Author's Note: Well, I finally managed to finish this. A little bit long, yeah…but I got carried away. I have read this over and over, hoping that the characters are right. I think so, and well I hope others will think the same. If not…then just please lemme know and I can change and fiddle about with it again.

Warnin' for the smut. And possibly the mistakes that I have no doubt missed.

Well, enjoy and do let me know what you think.


Space Monkeys

No! No! No!

The banging, the noises…why did that wang ba dan have to keep doing this to him? He was like a gorram teen, he couldn't leave himself alone!

Like an un-dead zombie rising up from the earth, a very fatigued Mal Reynolds slipped from his bed and staggered to the hatch. He could hear Jayne bellowing like a raging bull, he heard the crash as (no doubt) his gun rack finally came away from the wall; did the fool not listen to him? Did he not comprehend what his captain had told him if he carried on like this?! The man was dead.

Mal grabbed his gun once more and lunged against the ladder. He nearly smashed his head on the metal, but he eventually scrambled up to the corridor, falling on his knees. He was seething, the lack of sleep was already taking its toll on his body, but that wasn't going to stop him from killin' the damned hun dan!

No one else had emerged from their private rooms, though Mal didn't care right now. He was the one that was going to put an end to it.

He slouched forward against Jayne's hatch, the booming noises and gasping cries from below had quickened so Mal had to be fast in shooting him. He didn't want to be around for the mess.

Then there was a different sound. A sudden scream that caught Mal off guard.

It was a high wailing moan at first, not something that Jayne could have done even with his balls cut off. It was a girl, a womanly sound. Mal started to panic.

"No! Not Kaylee! Not sweet little Kaylee! Ta ma de! Hun dan!!" Mal pulled at the hatch, desperate in his attempts to stop Jayne from violating his mechanic. Then the moan turned into a scream, a gasping wrenching scream that called out to Jayne and to God.

"Oh no. Kaylee…how could you do this to yourself?! What happened to fancyin' the doc? What in the gorram hells made you go to Jayne?"

Maybe it's not Kaylee.

Mal's gut nearly split apart and his heart felt like exploding as he thought of Inara being in naked thralls with the merc. He actually felt sick, thinking Inara would do anything like that with Jayne. She said that she would never service any of his crew…but Mal's imagination was going haywire. He couldn't stand Inara being with her clients as it was, but to actually consider she would willingly go with Jayne Cobb?! The hairy beast of a man slipping all over her silky delicate body…his foul dirty mouth slobbering over beautiful lush lips? His groping thick hands touching her…his bein' in side of her…

Mal saw red. He felt the red and was going to act upon it.

He cocked his gun and threw open the hatch, only to unleash deafening howls louder into the corridor of his ship. He didn't notice the others coming up, Mal didn't even notice that both Kaylee and Inara were gazing in horrified shock at the sounds coming from Jayne's bunk. He acted purely on the instinct and rage and jumped down into the lion's den.

She couldn't stop.

As he pounded her against the wall, she clenched hard around him, bringing him closer to the release he had been aching for. The drenching sweat poured from their bodies and pooled upon the floor around his feet; River's arms squeezed around his neck, her fingers tore at his hair. She couldn't stop the screaming now, she couldn't hold it back any more as the vibrations he sent, the raw animalistic sex he heaved again and again into and against her, broke down her barriers.

She called out his name, she called out to the deity that she didn't believe in, she begged to him for more. She needed to come, she wanted to feel that rush, that ecstatic release and as if he had read her mind, he growled deeply into her chest.

"Hold on t' somethin'." He panted. "I'll getcha there, gal."

River unclenched her fists from his hair and reached up to the grating just above her. Her fingers coiled round the metal and held up her weight as Jayne's hands dropped down from her bottom. As her legs coiled round his waist, she whined and gasped for more and a scream bellowed from her mouth when his fingers found her spot, when they intensified the swelling pleasure burning already with him inside her.

River wailed at the sensation of her explosion, every glorious wave of pleasure that pulsed and coursed through her was because of his hard strokes at her folds. She gushed, she felt her hot burst trickling down her legs, but River never got a moment to revel in the ecstatic eruption for long. Jayne still thrusted deep inside her, his powerful grinds provoked strong aching shudders within her bones, she was forced further up the wall and he too reached the point where he could barely stand on his feet. Jayne gripped onto the grated ceiling using one hand to lift his body, whilst his other worked River to her next impending orgasm.

Together, with three tight clenching hands, they lifted each other up and up, forcing their bodies to smack harder and deeper. Muscles strained, heavy grunting efforts of breath heaved as their feet took off from the cold metal floor of Jayne's bunk. The adrenalin roared inside, it ignited a fierce strength that could have so easily been used in a different way.

