The wild laughter from the other end of the table told Jayne what Wash thought of that idea.
"My man is a damned fine pilot," Zoë said diplomatically. "But a dancer he ain't."
Wash gave her a sweet smile that made Jayne want to throw up.
"Look, here's the bottom line," Mal sighed. "I need a man with me whom I trust at my back, but to blend in he has to be able to dance. Now we've got a few days before we arrive there." Mal hesitated. "I figured we can teach you a few simple dances."
It wasn't lost on Jayne how not convinced Mal sounded.
"Do I have to get trussed up in all that finery?" Jayne whined, trying to ignore how everyone one of them were hiding grins none too expertly
"We can cross that bridge when we come to it" Mal replied, heading off towards the kitchen to hide his own grin from the merc.
"Awww Mal, do I HAVE to? I'm better suited at killin' than dancin'" Jayne asked as he followed Mal into the kitchen. He watched Wash, who was eagerly helping Mal move the heavy table away from the center of the room. Zoë arrived a moment later with Inara in tow, carrying a disk of popular dance music.
"Oh no," Jayne growled, looking around at the sea of expectant faces. "I ain't a'doing this with no audience!"
"Come now, Jayne." Simon strolled through the room in his usual calm manner. He pulled one of the chairs back against the wall and sat down. "You'll need all the help you can get."
Scowling, Jayne turned to give Mal a pleading look. Either Mal missed it or he chose to ignore it.
"Jayne..." Mal rubbed his hands. "We've got plenty of stuff to teach you and very little time to do so." He watched Jayne with an expectant look on his face and held out his hand.
"Huh?" Jayne looked at Mal's outstretched hand.
Mal sighed. "You wanna get started so we can get this over with?"
Jayne swore under his breath, hoping that he'd wake up shortly and all this would just be a bad dream. A look around the room and the grins of the rest of the crew didn't help his mood. A really, really bad dream.
Even the preacherman had arrived and Kaylee was peeking 'round from behind the Doc. River was the only one absent but Jayne was sure she'd be along directly with some crazy talk to make them all feel so much better!
"All right then," Mal grinned, taking Jayne's hand and placing it squarely on his shoulder. "I'll lead"
Mal raised his foot to begin the first steps but Jayne had frozen in place. "What?" Mal asked quizzically.
"You ain't leading, Mal," Jayne said stubbornly. "I don't aim to be no woman!"
Mal just watched him with an amused expression.
"Mal..." Book calmly interjected. "I think Jayne is doing his best and to play such games with him..."
"Games?" Mal asked innocently, but Jayne caught the amusement in his eyes.
"Yes, sir." Zoë sat down next to her husband. "You are supposed to teach Jayne how to dance as a man. So he has to know how to lead."
"Hah!" Jayne exclaimed, grasping at the small victory like a lifeline.
"Curses, foiled again," Mal muttered good naturedly. Cocking his head to the side, he watched Jayne for a moment, then that unsettling grin of his widened a little. "Would it make it easier if I went and dressed up like a woman? Some of us are secure enough in our manhood to do so, you know."
Jayne snorted. "'nara said you just liked the breeze."
"There is something eminently satisfying about letting the air circulate around your..."
"Yes, well..." Inara cut Mal off with a sharp look, "none of us needs that image thank you very much."
Mal scowled at the mercenary and took a big step back. "In that case, maybe you'd prefer if the dress was filled by someone a little more curvaceous? Inara...?" he turned and held out a hand to her.
"I'd sooner have unprotected sex with a Mudder, than dance with Jayne," she said frostily.
Well, at least this Jayne knew how to handle. "Aw, 'nara, you say the sweetest things. And I'm sure that can be arranged," he added innocently.
Inara gave him a puzzled look, but it was Mal who answered it.
"Well, I'm sure it can," he grinned. "With Jayne being their big damned hero, I'm sure we can find you a Mudder willing to take the risk"
Inara stood from her seat, looking like she was going to stomp out of there in a huff. She took a deep breath and gave Mal a scathing look. "I choose my own clientele," she said as she turned to leave.
