Never a Normal Relationship…

By Lady Cleo

All Disclaimers Apply.

While setting down on Jayne's home world things go from messed up to screwed up for Jayne, River and the crew of Serenity. (Jayne River, Post Objects in Space.)

Epilogue: Third Time's… Auspicious

"Whose idea was this?" Jayne asked as he stood in the doorway watching several people working in the cargo bay. He crossed his arms over his chest and groaned as he heard Kaylee laugh, "Don't tell me. Think I just figured it out for myself."

River walked over to stand at her husband's side, she grinned up at him, titling her head to watch the expressions roll off his face. "Book and Inara's too!" She commented casually.

Jayne reached out pulling her in front of him he rested his chin on her head, hands wrapping around her waist. "Don't know why in ruttin hell I agreed to it. What's this put us at, two times?"

River smiled contentedly as she felt his chest vibrate as he spoke, "Agreed cuz of the food." She answered simply. "Third time!"

"No it ain't, first time don't count cuz it was all in our heads."

"Said the dos and signed the documentation, lived it for a duration of existence, still has significance. Sides' first time's an endeavor, second's an upgrade, third time's auspicious." She explained. "And, also, Simon wanted to give the bride away."

Jayne snorted, "Lucky my ass, gorram doc probably just wants a chance to say yes when the Shepherd asks if anyone objects."

River elbowed him in the stomach ignoring the groan that her action produced. "Play nice Jayne." she whispered as she snuggled deeper into his embrace.

"Jayne!" Mal called out, "Stop fooling around and get your ass out here so we can get this over with." Releasing his wife slowly Jayne moved away, glad that at least Mal seemed to be as miserable as he was.

"Right, are we ready to begin?" Shepherd Book asked as he finished flipping through his bible.

Kaylee tossed the last streamer across the catwalk and glanced about at her progress. Though it was still obviously a cargo bay, she felt proud of her work in decorating it. Only wished they had flowers. She turned to her co-conspirators and gave Book and Inara a quick nod of approval. "Don't it look pretty?"

"You ain't gonna be so happy when the Captain makes you clean it all up little Kaylee." Jayne declared with a smug grin as she stepped over to slap him on the shoulder.

"Remind me again why we couldn't have this little shindig in the dinning room?" Mal questioned, glancing about his prettified cargo bay and praying that they wouldn't run into any other ship. He'd never live it down in the smuggling world if word got out that he'd spruced up his cargo hold for a wedding.

"All the foods on the table Captain, it'd be mighty distracting to have the ceremony up there with Jayne drooling." Kaylee grinned as Jayne scowled.

"Kaylee," Simon called out from the opening to the guest quarters, "We're ready to start."

"Right." The engineer bounced happily, "Get to go play maid of honor now." She grinned up at the three men and Inara before practically skipping away

"Glad somebody's enjoying this." Jayne muttered under his breath, watching the engineer disappear as Wash and Zoe entered the cargo bay.

"Oh you know you are too!" Inara added. "You and Mal may look all stoic and slightly miserable, but deep down your just like Kaylee."

"Wow, how come we didn't do this?" Wash asked his wife as his eyes roamed about the cargo bay.

"Cuz, we ain't the sentimental kind like Jayne, husband." She answered as the two of them walked over to join the group.

Jayne growled again turning to look at Mal. "I ain't ever gonna live this down, am I?" Mal shook his head no. "We'll so long as it don't get off the ship. But I hear one word bout this leaked, and ain't nobody gonna be able to survive the beating I'll give em'."

Wash opened his mouth to a make a smart ass comment when Simon's voice broke through, "Okay, uh... we're ready now."

Inara hit play on the small recorder in her hand, filling the cargo bay with the soft strains of music. Kaylee immerged in her flowered dress, walking proudly through the cargo bay.

Seconds later Simon emerged with River on his arm. She was wearing one of Inara's dresses, a creamy white one that was still a little bit too big on her, but the happy smile across her face outshone the dress. Together brother and sister walked down the makeshift isle, coming to stop before Jayne and Book as the music died down.

"Who gives this woman in holy matrimony?" Book questioned with a quiet smile.

"In lieu of our father's inability to attend the ceremony," Simon started to say, turning his gaze from Book to glance down at his sister's bright smiling face, "I do." Leaning down he kissed her on the cheek and gave her hand to Jayne before stepping back to join Kaylee.

River smiled up at Jayne happily as Book began the ceremony, and couldn't help but compare it to the very first memory and found that it matched almost perfectly.

There was the man standing before them with his symbol that would turn to pages if taken apart.

There was the warm, sensual girl, though not covered with grease, and a doctor that Jayne didn't like, but now grudgingly accepted as part of the crew.

There was a funny man who liked playing with dinosaurs and a strong woman who liked the funny man that liked playing with dinosaurs.

There was the tall and protective one who owned the big damn boat, and worshipped the pretty woman that smelled of exotic spices and strong love.

But this time they weren't all strangers in her mind, they were people with faces and names, with feelings and emotions.

And then there was Jayne, who looked funny and out of place in his combat boots next to her, in her too large creamy white dress without the wildflowers. There was Jayne who held her hand as they were joined together by Book, the Shepherd.

Jayne; there's always Jayne.