The Morning After
Pairing: Mal/Jayne - contains references to slash! If this offends you, or is illegal where you are, don't read.
Disclaimer: This is Joss Whedon's sandbox. I'm just playing!
Spoilers: Goes AU after the start of Our Mrs Reynolds.
Summary: Written for the LJ community Shiny Hats Summer Ficathon, prompt #4 Morning found us calmly unaware from Summer's almost done by The Doors.

It was the sun shining harshly on Mal's face that woke him. Well, that and the pounding in his head. Together with the pounding in his bladder, a pain that felt like a rock digging into his side, and a taste in his mouth like something had crawled in there and died a week previously. Oh, and a fiery ache in his... pìgu?

"Wha-?" he croaked.

There was the sound of a throat being cleared. "Sir."

Zoë, then. Mal cracked an eyelid, to find that the reason it felt as though he had slept on the ground was, well, because he had. Was still lying on the ground, as a matter of fact, his brown coat pulled up over him a ways.

"Zo'," he croaked, and cracked the other eye open. Squinting up, he could just about make out a blurry shape that was his second-in-command, standing close, looking down at him.

"Water, sir?" She crouched down, holding out a water bottle.

With a groan, Mal eased up onto one elbow, only to find his arms were wrapped around Jayne's rainstick. He let it roll away with a hiss of beans or stones or whatever the heck was in there.

After a few sips, he handed the canteen back and sat up.

"Ow!" he winced, hunching his back to stretch out a few of the kinks. "Gettin' too old ta be sleepin' on the ground, Zo'. Shoulda gone back to the ship last night. Remind me again why it is I'm out here in the altogether?"

There was a grunt from beside him, and a large muscled arm wrapped itself around his hips.

"Mornin', Mal. Ready fer another go-round?" Jayne asked in a gravelly voice.

The corners of Zoë's mouth twitched.

"Seems you got lucky, sir. I didn't like to interfere, 'specially not when you got Elder Gomman to give you a blessing, an' all. Congratulations, Cap'n. Mister Reynolds." With a nod to Jayne, Zoë stood up and strolled away.

In the distance, Mal could hear Wash chirp up. "You tell 'em they got married yet?"

Mal looked down at his merc, who smiled and stretched.

"Married, huh?" Jayne rumbled and scratched his chest.

Mal's mouth went dry. "Yeah," he croaked, feeling his jība stir. "You still ain't gettin' my ship."

Jayne smiled. "It ain't yer ship I'm after."

On reflection, Mal thought it really could have been worse.

pìgu - backside
jība - cock