Title: Epiloge - Game Over
Series: Playing Games
Rating: T
Spoilers: Post-BDM
Pairing: Jayne/River
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my over-Rayned mind. And I have no money, so suing me is useless.
Notes: This is unbeta-ed. Any mistakes are stictly mine.
Summary: "Well, 's about time, Albatross. What d'you got to say for yourself?"

Mal's pistol may not have been in his hand any longer, but it wasn't far away. It rested on the table in front of him, his fingers lightly tapping against it. Zoë sat beside him, her hand on her own gun under the table and out of his sight. She reasoned that if the captain got to be an irrational hundan again and tried to shoot Jayne, she'd shoot him in the leg first, just to show her support for the couple. Her lips quirked a little as she thought of Mal's reaction to her relationship with Wash those years ago. It hadn't been too much different than this.

Mal had listened to everyone plead Jayne and River's case, except the couple themselves. They'd remained silent, seated next to each other across from the captain, hands clasped on the table. Even Simon had come to their defense, which had surprised him more than a little.

He tapped the gun again. "So let me get this straight. Jayne and River have had this… thing goin' on for some time now, sneakin' around, goin' behind everybody's backs with no one knowin', and none of you's are even a little bit ticked at it?"

The rest of the crew looked guiltily at each other. Mal slammed his hands on the table. "You knew! Every one of you knew 'bout –"

Kaylee piped up timidly. "Actually, Cap'n, not all of us knowed knowed until today, either. We mostly just s'spected somethin' was goin' on…"

"Fine! Every one of you knew or suspected bout' their little… whatever this is –"

"It's called a relationship, Mal. Don't belittle it just because you don't understand it." Inara rolled her eyes, something, it seemed, she only did when speaking to or referring to the captain.

Mal narrowed his eyes at her and growled. "I understand what a relationship is, 'Nara, but I find it difficult to believe that Jayne and River do."

One could practically see the flames build up in Inara's eyes. "That's go se, Mal! Of all of us, those two have changed the most! Don't you see? Jayne is more gentle, caring, and not only with River but with all of us! River, on her part, has calmed and is completely in control of her own mind. They both know perfectly well what they want and they're going after it. Just because you won't let yourself be happy doesn't mean they shouldn't!"

The silent crew watched the captain's hands clench tightly as he and Inara continued to glare at each other.

Kaylee leaned towards Simon and whispered. "I don' think they're talkin' 'bout Jayne 'n River anymore."

River squeezed Jayne's hand and stood beside him. It was time to bring the conversation back on track and finish it. The captain and the companion could argue their own problems later. "Captain, I have something to say."

Mal unclenched his fists and rolled his neck, bringing his attention back to the couple before him. "Well, 's about time, Albatross. What d'you got to say for yourself?"

"I will make this brief, Captain, as Jayne and I would like to resume kissing soon, and somewhere more private than in the mess." Both Mal and Simon groaned, and Jayne just grinned.

River continued. "As Inara mentioned, Jayne and I are commencing a relationship. It has been coming for quite sometime, but there were interruptions and details to be settled before we could become rightly involved. Now that everything is ready, we wish to be together." She graced Jayne with a gentle smile.

"I love him and want to be with him. Jayne can handle all of my discrepancies, my craziness, my violence without any trouble. He is perfect for me. That being said, we would like your blessing to continue our relationship."

Mal smiled smugly at Jayne's shocked look, but River wasn't finished. "Understand that we don't need your blessing. The relationship will continue with or without it, but we would very much like to have it." She gave the captain a pleading look. "You have been more a father to me in these past years than my father ever was throughout my entire life. Please, Captain Daddy, please?"

Mal was humped and he knew it. "Gorramit! Fine! But I don' gotta like it, dong ma? Y'all can be together but I don' wanna have to see it. You keep it out of the public places on my boat, you hear?"

River nodded her head emphatically as she pulled a somewhat stunned Jayne up from his chair. "We promise to be very discreet, Captain. Don't we Jayne?" He could only nod.

Beaming, she turned fully towards him and pulled his head down to whisper in his ear.

The mercenary's eyes widened. "Really?"

River's only response was to wink and skip from the room.

Jayne made to follow her, but paused in the doorway and turned back towards Mal. "I know I'm not good 'nough for 'er, Mal, but I'm gonna try my damnedest to be. I love 'er, and I'm gonna do everything I can not to screw this up. She's the best gorram thing that ever happened to me and I ain't gonna lose 'er."

Having said his piece, Jayne resumed his pursuit of River, shouting after her, "Slow down, Crazy, so's I can catch up 'n kiss you good 'n proper!"

Simon stared after the hired gun. "So much for being discreet." He shook his head and reached out a hand to Kaylee. "Come on, bao bei. It looks like the show is over."

Kaylee giggled and took his hand. "And whatta show it was!"

Inara smiled, following the departing couple out of the mess. "Yes, it looks like things will be settling down once again, for now."

Zoë stayed sitting at the table with the dumbfounded captain.

Mal turned his gaze to his first mate. "Did that really just happen?"

"Yes, sir, I believe it did."

Jayne caught up to River just as she was opening the door of his hatch. He spun her around so that his big body pressed her back into the wall. Her breath hitched in her throat at the predatory look in his eyes.

Jayne shifted slightly to align their bodies just right. River's eyes rolled back and she bit her lip. His gaze locked on her mouth.

"Don' do that."

She blinked up at him dazedly. "Wh-what?"

"Don' bite your lip like that. Gonna hurt it. Then I won' be able to kiss it no more."

River smiled coyly. "You could always kiss it better. In fact, I think it hurts a little right now." She leaned forward to meet his oncoming mouth.

This was nothing like the sweet kiss from earlier in the mess. Jayne's mouth devoured hers. His tongue swept in against hers and pulled away again, over and over, an imitation of what was to come.

By now, River's legs were wrapped tightly around Jayne's waist, one arm around the back of his neck, the other resting on his shoulder so that her hand could grip his hair. She gave as good as she got, pressing her body as hard as she could against him. She mumbled into his mouth.

He pulled away slightly. "Huh?"

River panted against his mouth. "Love you. Love you, my Jayne. Love you so much. Always."

Jayne kissed her again, hard and fast. "Love you too, River-girl. Like I done told the cap'n, you're the best thing that ever happened to me, baby."

River brushed her lips lightly against his before relaxing her legs and letting them fall from his waist. "Speaking of the captain, we promised him utmost discretion. I told you earlier that I wanted to spend all night tonight with you Jayne, but let's take it down to your bed. There won't be any more interruptions."

"Thank God. Let's go."

River began her decent into the darkened space but paused when she sensed he wanted to ask her a question. "What is it, my Jayne?"

He seemed to pout a little at her. "Guess this means the game's over, huh."

She ran her hand up his leg. "That game may be over, but we will be beginning many others. Why don't we start with how many orgasms you can give me before the captain comes to fetch you for the next job?" She squeezed his calf before dropping deftly out of sight.

Jayne blew out a heavy breath went down behind her. "Gorramit, woman. You're gonna kill me iffen you keep sayin' and doin' things like that. I ain't gonna meet a bullet, I'm gonna be loved to death."

Spotting her sitting straight and proper on his bed, clad only in her underwear, he figured it wouldn't be such a bad way to go.