Characters/Pairings: Rayne (Firefly) Rumbelle (OUAT)
Genre: Humour, fluff.
Rating: PG13 for certain wordages.
Summary: It's story time!
Author's Note: Happy birthday for the most wonderful and amazing ultra_fic xx I was supposed to have written this originally in thanks for my lovely banner, but I got really stuck until the last couple of days. So this is a big thanks to you Ultra and Happy birthday rolled into one! I don't think it's my best, but I do hope you like it. It's not beta'd so there will be mistakes. Enjoy! xxx
“It’s story time!”
He could only muster up a low threatening growl. It rumbled in his chest, came out through his clenched teeth and quickly diminished into a little hateful whine as he felt her jump onto the side of the bed.
‘Hang on a minute, what is she doin’ here?’
He was tired, Jayne could barely open his eyes, but somehow he managed it and through the tiny slits in his eyes, he saw her. The growl rumbled again, but instead of getting rid of the Moonbrained annoyance, it only encouraged her to settle in. She clambered over his legs and wriggled her bony ass so he had to part his legs and allow her to sit between them. She smiled at the fact that he had allowed this and then from out of nowhere slammed a great big hefty book down onto his lap.
A shot of agonising pain coursed through his John Thomas and Jayne’s eyes flew open, stinging with tears. He choked and gasped and could only stammer broken words of hatred at the Crazy sitting on him. His fists clenched, the instinct to react was strong, but sense stayed those fists, for the little bint could easily deck him out cold.
“Whatchawant?” he snarled closing his eyes as he tried to sate the urge to lash out and yell again.
River Tam never cared about angering the ship’s Merc. She wasn’t ever afraid of him anyway and so as she opened the book up—where the ruttin’ hell did she find one of these gorram things anyway?—a huge childlike and very endearing smile beamed across her face.
“It’s time for a story!”
“I ain’t readin’ ya a fuckin’ story, moony.”
“I know. I shall be reading it to you!”
“No! You ain’t readin’ me nothin’!”
River scowled and poked a finger in the middle of his forehead. “You ain’t reading me anything! Settle down, get comfortable--!”
“I was gorram settled and comfortable!”
“Then I shall begin!”
“Crazy… yer really tryin’ my patience!”
“I have also brought you some heated bovine lactation!”
Jayne looked around and sure enough, there was a large ceramic mug with what appeared to be milk in it, sitting on the floor. For a moment Jayne forgot about the intrusion into his bunk and that the little mind-reading witch had probably read his mind and found out his ma did this for him.
“Is that there real milk? Cow, not dog?”
River smiled and nodded her head. She picked up the mug and immediately Jayne snatched it from her and gulped, groaning in a delightful and almost sexual manner at the full fat creamy taste of cow’s milk sliding down his throat. How had she found real cow’s milk?
River opened the book and began to read.
“Once upon a time…”
“What the ruttin hell does that even mean?”
“Ssh! No time for questions! Listen and drink!”
Jayne began to take tentative sips at the remainders of his treat and complied with her order, just this once, mind.
“Once upon a time there was a man and he lived in a castle all by himself and he was very lonely! He was also very mean. The people in the surrounding kingdoms were afraid of him, they knew he could do terrible things to them and their families-squish!—and this reputation was spread far and wide! However, he was also the one person who could fix things, he could grant wishes and he could spin straw into gold too!”
Jayne knew this story. His ma had told him this when he was a boy.
“Rumplestiltskin.” He murmured. River’s face lit up with joy.
“You know the story?”
“Yeah. Yeah I do.”
River clapped her hands happily. “This is perfect!”
“I know the story, so ya don’t need to read it t’ me! Gerroff and scram!”
A hand slapped across his shoulder and that joyful face was now scowling back at him. The little crazy was certainly not leaving. She had no intention of getting off the bed or taking her big assed book with her, so Jayne snarled and reluctantly allowed her to carry on.
