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Awesome Ladies Ficathon, Prompt : Zoe, " your life is not yours to give up. It is mine. All mine. And I forbid it."

Blood sputtered from his mouth, and his eyes fluttered shut. Probably the only thing on him that had ever fluttered. Jayne was a not a fluttering man. Fluttering suggested softness. And there was nothing on Jayne that had ever been soft. From his frame, to his hands, to his damn words... everything about him was hard.

Even now as he grasped at my hand, his grip was strong, firm; and something in me wondered if I was touching the last of his strength. Refusing to let my mind dwell on this thought, I leaned close to him, my lips brushing against his ear. "Hold on for me baby, please, just... hold on."

Straightening up, I tightened my grasp on his hand and yelled over my shoulder. "Doc!"

Kaylee stumbled into the hall, a bruise on her cheek and a gun in her hand, and I bit out, "Where's the Doc? I need him here now!"

Kaylee glanced down at Jayne's form; at the wet, red wounds that covered his frame. Blanching she dashed out of the hall, calling for Simon.

I turn my attention back to Jayne, one hand entwined in his, the other pressed firmly against the largest wound I'd been able to find. And despite how hard I tried, my hand seemed to be doing a poor job of keeping his blood inside of him. But I kept pressing, kept holding. I wasn't going to lose him. Not now, not when we'd finally found one another; found a peace that we'd both been searching for for so long.

His eyes drooped shut and I tightened my hold on his hand, offering a curse to whichever gods could hear me. Shaking his hand roughly, I gave half a sigh of relief when his eyes worked their way open again. "Jayne, I need you to listen to me, I need you to listen to me good: your life is not yours to give up. It is mine. All mine. And I forbid it."

Simon ran into the hall, a small swear escaping his lips at just this moment. Dropping to his knees on the other side of Jayne, he effectively pushed me out of the way and began to work on Jayne. A Jayne who had a bloody half smile on his face.

My hand still gripped his, although I was now off to the side, and he tightened his grip as he turned his head and peered at me through slitted eyes. His lips moved.

"What baby?" The endearment slips out of my mouth in spite of Simon's presence and I move my head next to Jayne's mouth in an attempt to hear what he's trying to say.

His voice is hoarse as he groans: "You're one gorram, beautiful, bossy woman."

I blink back tears - he's not the only one who can be tough – but I think he sees them anyway, and I whisper, with a smile, "I'm bossy, and I'm not above bribery either. There will be a lot of gorram rutting when you pull through this."

A choked laugh escapes Jayne's throat as I pull back and let Simon do his job.