BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

RINNYPJ

Aint No Soldier
Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Independants are regrouping and Mal makes the decision to leave Serenity. Jayne tags along.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2150    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

He shifted the bag from one shoulder to the other, wishing he hadn't decided to cram the capture of Inara into the pocket on the side. The slim piece of plastic weighed heavier on his shoulders than the five firearms he was lugging around with it.

In the distance, he could faintly see the glow of light from the Mudder's town, and veered away from it. Didn't seem to matter how far he walked though, the smell of Canton followed him. He remembered telling Simon, way back before he'd learned that the best family was the one you chose, that this moon was a good drop point for precisely that reason.

Never imagined he'd be coming back at Monty's request. He'd been hearing the whispers of rebellion for months, felt the excitement of strikes against the Alliance second and third and fourth hand. The stirrings of belief bubbling in his stomach until he couldn't ignore it anymore.

Weren't no better place for a clandestine meeting to organize the rebellion than the stinkpot of the 'Verse.

He quickened his step.

Had to get to the meet spot. Sooner the better. Less temptation to look back and see Serenity silhouetted behind him. Quiet and still. Empty of his hopes and dreams, but full of the people who carried them.

Every step he took, he willed the ship to take off. Wants Wash to take Zoë and Jayne and Kaylee and Simon and River and Book and Inara, maybe Inara most of all, off this world and far, far away. They don't understand, but he didn't really expect them too.

Except for Zoë. She should have understood. She should be by his side, solid and silent and disapproving, but with him none-the-less.

At some point, when he wasn't looking, the Zoë he knew slipped away, into Wash's arms. And Mal loved her just a little more for finding something else to live for. She didn't understand him leaving. For her, their life aboard Serenity was more important than all else. As long as they kept flying, the rest of the 'Verse could self-implode so far as she was concerned.

She expected him to feel the same. He got a black eye while she was explaining that to him.

He never bothered to explain to her, or the others, that he was joining the fight for the same reasons. To keep them flying. He felt hope burning in the pit of his stomach, if they could just succeed this time…

Book's disapproval hung heavy in the days between his announcement and breaking atmo. The man never spoke a word, but the condemnation emanated from him. Kaylee was on the verge of tears ever time he saw her. When Simon wasn't reigning in River's increasingly chaotic ramblings, he tried to talk 'sense' into him. When he wasn't drowning the guilt, the thought amused him. Jayne didn't have much to say about him leaving. Called him a fool, and never spoke a word on it after. Wash didn’t say anything at all, and his silence spoke more than any words ever could.

Mal never thought he’d leave Serenity. That ship, and the people in it, were everything and he still couldn’t believe he was walking away. He was doing what he needed to do, he was. But every second that Serenity stayed grounded behind him, the harder it got to keep walking.

An hour later, he was safely beyond the rolling hills outside of Canton when he heard the engines firing up and turned his eyes up to the sky to watch Serenity take off.

It hurt. He hadn’t expected it to.

“Aint too late to call ’em back, Cap‘n.”

Mal spun around in time to see Jayne walking toward him from the shadows, his entire arsenal strapped to his body. He could barely make out the yellow of his t-shirt beneath it all. Mal looked back to the ship lifting up toward atmo and then back to Jayne, “Just what-- You--”

The mercenary shrugged, continuing toward him, “Someone’s gotta watch out for your fool ass.”

Mal stared at him, a flood of questions ran through his mind. Instead of voicing them, he simply nodded and they started walking.

The questions didn‘t matter none, the answer was still Jayne.

~

Mal pushed aside the canvas opening of the tent and strode inside the dimly lit enclave. He nodded greetings to the dozen or so men standing around a makeshift table, various maps and intel sliding over the data sheet in the center. He felt rather than heard Jayne enter behind him and take position beside the door.

“Malcolm Reynolds. Didn’t ‘spect to see ya here so soon.”

Pleased to see Monty’s beard coming in full, he flashed him a tired smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes, “Didn’t see no point in takin’ the long way ‘round once the decision was made.”

Monty nodded, casting his eyes to the mercenary standing menacingly by the entrance. “See ya traded in Zoë for a brick wall.”

Mal turned his head to see Jayne sticking out like a sore thumb in his bright yellow t-shirt among the drab earth tones of the Independents. He smiled again, the blue in his eyes brightening subtly, “My merc decided he needed a career change.”

