The Snake in the Apple Tree 2

by belasera

[Story Headers]

The Snake in the Apple Tree 2
by belasera
A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend: All recognizable characters, etc. belong not to me, but to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and Fox, and no money is being made here. The story, however, is mine. Part of the sequel to the Apples series, the missing piece of the morning after and what Kaylee saw, Simon's version. R

Simon saw. He didn't like what he saw, but he saw it alright.

Kaylee, the sweetest friend he'd never deserved, Kaylee. Coming out of Jayne's bunk, looking for all the world like Jayne'd had his hands all over her. He couldn't help but thank Buddha for the blessing of his timing. If he'd been a moment earlier, if he'd opened the hatch to that bunk to find the two of them....wuo de ma, he could only handle so much of this..this thing.

They were laughing at him. He couldn't help but think it, laughing at the gullible core worlder not comprehending the games they played out here in the long stretch of black. Except she wouldn't, Kaylee wouldn't set him up as a mark, wouldn't giggle as Jayne whispered in her ear, told her what he'd done. Simons face was tight and hot, seemed no end to the ways this ship could humiliate him, it was a feeling he was becoming accustomed to, and wrong footed seemed to be his way of walking these days.

It was two weeks ago that he'd woken up to a new dimension of discomfort. After he'd, after they'd...he could hardly think of it without feeling the need to hide in his bunk, fold to the desperate mix of shame and arousal that left him painfully hard. It was almost too intense to remember what they'd done, and almost too embarrassing to remember the morning after.

He'd woken sore and fuzzy headed, his muscles taut with a tense recollection even as his eyes cleared, focused on Jayne crouching over him fully dressed, his t-shirt tucked so neatly that for a moment Simon thought he'd suffered a head injury, passed out in the dining room and dreamt the rest. But Jayne wasn't looking him in the eye as he whispered him awake, wasn't touching him in any way though it seemed he'd been calling his name for a while. Simon squinted up at him, rubbed his eyes and then sat bolt upright as the situation made itself clear. No head injury, then, he was naked as the day he was born and though Jayne was neatly dressed there were distinct teeth marks just peeking out of the collar of his shirt.

"Oh."

Was all Simon could say.

"You gotta get up, it ain't quite morning yet, but the others'll be coming soon."

Jayne spoke as though they might be coming armed.

"Woah, Jayne..."

He was already moving, satisfied that Simon was awake, he tossed him his clothes and stood up, turned his back to Simon in an odd display of modesty. Simon eyed him warily, not sure what to say as he pulled his own pants on, blushed at the obvious stains on them.

"Jayne, we should..."

"No. Don't need to be talkin' `bout this."

Simon sighed, rubbed his head and found a bit of a goose egg there. They'd been rough, more than was normal, and that alone demanded a conversation to Simon's thinking.

"Yes, Jayne, I think we ought to at least.."

He whipped back around, looked Simon in the eye for the first time and actually backed away from him a step.

"No. No. This is not a thing needs talkin'. Not here least of all, when anybody could be walkin' in. I ain't in no mood to get spaced on account o' your ass."

His head gave a little shake like he'd startled himself with his words, but he steadied himself quickly.

"Listen doc...Simon, just get dressed and get back to yer berth and ain't none of this needs to be revisited, dong ma? You and me, we're even."

Simon paused in the middle of pulling his shirt on, and just gaped for a moment.

"Even? We're gorramn even?"

Jayne looked as uncomfortable as Simon had ever seen him, and he thought that probably Jayne hadn't meant to say that last part. Not out loud anyway.

"I just mean that nothin's owed here is all."

"No, you meant something else entirely. Did you...do you think...was this some sick sort of payment for Ariel?"

Jayne's eyes went huge, and Simon felt like retching. No. This was not possible, Jayne hadn't just whored himself out in some twisted form of obligation. Simon looked at him, thinking about how he'd been when they were together, Simon couldn't put whoring past Jayne, but the man was no trained companion, no way could he act that well, way he was moaning last night. But maybe he had been, or maybe he'd been thinking of someone else while they...Simon's face was as red as it'd ever been as he slowly put his hand to his mouth.

"Jayne, is that what this was...please tell me it wasn't..."

Jayne was shaking his head again, panic spreading across his face.

"Wasn't what I...I know I can't make up for what I did, but I figured you maybe wanted...I ain't got nothin' to give you, nothin' at all."

Simon couldn't even begin to suss out the man's pleading words and he wasn't sure he wanted to. This whole thing had made a lot more sense when they hadn't talked so much. He gave a little laugh at that thought, that he was actually accusing Jayne of thinking too much.

