To continue on that kind of depressing theme, I've written a short prequel:
Signs of Life
Summary: It starts like this.
It starts like this.
They're in Simon's room this time, and Simon's already pulling away from Jayne, ready for other things, other responsibilities. His body's still humming, still relaxed. But already, Simon's tensing mentally. Thinking.
It isn't the same for Jayne. He's still sprawled, still grinning. He's holding onto Simon's arm, saying "You gotta learn to relax some."
This isn't a new conversation. Simon enjoys the sex for what it is, but he's not Jayne. "I am relaxed."
Jayne snorts. "Was thinkin' about another go 'round."
Simon's thinking about getting off the bed, and putting his pants and sweater on. They're running Serenity on as little energy as possible, and it's cold. "You always are." He pulls his arm away, smiling to soften the words.
"Ain't like there's nothin' else to do."
It's true enough. They're out, way out, trying to fly as far from radar as possible. The journey has been tedious, long. Simon is aching for fresh air. He closes his eyes against the mental image of trees and sun, and sighs. "True." He settles back down, tries to get comfortable in the too-small bed. At least Jayne is warm.
That's when they hear it. A loud clunk, the resonance of metal against metal. Simon sits up. So does Jayne.
"Don't sound like Kaylee messin' with the engine parts."
No. It's ominous. They both slide out of the bed, and start pulling on clothes quickly. Over the comm, Mal yells, "We got Reavers boarding!" Simon doesn't even have time to wonder why there wasn't any warning before he hears the first gunshot.
Jayne swears, grabbing the one gun he'd had on him when he'd come to Simon's room. "Got any guns?"
Simon shakes his head.
Then it's mostly a blur, Jayne pushing back the door, pulling Simon behind him, moving cautiously down the hall.
They might be moving slowly, but Simon feels like they're running. They pass a body, Jayne stepping over it and firing down the hall. He hits something. Simon hears the wet thud of a body hitting the floor in the distance.
Simon can't look too closely at who it is he's standing beside. He just crouches down, feels for a pulse, ignores it as his hand comes away red, slick. No pulse, nothing, and he looks away from the dark hair in front of him, tries not to recognize who it is he's looking at. No time. Mourning is for later.
Standing, he whispers, "We've got -"
"Shut it. Others maybe got there already."
So Simon closes his mouth, because Jayne could be right. They can't be the only ones left. And then they're almost there, the reinforced, hidden space Mal had insisted they needed, these days.
There are howls coming from other parts of the ship. Screams. A few more shots. A thick silence.
And Jayne's got the door open, and he's throwing Simon inside, backing in himself. Sealing it off in one, two, fast motions. Kaylee had made the controls easy to use, from the inside.
The space is tiny, and the sound of their breathing bounces off the walls. It's too loud, but at least it's a sign of life.
Simon moves closer to Jayne. He's still cold.