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What I want...What I need - Part 2

Title: What I want...What I need - Part 2

Author: mercenarysong

Summary - Zoe/Jayne pairing. After their night together Zoe and Jayne work through some things with a little help. (NC-17) All belongs to Joss, I just borrow. Translations are at the end.

Rating: NC-17



Planet side…on Rippon’s Landing

“We got a few hours before we drop the cargo. Kaylee, you, Simon and River get them supplies. Zoe, you and I’ll eyeball the drop site. Now Kaylee don’t forget the provisions. I reckon we all deserve some’m other than protein after hangin’ in the black for so long and this here prime real estate got the best low grade beef money can buy.”

“Thanks Cap’n.” Kaylee pinned a grin on her face.

“Now be real choosey bout my beef. I’m spendin’ enough coin on it, make sure t’ain’t too tough, got good markings, smells fresh…well at least don’t smell bad...”.

Under his coat, Jayne fiddled with one of the guns he had strapped on him. He had already lost interest in the conversation. Out of habit, he scanned the busy mornin’ crowd in the luh-suh piece a town Mal had dragged them to. Truth be told, he was just happy to get out of the sky and on some mud.

At least the shops weren’t totally useless, he could waste some time in ‘em. Pick up some ammo…magazines…socks. He spotted three bars within spittin’ distance, just the way he liked ‘em. Two whorehouses were propped up right next to the closest bar. He felt himself twitch in his trousers.

His eyes slid over Zoe. Her long legs were wrapped in brown trousers that hugged her in all his favorite places. She wore one a-them long sleeve shirts that was too short to tuck and stopped just at her belt. Her hair was tied back with the same leather string and he suddenly wanted to undo the damn thing.

Been over six weeks since she came to him. She was gone when he woke up, but he weren’t surprised. He had laid there tastin’ her on his lips, feeling the thin burn of scratches she left on him. He had taken her slow. Took his time, memorized how she tasted and how she felt against him. Would he ever get to touch her like that again? He reckoned he wouldn’t, though he hoped like hell he did. A heat crept right down into his pants, and Jayne felt himself strain against his zipper. Thank God he was wearing a long coat. He pushed his hands in his pockets, bunching the front of his coat together.

A jolt flashed through him when he reached Zoe’s eyes and found her staring at him. Beautiful and unreadable. Though she weren’t always unreadable, not when he was tastin’ her and she was whisperin’ his name all sexy-like. God he loved kissing her. He ain’t kissed nobody in well over eight years but damned if Zoe didn’t make him break his rules, well, he ain’t had but the one, but she made him break it anyways.

Jayne held her gaze, his face not showing any particular expression.

He wished bein’ with Zoe was just about sexin’. Problem was it was more than that. A few times he had seen her stop and lean against Serenity when she thought no body was lookin’. He had wanted to help, but he didn’t know what to say or do. Even if he could help, she didn’t allow anyone near enough to help, not even Mal. He had just walked away those times, let her be. When she came to him he knew what she wanted, but he didn’t have it in him to take her that way. He had wanted her to lean on him instead of Serenity, to bend into him, and maybe he could…help in someway.

Zoe looked away. Jayne realized he was holding his breath and forced air through his clenched teeth.

“Jayne, you listening to me?”

“Huh? Yeah Mal.”

“We still got business in this town so don’t do anything stupid. Dong ma?”

“Hey! How come you only lookin’ at me, we all in town?” Jayne objected.

“How many knives ya got on ya Jayne?” Mal pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Three.”

“How many guns?”

Straight faced, Jayne answered, “Four an’ a half.”

A muscle twitched in Mal’s jaw, “What’sa half of—never mind. Listen…just…for the love of the verse don’t shoot or cut anybody, you libel to clip our contact and dead contacts ain’t good for tradin’. You get me?”

Jayne’s mouth twisted in mutiny, but he nodded.

“Sir, I need to pick up some supplies. After we check out the site, I’ll meet you back on the ship in time for the drop.” Zoe steadily avoided looking at Jayne, who kept checking the front of his coat.

“Fine.” Mal nodded to Zoe and shot another warning glance at Jayne.

Jayne threw Mal his worse “go to hell” glare and walked off toward the row of shops with the bar and two whorehouses right in the middle.

* * * *

Later, in the cargo bay…

“River, you sense anything untoward you let us know. Kaylee, you keep her ready, just in case. Doc, we don’t expect any bleedin’ and such but keep them purtty fingers a yourn at the ready…and away from my mechanic.”

“Not if I can help it.” Kaylee grin lewdly at a red faced Simon.

“I’m gonna need some soap and a tall bucket to wash that off.” Mal faked a shudder. “OK people. Let’s go get paid.”
Zoe bent to secure the gun tucked in her boot, and from across the cargo bay Jayne eyes flickered over the smooth exposed skin of her back.

“Tzao gao!” He dropped his weapon, caught Zoe by the arm, and managed to drag her a few steps into the corner of the cargo hold.

“What in hell—” Jayne caught Zoe off guard and that’s what saved him from being shot.

“Where’s your body armor Zoe?” He ground out, his other hand clamping over her side arm.

“Get your hands off me Jayne.” The lethal sharpness in her voice almost made him drop his hold on her. Almost.

“I said where’s your gorram body armor?”

“I don’t need it—” She tried to shake his hold. His grip tightened.

“Fei hua! This ain’t no different than any other job.”