“Make a fine soldier by the looks of ‘im,” Monty nodded approvingly.

“Ain’t a soldier. Wont fight in no war,” Jayne’s voice carried the few yards over to them and they both turned to find his eyes hard on Monty.

“Boy’s got hearing like a hawk. You ain’t a soldier and you ain’t a merc, then what are ya?”

Those hard, blue eyes slid from Monty to Mal and back again. “A bodyguard.”

~

Jayne ain’t exactly a friendly type, and he mostly stuck close to the Captain around camp. Every day more of them browncoats come driftin’ in. Ships land here and there long ‘nough to drop off a dozen or so and leave again. Been on the rock for five days and tents have popped up far as he can see.

He knows it amuses Mal to no end that they’re amassing right under Magistrate Higgins’ nose. Got an Alliance man just ‘round the other side of the moon and no wiser. Jayne hopes he stays that way. Ain’t like he doesn’t think the browncoats could take the small armed guard in Canton. A few dozen seasoned war vets gone soft from bullying Mudders verses a few hundred bright eyed kids, barely outta diapers that never done held a gun before.

He figures it’d be a fair match.

But for once he ain’t looking for a fight. That much’ll come in time, and from what he’s heard from Monty and some of the rest that fought in the first war, he’ll have his work cut out for him tryin’ to keep Mal outta trouble. Fool man once ran straight through an Alliance camp an’ back. And for what? Some feng le dare.

He smirked. ‘Course ain’t no one but Mal ‘coulda passed through enemy lines and just to get hisself a kiss from a nurse and live to tell it.

Man had balls, no arguing that. Just make his job a mite easier if’n he had less of ‘em.

Jayne passed a hand over his brow, wiping away the sweat that condensed there. Even sheltered from the sun by the largest tent in camp, it was still sweltering. Yet another reason this stink hole was a good rallying point. He’d been comin’ to all the meetin’s with Mal, sorta cheered him up when the others gathered would look at Vera all worried like. That wore off pretty quick though, now mostly they didn’t pay him no mind. Worked out fine for him, ’cause they started talkin’ more freely and by Jayne’s way of thinkin’ it never hurt to know what the boys in charge were plannin’.

Dusk was startin’ to fall when they broke up for the night and he followed Mal out into the fresh air. He nodded to a few they passed, but mostly they stayed quiet like till they reached their tent on the north edge of the camp, just ’neath an overhangin’ rock that kept ‘em nice and cool through the day.

Jayne ducked inside first, gun drawn, before givin’ Mal the all clear and sheathing his side arm. He ignored the roll of Mal’s eyes and flopped down onto the cot that wasn’t near long enough for his body. “Ain’t gonna start callin’ you Major, Cap’n.”

“Didn’t expect ya would. Took ya how long t’ call me Captain to begin with? Even now it’s only fifty-fifty.”

Jayne sat up and stated shedding his weapons. Didn’t carry much around camp, seein’ as the worst action he’s come across so far was a knife fight between two kids didn’t barely know which end to hold. Wouldn’t even bother goin’ armed except for the fact it ‘kept them kids intimidated enough to stay outta his way.

Mal unclipped his gun belt and tossed it over the rickety chair off in one corner beside the fold up table. He started rubbin’ his neck as he sat down across from Jayne. “Whaddya think?”

“Ya don’t pay me ta think,” Jayne reminded him, setting his gun and knives within easy reach.

“I ain’t payin’ you at all.”

“Well, you oughtta, don’t you army types get commission for joinin’ up?” He lay back on the cot, crossing his arms behind his head.

“Case you weren’t payin’ attention, this ain’t hardly an army. Mostly a bunch of kids too idealistic to know what they’re up against.”

“Kinda like you use ta be?”

“Kinda like,” he sighed.

“Don’t be lookin’ at me to make sense of it all. I think the lot of you’s feng le.”

“So you’ve said. Many, many times.” He smirked tiredly, “Figure you gotta be crazier than any of ‘em, goin’ in to this for no better reason than…”

Jayne cracked an eye open, “Than…?”

“Occurs to me, that I don’t rightly know what reason. Why don’t you enlighten me?”

