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FF: To The Dregs (Jayne, Mal/Inara)

Written for serenitysummer: "Shindig"

Title: To The Dregs
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Firefly
Characters: Jayne, Mal/Inara
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Not the bitter end, but almost.
Notes: Set during "Shindig"



i. curious country, when can we go?

The drop on Santho goes smooth, a simple exchange of goods for coin. They'd be gone already, but Kaylee thinks the ship's been fussing up on landings. She insists they spin for a while, let her and Wash give Serenity a once-over before they head back out again.

Jayne doesn't mind taking the time so much, given he's got cash to spend, and besides, he isn't too keen on the ship exploding any time in the near future. Not while he's still in it, anyway.

"There's a bar on the other side of the docks," Jayne mentions. "We could pick up a game, hustle up some cred."

The captain thinks on it, shrugs. "Sounds like a plan."

They stop in the mess, where Zoe, Simon, and the preacher are playing cards, while River and Inara look on.

"We're heading out," Mal says, jerking his thumb back to include Jayne. "Maybe catch a few pints. Zoe, you're in charge."

The others murmur assent, intent on their cards.

"I'll come along," Inara pipes up.

Jayne's jaw drops into a leer.

"What?" She raises an eyebrow. "I can't get thirsty?"

"Course you can." Mal raises a hand, forestalling Jayne's response. "We'd be honored." Mal smiles at her, and Jayne rolls his eyes.

"Long as I get my ale," Jayne grumbles, but the two have already swept ahead of him, to the cargo hold.


ii. wear big hats and make lots of noise

Badger struts through the cargo hold as if he owns it. He might as well, with all the guns he's got, stalking around the perimeter.

Jayne clutches at his leg, checks the knife he's got strapped to his ankle. The gorram guards already have his guns, all three of them, and there's at least five of them between him and his bunk.

Badger snaps his fingers, and one of his boys emerges fresh from the mess, a cup and a pot of tea in hand.

"Jien tah duh guay," Jayne grumbles. "This a tea party or a hostage situation?"

"Come, now." Badger smirks, takes a gulp from his cup. "Can't it be both?"

Jayne makes an obscene gesture.

Badger hands his drink back, looks Jayne up and down. "What's your name again?"

Jayne scowls. "What's it matter?"

"I could use a man of your..." Badger's eyes roll to the side. "Considerable talents, let's say."

"Talents, huh?" Jayne sits back in his chair, folds his arms. "And how much do you think my talents are worth?"

Zoe twitches.

"Depends." Badger turns, looks around the cargo bay again. "How much does your Captain Reynolds give you?"

At that, Jayne laughs.

Badger frowns. "What?"

"You asking," Jayne leans forward, "means you ain't gonna pay me what I'm worth, or what I want."

Zoe clears her throat. "Besides, if he worked for you, he'd have to bunk with your goons."

"Who are," Wash cuts in, "rather unattractive. Comparatively."

Zoe nods. "Right, Jayne?" she asks.

Jayne hears the real question, waves her off. "Exactly my point."

Badger shifts his jaw. "If you change your mind." He shrugs.

Jayne shrugs back, turns his gaze up.

Not today.


iii. bucking bronco cause a scene

Up on the catwalk, the captain's pouring himself a glass of Kaylee's rotgut.

Jayne watches the cargo door ease shut and seal, backs up and slams into a steer's hindquarters. "Gorram--"

"Doing all right there, Jayne?" Mal calls.

"I'd be doin' better if I wasn't the one doing the gorram herding."

"I'll make a note of that," Mal responds.

Jayne shoves the cow out of his way, steps straight into a pile of shit. "Hell." He squints up at the captain. "I ain't the one who grew up on a ranch."

Mal grimaces, but before he replies, Inara appears and glides down the steps.

"I'd be happy to assist in caring for our passengers," she says, settling down next to the captain. "I used to be quite good with animals."

"I'll bet--"

"You don't want to finish that sentence, Jayne," Mal says, but he's looking at Inara when he says it.

"Right." Jayne grunts, shoulders through the herd. "We'd better get paid, or I'm having myself a barbecue."

The captain raises his glass in a toast.

Jayne salutes him in an entirely different way, and swigs some of the moonshine before he heads back to his bunk.


###

A/N: Headings adapted from Mirah's "Lonestar."

Originally linked here. Linked on serenitysummer.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
anno_superstar
Jul. 21st, 2005 11:19 am (UTC)
aah, lovley little prequels/sequels!
voleuse
Jul. 26th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
liminalliz
Jul. 21st, 2005 12:38 pm (UTC)
Very evocative! Poor Jayne. Hrm.
desoto_hia873
Jul. 21st, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC)
Icon!
liminalliz
Jul. 21st, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
He's such a MAN! :) ::gets all swoony::
voleuse
Jul. 26th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
desoto_hia873
Jul. 21st, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC)
Nice. Can never get too much of Jayne.
voleuse
Jul. 26th, 2005 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
distant_beaches
Jul. 21st, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC)
Kaylee def. is making moonshine in the engine room.
I had missed Jayne. He's such a lovable lug.
voleuse
Jul. 26th, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Kaylee def. is making moonshine in the engine room.
Isn't he, though?

Thank you!
sunnyd_lite
Jul. 21st, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
We'd better get paid, or I'm having myself a barbecue. Got to love a practical Jayne! Great voice! Loved them all
voleuse
Jul. 26th, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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