Disclaimers: Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon own it all.
Reviews: Feedback very welcomed and appreciated
This takes place about 6 months after Serenity. I like the idea of a gentler Jayne this time out, let me know if you like him too
Rated for language and sexual situations
Last chapter and total fluff, hope you like it :)
He'd given River the ring during their first evening back on Serenity. She was getting ready for bed when he came up behind her, place a light kiss on her neck. "I got a little somthin' for ya sweetheart."
With a knowing smile she turned in his arms. "Mmmm…" She rubbed against him with a giggle. "Not so small." Her hand sliding into his pants.
Jayne gave a deep laugh. "Well, that's for later." He took her hand and placed the ring on her finger. "This is for now. Can't have you showin' up for the weddin' without an engagement ring, now can we?"
Her eyes opened wide and she gave a squeal of delight. "Jayne! Oh…it's so beautiful, I never…Jayne." She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him deeply.
"You like it?" He sounded like a little boy and River's heart melted even more.
"I love it."
He gave her a small smirk. "Okay then, now onto that other little somethin' I got for ya."
Jayne's mother ran out to meet her son and his wife to be. "Why Janie, she's the sweetest thing I ever saw. How did you get her to take you on as a husband?" She teased her oldest son.
"River girl, this here's my ma, Vera." Jayne rolled his eyes at his mother and continued the introductions. "And ma, this here's Malcolm, the captain. Inara, Zoe, little Kaylee and River's brother, Simon."
"Pleasure to meet you all." The petit woman opened her arms to all. "Please come on in and rest a spell."
Mal smiled at the greeting. "Thank you Mrs. Cobb…"
"Now, now none of that. I'm known by Vera to all." She took River's hand. "Except you sweet girl, you can call me Ma."
Swaying towards the warm energy of the woman, River nodded. "Yes, only seems right. Ma."
Vera smiled. "Oh darlin' I got something I need to show you." She led the whole group into her kitchen and pointed towards the coffee pot and the pitcher of lemonade. "Take your pleasure, I need to take my new daughter upstairs."
"Aw Ma, can't you relax just for second? We jus' got here." Jayne moaned. He was used to his mother's hummingbird qualities, but the others weren't.
"Now Jayne, you've had River all to yourself. Time to share her with her new family." Mal smiled and turned to Simon. "Ain't that right Simon?"
"Ah yes, umm, I suppose, as long as River…." He was still a bit over protective and Jayne rolled his eyes at River.
River smiled as her worrisome brother, "I'll be fine Simon." She leaned over, kissed Jayne and whispered. "We'll just be upstairs, please take care of Simon."
Vera Cobb took hold of River's hand and took her up to her girl's old room. "The girl's have been gone for a couple of years now, but I just can't seem to get rid of their things. Same with my Janie's room. Oh well, an old woman's memories." She opened the closet door and pulled out a large garment bag. Once unzipped River could see it held a wedding dress.
"I was hoping you might want to wear it honey. My girls, well they had a mind of their own when they got hitch, all modern, new fangled designs." Mrs. Cobb fingered the lace and satin dress. "Had me a whole bushel of dreams built on this dress and it worked right proper for the Mr. and me."
River had approached the dress, laying a reverent hand upon it. "Oh yes, so many dreams and hopes." She turned to her soon to be mother-in-law. "And so much love. Yes please, I would be honored to wear this. And someday I am sure our daughter will wear it as well. I must explain to Inara, she purchased a new dress for me, but I know she will understand the tradition of this." She took the dress off the hook. "I don't know if it will fit though."
Vera Cobb smiled. "Oh sweetheart, that's why I got my machine and needles ready. I can have this fitting you in no time."
Jayne was pacing. He knew this was this was the most important thing he'd ever done in his life, taking River as his wife, but his nerves were getting' the best of him. River was letting him take her as his wife. River, his River. She accepted him with all his flaws. Loved him anyway. He stopped and looked in the mirror. Was he worthy? The knock at the door shook him out of his reverie. He opened the door to Mal.
"Hey Mal." Jayne stood aside and let his captain enter the room.
Mal nodded and walked in. "So, are you ready?" The discomfort in his stance and voice put Jayne on edge.
"What is it Mal?" The big man crossed his arms.
"Hey, just a minute Jayne. I ain't here to cause problems. I mean, if Simon's ready to accept you two who am I to stand in the way." He sat on the edge of the bed and looked around. The room use to be Jayne's. Mal looked at the pictures the young Jayne had put up. Guns, for sure. But also photos of far away planets, of space ships. He shook his head. "Look, I…I just want to wish you luck. 'Course, you break the girls' heart you're lookin' at a world of pain."
Jayne grunted, a small smile playing at his lips. "Ain't no way that's gonna happen. Jeez Mal, the fact that she wants me? That's enough to keep me thankin' whatever gods may be for a pretty long time." He shrugged. "Alls I want to do is keep her safe and happy. I love her Mal. Never thought she could love me back. And after Miranda and all…well…" Jayne shrugged and turned back to the mirror, attempting for the umpteenth time to work his neck tie. "You any good at these things?"
"Yeah, come here." Mal stood and worked a quick knot.
"Thanks. So, is she ready?" Jayne asked.
"Probably. The girls and your ma have been fussin' over her for the past hour. Sent me up here to get ya."
"Hey Mal? Thanks for lettin' us stay on board and all." Jayne shifted uncomfortably.
"And what would I do without my merc and my pilot?" Mal lifted a brow to him.
"What now Jayne?" Mal was ready for the male bonding to come to an end.
