Author: Green Owl

Title: Photuris: Sunday Morning

Disclaimer: I don't own or buy/sell/process this mind crack - I just abuse the hell out of it.
"Y' ain't quite right," Jayne said in a troubled voice as he shook his head.

"How so?" she asked as she settled into his lap and went to work on undoing his belt buckle.

"Runnin' 'round the ship with no unders on," he replied, slidin' his hands slowly up an' down the backs o' her thighs. "Coulda said somethin' before ya walked over me while I was liftin'."

"Would defeat the purpose of using a clandestine signal to indicate interest," she commented, shrugging matter-of-factly while pulling his t-shirt free of his pants and over his head. "Besides, odds are 104 to 1 that unders will be utterly destroyed during mating preliminaries. Three pairs shredded this week alone in attempts to remove expeditiously. Cannot afford to lose any more."

"Hey, I'm not sayin' I don't like that some o' yer choice parts are easy access, hú li jīng," he said, claspin' both her hands in one o' his and usin' the other to tilt her chin up to look at him. "I'm just sayin' that ya need to think of a diff'rent secret gesture 'cause I almost choked on my tongue back there."

"Impossible," she scolded. She opened her mouth, displayed the underside of her tongue and closed it again. "Lingual frenulum prevents any possibility of ingestion."

"Fascinatin'," he commented, amiably sarcastic as he tossed his t-shirt into the corner and returned his hands to her legs. "What say we say figure out another use for that sweet little mouth o' yers besides show an' tell?"

She slid her hands around his torso to span his shoulder blades, leaned forward and started nibbling on his neck.

"Ohhh yeah, darlin', that'll do," Jayne muttered, all the blood in his body rushin' southwards. "That'll more'n do."

Vanadis was three cargo runs past and the girl had burned through a fair bit o' her cash since then.

Jayne was well on his way to earnin' a flat 15 percent each trip due to her puttin' endowments in his purse in exchange for him puttin' endowments in or on her body.

After that first three-hour marathon sexin' session that left him needin' to ice his nuggets with a package o' frozen grapes, Jayne felt himself experiencin' brief moments o' acute uneasiness 'bout the direction their business relationship was headin' in. If anyone had ever thought he had an improper hankerin' when it came to coin, he'd give 'em proof that his greed had been pounded to a piteous, sobbin', blood-spattered pulp by her rabid appetite for his carcass.

Sweet Buddha on a lotus flower, but she was keen on this new form o' sexin'! And she had it bad in a way he hadn't known since his late teens, when he'd done anythin' and everythin' to earn enough to be able to go just one more round with a workin' girl. This girl was fiendin' for a fix somethin' hard – two, sometimes three times a day she'd give him The Look an' he'd have to find an excuse to slip off so he could spend a good ten minutes to an hour usin' every last inch o' John Thomas to sate her hunger while one hand was buried in her hair an' the other was grippin' some part of her body for leverage.

Not that he minded one bit, hell, no! Shame the devil, she was everythin' a man could want in a rutmate – easy on the eye, discreet an' opportune in pickin' her moments, an' so downright eager for him that it was leavin' him with a constant familiarity with all kinds o' good filthy-guilty.

He was one lucky son o' a whore, no gorram lie 'bout it, but there was still the nigglin' thought that it could be slightly probable she might be tryin' to sex him to death…

At that moment, they were in his bunk – he was sittin' on his bed and she was sittin' on his lap – she, absorbed in kneading the knots in his upper back in trade for a discount on servicin'; he, absorbed in kneadin' whatever he could possibly reach as his hands stole under her skirt again.

Gorram, skin's so ruttin' smooth…

She got a faraway look in her eyes as she used her thumbs to massage the hollows under his ears. "Recessive."

"Wha's that?"

"Attached earlobes," she said, lifting them gently with her fingertips. "Recessive."

He made a face. "You realize whatcha sittin' on, darlin'? Ain't nothin' recess-sive 'bout me."

She regarded him with a haughty cast to her eyes. "Are recessive to my dominance in so many ways."

"Besides bein' on the bottom?" he challenged, then rolled them over so she was underneath him. "There, remedied. Betcha can't think of a single thing now."

"Eyes," she stated baldly before battin' her lashes at him.

"Like a ruttin' hawk!" he said, grabbin' her wrists and pinnin' them above her head. "Capable o' sightin' a target at 500 yards with a bent scope, no lie."

", and therefore, recessive. My eyes are dark, and therefore, dominant." She arched an eyebrow and smiled sweetly at him. "Dot for me, nought for thee!"

"Okay," he challenged. "How 'bout my hair? Dark hair genes kick all the other hair genes' asses, don't they?"

