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Public Relations (Firefly, Jayne, post-BDM)

Title:Public Relations
Fandom: Firefly
Author: truthmaker
Characters: Jayne Cobb (et al)
Pairings: Pre-Rayne (implied)
Rating: PG
Setting: Post BDM
Word Count: 1363
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em and couldn’t afford ‘em if I wanted to.
Beta: adverbia took a look at it, but all mistakes are still mine.
Summary: Five Times Jayne used his public relations skills for the good of the crew and one time they failed him utterly.

Wrote this back in February. Noticed today as I was going through and organizing that I'd never posted it publicly. Hope no one minds. This story was/is a gift for goddessofbirth, who is awesome.

The Exchange

Sanchez may be an elected local official but he was as dirty as the swamp water surrounding them. The man was bad news. He knew it, hell half the ‘verse knew it, but still the way things were a job was a job.

Mal watched him closely as they conversated, a veneer of joviality masking his tension. For the third time in as many minutes Mal noted his hand began the telltale stray to his weapon. Mal’s eyes narrowed as he tensed, preparing for the fire fight but just as had happened the first two times Sanchez glanced briefly to his left and his hand moved clear.

Mal didn’t have to wonder what he was looking to. He knew that Jayne would be standing just where the hun dan’s eyes fell each time.

The Meet

Badger always seemed to follow the same plan. He always welcomed them in with a smile than tried to put them on the defensive. The tactic, Mal knew, was to put them off balance, make them more susceptible to whatever plan he wanted to pursue. It used to work but lately things had gone differently

Jayne, Mal noted, has a very interesting way of dealing with this sad little man in his sad little hat. The merc would do something to get Badger’s attention and then, well Mal didn’t know what happened then but it definitely put the diminutive middleman off his game. Whatever trick the gun hand was playin’ it had earned the crew at least 500 credits in better deals so far and more every time they ventured into this little den.

Mal suppressed a smile as he saw that now familiar look in Badger’s face; it was going to be a good day.

Spare Parts

Kaywinnit Frye, one of John’s favorite customers, was currently digging through his yard and he couldn’t be happier. While the girl rarely had much coin to spend her sunny disposition and naivety about negotiations always made for a good day; except, of course, when she had that brute with her as she did now.

The brute, John was fairly sure Kaylee had called him Jane on more than one occasion, was anything but sunny. Where she was all smiles he carried a grimace. While Kaylee accepted his prices without question, the brute’s darkened eyes promised bloody vengeance if they got anything less than his best deal.

John watched the two as they continued shopping until Kaylee finally placed the past part into their carrier. As the pair approached, John rose from his chair to work out the pricing. The brute, Jane, was cleaning his nail with some humungous blade he probably called a knife and his face already carried the sinister visage usually reserved for one of his truly outrageous prices. No, John though, this would not be a good day at all.

Bullet Time

“Ah! Jayne Cobb,” Jameson addressed him with a jolly smile, “One of my best customers.”

Jayne’s face morphed almost instantly. Gone was the happy expression and the almost grin, replaced with something guarded and dangerous. “You got my supplies?”

The shopkeeper swallowed before replying, “Of course, Jayne, everything we discussed although the LeMatt rounds were a bit hard to come by, especially with all the upheaval as of late.”

Jayne continued to stare at the man, noting the sweat as it began to form on his brow.

Deciding no response was forthcoming from the customer Jameson took a deep breath and continued. “Yes, what with all the panic since the Miranda Broadwave any sort of ammunition is getting hard to come by. My regular suppliers are all but tapped out.” He paused again before continuing. “I had to acquire some of this from non-traditional sources.”

And there it was the pitch Jayne had been expecting since that damn, over friendly greetin’. “You wouldn’t be thinkin bout trying to weasel outta your promised price now would ya?”

It wasn’t a question. It was a statement; a statement that promised dire consequences if he didn’t have the correct reply. Well hell, he thought, a little extra profit didn’t do any good if you had someone like Jayne Cobb breathing down your neck. He swallowed again before replying, “No Jayne. Certainly not!”

Jayne did smile at that.

Information Collection

“Now Mr. Morris…” Mal paused and tried to put on a friendly face before he continued, “Billy, your boss nabbed two of my crew. I would very much like it if you would tell me where they are.”

Billy Morris struggled against the rope tying him to his chair. He looked up at the Captain, defiance in his eyes. Finally he let his gaze wander to the other occupant of the room. “What’s he doin?” he asked, concern evident in his voice.