There was no blood, no broken bones. The usual angry, seething hatred had turned into something neither of them had expected. They could have killed each other, "god" knows they had come close to it before, but this was different. The screams were more real. This was real.

As unfathomable as it was to the couple, slipping in the air, convulsing as their flesh smacked together, it was preferable. Hearing her scream, feeling the warm slickness of her around him, feeling the hard thickness of him inside her, it was so much better.

To them it was right, though not to a certain sleep deprived Captain who had dropped down from the hatch.

"MADE!" Mal almost reached girly screeching levels with his surprised cry. His arms flapped at the air as they would at flies and then they wrapped around his head to shield his offended eyes. "No! Monkeys! Horrible swinging cavorting space monkeys! Naked, howlin' monkeys! NO!! Bad dream! Must be a bad dream!"

Jayne didn't need or want interruptions now, he was so close and ready to explode.

"Don't stop…don't stop…don't gorram stop!"

River's keening wails in Jayne's ear made him whip his hand away from between her legs and he fondled for the gun hanging near by instead. River let go of the ceiling and held onto him with digging nails in his shoulders as Jayne swung round to face the captain.

"Not now!" he yelled. The gun went off, the bullet impacted straight into the wall just inches away from Mal's shoulder.

Jayne had only acted instinctively. He had seen a blurred outline of a figure through the stinging sweat dripping in his eyes, actually he wasn't even sure there was someone there, as River encompassed him totally.

He never heard the Captain's departure; he never heard the slam of the hatch or the muffled cries of "My eyes! My eyes!"

Jayne simply let the gun slip away before he dropped down to the floor, cupping River's quivering clenching buttocks in his palms. He staggered and whilst still inside of her small shaking body, he slumped down on the bed. River gazed up at him with her arms spread across his pillow and then she scraped her toes down his back.

"Hurry!!" she cried. "Need…to…now!

He didn't need to be told twice. Jayne bowed his face down to the crook of her neck and heaved gruff heavy breaths before smothering her skin with his mouth. As he kissed and bit around her jaw and throat, he continued to push himself deeper with faster furied thrusts. River guided him to her sweet spot with her crying words, slapping his arse and drawing blood as she tore at the flesh on his shoulders.

Her wailing keens piercing in his ear was music for him to hear; the taste of her sweat buzzed on his tongue with each lick across her breasts and when her nails dug firmly into his back, he felt her peak. She screamed again and no sooner as she came for a second time, he followed.

His whole body tensed, his buttocks clenched as he shot hard and quickly within her. He howled into the wet strands of her sweaty hair, before allowing his entire bulking frame to sag on top of her.

Breathless, but spent, Jayne managed to slip himself out of her and roll off to the side. The cold metal edge of his narrow bed dug into his back but he didn't care.

"Seems I win, lil' crazy!" he laughed, wiping his hand over his face to rid himself of the perspiration. Triumphantly the merc tucked his hands behind his head. "Made you scream! An' you thought I couldn't."

"Good. Good…" River hummed, stroked her hands over her body and rested them on her thighs. "Real good screaming…I lost."

"Lost it good an' proper."

"The bet is concluded. Jayne wins…he always wins."

"Yeah right I win."

River lifted her hand up as much as her sapped strength could allow and patted Jayne's still breathless chest.

"You lost too. The animals swinging from the rafters was not a pleasant sight for the Zoo Keeper. We misbehaved. Breakfast will be cold."

"Hope not! Nuthin' worse than havin' a meal that's stone ruttin' cold!"

"You don't know. Caught out now, its all unavoidable. We have to face the music."

"Not at this…time……of…the…mornin'…we aint."

The slowing of his speech and the sudden change in his breaths made River slowly turn her head and she was instantly met with warm snoring puffs over her face. Yes he could have freshened his breath a little, but she didn't care.

Everything had changed. The hate had lessened, for the moment, so she draped her legs over him and rested her head on his chest to listen to his racing heartbeat.

The thumping beats was calming and it wasn't long before she followed him into the arms of slumber.

From the moment he walked into the mess hall, there had been "an atmosphere." Jayne didn't care for their cold angry glares and headed straight over to the large pot warming gently on the stove. Peering inside made a huge satisfied grin spread across his face.

"This this real stuff right? Not the protein go se that gave us all the shits?!"

He got no reply, so he grunted, shrugged his shoulders and used a bowl to scoop up a hefty amount of oatmeal. He grabbed a spoon from a drawer and dumped the bowl on the table before slumping into a chair.

Jayne tucked the edge of a napkin into the neck of his blue t-shirt and began to shovel the delicious sustenance into his mouth. Sex always made him hungry and right now he was so famished, Jayne felt like eating this entire bowl and everything that large pot held as well.

The only problem was that eating also rejuvenated his lust for more sexing.

