Judas and Mercy
Saturday, April 15, 2006

A broken Jayne returns to Serenity and the entire crew feels the pain.


Sequel to The Way
Disclaimer: all things Firefly/Serenity are the property of Whedon et al. I’m just playing with his toys.
Rating: NC-17 for some parts. My first time writing NC-17 so bare with me. You’ve been warned.
Note: the title is from Jeffrey Foucault’s “Thistledown Tears”. Great tune and the vid by Here’s Luck does it complete justice.

Chapter one

“Jayne. Jayne? Can ya hear me?”

There was a silence on the ship that was disconcerting. River could feel it. She had walked the halls, stood in the hold and had asked it out loud, but could not understand why. Even suited in the vacuum of the black, she still could not discover the reason for the silence.

Until she stood on the catwalk railings with her ear to the ceiling, like she had that time before, did she realise. It wasn’t that the people were quiet, tip-toe like, but Serenity was, too. The hum of comfort was gone.

Serenity was sad and River didn’t know how to fix her.

She went to Kaylee to see what the ship was telling her, but the mechanic couldn’t hear. Her own thoughts were filled with anguish and sorrow. Zoe had shut down her emotions, what little she allowed, to keep herself from breaking. River respected that barrier and sometimes wished she could do the same; maybe then she wouldn’t be crazy.

Mal was locked, too. Hidden the key to where only Inara could find it.

Maybe, just maybe, Simon could help her this time.

She watched as he administered more sedatives to Jayne to keep him from feeling. Simon had tried the same with her, and it worked for a little while, but then the voices would return and she would get lost in the shuffle. Felt like the only time she was found was when she was causing pain.

Standing with her hand moving up the door, she continued her observation of her brother until he noticed her. “River. Is everything all right?”

She waited a moment before answering, letting her feet glide over the threshold into the lab that she despised. “It’s too quiet.”

Simon nodded. “It’s late.” He checked the vitals of his patient before going to her. “You should be asleep.”

She shook her head. “Piloting the ship, but the ship doesn’t know what to do.”

The Doctor frowned. “I thought the Captain was going to Ezra to do maintenance and gather supplies.”

River gazed at the broken man in front of her, letting her hand gently caress the blanket covering him. “Wants him better again so it will stop being quiet.”

Simon picked up his pad from the nearby counter. “That’s going to take a long time. Jayne’s been pretty badly injured.” He’s not alone in that regard, he thought. We all seem to be hurt in some way or another.

“Need faith,” River said, now standing next to her brother.

Simon huffed. “Faith isn’t going to repair his bones or fix the holes inside him.” He wrote something on the paper. He stopped when River went for his hand and looked to her. He couldn’t say exactly what had convinced him, but seeing her expression so sure and confident gave him a glimmer of hope.

Before... She didn’t know how long she stood there at the window, watching, wondering what horribleness had afflicted the mercenary. But she knew it was bad.

No one tried to speak to her or offer words of comfort. The Captain had tried, once, to put his arm around her shoulders, but she was rigid. He sensed her desire for solitude and gave it.

It felt like years standing there taking in the scene. Simon’s adept hands slowly made sense of the awfulness and attempted to give it some order from chaos. She was grateful for having him on board. He was the best, yet she feared that even the best wasn’t going to put Jayne back together.

Only when Simon stepped back and removed his gloves did Kaylee venture in. Zoe had assisted where she could and now looked grimly at the mechanic. She washed up and left, not able to stand the sight any longer.

The Doctor stared briefly at Kaylee, unsure what to say. Instead, he pulled up the blanket to Jayne’s shoulders and guided her towards the door.

“He gonna make it?” she asked in a small voice.

“Let’s go outside,” Simon instructed.

Not wanting to look away from Jayne’s scarred face, not wanting to leave him, she had to be pulled gently into the lounge. She finally sat and felt her legs welcome the release.

Mal stood now. “Well, Doc?” He crossed his arms over his chest as a barrier to what he knew was going to be difficult.

Simon took a deep breath and slumped into the nearest chair. “I’ve never...” He rubbed his forehead and shut his eyes, but couldn’t stop seeing the images.

Everyone waited in tense silence.

“I’ve never known the Alliance to do such...not even with River.” He reached his hand to his sister which she took in a firm hold. Simon gazed at the crew, all so expectant of an answer that he had no idea how to begin. Even Zoe was cracking, her expression strained and tired.

“Weren’t Alliance, Doctor.” Mal’s voice was even.

