Riiiiiip!

Jayne watched the captain pull the tape off Dobson's mouth, balling the sticky strip in his hand as he walked away from the bound man casually.

"I'm in a tricky position," he started, threw the tape in the sink with a small pinging sound and turning back around, "I guess you know. Got me a boatload of terribly strange folk makin' my life a little more interesting than I generally like; chief among them, an Alliance mole."

Mal paused, looked to Jayne a moment before continuing, "Likes to shoot at girls when he's nervous. Now I gotta know how close the Alliance is," he stepped forward menacingly, his face serious and angry, "exactly how much you told them before Wash scrambled your call."

Mal paused, looked the man over once, as though trying to tell how easy he was going to be to break.

"So," he turned toward the door, face set in a grim mask, "I've given Jayne here the job of finding out."

Jayne drew the knife from his hip and watched the lawman's eyes widen a little and shift nervously.

"He was nonspecific as to how," Jayne drawled, and enjoyed Dobson's nervous twitch as the bound man looked at the floor.

"You know you only gotta scare him," Mal said quietly at Jayne's shoulder, staring at the big merc sternly.

"Pain is scary," Jayne justified, and Mal gave him a look.

"Just do it right," he ordered, leaving the little bunk and closing the door behind him.

Jayne looked at Dobson for a moment after the captain left, plans already formulating in his head.

With a smirk he stepped down into the room toward Dobson and the lawman tensed visibly.

"You have any idea how much trouble you're in?" the bound man blurted, as Jayne sat down across from him real casual-like.

"Gee, I've never been in trouble with the law before," he remarked, and Dobson frowned.

"No, not like this you haven't," he insisted, "You think this is just a smuggling rap? The package that boy is carrying-"

"Is a girl," Jayne interrupted, "She's cute too, 'cept I don't think she's all there, you know?"

He twirled his knife in the direction of his head with a little shrug, then leered.

"'Course, not all of her has to be."

"That girl is a precious commodity," Dobson said sternly, "They'll come after her. Long after you bury me, they'll be coming."

Jayne laughed, shook his head as he explained, "Oh I'm not gonna kill ya Dobson," he chuckled, smacked the man's thigh with the flat of his blade almost good-naturedly, then added curiously, "What's your first name?"

Dobson sighed before mumbling begrudgingly, "Laurence."

Oh this was too good. This Fed was in way over his head.

"Laurence?" Jayne smirked, then continued good-naturedly, "Nah, I'm just gonna cut on ya, till you tell me how much they know."

Dobson clenched his jaw stubbornly, glaring daggers at the man across from him.

"Alright then," Jayne leered, looked Dobson over thoughtfully, started somewhere easy, real fleshy so the pain was only mild.

Dobson hissed when Jayne sliced the flesh of his bicep with a flick of his wrist.

"How much they know Laurence?" Jayne asked, no longer leering, mouth set in an angry line.

"Torturing a Federal Officer, that's going to go over real well in court," Dobson said instead with determination.

"What do they know Laurence?" Jayne asked again, cutting his leg this time and watching the blood well brightly.

Dobson only clenched his jaw and glared, so Jayne shrugged and made a cut on his other leg, higher up this time and deeper and the Fed jerked with a grunt.

"I got lots o' time Laurence," Jayne said conversationally, "and I just sharpened my knife here this mornin'."

"You have no idea the gravity of the situation," Dobson hissed, and Jayne growled.

"An' you have no idea how much you shootin' Kaylee was a death sentence in my book," Jayne warned, "The only reason you ain't dead yet is the captain needing info outta you, but I ain't above killin' you 'accidently.'"

Dobson paled and Jayne pressed his knife against Dobson's soft side, but not cutting. Not yet.

"Info," he growled, staring hard at Dobson's panicked eyes, "Now."

"No."

Jayne sliced and Dobson cried out. It wasn't so deep as to cause severe damage but enough that Dobson's blood flowed to drip down the chair legs and to the floor.

"Tell me what I want to know Laurence," Jayne growled.

Dobson just glared, so Jayne grabbed the side of the man's head roughly, held the knife at his ear.

"You've got five seconds before I start cuttin' things off," Jayne snapped.

"Five… four… three…"

"They know everything!" Dobson panickedly exclaimed, "They know every name, every record, they know how many…" he floundered for a moment, thinking rapidly, "nose hairs you've got!"

Jayne looked at him calculatingly and Dobson held his breath for a terrified moment.

Jayne scoffed as he let him go, standing up with a scowl.

"Aw, see now, they don't know a damn thing!" he growled, "It's all over your face."

He pouted, shaking his head and ranting, "Aren't you an officer of the law? Well don't they teach ya how to withstand interrogation? Can't even tell a damn lie!"

Dobson looked startled at Jayne calling his bluff, thinking quickly.

"Ok… well, I can see you're not an idiot."

"Wish I could say the same Laurence," Jayne sighed, "but… this is disappointin' as hell."

"Let me speak a language you will understand. Money," Dobson looked hopefully up at him, wincing painfully, "This girl is worth a lot of money, I mean a lot. You kill me, there's nothing. But… if you help me out… you'll have enough money to buy your own ship. Better than this piece of crap."

Jayne was looking at him thoughtfully. He wasn't bluffing, of that he was sure. This girl was something special.

"Does helping you out mean turning on the captain?" he asked quietly, pros, cons, and consequences all weighing against each other in his mind.

"Yes it does," Dobson replied truthfully.

Jayne was quiet, looking at Dobson critically.

"How much coin we talkin'?"

Fin.