They were staring at him, he could feel their eyes burrowing into his back. As he looked round, his cheeks bulging with oatmeal, he saw Mal and the others lined up against the counter, their arms folded…the icy glares fixed on their faces.

"Whaff?!" he snarled, gripping his spoon like a knife. A little oatmeal spilled from his mouth.

"You wanna know?" hissed Mal. Jayne noticed the red bloodshot eyes, the black bags of fatigue under his eyes and the way he was actually slumping in a tired sort of way against the counter instead of defiantly leaning. He also saw Mal's white knuckled fist wrapped around his gun. "You really wanna know you…yu ben gan ni niang?!"

"Nob weeleeb."

Jayne turned back to his breakfast and missed Mal's sudden surge in anger, nor did he notice the rest of the crew trying to restrain the crazed Captain. As his head turned, his breakfast was soon forgotten, his attention locked onto the figure of the small "crazy" girl standing in the doorway.

She was wearing those gorram oversized black boots and they didn't match the green flaring dress…skirt thing she was wearing, but her smile beneath the wet locks of her black hair, caught him off guard.

She was smiling?!

Jayne swallowed and then jabbed his spoon at her.

"Why you smilin'?"

She never said a word, she just looked over to the rest of the crew and swung her arms, trying not to smirk even more. Jayne followed her gaze to see what was so damned amusing.

The crew. They were far from happy and they were not smiling in the least.

Well, Wash was. The pilot was trying hard to control himself, smothering his hand over his spluttering mouth. Kaylee looked worried more than angry, swapping her gaze from the Captain to the Doctor standing next to him, in hope for answers. Zoe and Inara looked at Jayne with stern feminine judgement, but the Companion angled her head and gave River a confused yet soft tender gaze as she tried to understand why River could have allowed this to happen.

Book was immensely sombre. His arms folded across his chest as he muttered under his breath, what, Jayne didn't quite hear.

They had heard. Jayne hadn't been discreet and now as he noticed the smile on River's face, he came to realise something else.

"Were you screwin' with me?!" he snapped, jarring back the chair and leaping to his feet. "You planned all this to get them pissed with me?!"

River just carried on smiling, clapping her hands and jigging a little with joy

"Was this just some ruttin' game to you, ya little…?"

A fist cracked against Jayne's jaw and he fell the ground with a thud. The pain phased through his skull and blurred his vision, yet it cleared after a few minutes and his dignity was shredded into pieces when he saw who was standing over him.

"You wangbadan! You vile pig! How DARE you violate my sister like that!"

Simon was cradling his broken hand, but the red fury on his face was unlike him. The punch was unlike him, but Jayne did understand. He'd had punched a number of boys who had tried to do the same thing to his only sister.

"Violate? Jeez doc! Weren't ever like that!"

"You're not the in position to be talkin' right now!" Mal pushed Simon aside, but the lack of sleep had sapped his strength so all Simon did was stumble slightly. "Do you know what I…"

"What all of us, sir." chimed in Zoe with a authoritive tone. Mal nodded in acknowledgement.

"Do you know what all of us had to endure last night?! The horrible sounds kept me awake! Not that I could have slept after seein' you and River hangin' from the ceiling like a couple of humpin' monkeys!"

"You HUNG from the ceiling?!??" cried Simon shaking his head furiously. "No! No! It's not true! It's not possible! She's my sister! From the ceiling?! Jayne! How could you do that?"

"Usin' things called muscles, doc." said Jayne flexing his bicep. He received a feeble kick in his side.

"This isn't funny, bai chi!" said Mal.

"I think it is." said Wash holding his hand up in the air to get noticed. Wash flexed his raised arm and then looked despondently to Zoe. "Okay… honey, there is no hope in the now or ever after that I'm ever going to be able hold up your weight doing things like that."

"Really not helpin', husband'." Zoe pulled his hand down but held it affectionately. "Mal's right, it aint even remotely amusin'. Our bunk was right next to his…did ya not hear?"

"I heard. In total agreement with you sugar buns…with the not funny Jayne and River monkey sex interrupting our own normal horizontal on the bed fun times." Wash cupped at his mouth. "It's the whole Jayne's gonna be in trouble thing, that's funny."

"Sweetie…this is a delicate situation concernin' River and you know your humour is one of your many traits that I love. Usin' it now ain't helping with the situation."

"Me losin' sleep due to the horrible sight of your naked hairy ass hasn't done me any favours!" Mal snapped as he swayed from side to side, his eyes barely keeping open. River mimicked the Captain's swaying, chuckling lightly at his ever increasing show of fatigue.

"Do I have a hairy ass, honey?" asked Wash rubbing at his rump.

"Light soft downy fuzz, sweetie but Mal's talking about Jayne here. Not you."

"Oh. Right. Keepin' quiet now."