"Lighter color than mine, so I win again," she pronounced. She ran a hand through his locks. "But he does have a widow's peak, while she has a smooth brow. One point for each."

"How 'bout here?" he asked, rubbin' his chest 'gainst her breasts.

"Lack of hair indicates higher evolution," she replied. "Also, female is default setting for human development – raison d'être for male nipples. Two for me."

"An' here?" he asked, slidin' an arm under her hips and liftin' her up against a part of him that felt downright vigorous.

She giggled. "Poor male…at least twice as many nerve endings in comparable female area!"

Jayne rolled his eyes. "Can't win with ya, can I?"

"Negative," she said, grinning as she shook her head. "And even though the male has very muscular buttocks, he has already declared the female's 'pretty little backside' to have no equal."

"Guess I gotta surrender gracefully, don't I?" he said, grinnin' as he massaged the part in question.

"Yes," she said. Her smile was triumphant as she worked her legs free, hooked her ankles around his knees and pressed herself against him. "Smackdown has been delivered in scuffle of the genders!"

Jayne chuckled – the play before their sexin' was one of the most 'greeable things about their warped little understandin'. "Well, what can I getcha tonight, xiǎo jie?"

Her eyes went all soft on him an' he felt a mighty uncomfortable stir in his ribcage, like his heart had a bad case o' food poisonin'.

"Slow…gentle," she answered, her gaze drifting worlds away as a tear slipped free. "Remembrance for the dark times."

Jayne looked down at her, anxious at how the catch in her voice made his guts coil so brutal. "Why the tear, River-girl? Ya troubled 'bout somethin'?"

She returned her eyes to his face, shook her head, her smile sad and sweet. "It's just an object. Doesn't mean what you think."

"Ya sure?" he asked, strokin' her hair. "Usually means wretchedness or hurtin' in my world, dong ma?"

"Everything will be all right." She brought one of her hands from above her head down to cup his jaw. "I understand…I do not yet comprehend, but I do understand."

God, when she looked at him like that, he thought it all might come tumblin' out, every nasty little secret he'd ever been privy to, every sin he'd ever committed, every time he'd ever sold out on his honor or his word. No holy man's enlightenment held a candle to the hearthfire glowin' in her eyes.

He started at her hairline, kissin' her temple, her lack o' widow's peak, her cheekbone, the hollow beneath, the edge of her jaw. He felt her smile and lifted his head.

"Whatcha thinkin' bout now?" he asked, nuzzlin' her cheek.

Her eyes sparkled with mischievous light. "Hair soup?"

Color him mystified. "Wha's that?"

"New signal – soup in hair. Acceptable?" she asked.

He grinned. "Yeah, that'd be one they wouldn't expect now, wouldn't it?"

Four days later, Jayne found himself sittin' at the dinin' table, on his own an' mightily disturbed.

She hadn't come to him since that last time in his bunk. Not once. Hadn't looked at him at all in the past ninety-six hours since she'd left for her dorm. The last time he'd held her had been the wee hours o' the mornin' when she'd kissed his cheek and whispered, "goodbye" like she always did.

He wanted her, thirsted for her, hungered for her, coveted her like a junkie with a fix sittin' right in fronta him, knowin' it could quiet the shakes and damage his calm at the same time.

But her eyes had been unfocused, glassy, distant, lookin' at things that weren't there. Her walk had been slow, cautious, as if she were expectin' the 'verse to tilt off its axis at any moment.

Gorram girl reverted to bein' a bonafide nutcase again.

They'd found her handlin' an unlocked and fully-loaded Elena in the cargo bay, tried to lock her away, but Mal said no. And that's not the only disturbin' thing Mal had said.

At the dinner table later that evenin', Mal said he thought she could read minds.

Jayne didn't know the odds of havin' a psychic on board, nor the likelihood o' it bein' the little crazy girl, but if it was true, nothin' would ever be secret again.

If Mal's suspicions were correct, nothin' had ever been secret to begin with.


Jayne stared down at the bowl of soup he'd fixed for himself, sick to his stomach. He contemplated hurlin' the dish at the food lockers just for the sheer satisfaction of releasin' some small bit o' rage, but that would wake the crew an' he'd more'n likely have some explainin' to do.

Instead he took it to the trash can, tossed the whole gorram mess, an' went for the bottle o' whiskey he'd bought in Vanadis.

An hour an' half a bottle later, he was well an' truly buzzed, ready to turn in and have a lie-down for a few days until the nightmare was over.

But she was waitin' for him when he got to his bunk.

