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Disclaimer: Firefly and all related elements, characters and indicia © Mutant Enemy Productions and 20th Century Fox Television, 2003. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situationssave those created by the authors for use solely on this websiteare copyright Mutant Enemy Productions and 20th Century Fox Television.
Author's Note: The Buzz is 4th in a series, Utterly Inappropriate. To read the previous parts, please visit Clandestine You can read this one as a standalone, but the other parts are fun too *wink wink, nudge nudge* Thanks to Mal for not pushing Jayne's ass out the airlock and bringing about an abrupt end to my series:)
"Well there's nothing good came from guilt,
Better give it up, give it up and move on."
"A lie is like a cheap bottle of wine from a cheap liquor store,
It doesn't cost much at the time but it burns as it goes down.
And you know you're gonna payBut later you say, no it's OK."
"But as hard as you swallow you can't shake the taste,
The acid and the afterthought churning in your belly."
"The buzz becomes a fly in your brain and you feel grey the next day,
And it leaves you with nothing but regrets."
"Just owning my mistakes."
-Anthony Stewart Head, Owning My Mistakes
He'd thought it would be easy. Easy like aimin', an' pullin' a trigger, an' just knowin' you'd hit what ya'd always wanted. Hell, he'd thought a lot of things.
Thought the lowest he could be was noddin' and shuckin' off thanks like nothin' while Simon smiled off that pretty little mouth at him an' called him a hero. Then he'd gone lower and thought bottom was starin' into Mal's eyes, knowin' he'd betrayed him and there wasn't nothin' he could do t'fix it. But now he was lower than that, because he'd never really expected Mal to let him live and he found livin' with it all was somewhere lower than low.
When he'd got back to his room, he dropped to sit on the bed, starin' at that place where all'a the Doc's stuff'd been, and hadn't moved a ching-wah teao duh liou mahng inch.
His head was throbbin' and his whole body was still sore as bein' mule-kicked from that blast from the Alliance gun, but all the same it was the dull ache that'd settled in his gut that was killin' 'im.
Thought of maybe grabbin' a bottle 'a somethin' to numb it all, but found he didn't much care to. Bein' numb was too invitin' and he knew fer damn sure he didn't deserve it.
'Sides, his pop always said, 'If yer gonna-' Aw, hell with pop an' his shee-niou advice... Him and that ruttin' need to be findin' work what got 'im in this mess t'being with... That and damned Simon's job...
He found thoughts unbidden of a pale little girl wavering in a wheelchair and the too-fresh gouge in his chest stung somethin' fierce for a coupla beats. He really shouldn't a'hit her so damned hard. He'd left that damned blade lyin' on the table anyways... Wouldn'ta been her, then somethin' or other woulda happened. Maybe Kaylee'd have picked it up and managed to impale Wash on it accidental-like with a sunny smile to Zoe and a pleasant, 'Oops!'.
A snort of laughter broke through him at the image that thought had painted and he gripped his head to ward the pain from it. The sound of someone quietly clearing their throat alerted Jayne to his presence and he knew even before he looked up who it would be. He was just havin' that kinda day.
Simon hovered tentatively in the doorway, gripping a small med box in one hand and another, medium-sized box, in the other. He motioned carefully inside, "May I?"
Jayne eyed him warily from his place on the bed, but gave a small nod of acquiescence. Stepping over the threshold, the doctor smiled cautiously, "What was so funny?" He noticed the blank expression on the other man's features and mistook it for confusion, explaining further, "When I was just outside the door. You... you were laughing at something."
Jayne shook his head slightly, "S'nothin'... jus'..." He glanced up at the younger man's eager face. He was still so happy about before. Must'a done that sister a'his some good. Wasn't still wearin' that wide, dimpled grin from before, but was happy... "S'nothin'. What're you doin' here, Doc?" The smile faltered a bit... barely perceptible, but Jayne was watchin' real close.
"Actually, I came to fix you up. You had a nasty bump on your," He paused half a beat, confusion marring his features, "Head... One bump. There... There's two now..." He trailed off, worry plainly written on his face as he stepped close for a better look.
Jayne stood quickly and crossed to the other side of the room, "Step off it, Doc. I'm fine," Guilt rode every word out of him, threatening to double him in half where he stood, "'Sides, you should be checkin' on that sister a'yers."
He could hear the smile return to Simon's voice when he replied, "River's fine. She's drawing right now. Actually, that's the other reason I'm here." Jayne glanced in the doctor's direction and watched as he held out the second box towards him, "She... well, we wanted you to have this. I know it isn't the same, but she really did feel bad."
Jayne silently reached out and accepted the package, trying to ignore the sense of dread that settled in his belly as well as the spark of delight in Simon's eyes, and havin' about as much luck with one as he did with the other.
Slowly, he pulled the cover off, revealing, folded neatly in the bottom of the box, a red silk shirt. He dropped the cover to the already cluttered floor and ran his fingers over the glossy material while he half-listened to Simon talk, "I asked Inara to pick it up when she took her shuttle down to Ariel's surface. I know it's not exactly like the one you lost, but it really is well made."
'Not exactly' was an understatement. 'Not at all' was closer to the truth. Jayne couldn't think of a time he'd owned a proper shirt in his life as he twisted his fingers through the soft fabric, and, slowly looking up, "Thanks."
Simon beamed back at him, "You're welcome. Besides, I did owe you a shirt," Still smiling, he picked his way across the floor, "If you decide you do need patching up, you know where to find me," He paused at the door, admiring the scene of Jayne staring awestruck at his gift, "She was right about one thing," He started and waited until Jayne looked up at him before softly finishing, "You do look good in red," And then bolted out the door before the mercenary could see the blush staining his cheeks.
Jayne was dumbstruck as he stared down at the fancy scrap of material, hating it more than anything.