Winter of Faith posting day!

I love a Faith fest, as you know. Here's a little oddity-frivolity for you. If you'd rather read over at winter_of_faith and support the comm, the story is also available here.

Title Never Say Never Again
Author Brutti ma buoni
Characters Faith, Mal, Jayne (Faith/Jayne…/Mal ish), and reference to Faith/Zoe
Rating R, though mostly for what will happen very shortly after the story ends
Words 1500
Setting On Serenity. Faith is there.
Prompt this is also a fill for my trope bingo card (truth or dare), with thanks to lyrstzha who encouraged thoughts of Faith as hired muscle and gillo for specifying a story about Jayne and Faith

Taking the long outer-rim spiral beyond New Point, Serenity took on some more muscle. One additional merc, a woman named Faith. She got them out of a deep hole of [go seh] in Hopetown, where some Blue Sun guys decided to go for River, against all recetn company policy. So Mal reckoned, if the Company was getting out of its recent Operation Ostrich, might be they could do with a helping hand. Didn't hurt that Faith was easy on the eye and hell on wheels. After three weeks, they still hadn't found a thing that phased her, nor any weapon she couldn't master.

Faith was looking to work her passage home, but since she said home was 'roundabout 500 years thataway', with a jerk of the hand behind her, Mal understood he wouldn't be losing her any time soon. River was a joy to behold, a study in conflict. Halfway resentful of an older, more gorgeous, louder, funnier gal who could do all she could; halfway joyful there was another freak in the house. And the rest made them welcome, in their way. It was good to have some heart in a ship made too quiet by the loss of Wash, of no more Book nor 'Nara, where contract pilots came and went and never fitted.

Faith fitted.

Those three weeks gone by, they had been profitable ones, and not only for hard cash and protein bars. Hell no. There was firewater aboard, and in the long wastes of the black, there were days where drinking it wasn't plain head-melting foolish. This area was safe, near as anywhere could be so. Two sober, two sobering, and whoever else wanted to go to hell in the meantime was okay by Mal. Folk need a kickback week now and again.

So it was a riot in the kitchen, that week. This particular day, they had the Doc and Zoe stone cold and running the place; Race, the current pilot, was green and puking down in his cabin, with River watching over him, making sure he'd be fit for night watch.

Jayne and Kaylee, Mal and Faith were sitting at table, gorging on extra protein and just getting nicely no how.

Faith looked about her, at the metal and familiar utility of the place. "Man, this isn't so much the party space, is it? I didn't notice so much before." And it was true, Serenity didn't make for much of a drinking den. Most times, Mal was glad of that. But they were getting accustomed to the soft life now. Firewater was going down fast; more populated sectors were coming up in a couple of days. Kickback time was coming to a close, and it wasn't the frivol it had been.

"You know what we need," said Faith, after a bit of silence wafted through. "We need a game, liven things up a little. Never have I ever…" she looked about her. The crew looked back. "Seriously? You're telling me that's not a game these years?"

Jayne shook his head. Kaylee shrugged. Mal didn't move. Didn't hardly care.

The way Faith told about the game, life in her century must have been mighty timewasting stuff. But that night, Mal reckoned there was no harm in it. And when Faith started out with, "Never have I ever done three guys in one night," and Kaylee, blushing hard, had to take her shot, Mal could see how this was going to go. Even a brief round of "never have I ever lived in the 21st century" probing about Faith's distant past didn't take them far from the core business of getting slaughtered beyond all sense.

It went fast for Kaylee; she mightn't pack much fighting muscle, but man, did she have a past behind her. Also, no tolerance for alcohol. Mal didn't drink much in those early rounds, till Kaylee made it, "Never have I ever killed a man," and all three of the others drank, and drank again, and looked like they might just down the bottle then and there, all in the spirit of strict honesty.

That was pretty much Kaylee's last input, and she was face-down and snoring before it came round to her again. Faith and Jayne, who had been going hard with the sexual revelations, were distracted, spent the next rounds on competitive weaponry. And since they were both stone killers, there was a whole lot of drinking. From Mal too, but he could feel himself slipping back from the game. There was no joy in the killing in Mal's memory, not even those days where he knew he'd stood atop a battlefield and crowed for sheer triumph at shredding enemy blood and bone. Jayne was different; and mostly Faith was too, though she looked a little haunted now and then.

"Never have I ever gone hand to hand with two Reavers," said Jayne, and Faith drank, grinning, and the game had to pause while the story was told. Or, turned out, stories. That was one tough gal.

"Never have I ever robbed an actual bank," said Faith, and Jayne, and even Mal, scoffed and knocked back a shot.