Bored, Jayne closed his eyes again, “Ain’t gonna fight in no war, Mal.”

“So you’ve said, repeatedly.”

“But you got your fool head set on fightin‘ one anyway. I wont fight for freedom or honor or nothin’ noble, like that. Don’t mean nothin’. Not any of it.”

Annoyed, Mal dug through a bag and threw a hunk of protein at him. “Aint an answer, Jayne.”

“Figure I‘m here to fight ‘cause somewhere ‘long the line I got me some feng le stupid family, don‘t know when they got it good.”

Mal didn’t have an answer for that.

“’Sides, Kaylee, Zoe and ‘Nara’d kill me dead if’n you came back in a coffin.”

“Reckon yer right about that,” a familiar smile flashed across Mal’s face before his expression tightened. Like he wasn’t wantin’ to think on them at all. “What’d ya think ‘bout the meetin’?”

Jayne took a bite of protein and arched a brow, “Huh?”

“I know you were listenin’.” Mal continued, all business-like. “Inside that thick skull of yours there’s a brain somewhere, think you can manage to use it for a few minutes?”

“You askin’ my opinion? On strategy?”

“Appears so.”

Suppose there’s a first time for everythin’, Jayne eyed the Cap’n wearily. “Plan’s good, if’n they’re lookin’ to slow the Alliance by puttin’ a buncha bodies in their way. And that ain‘t gonna slow ‘em hardly.”

“I thought as much too.”

“Seems to me, best course of action’s just ta keep doin’ like you’re doin’. Quick strikes on the outposts, in an’ out ‘fore anyone knows yer there. Hit ‘em where they’re weak.”

“They’ll just send more,” Mal murmured thoughtfully. “For a while. Then they’ll bring out the big guns…”

“Leavin’ the little ones to guard the home front,” Jayne finished for him.

“Could work.” He nodded, picking at his own meal. “Gotta draw them out slow-like. Give our boys time to learn some fightin’ skills. Maybe recruit a few more. We work it right, we’ll have the Alliance runnin’ all over the ‘verse puttin’ out sparks, they wont see the flame ‘till it’s burnin‘ ‘em.”

“Think Monty’ll go for it?”

“The General didn’t get through the last war by bein’ stupid. Might be he’ll think of a few more ways to keep the Alliance on their toes.”

“Thought the idea was ta get them buried eight feet down?”

“Yes, Jayne,” Mal smiled, setting his meal aside and kicked off his boots. “That too.”

~

They’re on Higgin’s moon for another week and their numbers’ve swollen past three thousand and Jayne couldn’t figure how the Magistrate hadn’t noticed yet. He’s heard through the meetin’s that there’s another dozen moons servin‘ as rallying points for the Independents, but Jayne couldn‘t bring himself to care all that much. Seemed to keep Mal pleased. And a pleased Mal was easy to keep an eye on.

A few of the officers had gone and divided them kids into platoons and given ‘em each a gun. Though Jayne could hardly bring himself to call ‘em weapons, some of ‘em looked like they came all the way back from Earth-that-was. Mal got his own little group o’ soldier’s and Jayne mostly sat back and watched ‘em run drills. The man was good at his job, Jayne’d give him that, put the fear o’ God in them kids right quick.

The whole thing made him glad he weren’t in no gorram army.

Mal closed the file he was examining on the layout of the Alliance installation on the third moon off St. Albans and handed his notes to Monty’s secretary, a spindly young man who almost never uttered a word, and headed for the doorway. Jayne waited in his traditional spot by the door decked out in grenades and more firearms than he personally thought was safe.

The entered the sunlight and Mal was nearly blinded by the bright green reflecting off his t-shirt. He figured it was Jayne’s own personal rebellion to advertise his position within camp at any given time. He’d have to talk to him about that when they got ‘round to a mission. As it were, he didn’t mind knowing where Jayne was in a crowd. Only it’d be nice if he were in a crowd and not dogging his every gorram step.

He stopped abruptly and Jayne nearly crashed in to him, “Enough.”

“Huh?”

“Enough of this.” Mal turned on him, “I don’t need an armed escort to the latrine, dong ma?”

“But Mal--”

“But nothing. Ain’t no one here that’s a danger to me. I’m a grown man, I don’t need no babysitter.”

