In The Doghouse
Tuesday, January 13, 2004

A Mal/Jayne POV set just after the end of Ariel.


Disclaimer: Firefly and these character belong to Joss Whedon. But they seem to be occupying my every waking thought.

* * * * * * In the Doghouse

* * * * * *

Used to have a dog back on Shadow. Powerful ugly creature he was, with a massive head and heavy body.

Not sure where he came from but he kind of attached hisself to me. Followed me everywhere, grateful for any scrap of food or attention. Used to lie under my bed at night. Sometimes he was good to have around, but mostly he was just another thing on my mind to worry about.

Cos he was all kinds of stupid. He'd dig up crops I'd just been planted and bring 'em back to me. Drop 'em at my feet and sit there, lookin' up at me, waggin' his tail. So pleased with himself. Then when I yelled at him, his ears'd go back and his tail'd slide between his legs. But I could tell by his blank expression he had no idea why I was mad.

He'd kill chickens and eat the whole bird – beak, feet, feathers an' all. Then spend the night howling with indigestion. But he never did learn his lesson. Next chance he got, he'd be doin' it again. Damn near totally untrainable. Only way to keep him in check was to keep him fearful of a beatin'.

He was mean too. Bit a lot of folk. Probably should've jus' shot him. Except he was the best watchdog you could wish for. Fearless, too. An' he looked the part. With him at your side, even the nastiest son-of-a-btich was gonna think twice before messin' with you.

* * * * *

I can't eat this go se protein mush. Ain't never very appetizing, but tonight it makes me heave. Fact that li'l Kaylee made it special for “the hero of Ariel” only makes it stick to my gullet all the more. She brought me a bottle of her engine still firewater too, which, I guess, means Mal ain't told her about ... about what happened. Yet. It burns as it goes down, but that feels good. An' I mean to drink me the whole bottle. Dull the pain some.

My gorram head hurts. Not enough I get beat up by the Feds. No, Mal gotta hit me in the face with a wrench. Never saw that comin'. Most people I can read. Hell, I can even read Mal when he's dealin' with anyone else. See the danger comin' off him long before they do. But between me an' him... I never seem to get it right.

Ta ma de! Mal's harder to understand that a woman. Not that I'm suggestin' there's anythin' girlish about him. Wanna make that real clear. S'jus' one minute he's punchin' Simon to the floor and threatenin' to throw him out the airlock an' the next he's beatin' on me for tryin' to earn some hard cash by doin' a deal with the Feds. Hell, I thought Mal might even give me a pat on the head for that. Wa'n't my fault they was a bunch of low-down dirty double-crossers.

Don't think I would have kept the money for myself even if I'd got it, although that was the notion to start with. What would I have done with it? Spent it all on whores an' liquor most like and ended up working for another hun dan like Marco.

No, I like it here on Serenity. Got my own bunk and full run of the kitchen. Decent cut in the take from jobs. Occasional bit of trim. Cap'n who's zhen de shi tian cai when it comes to plans. Good crew. Hell, we even got a Doc who can fix up gunshot and stab wounds real good. Oh. Yeah, well... He's still here, ain't he?

All I gotta do now is make things right with Mal. I ain't no good with words, although I must've said somethin' right for him to let me out the airlock. No, I'm more for showin'. Maybe I should go shoot somethin' for him. Always assumin' he ever lets me out of my bunk again.

* * * * *

“Jayne!” Mal's shout echoes down the walkway that leads to the crew's bunks.

The mercenary's head pops out from his doorway. He gives the Captain a wary, but hopeful look.

“Yeah, Mal?”

Mal suppresses a weary smile at Jayne's submission, but can't stop his satisfaction from showing briefly in his eyes. Jayne sees it and raises his eyebrows expectantly in response.

“Get up to the commons now. I'm dividin' up the take from the last deal. Don't want you thinkin' I ain't bein' fair.”

Jayne is already bounding up the ladder. He's back in the gang! Everythin' will be all right. If Mal ain't yet forgiven him, at least he ain't gonna punish him no more.

“Wou'n't never think that,” Jayne lies, hoping to ingratiate himself.

Mal stops and stares at him. “You had time to reflect on what I said?” he asks sternly, arms crossed high across his chest.

