Disclaimer: I own nothing.

oOo

The first time is innocent enough. Starts out innocent enough, at least. A mission gone… not wrong, but complicated. The sort of complications that has Jayne ending up in the infirmary with a bullet in his lower leg.

Simon rifles through the drawers and cupboards, already knowing he won't find what he's looking for.

"Did you at least get the money out?" he asks, turning to Jayne.

"'Course we did", Jayne huffs.

"Good. Because then I might be able to talk our captain into refilling my med supplies. As I have mentioned to him an uncountable number of times, you people really do use up the painkillers."

There is something in Simons eyes that Jayne can't quite read.

"I ran out of them last time you decided to get shot.".

A moment, then it dawns on Jayne. "No painkillers?" He clenches his hands. "Sure, I can take that."

"I will have to strap you down", Simon continues. "Can't have you moving about while I'm trying to get you patched up. Someone might get hurt."

He gets broad leather straps from one of the cupboards. Jayne remotely remembers using those same straps when trying to get information from… but that was the old, rough days. He rarely gets to do those things anymore. When the matter comes up, he always makes sure to be suitably angry about that, but in reality he did never much care for torture, not when it really comes down to it. Threats, though… and then his thoughts are cut short when Simon fastens a strap securely around the ankle of the hurt leg, sending a burst of pain through Jayne's entire body. Damn, but he could do with some pain meds right about now. There is some upsides to this way of doing it, though. He gets to see the expression on Simon's face as he straps Jayne down tight and good. Simon usually wears the same stony mask, but when he goes over all the straps again, tugging at them to make sure they are secured, something like embarrassment flickers over his features.

Then it's all a haze of pain for some time. Jayne is tough, but that doesn't mean he has to like having a bullet dug out of his leg with nothing to knock him out, does it now? He thinks he's doing well, at least. Nobody's gonna hear Jayne cry like a kid, however much it hurts. Groaning, though… that's practically manly. He's allowed to do that.

An indeterminable time later, Simon undoes the buckles and lets Jayne's hands loose again, then the two straps crossed over his torso falls to the floor, and at last his legs are free. Jayne sits up, rubbing the red marks on his wrists. His lower left leg is enveloped by a shiny white cast. Simon is standing with his back to Jayne, washing up.

"Wasn't that bad", Jayne says, a bit breathlessly.

"That's nice." Simon sounds strained and when he turns back Jayne can see a flush fading on his cheeks.

Jayne is handed a crutch and told to not put weight on the leg for at least a week, "If you can keep your self reigned in that long, that is." He hobbles out if the infirmary, giving Simon a blinding smile on his way past him. Simon's puzzled look makes Jayne's day.

oOo

It takes less than a week. Simon isn't even sure how Jayne managed to find a fight on Idun, the most peaceful moon he's ever seen, but a fight is somehow found.

"You are aware that this is pulling me from a long deserved shore leave, right?"

Jayne just smirks and sits down on the table. Simon has a good mind to hand him some bandages and be out of there, but he can't. The slash over Jayne's shoulder is jagged and nasty-looking. If it isn't cleaned soon and properly – as in, by an actual doctor and not by a man who thinks "pour half a bottle on whisky on me and the rest in me" is a good way of treating wounds – Simon just knows it will get infected and cause him even more trouble.

"You're also aware, I hope, that the captain won't be back in at least one hour, and that I therefore haven't got any painkillers yet?"

"Guess you'll just have to tie me down again, won't you?"

Simon clenches his jaw, not sure what to say. He can feel Jayne's eyes burn in his back as he turns to get the straps.

oOo

"You did what?"

"Hey, I didn't know he would have another gun!"

Simon just shakes his head.

"Good luck for you – we're fully restocked with pain meds."

"Nah, that stuff's for sissies."

Jayne looks straight at Simon, challenging him to speak. He's not sure himself of what he's doing, but he has this theory… and Simon reacts just as predicted. A shrug, another shake of his head, all natural reactions but there's more. A slight widening of his eyes, a subtle change in the way he's breathing. Jayne feels powerful, somehow, even as he gets tied to the table. This time, he is able to stay on top of the pain the whole time. The wound is nothing, a mere graze which he probably would have been able to take care of himself – a fact both of them knows and none of them acknowledges. The groans that slips past Jayne's lips aren't really from pain, not entirely at least. He watches closely each time he makes a sound, sees Simon's face tense and his cheeks go a little redder. Interesting. Jayne tests the bindings around his wrists, straining against them for a few moments. They don't budge. Good. Simon gives him a questioning look. Jayne waits until Simon is almost done cleaning out the wound, then he moans again, drawn out and probably a kind of overdoing it. It works, though. Simon closes his eyes, just for an instant, and his breath catches in his throat. When he goes back to seal the wound shut, he does so quickly, with uncharacteristically jerky movements.

oOo

Somewhere along the way, they stopped pretending. Sure, there is still a flimsy pretext of injuries that must be treated, but they both know that's just for show, just part of the game. From time to time, there are even real wounds. Those, Simon treat calmly and professionally, shooting Jayne full with drugs that make his vision go fuzzy around the edges and his pain to disappear in an instant. But when Jayne shows up alone at the infirmary door – and always when Simon just so happens to be there for one reason or other – Simon shakes his head at him, tells him he should get some common sense and stop passing by gunfights, falling down cliffs, getting hit in bar fights, cut himself on the rough edges of a stolen box. Then he nods towards the table, and ties Jayne down.

Simon isn't bothering much to hide the flush on his cheeks, Jayne equally uninterested in concealing the look of pleasure in his eyes. There will probably be more soon, Simon thinks as he cuts Jayne's shirt off to get to the gash across his chest. He really shouldn't look forward to it as much as he does.