|Christmas With Jayne; Just a little Holiday Something|
|Tweet Topic Started: Mar 5 2009, 07:20 PM (275 Views)|
|Ertia||Mar 5 2009, 07:20 PM Post #1|
Disclaimer: All belongs to Joss. I am merely an object in his space! ORIGINALLY POSTED AT FIREFLYFANS.NET and HIGHLANDER-OFFICIAL.COM
Rating Warning: PG for naughty language.
Everyone writing Firefly Christmas fics seems to think that Mal would be grumpy and grinchly about it. But what if it wasn't Mal everyone thought didn't get the Spirit?
"Christmas With Jayne"
Jayne was kicked back on the couch, his booted feet up on the little round table as he went over Zoe's body armor plate by plate with the soldering gun and pliers. That woman was harder on body armor than anybody Jayne had ever met. Then, she wore it more and got it into more spots where it was necessary than anybody Jayne had ever met.
Across from him, in the kitchen, Kaylee and River were singing as they stirred things, and measured things and mixed things. Book sat at the dining table, bible open before him, seemingly undisturbed by the caroling and carousing in the kitchen.
His eyes tiring from the minute repair work, Jayne got up and went to refill his coffee cup, passing Mal as he came down the steps.
"What's all the ruckus in here?" Mal was pretending to be offended but Kaylee and River could see the twinkle in his eye and the smile on his face.
"Just makin' some candy. Thought we could use a treat tonight." Kaylee answered.
Mal settled into his chair. "Nice thought. Maybe you could do it a bit quieter?"
"TEN LORDS ALEAPIN'!!!" River sang loudly, dumping a cup of sugar into a bowl and beating it madly.
Book smiled as Mal shook his head indulgently. In a surprised tone, he said, "I didn't think this would be your sort of Holiday, Captain. If you don't mine my sayin."
"I don't think Christmas is all about that." And Mal gestured to the Bible. "Traditions we call Christmas came from things older and wilder than in that book of yours."
Book nodded sagely.
Jayne leaned over the counter and watched Kaylee dropping brown droplets of goo onto an oiled platter. "Looks like shit."
"JAYNE!" Kaylee said offendedly, but she never stopped smiling.
"Well, it does." He said countered, defensively, reaching out to stick his finger into one. "Feels like it too."
"I don't wanna come to know how you know that, Jayne." Mal said quickly to forstall any thoughts Jayne might have about telling them, but Jayne had stuck his finger into his mouth and didn't answer.
"Hmmm. Tastes like nuts. Where'd y'all get nuts?" He glared at the girls as though they'd been holding out on him.
"Nuts. Means crazy." River explained calmly, her dark eyes gazing at Jayne in an unfathomable manner, before she sang out, "FIVE GOLDEN RIINGS!"
Which set both girls off into another chorus of "four french hens, three calling birds, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree."
"What the hell is a French Hen anyway? Some kind of fancy whore?" Jayne growled, taking his coffee cup back to his seat. "Stupid song don't make much sense."
"I don't know if it ever did." Book suggested wisely.
Mal just shook his head with a grin. "You all better not be using up our foodstuffs for the next month."
"No, capn." Kaylee replied dutifully. "But we need a little treat for Christmas."
"December Festival." Inara entered gracefully, her smile gracious and warm, "I like to celebrate it, too."
She dropped a package on the counter in front of the girls and Kaylee opened it with a grin. "OHhhhhhh! You found it!"
"Well, took some doing. But I have connections." And Inara gave her a wink. "Do you want help?"
"Nah. We got it. Have some cinnamon tea! Made it just for today!"
Inara poured some tea and sat down across from Book. "Well, did I miss anything exciting?"
"Just that dang song." Jayne barked. As if on cue, both Kaylee and River started singing again.
All too soon, it appeared there was some kind of disagreement in the kitchen.
"It's too fat." River's voice drifted over the room.
"We need something else..." Kaylee was digging through drawers and cupboards.
"Hurry. It's cooling!"
"Oh! NO!" Then Kaylee stopped and rushed across the room.
