TITLE: Tussle


A/N: Ah the joys of procrastination. Sigh. Prequel to 'Daddy Knows Best'.

They'd been in the Black for three weeks now and damned if his skin wasn't itching something fierce. Mal never usually made them stay in the air this long but with Zoe's little one still so young he didn't want to take any chances. Besides, they'd been paid well for their last job.

Still didn't help Jayne's problem.

Being this long with trim was getting to him. He could swear his right arm was now bigger than his left with all the 'taking care' of himself he'd been doing, and Mal didn't look likely to stop planetside anytime soon. Which was well and good for a man with a woman like Inara warming his bed, or a doctor who was spending enough time with the mechanic to make a body blush, but it sure as hell didn't help Jayne's mood.

Hell, even Zoe had her new little man taking up her time...course that was mainly feeding and burping.

He pushed the weight bar up, grunting with the effort of burning off this excess sexual tension. Man of his size and sex drive needed either trim or violence to take the edge off, and Mal had forbidden him from sparring with River after what happened last time.

Weren't like his wrist hadn't healed by now, ruttin' bossy hun dan.

Normally sparring with the girl would fix him up right quick, and he wasn't going to lie – the feeling of that lithe body against his was enough to leave him panting for more, tired though he may be. Still, she sure knew how to put a man through his paces, and Jayne was guessing that she still hadn't gone full schizo on him just yet.

The image made him lick his lips.

He glanced up as she entered the cargo bay, those tiny shorts and thin tank doing nothing for his already foul mood. Probably weren't right to think on her like that but ever since Miranda he hadn't been able to get her off his mind, and his tired right arm was evidence of that. He knew Mal was busy piloting while she practiced her exercises, and an idea formed.

She barely glanced at him as she stretched a leg impossibly high over her head, balancing one of her barbaric blades with ballerina arms. Try as they might, nobody could get her to relinquish those weapons, and Jayne thought there was something mighty poetical about such a delicate, dainty thing clutching something so feral and vicious looking.

He quirked a brow as he stood, moving slowly towards her. "You feel like a tussle, girl?"

She coolly swept her eyes up and down his form. "Daddy said no more sparring."

He smirked. "Yeah well Daddy don't know best, an' I'm in the mood fer some violence."

She nodded once, the only warning he got before she swung a leg at his head. He barely had time to duck before whipping out a fist, nearly catching her as she flipped backwards. She flung her blade into a nearby crate, the dull thud echoing through the cargo bay as he aimed a roundhouse at her skull.

She ducked and rolled, catching him in the ankle and sending him to the ground. He kipped to his feet at the same time as her, rolling his shoulders and laughing wolfishly as she spun an elbow towards his face. He caught it, using her momentum to slam her into the wall, unsurprised when she did a running flip up the bulkhead to land behind him.

He turned and suddenly realized she wasn't pulling her punches any more when she threw him a brutal backhand kick combo that nearly brought him to his knees. He retaliated with a grab at her ankle, only to find her other boot spinning towards his face as she flipped over her own leg.

He ducked, releasing her foot and stumbling back as she somersaulted to her feet. She was panting heavily, and he knew his own breathe couldn't have been coming out sharper. His eyes raked over her slim form as her own darkened, fists at the ready and feet in battle stance.

Wasn't right, her dressing like something straight out of Jailbait Monthly, looking too damn good for a girl of seventeen.


His head snapped up as she spoke, her words coming out breathy and hoarse. "Whatchu say girl?"

She quirked a brow as she continued. "Not seventeen, not jailbait. Eighteen years old. Adult."

His eyes travelled down her sweat soaked chest and impossibly perfect legs, taking his time to lean back slightly and smirk. He lifted a brow, running his tongue over his teeth as another idea formed.

"You feel like a tussle, girly?"

She tilted her head. "She was under the impression they were already 'tussling'."

He shook his head, knowing she was going to come at him twice as hard when she figured out what he was doing. No matter, he needed the violence, and coming from such a pretty package didn't hurt none. Besides, it was fun to flirt with the girl, especially since she didn't really get what he was saying.

He slipped a thumb under his belt and grinned wolfishly. "Nah girly, I'm thinkin' a different kind of tussle's what I'm lookin' fer right about now."

He waited for her eyes to widen with realization, waited for her to attack him with everything she had at her disposal when she caught wind of his filthy thoughts. Instead she simply turned, walking up towards the stairs that lead to her bedroom. He sighed, annoyed that he wasn't getting his spot of violence, when suddenly she turned her head back slightly.

"Is he coming?"

He looked at her in shock.


She ran her little tongue over pouty pink lips. "He wants a tussle, yes?"

She strode out of the cargo bay, stripping her tank off as she went, leaving her back naked as she exited.

It took Jayne three seconds to recover, four seconds to bolt up the stairs, and two to reach her bedroom door. She was standing with her hands braced on her hips, bare except for her black panties and combat boots, skin slick with sweat and hair tousled from their workout.

His grin grew to show sharp white teeth. "Damn girly, ya sure know how ta knock the wind outta a man. Ya sure yer wantin' this?"

She arched a brow and tilted her head. "Daddy said no sparring, must find alternatives to violence for release." She lowered her lashes and gave him a sultry smile that heated him to his core. "For the good of the ship."

He closed the door behind him as he stripped off his shirt, stalking towards her, his eyes flashing as his tongue ran over his teeth.

"Oh girly, the things I'm gonna do fer my ship."