Author: babies stole my dingo (agilebrit)
Rating: PG-13 (default)
Length: Flashfic (under 500 words)
Disclaimer: Joss is the genius behind these characters; I am but a lowly follower. I make no money from any of this, so please don't sue me.
Feedback: Concrit adored! If you see something that can be improved upon, please let me know.
Written for: ff_friday's "colors" challenge.
Notes: River's POV as a job goes bad again. Post-BDM.
Bright crimson life fluid, blossoming out from the wound like an obscene flower. Another job gone bad and all sorts of wrong, Jayne down, bleeding and swearing and still firing his own gun. Sun-colored gouts of flame coming from the muzzle of his weapon and why is everything red, including my vision as I go into auto-mode. The Alliance had wanted to make a weapon of me, and so they have; I move (like nothing any of them have ever seen), taking down our adversaries with (scary) precision and turning back to my comrades, panting, when it's all done.
Zoe kneeling beside Jayne, her cafe au lait skin paler than normal, red red blood on her hands as she strives to stem the bleeding and yells for Simon. Whites of Jayne's eyes showing as they roll into the back of his head, blue tinge on his lips as his shattered lung fails to deliver the oxygen his body requires.
This is all I have time to see before I charge back into the ship looking for my brother, my bare feet slapping on the metal floor, nearly crashing into him as he's coming down the stairs. He's heard the gunfire and come running (here we go again), bag in one hand and collapsible stretcher in the other, sliding to a stop on his knees next to Zoe. "What've we got?" All professional and cool; he'd never react that way if it was me, but it's (just) Jayne, and so he's detached. He still cares, but it isn't personal.
I collapse onto the steps, my legs giving way as the adrenaline leaves my body, colors fading back to normal, edges of things not quite as bright. The Captain reaches down and grabs our money from the belt of the man who tried to cheat us, muttering something I don't hear (I do the job, I get paid for the job). Zoe and Simon heave Jayne onto the stretcher and bring him in, heading toward the infirmary, Mal behind them.
He stops next to me, squeezes my shoulder. "That was some good shootin', little albatross. You mighta saved our bacon there."
"Don't like killing people."
He's sympathetic (don't like it either). "I know they say aim for center of mass, but, girl, the way you shoot, you could probably aim for guns or kneecaps, if you don't like killin'. Makes the same point and leaves them alive so we'll have contacts for another day. Maybe next time?" His hand moves to my hair, his thumb smoothing it back (poor thing), and I rest on it for a second.
"Maybe next time," I confirm.
He hits the button to raise the ramp, and the lights flash, but the hues have all muted back to normal--maybe even less than normal--now. I lean my head on the stair railing, close my eyes, and breathe, looking at the soothing black of the insides of my lids.