A/N: I uploaded this story as something that I wrote a long time ago. Firefly is not mine, nor any of the characters represented. The writing style is rudimentary, and if I have the time, I will edit this to make it "better." Please be gentle as this was my first Firefly fanfic I ever wrote.

Also, the lyrics are from My December from Linkin Park and are also not mine.

My December

My Snow Covered Trees

"River!" Wash yelled as River was in a corner on the bridge, holding her head, rocking back and forth. "Mal get in here!" he yelled as he knelt down beside her.

"Two by two, hands of blue. Two by two, hands of blue," she repeated over and over again. Her eyes were filled with horror and she was shaking violently.

As Mal came in her state did not change, even though Simon and Jayne had followed him in shortly afterward. As Simon bent down next to Wash, Wash had noticed that the cortex was beeping that they had been hailed.

Once Mal had seen that she was in the good doctor's hands, he then went with Wash to the cortex, "Who's hailed us? How close are they?"

"I am not sure but they are trying to send through a wave. You going to let it through?" Wash said, looking over to Mal.

"Alright, let them through," Mal said, sitting down in front of the screen. He sat up straight and cleared his throat.

A man came on the screen dressed in a clean suit and blue gloves. His head was shaved as well as his face and his eyes were dark; colder than ice. His jaw was set as his face twisted into a smile. "Hello Captain Reynolds," he said.

"Sir," Mal returned, looking to River as she continued whimpering. Simon sat down next to her and muffled her sounds as he put her in his lap and her head went into the crook of his neck. Mal returned his gaze to the cortex. "What can I do for you?"

"Captain, you are harboring known fugitives and one we are interested in taking back. She belongs to us and would like her back if you don't mind. We would be greatly appreciative and won't have to kill you," he replied, expression and voice unchanged.

"Now see, that is where I am a mite fuzzy. Last I checked a human being has his own rights and freedom. At least, last I checked but that has changed completely since then."

"We don't have time for this. We will take Ms. Tam, with or without your help," he stated. As Mal looked at Simon he didn't notice the man take out a tubular device that had a tall extension on it and press a button. It emitted a high-pitched sound that was barely audible. Mal looked at the cortex as the sound echoed through Serenity's halls.

Kaylee was in the mess hall fixing dinner when she felt dizzy. She grasped the counter for support and felt something wet fall on her hand. As she looked she found a drop of blood as more began to run from her nose. What was this? Zoë was in the cargo bay with Shepard and they started to bleed from their noses as they were moving cargo about.

River became hysterical, wriggling from Simon's grasp. "Bleeding sound! Bleeding sound!" she elbowed him in the stomach and jumped up, pushing Mal and Wash out of the way and into the floor. Wash had hit his head on his way down and he yelped holding his head when he hit the floor. River then turned off the cortex.

"Gorrammit River!" Mal screamed. "What is your problem? You just blew your cover!" He got up and pointed a finger at her. He opened his mouth to say something, but fell silent as he saw Jayne and Wash's noses bleeding. He felt his own and found that he was bleeding as well. "What is this?"

River walked over to Jayne and he wrapped his clean arm around her. She felt Mal's gaze fall upon her. "Bleeding sound," she whispered. "You hear it and you bleed. She doesn't bleed, she isn't human." She clenched Jayne's shirt and he looked at Simon.

Simon was glaring at him as he stood. He couldn't stand it when Jayne touched her, when he infected her. He was always so adamant about how he didn't want Simon and River on Serenity and then now he had his hands all over River. His baby sister, his kid sister. "Everyone to the infirmary and I will get you cleaned up," he said then stomped out, barely hitting Jayne and River on his way out.

Jayne looked after the others and then after they left it was just he and River in the bridge alone. She refused to move as she clung to his chest. "You okay?" Jayne asked; the silence was killing him. "That's a... uh... mighty nice thing you did back there. Turning off the sound and all." He rested his chin on her head lightly.

"Bleeding sound makes you bleed but not me. I didn't bleed. I am not human; I couldn't bleed when others did. I am not like you. I am not complete," she whispered, pulling away. "Simon is afraid of me. He is afraid of us. He is afraid that he will not be the one to complete me."

Complete her? He didn't like this idea of completing her and all. It meant commitment and Jayne Cobb was not one for commitment, ever. Her pretty big brother could complete her, right? River looked at him, searching his thoughts. Her face went from contemplation to hurt. He didn't want to complete her, he was going downhill again. She had worked so hard to get here- to get him uphill and not afraid. The others didn't approve of their... acquaintance. She had finally gotten him going uphill so that they could be together in public. Now she had said something that made him uncomfortable and start to go downhill. This was always so hard with him. He was afraid to open up and have commitment; she scared him again.

"Listen River..." Jayne started, "about this-" River put a hand on his lips and shook her head.

"Go get cleaned up. Don't worry about this. We need to get away from them for now," she replied, her face was emotionless.

This made him very uneasy. Here he was about to tell her that they needed to take a break and she was cutting him off. Did she know? Is that possible? No it can't...

