Nightmares: Jayne
Thursday, July 6, 2006

Third in the series... This story contains subject matter that, while more implied than graphic, some folks might find offensive/disturbing.


The usual disclaimer: They're not mine (though I wish Jayne was), and I'm making no $$$ off of this.

This story contains subject matter that, while more implied than graphic, some folks might find offensive/disturbing.

Feedback is greatly appreciated! Leave me lots, good or bad. Your encouragement/criticism is what keeps me going.


It had all started innocently enough. Kaylee had needed to do some repairs on the engine that required some muscle and Jayne had been happy enough to help. Two weeks in the black had left him irritated and bored so any diversion from the norm was a welcome relief.

As Kaylee prattled on he let his mind drift, but her sudden silence brought him back. He looked over at her, and found her eyes on him. "What?"

Kaylee's expression was grumpy, "You weren't listenin', were you?"


"S'alright. I was just curious is all."

"Curious about what?"

Kaylee hesitated then let out a sigh, "I was just wonderin' if you remembered the first time you killed a man."

Jayne's expression was grim. "You still upset about what happened at Niska's ain'tcha?"

She nodded, "I just don't know why I froze up so, but for River it just came natural."

"'Cause she's a moonbrain. Don't worry about it. You don't need to be shootin' anyone anyway."

"So what was it like, the first time you did it?"

"Got other first times I'd rather talk about," he leered.

Kaylee rolled her eyes, "Don't want to know 'bout those. Who was it?"

"Gorram it girl, you ain't gonna let this go are you?"


Jayne looked away, "T'was the Bogeyman," he whispered.

Kaylee wasn't sure if she was more surprised by his answer, or how it was delivered. But something about both kept her from pressing further...

Jayne recalled this conversation as he lay in his bunk that night fighting off sleep, because he knew that when it came the memories sunk deep in his brain like a festering wound would surface. He battled mightily but eventually succumbed, his eyes closing as he fell into slumber...

He was a strapping boy just shy of fourteen when he found her. His older sister Anna hung from a beam in the barn, her lovely features contorted into a black swollen mask as she swung gently from the rope. He'd climbed up to the loft as fast as his legs could carry him, and whipping out his knife cut her down, lowering her as gently as he could given the height of the structure.

Her body fell like a rag doll to the ground below, and he almost broke a leg scrambling back down to her. He loosened the noose around her neck, and despite the fact that he knew it was too late, he tried what he could to revive her. Eventually he gave up and cradled her in his arms, his tears falling like raindrops onto her lifeless body.

After a few moments he stood, picked up her small form, and carried her to the house. His mother saw him through the window, and came out with a wail. Her cries rousted the rest of the household, and soon they were all mourning the untimely death of their golden child. Anna had been the beauty of the family, smart and talented. She'd been a poet, and her work had even been printed in the local paper. She had a knack with children - the Cobb clan providing her plenty of practice - and was studying to be a teacher. She had her whole life in front of her, which made her death by her own hand so incredibly senseless.

Finally his mother spoke, "Jayne, go fetch your father."

He glared at her, "Bill ain't my father."

She sighed resignedly, "I won't argue about this with you right now, Jayne. Just go get him."

Grumbling, Jayne took off to do as she'd said. He'd never liked the man his Ma had married after his father died, and took every opportunity to let him know it. Of course all that got him was a beating, but he refused to treat Bill as anything other than an unwelcome guest.

He found the man in the back field leaning against the horse instead of plowing like he should have been doing. He saw Bill take a swig out of a flask, and curled his lip in disapproval. The farm his father had built into one of the town's finest was suffering from the lazy approach his stepfather took to maintaining it. Adding insult to injury, Jayne knew he would be sent out to the field that weekend to do the work that Bill hadn't, causing even more resentment in the boy.

Bill saw Jayne approach and scowled, "Whaddaya want?"

"Anna's dead. She hung herself in the barn."

Bill went pale, then covered it up quickly with his usual insensitivity, "Oh well, one less mouth to feed."