Jayne gave him a look like he had gone mad, and it was near enough to the truth.

"I think you're right, Jayne, this does not need revisited. Ever."

He pushed past him unnecessarily, and refused to admit that he'd needed that last bit of contact before he left Jayne standing alone in the dining room.

When he'd gone to breakfast a few hours later Jayne had already come and gone and Simon had a sense of the way things would have to be, until they could stand to see each other again. Because of the shame, Simon told himself. They couldn't stand to see each other because of the shame. So when Jayne came to dinner Simon averted his eyes obligingly, only glanced briefly at the man's forearm as he reached for a drink, only noticed him watching Simon's mouth once, and didn't speak a word until Jayne left suddenly ten minutes into dinner. Yes, this could work just fine, he thought wryly.

It didn't improve over the next few days, dinner became the focus of Simon's dread until he stopped going, feeling only a little bad to be using River as a pretense for hiding in his room. Simon had never been more grateful for River's habit of occupying his time. She was a constant source relief even with her occasional pointed remarks about their change in routine.

"I miss the table."

She said it as she balanced her dinner tray on Simon's bed.

"We could make a picnic on the floor."

She snorted, looked up at him.

"That's what got you into this mess in the first place."

It went on, tedious and necessary. Simon knew that eventually he would have to sort out his own mind on the matter, even if he never so much as spoke to Jayne again. He couldn't stop his body from remembering Jayne's, couldn't stop his dreams from turning into one long panting recollection of the man some nights. Couldn't help it but to stroke himself upon waking, tried to be as rough as Jayne had been, thought of his filthy mouth places it should never have gone, his mind replaying Jayne's every move and making up some new ones until Simon came in his own hand, murmuring "whore" before burying his head in his pillow, cheeks burning, not even knowing which one of them he'd meant when the word slipped out unbidden.

He'd never been so undone by sex, never been both aroused and repulsed by the same person. It'd started out as a thrill, he knew, a flirtation with danger and brutality, but now...it was like Jayne had tossed him down a well, and then jumped in after him. Only way to get out was together, but Simon didn't know if Jayne was willing to offer him a hand...again.

It was the gunfight that ended their silent avoidance. Hard to avoid a man you were digging a bullet out of, though Simon tried his best. He found it oddly satisfying to finally have a reason to focus all of his energy on Jayne again, to splay his fingers against his chest even if he couldn't look him in the eye. Jayne was tense as a an archer, the muscles in his neck straining as he turned his head as far from Simon as he could. Mal cursed and huffed, said Jayne's mind was ten moons away from the job and Simon felt the man squirm. He knew the feeling. Kaylee was perched at Jayne's side, holding his hand, and when Simon saw him give it a squeeze it seemed Jayne had squeezed the air out of his lungs too.

Simon saw, he didn't understand all that he saw, but he saw.

After the gunfight, things got worse. Simon brought River back to the dinner table, but he could hardly attend to her pleasure when Jayne sat across from him, stabbing at his food and throwing Simon look after unreadable look. They didn't speak, they didn't argue, they just...stared. Sometimes Simon even thought Jayne, well, gazed. Simon sat across form him at every meal, placing himself square in Jayne's view like he meant to draw out a reaction. One night, he pushed his leg out slowly, until his calf rested against Jayne's, and just left it there as he ate. Jayne stopped, his cup halfway to his mouth, but after a moment he took a drink and went back to eating, didn't move his leg.

It was like agony, the feel of their bodies touching for the first time in nearly two weeks, Simon thought it would kill him to just sit there, but he wasn't going to push any further than he already had. Jayne finished eating and finally looked at him openly, his eyes a pointed question. Simon ignored him, he didn't have any answers.

The next night, he managed to carry on an entire conversation with Wash, letting the pilot's friendly voice explain the smile on his face as he rubbed his leg steadily against Jayne's. He wasn't even that phased when Jayne pulled his leg away, just stared at him impassively when the big man snarled at him.

"Cut it the hell out."

It was the first thing Jayne had said to him, since that morning...

"There a problem here?"

Looked hard into Jayne's eyes, didn't so much answer Mal as he did Jayne, when he said,

"No."

He resumed eating, didn't watch Jayne leave the room, didn't look around at the others, at River. He hardly tasted his food, just wanted to finish and get River settled in somewhere, get to a place he could be alone.

