his mouth shut and reached for his box again, unlocking it and palming something from inside. "I, uh, found these in the marketplace, last time we was in Persephone. Made me think of you, so I, you know, bought 'em..."
He opened his hand to reveal a pair of honest-to-God hand-carved tortoiseshell decorative combs. She blinked. "Why, Jayne. They're absolutely lovely." He must have spent a good portion of his share of several takes on them. "Thank you."
"C'n I...?" He motioned at her hair.
No man should have been as expert as he was at putting them in, and he grinned when he finished. "They look even shinier than I thought they would. Your hair sets 'em off a treat, Zoe."
Far be it from her to be vain, but she just had to go look at herself in the mirror. She jumped to her feet. "I'll be right back," she promised.
In her bunk, she turned her head from side to side and admired Jayne's gift. Weren't often a man could surprise her, but Jayne Cobb had sure enough managed it this time. She had a sudden thought and grabbed one of her own combs from a drawer before returning to the common room.
His eyebrows like to have crawled all the way up his forehead when she told him what she had in mind. "Turnabout's fair play," she said firmly.
Mal stepped into the room, shouting for Zoe--but he stopped short when he saw the tableau before him. Zoe sat on the couch, with some new frippery stuck in her curls. Jayne's head was pillowed in her lap. What made Mal sputter for several seconds and then spin on his heel and leave as quickly as possible was the fact that his mercenary was shirtless, and his first mate was combing his chest hair.
Jayne didn't open his eyes. "What's his problem?"
Zoe's lips twitched as she held in a laugh. "I have no idea."