Title: Changing the Rules

Series Title: Green Lace 5/5

Author: FabledFigment

Disclaimer: Nothing here belongs to me.

Rating: R (For camping out in Jayne's filthy mind)

Timeline: At least one year post BDM. River is still cracked in the brainpan.

Warning: Extra gooey Rayne fluffiness.

Kaylee was sulking. The rest of the crew was frowning his way every time he turned around.

Everyone except for River. The only one who had any sort of right to be mad at him for leaving the ship wearing his whoring shirt was smiling and joking like nothing was wrong. Not that he understood most of her jokes, just that he was getting to know when she expected him to laugh.

If she was square with him going out for a ruttin good time, why should anyone else say anything?

She got all dressed up too and announced she had friends on Persephone who had invited her out for the evening. Girls her own age she'd been talking to over the Cortex. First Jayne'd heard about that. Figured it was right, though. Healthy.

Did she even catch on to why he was going out?

That thought earned him a 'look.'

"Jayne, I'm crazy not stupid." The girl told him quietly.

Jayne just grunted.

He thought he should just walk off. It was time to go find that good time. He wasn't sure why he didn't.

River adjusted the hem of her dress around her knees.

"I'm ready to go." She announced. "Will you walk me to meet my friends?"

Jayne looked down at her, wondering why he felt so funny.

"Yeah. Where are you meeting them?" He asked, feeling awkward next to her like he did sometimes.

River pulled a scrap of paper out of the tiny bag hanging from her wrist.

"The common room of the Pig and Pony Inn." She read before tucking the scrap away again.

"Huh. I've heard of it. Alright." Jayne grunted.

That was a tame enough spot. Not quite a family restaurant, but it had a reputation for good food, cheap liquor and discrete whores. Might could get fixed up there his own self.

They left the boat together, which made the frowning crew shake their heads in confusion.

River took up his hand as they went. Jayne squeezed her hand gently.

"You ain't steamed that I'm going out?" He asked once they were out of the range of prying ears.

"Why?" She asked calmly. "Are you upset that I am?"

"No." He looked away. "You should have fun with people your own age."

"We had an agreement." She said, lucidly enough to surprise him. "You continue to be yourself, whatever that means to you. We fulfill each other's desires between ports. We are merely taking physical comfort where no alternative is available. Simple."

"You really ain't gonna be mad if I buy time from a whore tonight?" Jayne barely got the words out past the sudden lump in his throat.

"If that is what you want to spend your money on, why should I be upset?" She smiled up at him. "I'm not your wife, Jayne. I'm not even really your girlfriend."

Jayne looked down at their joined hands. "You're just the girl I've been sleeping with for the past month."

"Ah, yes. That's right." She laughed. "See, no reason at all. You have your good time and I'll have fun with my friends. Everyone is happy."

The whole setup still made Jayne feel uncomfortable.

They found the inn easily; it was rather a landmark in the area.

"I'll just stay long enough for a drink." He told River. "I'll keep out of your way."

She looked up at him questioningly. "You may meet my friends if you wish to."

"No." He held up a protesting hand. "I'll be over at a table somewhere. Smells good in here, maybe I'll eat while I'm here too."

River rubbed the back of his hand against her smooth cheek before she dropped it and headed for the bar.

The crowd was lively and young. It looked like there was a pretty good mix of social classes.

Jayne felt at home. He took a table against the wall, out of the direct light, but where he could still see her.

River greeted two young women with big hugs. Jayne could tell one of them asked about him because they all looked his way. No telling what Moonbrain was saying to them.

The waitress took his attention off of her for a moment.

Jayne ordered the house special, some strong drink for after and a room for the night. He took the option that included the price of one of the house whores. Might as well conduct all his business here. He paid up front. Places like this liked it that way.

River and her friends were out on the dance floor now. Jayne watched her body move to the fast modern music, thinking to himself of the times she'd danced for him to just the sound of the ship.

She met his eyes from across the room and smiled.

Wo de ma. She sure was beautiful.

Jayne's food came quick and he ate it slow, watching her move. Even when she spun fast, he couldn't quite catch a glimpse of her panties. The dress didn't go high enough. Maybe that was a good thing with this crowd around to see.

Laughing and leaning on each other, all three girls made their way back to the bar where food and drink were waiting for them.

Jayne's eyes narrowed as he noticed how many boys there were in the crowd. They were all eyeing his crazy girl.

Jayne had his waitress keep the liquor flowing.