Jayne curled his fists, tempted to knock the smirk off the man's face. Only respect for his dead sister kept him from doing so. "Ma wants you back at the house."

"I'll head in when I feel like it. Now you git." Jayne started to walk off, stopping only when Bill called out, "She leave a note?"

Jayne turned, his eyes two narrow slits, "Not that I know of."

His stepfather nodded and went back to his drinking, while Jayne stormed off in disgust. When he got back to the house, he went up to the room he shared with his brother Mattie and threw himself on his bed. Burying his face in the pillow, he let out a roar of anger and grief that brought his mother running.

She sat down next to him, and rubbed her hand across his back, "Jayne love, shush now. Whatever caused Anna to do what she did, she'll be happier with the angels. They'll take good care of her."

Jayne lifted his head to look at his mother, his eyes rimmed red from crying, "But Ma, it don't make no sense. Why'd she do it?"

A tear slipped down her face, "I don't know, baby. I guess we'll never know." She stood and walked out, closing the door quietly behind her.

After a bit Jayne heard the front door slam, and soon the arguing began. He went to the door to listen. Bill didn't want to pay for a funeral, saying his sister didn't deserve one for being a suicide. This sent his mother into hysterics, begging and pleading until the man begrudgingly gave in. "But it ain't gonna be nothin' fancy. We ain't got the money, so you'd better skimp, you hear me?"

His mother murmured her assent, and Bill started up the stairs. Jayne heard him go into Anna's room and begin rummaging around. Curious, he followed.

"Lookin' for somethin'?" he asked.

Bill spun around, "Your Ma wanted me to fetch a dress to send with Anna."

"Funny, I thought dresses were kept in the closet, not the night table."

The older man scowled, "I was lookin' for that necklace she always wore, too."

"She's already wearin' it," Jayne snarled, "saw it when I cut her down."

Bill hurled himself at Jayne, and slapped him hard. "Don't you get lippy with me, boy." He stalked out of the room, and back downstairs.

Jayne went back to his room, rubbing the angry red mark on his cheek. "Asshole." He went to the bureau and opened the drawer that contained the little treasures all teenage boys keep, and took out the capture of he and Anna that had been taken on his thirteenth birthday. He watched with sorrow as the two of them jostled each other, and heard his mother's exasperated voice scolding them to stand still. But as usual they didn't listen, and what was supposed to be a nice formal portrait disintegrated into a dusty wrestling match, punctuated with laughter and squeals. His mother let out a sigh, and the screen went dark.

Jayne was about to put the capture back when he noticed something foreign in his drawer. He slowly drew out the little pink notebook, but before he could open it he was called to do his chores before supper. He tucked the notebook under his mattress guiltily, and slunk downstairs to do as he'd been told.

Later that evening after everyone else had gone to bed, Jayne snuck the notebook and a lantern out to the barn. He crept up to the hayloft, and lit the lantern to as faint a glow as he could and still read, and opened the notebook. He skimmed through most of it, as it was mostly the typical musings and gossip of a fifteen year old girl. Not to mention there wasn't much in there he hadn't already read. He finally figured that if Anna had left something for him to find it would be in the later entries, so he turned to them.

A specific line caught his eye, "The Bogeyman crept out from under my bed last night, and when he left me I was torn up inside, curled into a little ball of fear." Jayne knit his brows and continued to read. The entry was written as a story, and when Jayne reached the end, his jaw was tight with rage. He did poorly in school but he wasn't stupid, and it didn't take him long to figure out who the real Bogeyman was, and what he'd done. "Oh Anna. Why didn't you say anythin'?" he moaned to the sky.

He heard the barn door open, and a slice of moonlight illuminated the area below. Jayne snuffed out the lantern, and peeked over the edge of the loft to see who was there. He saw it was his stepfather, who'd stolen outside to imbibe some whiskey and smoke a cigar. As if sensing he wasn't alone, Bill looked around warily, and when his eyes stole up to the loft, Jayne pulled his head back quickly. Just not quickly enough.

