Title: Crazy's rescue mission

Author: Sevangel

Rating: PG-13

FYI: This is something I kind of drabbled out while watching Roseanne. In my head, it takes place after 'The message' but before 'Heart of Gold'. Decided to post this part to see if I should keep writing this or just trash it. Help, please.

Disclaimer: not mine

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"How ya doin, Zoe?" Mal groans out.

"Not good." Zoe whispers. "I'm startin to lose feelin in my arm. How bout you?"

"Bout the same." Mal answers. "Jayne?"

"I got ruttin shot in the leg, again, kidnapped by a bunch of low-life bastards, and I'm bout to die, all over some gorram dolls." Jayne growls. "How do ya think I'm doin?"

"I just wanted to know if ya can walk?" Mal replies.

"Probably, but it ain't gonna matter much since we're chained to this gorram wall." Jayne answers.

"Yeah." Mal agrees.

It should have been a normal, decently safe run. Instead, they were ambushed all over some bobble-head dolls. They managed to take a few of the bastards down but it wasn't enough. In the end, Jayne got shot in the leg and him and Zoe each took a bullet in the arm.

"Sir." Zoe says. "I'm startin to think there's somethin in those dolls."

"I'm startin to agree." Mal says. "When we get outa this, remind me to kill Badger."

"Don't think we're gettin out of this one." Jayne replies. "Crew probably don't even realize we're in trouble yet. Sides, even if'n they have, who's gonna come and get us out?"

"Don't know." Mal mutters. "They rescued me once."

"But they had me and Jayne." Zoe replies. "Don't think they can do it on their own."

Mal opens his mouth when something falls from the ceiling. "Think we might not have to worry bout them killing us; think the buildings falling down."

A few seconds after the vent hits the ground, something else falls. At first it's just a rustle of fabric and it takes Mal a few seconds to realize what or rather who it is.

"River?" Mal mutters in shock.

"Captain, Jayne, Zoe." River greets them each. "You've been shot."

"Yeah." Mal agrees, still in shock. "What the gorram hell are ya doin here?"

"Rescuing you guys." River answers as though it's completely obvious.

"Told ya they would." Mal smirks at Jayne and Zoe. "Where's the rest of the crew? And why the gorram hell did they send ya in?"

"They're at home." River answers.

"They sent ya alone?" Mal shrieks.

River just rolls her eyes at him. "Yes, Simon handed me a gun, patted me on the head and told me to go rescue you three."

"They don't know you're here?" Zoe questions.

"I had another bad episode, threw a plate at Simon, and ran out of the room." River explains. "They think I'm hiding."

"Ya faked a fit so's ya could come rescue us?" Jayne questions. "Why didn't ya just get them to help ya?"

"They aren't meant to be in a firefight." River answers. "The only one who can shoot decently is preacherman and he won't shoot to kill."

"And ya will?" Mal questions. "Ya ain't nothin but a girl, River. Ya don't even know how to use a gun."

She doesn't answer him; just stares at him evenly. Mal stares back and catches three of the men coming into the room out of the corner of his eye. He opens his mouth to warn her when she raises her right arm behind her, a pistol clenched in her hand.

"You have 5 seconds to drop your weapons or I will put a bullet between your eyes." River warns, turning her head around to glance at them for a second.

"Girl, ya ain't gonna be able to drop all three of em fore they drop ya." Jayne warns.

The men behind her laugh, not at all intimidated by the small girl holding a gun at them.

"Five, four, three." River starts counting down. "Two, one." The room goes quiet when she reaches one. River closes her eyes, still facing the Serenity group, and pulls off three shots. Three bodies hit the ground with a thud.

"I warned them." River states.

"Cao ni zuxian shi ba dai." Mal mutters in complete shock.

"How the gorram hell?" Jayne whispers.

River ignores them and walks over to the bodies and uses her boot to push one over onto his back. Digging into his pockets, she pulls out a set of keys and a knife. She walks back over to the chained up group and stops in front of Jayne. Holding the knife up, she cuts off the bottom portion of her dress. She then kneels down next to Jayne's injured leg and reaches out to grab it.

"What the gorram hell do ya think ya're doin?" Jayne growls, trying to pull his leg back.

"Need to wrap your leg." River answers, grabbing his foot and pulling his leg towards her. "Need help with the escape; Captain and Zoe can't even raise their arms to shoot a gun. Need you." She wraps his leg tightly with torn part of her dress before unlocking his cuffs. She then moves over to quickly unlock the cuffs holding Mal and Zoe to the wall.

Jayne starts to stand up slowly when River comes back over and helps him up. She hands him the gun she just used and then turns to Mal. "Captain, we have to go now; the rest heard the shots and are coming. I'll take point with Jayne and you two stay behind us." River orders.

"What one gorram second…." Mal starts. River reaches out and pokes him gently in the arm. He lets ou a painful moan. "Gorramit, what the hell was that for?" Mal growls.

"Prove my point." River answers. "You can't defend yourselves against guns right now. I can." She doesn't wait for him to respond, she just walks towards the exit. Jayne grinds his teeth but follows her, Mal and Zoe right behind him.

They walk down a hallway for a few seconds when River comes to a stop, placing her hand on Jayne's chest to get him to stop. He starts to ask what she's doing when she reaches down to unbuckle his belt and pull it off. "Stay against the wall." River orders. They all glare at her but follow her orders.

"We're gonna have a talk bout ya bossin me around." Mal growls from against the wall.

River nods at him before literally climbing up the wall to straddle the width of the hallway. She uses her legs to hold her up and loops the belt with her hands. A few seconds later, they can hear a man coming down the hall. He walks through the doorway and stops when he sees Mal, Zoe, and Jayne leaning against the wall. He starts to raise his gun when River wraps the belt around his neck and pulls it tight.