"Jayne! Come back. Go get cleaned up, they have already hailed us!" Mal yelled. "Now!"

Jayne reluctantly left to the infirmary. River waited until he was out of sight to seal off the bridge. She sat in the pilot's seat and looked at the cortex and controls. "Basic aerospace maneuvers and controls." Looking at the stars, she took a deep breath to go over what it was she wanted to do.

"Cap'n! Wash! Simon?" Kaylee screeched as they rushed to the infirmary. She watched as Simon grabbed some gaws and they used them to stop the bleeding. "What happened? Cap'n what did they do now?" Mal looked up in shock as if she just punched him in the face.

"Kaylee? Who said I did any of this? Why do you always blame me for the bloodshed?"

"Because it IS usually your fault, Mal," Inara stated as she came in almost gliding on the floor. "You get hot-headed and punch somebody because they so much as look at you." Mal looked at them innocently. "Shut it, Mal."

Wash snickered then shut up as Zoë and everyone else came in. "We've been hailed. By the Alliance. They know we have River. They will be here in a few minutes."

"Explain few," Book replied.

"I don't know, five maybe ten minutes," Wash said from underneath his hands. "They already hailed us then tried to-"

"Kill us over the gorram transmission," Jayne finished as he came in, the bleeding already done. They all turned their gazes on him. "River is in the bridge, thinkin or somethin like that. Anyway the gears in her head are turnin."

"What? You left her alone? In the-" Mal met his gaze and the engines then started humming differently. Their balances shifted and Wash met Kaylee's gaze.

"River!" they said at the same time and everyone went towards the bridge. They realized they were shut out with River piloting inside. She seemed completely unphased by their noises and attempts. She put it back on autopilot and opened the door. Wash rushed past her and looked at what she had exactly done.

Mal pulled her to the side, "River what have I told you! You are not to mess with my ship! These were the conditions that we had agreed on to let you stay!"

"Mal," Wash interrupted. Mal continued to rant. "Mal." Ranting. "Mal!"

"What!" he yelled as he spun around.

"She bought us some time," Wash replied. Mal opened his mouth in question. "She bought us another twenty minutes, but they are still locked dead on." Mal looked to River and opened his mouth and she left the room.

Inara and Kaylee glared at him and Kaylee went after River. "Mal, THAT is why you are at fault for a lot of the things that happen to you. If she beats you in your sleep you cannot blame anyone but yourself."

"Okay, apologies later. Right now we need to come up with a plan. They are going to dock us, and knowing our Alliance buddies maybe about 20-30 soldiers or so. Hmph, I say we need to plan traps and such here on Serenity. With how things are looking we are going to have a fight on our hands," he finished and looked at them.

"So you're considering us a part of your crew now?" Simon asked.

"I am protecting me and mine. It's obvious that they are going to board us and try to kill us. I don't have a choice to fight for you or not. I just don't feel like dying today. That's all," Mal replied. "Go fetch your sister, she may help."

"I think you have helped enough Mal," Wash replied. "You accused her-"

"I didn't accuse her of nothing!" Mal retorted.

Kaylee looked in the engine room and then went towards Jayne's bunk. Not there either. The one place that she didn't look but should have is obvious: her own bunk. Kaylee went towards the guest quarters. River had been sleeping in Jayne's bunk for six months now and not her own. Sure enough, as Kaylee slid the door open, River was on her own bed and curled up in a little ball. She came in and sat on the bed next to River.

"River sweetie, are you alright?" She started playing with River's hair as her face was exposed from the brown locks." You know the Cap'n. He is always uptight and all."

"He waits for me to do something crazy, waiting for me to mess up. He is afraid of me, you all are," she buried her face in her arms and Kaylee lied down next to her. "Kaylee, I don't want to go with those men, but I don't want them to come here either. Something is going to go wrong, I can feel it," she whispered in between sobs. She then sat up, as she went into her mind and there was a mirror and her image was dressed in combat boots and leather pants that had hugged her in all the right places with a black cameo top. It simply looked at her.

"They are calling to us," River said. The image looked in another direction, and then back at her. Her eyes were cold and dark. River met its eyes. "You're it, aren't you? You're who they are calling to aren't you?"

The thing nodded, "But I wish to stay. Here I am free in your mind, although I do not understand it. The images and fantasies; the things you want to happen never do. I do not wish to go back if that is all the same."

"You want to help me fight them?" River asked. "What is your game?"

"I want to play. They want me to play, but not with them. Your family."

"My family?" River asked, puzzled. "They are family..." she whispered to herself and then returned to Kaylee. "Let's go. We need to get ready for them." She got up and went to her suitcase, pulling out some black pants, boots, and a cameo top. Kaylee looked at her and dropped her jaw. River, wearing things only Jayne has been known to wear; wow. She changed into it and pulled back her hair into a ponytail. Kaylee took one look and shook her head.

"No, sweetie. How about this?" Kaylee asked as she went over to River, taking down her hair. Kaylee went to French braiding her hair then finished. "There you go." River looked at her hair in the mirror.

