Title: Worthy as Twenty Whores
Dated Posted: 11 January 2006
Author: Van Donovan
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Mal/Jayne
Word Count: 816
Summary: Mal, Jayne and chocolate.
Notes: Inspired by the prompt to write Mal/Jayne and to involve "chocolate."


“What’s this?” Mal asked as Jayne thrust the small, unadorned cardboard box at him.

Jayne shrugged a little, like it was nothing. ‘Jus’ a presenty thing.”

Mal arched an eyebrow. “This for me?” he questioned, shaking it slightly. It rattled in a strange way, like there were clumps of mud inside. Mal held it away from his ear then, untrusting.

Jayne was put off by the display and by Mal’s reluctance. “Well, ain’t it your birthday?”

Mal guffawed a moment before he brought his eyes up to meet Jayne’s. “Liu xie xiong mao -- Jayne, did you get me a birthday present?”

Jayne looked unsettled. “Well, yeah. So what?”

Mal laughed more. He studied the box more closeky. “Just a first, is all,” he noted, inspecting the bottom of the box carefully. “It ain’t rigged t’explode when I open it, is it?”

“It ain't,” Jayne gruffly retorted. “Y’don’t want it then don’t open it, but quit shakin’ it like that; you’ll break it.”

Mal arched an eyebrow. “It’s a breakable thing, is it?” he asked, rattling the box just a little more, trying to decide what the hell a fellow like Jayne would have gotten for his captain that was breakable, yet sounded like mud. “Expensive?”

Jayne shifted, his eyes darting about. “Could be,” he muttered. "Got it at discount though. Don’t like y’that much.”

Mal broke into a grin. “Well, Jayne, I think I might just keel over in shock.” He appraised the box one more time before cautiously opening it. Inside he found ten little chocolate balls sitting in dainty paper cups. They’d initially been neatly arranged, but Mal’s jostling of the box had caused them to roll and disorganize.

There was a moment of silence as Mal stared at them. Jayne stared at Mal, judging his reaction. “They’s chocolates,” Jayne supplied. “Th’gen-u-ine article.”

At first, Mal had nothing to say. He looked up at Jayne, his eyes questioning. “You bought me chocolates, Jayne?”

Jayne drew a sour expression. “Hell, if y’don't like ‘em, I’ll take ‘em back,” he grumbled, stepping closer to snatch the box out of Mal’s hands.

Mal stepped away, shielding the box protectively with his body. “Now, I didn’t say that.” He looked back to the box and then to Jayne. “Just, traditionally,” he explained, “chocolates is the sort of thing y’give the ladyfolk y’want t’woo.”

Jayne scoffed. “I pay them whores well enough. One of ‘em chocolate balls’d be half the price o’what they make. They ain’t worth that.”

Both of Mal’s eyebrows rose at that point. “So, you’re sayin’,” he said, looking down at his chocolates, “that I’m worth twenty whores?”

Jayne’s fierceness faded and for a moment he looked just like an overgrown boy, at a loss for words. “Well,” he noted slowly, “was thinkin’ we could maybe share ‘em.”

Mal’s expression softened slightly. “So, I’m worth ten whores?” he adjusted.

Jayne gave him a small grin. “Hell, Mal, you’re worth loads more’n’any whore,” he responded. “I didn’t buy ‘em t’compare y’t’my whores.”

“No,” Mal agreed. “You bought them so you could give me ten chocolates and eat five of them for yourself.”

Jayne put a hand against the wall and leaned in toward Mal. “Well, if you’re invitin’ me to, then all right.”

Mal laughed at Jayne’s forwardness. “You’re an intolerable hun dan, y’know that?”

Jayne rewarded him with one of his best smiles, which was a cross between completely charming and unsettlingly lecherous. “That ain’t a no.”

Mal appraised him for several moments, his eyes running up and down Jayne’s frame. He looked back down at his chocolates, shrugging. “Thirty percent.”

Jayne's grin widened. “Forty,” he countered.

“Forty my ass,” Mal retorted. “Who do you think you are?” He picked one of the chocolates out of the box, inspecting it closer. It was slightly crushed in on one side. “Thirty.”


Mal stared at Jayne. “Thirty-five?” he questioned. He looked at the nine chocolates still in the box, and then back at the one he was holding up. “Ain’t gonna work like that,” he observed.

Jayne leaned forward effortlessly and his mouth found the chocolate in Mal’s fingers. He bit it easily in half, his lips brushing against Mal’s fingertips as he did. He straightened back up, chewing thoughtfully. “’ow’s that?”

Mal, however, was just staring at his fingers. For a few seconds he couldn’t think properly. At last, he blinked and brought his gaze back up to Jayne. His expression was eager. “Thirty-five it is, then,” he announced and turned, hurrying away from Jayne.

“Hey, where y’goin’?” Jayne called.

Mal glanced back, giving him a nod that implied Jayne was being stupid for not following. “My bunk,” he replied. “We ain’t gonna do this in gorram galley!” He resumed his course.

“Hell yeah,” Jayne cheered, hitching his pants up as he pushed off the wall to follow Mal eagerly back toward the crew quarters.

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