Simon’s eyes widened in confusion. He began shaking his head. “Then who?” he finally managed to say.

“That’s of no concern right now,” Mal answered. “What is is the prognosis for Jayne. He gonna die?”

“Mal!” Inara called. “Can you be a little compassionate?” She nodded towards Kaylee whose hands were lightly shaking.

“I ain’t got time fer compassion now.” He faced Simon. “I need t’know if we need t’get Jayne t’more advanced facilities or not. ‘Cause right now, we’re flyin’ in precisely th’middle of Alliance friendly territory. If it’s all the same t’y’all, I’d rather not. So tell me, Doc, is Jayne gonna be playin’ ball?”

“I still have plenty of medicine from Ariel,” Simon said. “It should be enough.”

“You tellin’ me that Jayne’s gonna make it then?”

Simon thought on the question a little. “Yes. I think so. Probably.” He felt River squeeze his hand and looked to her.

“You’re the best,” she said with a smile. “No need to worry.”

“Right then.” Mal went to the stairs. “Now that we’ve got the Doc’s credentials squared away, let’s get the hump outta here. Albatross, yer with me.”

River smiled with glee. “He’s so cute when he’s demanding and worried.”

Mal stood at the weight bench and tapped his hand on the bar resting on the stand. He couldn’t begin to guess how many hours Jayne, then Book, had spent pushing those stupid weights up and down. Mal couldn’t understand such a fixation, seeing as a gun and quick kick to the knee often did the job.

But Jayne loved showing off his arms, seeing the looks of apprehension in the less desirables and of admiration in the women. He knew what the merc’s appearance did to others and was quite proud of that fact. Mal supposed that the bench had offered a sense of accomplishment, something he suspected was lacking in Jayne’s life.

With what the Doc had told him about Jayne’s condition, he wondered if Jayne would ever get that sense again.

Shaking his head, Mal walked to the stairs of the catwalk and saw Inara looking down at him. Other than her admonishment of him earlier, they hadn’t spoken since arriving on Serenity. Truth was, he didn’t especially want to. He’d allowed himself to be vulnerable around her and he didn’t much care for it.

The Companion now stood at the top of the stairs, her salmon coloured dress and brilliant blue robe standing out in the drab hold. She had watched Mal at the weight bench, saw his confusion on how someone so strong was now so weak. Saw it in himself, too.

“Inara,” Mal said as he tried to pass her and head on to the second shuttle. He needed something to do to keep his mind from thinking on things he’d rather not.

“Mal,” Inara responded with a tone that suggested for him to stop. “We’ll get through this.” She turned to face him.

“Will we?” He stepped to her. “‘Cause with what I see, that ain’t about t’happen.”

“Simon is a very good doctor. He’s doing everything he can for Jayne.”

“That’s not what I’m talkin’ about.” He stared into her dark eyes, his body wishing to take her there. His heart hoping beyond hope that she would give in to him.

Inara lowered her eyes, all too aware of Mal’s meaning. “Sometimes in moments of passion, one can become overwhelmed-”

“No, Inara, don’t start this.” Mal felt a surge of anger and fought to suppress it. “Don’t go professional. Not me. The truth, that’s what I want. You tell me, clear and straight.”

She held his gaze. “I don’t know what you want me to say,” she lied.

Mal deflated. “We’ll be able t’drop ya off at th’ Trainin’ House in a few days.” He heel turned without allowing the Companion to respond.

Before... “Kaylee?” Simon had called. He was there when she nearly fell from her hammock and she knew. Knew what words he would struggle to say when his eyes did it all for him.

Righting herself, Simon joined her on the hammock and reached for her hand. It had felt warm and soft, just as she remembered. She interlaced her fingers with his and leaned her head on his shoulder.

They sat that way a long time, the thrum of the engine filling their bodies, the hammock slowly swinging. It was good, in its own way. Peaceful. Two people simply enjoying the warmth of the other.

Simon leaned his cheek on the top of Kaylee’s head. “You are...special.”

She lifted her head to look at him with a soft smile. “So are you.” Her eyes traced the outline of his profile and down his neck. Her smile remained as she recalled the many times she had left her mark on that neck. Lifting her hand, she let her finger slide across his shoulder and into his chest and rested there. “Swai.”

