Author's Note: Based on an old risque joke i heard when I was in high school.
Thanks to Bittermint for the beta and for audiencing.
"Not bad." Jayne nodded, half in admiration, half approvingly as he took in the recently painted interior of the small hotel. "Fancier than any place I've ever been kicked out of." He signed the guest book and then slapped the pen down on the counter and grinned. "Done well for yourself, I see. You've even been able to get yourself a new bowler." He reached out and gave the rim a friendly tap.
"Well, the honest life . . . you know . . . " Arnie grinned.
"Not sure I do know. Not sure you do, either," Jayne said, and grinned back.
Arnie gave a sharp laugh and slapped Jayne on the shoulder. "Come on, then. I'll show you to your quarters."
As they went up the grandiose main staircase to the second floor, Arnie asked him, "So what do you think of the planet? It was terraformed just last year."
"Seems nice enough to make me want to stay a while," he replied. "Long enough to get acquainted with all the ladies." He watched Arnie fumble with some keys as they approached what Jayne guessed was his room. "At least a few who can help me clean and oil my gun, if you know what I mean."
"Ah. I'm afraid there's not much of that," Arnie frowned apologetically. "This town's too new to have much of a stabilization in demographics. We've only got the one saloon, too, but it's just the barkeep and the piano player. You'll enjoy working with them."
"No. . . bar hostesses?" Jayne felt disappointment well up. "No hookers?"
"Not yet." Arnie ushered him into a small but well-appointed room. "Town's population is only 50 men. Well, now," he nodded at Jayne, "it's 51." Arnie spread his arms to indicate the room. "So what do you think? Will this do for my new bodyguard and bouncer?"
"Thought we agreed my title was 'Public Relations Specialist'," Jayne said. He pursed his lips and took in the velvet wallpaper-- obviously new-- and the thought crossed his mind that it was fancy enough for a brothel.
"Nice," he said. "With this and the pay, I'd say we have a shiny deal." Then turning to Arnie, who was beaming proudly in his capacity as new hotel-owner, he asked, "Gettin' back to the important stuff: What's a fella do for, uh, female companionship?"
"Well, if you're referring to the kind that lasts for an hour or so--" Arnie said (and in the back of his mind, Jayne wondered why anyone would ever want to take that long), "--you'll have to head over to Parthenon City. Or even one of the other planets."
"Parthenon City's almost a day away, isn't it?" Jayne muttered. "But if I have to, I guess--" He felt, well, humped.
"There is a short-term measure here in town," Arnie said; he seemed uncertain. "You may find that it suits your needs. Follow me."
He followed Arnie downstairs into the twilight and across the unpaved street.
"A barrel?" Jayne didn't bother to control his shock. They were standing in a large, dimly lit back room of the saloon.
Arnie's smile was weak. "We often have to. . . improvise," he said, sounding apologetic. After a pause, he added, "Once we get more settlers and the town grows, then we'll be able to implement the traditional amenities. You know. . . a brothel, a casino. Maybe even a church."
"A gorram barrel," Jayne mumbled and scrutinized the tall wooden structure. It was maybe seven feet tall and the diameter probably measured the same. There was a hole. Slightly below waist level, perhaps.
A muffled cough came from inside, and Jayne started. "Someone in there?"
"Well, yes." Arnie said. "I believe that for our species, one of the aspects of sexual release is that of--" here, Arnie cleared his throat, "--human contact."
"Hm." Jayne admitted to himself that Arnie had a point, there. But then, he thought almost immediately, what about Vera? She was a firearm. A second later he decided that if he were to be honest with himself, he thought of her as a person. Well, hey. There ya go.
"Why don't you give it a try?" Arnie said graciously. "I'll just let you see for yourself." He closed the door after himself.
Jayne approached the barrel, one hand unbuckling his belt, the other hand reaching out to touch the varnished wood of the barrel. His pants slid to his ankles. He looked down to see that, as was the case, his better half seemed to be eager to try out this new experience.
"Kinda gives a new meaning to the term 'barrel of fun'," he said under his breath as he aimed for the hole.
"Good morning." Arnie, seated at the desk, grinned up at Jayne as he walked into the office. "Sleep well, I trust?"
"Yeah. Bed is comfier than I expected. Must have been tired."
"Traveling will do that to a man."
"It might have been the other. . . uh, thing." Jayne didn't want to refer to the barrel by its name.
"Ah. Right." Arnie's smile was sly. "So, what do you think? Does it meet your needs?"
"Wasn't sure at first. But the third time convinced me."
"Three times in a night." Arnie burst out laughing.
"Anyway," Jayne said, suddenly feeling embarrassed, "it'll do."
"Glad to hear it."
"So, uh. This. . . solution. . . is available as often as I need it? Whenever I want?" Jayne looked down at the carpet.
"As often as you need," Arnie said; he nodded and then reached for a sheet of paper that had some scribbles on it. "And whenever you want. Except Thursday mornings, of course."
Curious, Jayne looked up. "Except Thursday mornings?"
"Well, sure." Arnie tapped the sheet of paper he held. "You see," he explained in a kind voice, "Thursday morning will be your turn to get inside the barrel."
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Title: Any Port In Storm
Author: Myownspecialself [email] [website]
Details: Standalone | PG-13 | *slash* | 5k | 04/13/06
Pairings: Jayne/OMC (implied)
Summary: In which Jayne redefines the phrase "barrel of fun." Takes place a year or two before he hooks up with the Firefly crew.
Notes: No spoilers. Slightly bawdy humor.
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