“But Mal--”

“You come with me to drills and meetin’s. Make yerself known, but I don’t need ya crawlin’ around in my hair every second ‘o the day.”

Jayne let out of huff of air, “Ya don’t know these people, Mal. Anyone of ‘em could be--”

“Bi zui, Jayne. We’re all here for the same reason, there’s no one lookin’ t’ take me down. And if’n there were I’m perfectly capable of takin’ ‘em down.” He spared the bigger man one last look, “Go find something else to keep you occupied.”

~

There were three thousand plus in camp, nearly all of ‘em of the male persuasion. Didn’t take Jayne more’n an hour to locate every last one of the half dozen females among them. Mostly, they reminded him of Zoe; look, but don’t touch. And Jayne planned on doin’ a whole hell of a lot of touching, so he stayed away from those. A few of ‘em reminded him of River, and weren’t nothin’ appealin’ ‘bout girls that young ‘n fragile. Put him in mind of protectin’ rather than sexin’, and he already had his hands full with the Captain.

After scoutin’ around, figured there were a few he stood a chance with and not one of ‘em was a real looker. He started with the prettiest one first, flicking a lock of blond hair back from her face with an easy smile, “Does the rug match the drapes?”

She’d tried to punch him.

"I was just askin'." He pouted, making a hasty retreat.

The rest of his evenin’ didn’t go any better. Weren’t one woman lookin’ to get laid just then. Hoped his luck would be better tomorrow. It was dark when he gave up for the night and headed back to their tent, he almost missed the movement at the tent’s entrance and he slowed, pulling Glenda from her holster at his hip. Couldn’t tell how big he was, or if he was armed, so he crept slowly up on him. Didn’t make a sound until he had the barrel of the gun against his head, “Get up nice and slow and maybe I wont blow a hole through your skull.”

The boy stood up straight, and Jayne narrowed his eyes, “Explain. Nice and quick like, I don’t gotta lotta patience tonight.”

“Could ya maybe drop the gun?” His voice shook and Jayne didn’t bother repressing his smile.

“Nope.”

“I was just deliverin’ the mail, s’all.” He patted the bag hanging form his shoulder. “I swear.”

Jayne peered past him to the tent, where a letter lay on the ground just inside the doorway. “Oh,” he released the hammer on his gun and clapped his hand on the kid’s shoulder. “That’s alright then.”

“Jayne,” Mal approached them with a frown, “There a reason you got Harriet out?”

“No,” He looked down at the gun in his hand, and then resheathed it. “This here’s Glenda.”

“Right,” he nodded absently, moving past them to enter the tent. “You mind lettin’ go of Iyana there? She’s got work t’ do.”

“She?“ Jayne jerked his hand away from the kid and peered closely at her. Brown hair was cut short, but still long enough to hang in her eyes--too dark to tell what color--but he had to admit those lips had a feminine fullness, as did the curves a few inches lower. Yep, no mistakin’ those as belongin’ to a male. “I’ll be damned. Light sure does play tricks on a fella’s eyes.”

She shifted her weight, “Looked your fill yet? ‘Cause lookin’s all you’ll be doin’ and I got delivery’s still to make.”

Jayne’s mouth quirked into an amused smile, “Ain’t you a little young t’ be in an army, girl? What are ya? Seventeen? Eighteen?”

Her chin jutted out proudly, “Twenty-two, not that it’s any your mind.”

Older than he thought. He surveyed her a little more carefully and opened his mouth, decidin’ to see if she was as feisty in bed as out when Mal interrupted from inside the tent. “No, Jayne.”

“But Mal--”

“She ain’t for you.”

Jayne shot a glare at the tent, “Ya told me to go find somethin’ to do.”

“Something, not someone. Wasn’t aware I had to make the distinction.”

He turned back, only to find the girl had slipped away. Brow furrowed, he turned around, but there was no way to distinguish one soldier from the next in the shadows. “Gorramit, Mal,” he pushed into the tent with a scowl. “Ya scared her off.”

Mal didn’t even look up from the communication sheet he was analyzing, “Yeah, she was takin‘ a real shine t‘ ya before that. What with wavin’ Harriet in her face and such.”

“Glenda.”

“Never you mind ‘bout her,” He continued, still not looking away from his work. “She’s one o’ mine and I don’t want you pokin’ your…”

“Swingin’ cod?” Jayne supplied.