Before Mal could get to vent his anger at his merc, Jayne got to his feet and shuffled menacingly past the captain, snarling at the young girl still swaying behind Mal and looking all innocent. Well, she was trying to be innocent, but Jayne knew better. She had planned all this, she'd tricked him and it was all so she could get her jollies seeing him on the receiving end of the crew's anger. She must have thought it hilarious, her high and mighty doctor brother decking a big guy like him.

"I'm talkin' to you!" Mal grabbed at Jayne's shoulder and tried to push him round. "Do you know the trouble you've caused us?! Your poundin' on the lil' gal there is way out of my order of things! Takin' advantage of a delicate thing such as her is one thing…"

"Delicate my ruttin ass!" Jayne yelled.

"Ah! Your ruttin hairy ass." Wash received a slap on his shoulder from Zoe. Though the interruption hadn't slowed or stopped Mal's huge rant.

"I din't take advantage of the little brat! She wanted it, she started it!"

"To have actually seen you and River like that has warped my head! You've gone too far and I ain't in a charitable second chance frame of mind! What I am, is tired, mighty grouchy and its enough! I'm not gonna put up with it or you any more! So…I'm gonna have t' kill ya."

"What?!" Jayne spluttered and shot his hands up in the air as he felt the cold barrel of a gun at his neck. "No ruttin' way! Hells I'll get off the boat rather than be dead! Mal! I'll leave!!"

"Captain, are you really going to commit murder over a matter you don't fully comprehend?"

"Preacher, I don't need one of ya gorram sermons right now!" Mal shouted. "What is goin' t' happen is that I'm gonna send Jayne to that Special Hell that's been waitin' so long for him!"

"Perhaps, one day he may get there but not because of you. Think sensibly about this, Captain. River doesn't look beaten or upset…why don't we talk to her and Jayne instead of…"

"Shepherd, Mal isn't thinking sensibly about this, he's tired and in need of sleep!" Inara approached Mal and gently touched at his arm. She was shrugged off. "Mal, I can take you back to your bunk now…you can sleep and we'll talk sensibly about this at a later time."

"But I can't sleep…" There was desperation in the captain's voice now, there was a fear in those watery stinging tired eyes that was slowly evolving into a crazy twitch. "I'll see them even when I close my eyes…the space monkeys….swinging, moaning….the nekkidness….won't sleep because of him!"

"Simon, can you give him something to help him? Knock him out or wotnot?" asked Kaylee, nervously biting at her fingernails.

"I can knock 'im out if ya'd like."

"Weren't askin' you Jayne!" she snapped back. "Mal don't look too good! Can we get him back to his bunk and let him…you know drop off?"

Simon didn't reply to her, he was looking towards his sister with deep concern and immense worry. He approached her and took hold of her hand with his good one. He stroked at her knuckles and tried to bring her closer to him, but she just swung their arms back and forth as if she didn't have a care in the world.

"Mei mei…tell me, please. What possessed you let him do those things to you? How could you have even contemplated being…with him…in that…way?"

"Yeah! Answer him!" Jayne folded his arms across his chest.

Simon clenched his jaw and bit back the spiteful words he wanted to express towards the mercenary. His good hand slipped from Rivers and it clenched hard.

"River? We're trying to understand why this could have happened. With HIM."

"I know you are trying, but you won't understand. It was a bet." she replied twirling her hair around a finger.

"A bet?!?!" The whole crew chimed together and at the exact same moment their heads all whipped round to Jayne. River giggled.

"A bet I won mind!" Jayne puffed up his chest in an attempt to appear triumphant. Instead all he got in response was Mal's haggard face seething mere inches from his own and the gun digging in his chest.

The two men stood face to face, or rather Jayne watched as Mal tried to keep his eyes open and himself still. However, there was the threat behind those flickering lids, he was one ticked off Captain. The finger on the trigger was twitching and that scared Jayne (just a bit) as it could take just one simple shock or surprise and Mal could fill him full of lead.

"You made a bet?!"

Simon's loud exclamation indeed made Mal jump and the gun went off in his hand.

"Ta shi suoyou diyu de biaozi de ma!! Mal! That nearly blew me damned head off!! Ya nearly shot me!"

"You nearly shot me!"

"What? Mal, that's crazy lack of shut eye talk! When did I ever shoot ya?!"

"In the middle of your swinging escapades with River! Do you not recall, ya dumbass?!"

"Huh? What? What were you doin' in my bunk?"

"It's true Jayne." said River as she clasped her hands together and held them above her head. "Rude Captain-daddy interrupted at the wrong time…the build up, the imminent explosion from your head made everything a haze…"

"Ugh! River! Please! No!" Mal shook his head and the gun in his hand waved around as he tried to shake off the images his poor mind was still reliving. The rest of the crew all ducked and leaned away when the waving gun pointed in their direction, until Zoe finally took it off him. Jayne sighed with huge relief.

