Crop Circles -- Four
Thursday, November 3, 2005

Jayne in, where else, a bar.


Jayne and Book separated at the edge of town. With the sun still high in the sky, it had been a hot, dusty walk and Jayne was anxious to find a drink. He wasn’t pleased to find only one tavern in town. He had learned through experience that the prices would be high.

“What’ll it be, stranger?” The man behind the bar was as big as Jayne and a bit rounder in the middle. It was obvious he wouldn’t have to rely on anyone to help clear his bar if there was trouble, which Jayne was very interested in not starting.

“Whatcha got?” Jayne leaned against the bar and looked around. There were few people there at a time of day that Jayne would have expected more. “Kinda quiet in here, ain’t it?”

“This is a workin’ town, stranger.” The barkeeper crossed his arms and leaned his elbows onto the bar, cocking one hip. “We got local rotgut and Alliance rotgut in a fancy bottle.”

Jayne was tempted to get the Alliance bottle just to bug Mal, but realized it would be a wasted gesture as Mal was still on the ship. “I’ll take the local rotgut.”

“Sure thing. Seein’ as you’re a stranger here, I’d like to see…” Jayne didn’t even let the man finish his sentence before he threw some coins onto the bar. Jayne knew a place like this on a small, dirt-farmin’ moon wouldn’t trust anyone to run a tab. The barkeeper took only one coin before placing the bottle and a cup on the bar. Jayne pocketed his money. Huh, he though bemusedly. Guess this place ain’t so bad after all, though the bottle is a little small.

As Jayne was pouring the drink into the cup, a young woman walked up behind him and tapped him on the back. Jayne had heard her coming, so her tap didn’t startle him. He gave her a quick glance. “Why don’t you come back later, darlin’?” Jayne said with a leer. “Right now I’m lookin’ for someone.” Jayne turned back to his drink.

“Who ya lookin’ for, Jayne?”

Jayne knew better than to show his surprise, but her knowing his name was a mite disconcertin’. The last time strangers knew his name was back on Canton, and he wasn’t lookin’ for any more statues or adorin’ fans or songs, especially songs, right now. Turning back to her, Jayne took a closer look at the girl. Kinda pretty in a nondescript kinda way, ain’t she, he thought to himself. Nondescript….huh!

“So, darlin’. What else did your pa tell you about me?” Jayne laughed when he saw her eyes widen in surprise. He’d gotten it right: That dull dirt farmer they’d dragged all over the ‘verse was her pa.

Regaining her composure, the young woman tried again. “Who ya lookin’ for, Jayne? You don’t know no one on this moon ‘cept my pa—and me, if you take my meanin’.”

“Hahaa,” Jayne laughed throatily. “Yeah, I do take your meanin’. But, that will have to wait ‘til later. Right now I gotta find me someone.”

Not phased by Jayne’s brush off, the young woman stepped closer, purposefully brushing against Jayne. “Who ya looking for?” she asked. “I know everyone here. Maybe I can help you.”

Jayne leaned back against the bar, placing one arm on the bar just behind the young woman. He noticed how thin her top was and that she smelled nice. This could be kinda fun, he thought with a grin. Kill two birds, as it were. “All right, darlin’. I’m lookin’ for a man that came to meet your pa out at the landin’ field. I didn’t get a good look at him, but I want to talk with him.”

”Well, I can help you with that. I was there. Me and my brothers. So, it’s one of them you’re wantin’ to talk to.”

Jayne grinned and gave the young woman a little squeeze around the shoulders, enjoying the feel of the light fabric—and the skin under it. “Well, now. Ain’t that somethin’?” With his other hand, Jayne poured the last of the rotgut and took a big swig. “Tell me, darlin’. What’s your name? Seein’s you can help me find who I’m lookin’ for, maybe we can have a little fun first.”

The young woman leaned into Jayne and smiled a knowing smile. “My name’s Alice. Fun would be fun, but let’s figure out who you’re lookin’ for first.”

“Right you are, Alice. Let’s get things figured out first. Barkeep!” Jayne waved for the barkeeper and threw another coin on the bar. “Leave another cup, will ya?” he asked when a new bottle was placed next to him. He straightened up and turned back to the bar, pouring the rotgut into both cups. Giving one cup to Alice, Jayne looked speculatively at her over the rim of his while he drank. Enjoying the view, he continued, “This fella I’m lookin’ for was off to the side of the group who met your pa. Like I said, I didn’t get a good look at him, but it looked like he was carrying a Callahan.”

“Oh, Jayne!” Alice began laughing but stopped when she saw the scowl appearing on Jayne’s face. “Oh, Jayne,” she purred. If possible, she moved even closer to him. “That gun? That’s mine.”

For once, Jayne couldn’t hide his surprise from a woman. Her gun? “Well, now.” Jayne put down his cup and pulled Alice toward him, wrapping both arms around her in a low-slung hug. “This is gonna be fun now, ain’t it.”


Thursday, November 3, 2005 2:51 PM


oooOOOoooOOOoooOOOoo mysterious! Very awesome story. All the characters seem in... Character. But gorramit! Write lobger sections!

Friday, November 4, 2005 8:25 AM


I hope Jayne just got lucky and isn't being set up. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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Crop Circles -- Nine
Wash and Zoe's evening.

Crop Circles -- Eight
Jayne's fun.

Crop Circles -- Seven
Mal learns more than he really wants.

The Narrow Path
Inspired from a line in Objects In Space.

Crop Circles -- Six
Wash and Zoe's envelope revealed.

Crop Circles -- Five
Shepherd's Walk

Crop Circles -- Four
Jayne in, where else, a bar.

Crop Circles -- Three
Jobs and envelopes

Crop Circles -- Two
Changing schedules...again.

Crop Circles - One
Sometimes there are honest jobs. Well, almost.