Jayne looked up at her expectently. Kaylee never stopped smilin', not unless she was hurt or scared, but she had a thousand different smiles and they all said somethin' a little different. This was her wheedling smile, where eyes were all narrow and pleading and her lips turned down just a tad at the corners.
Wasn't about to admit, but he couldn't hardly resist it when she looked at him like that. He gave a long suffering sigh. "Whadya want?"
"Ya got your stiletto on ya?" Kaylee asked, her eyes pleading.
"What?" Of course he was carrying his stiletto, right in his boot where always carried it. He set aside the armor and glared up at Kaylee. "Why?"
"Jayne! Just loan it to me! I ain't gonna break it or nothin!"
"Kaylee, might want to think twice about puttin' anything Jayne carries in his boot near something we're intending to eat." Book teased. Mal and Inara laughed.
"Ha ha." Jayne barked, yanking the knife free. He flipped it handle out and handed it to Kaylee. "Don't you go muckin' it up!"
With a flash, Kaylee was back across the kitchen, washing the knife and drying it before dipping it in ice water.
"HURRY!" River was stirring frantically. "If the temperature drops by .07 more degrees the fat cells will congeal and the molecular structure will begin to break down!"
Now everyone was getting curious and Inara and Book had stood up to better see the action. Mal was craned back in his chair, watching from the gap between the two of them.
Jayne finally stood up and came over. "What the hell are ya doin' to my knife?"
"Shush." River gave him a glare through the strands of her hair that had fallen into her eyes.
Kaylee was holding the stiletto half way down the handle between her thumb and forefinger. Delicately, she speared up a drop of the nutty goo that Jayne had commented on earlier, now chilled into solid balls, and dipped it into the gleaming chocolate that River was stirring so hard that her slender shoulders shook with the effort.
"Huh." Jayne muttered.
With swift fingers, Kaylee dipped all two dozen of the little balls and dropped them onto the chilled plate, where the chocolate hardened around them.
"My mama used to use a chopstick for that." Mal suggested.
"Works if you have plastic or fiberglass." Kaylee answered. "But all we gots wood ones and they don't stay cold enough."
Show over, the others settled back into their seats, except Jayne. He waited till Kaylee was done, then reached out and took the knife back from her, cleaning it himself. When he'd finished drying it and setting it aside to be oiled, he took the dirty spoons, platter and bowl from the girls and washed those, too.
"Wow. Thank you, Jayne!" Kaylee gave him one of her other grins, the one that said she was surprised and grateful all at once.
"Welcome." He muttered, drying his hands and heading back out of the kitchen.
"So, what does it mean to you?" Book asked Mal suddenly, leaning forward on his elbows. "I mean, if it's not about the birth of our savior, then what is it about?"
Jayne tensed up a hair. Mal got awful touchy about being preached at. There could be an ugliness brewing.
But Mal, searching Book's face, saw honest questions, not prying about to see how he could save the sinner before him. "Well, it's about bein' together, isn't it? Whether we believe in your god, or Buddha, or Allah, or any other god. It's about living together and bein' together, and just for a day, lettin the bad things go and thinkin' about the good things? Ain't that what it's really about? I don't think just God can claim it as his own."
The others kind of stared. The singing had stopped. This was the first time anyone onboard had heard Mal's thoughts about any holiday, especially one so wrapped up in a religion that he obviously didn't care for.
There was a long moment of silence and it was into this silence that Zoe, coming from the Bridge, and Simon, coming from the Infirmary, both walked into.
"Something up?" Zoe asked, concerned at the way everyone was looking at Mal, who'd started to cross his arms and look just a bit defensive.
"Not at all." Book said with a wide smile that carried to his eyes and his voice. "We were just discussing the true nature of Christmas."
"Well, maybe you could quit discussing it and start cookin' it?" Wash dropped his hands on Zoe's shoulders. "I got us a ham and some real potatos on Boros when I went shopping."
"If the girls are done?" Book raised an eyebrow towards the kitchen and Kaylee waved with a grin. River was juggling three potatos none to skillfully, her brow furrowed in concentration as she caught and tossed each one. Book stood quickly and snatched the highest one as it reached the pinacle of it's arch, before River could miss catching it and letting bruise on the floor.