“Rumplestiltskin was greatly feared!” River continued. “But he was so lonely. He had a huge castle but no one to look after it for him.”
“Lazy hun dan!”
“Ssh! One day he was asked by Sir Maurice, who ruled a nearby kingdom, to help with some terrible Ogres! He was the only one who could help! But there was a price! He had to have Sir Maurice’s daughter serve him!”
Jayne grinned. “He wanted her as his own whore, or companion right? He wanted her for a bit of a tug and tussle?”
River looked disgusted at that idea and shook her head.
“Belle was not a whore! She sacrificed her way of life to spend it in Rumplestiltskin’s castle! She had to leave behind her family and everyone else she loved, to keep them safe!”
Jayne took a gulp of the milk and let her carry on but the more she rambled on about Belle and Rumplestiltskin, the more he found himself greatly disagreeing with it. Crazy was making everything up! What she was reading out to him wasn’t what Jayne remembered.
Trust her to not only disturb his sleep, but to ruin the stories his ma had told him. The longer she carried on, the more annoyed Jayne was. Not only was River making it up, she was also getting muddled up, combining two different stories together. What annoyed him even more was that River was making him give a rat’s ass about it.
The final straw for Jayne was when River began to tell of the two slowly falling in love.
“Now wait a gorram minute!” Jayne’s loud interruption caught River a little off guard, her eyes widened in surprise for only a few seconds before she smiled coyly. “Ya screwin’ up the tales, Crazy! First off Rumplestiltskin stole babies, twisted qing wa cao de liu mang! Not wimmin! He didn’t go round tellin’ everyone his name either cuz he couldn’t stand the sound of it! Made him go like you, all screwed up and loony-fied. He sure as hell didn’t get all soppy and pansy-assed over his cleanin’ lady!”
“He did so! He and Belle were…”
“Belle ain’t even part of his story, Crazy! She’s the one in Beauty and the Beast! Deng yimiao! What screwed up book are you readin’ anyhows?”
Jayne didn’t miss River’s sly smirk before her goofy grin, as she hauled the big leather bound book off his lap. In that instant, Jayne got a little more feeling back to his John Thomas, which he thanked god for. That relief didn’t last long as River then closed the book and dropped it back into his lap.
“Cao di yu! Will ya watch what ya doin’ with the gorram thing, girl?”
He should have thrown her out. He should have gotten up and made River leave, threatened to shoot her or something! But dammit, the girl had brought him real cow’s milk—he took another gulp—but why would she do that? Why was she reading to him?
River’s thumping finger on the cover made him look down at the words printed upon it.
“Once Upon A Time!” River placed her palm on the leather and closed her eyes before swaying side to side. She opened them again and they were bright with excitement “It’s an unusual piece of literature! An amalgamation of many fairy tales and folk lore from Earth that was! New plots and twists! It has Snow White and her prince Charming! It has an evil Queen and her magic mirror, fairies and Mad Hatters! Off with their heads! A head detached from the body speaks! Little Red Riding Hood is a big bad wolf and Dwarves hatch from eggs! Twist, twist!”
“It’s screwed up is what it is!”
“No, it’s just twisted around! Fiddled about with! Made different! The Beauty falls in love with the Beast who can make gold! She softens his cruel heart and allows him to love her back! Romance, happy ending!”
“I don’t care!”
River carried on grinning and opened the book. Thankfully instead of reading, she turned over the pages, stroking at the coloured pictures for a while.
Since when was it okay for her to be sitting on his lap, in his bunk? Since when he did he ever stand for this? She was not afraid of him, that’s why. She did what she wanted, but it bugged the gorram hell out of Jayne as to why she wanted to do this with him.
Because it pissed him off? River Tam got a lot of joy out of pissing him off.
She’d brought him real cow’s milk.
A shot of fear stabbed into the back of Jayne’s head when that happened. Instinct forced his hand to shoot up and grab River’s face, squeezing her cheeks hard. As he expected, her hands grabbed hold of his arm, but they didn’t do anything else. As he squeezed a little harder, she did too, but River did nothing to make him stop.
