Inevitable Death

She still could barely believe that they had left Mal behind. They had evacuated Serenity, four to a shuttle, and he'd stubbornly chosen to remain on the ship to face inevitable death. No one had been able to persuade him otherwise and her attempts to talk him into coming with them in one of the shuttles had not stood a chance.

He wasn't afraid of dying. He wasn't afraid of being alone when he died.

She didn't want to die.

She didn't want Mal to die either.

If they were to die though, if there was no avoiding it, she'd want to spend her last moments with him. Together. Side by side. Not alone.

She hadn't been able to tell him that.

How could she?

The look she'd shared with him had said more to her than anything either one of them could have said anyhow. So much passion, so much conviction that what he was doing was right. His eyes had told her all she needed to know.

His decision was final. He was staying on Serenity to die on his own, while the rest of them flew off in opposite directions in the shuttles. He was staying behind and they were all letting him be left.

She swallowed and tried to ignore the pointed look Jayne gave her as he sniffed the incense in her shuttle.

In her mind echoed the words, "everybody dies alone."