Summery: SERENITY SPOILERS, after the blast doors open again. Jayne, River.
He hadn’t expected for the doors to open like that. He sure as hell hadn’t expected to see the crazy girl still breathing.
Much less standing in the midst of a bunch of very dead Reavers.
She looked crazier than usual, that was for damn sure.
And then the back of the place exploded, and he was looking down the barrels of about twenty Alliance guns.
And with three clips left, most of the crew outta commission and the damn crazy girl standing right in the way of his aim, there weren’t much he could do right then.
Sides, his entire right side was hurting, and even with three mags left, he weren’t going to do enough damage to get even himself out of there.
So, he put his hands up, figuring he could always break outta whatever prison he got put in. And hell, they would fix everybody up before standing trial. And, while he and Mal and Zoë and the Doc and his sister were probably done for, maybe Inara could pull some of that Companion stuff and get herself and Kaylee off and out in one piece.
But then the Alliance boys put their weapons down, and one of them made the mistake of coming too near the crazy girl.
Hell, she was still armed. It weren’t like the Reavers had just lay down in front of her or nothing.
And gorramitall if the girl didn’t take a slice at the Fed, and very nearly put his lights out. Only thing that saved him was the armor, and that boy had to be carried outta there evenso.
“Fuck,” he muttered. Guns came back up, and it sure don’t look like she was planning on dropping them weird knives she’s holding. And the purple bellies sure don’t look happy ‘bout that, going by the loud yelling and gesturing with guns and such.
He glanced behind him, to find out that the crew situation hadn’t changed much. Mal was now leaning against the wall, but was still standing. Inara was trying to tend to people, and the Doc weren’t more than ‘bout half conscious.
He didn’t look too close at Kaylee.
He ran through the list of injuries in his head and swore again. Of all of them, he was the only one who could actually get up.
And he was about to get his ass handed to him again by a ninety pound girl with scrambled eggs for brains. And in front of people too.
But he didn’t particular feel like dying today, and in order to get around to the not dying, the crazy girl had to drop weapons and stop trying to murder people.
For right now anyway. Hell, if she wanted, later on, she could have all the scary knives she wanted and cut up as many Feds as she could. He’d stand there and hold them for her, but for now, she had to stand down.
Of course, that meant putting himself within reach of her, and she weren’t looking too sane and together.
So, it was a very cranky Jayne who pulled himself to his feet, ignoring the Captain’s order to stay down or give up or whatever. He kept his hands up, and moved slow, but the Feds were still mighty nervous.
He just ignored the yelling, and kept moving.
And the girl was rocking some, and humming. And those knives of hers got even nastier looking the closer he got.
“Hey,” he finally said. He stopped right outta reach, figuring she wouldn’t pounce if he didn’t offer himself as a target. “Hey, girl, you in there?”
But he figured it meant she could actually hear him, and wasn’t completely off her rocker. At the moment.
“Bad guys are dead, little girl,” he said. “Wanna hand me that pretty piece of shiny you got in your hand?”
Up this close, he could see how bad she was shaking. Her eyes weren’t focusing too well, which either meant she was about to go batshit insane again and kill them all, or one of them Reavers had gotten a lucky shot and smacked her in the head.
Like her brains didn’t have enough holes in it.
But she weren’t going for his throat, and the Feds had stopped yelling. Maybe they figured he was actually trying to help. Or they were waiting to see how long it took for her to rip his lungs out.
He turned his attention back to the girl who wasn’t more than three steps from him. Her head had tilted his way some, and he figured that meant she was paying attention.
“Come on, then,” he coaxed. “Why don’t ya gimme that knife and go and look on your brother?”
Her eyes flicked up. Good, she was listening. Hopefully that meant she wasn’t planning on eviscerating him anytime today.
He could feel the crew watching him too, and it made him all kinds of itchy. He weren’t doing this to be nice, didn’t they know that?
“No,” she muttered.
“Don’t know you at all, do they?” Her tone was detached, and he noticed uncomfortably that she was dripping blood down the side of her leg.
“Don’t matter who knows me, girl. Right now, we gotta get you to put down them nasty things you holding, ‘fore someone like me gets hurt, dong ma?” He held out one hand, slowly. Didn’t want to lose it if she swiped at him.