After he gave River some paper, a box of pencils, his encyclopedia, a bag of jacks and a glass of water just in case, he headed for the infirmary. He didn't trust himself in his own room, didn't want to be so alone that he started thinking about the feel of Jayne's calf against his, just wanted to be alone enough to breathe. Somewhere that Jayne wasn't likely to be.

Likely didn't seem to figure into any of this, though, and as Simon approached from the cargo bay, he was greeted with the sight of Jayne leaning against the med-bed. Waiting for him.

It was inevitable, this confrontation. Man like Jayne needed a fight, needed to see a thing through to the end. Simon walked into the room without a coherent thought in his head, didn't know what he'd say but his tongue was ready without him.

"Jayne."

Suprising, how much like longing it sounded and Simon could have laughed at himself.

Jayne moved past him, shut the doors and turned again to face Simon.

"You have to stop this."

His voice was urgent, not quite pleading but almost as he pushed on.

"You said I was right, that this wasn't a thing to be goin' on with, so I don't know why it should be that you're actin' like this. Rubbin' on me at dinner, givin' me eyes like you want...me."

Simon knew his cheeks were bursting out red, but what Jayne said was true and he was so tired of being ashamed.

"I know what I said, Jayne. And it might be true. If you were with me out of a sense of obligation, if you didn't want me..."

Jayne stepped closer, filled the space between them and leaned in to speak low in Simon's ear, cutting him off mid-sentence.

"I was wantin' on you all right. I want you all the time, Simon, it's driving me ruttin crazy. I want you at night, and I have to jerk off thinking `bout you and me together."

Jayne's voice was uneven, a dark hot confession that he'd been holding for too long. Simon groaned, lost when Jayne pulled him close, sank his face into Simon's neck and just...breathed.

Jayne jerked away and for a second Simon thought it was for regret, but then he heard the Captain's voice as he opened the door.

"Ah, you two sorting out whatever's got you all tetched?"

Simon's irritable sigh was genuine as he lied,

"I'm just about to change Jayne's bandage."

"Could it wait a bit? Zoe saw a problem with some of the rigging in the hold and I need Jayne for a spell, so we don't all get severed by falling catwalks."

"Sure Mal," Jayne answered, moving swiftly from Simon without pause. "Doc here can wrap me up later, if'n he ain't in bed when we're done."

He said it without looking at Simon, said it so easy that Simon thought he might groan again and give them both away, but he managed a tight nod at Mal before they left him alone to slump against the counter.

He watched as best the could through his window into the cargo bay, watched Jayne climb the catwalks, him and Mal hollering back and forth with Zoe exasperated in the middle. Simon had never paid any mind to laborers before he boarded Serenity, though it wasn't his newfound appreciation for the work that went into this life that kept his eyes glued to the scene. It was Jayne, Jayne in his own element, or near enough. Sweating and grunting as he worked, looking natural and easy and Simon was finding it harder and harder to contain his thrill. He would be his. Tonight, he would be his again, but this time without the uncertainty and danger of before. Someday maybe they would figure out what had started it in the first place, they might reach a genuine understanding, he may even forgive Jayne someday for Ariel. But right now, this was enough, to know what he wanted and how to get it.

He watched as long as he could, knowing that River would be bored, restless, and waiting for him. He went to her with a flush that she surely saw, but she kept her thoughts to herself as they talked, as he looked over her drawings and tucked her into sleep.

Wondered with a pang how his actions would hurt her, whether pulling Jayne further into their lives would be too large a mistake. She answered his unasked question with a small, sleepy voice.

"He's the least of our enemies, and your kisses make him smaller every time."

"Thanks, mei-mei."

She opened one eye at him.

"Still not your best choice ever."

"Well, we can't all be as clever as you."

He took the bandages with him, in case he was seen going to Jayne's bunk. He walked through the quieting ship without anxiety, only wondering how Jayne would greet him. Silently, he hoped, and naked would be good, too. He couldn't help but grin, was grinning right up until the moment he saw it.

Kaylee, the sweetest friend he'd never deserved, Kaylee. Coming out of Jayne's bunk, looking for all the world like Jayne'd had his hands all over her.

Simon Knew. Wasn't sure exactly what he knew, except that he'd been a fool to ever take a bite of that apple.

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Title:  The Snake in the Apple Tree 2
Series Name:  Apples
Author:  belasera   [email]
Details:  Series  |  R  |  *slash*  |  14k  |  10/17/05
Characters:  Kaylee, Jayne, Simon
Pairings:  Jayne/Simon
Summary:  Part of the sequel to the Apples series, the missing piece of the morning after and what Kaylee saw, Simon’s version.
Sequel to:  The Snake in the Apple Tree

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