“One night don’t give you the right to—.”

“Nah mei guan-shee!”, at least he hoped so, but hell he didn’t care. He wasn’t gonna let her stroll off a the ship without no armor on, not the way she been actin’ and their luck’s been goin’.

Behind Jayne, Simon and Kaylee stood in stunned silence, eyeing Vera discarded on the floor of the cargo bay.

“Am I seeing things or did Jayne just throw Vera on the floor?” Simon asked.

Kaylee nodded, slack jawed in disbelief, “Uh huh.”

Simon curiously eyed the pair from across the cargo bay. “What is he saying to Zoe?”

“Can’t hear.” She caught the look on Zoe’s face, “But I think there’s a good chance that she’s gonna hit him.”

Simon took on a look of optimism suddenly interested in anything involving Jayne taking a beating. Sure he would provide medical care if he required it, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t enjoy watching Zoe roughed up the merc. Simon caught a glimpse of Zoe’s face.

“Odds look pretty good.” Simon grinned evilly.

“You may be hell bent on killing yourself but I ain’t gonna stand for it. Put on your ruttin’ armor.” Jayne gravelly voice close to her ear was edged in steel.

Mal finished his check on the mule and rounded the crates to stand next to Kaylee and Simon.

“Jayne, what the hell d’you think you’re doin’ manhandling my first mate?”

“Leave it alone Mal. T’ain’t your concern.” Jayne didn’t take his eyes from Zoe. He lowered his voice again, “What’s it gonna be Zoe?”

“Shiong-muh duh duang-ren! Now someone bes' tell me what the hell is goin on here before I shoot somebody.” Mal pulled his gun and pointed it directly at Jayne’s back. Jayne stiffened at the sound of the safety being clicked off.

“Uh, Captain, I thought you said their would not be any “bleedin’ and such”, Simon said the last part in his best Mal voice.

Mal glared at Simon, “Bi zuie. Jayne!”

“Funny, how the ‘somebody’ gettin’ shot at always turns out ta be me.” Jayne smirked, his eyes still locked on Zoe.

“Um, as a general warnin’, my trigger finger’s gettin’ might tetchy over here, so I reckon somebody bes’ start talkin’ about now.”

“Captain, may I recommend that you aim for the thigh, arm…the more meaty areas that heal quick and are not too taxing for me to fix.”

“I seem to recall tellin’ you to shut it doctor. I’m a little busy here.”

Mal’s eyebrows were trying to merge into one. Simon stepped back closer to Kaylee.

“Jayne!” Mal's voice had that on the brink of something strain to it.

“No problem here Sir. Jayne and I just havin’ some words is all.” Zoe’s voice was casual-like, but the fire in her eyes said otherwise to Jayne. The gun aimed at Jayne’s back didn’t waver.

“Sir, that bullet would go right through Jayne and into me.”

Mal paused thought better of it then clicked the safety in place. Truth be told, he really didn’t want to shoot the merc right before a big job, he just might need him.

“I’m alright Sir. Jayne’s a little upset about…some chores.” Zoe reassured Mal.

Kaylee’s snort turned into a cough when Simon poked her in the rib.

“Well, since I conjure that this ain’t the precise time for this nonsense. Ya’ll bes’ save that bit a go-se for after we get paid, dong ma?” Mal's irritation mounted by the second.

“Put your armor on Zo.” Jayne growled close to her ear. “Cause I ain’t lettin’ you off a this gorram ship without it.”

Their eyes remained locked. Neither made a move.

“Let’s go people!” Mal bellowed behind them.

“Fine.” Zoe hissed through clenched teeth. Jayne’s grip loosened allowing her to wrench her arm free. She turned on her heel and walked out of the cargo hold.

“Where the hell is she goin’?” Mal demanded.

“How the ruttin’ hell should I know.” Jayne scooped up Vera and pocketed some extra rounds of ammo, ignoring Simon’s and Kaylee’s smirks.

Zoe re-entered the cargo bay minutes later buttoning her shirt, her armor visible in side her collar. She ignored the Captain’s obvious annoyed glare.

She paused next to Jayne. “You ever do that again, I’ll shoot you.”

* * * *

Zoe fell hard. The force of the bullet to her chest knocked the wind out of her. Move. Move. She forced air into her lungs as she rolled behind an over turned barrel for cover pausing to fist the bag of money lying beside her in the dirt.

“Zoe!” Jayne almost dropped his gun to grab her, but she kept moving, so instead he peppered bullets across the dusty street at the guns firing at them from the old building.

“Zoe! Talk to me Zo!” The urgency in Mal’s voice came through strong each time he said her name.

“Fine Sir.” She gulped in air, blinking back the black creeping into her vision.

The thundering in Mal’s chest retreated a hair, “How bad Zoe?...Zoe!”

“Armor’s dented.” She complained. Her heart pounding in her chest was damn distracting and her hand took on a tremble. She took deep breaths and forced herself to focus. Zoe leveled her gun and fired a few rounds. That felt better. Her eyes met Jayne’s across the few feet separating them. He gave her a quick nod, an inscrutable look on his face. She hated when Jayne was right, about anything.

Zoe checked her ammo, “Running low sir. Didn’t bring enough for an extended campaign.”

“Only a few rounds in Rita but Vera’s piss full.” Jayne checked in, his eyes still on Zoe.

“They got us pinned down good, sir. They can hold up in that building all day.” Zoe kept her eyes on the guns leveled at them through crevasses and windows in the abandoned building across the street.