“Can we just agree there will be no poking of any kind with any of my platoon?”

Jayne tucked his thumb into his belt, eyeing Mal suspiciously, “Any the rest of ‘em look like her?”

Mal looked up, piercing Jayne with his eyes, “I know I aint your Major, but apparently I’m still your Captain. You stay away from Iyana, that’s an order.”

“Aye, Aye Captain,” he groused, the cot creaking beneath his weight as he sat down. His eyes landed on the letter still on the ground, he didn’t have to stretch far to reach it and read the names on the envelope, “Hey, ya got post from Serenity.”

Mal looked determinedly down at the missive in his hands, “That so?”

He held it out to Mal, who studiously ignored the outstretched envelope. Frowning, he slowly withdrew his hand, turning the worn envelope over in his hands. “Looks like it came from a ways off.”

Silence.

“Looks kinda like Kaylee’s handwritin’. All bubbly and stuff.”

Nothing.

“Probably wrote it the day we left, for it t’ get here so soon, doncha think?”

Not so much as a blink.

“Ya ain’t gonna read it?”

“Nope.”

Jayne looked down at the envelope, flicking the corner of it with his thumbnail, “Okay then.”

Laying back on his bunk, he pulled out a grotesquely large knife and slit open the envelope before pulled the letter free. “Dear Captain and Jayne, We miss you something awful out here! Its lots quieter without either of you here to kick up a fuss about something or---”

Mal’s voice cut him off sharply, “Read to yourself, Jayne.”

“I jus’ thought you’d wanna--”

“To yourself,” he repeated icily.

Jayne eyed the Captain for a long moment, weren’t no mistakin’ the tension in his shoulders or the threat in his eyes. Rolling his eyes, he continued reading, the words just an inaudible whisper as he continued:

“Zoë is running everything just fine, Captain, and we've been plenty busy with jobs helping out everywhere. We're trying to stay as close as we can to you, so we can come and get you just as soon as everything is over.

“Jayne, I wish you would've told me you were going. I would've made you a cake to go with the Captain's! River got into the stuff you left behind and made off with one of your shirts. You should see the fuss Simon made when he saw her wandering around in it! It's the one with the nudie girl on the front. All the naughty bits are blacked out, but Simon doesn't like it one bit! 'Course, that don't stop our River.

Wash says to tell you both hello, and Inara sends her best.

Keep safe out there!

Love, Kaylee."

~

Mal squinted against the bright sun reflecting off the desert plain, watching his platoon of forty-five men and women on the makeshift practice range that had been set up outside of camp. Jayne reclined on a rock beside him, idly sharpening a knife as he watched the proceedings. “Claeys!”

His voice carried over the distance, making the private jump guiltily from his crouched position in the dirt. “Sir?”

“Last I checked we were havin’ target practice, not playin’ in a sandbox.”

The kid looked as though he couldn’t decide whether to continue shouting over the gun fire or to run and join the Major and Jayne. “I know that, Sir.“ He stood up straight and shifted his weight, glancing at his comrades, who were taking longer than normal to reload between rounds, and seemed to gather some courage. “But we’ve been practicing every day.”

Beside him, Jayne snorted.

Mal spared him a glance before focusing on Claeys, aware the rest of the platoon was their rapt audience. “You have something to say about that, private?”

“None of the other squads are still doing target practice.” Mal didn’t reply. “Sir.”

“None of the other squads,” Jayne mimicked in a high falsetto. “Where do they think they are? A playground?”

“Jayne.” The ex-mercenary went back to sharpening his knife, but didn’t bother to conceal the small smile curving the corner of his mouth. Mal addressed Clayes, and by proxy the rest of his platoon. “Might could be ‘cause the other squads ain’t missing every third shot they take. Got another hour of this at least, get back to it.”

“Yes, Sir.” The kid moved back to the line, head bowed .

Eyes still narrowed against the sun, Mal surveyed the line silently, taking stock. They were coming along nicely, if he said so himself. Bit by bit, he was weeding out the bad ones. Sending them to different platoons if they couldn’t take the training or wouldn’t follow orders or were just too gorram weak to do what needed doin’.