"A bet?!" cried Simon, his face now a bright angry red. "You had sex with that ape just because of a bet, mei mei??! A BET?! A BET?!"

"She said he couldn't make the girl scream. He said he could, so she bet him. Dared him to."


"Calm down doc!" said Zoe, "Before you have a coronary…or that vein in ya head bursts!"

"My sister dared him to do those things! No! It can't be true! This must be a dream!"

"I'm afraid it's not a dream, son." said Book.

"Dammit, I thought it must have been." Mal sank down to the floor, eased slowly with Inara's helpful hands.

"Definitely weren't no dream." Jayne hissed. "You planned this all along din'cha, moonbrain?! Ya couldn't handle the fact that ya weren't gettin' ya own way! Didn't like that I tol' ya the truth on how messed up and nuts ya are? I hurt ya itty bitty girl feelin's, so go ahead and start cryin' them tears!"

"You were always mean. I was mean back at you." said River, sticking her tongue out at him.

"So? What's wrong with that?!"

"We were getting too volatile. We shouted and yelled. We fought, hit out so much that we could have killed each other. Knife in the gut or a snapped neck. Crack! Crack!"

"I can still snap your neck, crazy!"

"She can slice you with the pointy knife again if you wish. But there's so much built up…we have to release another way…pull pull…tug tug. Squish or gush."

"Huh? Make sense gorramit!"

"Two options, Jayne man!" said River holding up two fingers in front of his face. "Squish of the brains, we could explode from such confliction and hatred and then end up on Simon's table stone cold. No life, no beating heart…Simon would be without a sister and the crew would be greatly sad at losing Jayne."

"No we won't!" Mal and Simon replied in unison. River scowled at them.

"So there is death and sadness or we can gush as we did." Her eyes fluttered closed and River smiled as she ran her hands through her hair and then over body. "Differences sorted out in the best possible way…heated like the fights but much more pleasurable. Connection and contact, insertion and vigour. The shots of you within me rather than a gun…preferable. Again and again!"

"You tellin' me we had sex because if we dint we would have ended up killin' each other?"

"Quite possibly. So the bet and dare was accepted!" River opened her eyes and then she lowered her voice, her tone became husky and sexual. "Four nights in a row now. Six times in one night! A very good bet."

"Quit sayin' that! You do realise that the cap'ain and ya brother want to kill me and that the Cap'ain has a gun that could dead me right now hearin' you say that go se!"

"They can't kill you, because I will."

"Yeah?" There was a rumble in his chest and throat, before he pounded his chest with a fist and exclaimed quite loudly. "Well bring it pipsqueak! Right here!"

"The violence or the sex?"

"Ugh! Do you not realise that we're all still standing here?!" cried Simon. "Could you both just stop this?"

The arguing couple probably didn't hear him, or remember that the rest of the crew were being an audience to their spat.

"You think I'm gonna be sexin' you again?!"

"She knows so!"

"Admit that you planned all this! Say that you screwed my whole life up by doin' that stuff to me!"

"Guilty as charged! You did stuff to the girl too! Is Jayne going to deny that he didn't like it at all?!"

"That ain't the gorram point, loony bint! You tricked me! You schemed and plotted with that plottin' and schemin' mind and you set me up!"

"Because you wanted me to!"

"I wanted to sex ya? Yeah right! Like I need a hole in ma head!"

"Don't lie. The girl can see it all in there. You've always wanted her. She excites you."

"She pisses me off!"

"She does that as well."

"River…stop this! Please!" begged Simon, hysterically. "This isn't right! You can't seriously mean any of this!"

"Back off doc, this between me and her!" Jayne growled. He pushed Simon away and then faced the young girl. "You an' me little Moonbrain, this ain't finished!

"No. It's not."

River straightened herself up to her fullest height, in an attempt to be all confrontational against the tall merc, but even stretching a little higher, River only came up to his chest. After a brief stare out, after the attempts to out "glare" each other, River grinned and then turned away, walking over to the stove.

The silence in the room was extremely uncomfortable. The tension could have been cut with one of Jayne's knives, but instead it was ended with something else entirely.

River finished glaring into the large pot of oatmeal and her stomach rumbled at the thought of eating. Instead she picked up the pot and then brought it over to the table; everyone was intrigued that she could be so "normal" about this rather bizarre situation with Jayne and how her actions would affect this close knit crew. So they watched her, silent but concerned.

Everyone, including Jayne expected her to start eating from the pot when she sat down on the chair, however River did something none of them expected.

She got up and climbed onto the chair and now with Jayne standing next to her, she was taller than him and she grinned at the more dominant position.

"We're not finished." she lilted softly by his ear. "Not yet. Growl for me again little fanged kitty."

"I ain't a gorram pussy."