"Drop the gun or I'll snap your neck." River calmly says.

The man doesn't immediately obey and she tightens the belt, cutting off his air supply. He drops the gun with a gasp and his hands start to scrape at the belt.

"Jayne, we need the badge out of pocket to get out of the building. You guys can't get out the way I came in." River states. Jayne walks over to the guy and pulls the badge out of his pocket. River tightens the belt a little more and the man passes out. She drops his body and flips down to land on her feet. She removes the belt from his neck and hands it back to Jayne.

"Anymore comin?" Jayne questions as he stuffs his belt into his pocket.

"Not yet; they're all outside." River answers.

River leads them through the building without further incident. When she reaches the door, she holds out her hand and Jayne drops the badge into it. Sliding it through the reader, she presses five numbers and the door swings open.

"I'll distract them; you guys get to the mule." River orders.

Before Mal can argue, she runs through the front door and out into the open space. They follow her as quickly as they can move, which isn't that fast seeing how all three of them are injured.

"She's gonna get shot." Jayne growls.

"Gorramit." Mal growls. They watch as River dives between two men and then jumps up to kick them both in the face. One man tries to shoot her from behind. She dunks down and pulls another guy in front of her to use as a shield. She pushes his body aside and kicks the gun out of her attackers hand and then kicks him across the face, knocking him out.

"Think she's got it." Zoe comments. "We best get to the mule. I think it's over there." She doesn't wait for them to follow, she just slowly walks towards the mule. The gunshot wound wouldn't normally be that bad but they'd be sitting in that building bleeding for over an hour.

"Zoe, ya gonna make it?" Mal questions from behind her.

"Hope so." Zoe answers. "Be pretty sad if she rescued us and then I went and bled to death."

Zoe manages to crawl into the back seat of the mule, leaving the driving to someone else. Mal starts to get into the driver's seat when River comes up behind him. "I'll drive, you're close to passing out."

Mal nods gratefully and crawls into the back seat with Zoe. Jayne jumps into the front seat, wincing when his leg hits the ground.

"Be ready." River tells Jayne. "There's a couple left."

She starts the mule up and drives it away from the warehouse. Serenity is only about a 10 minute drive from the warehouse and River pushes the mule as fast as it'll go. She watches as Jayne shoots a couple of men on the way out. Jayne's leg is hurt but he hasn't lost as much blood as Zoe or Mal. Zoe's wound was the worst; it's bled too much. She will need a transfusion. Mal's is bad but not as bad as Zoe's.

River reaches down and grabs the com. "Wash, need Simon to get the infirmary ready." River says over the com. "Zoe's going to need blood, about a pint or so."

"River?" Wash questions back. "What the hell…..what's going on?"

"Just have Simon get the infirmary ready." River replies. "We'll be there in a few minutes." She cuts off the connection and grits her teeth. A stray bullet got her, right in side. It's just a scratch but she doesn't want anyone to know yet.

They arrive on Serenity a few minutes later and see the entire crew standing by the bay doors. River parks the mule and barely gets it turned off when everyone is yelling.

"Mei-mei, what….how are you with them?" Simon questions.

"Not important now." River answers. "Zoe needs help; she's lost too much blood."

"She's right." Mal groans from the back seat. "Wash, get us off this planet. The rest of ya help us to the infirmary."

Wash looks at his wife and opens his mouth to argue. "Husband, you heard the captain. We need off this planet in case they send folk after us. I'll be fine."

Wash nods and then runs towards the bridge.

Book and Simon reach into the mule to help Zoe and Mal out. It's a bit of a struggle and Inara and Kaylee have to come and help support them. When they finally make it to the infirmary, Mal points to Zoe. "Her first; she's worse off."

Simon pulls on a pair of gloves and starts to remove the bullet lodged in Zoe's upper arm.

River walks into the infirmary and grabs a portable first-aide kit and carries it out of the room. She walks into the mess where Jayne is sitting, with his injured leg propped up on a chair. Sitting the kit on the table, she sits down beside his leg.

"Whadda ya doin?" Jayne questions.

"Fixing your leg." River answers. "Simon will be a while; he has to finish fixing Zoe and then Mal."

She examines his leg for a few seconds before looking up at him. "I'm going to have to cut your pants off." River tells him.

"Just do it." Jayne growls.

She grabs a pair of scissors out of the kit and cuts up the bottom of his pants to his knee. Then she cuts the fabric around his knee and gently pulls it off. The lower part of his leg is covered in blood. She moves over the sink and rinses off a towel before moving back to the chair and cleaning the blood off his leg. She pulls out some pre-prepped peroxide pads and gently cleans the wound. He hisses between his teeth but doesn't say anything. She uses a bottle of liquid sealant to close the wound and then starts to wrap it.

"Girl, ya okay?" Jayne questions when he feels a tear hit his leg.

"Fine." River whispers. She finishes wrapping his leg before looking up at him. Her eyes are filled with tears and she's white as a ghost. "Excuse me." River whispers. She moves over to the sink and bends over to throw up in it.

Jayne watches her for a second before standing up and limping over to one of the cabinets. He grabs a glass and a bottle of whiskey and moves back to the table. He pours half a glass of whiskey and then downs it. Pouring some more into the glass, he holds it out to River, who is now sitting in a chair.

"Here." Jayne growls. "It'll help."

River takes the glass and sips at the whiskey for a second before downing it. "It's gross." River says, making a face.

"Yeah." Jayne agrees. "But it'll help calm your nerves. Is it always this way for ya?"

"Yes." River answers. "Why I don't look; it's worse when I have to watch them die."