“He ain’t missing every third shot. It’s every sixth.” Jayne said quietly. “And he’s the worst out of the lot of ‘em.”

“I know.” Mal hooked his thumb through his belt loop. “But he aint stupid, and he’s a good leader.”

“Thought ya didn’t want any who’d question?”

“Not exactly. Don’t do a body any good to follow orders with their eyes closed. Goin’ in blind is the best way to get yourself killed. Them that question authority and follow orders anyways… be walkin’ in with their eyes wide open.”

Jayne squinted up at him, “So why you always yellin’ at me when I ‘question authority‘?”

“‘Cause I have a hard enough time gettin’ you to remember orders without filling your head with the reasons for ‘em.”

“Fair ‘nough.”

Mal silently watched the rest of target practice. As a commanding officer, he wasn’t exactly following protocol with the 33rd. But then, when had he ever gone by the books in anything? On the other hand, he wasn’t so naive and foolish anymore to believe that God and faith were going to protect any of them. So they would train.

They would trainer harder than any of the rest. And then train more.

“They’s getting’ bored, Mal.”

“Tough. They got an hour left.”

“Don’t mean now. I mean in general. The whole camp is restless. Ya know what happens when ya get a buncha restless bodies itchin’ for a fight and none comin’?”

“General debauchery and mayhem?”

“Yep.”

“This is the Independence army--or at least it will be-- best they learn discipline now than on the battle fields.”

“They’s just kids, Cap’n. They ain’t gonna learn without bein’ taught.”

Sometimes, just sometimes, mind you, Jayne had a good point.

He cleared his throat and cupped his hands around his mouth, barely able to conceal a smile. “Cease fire, and gather ‘round folks.” He wasn’t a stickler, and if it took certain members of his platoon a little longer than it should to join them, he didn’t comment on it.

He skimmed the small group, his gaze lingering on Iyana and Dian, the only two females, and for that reason, probably the most serious of the lot. Smiling at them, he addressed the whole, “The smartest of you’s most likely figured this all out by now, but I figure it’s about time to put an end the speculating and give ya some cold hard facts.

“The 33rd is smaller than any of the rest of the platoons in camp, I train you harder than any other, and I’m the only Major who’s got his own command. What does this mean? Means if you’re special ops. We’ll be doin’ the impossible.” He gave a lengthy pause, focusing on each soldier one at a time. “This is the most dangerous work in the army, if you can’t handle it, you’re out. I only need twenty of you, and If you look ’round, that means more’n half of you is gonna be transferred elsewhere before we’re done here. So if there’s any of you who’d rather be somewhere a mite safer, now’s the time to be saying so.”

Silence.

Mal grinned, “Shiny. Now, it’s come to my attention that we’ve grown a little bored with the stationary targets, so I thought I’d get ya something new to play with. Jayne?”

He looked up from where he still lounged on the rock, “Huh?”

“Jayne here is the best tracker I come across in the ‘Verse. He’s gonna disappear into the woods over that way,” he gestured to the small sparsely populated grove of trees beyond the firing range.

“I am?”

“You have an hour to find him.” He slid a glance over Jayne’s attire, worn gray cargo pants and another hideously bright yellow shirt and smiled. “I don’t expect it should take you that long. I request that you use non-violent means to apprehend him, as the big guy actually comes in handy once in a great while. He’ll go peaceably, if any of you get close enough to read aloud what’s on the back of his shirt. Do that, game over.”

Mal turned to Jayne, catching the glint of excitement in his eyes and smiled, “What do ya say, twenty minute head start?”

Jayne rose, towering over the 33rd with his hands on his hips and a wicked smile curving his lips. “With this lot? Give me five.”

“Off you go then,” he nodded to Jayne, who started jogging away from them backwards, earning a few snickers from the platoon. “There’ll be a reward for whoever comes back with him. If you aint found him by dusk, game over. That gives you just over an hour. Report back to camp by then.”

He squinted off in the direction Jayne had gone just in time to see the yellow disappear in among the trees. “Well, hasn’t exactly been five minutes… but good enough. Have at him.”

He watched them hurry off, crossing the expanse of desert into the thicket of trees with a smile on his face. A whole hour with no troops and no Jayne. Sometimes, his own genius amazed him.

