Jayne’s bunk was dark and the heavy rhythmic sounds of his breathing were the only sounds to be heard aside from the normal purrings of Serenity. Kaylee stood, one hand still on the ladder, wondering what exactly had brought her here.
...“Have you ever been raped?” his voice was calm and even as it floated into her ears.
She struggled to maintain control of her body as she began to shake in all consuming fear. Jubal Early stalked closer a maniac grin plastered over his face.
“There’s nobody can help you. Say it.”
She could feel the heat spill over her lids and roll down her cheeks. She tried to back away but her feet wouldn’t move. Trapped like an animal and in the one place she always felt safest.
“Say it.” his voice was more demanding but still steady and controlled.
“There’s...there’s nobody can help me.”
The Bounty hunter closed the distance between them and leered down at her through blank unfeeling eyes.
“I’m going to tie you up now.”
She tried to say no but all she could do was mouth the words and weep, one shaky hand coming up between them as if to beg him off.
“And you know what I’m going to do then?” he ripped open her jumpsuit.
“Ain’t nothing but a body to me and I’m *going* to do all manner of unseemly things to it.”
With that he spun her around and thrust her into the wall, smashing her face against the grimy, oil stained steel of what had once been her haven...
Twenty minutes ago she’d woken up in her own bunk, in a cold sweat, the nightmares of the bounty hunter still haunted her every sleeping moment, even a week later. She had sat, alone and frightened in the darkness, nearly too scared to move. This had to stop, she hadn’t gotten more than a few hours sleep since it happened and she was starting to go mad.
So she resolved to find a bunkmate for the night. Her first thought had been Simon but then she admitted, somewhat reluctantly, that she didn’t really feel safe with him, ‘sides, he’d just stutter and stammer ‘bout what was proper and all, she really wasn’t up for that. The Cap’n? No, she didn’t want him to know about this. Zoe and Wash were definitely out as were Inara and River, the last two because again she wanted to feel safe, protected. Sharing a bunk with the Shepard would be just down right wrong. That left Jayne.
She did feel safe with Jayne, almost as safe as with Mal. Jayne wouldn’t never let anything happen to me, much as the others don’t trust him. Somehow she just knew he’d never hurt her or, if he had a say, let her get hurt.
So, there she was, standing barefoot in the darkness of his bunk, trying to find the courage to wake him and make her request. She was so lost in thought that she jumped at the sound of his voice.
Jayne had been awake since he heard the door to his bunk open and had slid his hand to the loaded gun he kept hidden between the wall and his mattress. Without even opening his eyes he knew who his visitor was as soon as he heard her breathing, he released the gun.
“What you do’n down here?”
There was a brief pause in which Jayne turned and opened his eyes to the darkened silhouette that was Kaylee’s form. As his eyes adjusted to the low light he could see the frightened look on her face and sat up.
“What’s go’n on Kaylee?” he asked worriedly as he glanced to the door of his bunk and began to listen for the sounds of trouble.
Kaylee released her grip on the ladder and stepped forward moving further into the room and closer to Jayne. She attempted to smile but failed.
“Nothin, no trouble,” she told him, noting where his eyes were focused “I just...” she trailed off suddenly embarrassed as his eyes moved back to hers.
Jayne gave her a questioning look and she sighed.
“I just can’t sleep. I thought maybe,”
“Thought maybe what?”
“Jayne,” she finally met his eyes with her own “could I sleep in here with you tonight? Please.”
Jayne was slightly taken aback by the emotions dancing in her eyes as she looked at him. Fear, sadness, hope, and sincerity all mixed with wild abandon there. He wanted to say no, tell her to go back to her bunk and grow up but, he couldn’t. Not to ‘lil Kaylee. Not when she looked so small and scared. Somehow he knew that whatever this was, it had something to do with that Shee-niou Hwoon dahn of a Bounty Hunter.
“You wanna talk about it?” he asked her hesitantly his eyes dropping briefly to the mattress, not really certain he wanted to have this conversation and not sure why he had asked.