Both looked at each other, seeing a flush in the other’s face. The mechanic heard the rush of her heart and the rush of air in and out of her lungs. Quickly, Kaylee kissed Simon hard and he responded. His left hand quickly worked its way into her hair, gripping the back of her head tightly while his right cupped her breast and squeezed. She moaned lightly, pulled back on the kiss and put his lower lip between her teeth. He nearly lost control.

Pushing her back, his left hand now worked its way under her shirt and felt her soft skin prickle as he exposed it to the air. Momentarily removing his hand from her breast, he pulled her tee over her head and pushed his lips once again into hers.

Kaylee pulled his belt with a whip, unzipped his pants and was rewarded with a large bulge under his shorts. His pants were quickly torn off and his shorts pulled down. He kicked his leg to rid himself of the trousers and lost his hold in the hammock. He fell heavily onto her.

“Sorry!” He awkwardly pulled himself up. “Guess I’m not much good at doing this in-”

Kaylee pushed him out of the hammock then stood next to him. Her hands gripped the sides of his head and she resumed her passion. She stepped in closer and felt him pushing against her thigh. Releasing her hold of his head, she pulled down her own coveralls and guided his hands to her panties.

His fingers gently tugged at her remaining clothing and slid it down. He drew her to the wall of the engine room and she wrapped her leg around his waist, feeling him very close to cumming. Fingernails scratched his back, feeling the ribs underneath the skin. He shuddered. Working her way to the front, her hand began stroking his swollen member now so very close to herself.

Simon kneaded her breasts, kissed her neck, sucked her collarbone and nearly bit into her skin as she worked faster. His hand reached her nethers and felt the rapidly wettening folds. He used his index finger and thumb to slowly put on pressure. Kaylee responded with a louder moan and arching of her back and neck. The Doctor chomped onto the crook of her neck and pressed harder, twisting a little. She began to shudder. Letting his fingers explore further, he prepared the way for him to enter.

A moment later, he was thrust inside her. She gripped his back hard enough to draw tiny droplets of blood as they both orgasmed simultaneously. The wall thudded with each push, loose bits of metal dropping. With a final drive, they loosened their hold on each other, their bodies shuddering and trembling.

Slumping to the floor, Kaylee closed her eyes and let the rush subside within her. Simon was unable to move nor think coherently. Their previous times had been wonderful though longer and with more care. This had been raw and animalistic.

After a few minutes, Kaylee’s breath had returned to normal and she reached for her panties. Pulling them and her coveralls on, she looked to the Doctor. “That was good.”

“Great,” Simon answered, watching the mechanic insert each leg into the coveralls. He looked to her flushed face. “Yeah.”

She held out his shorts and pants for him which he took and put on. “I’ll always care for ya, Simon. Ya know that.”

He smiled. “Sure.”

“But this.” She gestured back and forth between them. “This ain’t-”

“Don’t say it,” Simon interrupted, a tight smile on his lips. “Please. Let’s just remember it.”

Bowing her head, she leaned her forehead into his chest, the smell of sex all around him. He kissed her hair and rubbed her arms lightly. When she straightened, she smiled warmly at him.

The moment was broken when Mal’s voice sounded across the comm informing them that they were coming back and needed the Doctor at the shuttle access door.

Both lost their smiles and hurriedly dressed. The fear in Mal’s voice was plain as day.

Later... Mal entered the galley to find Zoe fixing some soup for herself. “Got us a job,” he announced, walking behind her to get his own bowl. “Moving some stock from Ezra to Bellerophon. Shouldn’t be nothin’ hard about it. Even gettin’ half up front.” He sat at the table and downed some of the soup, trying very hard not to make a face. “You make this?”

“I did,” Zoe answered, her own reaction to the food only slightly less horrified. “Not my best.” Having been soldiers used to worse than bad food, both were able to choke down the soup. But the war had been a long time ago.

“Figure we can set on Ezra a spell and fix up the ship and such,” Mal said, pushing his empty bowl away. “Crew could use some planet time.”

“Yes, sir.” The first mate took her bowl to the sink.

“Don’t sound too happy ‘bout that.” Mal joined her.

“It’s a fine idea.” She rinsed the bowl and began drying it.


Zoe stopped her chore and looked at the Captain. She wanted to open to him, to ask him if this was all their lives were going to be, moving from one job to another. Times were getting harder, he’d said so himself, and that meant more danger. Jayne was proof of that. She stifled the bloody memory of patching him up on the shuttle. It just seemed as though she wanted more from the ‘verse than hiding.

Instead, she only said, “No but.”