~

Jayne was still smiling, the firelight playing across the angles of his face, when the first stragglers started filtering into camp just over an hour later. Mal sat beside him, an open can of beans in hand as Claeys came to stop in front of the fire, a malevolent glare fixed solidly on Jayne’s still smirking face.

Mal looked between the two, and then back at Claeys, “Soldier, where are your pants?”

“He took them, Sir.” The blond pointed an accusatory finger at Jayne, who just continued to grin as parts of the 33rd gathered behind him in the dark.

Tilting his head, Mal surveyed Jayne, “I find that a mite hard to believe. Don’t think your pants are like to fit him.”

“He took them, Sir,” he repeated.

“Now that’s an interesting feat, son.” Mal gestured to dozen or so soldiers standing behind him, “Any of the rest of you missin’ clothing?”

A few stepped forward, two missing shoes and another a shirt, the rest were in various states of disarray, muddy and unkempt. “So, let me see if I’m understanding this. Forty-five of you were out there in the woods together. Jayne here managed to strip ya of precious articles of clothing, get you all muddy and not one of you managed to catch sight of the back of his shirt the entire time?”

Claeys scowled, “Yes, Sir. That’s right.”

“Hmmm,” he nodded to himself. “Alright then. I believe the mess is holdin’ food warm for you all. Best get your bellies filled.”

The troop dispersed, all except for Claeys who remained obstinately, “Can I have my pants back now?”

“Jayne? You got a pair o’ pants that might fit this fella?”

“Nope, Cap’n. Can’t say as I do.”

“Well, there ya are, Claeys.” Mal grinned, “He don’t got ‘em.”

The kid turned stiffly and stalked through camp and Jayne chuckled, “Ain’t had so much fun takin’ someone down a notch as him.”

Ruefully, Mal shook his head. “Don’t know how you managed it, and I don’t wanna know. Some things are best kept a mystery.”

COMMENTS

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 11:23 PM

MAANTRE


Rinny, this was so wonderful! I love the interplay between the two, you have their voices so perfect...
I positively drool over a protective Jayne...I'll have to admit, I was hoping he'd be the one losing clothing, but this was hi-larious.

you are amazing:)

Thursday, January 12, 2006 2:45 AM

BOOKADDICT


A different take indeed. I love it. The interaction between our two is great. Love how Jayne outwitted 45 of the troop.

“Ain’t gonna fight in no war"

Wonder what he did do *wanders off in a daze.*

Thursday, January 12, 2006 5:02 AM

CAPTBRYAN


Absolutly the best readin Ive done inna while.

I'll keep an eye out for more of your works. From here on.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 7:49 AM

AMDOBELL


Oh, this is so entertaining I am just lapping it up. absolutely *love* the notion of Jayne being Mal's bodyguard. It was unexpected but heartwarming at the same time and I can't wait to see what happens next. The dialogue and understanding between our two fine heroes is precious. So, Mal's platoon are going to be Special Ops? Let's hope Claeys gets a pair of pants to wear by then, unless the aim is to *moon* the enemy troops. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, January 12, 2006 11:03 AM

GWENFREWI


<bows down in tribute>

Oh my god! That is so funny.

Alec Baldwin's first acting job was in the movie "My Bodyguard", early 80's I think and he played the bodyguard.

Excellent job with the voices, and especially awesome job with Jayne the evil tracker man putting the recruits in their place. I loved it!

Thursday, January 12, 2006 1:42 PM

NYKEGYRL


I love, love, love it!!! Please write more. Also it is Adam not Alec, could you imagine Alec Baldwin as our beloved Jayne!! EWWWWWW!!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006 2:27 PM

SHINYTALENT


Love, Love, Love this!
Woo Hoo
Write more!

Thursday, January 12, 2006 4:40 PM

GRIMLOCK


I've heard stories of Army Rangers, Marine Recon and Navey SEALs doing similarly embarassing things to recruits during training.

Sunday, January 15, 2006 7:20 AM

BELLONA


“So, let me see if I’m understanding this. Forty-five of you were out there in the woods together. Jayne here managed to strip ya of precious articles of clothing, get you all muddy and not one of you managed to catch sight of the back of his shirt the entire time?”
yup, that's our man!!!

b

Monday, May 1, 2006 3:10 AM

HISGOODGIRL


Great writing and I absolutely loved it!


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