"Never have I ever been a sharpshooter assassin," said Jayne, and Faith almost let it slide till-

"Wait, does a poison bow and arrow count? Almost forgot that one." She drank, grinning at some long gone memory.

"Never have I ever been to jail," said Mal, which wasn't strictly true, but prisoners of war were different in his book. The others drank. Faith catching Jayne's eye with a rueful shrug.

"Never have I ever fucked my cellmate," said Jayne, grinning.

Faith drank, and poked her pointy pink tongue out. "Well, that's a sad shame, my friend. I'da paid good money to watch that. Also, it passes the time like nuthin' else."

Jayne kinda glazed at that one, and Mal couldn’t blame him. She was a fine looking woman, and then some. Faith looked at the two of them, and smiled a curling smile. "Man, that set me wondering. I'm trying to think how to ask if you fucked a guy, either of you, but damn if I can't think of a thing I never did with a guy. This game sucks for adventurous women." She paused, and Mal's ears turned crimson with memories Jayne didn't ever need to hear of. But then Jayne drank, blushing fierce on his own account and avoiding Mal's eyes, and Faith looked at him, smiling. "You sir, you are a gentleman. I'll call that my turn." She took up the bottle, and measured the contents. "Two more rounds apiece, I reckon. Time to ask anything you really want to know, boys."

Then she stood up and walked over to Jayne's seat, slipped herself right onto his lap, facing him, ignoring Mal entirely. Mal said, "Never have I ever fucked a crewmate on this ship," hoping the heavy sound of Captainly disapproval would get through. It backfired, bad. They both grinned, chinked glasses, and swigged.

"Only fair," Jayne murmured. "Seein' how this evening's headin'."

"Damn straight," said Faith. "Also, Zoe's a very welcoming woman." Which was a thing Mal had half recognised, just after Faith joined the ship, and he coulda bitten out his tongue for bringing it up. But Faith caught his eye, gave a little shrug. "She's okay. Just needed a warm body for a bad night, you know? Ain't no shame there. Won't be repeated, I don't suppose." Jayne's hands were all over her ass now, with Mal not knowing where to put his eyes, except it couldn't be anywhere else, and this was a bad thing for a captain to get into, but he was loose and warm and wanting them to go on.

Jayne detached his mouth from Faith's dark-berry lips, which had somehow landed on his and gotten stuck. He looked over her shoulder, catching Mal's eye and holding it well for a damned drunken mercenary. "Never have I ever been invited to watch my crewmates fuck," he said, clear as anything and not what Mal would have ever expected to come out of this night. Mal drank, like a contract being signed, and Jayne nodded, silent for once. Faith hopped off of his lap, drank her last shot, and added, "And maybe get invited to join in, see how that goes."

Mal emptied the bottle, checked Kaylee was as comfortable as a passed out drunk could be at a hard table, dropped the Doc a line to keep an eye on her, and staggered down to the crew quarters.

Bad, bad idea. Of course. But everyone needed to kick back a little sometimes. And what they were offering would be rude to refuse.

Sober enough to see his own hypocritical tendencies, drunk enough to laugh them off, Malcolm Reynolds headed down to knock a few more things off his never have I evers.

Not a big fan of xovers, but this one works. A bit curious about how Faith got there, but maybe that means there will be more....?
Thanks! I like Faith with these characters; she has the right footloose feel.

(All these fics should come with a line I once used about "there was a thing with a spell and a portal and a wish and..." That's *always* how it goes. *g*)
Crossover explanations are overrated anyway. Hey, I once had the Seinfeld characters show up in the Fireflyverse with a one-sentence explanation, and nobody complained...

At least not to my face.
I am mighty pleased to have had any hand in encouraging this lovely bit of fun.
Lol, River jealous and happy to see another one like. Both have skimmed madness and murder. Though for Faith it was choice, don't suppose Faith might ask an old vampire friend who is still going around the universe to come help, Spike. Spike and her would have a grand old time, and I always love a Spike/River pairing.
You know, this makes a disturbing amount of sense, time travel or no. Did I say disturbing? I meant awesome.
Wow, I love your imagination!

And I'm really glad I didn't read the pairings too closely at the top, because the ending was way better not knowing.

I wish there was a way to label pairings in invisible ink, at least in some cases where it's like, "trust me, unless you're really picky/squeamish, you'd rather not know ahead of time." :/
Heh, yeah, this is probably one where I should use invisi-text, but the coding defeats me. Though 'never have I ever' *always* seems to go pretty much this way... *shifty look*