The Joke's On
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Nathan passed Jewel's dressing room, leaned in, flipped her off, then kept going. He could just hear her grumble something about getting even as he turned the corner. Then all he heard was his ass hitting the floor after he ran smack into Adam and was sent sprawling.
"Serves you right." He looked up to see Jewel smirking down at him. "Thanks, Adam." Her smile was all sweetness and innocence, but Nathan knew better.
"You planned that," he accused as he levered himself back on to his feet.
"Oh, yeah." She rolled her eyes. "Adam and I have this psychic connection. I told him you were coming 'round the corner and to knock you down."
"I wouldn't be surprised. Just wait. You'll get yours." He put on his own sweet and innocent smile then slipped around Adam.
He should have seen it coming, but when he walked on to the stage at DragonCon and everyone in the audience stood and flipped him the bird? Totally unprepared for that. It was funny though. Jewel definitely had outdone herself. He laughed as he took a little bow, conceding that she'd won this round. Of course, that didnít mean he wouldnít get her back. It might be a while before he got his chance, but he had his ways...
They'd barely gotten together again before they had a lull in the shooting, so Nathan hopped a plane home to Edmonton. He couldnít fly there nonstop from LAX, and in an odd coincidence, he found himself sitting next to Jewel on the first leg of the trip.
Somehow they'd completely missed each other in the airport. When he went to take his seat after boarding, he noticed a woman in the seat next to his. She was looking out the window, and he was admiring her long, slender legs--until she turned to look at him. "Ahh!"
Jewel cracked up laughing. "Surpriiiiiiiise."
"What are you doing here?" He knew his tone was accusing and his eyes squinty, but he was waiting for the punchline.
"Same as you, silly. Heading back to see my folks while we have a few days."
"Right." He dropped down in his seat, eyeing her warily.
It turned out to be a good trip though. They decided to pool their evil ideas and gang up on Adam. A plan was devised; and Nathan knew that by this time next Tuesday, they'd be king and queen of the practical joke--Adam Baldwin their hapless victim. This would be ten times better than when someone had put a zip tie on the axle of his new car. And way better than even the best middle finger moments with Jewel. The joke of the century. Hell, the joke of the millennium. Okay, maybe he was getting ahead of himself a bit. But it would be good.
He and Jewel agreed to swap out a few pages of the shooting script when they got back on set. The new pages would have a bit where Jayne would have to kiss Simon. Nathan wanted to get everyone else in on it, too, including Joss.
Little did Nathan know, but the real joke was on him. Jewel had indeed been flying to visit family, but she had been on the same flight as Nathan strictly to set him up. And just like Nathan wanted, everyone in the cast and crew--even Joss--was in on this one.
Because everyone would get their scripts and it would be Nathan's that was actually different. Everyone else would learn phony lines to fit in with his. If it worked -- it would great. And Nathan would once again be the practical joker made victim of his own game.
"Yep," Jewel smiled. "It's done."
Nathan grinned and nodded. "Great. This is gonna be great."
"You've no idea," she muttered to herself.
"I'm not kissing him. Jayne just wouldn't do that, Joss. I get that youíre trying to be edgy, and I'm secure in my masculinity, but--"
Nathan smiled as he listened to Adam try to convince Joss to change the script. He'd totally bought it. Nathan almost rubbed his hands together in evil anticipation.
He looked over his shoulder at Adam. "Yeah?"
"How do you think I should handle this kiss? Should I actually use tongue or just fake it for the camera?"
Nathan wondered how in the hell had Joss persuaded him so quickly. Looking at Adam, he could see that he was serious; he was really thinking about how to approach his scene with Simon. Nathan had worried that he wouldn't actually go through with it. In fact, he'd been certain that Adam would balk and refuse to shoot until Joss came up with some sort of rewrite.
But he was actually going to do it. And Nathan could totally play along. He could encourage his fellow actor to get into the role. He grinned. "Hey, I'm all for screen kisses being realistic."
Adam looked at the script and nodded to himself. "Realistic. Right." He squinted at something over Nathanís shoulder then looked him in the eye. "Thanks, man." And then he was gone.
Nathan looked up at Adam. His voice was strong and challenging. He loved playing Malcolm Reynolds. "You gonna betray me again, Jayne?"
Adam stared at his feet, a bit shy and fidgety. "No."
"Good. Then we don't have a gorram problem now, do we?" He stared at Adam until he raised his head and looked him in the eye.
"Actually, Mal. Weíve got a serious problem."
"What?" Nathan was confused. That line wasn't in his script.
"Iím in love with you, Mal." Nathan's eyes widened as Adam stepped in and pressed him against the set wall.
It wasn't until Adam's lips were almost on his own that Nathan pushed him back and turned to see that everyone on the soundstage was cracking up. "Come on, Mal. Come back to my bunk and I'll introduce you to Vera," Adam joined the laughter as he stepped back.
Nathan could feel the blush spread through his entire body. He looked at Jewel and flipped her the bird as he shook his head. "Uncle. You got me. I give up."
They'd taken a break, and Nathan was sitting in his dressing room studying the real script when Adam slipped into his room. "Hey, man. You gonna live?"
Nathan nodded and smiled, still clearly a little embarrassed. "Yeah, I'm alright."
"Cool." Adam turned to leave then called over his shoulder just before closing the door, "Joss said thisíll be great for the blooper reel."
"What?!?" Nathan hopped up and went to open the door, but the knob was covered in something slippery. He looked down at his hand. Vaseline? "Damn it, Adam!" He tugged and tugged at the knob but couldnít get a grip. He dropped his head against the door and whined, "What did I ever do to deserve this?"