A/N: I apologize for the song lyrics. I usually think of that song when I think of Jayne. For those of you born under a rock, it's called "Boy Named Sue," and it was written and performed by Johnny Cash.
“Ok, Xander, one more time,” Wash said patiently. “Why does Simon have River’s…mind?”
Xander exhaled in exasperation. “He’s more polite, though. He doesn’t eavesdrop,” he said instead of answering.
Wash’s eyes went wide. “You mean…Simon can read minds?”
Simon looked more startled by this revelation than anyone else.
“What did you think I’ve been saying?!” Xander demanded incredulously.
The crew glanced at each other.
“You weren’t exactly being clear,” Wash pointed out delicately.
“Whatever. So, I’m Xander, an’ Captain’s Mal, an’ Doc is Simon. Who are the rest? Ballerina, what’s your name?” he asked River.
“River Tam,” she said in the distant voice the crew had gotten used to.
“I’m Wash, this is my wife, Zoë. The Shepherd is Book, the Companion is Inara. And…that’s Jayne.”
Xander giggled. “Jayne’s a giiiiiiiiiiirl’s name,” he sing-songed. Jayne growled. Xander went oddly still. “Not your fault she died, Jayne. Sometimes folks just aren’t born right. You can change it if you want, she wouldn’t want you to hurt. Good sisters are like that.”
Jayne grunted. “Used to it now.”
In a rapid change of mood, Xander beamed wildly and started to sing.
“My daddy left home when I was three
And he didn't leave much to ma and me
Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze.
Now, I don't blame him cause he run and hid
But the meanest thing that he ever did
Was before he left, he went and named me "Sue."
Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke
And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,
It seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red
And some guy'd laugh and I'd bust his head,
I tell ya, life ain't easy for a boy named "Sue."
Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean,
My fist got hard and my wits got keen,
I'd roam from town to town to hide my shame.
But I made a vow to the moon and stars
That I'd search the honky-tonks and bars
And kill that man who gave me that awful name.
Well, it was Gatlinburg in mid-July
And I just hit town and my throat was dry,
I thought I'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon on a street of mud,
There at a table, dealing stud,
Sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me "Sue."
Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
From a worn-out picture that my mother'd had,
And I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old,
And I looked at him and my blood ran cold
And I said: "My name is 'Sue!' How do you do!
Now you’re gonna die!!"
Well, I hit him hard right between the eyes
And he went down, but to my surprise,
He come up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth
And we crashed through the wall and into the street
Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.
I tell ya, I've fought tougher men
But I really can't remember when,
He kicked like a mule and he bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laugh and then I heard him cuss,
He went for his gun and I pulled mine first,
He stood there lookin' at me and I saw him smile.
And he said: "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
And I knew I wouldn't be there to help ya along.
So I give ya that name and I said goodbye
I knew you'd have to get tough or die
And it's the name that helped to make you strong."”
Jayne grunted again. The crew looked bewildered. Xander stared in amaze.
“You’ve never heard of Johnny Cash? Where am I?! That song is a classic!”
“You’re on my boat. An’ I’d be mighty pleased to find out how that came along,” Mal said with a scowl.
“Spaceship,” Wash shrugged.