River laughed in her palm briefly before adopting her serious creepyfying tone again.

"Big ape, alpha male. The women bring him the food, she has your breakfast. Does he want to carry on sharing? She doesn't mind…he deserves her. Deserves the food to fill his belly, give him the strength to carry on."

"River…get down from there!" said Simon edging closer to the two glaring at each other. Simon held out his hand towards River, but she ignored him.

"Your boots are making dirty marks all over the chair."

"Wash…right now the dirty boots on the furniture are not a concern." said Simon. "River, please, don't play around with Jayne any more. Come down off the chair, come with me and maybe we can figure out what's gone wrong."

"No medication." River lilted, grinning at Jayne. "No clouds to muffle the sunlight. Ge ge has no say any more. She's hungry, Jayne. Are you?"

"Yeah…and yer standin' on my chair. Git offit!"

"We can share…like we've done before."

" I ain't sharin', not with you loony loon!"

"Such original name calling from you!" River snarked back with sarcasm. She sighed. "Very well, you can have it all then. You can have everything, just like you've always wanted."

River bent down and turned round to the table to pick up the pot of oatmeal, upon straightening up again she held the pot out towards Jayne, offering him the inviting meal. He didn't take it, he merely bared his teeth and jolted the chair with his knee in an attempt to tip her off it. The chair wobbled but River wasn't in the slightest bit unbalanced.

"Have you two crazies finished arguin'? Can I shoot you now?!"

The gun clicked.

Then all hell was unleashed.

A long with a large pot of warm oatmeal. All over Jayne's head.

"YOU SHEN JING BING!!! I'm gonna rip your crazy lil' head off!"

River screeched with hilarious joy and somersaulted off the chair. Landing on her feet, she caught the wonderful sight of an Oatmeal covered Jayne, the angry crease of his brow beneath the dripping blobs raised her amusement, before she ran out of the mess hall.

The chair was thrown aside and a very angry six foot four mercenary followed the laughing teen through the door, bellowing his intent to pay her back for his humiliation.

"RIVER NO!" Simon made a start to run after them, but he was jerked back by Kaylee's grip on his arm. The sleeve of his shirt was ripped clean off as he fought against her hold. Simon stopped struggling when a startled "eep" squeaked from the mechanic's lips.

"Sorry." Kaylee offered Simon back the shirt. "But don't go chasin' after them now. You'd only get in Jayne's way an' end up bein' hurt. Again."

"He's going to hurt River!" Simon snapped. "I can't let that baboon do that to her! I can't!"

"I don't think that's going to happen, Simon." Book said calmly.

Simon and Mal gave the Shepherd puzzled frowns, just as the sound of an agonized howl echoed in the distance. They both rushed towards the door, but they were stopped by Zoe and Book, blocking their path.

"Best to leave 'em t'deal." said Zoe.

"He's going to hurt her!" said Simon. "My sister! He could kill her!"


"Appears to me that she will be doing the hurting. After all she is the result of the Academy's tampering…who knows what she's capable of." The Shepherd replied with a smile. "It would be best to tend to your hand, doctor and Captain…perhaps you should get some sleep?"

Mal staggered. The confusion and confliction between wanting to shoot Jayne and going to rest in his bunk wasn't doing any politeness on his fragile state. The Doctor wasn't looking too great either, ignoring his injured hand and fretting over his little sibling.

"Doc…get that hand seen to." Mal moaned. "I'm gonna put an end to whatever those two are doing. This here is my ship and I will have order!"

"Don't shoot 'em, sir." said Kaylee. "Please don't?"

"Talk to them, Captain, it will help you understand." the Shepherd added. "Once you understand, acceptance will eventually follow."

"Not lookin' to understand nor accept, preacher man." Mal approached the door, "Just gettin' my ship and crew back to the way that was. Advantages were taken, wrongs were done and I ain't sittin' down an' lettin' it happen! Don't want no more disturbances in the night. Don't want…"

He never got to finish his sentence for his foot caught on the step in the doorway. There was a brief "Whaa!" during the fall, followed lastly by a thud as Mal's body crashed to the metal floor.

Snores followed as Malcolm Reynolds finally drifted off to sleep.

The sleep did wonders for the Captain of Serenity. He was left alone on the floor for a couple of hours, the others stepping around him if they needed access to the mess hall or bunks.

Though not all the sleep was peaceful.

He may have been out of it, but they still disturbed his dreams. The sounds reached his ears and imposed on the pleasant dreams he had been having. The smile that had been upon his face, the smile that had accompanied the mumbled words of relief about Inara, vanished.

The sounds were penetrating him, making his body twitch and turn. His hands flapped around his scrunched face, unconsciously thinking that it might somehow help. It didn't.

But he still slept on.

