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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Kaylee, Simon and River all have regrets. Oneshot set after 'War Stories'. Sequel to 'Apple Bits and Dignitaries.'
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1413 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Synopsis: Kaylee, Simon and River all have regrets.
Author’s Notes: Takes place after the episode ‘War Stories’.
Disclaimer: This story is not meant to infringe on the copyright of any person or company related to the trademarked characters and situations depicted in the Serenity movie or Firefly series. I make no money from this. Only done for fun – and a desperate craving to have more stories told about this wonderful ‘verse Joss Whedon created.
Sequel to Apple Bits and Dignitaries
Simon fiddled with the borrowed medical equipment until the Councilor’s aide returned to Serenity to retrieve it. With a smile and a nod of thanks, he handed everything over and stared out the open cargo bay door, trying to process everything that had transpired in the last few hours.
Never had he thought he would ever take up arms. Shoot at another living being when his whole life had been dedicated to saving lives. He groaned as he thought of the Shepherd’s comment about him not hitting anyone even though he’d fired the weapon. Simon couldn’t help but be glad he had not ended a life, but ashamed that he hadn’t really done any good in going with the rest of the crew to rescue the Captain.
He made his way back to the passenger dorms, lost in thought, considering that perhaps a discussion on self pleasure with Kaylee would have been better than the guilt he felt at not being of much help. But when he saw River sidle up, take his arm, and lead him to the couch, he reconsidered that conversation and tried to push the topic out of his mind. This was not a conversation he wanted to have with River at any time.
“Did help, you know.”
Simon grinned wryly at his sister but said nothing. His eyes betrayed the doubt in his mind and River clutched his hands. “Saved me. Not useless.”
Simone closed his eyes and sighed heavily. He really did hate that his sister could pull thoughts out of his head. And it was becoming more common, not as sporadic as he’d once thought – hoped. As much as he really wanted to deny it, his sister was a Reader. And he knew –feared, if the crew found out, the Captain would toss them off the ship faster than he could blink.
Kaylee distracted herself for the rest of the day by working on her baby. Usually, the engine and its many moving parts, corroded with wear and erosion, kept her mind occupied. But she couldn’t stop thinking about River and how she had so easily taken out those three armed men.
So lost was she with her thoughts, she didn’t hear or see Simon approach hesitantly from the doorway.
“Kaylee?” Simon called lightly, trying to smother the nervousness and the worry etched into his face. He desperately wanted to finish their conversation from earlier, to make sure she understood that he wasn’t as offended by their conversation as he may have appeared, but he wanted to have that little talk outside of the confines of his bedroom. And, truthfully, he wanted to spend some more time with her. She was a ray of sunshine in his usually dull and dark days.
When Kaylee glanced out from under the panel she’d been examining too closely, she smiled wanly at him, trying to force an excited smile to her lips. “Oh, hey, Simon.” When had she had to force a smile when looking at the swai doctor?
“I was wondering – I thought we could –“ Simon swore beneath his breath and tried again, somewhat grateful Kaylee didn’t seem to be paying too close attention to him. “ – continue our conversation from earlier.” There, he’d gotten it out. He exhaled a sigh of relief.
Kaylee knew the prospect of talking to Simon about pleasuring oneself should cause all kinds of giddy excitement, but she couldn’t get River out of her mind and that tempered her excitement considerably. She popped her head out from around the large panel and smiled at him. “Dinner’s gonna be soon. Probably shouldn’t start that kinda talk before then.” She winked at him and disappeared behind the large sheet of metal again.
Simon swallowed nervously, unsure if he should be glad she was putting off the talk, or worried that she wanted to wait until after dinner when they both would have a lot more free time.
When Kaylee poked her head around the equipment again, he was gone and she breathed a huge sigh of relief. It didn’t matter how much she tried to think about their coming discussion and the possible change in their relationship it could cause, all she could see when she closed her eyes was River holding that gun as if it was an extension of her arm and taking the lives of three men without even looking at them.
Kaylee winced when she heard Simon’s voice calling to her over the hum of the engine.
“You missed dinner,” he said and she could hear the concern in his voice. “Are you feeling all right?”
