CHAPTER-5a FLASHBACK

17 YEARS AGO

As Jayne came into awareness, he couldn't remember ever feeling more at peace. At least not since he was a young boy. He was taking his time to wake up and enjoying the feel of the warm body next to his. Their time together was always so short lived, and they very rarely could sleep in each other's arms. Just the thought of getting out of bed made him pull her closer. As he did he couldn't help but hit with the smell of spring flowers coming from her dark locks of hair. He got to hold her for a little longer before she started to stir.

River rolled over in his arms and kissed him before saying "This is nice, waking up in your arms, but we have to get up now. Simon will be looking for me soon, He has to do my 6-week post-op checkup."

Jayne sighed to himself, knowing she was right. "I still think its weird how he was able to rebuild part of your brainpan with a bunch of wires and doodads. Plus, you seem fine, better able to keep out the voices and such. I don't see why he's gotta keep poking and prodding at ya."

She threw the covers of as she got up. "First off, it's not wires and doodads, it's called a neurotransmitter web, and they're used to connect damaged parts of the brain."

She said with a frown as she tried to find her dress that Jayne had thrown somewhere during their love making the night before. "This is the first time its been used to replace a part of the brain that's been removed. Simon wants to make sure that I'm healing as I should, and that there are no signs of any neurological deficits'."

"Are you saying your brother is experimenting with your brain? That he doesn't know if his crazy gorrem plan might not even work long term? How does that make him any better than those alliance docs?!" Jayne asked his voice rising as the fear of something happening to his woman.

Having found her dress hanging on the lamp, River came to sit next to him on his rack and run her fingers threw his hair. "It's not like that Jayne, those doctors at the academy where purposely taking away parts of me, trying to make me what they wanted me to be. Simon is trying to help me get part of myself back. I'll never be who I was, but maybe this bunch of wires and doodads will help me be less crazy and more of help to everyone." She said with a smile as she leaned down intending to give him a quick peck on the cheek.

As she leaned down, Jayne snatched her up and rolled her underneath him in one fast movement. "Oh darlin', even if you stayed as crazy as you were the day I met ya, I'd love you just the same." With that he pressed his lips to hers roughly, pouring all his love and fear into the kiss.

River pushed lightly at his chest not wanting him to let her go. "Really Jayne, you love me?" She said with a look of hope in her eyes, smiling up at him. "of course, darlin' you think I would be this worried about ya if I wasn't? Or that I'd risk Mal and your brother spacing me if you were just some piece of trim to me? Darlin' you may not be crazy no more, but sometimes you are still a moonbrain." He said with a grin.

Just as he went in to start kissing her again, there was a knock on his door. "Jayne, you up yet? We break atmo in ten minutes I wanna be ready to go to the rendezvous point when we land in twenty." Mal yelled through the door, not wanting to open the door and see more of Jayne then he should. He only made that gorrem mistake only once before he learned not open Jayne's do without checking first.

"Yeah, I'm up Mal, I'll be ready and in the bay in fifteen." He yelled back before giving River one more quick kiss, and getting up from on top of her and finding his clothes. Jayne listened for Mal to walk away before saying "I'll leave first, then once Mal and Zoey leave with me, you go find your brother, so you can get your checkup done."

River watched him get dressed before slipping her dress over her head and saying" That won't work, Simon is already looking for me. I'll sneak out now then you go to the bay to meet Mal."

"And do propose to do that without getting seen?" He asked as he watched her bend over to start messing with his air vent. "Easy, the same way I surprised you last night, sneaking through the air ducts."

With that said she moved to go through the vent before pausing to turn to him and say, "Good luck, a man named Jayne, I'll see you when you return." She kissed him on the cheek before disappearing in to the depths of the ship, the scent of spring flowers the only trace that she had been there at all.

A/N: I decided to split the flashback into two chapters. I'll post the second part in a few days.