"Need to stop the space monkeys. Get 'em off the ship….get 'em away."

The solution came to him when the noises finally woke him up. With his body aching with stiff joints and pains in his back, Malcolm Reynolds slowly sat up.

It was in the middle of the night cycle and someone had finally managed to carry him down to his bunk. He sat up on his bed and tilted his head upwards to where the noise was coming from.

He never wanted to understand how someone like Jayne and River could get like this, but the more his mind dwelled on it, the chaos of it all, the more he did. Opposites attract…blah blah blah. Yeah right. All it was was just craziness. She and him sharing that craziness weren't right but it worked.

For the most part. It stopped themselves having knife fights and threatening each other with guns, but it wasn't helping Mal.

A new rule had to be put in order, if he couldn't stop them. One rule that would be beneficial to everyone…with the exception of Simon.

It was the only way for Mal to get any rest.

"Are you awake?"


Jayne felt a finger jab him hard in the ribs, but he didn't stir. He may have had all his pent up anger and virulent energy sapped from every inch of his body and wanted to sleep, but he had a nagging feeling that he wasn't going to get any.

"You are not in REM sleep?"

"Would I be replyin' if I was, ya daft cow?"

Jayne received another finger jab against his chest and along with it he got a kick in the shins.

"You talk in your sleep. Same gibberish as when you're awake."

Jayne moaned and his arm that had been wrapped around River's shoulders slipped round and grabbed the blanket. He tugged the blanket over him and turned away from her.

"If yer lookin' for a conversation, I ain't interested right now. Some shut eye after that last bout is what I needs right now."

"So romantic, aren't you?" River smiled and then curled up tightly against Jayne's back. He tried to shake her off, he even tensed his whole body in the hope that River would realise he wasn't interested. Feeling her warm naked body pressed against his only belied his intentions when his arm snaked round her waist and his hand stroked across the moist curve of her thigh.

"This ain't a romance, moony. Shuddup and go to sleep."

"I'm hungry." she cooed in his ear.

"Ya've got t' be kiddin' me!"

"The oatmeal and Jayne was filling."

"So…I say again, shuddup and go to sleep gorammit!"

"I'm not tired…its mid afternoon. You're not tired…are you?"

"You are testin' my patience, girlie."

She was testing something else. Her hand that had been toying (annoyingly) with his belly button, slipped lower down, across his groin and along the length of his already stirring penis. Jayne felt her fingers curl around the shaft and he nearly moaned with such pleasurable sensations she caused. He was definitely aroused, until she squeezed. Hard.

"MADE! Chuo zi!! River! Ya gonna wrench it right off!"

"I could do. Quite easily."

"No ruttin' way!" Jayne lurched up into a sitting position, wincing even more as her tight clench on his precious organ pulled harder. "Fuck! Damn and shi dan! Let go and git out!"

River shook her head and slid onto his lap. Leaning into him, River continued to tease at his erection, she sniffed at his neck before running her tongue up along his throat and over the middle of his face.

"Ugh! River, ya going the right way for a damned good thrashin'!"

"Hmmm! I hope so!"

"River! I'm gorram tired!" He grabbed hold of her wrists and tried to pull her hands away from his groin. River however kept a firm grip on him and smirked. "Can I get some shut eye?"

"Not now. Work it with me. Up and down…"

"Ugggghhh…." His eyes fluttered closed as he willingly complied with her instructions, shaking lightly at the pleasure it was giving him but sense finally prevailed. He pulled her hand away, regretting it when her nails clawed across his skin, and then grabbed her hard by the arms. He squeezed tightly at her skin, but again River just smiled.

"What is this? You still jus' usin' me, girl? Think ya gonna get your own way all the time, just cuz ya know how to perk up the meat?"

"It's not just about what I want, you ape gone wrong! It is about what we need!"

"Damn it crazy girl! If it weren't for my idea, then we…sorry I woulda been filled with holes and tossed out the nearest airlock! If I dint start mouthin' off at ya, the rest of them woulda bombarded us with their gorram opinions and tol' us how it weren't right and all that other go se about age and about us hatin' each other. Each one of them woulda yelled at me about me takin' advantage of ya and ya brother would have suffocated you with his namby pamby fluffy girly…pansy arsed-ness! We woulda had to listen to their lectures for hours and listening to Mal have one of his rants ain't fun! So just gerroff me and either go to sleep or git gone!"

She did neither.

River ground her hips into him, she squeezed harder at his stiffness and moaned seductively into his ear.

"No ruttin' way." she breathed. "I ain't gettin' gone. You don't want me to."

Jayne hated it when she was right. Snarling, he grabbed fistfuls of her hair, pulled her head back and buried his face against her neck, biting hard.

"I'm gonna kill ya, bao bai."

"Going to kill you first."