Her response was a simple frown and shake of her head and he smiled sadly. In the back of his mind a small voice reminded him that if Mal found out about this he would definitely be going out the airlock, no question. Still, he found that, right then, he didn’t much care about what the Captain might do and against his better judgement he nodded and lay back down, scooting over until his back hit the wall and raising the blankets for her in invitation.
Kaylee gave him a grateful smile and crawled into his bed. After a few moments of laying in silence he felt her move and then he felt her warm, cotton covered back press against his tee shirt clad chest and his heart stopped. His body tensed for a moment at the contact before he gave in and draped his strong arm over her shoulder and pulled her in tighter, protectively. Kaylee’s hands came up to lightly grip his forearm in response and he could almost hear her smile.
“Thank you.” she whispered.
Jayne listened, watching the back of her head, as she slowly drifted into sleep. The last thought he had before the sandman claimed him as well was ‘What the rut’n hell am I doing?’
The next morning the pair were awoken by the sound of Mal’s very unhappy voice booming into Jayne’s bunk over the intercom system.
“Jayne! I know a man pretty as you needs his beauty sleep but we got this little thing call a JOB! Get your jing-tzang mei yong-duh pee-goo down to the cargo bay NOW!”
Jayne jumped as the com cracked off, startling Kaylee.. Jayne placed a hand on her shoulder to assure her that she was fine and she smiled up at him groggily. Jayne’s eyes flickered to the Crono on his wall and he swore under his breath. He was suppose to be up hours ago. With a small frustrated growl he sat up, crawled over Kaylee and out of the bed.
As Jayne quickly went about his morning routine of getting ready for the day he could feel Kaylee watching him and he couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking, laying there in his bunk, in his bed.
Suddenly Jayne’s mind latched onto that fact, Kaylee was laying, snuggled up, in his bed. The thought sent an odd chill down the mercenary’s spine and sent him fumbling through the rest of his routine. Pushing away the thought he picked up his gun belt and pulled it around his waist, turning to face Kaylee once more.
Kaylee heard the Captain’s voice through the fog of sleep, although she couldn’t make out what he was saying. She tried to concentrate, tried to understand the words but there was a sudden jolt, she jumped and the warmth at her back was gone. Her eyes flashed open, though still unfocused, and she saw Jayne next to her and her mind started to clear. When his hand fell to her shoulder she smiled at him then he was out of the bed.
Crawling completely from the haze of sleep she sat up, meaning to get out of the bed as well. Turning her head toward him just as he peeled off his tee-shirt.
Kaylee suddenly forgot what she was doing and found herself staring, transfixed, at the broad, hard, smooth wall of muscle that was Jayne’s back. She watched the muscles tense and relax as Jayne pulled out his sink and washed his face and neck, brushed his teeth, dropping the tooth brush several times into the sink, and finally as they were covered once more by the cotton of a new tee-shirt. She found herself giggling as he turned to face her once again.
“What?” Jayne asked his brows coming together in confusion.
“You’re tee-shirt,” she giggle as she pointed, “it’s inside out and well, backwards.”
Kaylee bit her lip to keep from laughing as Jayne looked down at his chest and turned a bright shade of red.
“Oh, Gorramit!” he growled pulling the shirt off and putting it to rights.
Kaylee giggled for a moment more before she stood up from the bed, the floor pricking her bare feet with cold as she moved forward toward Jayne and smiled up at him.
“Thanks again for letting me stay, it was real nice a’you.”
“Yeah, well, yeah.” there was a pause as the two of them looked at each other then Jayne shifted uncomfortably.
“I gotta go, Mal’s waiting on me fir that job and I ain’t too excited about getting hollered at again. I’ll see you later.”
And with that Kaylee watched as he disappeared up the ladder and out of the door. She sighed, waited a few minutes and then climbed up and out of the bunk herself. She did, after all, have work to do herself.