"Whatcha doin' here?" he demanded roughly, strugglin' to keep his cool as he descended the ladder and saw her sittin' on his bed. "Go back to yer damn room."

"Need," she whispered, indicating his fee on the table.

Jayne turned his head from her to look at the floor. "No, girl, not tonight. Ya gotta git. Yer damagin' my calm somethin' vile right now an' I can't be responsible for my actions."

"Rules," she insisted.

His voice was harsh and cruel. "Read. My. Mind. Git away from me!"

"Rules," she hissed, her hands fisting at her sides as she stared him down. She stood up, stripped off her nightgown and held her hand out to him.

"Not the time, not the place," he growled, closin' his eyes so he didn't hafta look at her.

Didn't help. He opened his eyes. Can still smell her.


All those scents were fuelin' his lust, buildin' it up from embers to a full-on bonfire as he remembered how hot and sweet it had been the last time.

She moved towards him, held her arms out to him as she fought to keep her gaze steady.


Jayne knew he was lost the moment he touched her. He'd been starved for her, desperate for a look, a taste, any bit o' her softness to keep him from hurtin'.

He pulled her into his arms, buried his face 'gainst her neck as he propelled her back towards the bed. He shoved her down onto it, past carin', past tenderness, past any consideration.

"Ain't gonna be like last time," he told her as he disarmed himself, shucked his boots, undid his pants. "Ain't gonna be slow. Ain't gonna be gentle."

"I know," she said slowly, her chin quivering a bit as she held out her arms to him.

He knew he would hate himself in the mornin', more than he'd ever hated himself before and prob'ly more than he'd ever hate himself again, but the preacher was right – this was opportunity lyin' there in just her skin and he was takin' her, consequences be damned to all seven hells.

As a rule and due to his bein' a big sumbitch, Jayne had always made a point of bein' considerate and careful with womenfolk when he sexed 'em. Not this time. This time, he used his size to his advantage, pinnin' her wrists above her head with arms heavily muscled from years o' weight-work, forcin' her knees open with legs that were easily as strong as hers, pressin' her down into the mattress with a body that was more'n twice the size o' hers.

He could see she was frightened, but there was also a steely determination to her, somethin' that had her hold herself still when she had every reason to struggle 'gainst him.

Even under the influence, he recognized the strength in her, the spirit it took to stay there, stay quiet when she could easily rouse the entire ship and escape.

He shoved a hand between her legs and was shocked to find her more than ready for him. Even more shockin' was the hum o' satisfaction she gave as he licked one o' her nipples into his mouth an' bit down, hard. She didn't shy from him; she arched her back, practically offerin' her body up to him for whatever he might have in mind.

"Are ya willin'?" he demanded, risin' up over her, ready to lose himself in her an' forget anythin' had ever existed but the two o' them and this sick fever she'd incited in him the first time she'd ever tossed a copper his way.

Her eyes were clear and calm as she gazed up at him, as she answered. "Yes."

The soft catch in her breath, the way she cringed as he thrust into her, it just 'bout broke his ruttin' heart. He closed his eyes and lowered his face into the crook o' her shoulder, feelin' the pulse in her neck beatin' fast in time with his breathin'.

Always so good, so gorram good. He'd never felt nothin' like it before, knew he'd never feel nothin' like it again, not with nobody.

He was violent, vicious, nearly inhuman as he used her, gave her his wrath, his fury, his rage against the hand that he'd been dealt, completely ruthless as he thrust into her an' again.

She took it all as she cradled him between her thighs, held him in her arms, accepting every bit of ache and giving him nothing in return but gentle words of comfort and tenderness.

Jayne felt the point of no return approachin' and charged towards it, frantic for his abuse of her body to be over. She urged him on, bitin' his neck and holdin' him close, pushin' her hips at him as he picked up speed. He felt it start and let the spasms take control as he collapsed on her an' groaned a silent, profane prayer 'gainst her throat.

They lay there entwined for what felt like an eternity, him mentally callin' himself all kindsa scum an' on the verge of blackin' out, her smoothin' the sweat from his spine as he all but crushed her beneath him.

Later, he would recollect one, brief moment where he almost broke his vow never to kiss a woman on the mouth. It was when he finally raised his head from her neck, looked into her eyes an' felt everythin' inside him get all bendy as she gave him a brave little smile.

Don't know her…don't know her at all, he thought hazily as he rolled off her an' felt the alcohol an' flesh bliss overcomin' his ability to think clearly.

She slipped out of his bed, put on her nightgown, bent over him.

"Sleep," she murmured, pressing a kiss to his cheek.

Jayne turned his head towards her an' it woulda been lips on lips if she hadn't pulled back when she did.

