Summery: Takes place pre-Wingtip. Just a taste of Birdy and Jayne, for those of you who miss them, until I can get more of Wingtip itself done.
Wingtip round up post
Jayne started out of a sound sleep, grabbing for a weapon before he recognized the voice. He wiped his eyes tiredly and sprawled back onto the bed. "Yeah, Birdy?"
"Jayne, it’s cold in my room."
He looked up to see a small girl shape shivering in his doorway. "You shouldn't be outta bed, yet. You still ain't all better."
"At least I'm alive," her sad little voice whispered. "Not like River."
He sighed wearily, holding up the covers in a silent invitation. "No, not like River."
She slid in beside him, a small huddled ball holding tight to his hand. "Why did River have to die?" Her voice was heartbreaking. "I miss her."
He reached out without thinking about it, pushing her short hair behind her ear. "Know you do."
"Would River be here with you?" She asked, pressing herself a little tighter against his side. "Would you have taken care of her like you take care of me when I'm sick?"
Jayne swallowed. She was warm and soft against him. "Dunno, Birdy. Me and River weren't friends like you and me are." He squeezed her hand. "Now, what's keeping you awake?"
"I'm cold," she whispered, burying her nose in his neck. "And River is cold." She started to shake, and he realized she was crying. "This girl is confused, Jayne, sometimes I can’t remember... Tell me who I am?" she pleaded, voice breaking. "Sometimes I think I'm so cold because I'm buried underground, buried with River."
Jayne turned towards her, arms strong around her shoulders. "You're Birdy, remember?" he coaxed. "You ain't buried. You're right here with me." He could feel her heart pounding through her thin nightdress.
She rested her head against his arm. "I'm Birdy, and I'm here with Jayne."
"Help me remember?" One small handed tightened in the sheet across his chest. "Help me figure out who Birdy is?" Her voice was mixed, determination and desperation, and she was still shaking against him. Her hands began sliding up his chest to cup his face.
Jayne's heart was hammering. "Don't know if that's a good idea, Birdy," he gasped as she pressed a light kiss against his cheek. "River wouldn't..."
"River wouldn't," she repeated, her voice suddenly firm. "Birdy will. Birdy wants. Birdy needs this. Needs Jayne to remind her that she is Birdy. To remind her that she isn't dead and cold underground." She pressed another kiss to the corner of his mouth, little hands hot on his chest.
His arms tightened around her. "Birdy," he said helplessly, his hands smoothing down her back.
"Yes," she whispered against his mouth. "Birdy."
Her mouth was warm and Jayne exhaled as she hovered above him. His eyes flickered closed at the first taste of her. She pulled back a little, the shadows in the room throwing her face into sharp angles. "Who am I?" she asked, tracing his face with one small finger.
"You're Birdy," he said softly, winding one hand in her short hair. "You're Birdy, and I'm going to kiss you."
"Yes," she agreed, her mouth curving in a smile. "I'm Birdy, and you are Jayne, and River isn't here."
"River isn't here," he repeated softly. "Just Birdy and Jayne." He pulled her gently back down to his mouth, cradling her head in one hand.
"Birdy and Jayne," she whispered with a nod. "Birdy and Jayne."
He pressed his face into her neck, her short hair tickling his face. "Birdy and Jayne," he said into her soft skin. "Just the two o' us here." He traced her jaw line with his mouth, touching his tongue to the hollow of her throat.
She inhaled sharply. "Just us." Her hands mapped the scars on his chest, her light touch leaving him shivering. She tugged at the short sleeve shirt he wore, and he raised his arms. "Nobody else?"
"Nobody else," he promised, slipping her nightdress over her head. "We're all alone."
"Alone," she breathed onto his stomach, making him shudder.
His hands were full of soft skin, and his head was spinning. “Birdy,” he whispered into the night, his voice a promise. “Birdy.”