Mal set to making some small-scale plastic explosives while Jayne made flash bombs. Zoë sat in Wash's lap in the helm leaning her forehead against his. "Honey, we need to take a small vacation after this. Just you and me. I don't care what Mal says. Just tell him," Wash said, interlocking his fingers with hers. "We need one."

Zoë kissed him then smiled, "I will ask. Right now we have to worry about River and those men." She hopped off and went into the mess hall where Mal was finishing his bombs. "Sir, we have everything about done. Anything..." she was cut off at the sight of River in her new attire. Mal looked at her then looked at River, almost dropping the bomb in his hand. River passed them and picked up some of the bombs, walking out of the mess hall placing one by the doorway.

This is my December this is my time of the year

This is my December this is all so clear

This is my December this is my snow covered home

This is my December this is me alone

River kept walking, placing the bombs as she passed Jayne. He was tying some wire and stopped as his eyes met hers. He looked at her, feeling guilty about what he said to her. Completing her was a scary thought. He opened his mouth to say something but wasn't quite sure what to say. Before he could get anything out she kept moving, almost unphased. When she looked at him, he couldn't see any sadness- any emotion. It scared him, but then again she always had.

And I...

Just wish that I didn't feel like there was something I missed

And I...

Take back the things I said to make you feel that

And I...

Just wish that I didn't feel like there was something I missed

And I...

Take back all the things I said to you

She continued on, walking as she was. Jayne looked after her and then continuing tying his wire. She wasn't wearing her usual flowing dresses. Her hair wasn't down and in her face. She wasn't smiling. He thought of when they were in the bridge just minutes before. Go get cleaned up. Don't worry about this. We need to get away from them for now. It echoed in his head. Seeing her just now, he saw nothing when she looked at him. Why did he feel so bad if he was the one asking for a break? The thought threw him off. "Gorramit. Why do I have to feel like this?" He threw down the wire and hit the wall. Gorramit! Why?

And I'd...

Give it all away just to have somewhere to go to

Give it all away to have someone to come home to

This is my December these are my snow covered trees

This is me pretending this is all I need

Simon looked at River holding the bombs and took them from River. "River you know better than to mess around with these!" He was going to scold her some more but saw her face. "Mei Mei... what's wrong?" He put down the bombs and put her face in his hands. "What did Jayne do to you? What did he do!" She looked at him, her face not breaking.

"You got your wish Simon. We are not seeing each other any more," she said. "Pressure was too much for him." She then picked up the bombs and walked off. Simon watched. Her eyes were lifeless, it was obvious she was hurting and he couldn't do anything for her. At first he hated Jayne for taking River from him but just now, River didn't even cry that Jayne had called it off. He hated to admit it, but maybe Jayne actually made her happy. Watching her like this, it was painful. He drug her all this way to take her from the Alliance, so she could be happy. Not so she could be like this. Not so she could look like this.

And I…

Just wish that I didn't feel like there was something I missed

And I…

Take back the things I said to make you feel like that

And I…

Just wish that I didn't feel like there was something I missed

And I…

Take back all the things I said to you

And I'd

Give it all away just to have somewhere to go to

Give it all away to have someone to come home to

River placed the last bomb and sat in the cargo bay in a hidden corner, putting her head in her hands. She could hear them all. The whispers… I can't believe River looked like that. The little one has finally grown up. She looked different, but pretty. I'm sure it is this much is all. I can't believe I ruttin' did that. She looked up, that last whisper caught her attention. I can't complete her. Why did she pick me when she has her pretty brother? She shut her eyes and blocked out all the whispers. Holding her head again, she began to cry. She wasn't sure what she was crying for.

This is my December this is my time of the year

This is my December this is all so clear

She was crying over the fact that she was crazy. No, over Jayne. No, over her impending capture. Yes, just over it all. She had come so far, yet not far enough. She had put Serenity in danger. Now here they were again, in impending danger. She had stayed strong this whole time. Hadn't she earned the right to cry? Her mind kept on flashing back to Jayne.

Give it all away just to have somewhere to go to

She remembered when Jayne had first looked at her. Their first kiss. Their first hug.

Give it all away to have someone to come home to

After the jobs, he would come home okay. He would wink to her to let her know he was okay. Her head came up as the others brought some more supplies into the cargo bay. They came down the stairs, and she watched intently. They were talking about how rude Mal was to River. Then the ship shook and there was a huge noise. Mal ran over to the intercom. "Wash, what was that?"

River walked out from behind the corner as her eyes met Jayne's. Her eyes were still red and puffy from crying. He saw it. What had he done? Jayne's face turned from curiosity to pain. He then looked to Mal as River looked to the door.

Give it all away just to have somewhere to go to

Mal looked at the door as well as Wash replied, "They have docked us." River looked at Jayne as her eyes were now filled with one emotion. Jayne saw it, horror.

Give it all away to have someone to come home to

Everyone else came into the cargo bay, staring at the door. River didn't move. Mal looked at River then to Zoë. Jayne wanted to walk to her, wanting to tell her everything was alright.

"Two by two, hands of blue," River said, as tears started streaming down her face.