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Fic- Evolution of a crush

Series Title- Evolution of a crush
Title- 3 down
Author- Fayth
Show- Firefly
Pairing- Jayne/ River
Word count- 777
Prompt- #6- Excellence
Summary- R and R for the Firefly crew leads to some interesting observations

Prompt 6- Excellence.

“3 down; superiority, quality. 10 letters.”

Mal frowned as Inara tapped her pen on the side of the source box.

“Say what?”

Everyone looked up at his exclamation and Inara sighed. “It’s a crossword puzzle. You fit the words into a table with clues they give you. It’s an old Earth-that-was pastime.”

“If’n you’re that bored I got a couple of piles a laundry you could look to,” Mal offered and she swatted him with the source box.

“It keeps the mind sharp, something,” she added drolly, “you could use.”
Inara frowned down at the source box again. “I just keep getting nine letter words- dominance, authority.”

“Words some of you could do with learning!” Mal pointed out to the rest of the crew—who ignored him.

Zoë merely rolled her eyes at him and went back to reading a sheaf of papers.

Simon was busy trying to identify the nutrients in his nutritional bowl of . . . mush and Kaylee was busy trying not to let him see she was watching him intently.

Not that he would have minded.

Jayne was watching River but trying to make it look like he was just gazing off into space. She had her feet curled underneath her, a floaty dress raggedly covering her knees and hair tangled around her shoulders.

She held a drawing pad on her knees and was rapidly sketching something, her big eyes intent on the paper.

Jayne began sharpening his knife again and listened to Mal and Inara banter.

This ‘family’ time had become something of a ritual over the last three months since Miranda. Every evening, after dinner was cleared away, they’d all just sit together instead of disappearing to their bunks or elsewhere.

They’d talk or work and it was nice.

It was like family bonding, a way of making them feel closer.

“Any other clues?” Simon asked, pushing his bowl away, resigned to not finding any hidden taste in the food.

Inara scanned the source box again. “There’s an L in it.”

“So ya’ll gotta think of another word for a word?” Kaylee smiled brightly. “Sounds hard. Ain’t much one for words.”

“You do them well though,” Simon said and she gave him the sweetest smile which had most of the crew grimacing.

“Superiority?” Mal looked up, as if the answers were written on Serenity’s ceiling. “Supremacy?”

“You’ll kick yourselves when you get it,” River sang, not looking up.

“You know it, lil witch?” Mal said. “Well, why not say?”

“Then you wouldn’t learn,” she replied amiably. “It’d be like looking at the answers; cheating.”

“There are answers?” Mal sounded affronted as he glared at Inara.

“I bet you were kind of child that searched for his Christmas presents,” Inara said with a roll of her eyes.

Jayne grinned as the captain huffed and he went back to watching the girl.

She really was a genius, as well as being cute, dangerous and very, very off limits.

At least to him.

River was a Core girl, elegant and dainty, accustomed to the finest things in life. She knew what it meant to be superior and of a quality that he could never aspire to.

But the fact that she was too good for him didn’t mean that he didn’t look and want.

She was becoming the one thing that he did want, craved and desired and not just in the way that he did when he found a nice whore.

With River he could see them being part of the family in a bigger way. He could imagine sitting there with Zoë reading her paper, Mal and Inara arguing, Simon and Kaylee flirting while River sat on his lap, helping him polish his guns and dropping kisses on her soft hair.

But it wasn’t likely to happen because she was . . . she was . . .


Everyone turned around and looked at Jayne who almost couldn’t believe that he had spoken out loud.

“Huh?” Mal frowned at him and Inara laughed as she filled in the box.

“Well done, Jayne, 3 down, ten letters- excellence.”

“Excellence,” Simon nodded, “of course.”

Mal sat back in his chair and put his booted feet on the table as he regarded his mercenary. “Well, now. You know something ain't quite right in the verse when Jayne knows a word that has the doc stumped.”

Jayne shrugged, somewhat embarrassed. “Just fit is all.”

He had his head down but looked up to see River looking at him with a faint smile on her face, almost approving and he felt a warm flush run through him.

10 letters, meaning superiority. Yeah.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 10th, 2006 06:04 pm (UTC)
This was so sweet! Fine, fine work, my dear!

Sep. 10th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
This was lovely. You should crosspost it to afterserenity!
Sep. 10th, 2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
When I first saw this, I thought it would be about River's crush....

I like that you mixed it up and made it about Jayne's crush.

So sweet, but then I do like Rayne fluff....
Sep. 10th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
So the cute!
Sep. 10th, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
now that's a fine thing to find on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Yeah! Jayne!
Sep. 10th, 2006 08:36 pm (UTC)
uhh.. I just love Rayne fluff :-)
Need more of it.. please?
Sep. 10th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
This is my favorite of these yet, I think. I have to go back and reread to be sure, but I'm pretty sure that's correct.

With River he could see them being part of the family in a bigger way. He could imagine sitting there with Zoë reading her paper, Mal and Inara arguing, Simon and Kaylee flirting while River sat on his lap, helping him polish his guns and dropping kisses on her soft hair.

That's my favorite section, although I have one small suggestion, for clarity's sake. It sounds like River will be dropping kisses into her own soft hair. Perhaps there's a different way to phrase it? For example:

"He could imagine them here: Zoe reading her paper, Mal and Inara arguing, Simon and Kaylee flirting. River would be sitting on his lap, and together they'd polish his guns while he dropped kisses onto her soft hair."

I dunno, mine feels sorta clunky to me, too... anyway. Hurrah for another original idea!
Sep. 10th, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC)
Aw, that was so sweet. I liked it.
Sep. 10th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
awww! Methinks someone's catching on!
Sep. 10th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
I really like it when Jayne is portrayed as clever or smart, 'cause you know he would've been dead long before if he wasn't. He may not have been book smart, but he knew what was what. Thanks to the way Adam played him, there's enough depth that you can do it and not be out of character.

I'm very much enjoying this series!
Sep. 11th, 2006 04:28 am (UTC)
Hehe, I had a thought that Jayne would be the one to get it! Perfect combining what Jayne thought of River with it being the crossword answer! :)
Sep. 11th, 2006 05:26 am (UTC)
Just wondeful, like the entire series. You keep giving us little tastes of 'excellence' to read and it makes us hungry for more.
Sep. 12th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
Just super. I love the mood you created in this scene. Very warm safe and cozy. And Jayne coming to want River but knowing she could not be for him.. *Sigh*
Sep. 15th, 2006 12:29 pm (UTC)

Sep. 18th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC)
All right, I admit it: I just can't help but giggle and coo all at once when Jayne blushes. (shakes head in dismay at self)
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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