Badger smiled in a way that would make the standard breed of lowlife scum feel morally superior. "Mal, I am hurt that you would insinuate I might try to sell you a less than top quality product. It's all very relative, especially when trades are involved. And this is a very fine and extensive set of calligraphy brushes you have here, real wood and hair even."
Mal considered his options. He knew Jayne would appreciate the chance to use the old gun, given the way he doted on his armory and the trouble in finding compatible rounds for it. "All right, it's a deal."
"It's a pleasure doing business with you, Mal." Badger extended his hand for Mal to shake. Mal simply placed the brushes on Badger's desk, picked up the crate, and headed back to the ship.
"It still don't seem right, tradin' a perfectly fine gun for a few bottles of ink."
"Jayne, I am a man of honor, a man of my word. These are the finest calligraphy inks you'll find anywhere, even if you were to head to the Core to shop. A full dozen bottles, including some of the harder-to-come-by colors? And that, for an entirely out-of-date model you can't even find ammunition for. You're practically robbing me."
Jayne considered this, first eyeing the Buhnder before moving his hand to the empty holster where his more reliable -- and loaded -- gun was normally kept. Badger's guards learned surprisingly quickly. "Well. All right. I know how much Mal likes that Calligraphy stuff. You've got a deal." The gun was gently placed on Badger's desk, and Jayne gave the gun a fond pat before picking up the case of inks and heading out the door.
"Pleasure doing business with you!" Badger called after the retreating figure.
CHRISTMAS MORNING (Several hours prior to what ship-time considers to be morning.)
The reflected light of a nearby moon gave a lustre to the scene that played outside, were there any to observe it. A tiny ship arced over Serenity and came to a smooth rest, docking above her. A practiced motion, and certainly not one to cause a clatter to awaken those sleeping within.
A lively and quick man in a red suit quickly made his way into the ship, placing carefully wrapped parcels outside the door to each of the crew quarters. Dinosaurs carved from stone and a hand-polished blade were in the package outside one door, and a pink Chaplain pistol outside another -- the girl could certainly benifit from some form of personal defense. The two packages that kicked off the entire mission, of course, were left outside their respective owners' doors.
The figure in red paused at the passage to the guest quarters. Not disturbing them would be more of a gift than any present he could leave. He paused in the kitchen and ate what appeared to be someone's attempt to make a cookie out of molded protein. Doing them a favour, really. And it was tradition.
His business completed, the odd individual rose up the 'chimney' to his ship, then flew off into the night.
None were around to hear, but still he spoke, "Cheating well-meaning men out of their posessions as some kind of joke. Does that seem right to you?"