“What’s the plan?” Jayne returned fire and crouched behind some rusted machinery separating him from the assholes shooting at them. “Mal, you got a plan right?”

“Course I have a plan.”

Mal paused to scratch his head, ignoring Jayne’s impatient grunt and the bullets flying at them. It was suppose to be an easy drop, but weren’t they all. The hwoon dan contact tried to short change them on account of one crate being opened and trifled with. In his most congenial manner Mal had explained that they loaded them crates just like that and it wasn’t his crew that molested them. But the Ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng accused him of lying. Well, no one calls him a liar. Well unless of course he was really lying and in which case he’d deny it and they’d be right where they were. The abandoned buildings to their left and right could give them cover but the old running out of ammo problem was a might troubling. If they ran out of ammo, no tellin’ how long till things got bloody and the Niao se dub doo gway out numbered them by four.

“Jayne, you see them weak building supports?”

He nodded, the building the hwoon dan’s were hiding in sagged noticeably to the right.

“I want them not to be so supportive. When they crash in, we run for the mule. Should give us a bit a breathin’ space ‘fore they follow.”

“Your ruttin’ plan is to run across ten miles a desert in a open mule with those big guns after us?”

“No.” Mal grabbed his comm and opened his mouth.

The comm crackled to life and River’s voice filtered through the box. “We’re coming Captain…and Captain…keep your shoulders down.” Mal closed his mouth with a snap, a pleased look on his face. Having a reader sure was useful, but he had to talk to her about her timing.

“Tzao gao,” Mal crumbled as a bullet slammed into his left shoulder.

“Captain!”

“Mal!”

“Jayne. Supports. Now!” Mal shouted through the pain and his gritted teeth.

Jayne opened her up and Vera vibrated powerfully in his hands chewing through the worn wood of the building. Zoe grabbed Mal and heaved him to the mule. Jayne pounded the building until one side caved. When the other side buckled he bolted, and threw himself across the back of the mule, Vera still cocked, as they speed off toward a cloud of dust rising above the far ridge.

Minutes later, the mule careened through the cargo doors, tires screeching as Zoe slammed on the brakes and whipped the steering wheel around to avoid crashing in the opposite wall. A wave of gunfire chinked and clanked against the hull.

“Go. River. Go.” Kaylee slammed the cargo door shut.

Serenity kicked off into a hover then roared away from the spattering of gunfire.

“Well now, that went well.” Mal quipped, then blacked out.

“Doc!”

* * * *

“You gonna eat that?”

“Yes!” Simon looped a possessive arm around his dinner plate and glared at the greedy merc.

“Just askin’” Jayne grumbled while scanning Inara’s plate.

“Forget it Jayne.”

“I ain’t even asked ya yet.” Jayne whined at Inara’s rebuff, he consoled himself with a piece of bread.

“Did you get that trim?” River’s said looking directly at Zoe, and ignoring Simon’s shocked look and Kaylee’s giggle.

“None your gorram business when and where I get sexed crazy girl.” Jayne didn’t even look at River, he just stuffed another roll in his mouth.

Mal chuckled between mouthfuls, “Ain’t much of a secret Jayne.” He shifted his bandaged shoulder with a grimace.
“I was talking to Zoe.” River clarified, a devilish grin on her face.

Zoe erupted into a fit of coughing as the bite she was chewing lodged in her throat. Simon quickly pounded her on the back. Jayne jumped up from the table and disappeared in the kitchen behind the cupboards. Mal stared slack jawed at Zoe.

“You OK Zoe?” Kaylee asked.

Zoe nodded, raising a hand to prevent another sound pound on the back from Simon.

“Fine.” She managed, though her eyes were watering from the effort and another cough was threatening to erupt.

“Fei hua! Zoe, you got sexed on Rippon’s Landing?” Mal stared open-mouthed at Zoe.

Jayne put a glass of water in front of Zoe, and their eyes meet briefly.

“When in hell did you have time to go to a whorehouse Zoe.” Mal demanded, then his eyes widened when he remembered her “errands”.

“Well now.” The corner of his mouth twitched in barely restrained amusement.

“She could have been with a Companion.” Inara gracefully interjected.

Mal and Simon’s heads swiveled from Inara to Zoe and back to Inara. At the lecherous grin spreading across Mal’s face, Inara rolled her eyes.

“A male Companion Mal. There were at least two on Rippon’s Landing. It would make sense that after all…after Miranda, Zoe would naturally turn to a Companion to provide her with—.”

“It’s just sex Nara, it ain’t gonna fix anything and ain’t suppose to.” Mal interjected.

“It’s not all about sex Mal—.” Inara already looked annoyed.

“So your clients pay for you buckets a money for it to be not all about sex? Oh I see, clear as the black.” Mal smirked.

“Companions are trained to comfort and heal not just—forget it Mal, this is pointless, you are deliberately being obtuse.” Inara tried to hold her temper in check, but was losing the battle.

“Obtuse!” Mal gaped. “Obtuse?”

“Please forgive me,” an acidic smile touched Inara’s red tinted lips, “I didn’t mean to use big words to confuse you.”

“I know what obtuse means and I am not being…that. Why’s everything with you come down to sex and whorin’?”

“Yes, I should have known you would go back to the small words that you can spell and pronounce. I seem to have lost my appetite. Excuse me.” Pushing away her half eaten plate of beef and potatoes, she rose from the table and left in a rustle of fabric.

