Epilogue: "There Once Was a Poet Named Jayne..."

Author's Note: Again, massively OOC for Jayne and River, I'm sure, but I still can't resist letting these two battle it out in yet another pseudo-literary venue.

This fic was partly inspired by the many kind reviews I received for the first two chapters, and partly by a rerun of 'The Big Bang Theory' that I finally saw a couple of nights ago (the one where the guys combined several leisure activities into one new game, 'Secret Agent Chess').

I own nothing and no-one (especially not Joss Whedon's 'Firefly'), and I make no profit from playing with these characters.

This chapter is as 'fluffy' and silly as it gets, so don't expect profundity, please!

THE 'POET' THEY CALL JAYNE (Epilogue, 3/3)

River Tam, psychic assassin and self-proclaimed wielder of the deadliest pen on 'Serenity', bounced lightly on the soles of her feet as she faced her opponent across the currently empty cargo bay. Most of the crew was away for the evening, enjoying shore leave in the unusually safe and welcoming rim-world town that was the site of their latest delivery job, making this the perfect opportunity to have it out once and for all with her arch-nemesis and chief rival on the ship: the Man Called Jayne.

"Are you ready?" River asked, narrowing her eyes as she studied the fighting stance adopted by her much larger foe. Hearing his affirmative grunt, River launched her first attack, throwing a knife directly at Jayne's head.

As he effortlessly ducked out of the way, Jayne began his recitation, timing his lines of verse to fit in between River's attempts to hit him with knives, bottles, and occasionally her fists:

"There once was a girl from Osiris"


"Who weren't no bigger than a virus"

[Whoosh! Crash!]

"Then she went on the run,"


"And had lots of fun"


"And if the Cap'n finds out, he's gonna fire us."


River sniffed in exaggerated disdain, as they paused for Jayne to catch his breath.

"That was uninspired, and uninspiring," she critiqued. "Also, I almost caught you with that second bottle. You should lose points for that."

"Ha!" Jayne retorted, demonstrating his eloquence yet again. "It's my game, and I told you: 'almost' doesn't count. 'Close' only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and housework, little girl - not in Semi-Lethal Dodge Limericks."

"'Close' also counts in thermonuclear warfare," River objected (reasonably, she felt).

"Well, there ain't no nukes allowed in this game, alright? So now it's your turn." Jayne paused and grinned. "Unless you're ready to admit that I'm the deadliest poet on this here crew?"

"No! Never!" River protested, silently resolved to make him pay for that oh-so-taunting grin (he knew exactly what it did to her and he was only using it now to distract her, the evil-sexy ape-man!) once they were alone in their bunk later tonight.

In the meantime, River had a game and a title to win. It was a matter of pride, after all.

"I'm ready!" River called as Jayne warmed up his throwing arm. "Begin!"

[Twang! Thwick!]

"There once was a man they called Jayne"


"Who excelled at causing great pain,"

[Swish! Smack!]

"Which the girl appreciated,"


"When they caught up with those she hated,"


"But not when his whiskers clogged the drain!"


That would teach him to trim his beard (dashing and devastatingly handsome though his goatee undeniably was) over the sink in their quarters, River thought in triumph, as Jayne looked at her in astonishment, mouth hanging open as though honestly shocked that she'd use that as ammunition!

Jayne's own eyes narrowed in calculation. Well, if that's the way she wants to play it.... "Oh, it's on now, killer-gal. No quarter?"

River grinned back at him, exhilarated by both the game and the growly tone in his voice, promising even more interesting retribution later on. "No quarter," she confirmed, happily.

The End (Really, This Time)