r | major character death | crazy space incest

(Years later, he comes up to you on the street. You don't recognize him until he mentions his name. He doesn't seem surprised when you step back, try to stifle a gasp of disgust.)

That week, your boyfriend almost cut off his hand in shop and his best friend almost got suspended and someone scrawled 'Inara is a slut' on the bathroom wall, none of which was wholly remarkable. You came within two points of flunking out of bio and Kaylee got caught kissing a boy in the computer lab and your social science teacher told a very funny story about one of his frat brothers and an ugly toupee.

When you heard, you didn't recognize her name. Someone else had to tell you that she was the skinny, awkward freshman who sat in the back of your calculus class.

You grumbled about having to take it; she apparently requested it.

(He apologizes for bothering you. He's your age, isn't he, but he looks a lot older.)

You didn't think a fall from the roof would be fatal, really; it was only two stories. But then again, you didn't really do well in physics.

She couldn't have weighed more than 90 pounds, but there was a car in the way, and the metal crunched. You dropped your books and Inara - in full-blown prom queen drama whore fashion - fainted dead away.

By lunchtime, Jayne was regaling anyone who would listen with stories about how her body bounced, about how there was blood everywhere, about how there were already rumors about that janitor with the tattoo.

(Your friend comes up beside you, but you don't introduce them.)

But then there were more rumors, other rumors, and then someone beat up the girl's brother in the gym. You whispered with the rest of them, wondered if there would be charges, but they moved away before graduation.

He was still in the yearbook, though, right between Richard Tain and Irene Tanner. In your boyfriend's book, someone wrote 'child molester' over the picture.

"How could someone do that to his own sister?" Kaylee whispered.

(When you see he's having lunch at the same restaurant, you suggest to your friend that you eat somewhere else.)