“Why’d ya have to go and be mean to Nara for?” Kaylee turned angry eyes on Mal.

“Boob.” River glared at Mal.

“I don’t imagine that y’all remember that I’m still Captain a this boat and I can say whatever pleases me, whenever I gorram feel like it—”

“Captain Boob.” River said helpfully, earning a glare from Mal.

“Say you’re sorry Captain.” Kaylee leveled her most serious look at Mal.

“Sorry.” Mal plastered a fake smile on his face.

“To Inara.” Kaylee and River glared at him.

“I didn’t do anything.” Mal whined forgetting his bad ass Captain status, and the whole captain’s don’t whine thing.
Jayne suddenly stood up and walked out of the room mumbling something about lifting weights.

“Sir.” The disapproval in Zoe’s voice grated on Mal. “She didn’t deserve that.”

“Ah hell.” One look at Kaylee and River’s condemning looks and he knew he’d never hear the end of it until he made nice with Inara.

“Fine. I’ll be—well. Yeah.” Why did he always end up here with her. Mal dragged himself to Inara’s shuttle trying to think of something to say that wouldn’t piss her off more.

“Hey, you think Jayne’s feeling alright?” Kaylee asked the rest of the crew around the table.

“Why?”

“Cause he just left a full plate of food on the table.” Kaylee said eyeing the beef and potatoes on Inara’s plate that Jayne had been eyeing earlier.

* * * *

Jayne stopped short when he saw Zoe at the table meddlin’ with a cup a tea that looked to be long cold. He forced himself to walk through the door into the dining room.

He grabbed a glass and a bottle of Kaylee’s engine whiskey then folded himself in the chair opposite Zoe. He poured four fingers and threw it down the back of his throat. It tasted more like engine than whiskey—it would do.

“So how was that man whore a yourn? Was he any good?” The bile in his mouth put an edge on his words.

“Not now Jayne—”

It took all of her control but Zoe refused to take his bait. Jayne had a death wish tonight or at least itching for a fight and she didn’t have it in her, not today. The bruise on her chest ached where the bullet had hit her. The pain felt good. She deserved it. She had been afraid. In that moment when she couldn’t breath she had wanted more than anything to live. Live. Without Wash. Without their dreams. Without their love. Without the babies they had planned to have. She hated herself. How could she? Please forgive me sweetie. I’m sorry. She stirred the cold green liquid, she would need more than tea to take away the ache that had nothing to do with the bullet.

Jayne watched Zoe with hooded eyes. Did she let the whore kiss her? Did she tremble when he touched her? Could he feel the hurt in her? He poured himself another healthy glass and let it burn down his throat. The image inside his head was still too clear so he poured another.

“I wasn’t enough for ya Zo? Maybe I wasn’t rough enough. You like it rough Zoe?”

Her head snapped up, “Jayne, you bes’ choose your words careful with me.”

Truth is he was feelin’ a might reckless tonight. Wasn’t the engine juice though, he hadn’t had enough yet. He poured another drink.

“I guess we’re more alike than I thought eh Zoe. We both take push where we can get it. Ain’t that right?” A leering grin crept across his face. “I can’t say you weren’t tasty. Better’n the best whore I had for sure.”

Zoe stilled the urge to beat the smirk off his face.

Simon and River chose that moment to walk into the kitchen. Simon took in Zoe stoic look, Jayne’s stone face, and the thick tension in the room.

“Umm, River, come let’s go back to bed.” Simon pulled her arm thinking better of their late night kitchen crawl.
River started protesting until she saw them. She stood in the doorway staring at Zoe and Jayne sitting impassively at the table.

“No good deed goes unpunished.” She whispered in sad childlike voice.

“Mei-mei come on. Let’s go to bed.” River allowed Simon to drag her from the room, watching as long as she could.

Silence hung over them. Jayne swallowed another fifth, and fought the urge to break something, instead he said, “Well ain't ya gonna answer?...He do ya good Zo?”

A bitter smile twisted his mouth. “He give you want you want?” He slammed down the glass on the table.

She had forced herself not to think about being with Jayne. She had gone to him because she thought he would give her what she wanted. Instead, he had made love to her so gently her traitorous body had turned to liquid under his hands. Usually the merc had the subtlety of an alliance battle cruiser but he had been so gentle she had wanted to weep. He had made her feel alive and sheltered, things she had no right to feel or want, things she had given up on. And most frustrating of all, instead of quenching her desires the stupid merc had awoken even more. No. She didn't allow herself to think about Jayne and she ignored the way her body felt when he was near.

“Yes, he did.” Zoe pushed back her chair and rose.

She stopped at the door, “That whore back on Rippon’s Landing give you what you want?”

Then she was gone.

The whiskey glass splintered against the dining room wall sending shards of glass skittering across the metal floor. Amber colored liquid bled from the yellow wall. He shouldn’t have given her what she wanted. Should never have touched her. He resisted the urge to hurl the bottle of whiskey across the room, he was gonna need it. Instead Jayne slumped heavily in the chair, unclipped his side arm and started dismantling it. He had to keep his hands and mind busy till Kaylee’s engine juice kicked in. He grimaced as he took another swig from the bottle hoping the numbness came soon.

A few days later…

River was standing right next to Jayne’s chair before he realized she was there.

