Summary: Zoe's nights were filled with tossing and turning as dreams haunted her, visions of Wash's body flashing through her mind. She couldn't stop them. No one could...no one but him. Post Serenity. ZoeWash memories, ZoeJayne friendship.
Wash's mangled, lifeless body flashed through her mind, as she slept, images of his death still fresh in her mind, even after two months. She let out an unconscious moan as she tossed and turned in her bed…their bed. Finally, she shot up, breathing hard, struggling to get a hold of herself. She closed her eyes and took a deep, shaky breath, banishing the painful images that haunted her constantly. As soon as she was calm once again, she gradually she let herself fall back into bed, pulling the blankets around her tightly. She imagined they were his arms, wrapping around her in that sweet, protective grasp her had sometimes held her in at night, as if he'd never let her go. How she missed it.
As sleep slowly drifted upon her for the second time that night, she felt no peace along with it, and soon, the terrifying images returned. This time she didn't wake right away, she couldn't seem to snap herself out of her memories, it all seemed so real. As if she were reliving it, something she couldn't bear to do, but was being forced to endure. When she finally awoke, it was to a familiar voice, a strong arm on her shoulder, shaking her lightly until her eyes flickered open, surprise on her face.
"Jayne? W-what are you doing here?"
"What am I doin? What're you doin, Zoe? I could hear ya clear ta my bunk."
"What?" She asked, still disoriented and shaken from her nightmares as she sat up.
"You were yellin somethin awful, half thought a reaver'd got in here." He said, trying to disguise his obvious worry for her well being. He softened his tone. "So…if everything's alright-"
"Just fine, Jayne." She said, wondering why she suddenly longed for his arms around her, just as she had imagined Wash's, her husband's.
She missed him more than anything in the world, and losing him that day had been the worst pain she ever imagined she could feel, but she had accepted no comfort from the crew. She was strong, hardened. She had survived the war gorammitt! But now…now all she wanted was a friend, a hug, the comfort she had pushed away for so long. She almost felt like crying, another thing she'd pushed away, at least while others were around. She had nearly pretended that wash's death never happened, everyone was worried, but she just kept pushing on. She couldn't afford to mourn, it would be too much.
There was only so much one could handle before breaking.
"Are ya sure?"
"I said I'm fine." She nearly snapped, her eyes flashing.
Jayne's hand left her shoulder quickly, a look of compassion mixed with confusion in his eyes. "Zo-"
"Just leave me alone, Jayne."
He sat next to her, shaking his head, and daring to brush hr shoulder once again. "You ain't alright."
She inhaled sharply at his touch and was tempted to remove his hand herself, but at the moment, she just felt too horribly to deal with him. The sooner he left, the better for her. These were her thoughts, yet not her feeling…What happened next, she couldn't explain. She didn't know why it happened, or what had caused it, but for some reason, she didn't mind.
Jayne looked into her eyes, understanding in his own, when his grip on her arm tightened slightly and he pulled her closer. Before she knew what she happening, she had thrown herself into his chest. They snaked around her back, pulling her into him in a warm, tender hug, as he whispered words of comfort in her ear.
"…It's gonna be alright, bao-bei." He whispered. "We all miss 'im…" He paused. "I do too."
"I wanna die." She mumbled into his chest, all her walls falling down and for once she felt helpless.
"Now hold on." He said firmly, more than surprised by her behavior. All of the time he had known her she'd been strong, probably stronger than him. "That ain't happenin, dong-luh-mah? Yer gonna make it."
"I can't." She breathed. Her arms tightening around him. "I am tired of being strong, Jayne." She said softly into his shoulder. "I just can't anymore."
"Yes, ya can. Yer gonna be just fine. Ya know why? Cuz ya got us. Ya got the captain, and ya got me."
She pulled away, for the first time that night, the pain washing away from her expression, as skepticism replacing it. "You?"
"There somethin funny about that?"
The tiniest smile tugged at the corners of her lips as she let herself sink back into his arms, one last time, promising herself that in the morning, it would be as if it never happened. She would be back to being the same old Zoe she'd always been, and he would be same old Jayne…but right now she just wanted to be held…And he was glad to oblige.
A/n: I'm not sure whether to make this a 'Zayne' friendship oneshot or a 'Zayne' WIP with possibilities of romance. I think it would be great and tragic to have her struggle with feelings for Wash and the new ones she develops for Jayne. Yes, it's an odd pairing and I always guessed that she'd end up with Mal, wince wash died, but he loves Inara…sorry, I'm rambling. Anyway, it's up to you. Oneshot or WIP?REVIEW and tell me what you like and quote your fave parts. It really helps! Thx:D