Summary: River had noticed that Mal has been acting oddly towards her, yet she never guessed the real reason to his change towards her. Yet when she ends up straddling him on the kitchen floor Reason Number Three gives him all away...
Disclaimer: I do not own Firefly/Serenity.
AU because while it takes place after SERENITY Wash DIDN’T die.
Mal was acting odd.
River had noticed it but when she’d asked the others they hadn’t seen anything differently and told her she was just being over-protective. They’d just lived through Miranda and were all a little jumpy.
Well, most of them had lived through Miranda. They were still mourning the loss of Sheppard Book and their friends in Haven and Mr. Universe. And Wash would have died from a Reaver Harpoon if River hadn’t seen it happening in a vision and hadn’t pulled him out of the pilot’s seat seconds before the harpoon went flying through the visor.
But River knew that she wasn’t just being over-protective. Ever since Miranda she’d been fine…well…not fine, but better, she was more lucid, the truth that’d fried her brain wasn’t her truth anymore, she shared the burden with her family on Serenity, and while the effects of what had been done to her would always keep her from being ‘normal’ she’d stopped letting that bother her—as has the rest of the crew.
Bending over the oven, looking deep within at the cake she’d been baking, it happened to her once again. Heat so strong it left the psychic’s skin pink trailed up her legs to her inner thigh and brushed past her most secret of places, eliciting a soft moan from her which she tried to stifle by biting her bottom lip.
The invisible heat trailed up the back of River’s thighs, lingering on her bottom like a starved caress. She could feel invisible fingers digging into her flesh, kneading her softly yet urgently with a desire so strong it left her breathless.
And she couldn’t silence the moan of pleasure that escaped her parted lips at the feeling it provoked and at the heat pooling at the junction of her thighs.
“You ‘kay, lil’ Albatross?”
River jolted and looked around, face red when she noticed the captain leaning in the doorway, apparently watching her indifferently.
She didn’t understand it. He’d learnt to block his mind to her reading abilities--of which she was glad because one less person’s thoughts would keep her calmer--but it was also frustrating because she couldn’t read him in situations like these.
While this sensation had happened while around the other crew members, the only times it happened when she was with only one other person was with Mal, but he always looked so indifferent or impatient that she didn’t think he could be the one doing this. Plus, he wasn’t a reader or a psychic or any such thing, so how would he accomplish such a feat in the first place?
“Yes captain.” She smiled shakily. “This girl is just impatient for the edible mass to terminate its cooking period so that she may take it out and let it cool before the others come upon it and eat it before this girl has time to decorate the pastry.”
Mal was silent for a moment, head tilted to the right, observing her. “Smells like cake.”
She beamed, forgetting the weird heat once more. “With her profit from their last job, this girl bought some ingredients and a book of recipes and now has made her first cake for Jayne!”
“For Jayne?” There was an odd sound in his voice.
Hearing a ping sound, she smiled brighter and turned, pulling on the huge oven mitts and pulling out the slightly one-sided yet edible looking creation. “Now I must let it cool down and while it does so I will make the icing!”
Forgetting Mal in her excitement, River put the cake on the counter and bent over once again. She reached for a mixing bowl, before freezing, feeling the heat once more return its attention to her bottom.
Goose bumps of desire caused the hair on her arms to rise and she closed her eyes and let it take over once more, begging whatever it was to continue. Those invisible fingers of heat kneaded her harder, yet not as hard as she wanted. “Harder.”
“Albatross?” There was a harsh, sandpaper undertone to Mal’s voice.
Eyes flying open rapidly, embarrassed by how easily she’d allowed the rogue feelings to distract her so shamelessly while with Mal, River looked at him in horror. “I—I—!”
“Albatross?!” Now his voice was a slightly panicked sound.
Dropping the mitts, River did the only thing she could think of in that situation. She abandoned the creation she’d been so proud of just moments ago and ran away.
She didn’t make it far because a hand grabbed her wrist and the unexpected movement caused her to fling back against her attacker. River gave a little cry when her body flew into Mal’s with such force they both fell over, River straddling the older man.
River’s eyes were large pools of brown as she steadied herself by placing her hands on his shoulders, and looked down at the stunned captain.
There were three very good reasons for her wide-eye surprise.
Reason number one was that he was touching her.
She hadn’t understood it, but ever since that moment their eyes had locked when he returned from fighting the Operative and she the Reavers Mal had avoided touching her as if she had some sort of disease. It’d hurt her but she’d let it slide because she was just happy that he’d let her and Simon continue live on Serenity with him.
Reason number two was that not only was Mal touching her, but his hands were subconsciously cupping her bottom, fingers digging into her skin exactly like the ghost-fingers had.
Their gazes locked and Mal’s seemed just as hazy and cloudy as hers, never once breaking their eye contact. His blue eyes searched hers, asking a silent question she couldn’t understand without reading his mind, and with that pesky mind-block he’d perfected she couldn’t even do that.
