Coming to Their Senses

Title: Coming to Their Senses

Author: just slummin

Rating: M

Pairing: Mal/River

Timeline: Eight months post-BDM. Five months after the events in "Voices."

Disclaimer: I own none of these characters, but I can think of some interesting things to do with a couple of them.

Summary: Mal and River contemplate the nature of obsession.

Mal's Perspective

Maybe Jayne was right, Mal thought, leaning back against the bulkhead in his bunk. Maybe the woman was a witch. How else to explain the insatiable hunger he felt for her, a hunger that, instead of lessening over the past five months, was intensifying with every passing day.

He watched her legs disappear up the ladder to his bunk. Those lovely legs that danced through his ship every day, and parted so enthusiastically for him every night. Stifling a moan at the mental image, he got out of bed to start the day.

When she'd first come to him, he could tell she'd known nothing about the doings between a woman and a man, beyond a clinical knowledge. But, gorram if she wasn't the quickest learner he'd ever seen. By turns innocent and sultry, she confounded him somewhat, be he wasn't complaining about the results.

Shaving, he took a moment to really look at his reflection. He looked younger and better rested, he thought. How was this possible, since at least half his bunktime was spent pleasuring his pretty pilot? Witchery was the only answer he could fathom.

She had managed to slip into his psyche like smoke through a keyhole, quiet and lethal. And she'd found his weakness nearly from the start. Malcolm Reynolds loved to be touched. Because so much of the physical contact he had was of an extremely violent nature, the feel of her small, clever hands ghosting along his skin bewitched him completely.

And how had she found so quickly that spot, the one high up his right inner thigh? Her fingers sliding langorously up to that spot inflamed his desire instantly every time. Clay in her hands, he had no will to refuse her anything.

And the feel of her weight lying on top of him, her silky hair fanned out across his chest. Satin skin sliding across his abdomen, building a friction that ignited a fire deep in his belly. What mere man could resist that spell? He was lost to her touch.

Eating breakfast with the crew, he glanced up to see River's lips close over her spoon of oatmeal-flavored protein, and was caught again in the sense memory. The taste of those wicked lips, like ambrosia of the gods, lingered on his own. In their most intimate moments, before ecstasy prevented words, she'd place those lips gently behind his left ear, licking lightly the scar left by Niska's knife, and whisper words designed to send them both over the brink. After, caught in her own spell, she'd lie peaceful and calm beneath his gaze. He couldn't seem to get enough of the sight of her. Alabaster skin covering an assassin's body, fragile beauty in the form of a weapon. It was the most erotic thing he had ever seen.

Breaking away from his reverie, he realized that the crew was looking at him strangely.

"Everything shiny, Captain?" Kaylee asked to break the sudden silence.

Clearing his throat, he gave her his most Captainy look. "Better than fine, mei mei," he said. "Just thinkin' on the day." Clearing his plate, he added, "Best be getting' to it. There's work to be done."

As the crew dispersed, he caught River's eye for a moment. 'Yup, witchery,' he thought. 'No doubt about it.'

River's Perspective

As the Captain turned away to stride out of the galley, River pondered. She decided, as she did every morning, that Malcolm Reynolds was a reader. How else to explain the things he knew about pleasuring her? Starting her dish duty, she let her mind drift back over the past five months.

The first time she had lain with him, he had been a gentle and kind lover. Slow, velvet touches had allayed the slight fear she'd felt at being so vulnerable to a man. He had long since gained her trust, but he had set out that night to secure her physical comfort as well.

Though she'd never been kissed personally, she had felt the sensations accompanying that act from Wash and Zoe, and later from Simon and Kaylee. Those sensations had been nothing compared to the physical reality of Malcolm Reynolds. His possession of her lips and mouth had been complete, leaving her boneless in its wake. Every brush of his lips, every thrust of his tongue, completely consumed her will. She was powerless before him. And oh the taste of the man. Like a shot of whiskey, igniting a raging fire in her belly.

She licked her lips at the memory. One would logically think, she assumed, that those sensations would lose their hypnotic allure after enough repetition. She found, rather, that she craved them more and more as time went on. Like an addict, she ached from withdrawal when he wasn't physically near.

Drying the last of the dishes, she made her way to the cockpit. Once again, her mind was drawn inexorably to the Captain. Only a reader could have known about that oh-so-sensitive area behind her left knee. And yet, Mal's capable hands and tongue had unerringly found it almost immediately.

She was always thrown off-center by the juxtaposition of roughened hands with such tender intent exploring every inch of her body at a torturous pace, searching patiently but insistently for all those points that made her unravel beneath him. And then, having set into motion her sweet surrender, Mal's hands would anchor her firmly, preventing her from shattering in the intensity of the moment.

And when she opened her eyes, he'd be smiling that heart-stopping smile, the one that went all the way to his eyes. She never could get enough of the sight of the man, all lean muscle and smooth skin. Even his scars were strangely erotic. She spent hours tracing patterns across his skin, her fingers drinking in the feel of him lying vulnerable to her. One of the very best sights in the 'verse was the soft flutter of his eyelashes on his cheeks as he closed his eyes in contentment at her touch. The low purr deep in his chest sent a shiver through her that was almost spine-snapping in its intensity.

Returning to a realization of her surroundings, River looked away from the console and directly into Mal's eyes. Noting the slight flush from her cheeks to her chest, he smiled lazily. "What you up here think' on, little witch?"

"Tonight," she whispered.

"Got half the day to get through yet," he chuckled, leaving her staring after him.

'Yes, the man's a reader. No question about it,' she thought.