"Well, just…know it ain't none of my never-mind, but you need to let Nara know how you…"
"You're right, ain't none of your never-mind…"
"You gotta let me get this out Mal. She never went back to whorin', umm I mean companionin', after Miranda. You was just bein' such a horse's ass she let you think she was. She loves you and…"
Mal shook his head at this bit of news. "That's just about enough Jayne. Get ready and come on down." He turned to leave.
"Mal, even if she didn't stop, what she was, well it was respectable 'n all. You knew what she was when she came on board and you fell for her anyway. She weren't no whore."
"See you downstairs Jayne. Better hurry, Simon's had a little bit too much of your uncle's hooch, don't know how much longer he's gonna be standing."
Zoe looked on as Jayne's mother put the finishing touches on her old wedding gown as Inara was finishing River's hair. Kaylee was zipping up the back of her new dress, she looked almost as lovely as the bride, but not quite, just as it should be. She was feeling a bit misty, Wash would've loved this. She past a hand over her eyes. A new life for River and Jayne, time for me to move on as well, she thought. Wash would be so upset at her, the mourning should be over. There would never be another man for her, not like that. But maybe somebody, who could say? She just knew needed to start living a life again.
River looked over at the warrior woman and nodded as she ran a hand over the dress. "Life does move on, it's inevitable. It is never static, it continues to grow and mutate." She looked down at her future mother-in-law. "I love this dress, thank you for allowing me to wear it."
Inara sighed at the picture of unadulterated bliss River painted. "You are so very happy aren't you mei mei?" She smoothed the satin skirt that hung off the young girl's hips making her look like a story book princess from earth-that-was.
"Oh yes Inara. I never hoped to dream I would have a day like today. I know no one, with the possible exception of Kaylee, understands how Jayne and I make sense. But we do, and we will for a very long time. I see a very long life with him Inara. A very long, intense, exciting life." There was a knock on the door and Inara turned to open it.
"So, is the blushing bride ready to be walked down the aisle?" Mal looked deeply into Inara's eyes as he spoke to River.
"Most certainly captain. I'll meet you downstairs, I think Jayne is already outside so he won't see me before the ceremony. We wouldn't want to tempt the fates by ignoring old superstitions. Mrs. Cobb would be very unhappy."
Once River left the room, Mal turned to Inara. "Well Nara, seems we have all sorts of folks thinkin' we should sit a spell and do some ruminatin' on what we mean to each other." He shifted a little closer to the companion.
Inara back away from him a few steps, causing a small smile on the captain's lips.
"Mal, I think we have done enough rumination for a life time." She shook her head, trying to displace the tears she felt forming. "River is waiting to be married, I don't think you should keep her waiting any longer than necessary." She tried to walk past him but his hand snaked out and captured her by the waist.
"Woman, I've spent the past year tryin' to forget you. Tryin' to make myself believe that you never meant a thing to me and I'm done tryin. Nara, do you love me?" Mal turned the stunned woman to face him.
"Mal…I don't know where all this bravado is coming from. This is hardly the time…"
"Woman! Answer the question. If you say no, well then, there's nothing left to say and I'll never say another word about this here declaration. But if you feel the same way I do, if you do love me…" Mal shrugged.
Inara let out a shaky breath. "You love me?"
"Always have, just too stubborn and prideful to admit to it. Provincial, ain't that what you called me? Looked it up and I suppose you're right. I ain't sophisticated Nara, can't compare to all those folks from the core, but I'll do what I can to make you happy if you care to give me another chance." He held his breath.
She blinked a few times, unsure if what she heard was real. "Are you sure Malcolm? I'm the same women who left your boat all that time ago."
"I surely hope so since that's the woman I fell in love with." He smiled that smile that made her heart jump.
Licking her lips, Nara nodded. "Alright, after the ceremony we'll sit and ruminate."
"Say it Nara, then I'll walk the little lady to her husband." Mal pulled her a little closer.
She smiled up at him. "I love you Malcolm Reynolds. As much as I've tried to push you from my thoughts, you show up there everyday when I wake and every night when I go to bed."
"Hmm, every night when you go to bed? I like the sound of that." He smirked.
"Oh, just tame that ego a little bit and take River where she needs to be." Inara pushed at his chest. Mal chuckled and leaned down to place a soft kiss on her lips.
"After the ceremony…"
"Yes Mal, after the ceremony." Inara smoothed her hand over his cheek.
River sighed contentedly in her husbands arms. "I didn't think I could feel any happier with this ring on my finger, but I am ecstatic." She rolled over and landed on Jayne, her hands rubbing his stomach.
"Girlie, you'd bes' be stoppin' that iffn you want to ever get up from this bed." They had been on Persephone for week long honeymoon and were scheduled to meet Serenity in a few hours.
She giggled. "We can always shift the honeymoon to your bunk."
"Our bunk. And I'm happy too baby girl. Happier than a man like me deserves." He pulled her up and nuzzled her neck. "So, you really like bein' Mrs. Cobb, do ya?"
"I love it. Your ma made me promise to wave her the minute I get in the family way. I think she has hopes I would become pregnant during our week on Persephone."
"Umm, could that happen, I thought you was usin' protection?" He rolled them over so River was beneath him, his leg gently pushing her legs apart. River hissed as Jayne slid into her.
She giggled inwardly at her husbands torn emotions. "Not the most ideal time for fertilization. Next week will be. We could try then…" She was becoming distracted by her husband's movements.
"Umm, we'll talk about it next week." Jayne lost all cohesive thought. "Oh baby, you're so good." He nuzzled her neck as he continued to make love to his wife.
"Mmmm, we're good. Right and good." She groaned.