"Awkward Situations - Part 1"

Series: Fluffy Pink Things

By LadyCleo

As always thanks to my wonderful betas!

Part of the BOUND lifetimes; the third encounter between Colonel Jayne and Prima Ballerina River.

"Broccoli!"

Picking up the bundle of green, River dropped it into the plastic bag and tied the end off. Tossing the item into her shopping cart, the Ballerina glanced over her list, guiding the shopping cart around the corner as she shook her ponytail over a shoulder. Glancing causally down the aisle River pulled to an abrupt halt, eyes going wide in panic she quickly retreated back around the corner.

"Of all the supermarkets-" Glancing down over her attire the Ballerina quickly straightened the yellow blouse and brushed her jeans off. Glancing around she spotted the line of cash registers and debated making a mad dash for the doors, she was positive that a box of Chinese take out would taste just as good-

"Morning Miss Tam."

Inwardly cursing, the Ballerina slowly turned away from her shopping cart and beamed up at the Colonel. He stood staring down at her with that same infuriating grin, a bundle of bread tucked under one arm and a pound of coffee under the other. He looked somehow odd and awkward out of uniform, but very comfortable at the same time.

Nervously clearing her throat River shifted from one foot to the other, "Good morning Colonel Jayne."

"Ain't seen you 'round this neck of the woods before!" He smiled brightly down at her, a hint of glee dancing through his eyes as he watched her squirm.

"Coincidence I suppose!" The Ballerina shrugged and looked down at her toes for a second, "Did you run out of the essential this morning? Or can I suppose that you live solely on bread and coffee?"

Jayne chuckled lightly, glancing down at the two packages, "Don't ya know a great chef when ya see one? I can take these here items and turn 'em into a crème bruh-la or something!"

The Ballerina snorted as she held back the laugh, "Crème Brûlée? Really? Well that's something I must see!"

"Now, that's something I could probably arrange, Miss Tam!" Jayne answered, giving her a cocky smile as he winked down at her.

"Mike!" Jayne spun around as the unfamiliar voice called out. A striking blond haired, brown eyed woman rounded the corner pushing a shopping cart that contained not only food, but a brown haired, blue eyed child that looked remarkable similar to the man standing at River's side. "Mike, I can't find Mitch! He's wandered off again, you know how he gets in big cities, he's bound to be lost out on the streets by now."

Defiantly not related by blood, wedding ring, kid, familiar smile directed towards Jayne, first name basis! River fought a hard battle to keep the frown off her lips. He was married! The damn asshole was married!

"He's a big boy; he can take care of himself, Suzy!" Turning back around to River, Jayne took her hand pulling her forward into the view of the other woman. "This here is the Ballerina I was talking about, Miss River Tam; I'd like ya to meet-"

Who the hell did he think he was? Flirting around when he had a wife and kid waiting home-

"—my sister-in-law, Susanna Jayne. She and my brother, that'd be Mitch, are visiting for this weekend with their package of brats!"

Susanna's face lit up eagerly, "You don't say! Mike here was just talking about you the other day." Turning away the other woman glancing around in search of something, "My little girl Becky is just in love with the idea of you. She's got a hankering to become a ballerina when she grows up. She's round here somewhere with her father!" Turning back to the pair, Susanna smiled brightly, "My though, aren't you pretty! Jayne sure did you justice when he was describing you the other night!"

A blush hued River's cheeks, "Thank you." Clearing her throat, the Ballerina made sure to keep her eyes off the towering man at her side, "If you like I could arrange for you and your daughter to come see a performance this weekend and meet some of the cast. That is, if you have time."

If it was possible Susanna's face lit up even more. "Oh, she'd just be so tickled if you could do that, if it ain't any trouble, that is. The boys are going to a night game on Sunday, so it'd be nice for Becky and I ta not have to go!"

"No problem at all. My father keeps a box that he seldom uses, so I'm sure he'd be more than willing to ensure that it's put to use!"

"I don't know how'd I ever thank you, Miss Tam. Becky's just gonna be so tickled! I'd better go find them now, 'fore Mitch ends up on the other side of town!" Turning the older woman paused, abruptly turning back around she looked up at her brother-in-law, "I know Mike, why don't we invite her to the barbeque on Saturday." Missing the panic stricken shake of the head her brother-in-law sent her, Susanna turned back to River. "It's just gonna be a small family and friends thing. Why don't you come along? The Jayne boys are wonderful cooks; it's not a meal to be missed! Why don't you bring your boyfriend or family, I'm sure it's gonna be a great little shindig!"

"Suzy, I'm sure Miss Tam-"

"Actually I think I have-"

The two stuttering figures paused, both realizing what the other was saying as they turned to exchanges glances. "Actually I would be delighted to come!" River finally answered breaking the uncomfortable silence that had settled over the group.

"Good!" Susanna beamed, reaching down into her purse she pulled out a small piece of paper and pen, quickly scrawling out the address, and handing it to the petite Ballerina. "Things should start happening 'round six, we'd be glad to see ya there!" Smiling triumphantly the woman turned away and disappeared down an isle.

Jayne cleared his throat and turned to the Ballerina, shifting uncomfortably, "No hard feeling's if you decide you've got better things to do-"

Her spine stiffening with resolve, River stared back at the Colonel with unflinching tenacity, "There's nothing I'd rather be doing!" Turning on her heels, the Ballerina grabbed her cart and pushed away from the silent man. "I'll see you on Saturday, Colonel!"