Jayne's Gift

By GregRobin Smith

Fantasy / Scifi

Chapter 1

On the planet Haven...

Zoe had to see him, one last time.

When the Med room doors slid open, she was startled to see Jayne standing over the molecular-cremation chamber that held her late husband, Wash. Jayne had a gun in his hand.

Jayne seemed a bit surprised when he heard the door, but then he saw Zoe and became - unusual for him - relaxed, returning his gaze to the blond-haired pilot lying inside the box.

"Jayne", said Zoe. "What are you doing here?"
It was neither a threat, nor accusation. She was simply confused. She wasn't sure. The emotions of so many years of happiness and dangers shared with her wonderfully annoying, loving man brought to such a terrible end by a Reaver's harpoon still roiled inside her. Her calm was surprising, if thin.

Jayne muttered, "I ain't got words like Sheppard. Kaylee and Moonbrain gets things said prettier. But Wash got us out of plenty of bad stick. I'm glad we had him... with us. Won't be easy without him..."

Zoe shifted her weight a bit.

"...for any of us."

Zoe calmly spoke, "So, why the gun?"

"Some places I been, Fighters get buried with... stuff. I seen swords and" (Jayne hefted the gun) "other things. It's a sign of respect. Just... it's a sign of respect."

Laying the gun alongside of Wash, Jayne seemed not to know which way to turn, then headed out of the room past Zoe in the doorway. Zoe stopped him with a hand on his shoulder. The grip was strong.

Zoe spoke softly. "He would have appreciated it, Jayne. Well, actually, he would have made some... dumb-ass stupid joke about it...

They both huffed a quiet laugh.

"I appreciate it Jayne. When the time comes, if I have anything to do with it... would you want that?"

Jayne looked at her... his mouth a bit dry. "Yea... Vera... I'd like her with me.... and my Bowie knife. And, I got some vids..."

Zoe interrupted. "There's only so much room..."

"I guess. Vera, mostly."

"Done."

"What about you, Zoe?"

"If you have any say in it, Jayne,... just bring me back here and set me with Wash. Deal?"

"Sure... Deal."

Jayne broke their gaze and left Zoe alone in the room with her dead husband. Zoe walked slowly over to the coffin, took Wash's hand in hers and held it.

The Med Room door slid shut.

The end

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