Disclaimer: I do not own Firefly. Written for fun, not profit.

A/N: If there's any canon mention of Christmas in the Firefly/Serenity 'verse, I'm ignoring it. Written for demented_mei.


"It ain't my gorram fault if some rich chun zhu got that little moonbrain believin' an over-happy fat man was comin' to deliver her presents just 'cause of the date on the calendar!"

And not no one was gonna make him feel bad for settin' her straight neither, especially not Kaylee and her sweet gaze and judge-y pout. He crossed his arms over his chest, head hunched forward so that the ear covers of his favorite knitted hat tickled his neck. Without meaning to, he mimicked her girlish glower.

"Well, it's true," he muttered.

"Jayne," Kaylee said. More of a whine than anything. "She wasn't hurting nothing, and the decorations were kinda pretty."

Jayne grunted, refusing to agree.

"And besides," Kaylee continued, "didn't your momma tell you tales about the Jolly Fat Man when you were little?"

If it was possible, his bottom lip stuck out even further at the mention of his mother, and he blushed a bit at the memory of sitting on her lap, listening to her sing stories in the cold season. He grumbled under his breath.

Maybe, in thinking back on it, there wasn't much need for him rippin' down the wreath River had made out the foil tissue from the rations…And maybe screamin' in her face wasn't a right proper way to shut her up—

"But those ruttin' songs she kept singin'! All that fa-la-la-la-la-in'—what's that even mean?—and goin' on about 'silent nights'—sounds like a gorram reaper story to me! Was drivin' me nuts!"

Kaylee leveled a glare at him, not requiring words to get her point across.

"You mean to tell me that wasn't gettin' on your last nerve?"

The woman cocked her head to the side, some mocking pity in the twitch at the corner of her mouth. Finally, she sighed in defeat. "I don't hold it against you, Jayne. Can't say the same for River, though. Hope she doesn't get all vengeful over it."

"Let her!" Jayne threw his hands up. "I ain't apologizin'! Ain't no way, ain't no how." He finished with a huff, losing some of his steam as he remembered the nut coming at him with a knife that one time. There was a mischievous glint in Kaylee's eyes, as if she were reading his mind. Tease. Still, he swallowed hard, trying to push the worry from his voice. "I ain't sayin' sorry. I mean it…"


This was not to be considered an apology.

Jayne told himself as much, and he dang-well meant it. This was just a way of insurin' the crazy didn't go crazier and try to cut his throat while he slept. Was protectin' his own interests, was all. And it certainly didn't have a thing to do with him spottin' the wide-eyed doxy getting a hug from her half-wit brother while the hwen dan muttered on all pathetic-like about their estranged parents—

How was he supposed to know those rich folks threw fancy gift-givin' parties for some archaic Earth-that-Was holiday? Didn't make a lick of sense. Even Shepherd Book didn't know much on it.

Not that Jayne asked directly or nothin'. 'Cause he wasn't interested in no dead holiday. Not in the least. Even if his mother used to sing him songs about it.

"Da-shiang bao-tza shr duh lah doo-tze—this ruttin' needle!" Jayne shook in frustration, his hot gaze bouncing off Bertha as he hissed through his teeth, refusing the urge to take his favorite gun to the hat. He let out one more breath, calming himself enough to wipe the blood off his finger tips and pick back up the fabric. Somewhere in all this, Inara and her faulty sewing kit was to blame for the mess laid out before him.

"Ain't worth the trouble," he spat, but he went back to work, tacking the white fluff he'd found onto the narrow tip of crimson fabric.

When he finished, he couldn't stop the small grin of satisfaction from appearing at his lips. He wrenched the floppy hat onto his head, straightening the white yarn fringe that hung down at his chin as best he could manage. Crossing his quarters, he pulled out his drawer, going about shoving his dirty clothes into the front of the red nightshirt tucked into his pants.

Pleased with himself, he patted his swollen stomach and tossed his bag of goodies (courtesy of Simon Tam's share from their last job, even if he didn't know it) over his shoulder. "The things I do to keep on this ruttin' ship," he grumbled, and headed to his ladder.

Little moonbrain wanted a Jolly Fat Man, she'd get her gorram Jolly Fat Man.