BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

MARKOMI

Eagle (Part 2/7)
Friday, December 30, 2011

Jayne runs into someone from his past. That usually means trouble.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1645    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

"And what makes you so gorram sure I'd choose you?"

Jayne Cobb blamed the words. Not that he believed them. There was no rutting way Mal would choose the pompous doctor over him. It had been the stress, the frustration talking.

And still the words had left just a big enough piece of doubt in his mind to make him ponder them most of the day. After all, he did recall a certain time spent in an airlock. And it was enough to make him think too much. To cloud his judgment. To let his guard down. To forget paying attention to his surroundings.

And he was in a place where you most certainly should have your wits about you. He sat at the counter at the local bar (another costumer had given up his seat after he'd glowered at him), spending the last of his money on watered-down drinks, and tried to shed that feeling of uneasiness.

Then someone put a gun to his back.

He blamed the words. It shouldn't have been so easy to overpower him.

His instincts told him to fight back, to draw his own gun, but apparently his instincts were a little slow today and so he managed to quell the urge to do what would have been suicide. Instead he glanced sideways at the person holding the gun, who at that same moment sat down in the chair next to his.

"I suggest you let Hui take your weapon," the man said, nodding towards someone Jayne could not see, but sensed moving around behind him, and the next moment a hand removed his gun from its holster.

Ta ma de. He really blamed the words.

He looked over his shoulder and watched the man who had just disarmed him retreat to the corner of the room, joining another guy already sitting there.

"Hey, Jayne," the man in the chair next to him said. "Remember me?"

Jayne turned back towards him, scowling.

"Rufus Miller," he replied. "I see you're still one ugly summabitch."

He'd recognized the man straight away. Hadn't expected to see him here, though. But then again, people from his past seemed to pop up wherever he traveled in the 'verse. This particular guy he had once been on the same crew with, years ago. What he remembered most about him was his terrible breath and the fact that he'd been an unbelievably bad shot.

"Cigar?" Rufus asked, and Jayne, who never turned down anything he could get for free, accepted it and let the other man light it for him.

"Fancy runnin' into you here," Rufus continued, leaning in closer.

Yup, his breath was still terrible.

And he was still holding him at gunpoint. It was done rather discreetly, under the table. As far as Jayne could tell neither the bartender nor anyone else in the room had noticed.

"Yeah, fancy," he eventually replied. "So how you been, Rufus? Who you workin' for now? You still with Marco?"

Rufus spat out a cloud of smoke with a snort. "Hell no!" He nodded towards the men in the corner. "Don't work for nobody. Got my own crew."

Jayne eyed him suspiciously for a moment, but then he smiled. "Rufus Miller in command." He whistled. "Didn't see that comin'."

"And you're still with Malcolm Reynolds." It was a confirmation, not a question.

Jayne lifted his glass, shook it and fiercely watched the alcohol twirl. He wasn't smiling anymore. "Maybe."

In the corner of his eye he could see Rufus raising his eyebrows and leaning a little forward. "Trouble?" the man asked.

In a swift motion Jayne drained the glass and slammed it down unto the bar. Rufus didn't flinch, he only flicked his fingers to get the bartender's attention. "Another one for my friend here," he said, pointing. Then he patted the counter in a condescending way that gave Jayne the urge to drive a knife through his hand. "Come on, lay it on me, Jayne. He don't appreciate ya?"

Jayne didn't answer, but accepted the new drink the bartender poured him. Rufus pushed on. "I know I would. Hell, you used to work for two back in the day. I very much doubt that's changed. So if he ain't treatin' you right, I'd say he's an idiot."

Jayne was losing his last bit of patience. "Whatta ya want, Rufus?"

Rufus leaned back in his chair. "Alright, I'll get to the point. See, there's rumors flyin' about some stuff hidden on this rock, worth a little fortune, I hear. It's also rumored that Captain Reynolds is here to pick up that stuff. And I believe those rumors are true, Jayne. And I believe that you know where it is."

Jayne glanced at him, then went back to his drink. "What if I do?"

"You'll take me to it."

"Cuz you're pokin' my back with a gun?"

"Well, there's that. But I'll give you a another reason if you'll take it."

"Let's hear it."

"Like I said, you work for two. A man who pulls the work of two men should get two men's wages, don't you think?"

Jayne eyed him. This was interesting.

"That'll be a lot more than what Reynolds is payin' ya." Rufus chuckled. "Come on, Jayne, it's not like it'll be the first time you turn your coat."

Jayne took a moment to consider, something that definitively wasn't a habit of his. Mal and the crew would be out there searching for the cargo right now, it was possible they had even found it. And since he himself was sitting this one out, the captain would have brought Kaylee instead, and Jayne very much didn't like the thought of the mechanic in harms way.

Still, he didn't seem to have many options at this point.

"It's in the hills," he said. "If we hurry we might beat 'em to it."