“What the ruttin’ hell!” He jumped almost over turning his food. How the hell did crazy get so close without him noticin’? He’d been avoiding her for days, every time he turned around she’d had them weird eyes on ‘im.

“You missed the picture.”

“What?”

“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. You had the lines and measurements right, but you didn’t see the picture.”

“Get lost crazy. Don’t need your go se nonsense right now.” He grumbled turning back to his plate.

“Only nonsense because the synapse is firing between cavernous expanses.” She tapped the side of her head with a finger. “No body home.”

He glared at her.

She rolled her eyes completely un-phased by the fuming mercenary strapped with two loaded guns. The girl was really damaging his bad-ass mercenary image. Shit.

“You miscalculated.”

“You don’t know nothin’ bout—”

“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” She repeated each word slowly as if he would understand her nonsense any better. “Your measurements were right but you missed the picture.”

“Jing zi.’ He had no idea what she was goin on about. “Girl, just speak plain if’n you gonna go on all day buggin’ me.”

She paused her eyes searching the galley as if the right words were hidden in the cupboards. She sighed looking at him in earnest.

“You were her only unburdening. You helped then unhelped.”

He had the good sense to know she was talking about Zoe. Now, the crazy thing was he was startin’ to understood her nonsense, the tight feelin’ in his chest told him that.

“What’d ya mean? You said she got herself sexed on Rippon’s Landing.”

River shook her head, her hair trailing her movement like curtains. “The girl didn’t say where. She told the truth. You took her unburdening.”

“Tzao gao.” Jayne shot to his feet. The crash of the table and chair overturning startled River.

She took a step back from the fuming merc towering over her. His hands fisted at his sides. Her sudden retreating step stopped Jayne. Why the hell was reaver killer girl backin’ away from him? She could bring him down without a second thought, maybe even with her brain.

“Startled. Not afraid. But you should be…she might cut you.” River tilted her head to the side.

Jayne almost stepped back. The crazy girl had slashed him once already and he wasn’t lookin’ to let her cut him again, except his time she could go ape-shit and do more than cut ‘im. She seemed better after Miranda, he hoped that maybe she was just messin’ with his head.

“The girl wouldn’t cut you. Not the girl who is dangerous to you.”

He snorted at that. Hell, she killed reavers with her bare hands, she sure as hell was dangerous.

River shrugged and skipped out of the room before he could yell at her for meddlin’ in his head.

* * * *

Zoe did a last check of the ship after she locked her down for the night. She ended her rounds in the cargo hold then mounted the stairs to the catwalk to head to the bridge.

“Zo. I need to talk ya.” Jayne stood at the bottom of the stairs a few steps behind her.

“Ain’t nothing to be said ‘tween us.” She didn’t break her stride.

“Gorramit Zoe. Just let me say my piece…I won’t bother you no more.”

She paused. He took it as an opportunity.

“What I said before—I didn’t mean it…I thought—”

“I know what you thought.”

“River said you got—“

“She was talking about us Jayne.”

“Hell, I know that now,” he felt like an idiot. “Damnit Zo, when you said you’d go to someone else, I thought—” Well, she knew that part. “Why didn’t ya tell me I was wrong?”

“I ain’t got husband or kin, I don’t answer to you or anyone for my actions.”

“I don’t need to be either to worry ‘bout ya, Zo.”

Jayne worried about her?

“I didn’t mean all that go se I said before. I was just…”

“You were just what Jayne?” She was already losing patience.

“Gorramit, I was mad at ya cause I thought you let some hwoon dahn whore touch ya.”

“I’m a grown woman.”

“Believe me I know.” He couldn’t stop the smirk from curling his lips.

She ignored that, “Then stop actin’ like I’m a ruttin’ teenager. Who I choose to bed—”

Jayne closed the space between them quick but Zoe was faster. Jayne froze a breath away from her when a cold blade touched his throat. He didn’t even see the knife. And where the hell did she hide a gorram knife that size in those tight pants?

He brought his arms up slowly, fingers spread wide. She stood eye level one step above him, the blade pressed to his throat in the small distance between them. Damn woman was dangerous, especially when she was mad. He was definitely gonna have to talk to crazy girl ‘bout her not so helpful warnings. He looked into Zoe’s eyes not sure how far she was willing to go. Her brown eyes gave away nothing. Her blade didn’t waver. She was serious. Problem was her being so close with a big ass knife was kinda turning him on. He just hoped she didn’t notice the growing bulge on the front of his pants.

“Tread carefully Jayne. You on mighty dangerous ground if you think you got say in who I take to bed.”

Jayne didn’t move on account a him liking his throat without a big hole in it. Besides, he wasn’t sure his legs would do the whole bending and supporting thing with a rock at his crotch. He sucked in a deep breath and her scent filled his head. Gorramit.

He was about to agree just so she would move the gorram knife, instead he heard himself say, “I took plenty a women ta bed Zoe, and I know the difference in sharin’ a bed and usin’ a body. Do you?”

“You mean like you used that whore on Rippon’s Landing?”

“I didn’t go to no whorehouse on Rippon’s Landing, but I went ta plenty ‘fore that and used more’n my share a women just like they used me.” She raised an eyebrow at his confession. Jayne ignored it, she could think whatever she wanted.

“You think them whores gave a rat’s ass about me Zo? Alls that mattered was I could pay. And when my coin ran out I was shit to them. I ruttin’ well know the difference. Do ya Zo?” Jayne’s fingers curled into a fist, his knuckles cracked loudly.