He starred into her eyes and sneered.
So this was her game, huh?
Jayne had it with her games and her pissing him off. This was going to end here and now.
“Ya tryin’ to soften this beast, are ya girlie?!” he hissed, dragging her face closer and tightening his grip so she couldn’t look away. “Ya think ya clever? Think ya smart comin’ down here to try an’ soften me up with cow’s milk and go se? I ain’t falling for it, Moony. It ain’t goin’ to happen."
River tried to babble her usual nonsense, but as Jayne’s hand still squeezed her cheeks, which scrunched up her lips, it made even less sense. Jayne scowled as he picked out single words amongst her incessant rambling.
Gold. Coin. Beast. Parallels. Big Bad.
He had enough. Jayne was tired and while the cow’s milk was good, River Tam and her crazy spoutings were not. With one quick swipe of his arm, he shoved the young woman off his bed and watched her land on the floor.
Her mouth continued to babble, as if her mind was unable to stop herself from doing so.
“Get out of my bunk!” Jayne yelled. “Or I’m telling Mal!”
Well, no he wouldn’t, because knowing Mal , the Captain would only end up blaming Jayne. River knew that, which was why she was staring up at him, clutching the book to her flat chest and blinking like she was some innocent child.
“But don’t you want to know it concludes?” she asked in that soft sing song tone of hers. “Do you want to hear the happy ending?"
“There ain’t ever a happy ending, Moony!” Jayne snapped, got up from the bed and pulled River to her feet. “Ya know that! It ain’t all sunbeams and rainbows and gorram sweet smellin’ fairy farts! So why don’t you take your stupid ruttin’ book and get out of here!”
“Did you like the milk?”
Yes. He did. Very much. Where did she get it?
For a second, it looked as if River was going to cry. That was not gonna happen! No ruttin’ way!
He growled threateningly, hoping that it would send the young woman away and keep her away, but the smile that spread across her face told him that this certainly wasn’t the end.
She laughed as she climbed the ladder. Jayne heard it echoing along the corridor as she scampered away.
When the hatch to his bunk slammed shut, Jayne breathed a sigh of relief and went back to bed.
Damn that Moonbrained girl!
Damn her, that gorram book and her crazy wiles!
Jayne had gone through the entire kitchen and found no trace of the milk. There was some usual substitutes, power in dented cans, but no real cold creamy cow’s milk.
It had been a busy day and as there wasn’t any trim on the ship and he had worked out as much as he could, there was only one alternative now. There was only one way that he was going to get to sleep and it was her fault.
Jayne didn’t bother tidying up. He crept out of the kitchen and made his way through Serenity until he got to the passenger quarters. He knew that the rooms higher up were empty, but he looked for any movement behind their screens before sliding open the first ground level compartment door.
Simon Tam was not in his quarters. So that meant he was with Kaylee, either in engineering or in her own bunk.
Good. No one else was around.
Jayne didn’t knock, he just pulled open the door and stormed right in.
“Don’t say a gorram thing!” He snarled, as he plonked himself down on the bed next to River. “Just get on with it!”
The crazy woman did a little jiggle and clapped her hands before sliding the book onto Jayne’s lap. He was grateful that she didn’t drop it this time.
“You wanted to know.” River said, snuggling up to him. “You want to know the end of the story and see Rumple and Belle’s happy ending. Ma used to tell you the stories before bedtime! Helps you sleep! And so does this…”
Jayne allowed himself to smile when River handed him a mug of warm milk.
“Correct.” River bobbed her head in acknowledgement.
“Are you comfortable? I shall begin if you are!”
“Just hurry up, will ya?”
“A fairy tale must not be hurried, Jayne-man!”
Her eyes fluttered at the sound of his rumbling growl. The she opened the book and began to read.
Damn her for getting him interested.
Just as long as Mal don’t find out. He would never live it down.