Title: Mistletoes - Time For Gifts ‘N Givin’
Author: The Artful Dodger / dodger_sister
Category: Fluff/Schmoop, Friendship, Holiday
Characters/Pairing: Jayne & Zoe
Summary: Jayne’d got Zoe a present, but it weren’t any big thing.
Word Count: 1,098 words.
Date Written: 12/12/14
Disclaimer: Firefly is not mine. I wrote this fic, just for fun. It’s the holidays, don’t sue!
Feedback: Bring it. dodger_sister / TheArtofDodger@comcast.net
Author's Notes: Part of my Mistletoes ‘verse, all written as holiday gifts for my Flisties. Of all the prompts vikingprincess left me - and there were a lot - this is the one my heart called out for. No one’s surprised, right?
Dedication: For vikingprincess, who asked for Jayne & Zoe, friendship fic. It’s like she knows my muse by name or something. Merry Christmas, babe! I love you!
It wasn’t any big thing, really.
It was just that Jayne knew Zoe’d always wanted one. She’d mentioned it before, with their weapons spread out across the dining table, commiserating on their favorite pieces and all.
“I’d love to try out a sonic grenade,” Zoe’d told him and Jayne had agreed.
“Hear they can make you go deaf for a couple a days after.”
“Be worth it though,” Zoe had said and she’d looked almost wistful at the thought of it.
So when Jayne’d saw that sonic grenade in the shop, he’d thought of Zoe. It weren’t even ‘cause it was Christmas time neither. It was just…because.
As a general rule, Kaylee was the only one who bought holiday gifts regular like. She’d even get something for Inara, though Inara weren’t part of the crew-proper. Kaylee always wrapped her gifts in ridiculous colored paper, thin as a layer of skin, and decorated with stringy bits of ribbons. Jayne never could figure where the girl was getting this paper, but she always had it on hand.
She did now, dining table overthrown by the pieces of color and string and gifts, all laid out like a holiday spread. Jayne hovered in the doorway, the metal box with the sonic grenade clutched tight in one hand. It wasn’t any big thing, but he had a feeling Kaylee were gonna make it that way.
“Uh,” Jayne said and cleared his throat.
Kaylee looked up, saw Jayne there, and threw herself over one of the gifts, covering it with her whole body.
“Don’t come in!” she shouted.
“I just wondered if you’ve got some kind of ribbon or such for this,” Jayne said and then felt even stupider, because Zoe wasn’t gonna care if it was wrapped up proper or not.
“You bought a present?” Kaylee asked, momentarily forgettin’ about her covert operation to hide Jayne’s gift from him. “For who?”
Jayne shrugged. “Zoe. It’s no big thing. Just saw it ‘n thought of her.”
“Aawww,” Kaylee crooned and then shoved Jayne’s gift - all he managed to see was that it was wooden and curved - under a stack of pink paper. “Shiny, you can come in now.”
Jayne came in the room and set the metal box down on the table. “It’s a sonic grenade,” he said.
“Aawww,” Kaylee said again.
“Stop it, girl,” Jayne muttered under his breath. “Just give me some gorram string already.”
“No,” Kaylee said and started sifting through all her ribbons. “No, I have something better for you.”
She pulled out a little green plant lookin’ thing with a tiny red ribbon on it. Jayne stared at it for a moment, remembering mistletoe hanging in his mama’s doorway back home, every Christmas Eve.
Kaylee stuck it to the top of Jayne’s metal box and declared, “Perfect!”
“If you say so,” Jayne told her and clutched the metal box to his chest. “Sheh sheh.”
“Merry Christmas, Jayne,” Kaylee said, but he was already walking away.
Jayne cornered Zoe in a hallway, which in hindsight was a bad thing to do with someone who’d served in a war. Hell, it was a bad thing to do with anyone carryin’ a weapon. Zoe’s hand went straight to hers and Jayne took a step back and then thrust the box at her.
“I got you somethin’.”
“What?” Zoe asked, hand still on her gun.
“For Christmas. Or some such thing, I suppose,” Jayne said. “I didn’t pay for it,” he added when Zoe continued to stare at him. “Lifted it. You know.”
“Okay,” Zoe said and took the metal box.
“Just know you’ve been wantin’ one.”
Zoe opened it carefully, like it might explode. It was packed in there pretty tight, but Jayne didn’t know, maybe it would explode. Then she stared into the box in shock, which quickly turned to something a bit more happy, if the way the corners of her mouth turned upwards were any indication.
“Wo bu shin wo dah yan jing,” she said and the awe in her voice made Jayne feel hot all over. “You got me a sonic grenade.”
“It’s no big thing,” Jayne said, even though he’d never got a Christmas present for any of the crew before, except once when he’d saw a hideous colored shirt with birds on it and picked it up for Wash. How Jayne laughed uproariously every time Wash wore it made it more a present for Jayne than for Wash though.
“I love it, Jayne,” Zoe said, closing the box, a bit reluctantly. “Thank you.”
“Just be sure when you get a chance to try it out, that I’m along for the ride. Been wantin’ to see one in action for years now.”
“You got it,” Zoe said, then peeled the mistletoe off the top of the box and handed it to Jayne. “Here, hold this over your head.”
“What?” Jayne asked, eyes scrunched up at her. “You feng le now?” he asked, sizing her up. Maybe this was how women acted when you gave them gifts.
“Humor me,” Zoe said, but her tone was less humor and more command, so Jayne held the mistletoe above his head.
It was in that moment that he remembered the whole thing of that mistletoe hung up in his mama’s doorway. Remembered Suzanna with the gold pigtails coming to the door that one Christmas Eve with some made up excuse and then acting surprised at the mistletoe hangin’ there. Remembered he was holdin' one of his little siblings in one arm - Kenna maybe, or Eliot - when she leaned up towards him. Remembered her mouth tastin' like sweet cherries and fresh soap.
Zoe was leaning up too, leaning up towards Jayne, still standing there holdin' that gorram mistletoe over his head. He went rigid for a moment, thinking of all the ways it went bad when girls kissed him, but then he remembered it was just Zoe and Jayne relaxed, let her press herself up against him. It was the softest of kisses and Zoe tasted like cinnamon and dust and Jayne pushed back with the slightest pressure, before she was pulling away.
“Now don’t go gettin’ ideas,” Zoe told him, while Jayne was still tasting her on his lips.
“Ideas are not my strong suit,” Jayne said with a grin, half tease and half truth.
Zoe smiled at him - a kind of bright thing that she usually reserved for Wash - and said, “Merry Christmas, Jayne.”
She was walkin’ away, metal box tucked under her arm, before Jayne thought to say, “Merry Christmas,” back.