Big Damn Hero

Jayne isn't used to being looked at with awe and admiration.  He's got skills but to most of the people who hire him, he's still just a grunt.  Jayne knows he's a good merc, but he'll always be a disposable body. Someone else can always be hired to shoot the guns or pull off the most dangerous, stupid stunts.

Being thought of as a hero is something new to him.  He's had a taste of it twice now, even if both times were under
misunderstandings.  He's never had women throw themselves at him like the mudders.  That night had been some of the best sex he's had in years, and he ain't dumb enough to pretend it wasn't partly due to the awed and grateful looks he kept getting.  He just ain't used to being respected for more than his aim and weapons.

Now there's this. The doctor looking at him and smiling too often. He's tried to avoid any talking with the man, but right now he's stuck.  Simon is taking out the stitches on his chest.

"Sorry I didn't use the ones that absorb into the skin.  I've got a limited supply of those, and since this was a pretty shallow wound, comparatively, I thought it would be best to save the more advanced tech for life-threatening situations." Able fingers are tracing across his skin, removing the neat line of dark stitches.

Jayne grunts in response.  Ain't a surprise that he got given the low quality supplies.

Simon looks up from his work, smiling shyly.  "I'm sorry River did this to you.  Hopefully I'll be able to keep her more under control now.  The treatment I'm trying is already starting to make a difference."  He looks back down, resuming his work.  "I've been meaning to thank you again.  I underestimated you, I think.  The way you helped us get out of there -- you could have left.  It would have been easier if you'd just left us behind. It means a lot, especially given this."  He gestures at the skin he's working on as his voice trails off.

"Sure."  Jayne keeps his face blank.  He wants to feel like the hero Simon thinks he is, but it's not quite working.  Still, it's hard not to bask in Simon's gratitude. It's hard not to want to take advantage of it.

Simon finishes a few minutes later, and tells him he's free to go. Jayne can barely meet the open, friendly, expression on the doctor's face.  He gets out of the infirmary as fast as he can.

He doesn't miss that the captain had been standing outside the door, watching everything.  He doesn't give it much thought, because he's too busy trying to not think about smooth fingers stroking across his chest.


The captain decides they all need to lie low for a while, so they don't look for a new job right away.

For a few days Jayne sticks to his bunk as much as possible.  Outside, he feels like he's watched all the time.  The captain's expressionless face is bad, and then there's Zoe's annoyance.  He figures she must know something, 'cause she usually just ignores him.  Then there's the way the doctor's face softens when Jayne enters a room, and the attempts to include him in conversations.  And River just smiles at him, kind of freak-crazy, but more like she knows something he ain't going to ever know.

It makes him want the kinds of jobs he had before, where no one bothered with each other beyond getting the work done and getting their cuts. Even worse, it makes him think about the damn-fool mudder boy who went all wide-eyed and hero-worshipping on him, then got himself killed.   Jayne has no problems with people dying because of him. It's his job, and it's about self-preservation.   He just wasn't prepared for someone to sacrifice himself for him, a stupid pointless stunt.

He doesn't want to be responsible for Simon pulling some kind of dumb-ass stunt like that, just because he's grateful. For one thing, the captain would break Jayne's balls if Simon started acting all self-sacrificing. Jayne sure as hell could put an end to that by letting Simon know about the deal with the Feds.  And no doubt Simon would be running if he knew the thoughts Jayne's been having before he sleeps.

It's not that's he's never noticed Simon's ass before, and he's pretty damn sure Simon's not wanting Kaylee, no matter what she's been thinking in her fool head.

The doctor pretty much is everything Jayne's never been able to have -- he's not the usual kind that Jayne would even think he'd have a chance at bedding. It's not the fancy upper-class breeding so much.  Jayne's met enough rich folk who get a kick out of having their itch scratched by the lower classes.   It's more like the refinement, and Simon would probably laugh at the idea that Jayne even knows that word.

It's weak but Jayne sometimes wants Simon's friendly, grateful approaches.  He likes being thought of as a hero.  He likes the thought of what he could maybe get from Simon's feelings of gratitude and debt.  The fantasy has played itself out in his head over and over with little variations each time.  It always starts with Simon's wide eyes, his talk of how amazing Jayne was killing the Feds, and sometimes it leads to a blushing statement about if he can ever help Jayne out, to let him know. Other times, Simon just takes the lead and pushes Jayne against the nearest flat surface -- kinda like one of the mudder women did -- and goes to town on his body.

