A/N: Just an early little Christmas present for everyone. I do not own Firefly/Serenity obviously but if someone wanted to give me Jayne with a big red bow on his head for Christmas, I wouldn't complain… Oh and sorry for the lack of "firefly language." I'm not too good at it and I figured I'd butcher it if I tried so I apologize. Sorry if it makes them see out of character.
Summary: A series of Christmas one-shots involving Kaylee and…Jayne? spreading Christmas joy to all of Serenity.
Kaylee sighed and looked around the loading dock of her baby. There were crate boxes scattered to and fro and it was dark and dingy. She sat down on one of the crates and scanned the dock for the slightest bit of Christmas cheer but found none. Christmas was only three days away and as usual, she knew no one would be celebrating. Christmas was an earthly holiday, not celebrated in their parts of the 'verse. No one ever even mentioned it. Kaylee thought it was all very sad really. She remembered tearing into presents with her ma and pa back home. She remembered lights twinkling and music playing. She remembered a humongous tree adorned with ornaments. But that was then and this was now.
Not that she regretted her decision to join on Serenity, she loved it. She loved the boat, she loved the crew, she loved every aspect of her new life with the exception of not celebrating Christmas.
"What's wrong with you?" A coarse voice asked. She looked up and saw Jayne coming towards the crate, sporting his usual irritable smirk. Kaylee sighed and rolled her eyes. Jayne was not who she wanted to deal with right now.
"Nothing, Jayne," she answered monotonously.
"Well I know it ain't nuthin. I'm not stupid."
Kaylee looked up at him and cocked an eyebrow causing him to compose a sound that much resembled a growl.
"I ain't! But if you ain't gonna go and tell me what's wrong, then whatever. I got better things to do."
It wasn't exactly true. He didn't have anything else better to do. They weren't on a job today which meant there was nothing for him to do except lie in his bunk and examine his guns. He smiled at the thought of her. His Vera.
"Fine, I'll tell ya," Kaylee sighed as Jayne pulled a crate out in front of her and took a seat in it, "Christmas is in three days, Jayne and I just miss celebrating it."
"Why can't ya?"
"Mal would never allow it. Besides, it isn't Christmas without a Christmas tree and presents."
"Didn't you ever celebrate Christmas, Jayne?"
"When I was younger," Jayne nodded, "We had a tree and everything. Ma went all out what with the Christmas music and all. She'd start playing it weeks before. Drove my pa crazy," he smiled at the memory.
"We had a tree and presents and music too. And Ma would make the best Christmas cookies," Kaylee exhaled as she thought back to all those years in the kitchen helping her ma with the baking, "Pa would come in and start sticking his finger in the bowl and ma would shoo him out with her apron and rolling pin," Kaylee giggled and to her surprise, Jayne was laughing along with her. When was the last time she had heard Jayne truly laugh? It was nice…
"Pa and I weren't even allowed in the house when she did the bakin'," Jayne was still laughing, "But whenever we came home, the 'ouse smelled damn good. Hey, maybe you could make us some cookies!"
"With what, Jayne? We have nothin'," Kaylee sighed.
"Well, what all does it take to make cookies?"
"Flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk. Nothin' we have."
"Too bad," Jayne said, "I could really go for some cookies right about now."
"Well I gotta get goin'. I hafta get my…effects…organized for tomorrow's job."
"No grenades!" Kaylee called after him as he made his way up the rickety stairs.
"I said no and that is final!"
"It would make Kaylee so happy!"
"Since when do you care when Kaylee's happy?" Mal barked.
Good question, Jayne thought. When had he cared rather Kaylee was happy or not? Her happiness was just something that was…constant, unquestionable. It just…was. He couldn't remember ever seeing Kaylee really upset about something with an exception to Inara leaving. That just about tore her up.
"Look, Jayne, Kaylee is a grown girl. She doesn't need Christmas."
"But she does!"
"Don't argue with me!" Mal glared at Jayne menacingly, "Look, I want her to be happy as much as the next guy. I want all me and mine to be happy…"
"Jayne! Listen to me for once! I don't want to see anyone upset. It makes for a bad crew which makes for bad jobs which makes for bad earnings. Understand? If I could, I'd do something but we can't just throw all of our month's wages on some little Christmas celebration for Kaylee. We just can't. Do you want food? Do you want the ship to fly? Do you, Jayne? Because if I use this months wages, we don't get any of that. We don't get food, we don't get parts for the ship."
"I…understand," Jayne nodded.
"Good. Now I don't want to 'ere anymore of this goram Christmas talk, got me?"
