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Okay, I have to do this --- this mutant bunny refuses to make anything easy, so I at least need to keep track of the scenes (and scene POV) that I finally accept before I get really confused and end up posting a great big galosh mess of words.

This bunny bit me and insists that I finish it. Originally posted to [ profile] serenity_santa as teaser gifts for [ profile] llembas ... obviously, finishing this (hopefully in a timely manner) will be the rest of her gift.

Title: Unexpected
Author: Jebbypal
Spoiler Warning: This is Post-Serenity movie...very much a future fic set several years after the movie. But if you don't want to be spoiled, don't read!
Rating: Teen --- heavy innuendo...but I can't do smut, so nothing graphic. No violence yet.
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Joss, including my brain and muse apparently. Also, this is a WIP so if you don't like those, stay away.
Summary: Inara is the last person that Jayne expects to see.
Unbeta-ed as of yet, so any mistakes are my own.

Jayne's more than a little surprised by the woman that sits at his table. Of all the broads in the 'Verse, he's most surprised to see her. Hell, he hasn't seen her since the last time she left Serenity. Wasn't too much longer before the rest of them drifted off, one by one, leaving Zoe and Mal alone in their...well, whatever it was. Sure as hell didn't qualify as life.

Still, that must have been nine or so years ago. Long enough that Jayne's surprised he's still alive, let alone that he's sitting at a table with her. "Don't that fancy Guild of yours have a rule against you associating with the commoners?"

Inara's lips press together in that familiar fashion, they used to do that every time Mal called her a whore. "Well, they better not, considering that I own this establishment. It's...not horrible to see you again, Jayne."

The last part makes him laugh even though he's still sober. "Well, if these girls you've got in here are Companions, the Guild's lowered its standards."

"They aren't. I'm not."

He coughs as the ale goes up instead of down. Hell's bells, that's one thing he never figured he'd hear Inara Serra say. "They ain't trannies, are they?"

"Crude as ever, nice to know that some things never change," Inara says as she waves at a serving girl. "No, Jayne. They're every bit as female as I am."

That statement sends his brain off in interesting directions. Blood too, forcing him to shift things around to get comfortable. Silence ensues as he finds his mind at a blank for conversation.

Inara takes a drink from the serving girl and continues to hold him captive in her gaze. If it had been any other woman in the 'Verse, he might even think she was...nah, not 'Nara. Much as he might have dreamed about it, he knows he's never been the type that she'd consort with. Even if she wasn't a Companion anymore. "So, no more fancy Companion-ing. How'd that happen?"

Inara shrugs. His eyes follow the strap of her dress as it falls lazily off of her shoulder. "I tired of the Guild's tithe. After all, I was the one doing all the work."

He jolts when he feels her foot on his leg. She's playing with him. Gotta be. Lil' Kaylee is going to jump out of a closet laughing soon. Surely.

Inara's eyes move and she nods to someone he can't see. Suddenly, he begins to worry that maybe this is a different type of ambush.

"Jayne, I've arranged for us to have a meal upstairs so we can catch up, privately," Inara says with a smile.

Jayne finishes his drink in one swallow as he struggles to think. "Rates are probably too high," he finally says as he pushes the glass away. Surely there's another place in this town to drink.

"Let me worry about that," Inara says as she grabs his hand. Jayne can't help but wonder at how the universal laws of the 'Verse have to have changed since he saw her last that THIS could be happening. He also hopes that the rumor he heard about Mal's death was true. Cause somehow, if it isn't, this’ll probably be the straw that causes the nut to come gunning for him.

Jayne can't quite believe it. Last night...that was one thing. Now in the light of day, it makes more sense, but he's still trying to figure out exactly when Inara talked him into going along on this hairbrained scheme. Oh right, adding the helpless kid into the equation as well as the danger Zoe and Mal were in due to Inara's past association with Atherton Wing. Which is all Mal's fault, if the man had just gotten over his gorram sense of honor and killed the pretentious hundan, Jayne could be sitting safely planet-side continuing to drink up his pay before going to look for another job.