She started when he knelt beside her and peered in between the pieces of metal that she knew he would never be able to identify as pretty much useless. The voice that answered him sounded alien even to her own ears. “Had too much t’do. I’ll get somethin’ later.” She knew him leaving after that was too much to hope for and so wasn’t surprised when he knelt beside her and glanced down into her grease-smudged face.
“Is everything all right?”
Kaylee tried to ignore the allure of his pretty eyes staring down at her and swallowed convulsively. She smiled brightly at him and assured, “Oh, shiny, Simon. Just wanted to get some work done. Wash done good gettin’ Serenity docked with Niska’s Skyplex, but things were tossed about an I need ta get ‘em fixed.”
Simon nodded slowly and for a moment she didn’t think he’d believe her excuse. But when he stood, looking for all the world like he wanted to say something more, and walked away, she realized with a pang of regret that she shouldn’t have lied to him. She just needed a bit more time to understand what she’d seen today. It was wrong for her to blame Simon, to fear him for some unexplainable reason, but the feeling was there and she needed to purge it before spending any more time with him.
Further reflection caused tears to prick her eyes as she realized that Simon had come to her because he wanted to talk – a rarity in and of itself – and she had sent him away. She gasped and pushed herself upright with every intention of going after him but as her feet carried her quickly to the door, she nearly ran over the Captain.
She mumbled something and tried to move around him but stopped when he reached out and touched her arm.
“You feelin’ ok?”
The concern in his eyes made her think of Simon, and how she’d just dismissed his concern because of her fear of his sister. She struggled to keep her feet glued to the floor, hoping the Captain would say what he had to say so she could go find Simon.
He glanced into the engine room. “You missed dinner. Everything ok in here?”
Kaylee shot him a bright smile, hoping to end the conversation. “All good. Just about to go get some chow.”
“Good. Simon’s told me to take it easy for the next few days so you come to me if anything’s needed.”
Kaylee nodded and figured now would be a good time to make her escape. With a “yep cap’n” she skirted around him and disappeared into the galley, leaving Mal shaking his head at her departing back.
River closed her eyes and sank into her brother’s arms, her tiny body wracked with sobs she could not control. The events and emotions of the day had exhausted her and she couldn’t speak coherently no matter how hard she tried. Her brain, her overly gifted mind, could form every single word she wanted to say, but there was a disconnect between it and her tongue that frustrated her so deeply she hadn’t been able to contain the screams and the tears.
But even as her brother held and rocked her in his strong, solid arms, she could feel his confusion and surprise over being turned away by Kaylee. She knew he’d begun to doubt, even after this one event, that he should even try to get closer to her. And now, with her latest breakdown, River could feel that he would pull away from Kaylee even more and redouble his efforts to find a cure for his broken sister.
She knew Simon needed to help her, he needed to make himself useful, to ‘save’ her but what he hadn’t yet realized, and she hadn’t been able to coherently say, was that he had saved her and he already was helping her. It was time to help himself. Time to snatch a bit of happiness for himself out of this home he had made for them out in the black.
River didn’t need to open her eyes to know when Kaylee entered the passenger dorms looking for Simon. She could feel the regret the woman felt at pushing her brother away but when she glanced into the room the fear rolling off the mechanic emanated like a homing beacon stronger than an exploding sun.
Simon’s back was to the door, and River clung to him almost desperately. She wanted to release his shoulders and curl into a little ball. She wanted to lock him in a room with Kaylee until he confessed that his feelings for the bubbly mechanic had grown faster than he wanted to admit, even to himself.
But she needed him. He kept a little portion of her mind somewhat sane. He grounded her in the here and now. She needed his strength and his love as much as he needed that very same thing from Kaylee.
When she opened her eyes, Kaylee was gone and she whimpered in Simon’s arms for the opportunity she had just cost him. And not for the first time she found herself feeling incredibly guilty for causing tension between him and the girl who, she knew, could be the best thing that had ever happened to her brother.
Yeah, yeah. Not everything I write can have a happy ending. But, this takes place right after War Stories, so, I felt the emotions were appropriate.
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