Chapter 1

Jayne sighed and climbed out of bed. He stretched and listened to his back crack loudly. It was still early at least an hour until the day cycle started, but he knew he wouldn't be able to sleep any longer. Zoe groaned and shifted in the bed. Jayne looked down in sympathy and leaned over to rub her back.

Being nearly eight months pregnant was draining on both Zoe and Jayne. Zoe was just plain exhausted from carrying a baby around and Jayne was worn out from the lack of sleep. Zoe tossed and turned all night, trying to find a position that would allow her to sleep comfortably, Jayne was woken up all through the night from her moving and groaning. Zoe had offered to sleep in her old bunk so he could get some sleep, but Jayne had made it clear that his woman didn't sleep alone, especially while she was expecting.

As soon as Zoe had settled down and fallen back to sleep Jayne crept quietly from the room and headed to the kitchen. He began making coffee thinking that he would need a big pot to make it through the day.

Once the coffee was finished he plopped down at the table with a large mug in front of him.

"Mornin Uncle Jayne."

Haven Reynolds wandered into the room in her night gown. The three year old was rubbing her eyes sleepily and dragging a tattered and much loved blanket across the ground. Without asking for permission she climbed into Jayne's lap and laid her head on his shoulder.

Jayne shifted so that he could hold the girl more securely and then rubbed her back.

"Hey Miss Vee. How come yer up so early?" He asked.

The little girl sighed and snuggled closer to the big merc. It still surprised Jayne that little Haven had chosen him to be her buddy. He still thought of himself as a tough gun hand, but apparently Vee had decided he was also best friend material. At first when she'd begun to follow him around he'd complained, but honestly he kind of liked having the little girl around.

"My head feels fuzzy." She said softly into his chest.

"Yer head feels funny huh? What's that mean?" He asked.

Haven sighed again and looked at Jayne like he was the three year old and she was the adult.

"Just feels fuzzy. Kinda hot and it hurts." She explained.

Jayne realized that her head against his chest did feel hot. He raised one hand and placed it on the little girl's forehead.

"Well little girl ya got a fever, that's why yer heads hurtin. Best we go down and get yer Uncle Simon ta take a look at you." Jayne suggested and stood up with Haven in his arms.

"He'll give me a shot. I hate shots." Haven complained.

"Well I ain't fond of em either, but if it makes ya better then ya gotta get it." Jayne pointed out.

Haven nodded and laid her head down on Jayne's shoulder.

"You want I should wake yer folks?" Jayne asked as they walked past Mal and River's room.

"No they need their sleep. Mommy had a bad night." She said wisely.

Jayne was once again amazed by how grown up the little girl sounded. She and her sister Annabelle had inherited their mother's intelligence. Sometimes it was scary how smart the girls were, they always seemed so much older than their three years.

"You sure Little Bit?" He asked again.

She nodded once more and clung to Jayne a bit tighter. Jayne knocked on the door to Simon and Kaylee's room and waited for a reply.

"Yeah?" Came Kaylee's sleepy voice.

"Hey Doc we need ya out here." Jayne said through the door.

Within a second Simon threw the door open and looked at Jayne anxiously.

"Is it the baby?" He asked.

"No Zoe's fine. But Vee here ain't feelin so hot and seems she's got a fever." Jayne explained.

Simon looked with concern at his niece and placed his hand on her forehead.

"Alright well let's go down to the infirmary and see what's going on." Simon suggested.

Jayne set Vee down on the exam table and stood back so that the doctor could examine her.

"Where's it hurt Vee?" Simon asked.

"My head hurts Uncle Simon. It's pounding and my back hurts too." She replied sadly.

Simon gave the little girl a hug and kissed the top of her head. "Well let's see what we can do to make you feel better."

Simon spent the next few minutes taking her temperature and running a few other tests. Once he was finished he pulled out a syringe and a vial of medicine.

"Do I have to have a shot Uncle Simon? I don't like em." She asked fearfully.

"I'm sorry Vee, but it'll make you feel better I promise." Simon replied.

"Here Vee you just hold onta my hand and it'll be over before you know it." Jayne suggested.

Haven looked up at Jayne and gave him a brave smile before grasping his hand. She then turned to Simon and nodded. "I'm ready Uncle Simon." She said seriously.

Simon hurried and gave her the injection. When he was finished he also gave her a small plastic cup of some sort of pink medicine.

"Okay this will take your fever down and the shot will help get rid of the virus that's making you sick." Simon explained.

Haven nodded solemnly and gave Simon a hug. "Thank you Uncle Simon."

"No problem Vee, but now I think you should get back in bed and try to get some more sleep." He instructed using his best doctor tone of voice.

"Can I have a glass of juice first?" She asked.

"Of course you can. You go climb in bed and I'll bring your juice down to you." Simon suggested.

"Uncle Jayne will you tuck me in?" She asked looking up at Jayne with large pleading eyes that he couldn't resist.

"You got it kid." Jayne picked up Vee and carried her to her room while Simon headed to the kitchen to get her juice.

He walked into the girls' room quietly so that he wouldn't wake Annabelle, who lay sprawled across her bed and was sleeping soundly. Jayne lay Haven on her bed and pulled the covers over her.

"You get some sleep now kid." He ordered. "I'll tell yer folks ya ain't feelin good when they wake up."

"Anna isn't feelin good either." She whispered.

"She ain't huh? She tell ya that before you fell asleep?" He asked.

"No just know." She said sleepily.

Jayne shook his head at the way the little girl knew her sister. It seemed that the twins had not only inherited their mother's intelligence, but her reading abilities as well.

"Well you go ta sleep and when ya wake up that medicine'll be workin and you'll feel better."

Haven gave him a bright smile and turned over so that she could snuggle down in her bed further. "Uncle Jayne will you sing me a song? Please." She asked and gave him that same doe eyed look she always used on him to get her way.

"Alright but don't be tellin everyone I sing." Jayne ordered.

"I won't."

Jayne cleared his throat and took a deep breath.

Jayne the man they call Jayne…

Simon walked into the galley to get Haven's juice and found Zoe sitting at the table staring longingly at the coffee pot.

"Morning Zoe. Still craving coffee?" He asked.

"You have no idea." She replied sadly.

"Only one more month and then you can go back to living on caffeine, although as your doctor I don't recommend that." He joked.

"Ha ha very funny Doc. You're lucky I'm too fat to hurt you." She replied.

Simon smiled and walked over to where Zoe sat at the table. He reached one hand out and placed it on her belly and was delighted when he felt the baby kicking against his hand.

"So how is my boy doing today?" He asked.

"Doin fine. One more month and you'll be a daddy." Zoe said smiling up at Simon.

Simon returned the smile and laughed when his son kicked again. "I can't wait." He replied eagerly.