This is the last chapter!! Hope you all enjoyed this story and I'll be writing more when I can!! Thanks for all your support and opinions, and I hope you like the ending!
BJ lay squired in the dirt, having been pushing very suddenly over. For a long moment he couldn't understand what he was dong just lying there, until he dared to raise his head. To his left lay Sydney, unconscious yet unwounded from what he could see. He simply appeared to have been knocked out on his fall down. But to his right, lay River, in an odd position. BJ felt the cold stab of fear sliver into his gut. Flipping himself over onto his stomach he crawled quickly to her side all the while in his head thinking it couldn't be so.
As he turned her over, she gave a small gasp, his hands coming into contact with hot, sticky fluid running down her front. She had taken a bullet, its projectile telling him there was nothing he could do.
"No. NO!" He cried and he held her down, tears obscuring his vision. River, this little girl was dying and there was nothing he could do to stop it. "You can't die." He whispered.
River locked her eyes onto BJ and for the first time in so many years, her head felt clear.
"Hold on. Hold on." BJ continued whispering but when his eyes reached hers he went quiet. She knew he couldn't do anything.
"Can't get back up." She smiled ghostly. "Sometimes when we fall, we can't get back up. Can't get back up." River whispered, her breathing becoming more strained.
BJ sat with River, and after nine minutes, her breathing finally stopped, her eyes loosing the life they had so strangely kept. BJ continued to hold her, weeping, his tears falling onto her hair. It wasn't until Sydney awoke, and placed his hand on BJ's back, did he realise they needed to get back to camp.
"……River, River?" Someone was gently shaking her shoulder and for a moment she felt confused. Where was she?
Opening her eyes, she looked into the familiar pair of Simon's.
"Simon." She managed to get out.
"We almost lost you mei mei." He said quietly, rubbing her shoulder in comfort.
"I don't remember."
"Well, that's not surprising. You took a blow to the head." Simon's demeanour changed suddenly as the feeling of anger and fear crossed into her brother's mind. "Don't you dear do that again. You could have been killed. I didn't rescue you from the Alliance to go and get yourself killed."
River continued to stare at him until finally he left, finishing his ranting that she was never to do anything like that again and let her get some more rest and inform the rest of Serenity she was ok.
She remembered images. It had been a simple route, they had gone to pick up supplies, and something had gone wrong. Someone had fired a gun and it had been aimed to kill her brother. She had stepped in front of it, saving him as he had on so many occasions saved her. Her thoughts shifted again, back to the doctors of the 4077th MASH unit. Scrunching up her eyebrows, she tried to find an answer but nothing came to her. This was just one of those things she couldn't understand.
They had made their way back to the camp, minus one person, and another covered in blood which wasn't theirs. Colonel Potter was the first to them followed closely by Mulcahy, his face looking very worried at BJ's appearance.
"What in the Hell happened here?" He moved promptly to BJ who simply shook him off, indicating he was fine.
"It's not mine." He answered Potter's question before he could ask it. "It's River's." He added dejectedly.
At the look he added, Potter didn't say anything else but made his way back into the camp, the others following slowly behind him.
The mess around them was sickening.
"How could anyone do this?" Came Klinger's voice over the heaving and huffing of people pulling and dragging bodies from the camp to be buried. River had left a sea of destruction. BJ knew she had only wanted to protect them, but this was the price she had paid. There lives for hers.
"Sir's!" Klinger stood fully, saluting them all. "It shouldn't take long to get the rest of the bodies out of here." He relayed, his eyes moving over BJ.
"Don't ask." Sydney injected before Klinger could say any more.
"You did a fine job with Hawkeye. He's recovering fine." Potter patted BJ's arm before heading into the ward. Taking the hint from Sydney, Mulcahy quietly moved from the other two, giving Klinger a hand.
"She was a strange girl." Sydney finally said, breaking the silence that had grown more suffocating as they had walked. He heard BJ give a sniff.
"She shouldn't have died."
"It happens. This is what we call life. You live, you die." Sydney said.
"I know." BJ shouted. "But she was too young." He shook his head.
"I'm sure she's in a better place. We have to believe she's in a better place." Sydney looked to the sky, and BJ remembered what she had said when she had first arrived.
'Where did you come from? Who are you with?" Potter tried again. This time she looked up, her eyes widening and pointed to the ceiling. Potter looked up and raised his eyebrows as he understood what she was getting at.
Now surly, she was in the sky.