He likes the idea that someone has a different image of him, even if it's false.


Jayne starts to spend more time outside of his bunk after a few days. Even though he's never been the social kind, he's used to having people around him.  If he keeps in the small space of the bunk much longer, he'll start to go as crazy as River.

Not that the freak's acting quite so out of it lately.   In Jayne's opinion though, she ain't never going to be quite right, no matter how much her brother tries to tell them all different.

He's sitting in the otherwise empty mess hall, stirring bland soup around in his bowl when the captain sits next to him.  "You've been pretty scarce the last few days."

He grunts in response, knowing he's about to be threatened. Jayne's not quite sure why the captain hasn't just spilled the truth to everyone. He's probably barely tolerating the way Simon's acting. Jayne figures it's because he either doesn't want the hassle of more crew tension, or he's waiting until Simon finds out for himself. Either way, it doesn't seem worth the wait.

"I don't know what you're up to, but be sure to know I'm watching for it.  By the way, we're unloading some of those medical supplies in two days.  You won't be getting your regular cut."

No big surprise there.

"It'll be halved.  The rest will go to the ship's reserves."  There's a brief pause, and then the captain stands again.  "It's more than you deserve, but Simon'd probably throw up a fuss if it looked like you got nothing."  He's quiet for a few more moments.  "I've seen the way Simon's been watching you.  If I find out you take advantage of whatever gratitude he's feeling right now, you'll be out the airlock after all.  He ain't one of your playthings."

Jayne shrugs.  He's been waiting for this.   Still, he can't quite stop himself from pushing it,   "Maybe he wants to be."

"Not if he has any sense."

"You got a problem with it, then why don't you tell him the truth?" He figures he might as well call the captain's bluff.  He's never been one to wait for the axe to fall.

Scowling at him, the captain shrugs.  "I ain't here to play ship's counsellor.  If you're feeling guilty, you tell him yourself."  Soft footfalls signal his departure.

Jayne tells himself that it ain't guilt he's feeling.

He knows he'd be able to find another job on whatever planet they're stopping at.  It wouldn't take much to pack up and leave.

Probably won't do it though.   He's not willing to think about the whys.


Later, stripped down and lying on his bunk, Jayne brings back the memory of Simon's talk of how amazing he was. He thinks about the gratitude as he strokes his spit-wet hand down his chest, and lightly circles his cock.  The picture in his head shifts to an dark room, but Simon's face is still looking at him in the same way.  He licks his lips, stroking slowly, imagining Simon's tentative fingers on him.

The doctor's hands are smooth, a far cry from the calluses of Jayne's own hand.  He can almost feel those hands teasing him, the satin feel of slightly lubed fingertips tracing patterns on his cock.  It's a now-familiar image, but he wants something slightly different.

He imagines a change in Simon's expression, from tentative to hungry. Tightening his grip on himself, he pumps his hand a little rougher and faster as he pictures Simon pushing him against a wall and moving to kneel in front of him.

How many times has he imagined that pretty, rich-boy mouth wrapped around him?  It's his favourite fantasy, the picture of Simon taking him deep, maybe choking a little, loving every moment his mouth is on Jayne's cock.   Sometimes the image shifts to a memory, one of the mudder women -- he can't remember her name, doesn't know if he ever knew it -- her hair long and dirty and hiding her face as she sucks him.  In his fantasy, Simon ain't hidden by anything. He's watching Jayne, eyes hot and wanting, nostrils flaring as he takes deep breaths when he can.  Jayne gets harder at the thought of watching himself slide in and out of Simon's mouth, slick wet sounds and harsh breaths accompanying the movements.  Simon is moaning with pleasure, the sound muffled but obvious.

Sometimes, Jayne imagines he can feel the faint hint of teeth as things get a little rough, other times it's a long, sweet fuck into a mouth that feels like it goes on forever.  He imagines his hands curled tight into Simon's hair as he shoves himself in, and Simon wants it all, he'll take anything he can, his eyes just asking for more.   Those eyes narrow when Jayne grunts out, "Harder," followed by a groan as Simon sucks a little more, and presses Jayne's cock hard to the top of his mouth with an eager tongue.