Jayne hangs his head and mumbles “Yeah, Mal. Did it to you. Shou'n't 've done it.”

Mal shakes his head. “No. You shou'n't. Don't you ever cross me again, Jayne.” He pauses as Jayne continues to stare at his boots. Then, more upbeat, “You had chicken lately?”

Jayne looks at him blankly. “No. Why?”

“Book's cooking chicken casserole for dinner.” The corner of Mal's mouth lifts into a grin. “You ain't gonna wanna eat the feet, are you?”

“They got meat on 'em?” Jayne wonders aloud as he makes off down the walkway to the mess.

For a moment, Mal watches his loping, almost canine, gait. Then he shrugs and chuckles to himself, before following on behind.

“Yeah. Totally untrainable.”

* * * * * * *


Tuesday, January 13, 2004 9:35 AM


I loved and *adored* this. The whole parallel with the dog and Jayne and the way Mal can't part with him either is just sublime. So very shiny it don't need polishin' - not a lick! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, January 16, 2004 2:44 AM


Thanks for all your kind comments. They make me want to write more... although it's becoming a bit of a compulsion.

Got to keep flyin' somehow.

Saturday, January 17, 2004 6:43 PM


You are ruttin' good.

Sunday, February 29, 2004 8:47 PM


Ya know, I really thought it'd bug me seeing Jayne compared to a dog, specially such a "Powerful ugly creature"...but you did it beautifully. :-)

Friday, December 29, 2006 6:19 PM


“Yeah. Totally untrainable.”

You know, I never thought about Jayne that way, but after reading this, and thinking about some dogs I've known, I laughed myself sick and I have to totally agree with everyone: this is totally shiny!

Sunday, September 21, 2008 4:49 PM


I have been going back to read some things I missed having only come to the 'verse this last year. This made me laugh SO hard. I have raised a number of hounds in my day and must say you know the breed well. Thanks for the laughter...something a bit in short supply these days

gentle journey


You must log in to post comments.



HOLDING ON: Ch 2 - Tangential
Much to his annoyance, Sanzo's urgent quest to find Goku gets diverted. Meanwhile Mal meets someone from Inara's past. WARNING - slashy but not graphic

The Wheel Never Stops Turning
Mal meets a blonde in a bar. Violence ensues. And Mal discovers religion has its uses.

This is primariy a <i>Firefly</i> fic, but the character Mal ends up doing a job for is from the manga/anime <i>Saiyuki</i>. It's also <b>PG-13 nothing-explicit SLASH</b>. Because that's who I am!

MAKE ME A STONE: Ch 7: 'til the day you die.
Inara leaves Serenity for a new life. Mal gets a job with a couple of new employers, but sinks further into despair.
Slash so lite you'll probably scarcely notice it.

MAKE ME A STONE: Chapter 6: You just learn to live there.
Another job goes less than smoothly. Meanwhile River takes matters into her own hands and Mal has a brainwave.

SLASHFIC. SPOILERS for the comics, novelization and movie.

Make Me A Stone: Chapter 5: Chickens come home to roost.
Mal has to accept Badger's offer of a job. Meanwhile old enemies seek to take advantge.
Spoilers for the comics. Very light slash.

Make Me A Stone: Chapter 4. Some residual heat.
SPOILERS for the comics/BDM. Mal has to accept Badger's job offer. Not much else in his life is going right either.

MAKE ME A STONE: Ch 3: It's complicated.
Mal decides to pull a job of his own. Simon offers to help. It doesn't go smooth - but that's not entirely Simon's fault.

Non-graphic SLASH.

MAKE ME A STONE: Ch 2: And who exactly could fix you?
Simon'a altruism leads to a job going wrong. Mal's not happy.

MAKE ME A STONE: Ch 1: Pray there ain't any more surprises.
Warning: SLASH, but not graphic. Mal and Simon both find that the other has hidden talents. It kinda piques their interest ... *g*

TRAUMA MEDICINE: Chapter 23. Two by two.
Four years have past since Mal was forced to blow up Serenity and Simon disappeared with River and Book. A lot has changed since then. But a lot has stayed the same. The CONCLUSION to this series.