Rufus grinned and stood up. "By all means, lead the way then."

"Can I have my gun back?"

"After you show us the cargo. Unlike Reynolds I know better than to trust you."

"Yeah… Mal," Jayne suddenly remembered. "Just a moment." Turning around, he yelled at the bartender, waving him closer, "Hey! Man might show up lookin' for me. I want you to give 'im a message. You tell 'im I don't work for 'im no more. Now…" He fumbled through his dozen or so pockets. "He's a suspicious fella, might not believe you." He eventually found the eagle-imprinted emblem he always carried around with him, put it on the counter and slid it towards the bartender. "So you'll give him this. He'll understand."

The bartender raised his eyebrows, but then he just rolled his eyes and pocketed the emblem in his apron. "Whatever."

Together with Rufus and his two henchmen, Jayne left the bar and went into the dessert, following a winding trail up into the hills. He had never been here before, but he tried to give the others the impression that he had, walking with an unworried easiness, and while they walked he considered his options. He was cursing the fact that Rufus had been smart enough to not give him his gun back, but he still had the knife hidden away in one of his boots, and if push came to shove…

Rufus gave him an hour, which was a lot more than Jayne would have given him, but finally as they reached a spot where the narrow trail ran along a cliff, he stopped.

"Jayne!" he yelled, and Jayne who had been leading the party stopped and turned around to face him.

"Yes, Rufus?"

"I don't believe you know where you're goin'."

"You don't?"

"Gorram it, Jayne! This ain't the way to the cargo." Rufus drew his gun and pointed it at him, his two henchmen following his lead. "Don't take me for a fool!"

Jayne casually stepped backwards, pretty close to the edge of the cliff now. He glanced down over his shoulder. It was a thirty feet drop at least.

He really wished he'd had more time to come up with a plan.

"But you is a fool, now ain't ya?" he calmly answered his former comrade, while he discreetly let his foot slide up the other leg, to get the hidden knife in the boot within reach.

"Oh, I am?" Rufus spat. "I ain't the idiot standing at the edge of a cliff with three guns pointed' at 'im. I offered you a great deal here, stupid! You coulda joined me, enjoyed your share of the loot! Now…" He stepped closer, taking aim, "you will tell me where the stuff is really hidden, and maybe I will let you live."

"Oh, Rufus." Jayne put on a false mask of regret. "The stuff's most likely on Serenity by now."

"Liu koushi de biaozi he houzi de ben erzi! What in this gorram 'verse is wrong with you? Now I'm gonna kill you, and whatta ya have to show for it? Your captain thinks you left him, you moron! You'll die here. Alone! When you could've had it all."

Jayne only half listened. How could it be that all the men he had worked with had this habit of yapping and yapping before they shot anyone? Everybody knew it was better to do it the other way around.

He had gotten hold of his knife now and he stood up, ready to throw it.

He was a second too late. Rufus fired his gun.

As the pain exploded in his side, he actually felt a snort of laughter forming in the back of his throat. Apparently Rufus' shooting skills hadn't improved.

He had to take a step back to get his bearings. He felt the ground shift beneath his feet and instinctively knew he was too close to the edge.

Something had helped that rutting, good-for-nuthin' Rufus Miller to stay alive this long, even led him to his own command. As Jayne fell off the cliff he remembered what.

Luck. The man was just gorram lucky.

He felt the impact, the shooting pains throughout his body as it eventually hit the ground. He didn't feel much after that.

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COMMENTS

Friday, December 30, 2011 6:02 AM

AMDOBELL


Oooh, so glad Jayne wasn't really leaving and I liked how that emblem ties in with the crew he used to work for. Mal will figure it out just hopw he doesn't take too gorram long. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Thursday, January 5, 2012 4:59 AM

EBFIDDLER


I liked seeing things from Jayne's perspective. And as usual, you're good at mining Jayne's perspective for humor. I liked this line: "His instincts told him to fight back, to draw his own gun, but apparently his instincts were a little slow today." Jayne already recognizes his predicament has mostly to do with his own actions and reactions. He's actually (dare I say it) a *responsible* guy, and accepts responsibility for himself. He's not blaming anyone else, although he is willing to blame bad luck a bit.
"Rufus gave him an hour, which was a lot more than Jayne would have given him." -- ever practical, Jayne would think this, even as he's enacting his diversion plan. "How could it be that all the men he had worked with had this habit of yapping and yapping before they shot anyone? Everybody knew it was better to do it the other way around." -- again, so practical. Love this focus on Jayne. You've given us a great view of the character, MarKomi, Eager to read more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 7:35 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh ho! Jayne got ambushed but managed to screw them over in the end...awesome!! Definitely loved this look at Jayne's ever-practical view of his life and affairs, especially his laments on how his bosses tend to like the super-villain rant a bit too much, even Mal I suspect!

;P


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