"Crazy girl, what in the ruttin' hell are you doin' down there?" Jayne asked as he approached her. He'd been hunting all over the ship for the resident genius, only to find her laying on one of the catwalks above the cargo bay, her eyes closed and a slight grimace on her face.
Her eyes opened when he spoke and the grimace disappeared and a smile, albeit a small one, took its place. She lifted her head up off the metal grate to look up at him.
"Not feeling well, my Jayne. Cold metal feels good against my skin," she said and then laid her head back down, closing her eyes.
"Baby girl, if'n you don't feel good, we gotta get you on down to the doc. He can fix ya up in no time," Jayne said, bending down and placing his large hand in the small of her back. He was relieved to find her cool to the touch and not feverish as he had feared.
She shook her head without opening her eyes.
"No, Simon will only poke and prod. Besides, this is not something he can cure with needles and drugs. Only time will cure what ails her."
At her words, Jayne felt his heart drop to his feet. In the time since Ariel, Jayne's feelings had drastically changed towards the Tams -- one of them more than the other. He and River had been, as the captain put it, 'disgustingly attached at the lips and hips' for eight months and the thought of losing her scared him more than the thought of facing a hundred Reavers unarmed.
"Crazy?" He asked, knowing she'd understand. Know she'd hear the fear in his voice and feel it in his heart.
She opened her eyes once more and gracefully got up. He unfolded himself from his crouching position on the floor and reached out to touch her deceptively strong upper arms, more to reassure himself than anything. River cupped his jaw in her hand and gave him a beatific smile. He turned his head and kissed her palm. Her smile spread and then just as suddenly as it appeared, it was gone.
The next thing he knew, she was sliding towards the floor. Only Jayne's quick reflexes and the fact he had been holding onto her saved her from ever touching the floor.
He hadn't even gone two steps towards the infirmary before she was stirring in his arms.
"Jayne? Put me down."
"Ta ma de lil' one, there's no way in hell I'm puttin' you down just so's you can faint on me all over again. I'm takin' ya to see your brother and that's that."
"No. Jayne, this is not something he can fix. Not something to be fixed," She grabbed hold of his tee shirt and tugged, effectively stopping him in his tracks. He looked down into her determined face and knew that there was no way in hell he was going to be be taking her into the infirmary. Not right away anyway. Maybe after he got her calmed down...
"Jayne," She said again, cupping his face and bringing his attention back to the present. "What is wrong with me is not something bad. Only a temporary inconvenience. Current symptoms will abate in approximately three to four months. Then will come another set of problems and then after five to six more months, all physical symptoms will have ceased. It is all very simple and natural, my Jayne. Women have been doing it for years. Will continue to do so long into the future. All part of the life cycle. It is something beautiful."
Jayne had a perplexed look on his face, his brows furrowed as he tried desperately to follow her logic.
"River? What in the gorram hell are you goin' on about?"
River sighed and rolled her eyes to herself. She looked up into his eyes and smiled.
"Jayne, my Jayne.. Do you remember the night one week ago on the planet Adelpheus? The night spent under the stars?"
He nodded, still not quite sure what the most incredible sex of his life -- and he'd had plenty, most with this slip of a girl in his arms -- had to do with her fainting on him.
She smiled at him and patted his cheek before continuing on.
"Something special happened that night," She said and he gave her a lecherous grin, remembering just how 'special' it had been. "Not that, big bear. Something else."
River wiggled until Jayne set her gently on her feet and then took his large right hand in her left and placed it low on her stomach.
"Something special happened here. Inside. Moon brain girl and ape-man-gone-wrong have made something beautiful together," River announced, grinning from ear to ear.
Jayne was perplexed for only a moment longer and then his expression changed, morphing from surprised to frightened to nervous before finally settling on ecstatic.
"Bao bei, you sure?" He whispered, not wanting to get his hopes up.
"As sure as my love for you, my Jayne," She whispered back.
He picked her up, swinging her around in a small circle before he realized she was in a delicate way and sat her back down, but didn't release her. He wrapped his arms tight around her waist and leaned down and kissed the living daylights out of her. She was already laughing with sheer joy before he pulled away and picked her up again, squeezing her while laughing himself. He sat her down after a moment, tucking his face in the crook of her graceful neck.
They spent the next few minutes like most expectant parents do when they first find out that they're expecting. Laughing, kissing and even some cuddling (although Jayne would deny the last to the end of his days). After about ten minutes or so, he sobered at the thought that they'd eventually have to tell the rest of the crew... specifically Simon. He was just getting over the fact that his mei-mei and Jayne shared the same bunk, Jayne didn't think he'd take too kindly to them having shared their gene pool.
Jayne smiled, though, as he remembered what fun not he himself had had but that River had had, torturing Simon when they first started bunking together. Yeah, he was definitely going to let her break the news to her brother. Simon always was fun when he was stammering and stuttering and trying to act all proper-like.
He draped his arm around River's tiny waist and they started to make their way down towards the cargo bay. Yep, Jayne thought, he was going to get River to tell Simon about his little niece or nephew right away. He couldn't wait to see the look on Simon's face.
Jayne leaned down and kissed the top of River's head. Yeah, this was shaping up to be a pretty shiny day.