Mal turned to look upon his crewmate. Jayne was sitting quietly sharpening a knife on a wet-stone. As Mal watched he placed the knife he was working on aside and drew another. “Don’t mind him,” Mal turned back to their prisoner as he spoke, “Where are the two your boss snatched?”

Morris tried to meet Mal’s eye but he kept getting distracted by the quiet scraping sound as blade met stone. When he finally spoke his voice was tinged with fear, “I… I can’t tell ya nothin. McDonald would string me up if’n I squealed.”

Mal let out a sigh, “That’s too bad.” Mal rose and returned his chair to its rightful place near the door. He paused at the door, looking down as his merc. “Jayne, I need answers.”

The hired gun paused in his work on the third knife of his collection and met the Captain’s eye. A simple nod, his only acknowledgement of the man’s words but the look in his eye told Mal he got the message loud and clear.

The door was closed for barely five minutes when Jayne emerged. Mal looked up expectantly as Jayne began to speak. “They’re on a farmstead, bout ten miles north o’ town. Boy said they was bein’ held in an outside shed, just a couple a guards. Should be able to get em right easy, long as we’re quiet.”

Mal glanced into the room, not sure he wanted to see what was left of their prisoner. To his surprise the Morris boy appeared untouched. Jayne followed his gaze then spoke, low enough for only the Captain to hear. “Boy became very talkative after you left. Ya’d almost thing the kid was afraid o’ me.”

Mal closed the door, locking it from the outside before turning to Jayne. “Let’s just get our wayward Tam’s.”

Internal Affairs

He darkened his features, narrowing his eyes. He assumed his most challenging stance: arms crossed over his chest, legs apart, and shoulders back. Any sane man would know to cower away in fear. She simply stared at him from every angle, like she was trying to solve a puzzle. She began to circle him slowly and he followed her with his eyes, not prepared to let her out of his sight. When she moved to far he turned himself, not letting her get behind or have an opening. Finally she climbed up on the couch and with their heads now on equal levels, he felt her eyes bore into his.

He refused to let her in, refused to show weakness, refused to let her know how he felt. He could stand here, hidden behind his mask, all day if need be and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do to change that. Her hand shot forward and touched the tip of his nose accompanied by a beep sound from deep within her throat, and then she was off.

She ran, knowing he would pursue. He could put up all the physical barriers he wished. He could growl and snarl and intimidate all he liked. No matter how much he outwardly tried he could not silence the voice in his head, the one that spoke of her… called to her… thought of her in ways that made her warm all over. Jayne Cobb liked the girl and all of the skills in the verse could not hide that.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, yay! Happy day to me! I'm so glad you got this posted up. One of the most endearing parts was River beeping Jayne on the nose - it's such a River thing to do!!
Dec. 31st, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)
I held of posting it at the time because I wasn't sure it was allowed, it being a gift and all. Then I just plum forgot.

I must admit, there is no single part of this story that does not bring a smile to my face. It was way too fun to write.
Dec. 31st, 2011 05:41 pm (UTC)
He really is such a wonderful Public Relations Officer isn't he! And, he must know that River owns him, lock, stock and barrel. Cute fic. Glad you found it and posted it. :)
Dec. 31st, 2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
The man has leet skills in "Public Relations". :)
Dec. 31st, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
These are some excellent examples of just why Jayne is the 'go-to' for that job, Truth! Great work here, and the beeping on the nose...priceless :)
Dec. 31st, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
Yup, Jayne is da man.

Thanks for reading.
Dec. 31st, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
Too damn cute! Scary merc can withstand anything but a beep on the nose. :)
Jan. 1st, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
Takes a lot to break through him armor, that'll do it.
Dec. 31st, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
I need some of Jayne's PR skills at work! Love these glimpses of Jayne and how competent he is and I enjoyed the ending with River :D
Jan. 1st, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)
Jan. 3rd, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
I LOVE the beep. I love the imagery of River circling him and him following with his eyes. Such great story telling, i really could see it all with my mind's eye.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 01:24 pm (UTC)
Ah hell, you tryin' to make a dude blush?
Mar. 11th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Absolutely love this line...“Boy became very talkative after you left. Ya’d almost thing the kid was afraid o’ me.” Classic Jayne! And yes, the image of Jayne staring down River is priceless.
Mar. 11th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
Glad ya liked. Thanks for reading :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )