It had all happened too quickly...and yes....like he’d told Mal, he’d gotten stupid on Ariel.
When they’d gotten back on Serenity and Mal mentioned something about him missing his big payday, Jayne had known that somehow, Mal had found out about him calling the Feds. But then.....then Simon had smiled at him in that way he had that made Jayne’s stomach twist in knots and said they wouldn’t even be standing there if it wasn’t for him. Simon had touched Jayne’s shoulder and as always, his very skin seemed to burn where the weight of Simon’s hand had been.
That was why he’d done it. Not the money, not the idea of not having to hide from the Feds because they had fugitives on board.
He’d turned them in because having Simon close was driving him mad. He was so gorram pretty and smart and proper; everything that Jayne wasn’t. Despite the fact that he hated himself for it, he wanted Simon, wanted him in every way possible. Wanted him in his bed mostly, but some part of him wanted more than that.
And that was something he wasn’t ready to deal with.
It wasn’t the fact that Simon was a man. That wasn’t the problem at all. It was that just looking at him made Jayne think that sexin’ up one and only one person for the rest of his life might not be a bad thing after all. It made him think that sharing a bunk with someone all the time might be cozy and kind of nice.
Just looking at Simon made him wonder if putting down roots planetside and settling down might not be such a horrible thing after all.
And thinking those things had been too much.
The easiest way out of it all, he’d figured at the time, was to take the temptation that was Simon out of reach. With him gone, Jayne would find peace again; he could go back to his whores and sleeping alone and knowing that when he died, it would be in battle and in the blackness of space, not on some gorram planet where he had a house and a garden and a husband.
He was a coward. A lying, traitorous, coward and despite everything, he hoped Simon would never find out what he’d done back on Ariel.
Mal liked to joke that they were all big damn heroes sometimes, like when they’d rescued River from those backwoods villagers who thought she was a witch.
As Jayne stopped by the infirmary and watched Simon calm a hysterical River once again, his hands gentle and loving as they moved over her face, his voice soft and soothing as he whispered words to help her relax, Jayne felt like the verse’s biggest fool for nearly destroying them both.
Big damn hero indeed.