Disclaimer: All characters and situations owned by Joss Whedon, King of Geeks. All hail and bring sacrificial reviews before him.

Spoilers: For the movie, Serenity - specifically Wash's situation therein.

A/N: Just a little something that occured to me. Enjoy.


Really, there was no other way this could have gone. Classic fairy tale syndrome. He got the girl, they were happy, and then the ever after came. The payment.

He'd had his warrior-princess. And she had loved him, boy had she. Laughed with him, only occasionally at him, and been fiercely proud of him. Proud to be with him. Sexy as hell, she was, and she gave it all to him. She thought she was lucky. Told him so on more than one occasion. But he knew he was, knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he'd lucked out in the love lottery. And that there'd be a payment due. Someday.

Every so often, he pinched himself. Just to make sure this wasn't some dream. Because she was everything a man could imagine and then some. Because he'd never once thought he could be this happy.

She wanted to make a baby together. A little bit of him, hope to God more of her - all smushed together and made into a tiny person. His son, his daughter.

His life had become this fairy tale. No matter how dark, how scary it got, he'd known that somehow they'd get through it together. Intact. Because they got the happily part. Got the girl, got the happily.

Now was the ever after. Because no one ever talked about what was after that. The handsome if slightly quirky prince marries the beautiful warrior princess and they live happily. Ever after. And then what? When the after was all ever'd out, what happened to them?

They paid the price, he guessed. So few people got to be happy like this, so few really got to be in love. So those that did, there was a toll. It had to end, somehow. The happily didn't go on forever.

As his death rushed at him, speeding on the tip of a Reaver's harpoon, Wash knew. He grieved, he raged, but he knew. His ever after was here.

And it had been worth it.