But no, instead he's here on this rusty bucket of bolts that Kaylee had managed to get flying again and looking over his shoulder at every gorram noise to make sure little sister hadn't gotten any interesting ideas. Jayne rubs his aching head. It had to have been the hangover. Between that and Inara's tears, he hadn't stood a chance. Ah well, at least as a bonus he has Kaylee's moonshine to pass the time till they reach Persephone.

Simon hurries away from the cargo bay. He has no wish to be around a hung-over, cursing Jayne. Of course, he'd prefer to get the image of Jayne in Inara's bed out of his head too, but that doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon. "Don't look like that, Simon. Better my bed than River's," Inara teases him as they enter the galley.

"What did you have to promise him in return for his help? I can't imagine Mal will be very pleased if you've gone and indentured yourself to that -"

Inara glares at him even as she continues to gracefully prepare tea. "Mal has never had any say in my affairs, and for that matter, neither have you. Besides, you and Mal never did give Jayne enough credit."

"Inara, the man sold my sister and I out to the feds!"

"But then he went and saved you both," Kaylee adds as she enters. "Finally got that nav glitch that River was complaining about fixed. Or at least as fixed as anything on a Trans-U this old gets. I can't believe that poofy chunren got Serenity impounded!" She snags a cup of tea from Inara and sits down at the galley's small, scratched counter. "'Course, I'm still interested in how you got Jayne to come along. Especially after the hissy fit about River that he had when he left Serenity."

"Did she really make him dance?" Inara asks. Simon starts to chuckle at the memory despite his many worries. At the time, River shooting at anyone on the ship was a major cause for worry and ensured another loud (and bloody) argument between him and Mal. But when they'd both gotten to the cargo bay and saw River shooting at Jayne's feet, with Vera no less, and the large merc dancing a jig to avoid the bullets - well, that little incident may have driven Jayne off of Serenity, but it had allowed Simon to have the patience to stick around for another few months. Of course, in the end, it was only River who could put up with the sour moods of both Mal and Zoe. Simon and Kaylee had left shortly after, but with the understanding that Kaylee's mechanic business would service Serenity for free for as long as Mal kept River on as pilot. Neither one of them had ever imagined that a decade later, that little deal would still be eating into their profit margins.

"Truly. That memory still warms my heart," Simon says through his laughter. Even Kaylee is giggling as she swats his arm.

"I'll have to speak to River about her poor timing for that. I would have paid to see it," Inara replies.

"Come on, 'Nara, 'fess up. How'd you convince Jayne to help out?" Kaylee asks again.

Inara shakes her head. "Honestly, I'm not sure. He was all set to leave and then he suddenly changed his mind. I guess his conscience got the better of him."

"Not a conscience, he's still Jayne," River announces from the doorway to the Trans-U's bridge. "The picture of the boy."

Kaylee nods. "Yeah, that would do it. Jayne always did have a soft spot for kids. I remember how he was when we were on Canton." Simon remembers that episode as well. He decides to not point out how the deaths on Canton could have been avoided if Jayne had ever had a moral fiber in his body. Hopefully, between the four of them, they'll be able to keep Jayne from betraying them and still manage to rescue Mal and Zoe. He still doesn't understand why his sister insists that Jayne is critical to success of the mission, but he's learned by now to trust her intuition even when she refuses to explain it.

"Just tell me you were lying when you assured him that he was in charge of our little party here?" Simon begs. His confidence is shattered when the three women share a look before they all give him a pitying glance. If they all survive this, Mal is so going to owe him.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-01-04 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll have some more, please? :bats eyes:

(no subject)

Date: 2006-01-04 08:59 am (UTC)
ext_33518: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
"They ain't trannies, are they?" -- I LOVE this line. Just love that that's where Jayne's mind would go!

Still a really nice piece. If there's more, I can't wait to read it.

But no, instead he was here on this rusty bucket of bolts -- should be present tense.


jebbypal: (Default)

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