As River was flipped onto her back, whilst she felt his mouth manoeuvre hungrily over her chest, she couldn't help but smile. Bao bai.

Jayne Cobb has just now lost the bet.

"Jayne! I know you can hear me! Get your ass back to the ship now! We ain't hanging around waitin' for you! Jayne! Gorrammit! Answer me you hun dan!"

There wasn't any response at all. Why should there be?

Mal yelled some more angry orders into the com and that too received only silence from the other end. Wash watched the captain throw the hand held device across the bridge in frustration and he managed to duck at just the right time when the coiled lead sprung it flying back over his head.

"We have a job to do!"

"We're in no rush, are we Captain?" asked Wash, giving Mal back the com and propping his feet up onto the flight console. "We can give Jayne another half an hour, can't we?"

"That's half an hour too long. Badger ain't gonna be impressed if we're late and I don't particularly want to get into another pissing contest with him." Mal held the com up to his mouth and held down the button on its side. "Jayne! I swear if you don't get back here now, I will end you! And that is not a threat!"

Wash tried to hide his smile. That's all there had been over the past two weeks.

Mal threatened Jayne, Jayne threatened Mal. River threatened Jayne, who threatened her back. Simon threatened Jayne too, who most of the time just laughed. It was never ending. Simon was still in a state of shock, but everyone else had reached a level of acceptance about this rather unusual situation.

The odd couple still fought, it wouldn't have been them if they did otherwise. Such fights were often instigated on Jayne's behalf but whenever it came close to exchanging blows, both the merc and the young genius Tam girl would take it else where.

Wash couldn't determine what River and Jayne really had, neither could the others. It was bizarre for a number of reasons, but the results had proved beneficial to the crew. Jayne had become more focused, he performed his duties flawlessly and he came up with several good money jobs for the crew as well. He was starting to fit in.

River…despite the strange new abilities that she acquired, the eerie future predicting, the devastating combat skills to name just a few, she was much more coherent. Less crazy, less dependent on her brother and medication, she was showing signs of getting better, which Simon couldn't even deny.

Jayne was good and bad for her. She was the same for him, but what was it? Nothing simple as just a bet or dare. More complicated than a real loving relationship. It was weird.

Wash accepted it though. People wouldn't understand how a man like Jayne could be with someone so much younger than he. They couldn't understand how between two very different people it could have worked out this way. Not everyone understood Zoe and Wash either.

But it was accepted nonetheless. Wash himself had no problems about the relationship of the merc and reader…it was what worked for them.

Wash looked out of the window and saw off in the distance the spare shuttle, sitting in space, silent and still. Inside, it was definitely far from peaceful.

A little bleep sounded from his console and Wash dropped his feet to the floor and leaned over to the view the monitor. The informative alert that scrolled up the black screen in green lettering was something he didn't want to know, but it was too late now.

"What's happened?" asked Mal leaning over to take a look. Wash flung his arms over the monitor and nervously chuckled.

"Nothing! Nothing at all! It's fine. They're okay…I'm sure. Mal…let's just give the love birds another half hour. We can make it to Persephone in plenty of time."

"Wash! What is going on?! My patience is not feelin' too well at the moment."

"Nothing, there's just a little malfunction on the shuttle that serenity's picked up. Nothin' serious."

"They're breaking my shuttle?!" Mal shook his head and slammed an angry hand on the back of Wash's head rest. "I told them what would happen if they break my shuttle!"

"It's not broken, sir. Just a little problem with the…"


"Okay! If you really want to know!"

"I'm askin' ain't I?"

"Fine!" Wash held his hands up and allowed the Captain to read the info.

The nostrils flared and the captain's face went bright red. He couldn't speak, he couldn't even move, so Wash then scooped the com device from Mal's hand and flicked a switch just above his head.

Wash tutted and then flicked another switch.

"Jayne…River… I would strongly recommend you finish off what you're doin' and get back to the ship. The Captain is not best……"


The breathless pants sounded so loud over Serenity's speakers, that they forced Wash to severe the link before he heard anything more.

"The 'verse has gone insane." Mal uttered, slumping down into the co-pilot's chair. "I give up. Let them have their…whatever it is. There's nothing in this verse that'll pry those two apart. Not me, not no one. Not no how."

The Captain was right. As strange as the River and Jayne relationship was, there was nothing that could keep them away from each other.

But at least the Captain's new rule allowed for a good night cycle's sleep, for everyone.

The two men sat in silence, busying themselves with any little or minor job, as long as it took their minds and eyes off the shuttle before them.

It was more than half an hour, before another bleep sounded from Wash's console.

"Ah. The shuttle's gravity is back on, Mal. It seems the cavorting space monkeys have finished."

Space monkeys. Mal's body shuddered. The swinging howling space monkeys would be the end of everything, he knew it. The 'verse was not safe.

The End.