"I see they must be."
River stuck out her tongue at him, and dinner was soon under way under Book's careful guidance.
Mal pulled out a bottle of sweet sake that he'd been saving for a special occasion, and Jayne tossed Zoe her now repaired armor. "Merry Christmas!"
She stared at him in surprise, checking the now flattened spot that had been dented when Patience had crossed them the last time and the carefully soldered repair to the shoulder where she'd been grazed when they had stormed Niska's skyplex. "Wow! Jayne! Thank you!"
"Well, can't have you gettin shot up and killed." He gruffed. "Wash'd be mighty pissed about that."
Reaching under the table the big man handed Mal a small box. "Know you can't get ammo for that little preacher on the market anymore. Molded some up for ya. Not much, but it's steeled leads and rich powder."
Mal opened the box and held a small bullet up to the light. "This is fine work, Jayne!"
Then the burly mercenary, all blunder and bluster, handed out other things, little things. Kaylee and River found themselves holding small metal hair-combs to pin their hair up with. They were wrought of silverish metal, hammered and polished, and Jayne grinned at them. "Made 'em from that broken part back after the fire. Now ya got a piece of Serenity all yer own."
River clung to hers for a second then dashed to Inara, and held her combs out, turning around so Inara could put her hair up for her.
"Wow. Jayne." Kaylee just stood there, holding the combs, her eyes welling with tears. "I don't know what to say."
"So don't say nothin." Jayne gruffed, then handed Book a small cross on a chain, which he held up and admired as it dangled in the rising steam from the boiling potatos. "Made it from the same part."
"Here, doc." Jayne handed him a box. "Broke up your last one, that time I got stabbed and couldn't find no morphine. Figured you could use one that locked. Won't be able to bust that one so easy."
It was a metal box of hammered steel, polished with a ring and lock, the medical insignia painstakingly stenciled on the top. Simon opened it and saw the neat rows of plastic trays for meds, easy for carrying, with padding for protection. He looked back at Jayne, confusion on his face. "Thank you, Jayne. I...well, thank you."
"Little man, you been nothin but trouble this year, gettin' yerself tooked by Niska and all."
Wash started to look offended, but Jayne grinned and handed him a pistol. "Engraved the hilt myself. You treat that gun right, keep her clean and shoot her straight, and she aughta to keep you out of a hatch of trouble."
Zoe glanced over at the weapon in Wash's hand. The wooden hand grip was carved with Serenity's insignia, and the black gunmetal gleamed with the sheen of oil. Wash, for once in his life, was speechless.
"Say thank you, Husband." Zoe prompted him and he looked up at Jayne with a newfound respect in his eyes.
"Thank you, Jayne." Wash turned his admiring gaze back to the gun, running his finger over the insignia, a smile on his face.
" 'Nara, know it ain't much, but yer shuttle's pilot chair's been too tall fer ya. I fixed the lever on it, so you got another four inches downward adjustment. Figure..if it's still too tall, ya let me know, I'll short it down some more."
In full view of everyone, Inara walked slowly over to Jayne. He backed up a step. She stepped closer. He backed up another step.
Everyone fell silent as Inara dropped both hands on Jayne's shoulders, then leaned up on tiptoe, and gave him a bright smile before giving him a quick kiss on the lips. "Merry Christmas, Jayne."
The big man took another step back from her, head hanging to the side, and a blush coming up over his cheeks. "Aw, hell, yer welcome."
In the silence that fell, Book came to Jayne's rescue. "Now, if someone would be good enough to set the table, dinner is just about ready."
And everyone helped set the table, and sake was poured out, and when they were all seated, Mal raised his cup.
"To the best damn crew any ship ever had!"
"Amen." Book echoed.
"Absolutely." Simon toasted.
"Yes sir." Zoe enthuised.
"Damn straight." Jayne uttered.
"And the hungriest!" Wash added.
"And the best captain." Kaylee cried out.
"and a PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE!" River sang out at the top of her lungs.
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