Right in the Kisser

By Juli

November 2002

It always made Simon Tam nervous to have Mal or Jayne walk into his infirmary. Mal, because the captain could be coming to warn him that the Alliance had finally caught up with Simon and his sister. And Jayne, well, just being Jayne was enough to make any halfway intelligent man nervous. Having them both walk in, together and arguing, was unprecedented, if not downright worrisome.

"I gotta tell ya, Mal, whenever I come inta port, they line up fer blocks." Jayne threw his hands up in the air in emphasis, their large size coupled with his intensity making for quite a breeze in the small, enclosed space.

Mal smiled - not the tight smile that meant he was about to do something ruthless, but the loose, easy smile that said he was genuinely in a good mood. "Can't put no stock in that, neighbor. Folks'll line up for miles to see an oddity. It's whether or not they come back that after the first time that's the important thing."

Simon relaxed a bit when he realized the argument was more along the lines of good-natured bantering than a serious altercation. "Is there something I can do for you, gentlemen?" The young doctor leaned against his exam chair, arms crossed his chest as he contemplated his visitors.

"Funny you should say that, Doc," Mal responded, stopping to look Simon up and down. "Since you're just the gent we were looking for. Right, Jayne?"

"Right, Mal." Jayne chomped on an unlit cigar.

Suddenly, Simon was nervous again and he straightened abruptly. "And what exactly did you need me for?"

The captain briefly put a friendly hand on the younger man's shoulder. "What Jayne and I need is a learned man's opinion. To settle a dispute and all."

Kaylee might insist that Simon was an easy mark, but the doctor was learning. His eyes narrowed with suspicion at Mal's all-too-innocent expression. "To settle a dispute? Why aren't you asking Shepherd Book? He's far more experienced in that sort of thing."

Jayne chuckled. "Not in this he's not, Doc. Trust me."

"O-o-o-kay," Simon said slowly. He looked from Jayne to Mal, suspicion growing by the minute. "And exactly what sort of dispute are we talking about?"

"If you can believe this, Jayne here," Mal said, rocking back on his heels, "claims to be a better kisser than I am." Reynolds made a tisking sound and shook his head. "I run a loose ship and let a lot of slurs and other such slide by without repercussion. But this... this is not something a man can let go unchallenged."

Simon gaped. Kissing? This was about kissing? His agile mind had already jumped to the conclusion that this conversation was leading to a place that Simon Tam did not want to go.

"I can see that would be a provocative claim, captain," he said quickly. "But wouldn't Companion Inara be a better arbitrator? This is more along the lines of her profession, after all."

Jayne shook his head. "Nope. Don't want to upset her none. She's a perfessional but Mal won't let her service t'crew." He looked at Simon seriously. "Once she gets a taste of what she's been missin', poor thing'll likely be all broke up." He shook his head again, sadly. "I hate t'see a woman cry."

"Wh-what about Kaylee, then?" Simon stammered.

Mal didn't even consider the suggestion. "Come on, now, Doc. That'd be like kissin' our sister." He held up a hand to forestall whatever Simon had opened his mouth to say. "And before you suggest it, Zoe and Wash are out too." He looked at the doctor piously. "Marriage vows are sacred and I respect that." Mal grinned suddenly. "And I respect Zoe's fists even more. She don't take kindly to anyone layin' a hand on her husband, even in the interests of a scientific experiment."

"That leaves you an' yer sister." Jayne summed up. "And with yer sis being addled and all..."

"No!" Simon said loudly, then forced himself to calm down. "River's been through enough already."

"Happens that we agree with you entirely," Mal inserted smoothly. "Good, it's settled then, you'll be our judge."

"Well, I don't know," Simon said, backing away as the captain moved towards him.

Unfortunately, the doctor had forgotten Jayne. The mercenary moved up behind the younger man and grabbed him firmly. "Let's stop w'the jawin' and make w'the smoochin'." Turning Simon in his arms, Jayne planted his lips firmly on the other man's.