He's close, he can almost feel the tight heat of Simon's mouth around him.  A few more rough strokes and he comes, warmth all over his fingers and belly as he imagines Simon swallowing repeatedly, still sucking him gently, unwilling to let go.

Wiping his hand on his discarded shirt, Jayne rolls onto his side, imagination consumed with images of Simon asking when they can do that again.


Simon's cooking the next morning, just him and River in the kitchen. Jayne almost backs out, not interested in conversation, but Simon sees him first.

"Good morning."


"Are you hungry?"

"It's morning, ain't it?"  Morning for him, anyway.  The crew's on different schedules, and some of them are probably gearing up for bed right now.

Simon just smiles, and Jayne looks away.  Sitting, he watches River randomly lay out forks and spoons on the table as she hums to herself. She's nowhere near any sharp knives, but he's watching her anyway.  It's bad enough he let his guard down around her once.

A bowl of something is put down in front of him.  Simon sits across from him, and motions to River to sit as well.  "Try that.  I think you'll find it doesn't taste too bad."  Simon trails off, looking uncertainly at River.

Through a mouthful of the stuff, Jayne mutters, "Right," and swallows. It ain't half bad.

"River offered some seasoning suggestions."

Here's hoping River didn't season it herself.  They've got rat and bug poison powder lying around somewhere.  "S'not bad. Had worse."

"You're welcome."

He shovels the food back, wanting to get out of the room.  Somehow though, they finish before him, because by the time he's almost done, they're clearing their bowls, and Simon is talking to his sister about her next needle and dosages.  With a smile back at him, Simon ushers his sister out the door, stopping suddenly to ask,

"Do you like games?"

"Not unless I got money ridin' on 'em.  Why?"  He curses silently at himself for asking the question.  It would've been better to just say no and dismiss the other man.

"River and I used to play a strategy game when we were younger.  It's the kind of thing that grows with you as you gain reasoning abilities. I miss playing it, and River's not really, ah, up to it yet.  I just thought maybe I could teach you..."  he trails off, then continues, "I thought you might like it."

"Don't think so."

Looking vaguely disappointed, Simon nods, and leaves the room after his sister.

Finishing his food, he tries to decide what he needs to do today. There ain't much, what with them still a day off the next job. He could finish off his weapons maintenance, but that wouldn't take much time.  He can't wait to get off this ship, even if it is only for a few hours.

It's just his luck to meet the captain on the way back to his bunk.


He nods in response.

"I'd appreciate a few moments of your time before we dock.  To go over some details about the drop point."

"Fine."  They're looking at each other, and Jayne just blurts out, "I ain't feeling guilty."  The captain doesn't respond, and it doesn't matter, he just continues talking.  "It was a stupid thing to do, I didn't think it all the way through, but I ain't guilty.  And I did a good job getting them out of there."  He pauses.  "I won't do it again."

"No, you won't.  You ain't  getting paid for betrayal."

Jayne tries not to snort in disbelief.  He's seen the man play fast and loose with loyalty and betrayal, worse even than Jayne's own actions.  He won't say that right now though, better to save it for another time.

"Can't say I expected much more from you, but I figure even you can learn eventually."  With that, the captain walks  off.

He knows how they see him -- disposable and willing to do whatever he can for money, not too bright, little above a well-trained animal with fewer morals.  Simon maybe sees him a little different, and even if it ain't real, it's attractive.  He knows better than to think Simon's going to think highly of him for much longer.  Sooner or later thetruth will be let slip by someone.  Maybe he should take advantage of whatever the doctor's offering while he still can.

He thinks maybe he'll get Simon to teach him that game after all.

Sequel: Turned out Lies

Pairing: Simon/Jayne 
Rating: NC-17 
Spoilers:  Ariel
Disclaimers: Not my characters.  Title from a line in 'Safe'.

Summary:  Things are starting to get to Jayne.

Notes:  Thanks to Squeaky for beta read and suggestions :)  She also reassured me that this doesn't suck (despite my doubts) and it was very much appreciated.  Thanks, rockstar!!

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