A/N- Written for the 30shinyfics livejournal prompt challenge. Jayne/ River is my challenge and this is Prompt Table 4-

1 Tough as Steel.

Vera was the sleekest, sexiest most deadly weapon that Jayne Cobb owned. He'd craved her from the first second that he'd laid eyes on her and it had been worth every single one of the six dead mercs that it took to get her into his hands.

Because Jayne was a man who appreciated his weapons and, more than that, Jayne Cobb loved steel.

He loved the cool strength and power hidden within. He loved the flawless simplicity of the design and the double-cartridge though gauge. He adored the elegance of the shaft, the delicate precision of the sight, the soft curve of the trigger and the powerful energy trapped in the pistons.

To his way of thinking guns were better than people, as long as you treated them right, made sure they were well loved and kept them well stocked—well, you had a gun for life. Also they weren't as damn fragile as folk.

Jayne loved weapons, loved guns; loved to touch them, to run his fingers over the sleek steel and feel the strength; but Vera was his favourite, she was the toughest.

That was until he'd seen what the feng le little girl did to the Reavers.

Reavers were a personal nightmare of his, ever since Billy Loham back home had told him that camp fire story and scared the gos se out of everyone on the trip. He'd been petrified at the thought of sailing even remotely near their space, let alone fighting them.

Even Vera hadn't been much use against their superior numbers and strength, even though he'd held her like a life-line whilst the hoards assembled in the streets.

Then the doc's crazy sister had thrown herself through the doors and into their hands. The medical bag to save their lives had been tossed through and the doors un-jammed and closed on her frantically reaching hands.

No matter what differences Jayne had had with the girl, it was all eradicated in that moment and her bravery, loyalty and courage garnered respect, admiration and regret for a friendship that might have been. He'd steeled himself to listen to the screams that came from behind the solid bulkhead doors.

He had seen what the girl had done in the Maidenhead and knew she was all kinds of tough, but these were Reavers and no one was that tough.

Except she was.

When those doors slid open he'd expected to be inundated with bloodthirsty Reavers, all wearing River-suits, and he'd tightened his grip on Vera's trigger, ready to shoot.

He'd saved enough bullets for each of them.

But instead of his gruesome demise he'd seen her—Lady Death, a pile of bodies at her feet and blood dripping from two Reavers blades.

Steel blades.

But they were just tools. The real weapon held herself tall and proud, her fingers tightening on the blades with cool strength, flawless simplicity in her posture, elegance in her stance, delicate precision her gaze, her soft curves hiding the raw power she possessed in a body as slight as a whisper but as tough as steel.

And Jayne loved steel.