Series: Fun and Games #6
Summery: Gorram girls. Getting all emotional and hand wringy over something like a little gunfight.
Jayne was getting a mite irritated.
He was put in charge of the girls' latest shopping trip slash diversion when they landed, and it hadn't gone well. Surprise, surprise. And this time, it had nothing to do with him, his mouth, or the fact he ended up half carrying Kaylee and the girl outta there in a big hurry.
He still had big snotty spots on both shoulders.
Gorram girls. Getting all emotional and hand wringy over something like a little gunfight.
'Course, he couldn't exactly blame Kaylee. She weren't somebody who should ever have to be in a gun fight no how.
And the girl..well..least she hadn't started screaming 'til they were almost back to the ship. And she did it quiet like, muffled in his neck. She bit him, too, but she hadn't broken the skin, so he was pretty sure she had just been trying to keep from freaking out. Or she was getting frisky. Which he doubted.
Weren't like he didn't attract enough attention. A big man carting two crying girls generally got the law called on him in a matter of seconds, 'cept on creepy backwater moons like this one.
Mal's latest scheme had gone all kinds of wrong, which hadn't exactly shocked anybody, and somehow it had all gone to pieces right in the same shop where the girls had been trying on some big hats and giggling at each other. And conveniently distracting the clerks in the shops for two blocks on either side of them, who all wanted pretty girls to come try on their wares and attract menfolk in to buy stuff for them.
'Course, Jayne being there all glowery had been enough to keep most of those menfolk from getting too close. But one guy did get in the way and slow them up some, and that's kinda when he figured things were gonna go wrong somehow.
And then, things had started to go boom, both girls had shrieked, and then Mal was howling at him over his earpiece to get them back to the ship, gorramit, and what, did the man think he was stupid? He weren't about to leave either of them somewheres where they could get shot or hurt or where the girl could go to pieces where he couldn't get to her and punch whatever was upsetting her.
He got 'em back to the ship alright, but he couldn't make it back out there to shoot things, because the girl wouldn't let go of him. He tried to transfer her to her brother, but she refused to unlock her skinny little arms from 'round his neck, and he was forced to sit there and try and calm her down instead of going off to see what the hell Mal had screwed up this time around.
And that's where they were now.
For all they were four days off planet, the girl wouldn't stop following him 'round.
That part didn't bother him all that much. Hell, he'd gotten used to it - turning every corner to see her there lugging that stupid stuffed turtle and watching him with those big eyes. That part were fine.
The problem was that she would barely let him take two steps without her little hand grabbing hold of his hand or his shirt or his back pocket and making him tug her all over creation. She'd managed to rip the shirt he was wearing at the seams when she pounced from outta nowhere earlier today.
Again, he was kinda used to her hanging all over him and climbing him like a tree, but he was also used to being able to take showers in peace and not be standing there nekkid with soap in his eyes, having to lean his full weight against the door to keep her out. Not to mention liking to sleep for more than an hour before a soft tapping and a plaintive voice calling his name would wake him up.
So, he was dirty, tired, cranky, and he was about to 'round on the girl and yell at her, which would result in her crying, which would make him feel all guilty, and then they'd be right back to where they were.
So, instead, he had managed to foist the girl off on her brother about two hours ago, and he was hiding down in the cargo bay, determinedly not thinking about nothing at all. Maybe if she couldn't hear him, she wouldn't be able to find him for a while, and the urge to rip out his hair would go away. His ruint shirt was laying on the floor next to him, but he didn't feel like dealing with it at this minute.
Plus, the weight bench was awful comfy.
And really, he didn't even mind it when he felt her little hands feather over his cheek.
"Sorry," she whispered. "She doesn't mean to pester and bother."
"Yes, she does," he grumbled. He tried to sound annoyed, but it just came out tired.
She traced his nose with one small finger, not looking him in the eye. "Get scared, sometimes," she admitted. She tried to smile. "Jayne yells at dragon keepers, and gives her Turtle to watch over her, but he can't help with the things in her head."
"Can try, I guess." He shrugged a little, shifting to twist a lock of her hair 'round his finger. "The guns rattled you something bad, huh?"
She shrugged, still not meeting his eyes. Her hand drifted from his face to his bare chest and followed the line of his collarbone.
He tried to ignore the weird things that soft little hand was doing to the inside of his stomach. Gorram poisonous girly touching.
Sure felt good, though.
"Look," he sighed. "You can't go following me 'round every single place."
"Can too," she argued. "Picked the lock on the shower this morning."
He rolled his eyes and tugged her hair hard enough to bring her head down to rest on his chest. "That ain't what I meant. Meant that I gotta job to do, and I can't go worrying that you're right behind me if I'm getting shot at." He cupped her head in one large hand. "Plus, I gotta have some time to myself, or else I'll actually start saying all the stuff I think 'bout the Captain's plans to his face, and then I'd get fired, and then who would you have to get you stuff off the top shelves?"
"Captain wouldn't," she mumbled, burying her face in his chest. Her breath on his bare chest was all kinds of shivery. "Who would keep him from getting shot?"
"You get me?"
There was a long silence. Then, "She gets you."
The girl sounded so dejected that Jayne sighed. "The code to my bunk is my ma's birthday."
This time the silence was distinctly puzzled.
"Stop waking me up all night with knocking. Just make sure you make some noise so I know that you're coming in."
He couldn't see her face, but he could feel her smile. "Quiet as a mouse. But loud. She can do that."
"Good," he grumbled. His face felt kinda flushed. Maybe he was coming down with something.
The girl curled up tighter on his chest, and he shifted his arms around her to keep her from falling.
"And she can stay? If she comes in?"
He closed his eyes, feeling one of those funny smiles tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Long as she ain't annoying."
They lay there in silence for a few minutes.
He was about to drift off to sleep when she asked, "What about the shower?"
"Girl, some things a man needs to do by himself."
"She could wash your back?"
"Stand and watch and wolf whistle when you get undressed?"