“That’s bullshit Jayne, none of that go se matters.” She put pressure on the blade, but he didn’t flinch.

“Bull shit? Ya wanna know what matters Zoe? It matters that I know that them reavers tore out a piece a ya and left it back on Miranda. It ruttin’ matters that I know you’d walk through fire to save who ya love, an’ that nothin’ in this verse can cut them ties between you and Mal. We been through hell an’ back, through enough blood and broken bones for two lifetimes.” He barked. “It ruttin’ matters that we’ve saved each other more times than I can count and that this gorram ship is the only place we both want ta be. So take who the ruttin’ hell ya want to ya bed Zo.” His voice suddenly took on a softness, “But know that when I touch ya, y’ain’t just a body to me, an’ you shouldn’t settle for no man touchin’ ya that don’t see that.”

Jayne’s voice slid over her like a caress. She almost closed her eyes. Lao-tyen boo. He was so close she felt his voice rumble in his chest. Her body shivered betraying the indifference she was trying to show. She knew he felt it. There was that smirk on his face again. What the hell was the matter with her? It was Jayne for crying out loud.

Damn he liked the way she reacted to him too much. When did that start happening?

“You were right ta come ta me Zo. It weren’t no mistake.” He said it all soft-like, half wondering when who Zoe Washburn took to bed started mattering to him, and what would Mal say when he found out he had sexed Zoe and planned to do it again. Soon. Well, if she let him. Though with the whole knife to the throat thing, it wasn’t looking promising.

It seemed lately that no matter what she thought she wanted Jayne had a way of changing her mind. Now even with a knife at his throat he was doing it again. She wondered why he cared other than her choosin’ him had gotten him sexed. She knew Jayne helped her when he didn’t think she was looking. She let him. She leaned on him in ways that she couldn’t lean on the Captain because for all they had been through together, the Captain couldn’t handle knowing how broken she really was inside. The pieces didn’t fit and may not for a long time, but sometimes she had moments of wholeness, fleeting moments of being that weren't filled with pain and regret. Jayne had given her one of those moments.

She lowered the knife, cringing when she saw thin drops of blood where the blade had broken his skin.

“Didn’t mean to cut you.”

She raised one leg and slid the blade into a crevasse on the side of her boot.

“Yeah ya did.” He accused mildly, brows furrowed.

He wiped away the minute trace of blood on his neck.

“Maybe a little.” She turned and started up the stairs to the catwalk before he saw the grin on her face.

Jayne folded his arms across his chest and leaned against the railing. God, he loved watching her walk away.

“Zoe.”

She paused mid step.

“You get any more a them urges you come see me, dong ma?”

“Ain’t payin’ ya.”

“Ain’t enough coin in the ‘verse for my services bao bei.”

* * * *
Jayne made a habit of unlockin’ his hatch before he went to sleep every night. He knew good and well it could get him killed if anyone got on board like that ruttin’ bounty hunter did, but he left it open anyway.

Hours, minutes and days don’t mean much out in the black, but Serenity’s calendar counted off thirteen days since Zoe held a knife to his throat. So he was surprised when he woke to see her in the dim light of his bunk, standing next to his ladder, her hand restin’ familiar-like against the rungs. She was fully dressed, he assumed she had just locked down Serenity for the night. He released his hold on the trigger of the gun he was palming under his pillow.

“What took you so long?”

“Didn’t have any urges till now.”

“Liar.” He snarled. He had brushed pass her in the corridor a few days back and weren’t disappointed when she stiffened and got a little flushed under all that caramel skin.

Zoe’s throaty laugh drifted across the dim room.

“Come here.”

She stiffened at his order. He wondered if she would obey. Zoe didn’t take orders except from Mal and even those she disobeyed on occasion. Jayne watched her real close as she waged a full scale war with herself, then she slowly stepped to the edge of his bed. Interesting.

He still hadn’t moved. A blanket covered him partially, his chest and legs exposed to the cool air. She stood inches from his prone body, her eyes followed the trail of hair dipping below his blanket. She couldn’t tell if he had on anything under the blanket though she half hoped he wasn’t.

Zoe shivered when Jayne’s hand snaked through her legs then lightly grazed the sensitive skin between her thighs. His large hands stroked her through her pants. She was afraid to move because her knees had gone a little wobbly. Her body practically hummed under his fingers. She was gonna have a long talk with herself about this later. Later.

He swung his legs over the side of the bed, planting his feet apart on the cold floor. She let him pull her to stand between his legs, his face in line with her navel. He impatiently un-tugged her shirt and slipping his hands beneath the material, caressed the smooth skin of her stomach. She held her breath, steadying herself with a hand on his shoulder, his skin was hot despite the cool room. Jayne’s thumbs traced hypnotic circles over her skin.

A growl rumbled deep in his chest. God, he couldn’t wait to taste her.

He suddenly grasped the untucked tails of her shirt in each hand and tore them apart, buttons hitting metal punctuated Zoe’s astonished gasp. Then his mouth was on her. His hands cupped her breasts through her thin bra while his tongue traced a hungry trail around her navel. He could have taken her then she was that ready for him.

“So, tell me, how strong are them urges a yours?” His voice was deep, raw with desire against her skin.

Jayne’s hands and mouth were torturing her. To her disgust she couldn’t stop herself from trembling.

“Very strong.” She managed to say though her eyes drifted close and she was sure her legs wouldn’t support her much longer.

