Series Title: Competition
Word Count: 1168
Summary: Malcontent: Jayne and Mal compete for River’s affection.
Warning: The aim of Malcontent is to put Mal through as many painful situations as possible.
Disclaimer: Joss is Boss. I’m just borrowing his characters for fun!!
Authors Note: Thanks to bookaddict43 for betaing.
And thanks, romanceguru for the River/Jayne/Mal plot bunny.
Sorry It's been so long since my last post. Back due to reader requests. Previous Chapters can be found here.
Remember, this story has been written for the Summer of Malcontent over at firefly_fiction community. So I think you can guess that Mal's gonna suffer!!!!
Mal gasped as he saw River descending the stairs. She looked so hua li. Holding out his hand he helped her down to the cargo bay floor. Pulling her close he twirled her round, as if they were dancing. River laughed causing Mal to grin.
“Ready ta go, River darlin’?” he asked.
She nodded. “Uh, huh.” She turned and waved goodbye to the rest of the crew.
Jayne had a bitter-sweet smile on his face and she felt waves of jealousy coming from him. River walked across the bay to hold his face in her hands, brown eyes gazing into blue ones. “Plan our day together while I am gone,” she whispered, pressing a warm kiss to his cheek. He squeezed her hand and held it ‘till she walked back over to Mal.
River felt waves of jealousy rolling off Mal now. He shot a look of pure hatred at Jayne. She slipped her hand under Mal’s arm. “Let’s go,” she smiled at him.
Mal looked down at the hua li woman standing beside him. “We’ll have the best date ever,” he promised.
Jayne grinned as he saw River coming out of Inara’s shuttle. She was so hua li.
She smiled as she passed him, squeezing his hand. “We will spend some quality time soon,” she told him.
Jayne slipped a hand around her waist, pulling her close. “Don’t wanna let ya go, River honey,” he whispered.
“Not your choice,” River whispered back, “Must let me spend equal time with both of you, to make my choice.”
“Whatever he does, I’ll do it better.”
River sighed, resting her head against Jayne’s. “Don’t be jealous. We will spend the whole day together, soon.”
Jayne leaned forward, pressing a soft kiss to her mouth.
River moaned, drawing back. “Later, Jayne, now is Mal’s time.”
“River,” Jayne growled.
She smiled back at him, “Come and see me off, with the others?”
“Don’t want’cha ta go,” he repeated.
“Got to let me go,” she answered, a smile playing around her lips, as she walked to the cargo bay.
Mal took a deep breath as he screwed up the courage to ask her. “River, do you want to be here with me?”
River stopped and turned, looking onto his eyes. “Wouldn’t be here unless she did.”
Mal slipped his hands round her waist. “I get the impression that you’d rather be with Jayne.”
“I like Jayne,” she answered, “and I like you. Haven’t decided who to be with. This is my time to choose. Show me why I should be with you.”
Mal sighed and pulled her closer. “Choose me because I’m falling in love with you,” he whispered, “Choose me because I will do anything to protect you. Choose me because I can’t imagine life without you in it.”
“Oh, Mal,” she sighed.
He pulled back and kissed her gently. River wrapped her arms around his neck and settled into the deepening kiss.
The last dance was called and Mal led River to the dance floor. Wrapping his arms around her, he held her close and she rested her head in the crook of his neck.
“I’ve had the best day. Thank you, Mal.”
“Ya welcome, River darlin’.”
“The clothes, this ball, the music and the dancing; it reminded me of my former life.”
“Before the academy,” he ran his hand through her hair.
“Before I was broken,” she looked up.
“Ya not broken,” Mal whispered.
“I am broken.”
“I wanna fix ya.”
River shook her head. “You can’t. You just have to accept this is who she is now.”
“But you’ll get better, with people around you who love ya,” Mal insisted.
“I already am getting better,” River thought deeply, then told him, “But don’t trust that she will ever be completely well.”
“River,” he caressed her cheek, “I want to be with ya. Have a family with ya.”
“She may not ever be able to have a family,” she whispered, a tear trickling down her cheek.
“Oh, River,” Mal sighed, “I want you. Not a whole passel of critters, just you.” He wiped the tears from her face, and gently kissed the trails the tears left behind.
“Oh, Mal. You are a good man.”
Jayne was waiting in the cargo bay when Mal and River returned to Serenity. “How was ya evening?”
River had a dreamy smile on her face. “Just perfect.”
Jayne growled inside, but said nothing.
“River darlin’, I gotta git ta the bridge.” Mal told her. “It’s my shift.” He pressed a kiss to her lips.
“Okay. Thank you for a wonderful day, Mal.” She squeezed his hand as he left.
Jayne moved closer. “Ya want ta get a bite ta eat?”
Jayne rested a hand in the small of her back as he guided her to the galley. “What d’ya want?” Jayne asked.
“A kiss,” she smiled, pressing a gentle kiss to his lips.
Jayne pulled back, waves of jealousy coming off him. “Thought ya had such a perfect evening with Mal?”
“I had a wonderful night out at a ball,” she told him, “but I wanted to come back to you.”
“Ya did?” he looked up in surprise.
“Of course dummy!” she teased.
“Hey, watch who ya callin’ a dummy,” he growled, pulling her close, nuzzling her neck.
“My lovely swai Jayne, who is sometimes a dummy,” she cooed, pressing kisses along his jaw.
“Not when it comes to lovin’ ya,” he grinned, capturing her lips in a passionate kiss.
River responded to his kiss. Then, as the words sunk in, she stopped and pulled back. “Love?”
Jayne looked uncomfortable. “I mean like…”
River grinned. “You said love. You can’t take it back now.”
“Aw, River girl,” he sighed, pressing soft open-mouthed kisses to her lips.
“Oh, my swai Jayne,” she sighed, kissing him back.
“Your Jayne?” he teased, pressing kisses across her face and down her neck.
“Uh huh,” River nodded. “But how do I tell Mal? He said he’s falling in love with me.”
Jayne pulled back and looked into her eyes. “Ya hafta tell him. He’s a growed man. He can look after hisself.”
“But he could throw us off Serenity.”
Jayne breathed deep, “I reckon he won’t. He cares fer ya, River. He won’t leave ya ta fend fer yerself.”
“But to let us stay, as a couple?”
“Ma woman,” he nuzzled her neck.
“Ma man,” she ran a hand across his jaw, drawing him up into a passionate kiss.
He laughed. “What about somethin’ ta eat?”
“Pancakes please, Jayne bao-bei.”
“Whatever you desire, River honey,” he whispered.
“Whatever?” asked River, a smile playing around her lips.
“Uh huh,” Jayne answered, bending to kiss her as he started the pancakes.
River slipped behind him and curled her arms around his waist, pressing her body against his back. Jayne turned and pulled her round, drawing her close against his chest to kiss the top of her head.
“River girl,” he sighed, lifting her chin to press his lips against hers.
*************************to be continued..
Next Chapter: Heartache (coming soon)