After about the third come on from the house girls he realized that none of them where what he was looking for tonight. They were pretty enough, just all wrong. Looked like he would be sleeping up in that comfy bed all by his lonesome. Maybe he should just go home.

He paid for another drink, watching River munch on fried finger food.

Some sauce dripped onto her fingers. Jayne groaned as he watched her lick it up.

River paused mid-laugh and turned to look at him, smiling, before turning back to her friends.

Jayne sighed. This 'I ain't changing' thing had really turned around to bite him.

Here he was, drinking alone because the only woman he wanted perched on his knee was that skinny little brunette holding court at the bar. The buzzing boys were homing in on her, she was talking with some of them now.

Jayne scowled down at his drink. Even quality liquor wasn't drowning out the sound of her laughter.

He should just go back to the ship. He could pick up a bottle. That would be cheaper than sitting in a bar if he was going to drink alone anyway.

One of the young bucks sniffing about River swung her out onto the dance floor. The dance was lively and quick, they moved well together. Jayne tensed, but forced himself to relax.

Let her have fun. He told himself. Once they were out in the Black again, she'd come back to him.

Hopefully. At least he was pretty sure she would. He wanted her to. He touched the lace in his pocket. He wasn't sure why he still carried it, you'd think he'd be beyond that by now.

The music slowed and the young man pulled Crazy closer.

Pure jealousy stabbed through Jayne. It startled him. He wasn't sure he'd ever been jealous before. When all your lady friends are whores, it does you no good at all to be jealous.

Why was he sitting here anyway?

Jayne knocked back the last of his…third? drink. No, fourth.

He didn't need to stay here and watch some puppy feel up his… His? Possessiveness gripped him.

Yeah, his crazy girl, his moonbrain.

His River.

Jayne stood, happy to see he was still steady on his feet.

He told himself to walk out the door, but he was drawn the other way.

Jayne tapped the young man on the shoulder. The puppy turned and took in Jayne's appearance scornfully.

"I'm cutting in." Jayne growled.

"I think that's up to the lady, my friend." The puppy's voice was educated and Jayne noted that his clothes were nicer than he'd realized. The kid continued, ballsy brat. "I doubt she wants to be rough handled by the likes of you."

Jayne sorely wanted to knock a few teeth out of that smart mouth, but he stayed his hand.

"Yeah? Maybe not. Hows about I dance real gentle-like and not rough at all?" Jayne was suddenly aware of the liquor on his breath. This was a bad idea, actually. He didn't really think she'd be too happy if he hit this boy.

He met River's eye, her brow was slightly furrowed.

"Say, kid," Jayne turned his eyes back to the boy. "You don't happen to see the man she walked in with, do you? About my height, grey stripy shirt, big fellow, intimidating manner?"

Jayne held out a hand to River, hoping she'd take it.

She did, silently.

Jayne smiled over at the kid and shoved his room key into his hand. "Here you go, fair trade."

River giggled quietly as Jayne swept them off into the crowd.

"I'm heading back to the ship soon." He told her as they swayed to the slow music.

"Alone?" She asked quietly.

"Unless you're coming. I don't want to bust up your party." And he didn't want to watch no more.

River looked up at him curiously. "You've shifted." She lifted a hand off his shoulder to cup his face. "What is different?"

He shrugged.

"None of the girls are to your liking?" She smiled softly. "There are some pretty ones, nice bodies, nice big breasts."

"I…" He just wanted her.

Her eyes widened. "Oh." A slow smile spread across her face. "Oh, do you want to change the rules?"

"Yeah, I guess." He mumbled.

River pressed her body closer and began doing distracting things to his neck. "I'm ready to go home whenever you are." She whispered into his ear.

Jayne lowered his head and inhaled. She smelled more flowery than usual.

They continued to move slowly even though the beat increased and people were dancing wildly around them.

Changing the rules. Could be so.

"I ain't about to let you get away from me." He growled.

"I know." She didn't even sound smug.

Wasn't just the rules. He was changing himself. She was the most special thing to ever happen to him. She was worth changing for. He wanted to, that was all.

His eyes were drawn to her lips. He still hadn't kissed her, even after a month of sexin. He wasn't rightly sure what the meaning of not kissin was anymore.

She weren't out to drug or rob him.

They'd been intimate in every other way Jayne could think of, and a few ways River'd thought up.

She weren't no whore, he wouldn't run the risk of being turned off by tasting another man on her breath.

Jayne caught her chin in his hand. He ran the pad of his thumb across her lower lip.