“What’d you reckon you gonna need ta satisfy them urges?” His mouth dipped to her navel, he tasted her skin like she was water in a desert.

“Jayne,” her warning came out all breathy and not as stern as she was trying for. Shit.

“Answer the question Zoe.” It was his turn to get what he wanted and he was going to take her his way. Jayne slid his fingers over the heated material of her pants at the apex of her thighs.

“Wha…what was the question again?”

He chuckled into her skin.

“What do ya need Zoe?” He punctuated each word by dragging his teeth against her skin.

She groaned when he cupped her through her pants. Her head tilted back. She couldn’t keep a straight thought in her head for the fire that was raging inside her. She shook her head.

All she managed to get out was “Don’t…don’t know…”.

“Gotta do better’n that bao bei .” He stopped moving, tasting, withdrew his hands, his mouth.

“No.” Her eyes flew open. She could have cried with how much she wanted him right then.

“What d’ya want Zoe?” His breath caressed the skin of her stomach and she shivered.

He loved that. He forced himself not to touch her though he swore his hands were trembling with the effort. She was so gorram beautiful. Her lids were heavy, her slightly parted lips trembled. She bit her bottom lip to still them. It was all he could do to stop himself from takin’ her right then.

“I want…” She licked her lips trying to find the words. She ached everywhere. What did she want? Everything. But she knew he wouldn’t let her get away with just that so she tried again.

“I want…you.” The words hitched in her throat. Damnit.

Hearing her say the words sent a tremor up Jayne’s spine that left him twitching and straining even more in his boxers. He was humped. Holdin’ back was gonna be mighty painful, but hell he was determined to do it. She had taken too long to come to him, he was gonna make her wait and ask for what she wanted.

“I see...and what d'ya want me to do about that?”

“I want you to…”

“What Zo?”

“…to touch me.”

“Touch you where?”

“Jayne please.”

That plea from any other woman would be sexy, but from Zoe it near made him come right there in his boxers. Wo de ma.

He let out a slow breath that did nothing for the heat curling in his gut and the straining in his shorts.

“Where Zo?” Even to his own ears his voice sounded strained. Tzao gao.

“Here.” She touched the skin of her stomach he had just abandoned, dragged her hands up to her straining nipples.

“How 'bout here?” He traced a calloused finger down her center.

“Yes.”

“And here?” His mouth captured a nipple through her thin bra while his hand coaxed the other to attention. She sighed through parted lips. He toyed with her until she was straining painfully against the wet silk of her bra, then gave equal attention to her other nipple.

“Jayne.” Her fingers dug into his shoulders.

He held her against him as he stood up, letting her feel how much he wanted her. She groaned against his mouth. Jayne closed his eyes for a second, suddenly not sure how he was gonna manage when he was already this hard and Zoe this ready for him. He needed some time.

“Undo your hair.” His breath tickled her ear, she shivered.

She contemplated him through her lashes, desire simmering in her eyes. Jayne saw the tension curl through Zoe as her need for control bent to her desire. He wondered how long before the warrior woman in her won. He would see.
She raised her arms and shook her hair loose from the string. He almost grinned. Taking orders from Zoe from now on was gonna be all kinds a interestin’.

His large hand cupped her cheek, his thumb stroked her full bottom lip. Her tongue flicked over Jayne’s thumb, sending a tremor shooting through him. He couldn’t wait. He drank greedily from her, taking her tongue, assaulting her lips. His hand threaded through her hair deepening his access to her mouth. Jayne kissed Zoe until they were both breathless and straining against each other. He finally tore himself away.

“One of us is wearin’ too much clothes.”

He slid her open shirt over her shoulders. He sat her on his bed, slid to his knees, unlaced and tugged off her boots, then pulled her to her feet. With not so steady fingers he unbuttoned and slid her pants down over her hips, then her legs. He fingered the bit of damp red silk covering her, so soft they made no sound when he ripped them in two. She was shocked that he tore them off and at her own reaction, because, as if it was at all possible, she wanted him even more.

He threw off his boxers with her gaze on him. Zoe’s eyes greedily ran over him. Jayne almost smiled. He weren’t ashamed a being naked, especially when she was drinkin’ him in like that. Wo de ma. He knew he was intimidatin’ to most women straining like he was, but the look in her eye told him she wasn’t intimidated at all, she wanted him. He pressed her back on to his bed, shifting his weight so he didn’t crush her.

Her fingers suddenly curled around the length of him stealing his breath and dragging a harsh groan from him.

“Zo” he breathed her name like a prayer.

Her fingers began to move, kneading his bones into liquid. Jayne couldn’t stop trembling. His eyes drifted close, a coil of tension quickly gathered where she held him. Her fingers felt like heaven around him. He felt himself grow even more in her hand. A urgent throbbing was pounding through him threatening to explode. Jayne captured her hand, before she took him too far. He drew a ragged breath. If she touched him again he wouldn’t be able to hold back.

He dragged her arms above her head, resting them on either side of her head.

“Don’t move them.” He commanded against her mouth.

Zoe bit back the objection on her tongue and left her arms where he put them, suddenly afraid that he would stop if she moved them.

His fingers slipped between her thighs. Stroking her open, he slid into her. Zoe opened to him, arching to his fingers. She made soft whimpering sounds as she drew in a shaky breath. Zoe sighed into his lips.