“If ya got somethin’ t’say, Zoe, this’d be the time.” He looked her square on, getting a feeling of nervousness from her. The normally stoic woman he’d come to rely on seemed to be breaking down.

“Just feelin’ a bit beleaguered with Jayne and all,” she said. “Perhaps some firm ground and sky will help.”

Mal remained unconvinced, but said nothing more on it. “All right then. Albatross says we should be there in less’n a day.”

Zoe nodded then left for her bunk. Maybe a talk with other girl folk would help her out of her funk. He made a note to speak with Kaylee about it.

Only the shipboard clock gave the illusion of day and night on the ship. Right now, it said night and depending on your perspective, it was either very late or very early. That, though, mattered little to Simon sitting on the stool next to Jayne.

He’d lost track of how many times he’d scanned the readouts and notes he’d made on the man’s condition. Seeing it a hundred times didn’t give any more sense to Simon. How anyone could torture another person to this degree was beyond even his gifted understanding.

Yet, there it was. There he was. Over two-hundred stitches, just on his skin alone, with dozens more internally. Once he had been sure that the those injuries were healing did Simon even consider the broken left wrist and hand, dislocated shoulders, and his almost completely broken left hand and wrist. No, the punctured kidney, torn intestines, electrocution, ripped thigh muscles and blows to the head were of greater importance. Thank God that he was able to administer a strong sedative that put Jayne in a near comatose state. The amount of pain he would be in would be incalculable.

Of course, he’d likely been in more than excruciating pain during his capture. His back and chest looked to have been whipped numerous times and the slice across his face might very well take the eyesight from his right eye. The broken bones were not limited to his hand and wrist; his kneecap had been shattered and was likely going to cause a permanent limp. Add dehydration and the mix was complete. Simon swallowed his bile.

The scars Jayne had accumulated in his sordid past paled in comparison to the anguish of the last week. He could only guess on how Jayne would mentally respond.

Watching the slow breathing, wincing himself at the struggle of it, Simon forgave Jayne for everything. No man deserved what he’d been through and this punishment was far beyond anything any human had to suffer. If Simon thought about it, he even found respect for the man lying there. He didn’t know if he could have endured half as long as Jayne had.

But why had Jayne been taken in the first place? The Captain knew, but was silent. That could only be temporary. The truth of this had to come out, one way or another.

Shutting down his reader and organising his notes, Simon took one final look at Jayne, placing his hand on the man’s brow. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly. Lingering a moment, the Doctor strode from the room to his bunk where he promptly fell onto his bed into a deep sleep.

Kaylee’s bunk was freezing. She had pulled the covers up to her chin, but she felt the chill into her bones. She knew, though, that it wasn’t a problem with Serenity’s environmental sensors; she was shivering for Jayne.

His broken form lying so helpless on the table would not leave her mind’s eye. Every time she blinked, it stabbed her brain, refusing to let go. She couldn’t bare it any longer and opted to go for a walk. With the clock saying it was early morning, she doubted anyone would be awake.

Pulling on her warmest robe and fuzziest slippers, she ascended the ladder and carefully looked down the hall. No noise came from anywhere other than the ship. Padding softly to the infirmary, she stopped at the entrance. How her walk had brought her there, she didn’t know, but there she was.

The lights had dimmed, but still cast a blue glow. She shivered again, unable to comprehend how Simon could work in such a cold place.

Swallowing hard, she stepped through and took a position to Jayne’s left. Gazing down at him, she briefly marvelled at how peaceful he looked. True, half his face was covered with a light gauze and stitches, but in sleep, he looked almost serene. Grabbing a stool, she pulled it next to the bed and hitched her feet up onto the footrest, folding her robe around her.

The soft beep of a heartbeat mixed with the pulse of the engine gave Kaylee her own calm, her fears subsiding. She hunched over the form, her arms wrapped tight around her, as she examined Jayne’s face. The skin where the knife had cut was beginning to get tight. The stitches pulled on it making it appear redder than she thought it should. She wanted to touch it, to take away some of the pain she felt just looking at it, but held back.

Instead, she gently extended her finger to brush across his hairline and down and around his ear. For such a hard man, his hair was soft and his skin smooth. Venturing further, she gingerly stroked his hair, adding to her calm.

“Folks say,” she began, her voice low, “that talkin’ is good an’ helpful. So I’m just gonna talk t’ya. Okay, Jayne? Shepherd Book did it t’me after that time an’ it was real nice t’wake up to. All soothin’ an’ warm.” She continued her caress. “Ya don’t gotta say nothin’ back.” She chuckled. “‘Course, if ya do, I won’t squawk. Might even be sorta glad that you’d been listenin’.”

