Series: "Behind the Curtain" (over on ff.net)
Rating: PG--for strong language there at the end
Disclaimer: no es mio; all hail Joss and Co.
“Uh, I just got a wave from Inara. No luck with the Councilor. What are they doin’?”
“Fixin' to get themselves killed.”
“We're gonna go get the Captain.”
“Oh. Good! Can they do that?”
“You know, there's a certain motto. A creed among folks like us. You may have heard it: Leave no man behind.”
Jayne strolled out of the galley headed to his bunk.
“Going to die.”
The little voice came from the other hallway made him jump half out of his skin. Jayne turned to see the crazy girl leaning against the wall in the narrow strip of hall connecting the stairwell to the main stretch of the ship. She wrung with her hands in front of her chest, and stared at the opposite wall like she could read the future written there.
Jayne clamped his jaw tight, ashamed that he’d let the little dust mite spook him. “Yeah, they is. An’ when they’re gone, this’ll be my ship, an’ the first thing I’m gonna do is throw you an’ your pansy-ass brother off it.”
“No,” she whispered, still staring off. “Won’t get the chance.”
“That so?” he blustered.
“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men are going to try to rescue him.” She sniffled, and started to rock. “Book gets closed. Hole in Simon’s head. Little ants invade our ship. Take it. Kaylee goes down, but it takes days for her to die. Inara gets away and takes the girl, but all the softness and beauty is gone. All the red goes blue.”
She looked up at him. Every hair on Jayne’s body stood on end as she stared through him. He took a step back.
“And Jayne goes squish.”
“River?” Inara’s voice interrupted. Jayne jumped again. A moment later, the Companion reached the landing. “Honey? You need to come with me now. You’re brother’s going to be busy for a while. Come on into my shuttle, and you can draw while I talk to the Counselor.”
Inara gave Jayne a disappointed, angry glance before mentally dismissing him. The girl’s eyes never left him as Inara put her arm around her shoulder and led her back down the stairs.
“They need you,” she murmured.
Jayne turned from them and went to his bunk. He loaded the fuck up with all his best girls, and joined the crew in the cargo bay.