and then, Jayne won a turtle. Wearing a vest.
Dont ask me, i just work here.
also, this started as a drabble, moved to a ficlet, and then decided to take over the world.
Title: Ring Toss
Summery: at the fair, after being smeared with cotton candy, Jayne has to crazy sit.
Jayne would swear that the preacher had disappeared. He had been drug all over creation at the stupid carnival while the girl tugged on his arm and bounced up and down at all the stupid games.
And there weren't hide nor hair of the preacher. Nor Mal. Nor Zoe. Nor even the girl's brother.
Which meant he was stuck with her.
He could leave her, easy enough, and had tried, after he got the rest of her cotton candy off him. But she had popped up behind him and chirped "found you!" and now she weren't letting go of his arm.
He tried shaking her off, but she was stronger than a pit bull, for all that she looked like the wind could break her in half.
So now, he just glared when she pressed her fingers into his arm and jumped up and down.
"The probability is unfavorable, but the turtle is clothed!"
Which made about as much sense as anything she ever said. So, he ignored her.
At least, he was trying to, til she kicked him in the shin.
And she was actually wearing her boots, 'stead of traipsing round barefoot, so it smarted a good deal.
"What?" He snapped.
She just tightened her fingers round his bicep, grinning up at him like he was some kind of hero, and pointed.
He followed her finger to a game booth.
Which had a giant squishy looking turtle, dressed just like the doc, all buttoned up and vested, sitting in the very front.
"So?" He said. "Go win it. Your brother gave you coin, I saw it."
She shook her head, hair flying every which way. "Date should procure, tradition states."
"I ain't your date."
Pleading eyes looked up at him, and she tucked her chin into his bicep, so alls he could see where those eyes. And he could swear they was getting bigger every second.
"Go on, you got good aim," he tried.
Those eyes was still getting bigger. And her nose was cold.
Which was the only reason he broke.
Had nothing to do with those eyes. Or how cute she would look lugging around a turtle as big as she was.
When he grunted and started walking over toward the booth, she squealed and hugged his arm. And then slipped her fingers through his and swung their arms together.
"What the hell, girl?"
"Tradition! Boy and girl hold hands when they are on date."
"This ain't a date!"
She just giggled and squeezed his hand.
He gave up. It was easier than arguing with someone who had spent the morning rearranging Wash's dinosaurs by when they existed. Vertically. Wash still hadn't figured out how to get his T Rex off the top of the bulkhead.
So, she giggled, he grunted, and the man behind the counter took his coin and gave him three rings.
He blamed the first miss on the fact she still hadn't let go of his hand.
The second miss was the wind.
He scowled at the last ring, and then glared at the girl who was watching excitedly.
The third miss was because she jumped up to sit on the counter, and he almost whacked her in the head by accident.
"Try again," she demanded. "Turtle is lonely, and needs a home."
"Girl, I ain't planning on wasting all my money on you and a stupid turtle."
She kicked her feet and said, "Loser."
He stopped two steps away from the counter and whirled around. "What did you call me?" His voice was menacing.
She fluttered her eyelashes and smiled. "Turtle is mocking you. Says you can't throw worth spaghetti." She slid gracefully off the counter and sighed. "Girl will have to calculate the distance. Shouldn't be hard. Boy cannot be counted on." She sighed again, flicking a glance, and her hair, at him. "You are a very disappointing date."
"Can't be counted on!" Jayne slammed his money down on the counter and yanked the rings out of the guy's hands. "Show you what kinda date I am!"
And, even though he knew she was giggling beside him, and he knew he had been played, he decided he was gonna win her that damn turtle.
And then he was gonna kill her.
He weren't sure if his irritation made him more focused, or whether the guy in charge of the rutting game took pity on a guy trying to win a prize for his girl (either that, or didn't want to get pounded if Jayne lost again), but this time, every single ring went round a bottle.
And that little girl's smile 'bout near lit up the night when Jayne handed over that stupid turtle.
"Thank you, Jayne!" She buried her face in the turtle's shell and did that eye thing again. "Now he won't be lonely!"
She snagged Jayne's arm again, and pulled him down to her height. She gave him this slow smile that crawled over her face and made him feel a little queasy.
He weren't entirely sure what was happening, but she was getting closer, and he hadn't moved away yet.
Maybe she had slipped him a drug that made all his muscles froze up.
And then she kissed him, lightly, just beside his mouth.
Maybe she had made him crazy, too. 'Cause he wasn't jumping away, shoving her, or running hell for leather for Serenity and the relative safety of his bunk.
Her eyes were shining, and he was staring at her, and her turtle was slipping through her arms, about to land in the dirt.
"You make a very good date," she told him gravely.
"Thanks," he managed.
She moved away, and the poison in his system faded, and he could stand up straight again. Which he did. Shaking out his arms to get rid of the rest of the weird feeling.
"Now," she announced. "Turtle would like to go in the Tunnel of Love."
"Oh, hell no."
"The Ferris Wheel?"
Back: Cotton Candy