TEMPTATION SERIES: 5. "Confessing"
Friday, July 8, 2005

"Zoe wants to end Jayne for what he's done. Jayne turns to the Preacher in his hour of need."



SUMMARY: "Zoe wants to end Jayne for what he's done. Jayne turns to the Preacher in his hour of need." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.


"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

It was weeks later. Wash had set a course for New Hope and Jayne had taken it as a sign. He wasn't even startled when the Shepherd climbed down into his bunk and stood in silence while he finished packing. Only when he gave the room a last check to make sure nothing was being left behind did he turn to look at the Preacher. A grave and quietly humorous man who lit Jayne up with joy every time he laughed. He was going to miss him. Gorrammit, he was going to miss them all.

"He's going to live you know." Jayne nodded. His words like the nod came out abrupt. "I know."

"You don't have to leave."

The mercenary glared at the Preacher as if the man were brain damaged. "I tried to kill him! Took the money from the job an' planned to start over."

"But you didn't kill him." Said Book mildly. "And I have to wonder about that."

The unexpected comment robbed Jayne of words. Stole most of his anger too. "*Shenme*?"

"Why didn't you finish the job? You could have been home free."

"Ain't ya been listenin'? Didn't ya see the hole in his gut? Or maybe you're waitin' for me to draw a gorram picture for you."

"No," Said Book with a patient half smile on his face. "I'm waitin' for you to tell me why you came back. Why you cried as you held the Captain in your arms."

Jayne turned his head away. "I ain't weak."

"Nobody says you are. Admitting to having feelings is its' own kind of strength, Jayne. The kind that empowers you."

The mercenary snapped his head round and stared at Book. "Huh?"

Book waved to Jayne's bed. "Mind if I sit down?"

He got a grunt in response and took it as a 'yes'. Seeing that the Shepherd was not going to be leaving any time soon, Jayne moved his bag on to the floor and sat on the bed next to him then stared at the floor beneath his feet.

"Why didn't you just abandon him, get away with the money while you had the chance? No one would have pursued you for quite some time."

"Mal would'a died."

"Why is that so important to you?"

The mercenary took a long deep breath before looking up. "Preachers an' Shepherds are like holy men, *dui*?"

Book blinked. "Yes."

"Then ya take confessions?"

For a long moment the Shepherd said nothing, his eyes searching Jayne's. Wanting to be sure exactly what the man was suggesting. "Are you saying you have something you want to confess?"

"If I had would ya be listenin'?"

"I'd be honoured. My ears to God's."

The big man stood up then to Book's surprise and consternation knelt in front of him. Bowing his head, Jayne got right to it. "I ain't a one for prayin' but my ma brought me up right. Not her fault I turned out different than planned. Still believe in God though an' I reckon it's time me an' him spoke."

Shepherd Book rested a light hand on the top of Book's head. "He's listenin', son."

* * * * *

Zoe and Wash were on the bridge. Zoe was pacing, a stern implaccable look on her face. "He's gotta go."

The pilot nodded. Made sense. You didn't get to try to kill your Captain and stay but part of him also felt hurt. The crew had been together a long time, years even, and crude as the mercenary was they had all kind of gelled together. Rubbing the rougher edges off each other and settling in a way which was comfortable. It raised all kinds of questions that after all this time Jayne could betray them. "I'm just surprised is all."

"I'm not."

Wash watched her tight lipped assertion. "You're not?"

"*Bu qu*. He's a mercenary, *zhangfu*. For Jayne it will always be about the money."

"I don't agree with that."

They both turned in surprise as Simon and Shepherd Book entered the bridge. Zoe ignored the Preacher's comment and turned to Simon. "How's the Cap'n?"

"Resting. Thanks to the blood transfusions he's making good progress."

Zoe accepted the update with calm, something inside her relaxing just a tiny bit. Her sharp eyes now focused on the Shepherd. "Why don't you agree?"

"Well, if it had been about the money Jayne would have gone. He didn't. Oh, I'm not saying he didn't think about it - I'm sure he did. Temptation can be a terrible thing. But the important thing is he came back."