He was changing himself for her, and he should start here. He leaned in and kissed her lips gently.

It was an innocent kiss, a first kiss.

He sure as hell didn't know how to go about kissin. Hadn't done it since the first whore he'd ever met stole his whole pay.

"Ready to blow this joint?" Jayne asked, grinding his hips against her.

"Figuratively, yes." River said seriously, although her eyes were laughing. "Literally I would need…"

"Hey, no mayhem." Jayne cautioned. "The pays gotta be pretty good to blow up an occupied building in a crowded port."

River giggled. "I should say goodbye to Cara and Lorilei." She smiled shyly up at him. "Will you meet them now?"

"If you want me to, I guess."

"Yes please." Her bright smile chased away his uneasiness at the thought.

River led them through the crowd of dancers to her place at the bar.

"This is Jayne." She announced happily. "My knight in black ops armor."

Jayne could tell when an interested female was checking him out; both of these friends of hers definitely were. He tucked River in closer, giving off as many 'I'm taken' signals as he knew.

"Jayne, this is Cara, this is Lorilei. I don't remember the rest of the names." She glanced around, letting her gaze slide right over the puppy she'd been dancing with.

"We've heard a lot about you." Cara smiled up at him. "Nice to finally meet you."

Jayne shifted uncomfortably. What would River have said?

"Yeah, Riv-darling," Lorilei added. "Sexy is the biggest understatement I've heard all year."

"We're going home." River announced. "Sorry to leave you so soon."

She kissed both girls and stepped back into Jayne's arms. "I just can't keep my hands off him."

Cara and Lorilei laughed with her.

"Goodnight, I'll see you next time we're in port." River waved to the crowd and led Jayne out into the night.

"You knew." Jayne said once she'd started them down the street.

"What?" She looked genuinely confused.

"You knew I wouldn't really buy time." He smoothed her hair, as they walked, entwined, towards the ship.

"No." She replied simply.

"You didn't know?"

"No, I thought you would eventually get over that habit. However, my best projections indicated it would take at least one whore to convince you that what we have is better. I was prepared to allow three or four before I objected." She shrugged. "I just knew I could live with it until you figured it out."

"You were just gonna wait?" Jayne was pretty sure he'd never understand this girl.

"Never believe you have tamed a wild cat just because it eats from your hand." She rubbed her palm down his arm. "I don't want you tamed or constrained."

They walked along for a while.

"I want rights to you." Jayne let his jumbled thoughts flow out. "I want you to have rights to me."

River looked up at him questioningly.

"I want you to be mine and nobody else's." Jayne swallowed hard. "I want you to feel the same way about me."

"Acceptable." She replied After a moment she added, "We will fight."

"We can make up after." Jayne offered.

"I'm crazy, that won't change." River cautioned.

"I'm already used to crazy." He kissed the top of her head. "The reader part doesn't even bother me anymore."

"Yes it does." She laughed.

"Well not as much then." He reached over to fiddle with her ear.

"I love you." She said shyly.

That stopped Jayne dead in his tracks. He spun her about so he could look down into her face.

"Why?" He croaked out. "Ain't never done nuthin to cause that."

She laughed and wiped at her eye. "Emotions are irrational. You are not required to return the sentiment."

Jayne hugged her gently. Maybe she didn't need it, but he had a feeling his own declaration wasn't far behind.

"Mine." River said, reaching up to frame his face with both hands. "My Jayne. No one else's. Will scratch out the eyes of the temptress who attempts to purloin him."

She tugged his face down where she could reach it and kissed his mouth. Her kiss was a great deal less innocent than his had been. She pried open his lips and then his teeth with her tongue.

She tasted like sweet mustard and fried chicken.

Jayne pulled reluctantly away, almost surprised to find he'd lifted her clean off the pavement.

River let her legs fall away from his waist and stood shakily again.

"Lets go home, beautiful." Jayne said. "I don't want to be locked up instead of sexin you up."

River laughed and let him lead her home.

"Jayne, are you ever going to give my panties back?" She asked as they approached the locked ship.

"Nope." He licked his lips. They were still in his front pocket. Wasn't never gonna give them up.

"I could wear them for you again." She offered.

Hmm, that was downright tempting.

Jayne reached over and lifted the back of her skirt. She gasped. He ran his hand across the smooth satin covering her ass.

"Trade you for the ones you have on." He leered down at her.

"Deal" She agreed, punching in the security code.

It could probably be considered a miracle that they made it all the way to Jayne' bunk, their bunk, before making the trade.