Jayne dipped his head to the cleft between her breasts. She whimpered softly when his tongue circled one dark crown, grazing her with his teeth. Zoe squirmed beneath his hands and mouth, drawing shallow breaths. God she was perfect. He continued his journey down her smooth stomach, licking the sensitive skin in his path.

His hand cupped her pi-gu lifting her hips to his lips. Jayne untangled her fingers from the sheets, and laced them around his head. She instantly pulled him into her, and his tongue slid inside her. Jayne’s mouth made love to her, savoring the sweetness on his tongue. He pulled soft whimpers from her. Zoe felt the familiar coil begin to unfurl inside her, the sharp edges pushing her higher and higher, the quivering starting where Jayne’s lips suckled her.

Jayne pulled back, ignoring her protest. “Slow down, bao bei. We got all night.

She wanted to scream.

Jayne slid up her body, recapturing her mouth. He slid two thick fingers inside her and watched her unravel under his hands. Jayne’s tongue and fingers continued their assault until he felt her walls begin to quiver and tighten around his fingers. He eased the pressure and slowed his movements until he heard her whimper.

“Not yet.” Jayne whispered against her mouth, his fingers beginning to withdraw from her. Zoe tightened around him, her fingers digging into his arms.

“Please,” she arched her hips. “Now—“ She didn’t care how desperate she sounded. She would make him pay for this later, but right then she wanted to come.

He slid in a third finger and her hips bucked against his hand. She opened wider for him. He curved his fingers forcing breathy gasps from her. He pressed his fingers into her, faster, harder. He plundered her mouth, taking her cries into his mouth. He pumped his fingers into her and her hips rolled with him. He felt her tighten around his fingers. Yes. Just like that. He wanted everything. He wanted to see her face when he let her come. He wanted his name on her lips.

Jayne thumbed the bundle of nerves at her center felt her swell against him. His fingers slick with her wetness continued to move inside her. He felt the rising tension in her body as she tightened around him. Yes. He struggled to stay in control. Jayne kissed her full lips, bruised from his earlier onslaught.

“Come for me bao bei…give me what I want Zo…yes, just like that…give me what I want.” He whispered against her lips.

As if at his command, he watched her shatter into a million pieces. He held her there, drinking in her ecstasy, taking what he wanted. Beads of sweat ran down her shivering body, he watched them mesmerized.

She groaned as another swell gathered at her core and surged through every inch of her. She quivered uncontrollably. She groaned softly deep in her throat, panting as she tried to catch her breath. His fingers curled against her walls.

“Jayne.” She held onto him.

He was gonna explode. He couldn’t wait any longer. He withdrew his fingers and he steered himself inside her, a groan tearing from him. Zoe cried out, her body strained deliciously as the considerable intrusion sent her spiraling.

Her body contracted agonizingly tight around the length of him, and he threw back his head, groaning savagely. Zoe wrapped her legs around his waist drawing him deeper, gasping as he filled her. With each drive, with each inch of him that she took, Jayne’s restraint slipped away from him.

He moaned into her mouth. “Take me with you Zo.”

Jayne’s voice caressed her, weakened her and tipped her over the edge. She fell again, this time with him buried deep inside her. She took him with her.

They laid wrapped around each other in a tangle of sheets, both a little shaken, wet and exhausted.

His face was buried in the bend of her neck, her arms wrapped around him.

“Wow,” she smiled with her eyes, her lips, her whole body.

“Yeah, wow.” He nuzzled her neck.

“Thank you.” She couldn’t quite bring herself to say all that she was thanking him for so she left it at that.

He nibbled on an ear. “Just doing my job—ow!”

His laughter rumbled through her as he tried to hold down her pinching fingers. Although he had brute strength on his side, her hands were fast and ruthless. As a last resort Jayne kissed her until they ran out of air. Gasping, she squirmed wickedly against him, and he groaned, feeling himself harden against her thigh.

“You okay Jayne?” She was all innocence.

“Don’t play with me woman.” He warned, already deciding he was gonna make love to her again. He had all sorts of things he wanted to try with that sweet body a hers before the night was up. But for now he didn’t want to move.

Zoe would have never of guessed that Jayne was a cuddler. He had wrapped himself around her and showed no indication of letting her go anytime soon. Kaylee and Inara would get a kick out of that. Would she tell them? Did they already know about her and Jayne? No. River already knew—about this.

Honestly, Zoe had no idea what ‘this’ was. Whatever it was, she was grateful for it, because laying next to Jayne with his lips pressed to her temple, his arms wrapped around her, his body practically melting into hers, she had no room for pain or regret. Later. That would come later.

“Zo?” He interrupted her thoughts.

“Mmm?”

“Next time you get one a them urges, can you bring some food with you?...ow!”

—End—
Feedback most welcome and appreciated.
Translations:
gong ma? – understand?
luh-suh - shitty
wo de ma - Mother of Jesus
Nah mei guan-shee. - That has nothing to do with it.
Hwoon dan - bastard
ching-wah tsao duh liou mahng - frog-riding bastard
niao se dub doo gway - piss-soaked pikers
jien tah-duh gway - like hell!
tzao gao - oh shit!
fei hua - bullshit
shiong-muh duh duang-ren - violent lunatic
bi zuie - shut up
jing zi – ingenious
lao-tyen boo - oh, Lord!
bao bei - darling/sweet heart
pi-gu - ass


This is a link to What I want...What I need Part 3
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