"You sure do," Jayne sniggered.
"And I have clients to see too," she said, trying to save face. Jayne wanted to tell her it was no use. He figured his own way of just letting it roll off him was more efficient than putting up that fancy facade.
"Enough," Mal chided as Inara left the room, but the mirth in his eyes wasn't lost on Jayne.
"Unless anyone else would like to volunteer to do the teaching?" Mal asked sweetly.
Jayne scanned the room, but no-one else was in much of a hurry to step forward.
"Kaylee if you would be so good as to start the music?"
A bright and jaunty melody filled the room, and Jayne took a deep breath. He'd been dreaming only this morning about getting hot and sweaty with Mal, but in the dream, there had been less of an audience. Less clothing too. Just his luck, that the one time he got to put his hands on Mal without there being violence involved, half the crew were there to see it.
Jayne placed his hand firmly on Mal's waist, and took his other hand in a firm grip. "Let's get it over with," he pouted.
An hour later, Jayne was gasping for breath and drenched with sweat. He wasn't sure he had learned anything much about dancing, but he'd sure learned a whole hell of a lot about self-control.
He'd had to control not only his body's reaction to being this close to Mal, but also his desire to smack Simon and Wash right in the mouths for all their jeering and cat-calls.
Mal winced. "Jayne... unless you have leanings I don't know about you might wanna remember you'll be dancin' with womenfolk."
Jayne stood still. "Huh?" He hadn't done anything, except what Mal'd tellin' him to do.
"Ladies don't normally take kindly to having the bones in their hands and hips crushed," Mal said softly.
"Sorry," Jayne ground out, not feeling sorry at all. "And my leanings ain't none of your gorram business."
Mal's smirk always made Jayne want to punch his pretty mouth and right now wasn't no different.
At least there were a few less people left to witness that little comment. Shepherd Book and the Washburns had quickly gotten bored after the first dozen false starts. Kaylee and Simon were dancing too, standing way closer together than Jayne and Mal were, which both pissed Jayne off, and made him feel mightily relieved. If he were to stand that close, then Mal wouldn't have to ask him about his leanings at all.
Which was right about the time where Jayne realized that Mal was looking at him funny. "What?" he asked, screwing up his face. "I do something else wrong?"
Mal took a step closer, "Relax, Jayne. It's just that the music that's playing right now is kinda slow. You need to hold me different like for this type of dance."
"Oh, I don't think so," Jayne said, eye's nearly bugging out of his head. "That would give me an uncomfortableness."
"You want to learn how to dance or not?" Mal said softly, pulling Jayne tight against him, and wrapping his arms around his neck.
"I don't wanna," Jayne growled. "But you're making me."
"Which you don't like," Mal agreed lightly.
Jayne wasn't gonna tell Mal that he probably enjoyed it a little too much. "Don't like being forced to do these gorram things for our jobs."
Mal just 'hmmm'ed and watched him as he slowly shuffled over the floor, pulling Jayne closer and closer, until his chin was resting on Jayne's shoulder, breath hot against Jayne's neck.
"'s there anything you like being forced to do?" he muttered teasingly.
Jayne's eyes widened and he checked to see if Simon and Kaylee had heard anything. A quick check told him that they probably hadn't, because they'd kinda disappeared too.
Leaving him alone with Mal, who was getting just a mite too close for Jayne's comfort.
"Um…" he tried gulping to clear his throat. His pants were getting a wee bit on the tight side, but those were challenging words Mal had spoken, and he couldn't let that go by without answering.
"There ain't nothing you could force me to do if I set my mind against it."
Mal pivoted them expertly around a second before they would have danced right into the bulkhead.
"That a fact?" he said softly, letting his breath whisper across the shell of Jayne's ear.
Jayne couldn't help it, he groaned out loud and immediately regretted that, because Mal seemed to take it as an invitation to up the ante.