Shock held Simon still at first but then he stiffened in Jayne's hold. Twisting, he tried to force his way out of the arms that held him but he was overwhelmed by the warmth of the mercenary's body as Jayne pressed close. As the fight seeped out of him, Simon gave in to the unthinkable and relaxed into the embrace. The bigger man hummed with delight in the recesses of his throat and cupped the back of Simon's head as he deepened the kiss. He insistently wiggled his tongue past Simon's lips and made one delicate sweep of the doctor's mouth before withdrawing.

Jayne let go and watched as Simon caught himself against the exam chair, smug to see that the younger man was panting. "Beat that."

"Don't mind if I do," Mal said coolly. Wrapping an arm around Simon's waist, he gently pulled the younger man to him. "The problem with you brute-types is that you think that a kiss only involves the lips." The captain nuzzled at Simon's neck, just barely brushing his mouth against the sensitive skin there. His free hand stroked at Simon's hip as he encouraged the doctor closer and, by the time he'd reached Simon's mouth, the doctor was already opening for him. Mal didn't need a second invitation. He swooped in and kissed Simon thoroughly, careful not to break eye contact with him.

This time, when Simon was released, he was almost swaying.

"Oh, so that's the way you're gonna play," Jayne growled and reached for Simon. The doctor yelped as he was pulled against Jayne's body. This time, the mercenary's hands wandered free, brushing roughly across Simon's chest and back before settling against his ass. Jayne's big hands kneaded Simon's bottom with the same pulsing motion as his tongue used in the doctor's mouth.

Both men were moaning and breathless by the time Jayne let go.

"Your turn," Jayne said. Turning the doctor, he lightly shoved him in Mal's direction.

The doctor stumbled but Mal quickly caught and steadied him. The captain smiled down into Simon's dazed face as he pressed their bodies close, taking the momentum from Simon's misstep and turning into a swaying motion that was just short of a dance. Mal kissed the side of Simon's mouth, grinning in triumph as Simon instinctively turned his head to deepen the kiss. It was Simon who put his arms around Mal's neck and eagerly molded his body to that of the captain.

Mal let it go on for several moments, then reluctantly disengaged Simon and stepped back.

"Well?" Jayne said impatiently. "What d'ya think?"

Simon stood in a daze, lifting one hand up to his lips, which were already swollen from the other men's attentions. "I think..."

"Is there a winner?" Mal prompted when Simon's voiced trailed off.

"I think...." the doctor repeated, then seemed to come to his senses. "I think that my sister needs me." With a frantic expression that looked to be equal parts confusion and longing, Simon whirled and beat a hasty retreat from the infirmary.

Mal and Jayne waited until he was well and truly gone before breaking down into gales of laughter.

"Did ya see t'look on his face when ya told him it were a kissin' contest?" Jayne howled. "I thought he would piss his pants!"

"Yeah, and when you grabbed him that first time, I thought he'd fill his pants," Mal responded, then held out his hands and snapped his fingers. "He lasted two rounds, though. Pony up."

Jayne stopped snickering and, after wiping the laughter-incited tears from his face, fished in his pocket for a cigar. "He did at that." The mercenary handed the booty over to Mal.

The captain turned his prize over in his fingers and then looked at Jayne with a thoughtful expression. "You know, the doc wasn't a bad kisser."

Jayne smacked his lips in agreement. "No, he weren't bad a'tall." He looked sideways at Mal. "Care ta go double or nuthin?"

Mal grinned. "Thought you'd never ask." The captain thought about it for a minute. "Might want to give him a bit to catch his breath, though."

Somewhere in the recesses of the Serenity, River Tam crooned, "All good things come in threes."

Simon had found his sister, thinking it would be smart to do so in case Mal or Jayne had thought to follow him. "Threes? I don't know what you mean."

River left off her crooning to grin at her flustered brother. "You will, Simon. You will."

~ the end ~


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