Disclaimers: Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon own it all.

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Timeline: Takes place during Safe, only this time Jayne gets snatched

Pairings: Jayne/ River, naturally; Zoë/ Wash

Rating: M for all the usual reasons

This is the last chapter, hope you enjoyed!

Wash looked up as the captain and his wife entered the galley and gave a sigh of relief. He could tell by the small smile on 's face, he called it her 'Madonna smile', that all had gone well.

"Okay, so here's how it's gonna work." Mal shifted his gaze between Jayne and River. "This here…" he waved his arms at the two, "whatever it is between you, it interferes with Jayne's job it's over. You got a beef, you keep it 'tween yerselves. Ain't no ruttin' in common areas, dong ma? Any of these rules get broke, dependin' on who does the breakin' and dependin' on who's needed the most, someone's gettin' off the ship. And Jayne, you hurt that little girl, you'll have an awful lotta folk to answer to." The captain took a deep breath. "So, we clear?"

River smiled and ran up to embrace her captain. "Perfectly understood Captain Daddy. We shall conduct ourselves with the utmost decorum, only ruttin' will take place in Jayne's bunk or anywhere we are sure we will not be discovered." She ran back to land in Jayne's lap. "I am very pleased with this outcome!" She kissed him deeply.

Jayne pulled her close to him and returned her kiss. Pulling away from her, he looked up at Mal. "This ain't just for sexing' Mal. Don't know why, but she means something. She's special."

"She is special Jayne." Simon had stood up. "Please take care of her the way you did planet-side. Please take care with her." The doc was pleading. He knew River wanted this, needed this, but it didn't stop his worrying for her sake.

Taking a deep breath, Jayne nodded. "I'll do my best for her doc. That's all I can do, she knows who I am and she wants me anyway, so I guess I gotta trust her, she must be readin' somthin' I can't." He looked down at the girl in his arms. "Dui ma?"

"Dahng ran!" River looked longingly into her lover's eyes. "You are all she needs and she has been waiting such a long time. You are much better than you know. She knows…I know, so you can be assured it is true." River looked over at the assembled crew. "We are grateful for your acceptance, now we will retire to Jayne's bunk to reconfirm our physical bonding." Turning back to Jayne, she smiled. "Please carry to your bed now."

With a growl and a smirk for the crew, Jayne rose with River in his arms. "Gotta do what the girl asks, she the smart one." He arched his eyebrows at Kaylee before leaving the room, causing the girl to dissolve in a fit of giggles.

"Oh that Jayne. He's such a romantic." Kaylee sighed. "Who'da thunk it?"

Zoë raised one brow. "I wouldn't use that word to describe Jayne, but if it makes you happy Kaylee, by all means, go with it." Zoë took Wash's hand. "Come husband, the ship's on auto-pilot, I think we can reconfirm our physical bonding as well."

"Gotta do what the woman wants, she the smart one." Wash did a fairly close imitation of Jayne as Zoë led him from the room.

Inara joined Mal up in the cockpit, bringing him a cup of soothing tea. He looked up at the companion. "You gonna charge me for this?"

"Don't be such a fay-fay duh pee yen and just take it." Inara shook her head.

"Sorry, just a nasty habit, I guess." He blew on the tea to cool it.

"You guess? I know." She leaned back in the chair and gazed out the window. "It really is beautiful up here."

Admiring the companion with a sidelong glance, he agreed. "Yeah, one of my favorite views."

"Are you doing alright Mal?" She inquired.

"Yeah, I suppose. Just don't do well with change, especially change that I didn't make. I want harmony on my boat 'Nara and those two…well the two of 'em are loose canons, know what I mean?" Mal confessed.

"I can see what you are referring to, but it certainly appears to all but you that they seem to calm each other." She delicately shrugged. "They're suited."

"Well maybe, but for how long?" He asked, almost to himself.

"Who knows? Who ever knows the answer to that question? They're happy and happiness is a good thing Mal. Just let it be. As long as it doesn't affect you, let it be." She sipped at her tea.

Mal looked over at the beautiful woman and shrugged. "As long as it doesn't affect me or my boat I'll take your advice." The two sat in companionable silence for a good while.

River moaned as she slid off Jayne. "That was very delicious." She breathlessly whispered.

Jayne chuckled. "Yeah, your whisperin' now, I'm sure your brother is havin' fits with the sounds that've been comin' outta his mei mei for the past coupla' hours."

She giggled and propped herself up on the mercenary's chest. "Yes, I'm sure you may be right. But this is only our second time copulating, it was bound to be intense."

He moved to face her. "River girl, you sure about this? About us?"

Her eyes softened. "You mean about you?"

"Yeah, I guess that's what I mean. You know I'm not a good man, and you know better than most what with the readin' 'n all." His brow furrowed.

"I am totally sure, my Jayne, even if you are not. You soon will be. This is right in so many ways. Please believe me. Doesn't it feel right to you?" She asked.

"Well yeah, but we've been sexin' real good, so 'course it feels right. What about when we ain't sexin'?"

"When you went to find Serenity to save us, we weren't sexin' and still you wanted to be with me. It felt right, didn't it?" She drew circles on his chest with her nails.

"Yeah, I knew I needed to get to ya. I woulda done anything to get to ya." He got a thoughtful look on his face. Yeah, he thought, I need her.