"Good. And Jayne?"
"If I could I would."
Jayne looked around the store. He knew he shouldn't be there. He was on a goram job for Buddha's sake! But something inside of him had told him to go to the store with the list in his hands. He looked down at the torn paper he was holding: flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk.
"What can I get fer ya?" The man behind the counter asked as Jayne approached.
"This," Jayne thrust the list towards the man while looking around anxiously. He had told Mal he was stoppin' in the store to use the restroom which had already made Mal furious. Jayne didn't want to find out exactly what Mal would be capable if he found out he went to the store.
"Alright. Stay right there and I'll go get your things."
A few moments later, the man returned with Jayne's items. He slapped the money down on the counter and hurried out with his bag. Now all he had to do was sneak on to the ship with his bag without Mal noticing.
Something inside of him felt…warmed at the thought of doing something nice for someone else. He had taken his money that he had been setting aside ever since he joined on Serenity and had used most of it already. He was surprised how expensive the items had been and was beginning to understand Mal's take on the subject. Of course, him being Jayne and all, he felt a little remorse over the loss of his treasured money, money he was saving up for a sister for Vera. However, the moment he walked on the ship and Kaylee hopped out to greet them, her usual cheery smile plastered onto her face, all remorse disappeared.
That night, Jayne snuck out of his bunk and into the kitchen. He used the code to lock the kitchen door just as River had when she knocked him out. Goram kid! Jayne unloaded the bag onto the counter and began to sort through the things. Flour, sugar, butter, eggs, milk. How the hell was he supposed to know how to bake cookies with that? He quickly put the things he presumed to be cold in the refrigerator and put the rest into the cabinets. Well, so much for surprising 'er, he thought as he made his way to Kaylee's bunk.
"Kaylee!" He hissed, knocking on the door, "Kaylee!"
"What? Jayne? What time is it?"
"Goramit! Alright, I'm comin'," Kaylee sighed as she made her way to the door and unlocked it, "Can I help you, Jayne?"
"Yeah, yeah ya can. Uh…I have a surprise for ya."
"A surprise? Jayne, if this is anything inappropriate, I swear!"
"It ain't. Not this time anyways. Just…come."
"To the kitchen. I got somethin' to show ya."
He grabbed Kaylee's hand and practically dragged her to the kitchen. Kaylee was frustrated but decided to humor him. Besides, she was kind of curious to see his surprise.
"Alright," Jayne said once they were in the kitchen, "Close your eyes."
"Wait? What are you doing? Why did you lock the door?"
"I can't have Mal finding out. Not yet."
"Jayne!" Kaylee complained, "What are you doing?"
"Hold on. A few…more…seconds," Jayne said as he got out the ingredients and laid them neatly across the counter, "Alright, open your eyes!"
"Jayne!" Kaylee gasped as she looked at the ingredients, "How? Why?"
"I saved up some money and I decided to spend it on givin' us a little Christmas. I was gonna surprise ya with the cookie but I dunno how to bake 'em. Maybe…you can help?"
"Of course I'll help!" Kaylee's smile was even larger, something Jayne had never thought possible and she threw her arms around his neck. He took a step back in shock before wrapping his arms around her too, "Thank you so much, Jayne!"
"Yeah well don't tell. I don't want people to think I've gone soft or anything."
"You? Soft?" Kaylee smirked, "Come on, we need a bowl and a spoon to mix things first. Then we'll add two cups of flour, one cup of sugar, three eggs, and one and a half cups of milk. Alright?"
"Well then aren't you glad I'm here to help."
"Yeah," Jayne answered truthfully, "I am."
"You look ridiculous!" Kaylee laughed.
"What? What are ya talkin' about?" Jayne asked defensively.
"You've got batter on your nose," Kaylee smiled.
"Right…there," Kaylee smirked as she placed a dollop of batter on the tip of Jayne's nose.
"Oh really?" Jayne raised an eyebrow, "That's rich, Kaylee. Well, you've got flour in your hair right…"
"There," Jayne smirked as he dusted flour atop of her head.
"We're never going to get these dishes cleaned at this rate," Kaylee smiled, letting Jayne know that she wasn't complaining.
"Alright," Jayne nodded seriously, "Dishes. No more monkey business."
"Right," Kaylee nodded as she plunged her hands back in the sink to finish scrubbing out the bowl. Jayne reached over into the extra flour and smeared some gruffly on her cheek. "Jayne!" Kaylee laughed.
"Kaylee!" Jayne mimicked, also laughing.
"You're a mess," Kaylee shook her head, still snickering.