Title: Bao bei
Pairing: River/Jayne implied
Author's Notes: Don't ask me how but in my very angry mood the other night this popped out. I had imagined an angst story (what with me being angry and all) but no, instead we get this...drabble thing. It's only 533 words, and not beta'd so if you catch any glaring mistakes please tell me and I'll fix them.
He had no problem callin' her crazy when she first showed up. Hell she is…was crazy, he just seemed to be the only one that pointed it out. And did he point it out, every chance he got, in every way imaginable.
He could call her crazy in five different ways within one meal on one of his bad days, and don't even get him started on his good days.
Kaylee stopped givin' him that kicked puppy look after a few weeks. After a month or so 'Nara stopped glaring at him every time he said it. Mal stopped lecturing him about it a little after that, heck a few more months and even Simon seemed to stop mindin' so much. So he kept doin' it, but that was before Early.
After Early he stopped callin' her crazy so often. He began to refer to her as "girl", cause she was…is a girl. He again just seemed to be pointin' out the obvious.
Everyone treated her like some gorram infant, or a doll, or sumthin'. She weren't stupid, smarter then the collective intelligence of the whole crew in fact. He saw no reason to treat her stupid or like a child and that seemed to work for a good while.
Eventually "girl" turned into "River" every now n'then. He'd been surprised as hell first time he said it too.
He and Zoe'd been getting' cargo ready for a job as she danced about, getting' underfoot every now and then, but mostly keepin' to herself. Mal had been in one of his "I just had a tiff with 'Nara so don't mess with me" type'a moods, and her dancin' and him broodin' there was bound to be a fight. Who the hell'd thought he'd be the one comin' to the defense of the Doc's mei mei? Before he knew what he was sayin' it was out. "Hey, River why don't you go play with Kaylee?"
That stopped everyone dead in their tracks, 'cept of course her. She gave him one of those big bright smiles she saved for her brother, or when she was playin' with Kaylee, and dashed up the stairs before anyone could make a big deal about it.
She was tolerable even almost likeable, especially on 'er good days. But that was before Miranda.
After she had gone and got them right smack-dab in the middle of some gorram war for the truth against the Alliance, she went back to bein' "girl". That was before she turned into some kind of weapon. After that he just ignored her completely, acted as if she weren't even there.
After Miranda, and after the Reavers, he didn't know what to call her. She was crazy when she was the annoying and dangerous fugitive. She was girl when she was the Doc's crazy sister. She was River when she was just a passenger on the ship. She was nothin' when she was about to get them all dead.
Now that she was River, he didn't know what to do. All he knew was that he had to come up with something to call her and quick, before he let slip his newest name for her.