Fear of Death

By Shakespeare's Girl

A/N: Set during Firefly's pilot episode, "Serenity." Not set during the movie. Spoilers for that episode. Zoe reacts to Kaylee's brush with death.

The only time Zoe had truly felt fear on board Serenity--aside from Reaver ships and crash landings, that is--was the day that Alliance agent shot Kaylee. Zoe had been sure that the girl was going to die.

She snuck into the sick bay in the middle of the ship's night, not bothering with lights, and sat at the side of Kaylee's bed for hours. Finally, she realized she'd been dozing, and got up to leave, but something made her stop. She turned back to Kaylee, and leaned over the unconscious--probably dying--form of the girl she loved like a sister and a daughter. Gently, she brushed her lips over Kaylee's.

"Don't you die, little girl," she whispered. "Don't break my heart."

Zoe has never told anyone about that chaste kiss in the middle of the night, and never will.