Note: Sorry it took so long to finish this. I was having a hard time thinking of a job, and this probably isn't the best, but I went with it anyway
Minutes later Inara walked out of Rain's room, shutting the door quietly behind her.
"How is she?" Jade asked.
"Tired, but strong. Does she usually get like this?"
Jade shook his head. "No. but she was also doing something she'd never done before." He sighed and rubbed his temples. "I just hope she'll be able to handle the rest of this."
River lay on her bed as her big brother tucked her in. she could hear the conversation out in the hall. It was in her head, but for once she knew she could push it away… if she wanted to. But she didn't. She was just as worried as they were.
"Hey. What's this, mei-mei?" Simon smoothed the frown away that had formed between her brows. He was still smiling.
"It's nothing. Just a little tired."
"Get some sleep." He ran his hand over her hair before kissing her forehead and turning the light off.
But after he left she laid awake thinking about Rain and what they'd done today. She hoped that Rain would be alright. Part was selfish, she admitted. If Rain couldn't do this, River wouldn't be able to finish. The other part though, a larger part, feared for a friend.
She fell asleep with the thoughts still running through her head.
To the relief of many, Rain was absolutely fine the next day. She and River fell into a pattern from there. In the morning they made breakfast together and then ate with the crew. After, they retired to River's room and did their exercises. It affected Rain less and less with each day that passed. When they finished, the two made dinner. Simon always had questions about what they'd done.
But Rain trained her body by herself. To have others there would only distract her from memorizing the steps. Once they were memorized she could allow her mind to wander.
Unknown to her though, River always watched from the upper rails. She always wanted to join Rain, but she understood her friend's reasons. So she stayed silent and unseen, allowing the steps to become imprinted in her own mind.
The week passed quicker than Rain had expected. According to Jade they'd be landing on Persephone in a matter of hours. She couldn't wait. This would be the first planet she had ever been on. To her, another moon could never count.
Everyone but Jade stood or sat around the kitchen table. Mal took his usual position against the wall. "When we land I'll be going straight to see Badger. I'm takin' Zoë, Jayne and Rain." He turned to look at her. "You ready for this?"
She smiled, her eyes dancing. "Shiny, captain."
"Good. Hopefully it won't be one of those days when Badger feels like being his usual tricky self. And having a new face is bound to throw him off."
Zoë nodded. "It's always nice to have a trick up our sleeves when it comes to Badger."
As Jayne began to open his mouth Mal looked at him pointedly. "No grenades."
"Aww Mal," Jayne grumbled, but said nothing else, for once.
This seemed to be the end of the meeting, as both Zoë and Mal rose to go to their respective quarters. Then Kaylee stood. "Well, I better get Serenity ready for atmo." She walked away as well.
Which left Rain with the Tams and Jayne. But River got up as well, rounding the table to Rain. "We need to get ready too." Rain allowed her friend to take her hand and drag her off toward the guest quarters.
"Not much I need, and you shouldn't be needin' anythin' as you won't be leavin' the ship."
River smiled. "Of course I am. Kaylee and Inara are going shopping while we're there. They said I could go with them."
"Well, still, you won't need anything to go shopping." Rain entered her room and went to the small chest that held her weapons.
"Yes, I know. Mainly I just wanted to ask you something."
Rain paused in the process of strapping on her gun. "What?"
"Do you think I'll have problems? I mean, here there are only seven people to hear. On Persephone there will be tens of thousands at least."
"I can promise it won't be like the times you've been there before now. But how much different, I can't say. You've only been training for a week, and progress tends to be slow at first. Just be patient, and don't try to make it perfect all at once."
River nodded. "Alright."
Rain finished strapping on her gun before shoving her little knife into her boot sheath. "Just promise me one thing." River gave her a questioning look. "Don't go looking for trouble." The girl grinned as Rain buckled the belt that held her sais.
Rain tried not to let the awe show on her face at her first sight of Persephone. The Eavesdown Docks weren't particularly grand, but they were big.
Mal turned to where River stood with Kaylee and Inara. "Now you stay outta trouble little albatross. You do your girl stuff and that's it."
River sighed and rolled her eyes. "Yes Captain."
"Good. Let's go."
It didn't take long to get to Badger's place, much to Rain's disappointment. She'd been hoping to see more of the planet first. But here they were, being led to a small, dirty, dark room where a little man sat behind a desk.
"Well, Reynolds, it seems you've a new crew member."
"Well Badger, I can't say you can't see."
As Rain forced her face to stay free of amusement, Badger glowered. "Do you want to hear about the job? Or should I pass it on to someone else." Mal simply shrugged, so Badger continued. "There's a very important, very expensive painting being sent from Osiris to one of the museums here on Persephone. I have someone willing to buy that painting for more than it's worth so that he can have it in his collection."
"Do we know when it's coming in?"
"Two days from now. My contact tells me it won't be coming in on an official transport, as they want to keep it as low profile as possible. Your job is to get the painting before it enters the museum."
Mal nodded. "Did your contact tell you anything else?"
Badger slid a disk forward. "This should have all the necessary information on it." That's when Rain got the sense that he wasn't being completely truthful. Before Mal could pick it up she stepped forward to take it herself. "Mal didn't mention your name, pet."
The endearment pissed her off, but she didn't let it show. "I'm Rain. And I believe we were leaving."
Badger laughed. "I like this one, Reynolds. Hope you keep her around awhile."
"Yeah, we'll see."
As soon as they got outside Mal whirled on her. "Where do you get off making decisions?"
"I wasn't." She held up a disk that was a different color from the one Badger had pushed toward them.
"You grabbed the wrong one!"
Rain shook her head. "No, I could tell that he was lying about something. For some reason he wanted to give us the wrong one. This is the one with the information we need."
Mal studied her for a moment. "You're sure?" he finally asked.
"Alright then. Let's get back to the ship and take a look at it." And without any apologies, he headed back to Serenity.