But she just lifted her eyes to his, and tilted her head to the side a fraction. “What if I need them again?” The look she was giving him made him feel all kinds of weird, but she was paying attention and he wasn’t bleeding out yet, so he ignored it.
Her hands shifted on the weapons, and he drew back a little, ‘til he realized the blood was making the handles slippery. She wasn’t threatening him. Yet.
“Then I’ll get ‘em back for you.”
Her eyes were focusing again, that was a good.
And the Feds were backing off. Mal was edging around the two of them, trying to get close enough to have a decent shot if he needed to. Nice, that.
Of course, Mal was also starting to slide down the wall a ways, and didn’t look like he was going to be on his feet much longer.
It’d be nice if the girl would just drop the rutting weapons already.
But she was still watching him from underneath a curtain of hair, and her hands were still clenched around the handles of those knives.
Alrighty, then. Plan B.
“Come on, girl,” he said impatiently. “Your brother needs looking after. He ain’t doing too good, and we got others wounded. Let’s go!”
He instinctively ducked from her swipe. Got it, keep voice low. Keep her calm. Right. Yelling ain’t gonna work.
“Alright, alright, I’m sorry.” He held his hands up placating. “I’ll be good. Let’s just..calm down again.”
She licked her lips, but slowly lowered those wicked blades back to her sides. “How do I know I’m safe?”
She tilted her head again, giving him that piercing stare. “You look better in red.”
He tensed, but when she didn’t come for him, he figured out what she meant. “I know, but I ain’t turning you in this time.”
“I’m…not?” What, not speaking good English mattered to her now? Whatever. She was relaxing slowly, which was all he was concerned about.
“Concerned about your skin, too.”
“Stop reading my mind, girl,” he said irritably. “It’s creepy, and it ain’t got nothing to do with us getting outta here in one piece.”
“Got everything to do with it.” Crazy girl actually raised an eyebrow and gave him a smug look.
He restrained the urge to glare. Or spank her. Or something fun that would get him cut to ribbons. Instead, he sighed. “Fine. Whatever. Yes, I want my skin in one piece. I also want to get outta here without losing any more of the crew. And, in case you ain’t noticed, we ain’t looking too good over there.”
Her eyes, for the first time since they started this bizarre conversation, glanced towards the people behind him. She hesitated.
“Come on, now. Be a good girl,” he entreated, holding his hand out again. He gave her a little smile. “I’ll getcha some nice crazy girl cookies when we get back to Serenity.”
Her eyes darted back and forth from him to the crew behind him. Most of who, he just knew, were staring at him like he had grown another head. She started to come out of her fighting stance.
He kept his hand out.
“Back to Serenity?” Her eyes shone a little at that.
“Yeah, girl. Back to Serenity. Back home.”
She looked down at his outstretched hand, but didn’t hand him a knife. Instead, she bent, very slowly, keeping her eyes locked on his, and placed the weapons on the ground. She very carefully didn’t look at the dead Reavers surrounding her.
He started to pull his hand back, figuring on the ground were better than nothing, but she reached out and laced her fingers through his.
She looked up at him. “Take me home?”
Her hand felt fragile. Like he could crush it without meaning to. He wasn’t sure ‘bout his brains at the moment, cause he didn’t pull back. He pulled her to him, slow like, so as to not startle her. “Yeah, girl. Let’s get home.”
He waved Mal back, and started towards the hole in the wall the Feds were nice enough to leave.
She kept her eyes on him that whole walk out, past the Reavers and the Feds, and her little hand was trembling just a bit. Like she was a little afraid her own self about what she could do.
He kept talking to her, figured it might help keep her calm. “Almost there, little girl. Just keep moving.” The Feds were backing up from them, guns still trained on the girl. And gorram if that didn’t make him all kinds of uncomfortable.
Her lip trembled, and she moved a little closer in to him. “Don’t let them see me. They’re all scared of me.” She was shaking a little worse, and clutching to his hand tight as she could. Her other hand crept up around his bicep and she pressed her face to his arm. He could feel tears sliding down his arm, and he tried to pull her a little closer to him. A little bit further away from the Feds.
“Just keep walking, darling. We’re almost there.”