I swear sometimes I worry myself.
Also I have no idea what to call it.
She lays her head on his sweat-slicked body and feels the droplets start to cool in the air. His torso is damp and her hair starts to curl against her forehead, her own perspiration mingling with his until they are sharing even more fluids.
Jayne raises a hand and slides it against her spine, letting his rough fingers trail against her skin in a sick parody of a lovers caress.
Bile rises up in her throat and suddenly all she wants to do is get away.
Her head snaps up and she looks up towards the hatch leading out of his room.
Jayne follows her gaze.
“What is it, baby? Is it the doc?”
River doesn’t answer him and ignores the endearment.
She suddenly jumps off the bed and grabs her dress, throwing it on quickly and racing to the ladder.
“Gotta go,” she manages without looking at him and bolts up the ladder, shutting the hatch as quietly as possible.
Her feet, always bare, know Serenity better than anyone and she is glad for this as she can’t see where she’s going; her heels and toes remembering the way.
She reaches the bathroom before she realises that was where she was headed and just in time, as everything she has eaten that day comes up.
Her hands grip the cold metal of the toilet bowl and she retches and heaves, expelling the poison of her insides along with the guilt and disgust she feels at herself.
She doesn’t notice as the shaking of her retching body turns to shudders and sobs of pain until tears stream like a river into the bowl.
River slumps to the floor and cries in earnest, wishing so desperately that she could go back to the moment she was handed the Academy’s brochure and rip it out of her hands. She wishes she could stop Simon from rescuing her; stop him from bringing her on board but, most of all, she wishes she could back to the day that she allowed Jayne Cobb to touch her.
She wants to pretend he doesn’t exist; pretend he doesn’t have this power over her; power that no governmental official, no Reaver, has ever had.
She wants to kill herself every time he sits by her; every brush of his skin against hers makes her want to scream.
Thankfully she knows it’ll be a week or longer before he’ll want her in his bunk again. She couldn’t handle this everyday, would kill herself rather than feel it.
Maybe by next week she’ll have forgotten how she feels when she leaves his bed.
How her stomach twists as he leers at her body, ignoring the girl within.
How her skin crawls when his hands press into her delicate flesh; bruising and branding.
How sick she feels that she let someone who doesn’t care for her have free reign over her body.
How disgusted she feels when she feels herself responding to his expert touch.
She hates herself for allowing him; for craving him.
But not as much as she hates him.
She hates him and it makes her sick.
Jayne is in his room, smiling as he remembers the way that she responds to his hands, the way she smiles and the way she makes him feel.
He thanks the good doc every day for bringing her onto the ship.
He may have started out this relationship as punishment for her; as her compensation for cutting him, forcing her to realise that no one has power over Jayne Cobb and especially not some feng le girl.
He could do whatever he wanted to her and he could make her want it, make her beg but, as the weeks have gone on, as the months have drifted by, he’s feeling more and more for her.
Maybe it’s time to start moving this into a proper relationship- today’s endearment was a good way to start, no girl can resist being called sweet names.
Maybe tomorrow he’ll sit by her at breakfast or ask her to come by his bunk again.
He’ll give her little touches, stroking her satin-soft skin and letting her know that he’s thinking of her. If no one’s looking, he’ll even give her his best smile.
Maybe he’ll even get one in return, although the girl doesn’t smile much.
He likes her smile, he likes her crazy, often lyrical, if nonsense babbles and he even likes the way she could kill him if she wanted. But doesn’t.
In fact, he thinks he’s falling for her.
He could love her and it makes him smile.