Jayne - The Mercenary
Jayne likes to think of himself as a tough mercenary. He was hired by Mal as the muscle of the crew. Knowing almost nothing about how to run a ship or lead a crew, Jayne's job is to help haul in the merchandise and take care of the more unpleasant characters that would bring harm to Serenity and the people aboard her.
Mal and Jayne's meeting was pure chance and a great indicator of the type of person that he is. Mal and Zoe were attempting to finish a business deal when the buyers, as the buyers Mal deals with tend to be, decided they did not want to give up the money, but take the goods and possibly kill Mal and his associate. Jayne, working with a senior partner, is offered a better deal by Mal. He switches sides immediately. Mal's offer of a greater percentage of the take, his own room and access to a kitchen, were more than Jayne could pass up.
As his new employer, Mal should be understandable suspicious of Jayne. Jayne is little more than a thug who would sell himself and anyone else to the highest bidder. His actions indicate he most likely dropped out of school as a teenager, and has been running around the universe doing one illegal job after another. On the other hand, he is an unusually honest mercenary. Jayne and Mal have an understanding that Jayne is only there so long as nothing better comes along. Jayne has never told anyone what exact dollar amount they are worth, but it is obvious that some residents of Serenity are worth more than others.
Mal is the captain and Jayne's employer. He is probably the first employer or partner Jayne has ever had that has been upfront and honest with Jayne. Prior to him joining the crew of the Serenity, Jayne has been double crossed, or has double crossed all his previous employers and partners. He expects this from Mal, but is learning that it will not happen. To Mal, Jayne is worth just as much as a pilot or mechanic. Jayne holds Mal in as much respect as he could, meaning it would cost a lot for him to sell Mal out.
Jayne and Zoe have their share of conflicts, but Jayne is no leader, neither does he feel the desire to lead. He prefers to be in command only so that no one is telling him what to do, but Jayne has either enough respect for Zoe or for Mal that when the captain is gone and leaves Zoe in charge, Jayne may buck under the new command, but he will follow Zoe's lead. Jayne also respects Zoe's ability to hold her own in a fight.