She smoothed a hand over his forehead, whispering, "Shè zuì…shè zuì quán dōu."

There was a bright light an' the sound o' bare feet 'gainst the rungs of his ladder, an' she was gone.

That was all he remembered before he passed out.

When he finally came to, she had returned. This time she was dressed in purple, examinin' his wall o' cutlery with painfully correct posture.

"What time is it?" he grunted, sittin' up in a rush that made his head hurt somethin' fierce.

"Sunrise," she answered, not turning around.

Close enough to touch an' absolutely outta reach...

"Ya all right?" he asked as rubbed his temples, "Did anythin' happen? God, he must've decided not to come last night – "

She looked over her shoulder at him an' he stopped mid-sentence. There was a coolishness to her eyes that made his blood freeze in his veins.

"You okay?" he asked carefully. "Ya ain't gonna go feng le on me, are ya?"

"No," she said softly, her eyes slicing through him much more effectively than the butcher knife she'd taken to him months ago. "Not going crazy. But Christmas finally came for you."

She swiveled around to face him and he swallowed hard. In her right hand she held Elena in all her shining chrome sexiness, safety off, full clip loaded. In her left, she held a photograph.

"You both look better in red," she said, extending her other hand to hold out the picture to him.

Jayne took it.

The faded image was more than ten years old. The paper on which it was printed was dog-eared an' scratched, stained and curlin' at the edges, but the likeness was still clear.

It was Jayne, dressed in red leather, holding up Margie, his very favorite gun at the time.

Standin' next to him, dressed in identical red leather, was someone Jayne hadn't physically seen in years, but had waved not many days ago.

Jubal Early.

Jayne looked at the girl, trying to gauge her reaction.

Her face was void of emotion, betrayed nothing.

For possibly the first time in his life, Jayne was genuinely afraid o' somethin' 'sides Reavers.

Long seconds, minutes, moments passed as they looked at each other, neither speaking a word.

"I now comprehend," she said, her voice even and measured as she shattered the silence.

"What's that?" he asked, his voice breakin' a bit.

"Protection, of a kind. They are all loaded, are they not?" She pointed to the mass of weapons that were ready to be taken down off the wall at a moment's notice.

"Yeah," he said, barely meetin' her eyes.

She moved closer to the bed. "Given a different set of parameters and variables, it might have worked."

Jayne watched, fascinated as she tossed Elena in the air, caught her with the left hand by the barrel an' extended her towards him.

"First mistake. Should have used something a little smaller." She held up a finger. "Truly a work of art, but too cumbersome for me to wield effectively."

He took the gun, looked at it before lookin' back up at her, confounded as all hell.

"Second," she said, holding up another finger as she pointed to the photograph, "did not investigate the situation in full. Very good performer, but he can see through your displays."

Jayne looked around, feelin' sicker by the second, wonderin' if someone else was listenin' in on the conversation.

"No, just us chickens," she said, her face serene. Up went finger number three. "And, of course, flight is impossible."

"What are ya talkin' 'bout?" he asked, all sorts o' perplexed and uncomfortable, clutchin' the photograph and the gun closer to his body.

"Colors scheduled to adjust, but not yet." She looked at him, cocked her head to the side before she sat down next to him and gave him a wry smile. "Too soon for lamentation."

She then gave him a brief account of the events that had taken place on Serenity while he was asleep.

When she was finished, it was all he could do to hang his head and be with all the nasty feelin's bubblin' up inside.

"He contacted me first," Jayne said, words pourin' outta him like blood from an arterial gash as he laid aside the gun and photograph. "It was after Ariel…after that first time ya 'engaged my services'. He an' I'd been partners a few years back, an' at the time I weren't feelin' so charitable towards ya or yer brother."

"There is no need for confession." She pressed her fingertips lightly against his lips. "I comprehend."

"I know," he said, takin' her wrist in his hand, movin' it down to his chest an' put his hand over it. "But I need to make a clean breast o' this untidiness. For my own good."

She nodded. "I will not sit in judgment…but I will sit and listen."

Jayne kept the one hand on hers, used his other arm to gather her close. He held her for a few minutes, breathin' the scent of her hair. Apples, vanilla, the slightly stale odor o' the spacesuit mingled together, a mix o' sin, sensuality and shelter that scorched his lungs as he took a moment to thank the Lord and the Lady for her deliverance.

He began, his voice more than a little shaky. "He offered to split the bounty with me, fifty-fifty. Seemed like a good deal at the time. I was smartin' somethin' fierce from that slice-job ya did. First time anyone's cut on me in a long while. Scared the go se outta me."

She lightly traced the scar with her thumb an' he felt that nasty lurchin' sensation in his chest again.