For the better part of the night, Kaylee sat next to Jayne relaying stories from home, adding embellishments here and there to make them a little more exciting. Her own body no longer chilled, she had shed her robe and sat in her flowered tee and bear shorts.

“Think I’m about talked out fer tonight, Jayne,” she said after almost two hours of yammering. She yawned. “Guess it’s time fer me t’get my own sleep.” She stood. “Sure was good, though. Made me feel better ‘bout ya.” She smiled then bent over to kiss Jayne’s forehead. “You be good fer Simon, ya hear? He’s done wonders with ya so don’t be givin’ him no backtalk.” Gaining confidence, she rested her hand on his shoulder then slid it down under the blanket until she felt his rough hand. Squeezing gently, she wished him a good night.

Pulling her hand away, she took one final look at the man and paused. His eyes seemed to be moving under his eyelids, something he hadn’t done all night. She wondered if he was waking. Replacing her hand back on his brow, she called to him.

“Jayne? Jayne. Can ya hear me?”

To be continued...


Saturday, April 15, 2006 5:31 PM


Holy crap! That's one helluva beating Jayne took. Please kill whoever did that to him in the next installment! This is a great series! Keep up the good work!

Saturday, April 15, 2006 7:34 PM


Excellent again! Lots of angst, which appears to be what we're all addicted to.

Hope there's another update soon! (I'm not good with the whole patience thing.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006 9:32 PM


All that damage....gonna be mighty fun for a man defined by his appearance and skills to be scarred and handicapped with damaged sight and limbs:(

Gotta go with reaverman's comments...i really hope the perps get the living crap beat out of them for this.


Sunday, April 16, 2006 3:03 AM


Ouch, poor Jayne! I really feel for him and am so glad the whole crew is shocked and upset for him. It would have been awful for all of that to happen and nobody to care. He is back with his family now and I am hoping whatever *tamade hundan* did this gets repaid in spades. The sort you use for digging graves, *dong ma*? Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, April 16, 2006 3:14 AM


I'm so sad for Jayne, hope those that hurt him get theirs!

Great chapter and I can't wait to read more.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 9:36 AM


Damn fine read my friend. And whoever did that to Jayne best be hoping that he dies because other wise he will recover and there will be a reckoning.

You got the tone betweeen the charecters just right and the pacing was pretty good and fairly tight. Waiting eagerly for the next installment.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 11:38 AM


I am SO your fan for life. GREAT work. I love the description of Jayne's injuries. Mal's determination that they're gonna do right by him. Simon's forgiveness, River's unrest, Zoe's reclatration. And Kaylee!


It's all blending into a fabulous story.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 2:58 PM


Oh, wow! This was painful to read and I had to go back and read The Way (I don't know how I missed it the first time around - glad to have found it).

I really loved the way you have the relationships and everyone's feelings/thoughts evolving with Jayne's leaving and your treatment of Kaylee and Simon is true to the characters (I'm a Jaylee shipper, Silee does nothing for me - so I'm happy with the way things are progressing!). I like River, Inara, and Zoe's voices as well, throughout the whole series. I can't imagine the challenge of writing all those characters. You do it very well!

Excellent read *waiting on edge of seat*.
Hurry with the next chapter!

Monday, April 17, 2006 5:18 PM


Oh, this is going to be a long a painful recovery. You always see the most basic nature of a person when they're in pain, and it'll be interesting to see what that will entail with Jayne. And how Kaylee will react to it.

His injuries are horrific, it's true, but it's one of my quirks as an artist that I've always found scars fascinating. I find that they add to, rather than subtract from a person's appearance. Mayhaps it's a tad weird on my part, but the idea of Jayne with a wicked facial scar kind of adds to his appeal.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:28 AM


I'm with CantonHeroine on the scar thing. Also, coming back from an injury like this (facing the slow, frusterating rehab) will build even MORE character in our merc. Sigh.

I liked Simon's forgiveness, too. That really brought home the level of injury Jayne endured.

And what the hell does Mal know? ARG! More please.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 4:15 PM


This part soooo gets a ten. I loved the angst and everything. And the end! Ah, I'm so glad the next part is already up. Gotta run and read more.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 6:11 AM


jayne!!! he's all...broken *sad*



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