Reason number three was the one that truly had her wide-eyed because it opened a can of worms she’d never dreamed to be possible.
Because not only was Mal touching her, and cupping her bottom, kneading her softly, but he was hard as rock beneath where she straddled him.
He…was affected…by her.
Breathless with fear that she could somehow be reading the situation wrong, River tried to remain still and emotionless, but when that heat returned full-force her eyes rolled in the back of her head and she arched against him, brushing against his manhood.
A strangled sound escaped his lips as he closed his eyes, and before River could say she was sorry he’d pushed her down harder on him before slowly pushing up against her.
The heat was now as strong as a supernova, burning River completely.
“River…” he groaned when she bucked against him.
“It was you…” she whispered, bucking experimentally against him, voice husky at the shot of electric pleasure that jolted through her body from where they would have been connected if not for the clothes she wanted desperately to shed. “All those times I felt the heat--it was you.”
He’d wanted her so much her psychic powers had picked on it and manifested his desires on her with the ghost-caresses.
“Gorramit, River, I, you, we shouldn’t--.” He moaned when she realized what he was about to say and leaned down, pressing her mouth to his in a desperate move to keep him from finishing that sentence.
She squealed in his mouth when, with one smooth movement, he’d reversed their positions and was straddling her against the metallic floor of the kitchen.
Mouths moving furiously against each other, River buried her fingers in his hair, relishing how soft it actually was. Electricity shot throughout her body, burning her alive as he brushed against the material of her pants.
Where the gorram hell is everyone? Wait. Is that CAKE I smell?
Hearing Jayne’s thoughts, River’s eyes flew open and she pushed urgently against Mal’s chest. “Jayne comes!”
Mal’s eyes widened and he hurriedly got up, straightening his clothes and cursing rapidly in Chinese.
In a swift motion River was on her feet and climbed up the wall of Serenity, safely hidden in one of her favorite hiding places by the time Jayne stumbled upon Mal.
“Is that a cake I see back there?” The hired-guns asked, his attention on the cooling cake and thankfully didn’t notice the captain’s disheveled state.
“Lil’ Albatross made it for ya.” Mal announced, voice slightly huskier than usual, but other than that and his messed up hair and disheveled clothes he betrayed nothing of what the hired-guns would have stumbled across if River hadn’t been a reader.
Jayne froze. “Crazy made it for me?”
Mal nodded, and River could sense that for some reason that bothered him. “Anything you want to tell me?”
Jayne seemed lost in thought before turning to look at the captain. “She musa heard me when I was thinkin’ it’d be my birthday ina coupla days.”
Mal was still tense, yet not as tense as he’d been before this revelation. “So she used up her share of the profit of our last job to buy the ingredients to make you a birthday cake.”
“Why would she do that?” Jayne seemed to be talking to himself and had forgotten that the captain was there. “I ain’t been overly nice to her--.”
Mal snorted at that understatement.
“--‘N I even called her feng le this mornin’ to her face.” This seemed to be bothering Jayne a lot. “I--I ain’t celebrated my birthday since I left home.”
River could sense the conflicting emotions inside the usually gruff mercenary and felt bad when she felt the sadness within him grow. She’d thought that by tapping into his memory of his mother making him a birthday cake she’d make Jayne happier and maybe even get him to treat her a little nicer--she hadn’t meant to make him even sadder than he already was!
“Do I smell cake?” Wash could be heard asking all the way down the hallway as he hurried towards the heavenly smell. “Since when do we get cake? Where did you get it from? And why wasn’t I invited to this little cake-eating get-together?”
Mal rolled his eyes at the blonde pilot when he’d arrived to the kitchen. “River made the cake for Jayne’s birthday.”
“River made it for Jayne?” The blonde paused, eyeing the cake suspiciously now that he’d gotten that information. “Is it poisoned?”
The mercenary glared at the pilot.
Mal snorted. “I hope not, it smells mighty good.”
“Dun it?” Jayne asked, eyeing the cake hungrily.
At least he didn’t seem sad anymore.
Mal eyed Jayne oddly before turning to Wash. “Were you looking for me or did the smell just bring you here?”
Wash looked up from the direction of the cooling cake. “Actually, I came to look for the two of you. Jayne got a wave from his mama and Mal, you got one from Fanty and Mingo.”
Both men winced before taking in deep breaths and following after the pilot.
Mal, a couple of steps behind the other men, looked over his shoulder towards River’s hiding place and immediately found her watching him leave. He smiled roguishly at her and the glint in his eyes promised that they were going to pick up from where they’d been interrupted later.
When she was sure they were gone, River jumped down from her hiding place and stretched, going towards the cake and discarded mixing bowl. A small smile on her face she pulled out the ingredients she’d need to make the icing and got to work, but her mind really wasn’t on the work to be done.
It was on Malcolm Reynolds…
…and the knowledge that she wasn’t going to sleep peacefully until they’d picked up where they’d left off.