"Maybe he just wanted to be sure he'd done a good job."

The Preacher stared at Zoe. Even Wash looked aghast. Book took a moment to respond, keenly aware that he could not break Jayne's confessional. "You don't believe that. You saw how he was when we found him and the Captain. I've never seen Jayne so upset."

She took a breath. "We can't trust him."

Simon was thoughtful, thinking about the violence of the man and how unpredictable he could be. "I may not exactly like him at times but that's wariness more than anything else. Knowing how violent he can be and not knowing what he'll do next."

"Which is kind'a the point." Zoe paused. "He's gotta go." For a couple of minutes no one spoke then the silence began to get strained. Simon mentally shook himself and got to the reason why he was there.

"I came to let you know the Captain should regain consciouness sometime in the next hour. Maybe you should discuss it with him then?"

Not giving Zoe a chance to answer, Simon turned and left as quickly as he had come. After a moment's pause Book followed him out. Wash frowned and glanced at his wife. "Am I goin' *shenjingbing* or did the Shepherd seem upset?"

"Doesn't matter. Jayne's still goin'."

Silence fell then Zoe left the bridge. Wash stared after her for a moment then turned back to his console. His eyes lit on two of his favourite dinosaurs - a tyrannasaurus rex and a brontosaurus. "This is why we don't have children."

* * * * *


Friday, July 8, 2005 8:15 AM


Nice on the relationship between Jayne and Book. And the way Simon sees Jayne. And I could really feel Zoe's anger and determination to get rid of Jayne. Liked Wash in this a lot too.

Saturday, July 9, 2005 2:52 AM


This is some of your best writing. Nailed the characters, even while going someplace new with them. And you did it with dialogue instead of exposition. This whole series so far has been very interesting, and this was the best part. So far. In my opinion.

Friday, January 12, 2007 4:34 AM


The scene with Jayne confessing has more build and tension than most good erotica - very hot.

>Silence fell then Zoe left the bridge. Wash stared after her for a moment then turned back to his console. His eyes lit on two of his favourite dinosaurs - a tyrannasaurus rex and a brontosaurus. "This is why we don't have children."

And so, so true, and sad, and wise.


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THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 73. "Beyond the Cradle"
Inwardly she shuddered, suddenly wondering whether she had made the right decision after all but then survival had not been her idea or even in her power to choose.

THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 72. "The 'Verse In A Grain of Sand"
A thin humourless smile cracked tight lips in the pale face, eyes dark and pitiless read the visual code. A single button pressed, the blinking light vanished. The pilot readied his vessel for pursuit mode.

THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 71. "The Mouth Of Madness"
Silence. Suddenly the absence of his tormentors was kind of frightening, balancing out the relief with a sense of a doom temporarily suspended.

THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 70. "Milk Run"
As they approached the infirmary they could hear voices inside. Both paused to listen before entering, a lifetime of caution that had taught them the value of gleaning information from each and every source available to them.

THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 69. "Inside Out"
Now they had that girl out of the escape pod everything had changed and not for the better neither. Who knew how long he had before his gorram cover was blown?

THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 68. "A Better World"
Immediately three Gate Keepers slammed down blocking her out. So. They knew enough to protect each other by combining forces. Interesting.

THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 67. "Choices"
Sometimes she forgot the depth and breadth of Malcolm Reynolds paranoia. And sometimes when they were entwined in passion she fancied he forgot it too but this was not that time.

THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 66. "Wild Card"
Before the Captain could finish his sentence there was a soft hiss and the sealed hatched popped up and slid open. Mal and Jayne took a hasty step back, startled by the unexpected movement. Zoe stepped passed them and peered through the opening.

THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 65. "Trojan"
It should have been obscene talking about the children as if they were no more than parts of a recipe but he had an ace up his sleeve. One long looked for and never found.

THE DEVIL'S CRADLE: 64. "Be Careful What You Wish For"
The inclusion of what made the Gifted so special was the difference between an indiscriminate weapon of mass destruction and one that could be finely honed to frightening precision.