"Then again," Mal whispered, lips brushing against the shell of Jayne's ear, sending shivers down his spine. "I'm sure there are more efficient ways to get you go comply than brute force, though I think you might enjoy it."
No words wanted to form in Jayne's mind and his mouth refused to do anything but let him breathe. Barely.
"You're fond of a tussle every once in a while," Mal went on, tone light and musing.
"This..." Jayne croaked. "This ain't no tussle."
"Mmmm," Mal murmured. "Same difference," he joked, leading Jayne backward until he felt his ass hitting the table that was pushed against the wall. Before Jayne could fight him off, he was pushed off balance, arms pinned to the table, legs hanging down.
Mal pushed his knees apart and leaned down over him, holding Jayne's wrists in a tight grip against the wooden surface of the table. For a moment, Jayne was so shocked by this turn about, that he just lay there, staring up into Mal's grinning face.
He wondered if he were maybe dreaming again, 'cuz in the real world, Mal was all hung up over Inara, and wouldn't be looking twice at another guy for sex.
Not that Jayne let that worry him excessively. Least ways, not when Mal leaned down and kissed him.
He had a brief moment of panic, remembering that he never kissed no-one on the lips for fear of waking up beaten and coin-less in some back alley. Then he figured that of Mal wanted to rob him blind, he wouldn't go to these extremes to do it. He could just hit him in the face with a wrench like he'd done after the fiasco on Ariel.
Mal squirmed against him. "Relax," he muttered against Jayne's mouth before teasing the tip of his tongue along the seam of Jayne's lips.
With a groan, Jayne couldn't help but open his mouth and suck on Mal's tongue which was flickering in and out. He couldn't keep himself from arching his back as much as possible, trying to get as much of his own body into contact with Mal's.
"Easy," Mal grinned when he pulled back a moment later, lips red from their kissing. He let go of one of Jayne's hands, sliding his free hand down to cup Jayne' erection more gently than Jayne wanted him to.
That was the moment where Jayne could possibly have escaped Mal's hold, but to do that he'd need to be able to think. Unfortunately everything was overwritten by a more simple part of his brain which was chanting 'more, more, moremoremoremore...' inside his head.
"Don't want ruttin' easy. If I wanted easy, I'd pay a whore for it," Jayne growled, no longer caring that the captain had him spread eagled on the dining table where anyone could just walk in on them.
All he cared about now was getting off. The 'where' didn't matter, nor did the 'how' so much, so long as it was soon!
His hips began to move all by themselves, snapping up to meet the hard body pressing down on top of him.
"Well now," Mal gasped, not quite as in control as he may have liked, "seems you have a mighty well developed sense of rhythm after all, Jayne. Seems to me like we're making a lot of progress here."
"Not near enough," Jayne ground out, struggling in earnest now, 'cuz he really had a mind to put his hands on Mal.
"You gonna fight me on this?" Mal asked with a smirk.
Jayne put his free hand behind Mal's neck, wrenched the other one out of Mal's grip and grabbed Mal's belt buckle, hauling him up until they were face to face. "You either get me off or I get me off," he growled.
Mal's eyes widened and a shit eating grin spread on his face. "Is that so?" he asked deceptively calm.
Jayne ignored the "Oh my god, mine eyes, mine eyes," that drifted from the open door that lead to the cockpit. He didn't ruttin' care what Wash thought about this. Didn't seem Mal did neither.
"That's so," Jayne sneered as he wrapped one leg around Mal's thighs and wrestled them fully onto the top of the table, rolling them over so he ended up on top of Mal.
For a while, a very brief while, Mal seemed to allow Jayne to pin him to the wood, let him think he was the one holding all the cards.
When Jayne forced Mal's hands up above his head, Mal didn't even struggle. Jayne fought down the tiny niggling voice of disappointment that had been enjoying the tussle, and the other voice, that didn't want Mal to be beaten this easily.
When he leaned down and kissed Mal, his tongue slipped easily inside the willing mouth, but a second later he froze, when sharp teeth closed painfully of his tongue, at the very same time Mal got his hand loose and then got a handful of his nuts captive.
