Welcome to Fun and Games.
Title: Tall Card
Series: Fun and Games
Summery: Jayne plays cards. River…helps.
A/N: Find info on Tall Card here
He didn’t think much of it when the girl plunked herself and her gorram turtle beside him at the table.
He’d gotten used to her coming to bedevil him at all hours, so he really didn’t even do much besides grunt and try and shake her off his arm a time or two.
It wasn’t ‘til he gave up on getting his arm back and looked to his cards that he realized the whole table was staring at him.
The doc’s face was all kinds of funny, eyes all wide and mouth hanging open.
Maybe the doc got a bad hand or something.
Jayne ignored the weird look the captain was giving him, and turned back to his cards. The girl was leaning over his arm, her hair falling down over the cards and getting in the way. She was perched on the very edge of her chair, and was using his arm as a prop to keep her upright.
There weren’t no way this was gonna work.
“Girl, you gotta move,” he growled, trying to focus on the game.
Although the game weren’t exactly going nowhere. The preacher, the captain and the doc all seemed kinda frozen or something.
The girl turned her head to look up at him, pulling his attention from the bizarre actions of the others. She blinked those awful big eyes, and he tensed, trying to shield himself from whatever crazy thing she was about to talk him into. But she just looked back down at his cards, one little hand braced on his thigh, and her other one holding his wrist steady.
The captain cleared his throat, and Jayne jumped in surprise, nearly knocking the girl completely off the chair. But he managed to grab her by the wrist and drag her up far enough that she could use his leg as a ladder to climb back up.
Of course, this time, she climbed right over him and leaned back against him, nearly in his lap.
You’d think the girl would know better by now.
“We so ain’t doing this again,” he told the back of her head.
“Again?” the doc said faintly.
Jayne ignored him. “Git,” he told her sternly, wrapping the hand he weren’t holding cards with ‘round her waist and trying to move her.
She was awful hard to budge for someone so little.
She shook her head. “The cards would like help,” she explained, twisting in his lap to look at him earnestly. “They think you don’t know how to play.”
He glared at her.
She smiled innocently. “Turtle would like to play.”
“Turtle don’t know how to play.” He scowled again, but it weren’t doing any good.
Gorram girl knew he weren’t gonna do nothing. Not since he squired her ‘round that stupid carnival over two weeks ago. They had left that world long behind, but she was still dogging his steps. He couldn’t go for so much as a midnight snack without her popping up somewheres to lean on him and babble her crazy talk to him.
“Uh, Jayne?” The captain had one eyebrow raised.
“Sorry, Mal,” he jostled the girl in his lap so he could see his cards. “Didn’t realize it was my turn.” He frowned at the cards, not realizing the girl was mirroring his expression.
“That wasn’t…” Mal’s voice died out in confusion. “Doc, you wanna handle this?”
The doc shook his head, eyes fixed firmly on the cards in his hands. “I am convinced I am hallucinating. Please do not disturb my delusions.”
“Perhaps I could…” The preacher trailed off, also studying the girl perched in the mercenary’s lap. He shook his head. “I have no idea what to do here.”
“Whatcha mean?” Jayne wrinkled his forehead in puzzlement. “Play the game.”
“What’s this card?” The girl was trying to steal the cards out of his hand. “It’s pretty.” They resorted to a tug of war over it, the girl surprisingly strong for such a tiny thing.
“It’s mine,” Jayne snarled, snatching it back. “Get your own.” He stuffed the card back into his hand, hoping the others hadn’t caught sight of it.
The girl sighed and settled back against his shoulder with a pout.
That was fine. She weren’t turning those eyes on him or whining none, and after a couple of seconds, the rest of the crew got back to the game.
Sometimes Jayne would surprise one of the others studying him with a puzzled look, but they’d look away real quick.
It was making him a mite nervous, to tell the truth.
He scowled down at his cards, and absently rested his chin on the girl’s head as he tried to figure out his next move.
The captain coughed, “Doc…”
“Still not seeing anything,” The doc said firmly. “Apples are tall.”
Jayne tossed down two cards and took the ones the doc handed him, but before he could even look at it, the girl squealed loud enough to kill a dog, and snatched the gorram things right outta his hand.
“Gorramit, girl!” He made a grab for the cards, but she was waving them around excitedly.
“Look, Simon!” She shoved the cards in her brother’s face. “It’s Turtle!” She spun back around to beam at Jayne. “She didn’t know Turtle had his own card!”
“You just told ‘em all what my hand was,” he complained, hauling her back up against him so he could pry the Tortoise card outta her hand. “And I was doing good!”
While he was occupied with the squirming girl, who was trying to lean around him to show Turtle “his” card, the doc put down his hand.
“You know,” the doc said slowly, eying his sister’s happy smile carefully. “I think I’m going to take my delusions and..leave now.”
“You sure that’s a good idea?” The captain asked, dropping his cards on the table as well.
“No,” Doc answered honestly. “But if I sit here much longer, the delusions will leave, and then I will start babbling incoherently when I realize what I am watching.”
Jayne finally resorted to tickling and when the girl shrieked and kicked to get away, he sat on the card in question.
She gaped at him. “Turtle does not like your backside,” she told him sternly.
Jayne just grinned at her in satisfaction and turned back to the table.
“Hey!” He looked around in confusion. “Where did everybody go?”