Setting: post Objects in Space, pre-Serenity
Based on the song "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash
A Boy Named Jayne
Fire locked around the hull as Wash brought Serenity into the upper atmosphere of Gatlinburg, a backwater moon even by the crew's standards. One of the smaller moons of Heinlein, it was underdeveloped and relied almost entirely on sustenance-farming and a little off-world trade.
And that is what brought Serenity and her crew to Gatlinburg: a rear honest job that would put food on the table and gas in the tanks long enough to keep the ship in the air a little longer. Due to the semi-lawless nature of the planet, Mal had already insisted that most of the passengers and crew stay onboard while he went out with just Zoë and Jayne to meet their contact.
The mud of the dirt streets clung to their boots as they made their way along what passed for a main street in the small settlement they'd landed outside. The buildings where of haphazard design and all made of wood and anything that could be salvaged, giving them an unfinished look.
"I think we could all use a drink." Mal pointed at a nearby saloon and led the way though the doors into the smoke filled room. It was dark and filled with the sound of people laughing and a piano playing in the corner.
"That dirty, mangy dog!" Jayne hissed as he looked across the bar at a man who at a nearby table dealing stud. He had a scar on his left cheek that crossed a grey, sightless eye. Despite this and his grey hair, he still possessed an aura that promised a painful death to anyone who crossed him.
"My name is 'Jayne!' How do you do!" The big merc' flipped the table over with one hand as he roared at the apparent stranger, "Now your gonna die!"
Jayne hit him hard right between the eyes, and he fell backwards onto the floor, but quick as a rattlesnake he came up with a knife and cut off a piece of the younger mans ear. Zoë and Mal drew their guns, keeping the other bar patrons from involving themselves in what seemed to be a highly personal fight. Jayne picked up a discarded chair with both hands and hit his opponent with enough force send him crashing though the flimsy wall and out into the alleyway.
Mal had seen many a bar-fight in his time, and he'd grown to respect Jayne's abilities as a brawler, but the other man had a kick like a mule that sent his younger opponent flying through the air and into the wall opposite. They two men fell upon each other, kicking and gouging in the mud.Mal heard the stranger laugh and cuss enough to make a dockworker blush, but Jayne was just faster, fuelled by some unknown inner anger that just could not be quenched. In desperation, the stranger tried to pull his gun, but Jayne was faster and stood looking at his opponent down sights of his sidearm.
"Son, this world is rough and if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough, and I knew I wouldn't be there to help ya along. So I give ya that name and I said goodbye; I knew you'd have to get tough or die, and it's the name that helped to make you strong." The stranger smiled, "Now you just fought one hell of a fight, and I know you hate me, and you got the right to kill me now and I wouldn't blame you if you do. But ya ought to thank me, before I die, for the gravel in ya guts and the spit in ya eye, because I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you 'Jayne.'"
Jayne stood looking at the man for a while, and then lowered his gun and they embraced. Mal and Zoë looked on in shock as they shook hands and smiled at each other
"Just who the hell was that?" Mal asked.
"That was the son-of-a-bitch that named me Jayne." The merc explained as he started to make his way to the next bar along the street, "That was ma Pa."