"That you, Jayne? What in the ruttin' hell are you doin' up there this time of night?"

Jayne climbed down the ladder, and Bill was taken aback by the feral look in the boy's eyes. "I was just readin'."

Bill barked a laugh, "You? Readin'? That's rich."

The boy held up the notebook, and his stepfather's eyes grew wide when he saw it. "Yeah, I been readin'. And there's a real interestin' story in here. Helped me figger out why Anna killed herself."

Bill swallowed hard, "So why'd she do it?"

Jayne tucked the small book into his back pocket, and picked up a pitchfork lying nearby, "It was shame. She said the Bogeyman hurt her. Made her do things she didn't want to."

As Jayne advanced, Bill stumbled backward, "The Bogeyman, eh? She was a little old to be believin' in him, wasn't she?"

"Except I realized that the Bogeyman was real, and that he bore more than just a passin' resemblance to you. Did you know she was pregnant?"

Bill recovered slightly, "Little whore," he spat.

He realized too late that he'd made a horrible mistake. With a grunt, Jayne charged him and speared him in the gut with the pitchfork. "You sonofabitch. The baby was yours, and you know it!"

The older man knew the wounds inflicted on him weren't lethal and he pulled the pitchfork out, tossing it to the side. But the boy wasn't bowed by this display. Grabbing the milking stool, he swung and connected squarely with Bill's face knocking him senseless. Jayne was momentarily frightened by the possibility that he'd killed his stepfather, but it was quickly replaced by a boundless fury. Over and over he beat the man about the head with the stool, until the only way the body could have been identified would have been by its fingerprints.

Jayne awoke then, the horror of that first kill creeping up his spine. He'd set fire to the barn that night to cover up what he'd done. He made it look as though the man had been drunk and tipped over the latern, that it was all a tragic accident. But his mother had never really looked at him the same again, as if somehow she knew what he'd done. And maybe she did, because something in his eyes changed after that night.

That morning at breakfast, he was quieter than usual. Not that anyone really noticed with all the animated conversation going on. He looked around the table, and his eyes settled on Simon. It wasn't that he disliked the man, it was just that every day that went by, he was reminded that Simon had been able to do something that he'd never had the chance to. Save his sister. And that guilt gnawed at him constantly.

Once the meal was over, he got his guns and began the systematic and soothing chore of cleaning them. Lost in his thoughts he didn't notice the slip of a girl creep into the room behind him until he felt her hand on his shoulder. He looked up at her, and she remarked, "We know that not all nightmares happen in your sleep." He reached up and took her hand in his, giving it a quick squeeze, then went back to the task at hand. She slipped out quietly, a sad smile on her face.


Thursday, July 6, 2006 2:53 PM


Where do we stand in line to kill Bill?

Friday, July 7, 2006 1:35 AM


Wow, an explanation for Jayne. I love it.

Friday, July 7, 2006 9:06 PM


Oh qwerty...this is one of the best explanations for Jayne's behaviour I have ever seen! You sure you don't have Joss tied up in your basement or something?


You are seriously putting out Grade A fic here, and I really wanna see what you come up with for the rest of the crew;)


Saturday, July 15, 2006 1:46 PM


whoa. That was. whoa. I like alot. I loved it. Makes me love jayne more and more.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 1:24 AM


Excellent, and it felt fitting that Anna had left her brother the clue that would solve the mystery of her death. I'm glad Jayne ended that *tamade hundan*. I always think Jayne is smarter than he acts on purpose, little bits of sharp intellect piece through the mask from time to time. I also think Mal is much the same perhaps for the same reason, both wanting folk to underestimate them because in an unforgiving 'verse it will give them an edge. Very fine writing, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, August 3, 2006 4:49 AM


Wow... I really liked this. Normally, fanfiction writers are off, but this - I can hear Jayne saying that in my head. It's lovely.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006 3:27 PM


*gasping!* that's fantastic! have you seen "Once Were Warriors"?...New Zealand'll understand why i bring it up after you see it...

*still gasping!*


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