Mal had been twitchy since he first set foot in the prison. His new alias give to him by Badger, after a sizable payoff, was so far working well. The guard had him sit at a table in the small empty room he knew was well wired, both video and audio. This meet was going to be bittersweet at best.
He looked up as the door opposite the one he walked through was unlocked and opened. The guard who brought him in stiffened, his hand resting on his weapon. The opening door revealed a well worn Jayne in arm and leg shackles. His hair had greyed some since Mal last saw him and he now was sporting a limp in his right leg, but he carried himself as Jayne always had, the bravado not being dampened by the chains he was wearing. The dullness in his eyes brightened as he saw who was sitting at the table.
Mal rose to greet him, but was shoved back into his seat b the guard behind him. The captain shot the uniformed man a look of hate. When his eyes went back to Jayne, the merc was grinning from ear to ear. "Never thought I'd see you again," he admitted.
"Yeah well I heard you were here, was passing through. Figured I'd stop by," Mall said, well rehearsed and dull to even his ears. Truth was Jayne sent after him through a long list of their former contacts, which had reached Mal in hiding.
Mal gulped his heart back into where it belonged as he looked over Jayne like this, knowing where he was headed. Although the Alliance had long ago relaxed the search for Simon and River, they had never bothered to wipe Jayne's record clean for harboring and aiding fugitives. He was the only one who was ever officially seen with the Tams. And the punishment for such an offense was swift and mighty. His death sentence was to be carried out tomorrow morning. Mal paused the thoughts of what that could entail to the back of his mind as he looked into Jayne's grey-blue eyes as the merc asked him a question.
"Wife and kids doing al'right?" Jayne settled in the chair opposite Mal, trying to relax enough to put the guards at ease, getting them to back of. Mal really took a look at Jayne for the first time since he walked through the door. Time had been a good deal kinder to Jayne than Mal would have thought. Outside of the greying hair, Jayne looked just the same as the day Mal kicked him off the ship all those years ago.
Mal nodded to the question being asked. "All are healthy and asking after you." Mal hadn't taken any marriage vows, nor spawned any children. Jayne was referring to the crew of Serenity. All of those left after Miranda minus Inara.
"You contact my Mattie?" Jayne's eyes finally showed a hint of sadness.
Mal swallowed hard at the look that passed over the other man's face. "She's with my family," he admitted, keeping up with the code. Mal had found Jayne's sister on the same planet Jayne was raised on. She had married, a few children under her feet. Having given up her big brother for dead for many years, getting news of his sentence had been bittersweet. Even though she didn't want to come see him in this place, she had insisted on accompanying his body back to the family burial plot, saying it would have been what Ma wanted.
Jayne gave a soft grin, tears full in his eyes. He just nodded, looking like those bobble-head dolls. "Good." He raised his eyes to meet Mal's for the first time. "Good," he said again, his voice cracking this time.
Mal's heart rose into his throat and threatened to pound out of his mouth. Without a second thought, he reached across the table as he stood and grabbed the front of Jayne's shirt, yanking the other man toward him, their mouths meeting briefly before the guards yanked them apart. "I'm sorry," Mal called out, tears in his own eyes as he tasted Jayne's kiss on his lips. The guard dragged him from the room. Mal got one last glance over his shoulder at his former strong arm, his former lover, and felt his heart break into tiny pieces. As the door closed between the two men, Mal cried out in anguish as he realized that moment was the last time he was going to see Jayne alive.