TITLE: Flight or Fight

DISCLAIMER: Joss', I'm just playing with the shiny toys.


His bag is packed, his meagre possessions depressingly quick to be assembled, making him wonder why at 32 he still has so little. His firearms take up to most room, the rest only taken up by clothes. Well, not just clothes. He's man enough to admit to himself that the slim stick of wood with the thin string attached to one end is not necessary to his survival. He's packed and unpacked it three times now, every time reminding him of why he's leaving. Every time making him remember how she looked in her pale dress, desperately trying to devour the icy treat. Making him remember how he'd snapped when they'd gotten back to the ship, tearing the ice planet off its string and dumping it in a bowl, just so he didn't have to watch that pink tongue dart out to caress it one more time.

He remembers not knowing why he held on to the stick, perhaps he forgot it when he stormed out of the galley, unable to watch those pink lips wrap around a spoon without his thoughts turning dark and violently lustful. Though it still failed to explain why he'd kept it in the first place. Maybe he should carry it in his pocket, should dump it at the first trash receptacle as a rejection of everything he's leaving behind.

He nods, shoving it in the pocket of his green jacket, trying not to remember how it looked when she'd donned it one night, sweat drying on her naked skin as she made him laugh with an impression of her brother. He remembers late nights when he's watched her sleep, unable to close his own eyes, unable to look away from her.

As he walks down the stairs into the cargo bay he pauses as he remembers games of hoop ball when she's been healthy enough to play, weighing nothing as he balanced her on his shoulders, enjoying the secretive smile on her face as his hands gripped her thighs.

He remembers finding her in his bunk for the first time, wearing nothing but her combat boots, stretched out on her stomach across his bed, idly sketching as if she'd belonged there. She'd looked like she had.

He remembers working out too late one night, missing dinner, only to find a still hot plate resting at the table for him, her not looking up from her book as she read on the couch.

He remembers her fluid movements across a crowded bar, remembers thinking she was the shiniest damn weapon he'd ever seen in his whole life. Remembers how he'd wanted to possess her.

He shakes his head, resuming his steps towards the door. That kind of thinking was what led to this mess in the first place; it just confirmed that he had to leave. They were stationed on Persephone overnight; no one would realize he was missing until morning. He moves slowly towards the doors.

He remembers laughing.

He remembers holding her while she cried out her demons in the middle of the night.

He remembers watching her, exhausted and alert, eyes wild as the blast doors opened, the reaver blades fitting just right in her thin hands.

He remembers Kaylee smiling secretively at the two of them while they sat quietly at the kitchen table, working on their knives.

He remembers Mal and Inara leaving a room suspiciously quickly, before getting distracted by the alone time with the girl.

He remembers Simon studying him carefully, eyes wary but not accusing.

He remembers Zoe almost smiling when he unthinkingly adjusted the girls' bandoleer of ammunition before a job.

He remembers wondering what it would look like if they made a tiny person all of their own, whether it would have chocolate brown or cerulean blue eyes.

He remembers feeling content, feeling happy just to watch her dance around the cargo bay aimlessly.

And then he remembers the most important thing of all.

He turns away from the still closed doors, and strides towards his bunk. He carelessly tosses his bag down the hatch, wincing briefly when he thinks of Vera hitting the floor. He moves quickly and silently towards the passenger doors, sliding open the door to the room she now has to herself.

He pauses momentarily, watching her chest rise up and down as she breathes, watching her face look serene in sleep. He steps forward, carefully lying down behind her, pleased when she rolls over in her sleep to bury her face in his neck. He settles, fully clothed, still wearing his boots, wrapping one arm around her thin form.

They'll discover him in the morning.

There'll probably be yelling and screaming and threats of airlocks.

There'll probably be a gun or two drawn.

He'll probably get at least a little bruised.

But he's remembered the most important thing.

A Cobb never backs down from a fight.

A/N: Another short little piece, I'm trying to work on Occasions but these keep popping into my head. Please review!

P.S I have a vague idea for a sequel...let me know if you think I should do one or just leave this as is. TFF