"You let down your guard, Jayne. Figured you'd know better than that."
Mal's hands seemed to be everywhere at once, but the only hand that Jayne had the slightest interest in, was the one freeing him from his pants. Oh yeah, that hand, he could come to respect.
Jayne wanted to answer back, wanted to tell Mal that he wasn't letting down his guard, but he knew a lost battle when he was in the middle of one. At least he was still on top, even if Mal's clever fingers were squeezin' and teasin' his cock so he could hardly think.
Mal's kiss bruised lips stretched into another smirk as he reached down with his other hand to undo his own pants.
Jayne stilled, on all fours above Mal, head hanging down, eyes riveted to Mal's hand as it slipped inside those tight pants, pulling out his cock.
With an evil chuckle, Mal let go of Jayne's erection, much to Jayne's annoyance, grasped Jayne's hip and guided him down. The hand that Mal had used to jerk himself off, opened to curl possessively around both cocks and Jayne couldn't hold back the groan forming in his throat.
The hand on his hip urged Jayne to move and move he did. The slick slide against Mal's heat had Jayne's breath catching in his throat and although he kept telling himself that he didn't do the kissin' stuff, he found himself trying to eat Mal alive a moment later.
His fingers curled tightly around the edges of the table as Mal's hand moved faster.
Jayne was panting now, sweat dripping from his hair and forehead onto Mal's face, but beneath him, Mal wasn't in a mind to care. His eyes were half closed, his mouth open and gasping. "Yeah!" he breathed, "Yeah, now we're dancin'"
Jayne was fixing to make a hell of a mess but he couldn't have held back another second if his life depended on it.
Burying his face against Mal's shoulder, Jayne bit down on the muscles under the damp shirt and Mal's shout as he came nearly deafened him. Not that he cared all that much, seeing his own orgasm refused to be held off for any longer.
He couldn't help being a little smug that Mal'd come before he had.
Mal's body shook under him and Jayne could feel his own muscles filling with sated tiredness.
"This the kinda dance you want me to do with those fancy people?" Jayne grunted when he managed to find his voice again.
The hand still holding their cocks together tightened almost painfully.
"Ow! Tah mah duh, Mal!" Jayne swore. "A yes or no would suffice, you know!"
"You dance with anyone else like this," Mal growled, "And I will cut your dick off with your own knife. Dong ma?"
Jayne gulped, thrown by the intensity in Mal's eyes.
Mal was pushing him up and off, which was a shame 'cuz he wasn't sure his legs could take his weight, but he slid to the floor anyway, bracing himself on Mal's thighs. He offered a hand, not really thinking that Mal would take it, but even then, the man surprised him.
Once standing, they looked each other over, and Jayne fancied that they both must look a sight, but Mal was smiling, so he smiled right back.
Mal was looking down at his hand, probably wondering where would be the best place to wipe the mess off, and Jayne glared at him; this t-shirt was one of his favorites.
Mal shot him a knowing grin before wiping his hand off in his own shirt. "I think we better get changed," he suggested with another smirk.
Jayne raised an eyebrow.
"Well, we still gotta teach you the kinda dancing you can do in public," Mal said lightly over his shoulder as he headed toward the crew quarters, tucking himself back in.
Jayne couldn't help grinning too. If he had any say in this, he'd be doing this kinda dancing more often. Now that he knew Mal wasn't averse to the idea.
As he put his pants back on properly, he eyed the table and he shook his head. Damned, they'd made quite the mess. Mentally checking the date he groaned.
Yup, of course he had kitchen duty this week. Nothing to do but go find the cleaning supplies and get started.
Once the two men were gone, River finally popped up from behind the counter with a perplexed look on her face. "Gorram liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh bun ur-tze. lied to me. Clearly there are neither birds nor bees involved in the process." And with that, she went in search of her well meaning brother, who was about to get the most embarrassing lecture of his adult life.