02 January 2008 @ 06:42 pm
Surprise (Firefly)  
Title: Surprise
Author: Lilith ([info]lilithilien)
Fandom: Firefly
Summary: Jayne hates getting ambushed and Mal's a bastard.
Rated: Gen
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon's creations don't belong to me; it's more the other way around.
Note: Happy birthday to [info]sdk!


Jayne was putting the final spit-polish on Vera -- what could he say? Nothing else made her barrel shine so fine -- when he heard a clumsy footstep outside his cabin. Couldn't be the Captain. Mal's footstep was hard and heavy, except when he didn't want it to be. Jayne had been snuck up on by that man one too many times. Sometimes it was while he was pulling guard duty. And no, he had not fallen asleep. It was the Captain and his gorram tiptoeing, like some foo-foo ballerina on a core planet.

But there were other times, only a few, when he'd been happy to let the Captain sneak up on him. He wasn't asleep then; no, times like those his senses were on edge, sizzling just like after a lightning storm when the hairs on his arm would stand straight up. Mal had that same kind of electricity, damn him to hell. Rutting with him felt like Jayne was plugging straight into some powerful current.

Jayne pushed those thoughts away and listened carefully. It was awful quiet out there now, and for a minute he thought whoever it was had wized up and gone away. But then there was another step, like somebody was hesitating out there. Like somebody was lining up for an ambush -- and Jayne had been snuck up like that one too many times, too. Nothing he hated more'n some sneaky hwoon dahn who couldn't just come out and face him. Reckon that's why he'd been stuck on this boat so long. Least he knew Mal wasn't going to shoot him in the back. With Mal, least you'd see it coming.

Jayne crept to the hatch of his cabin. Gorram thing didn't have a peep hole. He'd been meaning to shoot off a few rounds through the metal door, but that'd send Kaylee down in a fluster over this piece of fei-oo that she kept in the air. Almost be worth it now.

But it was no good crying over spilt Mudder's milk. Those footsteps, whoever they belonged to, had to be dealt with. And nobody could say Jayne wasn't a man of action. With Vera cocked in one hand, shiny like she was ready to go into town, Jayne reached for the hatch. Silently he counted, "One ... two ..." Not waiting for three, he wrenched it open, grabbing without even looking at the man standing outside. He jerked him inside, slamming him chest-first against the wall of his cabin, Vera's cold barrel buried in his neck. And he saw, to his dismay, that he'd just pinned the Captain.

"Now, ee-chee shung-hoo-shee, Jayne..."

Mal was using his too-reasonable "let's not act like crazy folk" voice that Jayne always hated. Always meant somebody was about to do something completely whacked -- just to get the Captain's goat, like as not. "Don't tell me to take a gorram deep breath. What the hell you think you're doing?"

"Um ... it was a surprise..." The Captain sounded sheepish, a pretty hard feat to pull off considering he had a face-full of cold, hard Serenity.

"Surprise, was it? So my time's up here, is it? Hell of a severance packet, Captain. Could a' left me off in Jaynestown if you'd been that way inclined." Jayne hadn't seen this coming at all. Biggest ambush of them all, and perpetrated by Captain Malcolm Reyolds, of all people. Feeling more'n a little foolish, Jayne shoved Vera's barrel harder into the Captain's temple. "Bet you're wishing you'd done that now, ain't ya?"

Mal tensed; Jayne could feel it through the arm that held Vera. Felt like a string was being pulled tight. Jayne knew that feeling, knew he needed to cut it before it pulled too tight. He cocked Vera's trigger, and that could've done it, could've brought him that sweet relief that was spinning 'round inside him, just out of reach. He could've done it, had not Mal said something that threw Jayne for a loop.

"I baked you a cake."

Jayne blinked. Cake. Which was a word that Jayne liked quite a bit, but after those other words, the I baked you a... part, they didn't make no sense.

Jayne blinked again.

"You wanna put your shooter down and I'll show you?" The Captain sounded reasonable, more reasonable now he wasn't using that gorram reasonable tone no more. And Jayne thought maybe he should listen to him. 'sides, it wouldn't do to have pieces of the Captain spilling over his cabin wall. Plus, cake.

Jayne backed away, just a little bit, just enough so that Mal could turn around. Crushed against his chest was a clump of spongy white cake -- flour! eggs! Where'd those things come from? -- and a blob of chocolate icing that was smeared across the Captain's favourite blue shirt.

"Heard it was your birthday," explained Mal. "Couldn't get provisions sufficient for us all, but I'd reckoned there might be enough for some private celebrating." Jayne looked up in amazement to see the Captain's smirk. "I think now's when you're supposed to tell me I look good enough to eat."

"Tah mah duh hwoon dahn!" cursed Jayne, laughing. And Malcolm Reynolds was a bastard, no doubt about it, but of the best kind. And that was something Jayne definitely hadn't seen coming.