Part V - Chapter 28 - No Time to Recuperate

Brisco woke up in an unfamiliar bed. He could not recall what happened after Doc died or how he ended up in this room. He slowly pulled himself out of bed. He looked down to see that he was wearing an enormous and unflattering night shirt and that his clothes were sitting at the end of the bed, cleaned and pressed. He quickly dressed before leaving the room, only to stumble into Inora.

"I'm sorry," she laughed nervously. "I was actually just about to wake you for breakfast."

"Where am I?"

"You're in Mal's and my house."

"I don't recall getting here."

"You had a long day and lost two friends. It's no wonder. And, to be honest, there is not much to remember."

Brisco followed Inora to the breakfast table where Mal was in the process of reviewing blueprints for reconstruction. There was a silence except for the sound of silverware as the trio ate.

Finally, Mal cleared his throat to say, "Did Doc have kin?"

Brisco winced before replying, "Not in - Not in country."

"Does he have a home?"

Brisco gave Mal a funny look forcing Mal to explain. "There's no rush or anythin'. We just know that you were in a hurry to get to Hard Rock so we wanted to be prepared to help."

"Help with what?"

"The body," came the simple reply from Mal.

"What he means is the funeral arrangements. He is more than welcome here or we can ensure that we help you deliver him to kin or his home. He saved our town and we've all chipped in to help him go right, explained Inora. It seemed the she was used to softening Mal's direct approach in potentially emotional situations."

"Regarding Pete, Jayne has taken the liberty of setting up a memorial. He said that since there wasn't a body, he was going to have Booker give him a service and memorial here," Mal continued. After a few moments he added, "Jayne is uncomfortable owing anyone anything."

Brisco took a moment to think about it. "You know, I think that makes sense. Let's have a joint funeral for both of them. Can we do it today? I don't mean to be disrespectful but I gotta check on my friend's boy in Hard Rock."

"We'll make it work," affirmed Inora.

"One technicality," began Mal. "I only knew the man as 'Doc.' Doctor Who?"

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The funeral was simple and a light rain had sprinkled over the group. Brisco buried all emotions and redirected his focus and energy on traveling to Hard Rock. Just as he was shaking hands with Mal and Inara to leave town, Wash came running out of his house.

"Mr. County the phone lines are up!"

"Congratulations?" Brisco said unsure why that fact was relevant to him.

"There is a man on the phone. A Sophocles or Euripedes?"


"That's it! He said that it's urgent."

Brisco followed Wash inside and picked up the receiver. "Hiya Brisco!" came an all too cheery greeting from Socrates.

"I'm not sure who can hear us," he began meaningfully, "But I wanted to let you know that our mutual long haired and bearded friend arrived."

"Glad to hear it," came Brisco's guarded reply.

"He was a little toasty but he seems to be progressing quickly."

So, Pete was burned pretty badly but healing. Maybe he does have some kind of immortality or impervious skin.

"Be sure to let me know where he should meet you."

"Sounds good. I'll call you from Hard Rock and we'll make plans from there."

The two said their goodbyes and Brisco tipped his hat to politely leave Wash's house and start the trek to Hard Rock. However, Brisco had barely reached the door frame when the phone rang again. Something told Brisco that the call would be for him.

Sure enough, the call was from Lenore.

"Hello Brisco?" came Lenore's voice.

"Lenore, did you get the telegram last night?"

When Lenore didn't immediately respond, Brisco had a bad feeling build in his gut.

"Lenore what happened?"

"James disappeared again and I have a terrible feeling. I think that he's gone to a nightmarish place."

"Lenore, we don't know that for sure-" Brisco stated, hoping to convince both Lenore and himself.

"Brisco, Rachel woke up from a nightmare screaming last night. She said a premonition that James was lost to a haunted mansion.

Brisco's heart sank to his stomach. He was too late. James had already been transported to the Winchester Mansion before they could remove the bracelet.

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