"I was anxious," Jayne admitted. "Mal didn't seem to give a hump what ya did, nor Zoe, nor Wash, nor Kaylee. Hated 'em for that. Hated that ya had less than four months on the ship an' Cap'n held ya more valued than me, an' me with the crew for nigh on four years. Thought it weren't no fairness, bein' so discounted. Wanted to even the score."

"Have I assisted with that?" she asked, resting her head against his shoulder.

He looked into her eyes, gave a short bark o' laughter. "More than ya know, River-girl, more than ya know."

"Good," she whispered earnestly.

"The plan was for Early to sneak in, steal ya, turn ya over and we split the take," he said. "We had it all planned out, down to the story we was gonna tell the Feds. Then it all changed an' I weren't thinkin' it such a good plan no more."

"You tried to get me locked up," she said, looking up at him, "To make it difficult, to keep him from getting to me until you got to your ladies and killed him. Got me in trouble on purpose, but did it for my own good. For my protection."

Jayne pushed a lock o' hair behind her ear, weary an' drained. "Hit the bullseye, darlin'. I put Elena in the cargo bay, knew you'd find her there. Simon and Kaylee were in the common room, both thinkin' I was just doin' the clean up."

"Like to watch them preen," she said, threading her fingers in his chest hair. "Knew this."

"Yeah," he said, pressin' a kiss to her hair. "Y'ain't the only one who watches people on this ship, knows their habits, their peculiarities."

"We have an understanding," she murmured, cuddling close to him.

"Yeah, we do," Jayne agreed, huggin' her even closer. "But I ain't never had no understandin' like this before and I don't right know what to make o' it."

She shifted, wincing as she did so. He loosened his grip on her, withdrew from touchin' her.

"Gorram, darlin', I'm so ruttin' sorry for what I did to ya," he said, feelin' all sorts o' filthy-guilty – the really, really bad kind – for hurtin' her.

She regarded him with her big, dark eyes for a moment before she took his arms and put them back around her.

"Thought it would be the end of an era," she said, something fiery burning in the depths of her eyes. "Thought there would never be another moment to bond. I comprehend that as well."

"Ya ain't…mad?" he asked, peerin' at her.

"Yes…and no."

She don't look mad…

She shrugged an' put on what he called her ponderin' face. "I suppose I am whelmed."

"What the hell does that mean?" he asked.

Her expression was very matter-of-fact. "Not over-, nor under-, just whelmed. You thought and behaved in a manner consistent with a mercenary. I am not surprised."

"Oh." He bit his lips, lifted his brows for a second before lookin' at her. "So what happens now?"

"Now?" she repeated, her brow furrowing. "Why, it's time to pay, of course."

"For what?" he asked, instantly more'n a little baffled.

She pursed her lips together, looked up to her right and gave him a little smile. "Attempting to sell Tams down the river, mating roughly and selfishly, allowing bounty hunter to violate Mother-Ship, traumatize Kaylee, shoot brother, beat on Captain, Companion and Shepherd…thank God River is brilliant enough to compensate for distinct and extraordinary lack of intelligence on part of Serenity's crew."

Jayne felt his gut churnin'. Here it comes…she'd gonna kill me with her brain.

"Twenty-four hours," she said, skewering him with her gaze.

"Come again?"

She smiled, and it was that same leerin' grin he remembered from that first time on the catwalk. Suddenly he had the thought that he might not die today.

"Twenty-four hours," she repeated.

"Of what?"

"Your body, mine to do with as I please."

Jayne felt like he'd been granted a full pardon, the keys to Niska's money vault and a shiny new hat.

"This is not sanction for further bad behavior," she warned as she looked at him. "Can read you like a broadsheet and will not hesitate to do so if naughtiness is suspected."

"No more naughtiness." Jayne promised her, "Nothin' hazy 'bout that."

"Good," she said, settling into his arms.

"So...when do we start sexin' again?" he asked, strokin' her hair.

"Dī gāng yào," she admonished. "Will need at least two days to recover from recent activity."

"Shiny," he said as he grinned at her, more than willin' to accept her terms.

She grinned back at him and he felt that terrible lurchin' begin again under his breastbone.

He raised a hand to rub the spot on his chest an' was startled to find hers was already there.

"Do not fear," she murmured, flexing her fingers against his chest. "Secret is safe with me."

"hú li jīng" – "vixen / witch / enchantress"

"bì""green jade / bluish green / blue / jade"

"xiǎo jie" "young lady"

"Shè zuì…shè zuì quán dōu.""I forgive you…I forgive you everything."

"go se" "crap"

"Dī gāng yào" "perverted goat"