"Just be patient my Jayne, all will be revealed. To you and to me. But in the now, we will have each other and we will become closer and this is all for the good." Her hand began to move lower on his stomach.

"Girl, you keep that up and you're gonna be on your back 'fore you can blink and we're gonna be real close." He groaned.

"I was hoping for that my Jayne." She laughed with delight as Jayne threw her on her back and slid into her.

"Gotta give you what you want, you're the smart one." He groaned as she pushed up into him.

"Yes my Jayne, you do." She gasped.

More than a year had past and many things had happened to the intrepid Serenity crew. Time was not a static thing and River was now sure that the cuts made in her brain, once healed and reconfigured, had enabled her to change the course of natural events, but then again maybe it all played out just the way it should have. River inwardly shrugged and smiled as she stood in the cockpit. It had become one of her favorite places in the ship. She loved the open space, all the black spotted with the luminosity of the billions of stars above, below, everywhere. Freedom, she thought, freedom felt so good.

"Hey there little lady, does your old man know where you are?" Wash smiled at his young co-pilot. "You know the big guy goes a bit ape shit if he doesn't know where you are?"

River gave a soft laugh. Every time she looked at Wash she felt the life that might have been, that would've been?, she wondered, if she hadn't joined with Jayne. It lessened, but the knowledge, a distant memory, it was there. Jayne had completed her, made her whole and she was able to discern things, read events that may have otherwise been murky. A fact that the captain appreciated on the job.

"Oh Wash, Jayne always knows where I am." She laid a hand across his arm.

"So, is my woman making passes at the little man?" Jayne came in to the cockpit and stood behind his wife, his large palms encircling her waist and pulling her against him.

"Yeah, like that could ever happen." Wash laughed and looked over at Jayne's serious face. "Um, no really Jayne, that could never, would never…" His eyes quickly passed from Jayne to River, who was biting her lip to keep from laughing. "Oh, you guys are just mean. I'm gonna have to get my Amazon woman to take care of the both of you."

"Sorry little man, sometimes you're just too easy." Jayne pulled his wife a little closer. "Bedtime sweetheart." He kissed the top of her head.

"Yes my Jayne. To bed." She leaned over and kissed Wash's cheek. "Good night Wash. I am so glad you are here."

Wash looked up at her with a confused look on his face. "Thanks little one. I'm sure Zoë agrees, well most of the time."

"No dear, all of the time." Zoë had entered with grace, despite the protruding stomach that preceded her, just as the conversation was coming to an end. "I was planning on keeping my husband company, but if you two are…"

"No, I'm here to take m' wife to bed. I've been without her for most of the day. That's way too long and m' body's missin' the feel of her." Jayne started to back out of the room.

"Yes, time to copulate with my spouse." River leaned up and kissed the first mate's cheek. Zoë held onto the younger girl for a moment.

"Good night River." Zoë pulled away and looked deeply into her eyes and saw the thoughts that were swirling in the younger woman's head. "Thank you River, for the rest of my life, thank you." She whispered. The first mate's mind swam back to over a year ago….to Miranda…

The reaver's were fast on their tail, along with the Alliance, but River had grabbed onto Zoë's arm. 'It'll be a rough landing, but once the ship hits, he has to be out of the pilot's chair! Don't forget, out of the chair!' Jayne had grabbed his wife and hauled her into the galley to strap her down before anything else could be said.

Zoë's eyes had opened wide in confusion, but she had taken heed of the younger woman's words, particularly since River's warning had saved the inhabitants of Haven. Once Serenity had skidded to a stop, the first mate had jumped out of her chair and rushed to Wash's side, hitting the release button on his safety harness, she pulled Wash to the floor seconds before a reaver battering pole had crashed through the pilot's window, destroying the chair he had been sitting in. Both were bruised, but they were alive. The next few hours had been the roughest any of them had been through, but they had all survived.

River shook her head to clear out the loud memories Zoë was broadcasting.

"Good night Zoë. You have the life you deserve and so does your Wash." She ran her hand lightly over the first mates stomach. "And so does this one."

"Aw, come on ladies, night's a wastin' and I still need me some sexin' and a little sleep 'fore we do crime tomorrow." Jayne pulled River away from Zoë. "Much as seein' the two of you together a year ago woulda been a treat I woulda paid for, now, well it just ain't right." River slapped his arm.

"Jayne, please." Wash rolled his eyes at the mercenary before a gleam sparkled there. "Actually, Zoe…"

"Husband, just let it lie." She turned to the other couple. "Good night."

After Jayne and River left, Zoë sat gingerly on her husband's lap. "Am I too heavy?"

Wash laughed. "I may be a little man compare to Jayne, but I think I can handle my wife and son for a nice snuggle." He breathed in his wife's smell as he ran his hand over their baby, who gave a sound kick. "Wow! He's in fine form tonight."

"Umm." Zoe agreed with a small groan. "He bes' be ready to come out soon or I'm making him." She laid her head on her husband's shoulder.

"Sweetheart? Are you okay? Should we go down to the infirmary?" Wash's voice rose an octave.

"Just all the normal stuff husband, no worries. Just life." Zoe smiled at the life she had, a life that might not have been. She sighed and snuggled in closer to her husband's embrace. Yes indeed, no worries, just life.

The end


-Dui ma: right

-Dahng ran: of course

-fay-fay duh pee yen: baboon's ass crack