All That We Let In
Wednesday, June 14, 2006

About a year post-BDM, Simon learns a little about himself.


Author's note: Don't ask me where this came from. Please. It's mostly fluffy, with a healthy dose of angst (no death. Promise.) mixed in.

As a general rule, Simon didn’t like children. Even when he was a child himself, he had preferred the company of adults. He’d never wanted children of his own. He didn’t know how to talk to children or nurture them. No one had ever showed him how. In his world, children were a status symbol, something to have and then discard with a nanny. Dress them up in the latest children’s fashions and parade them about. Simon didn’t want to be like that, but in all honesty, he didn’t know how else to be. He shifted his position in the infirmary chair awkwardly, careful of the bundle in his arms. There weren’t any children’s boutiques out here, certainly no nannies. There wasn’t even adequate medical care for his children, who, if their body temperature didn’t stabilise, wouldn’t make it through till tomorrow. He repositioned his son on his chest and felt scared. “She won’t eat.” Kaylee’s voice was frustrated and more than a little tearful. “Why won’t she eat?” “Her sucking muscles are probably undeveloped.” He stood, careful not to jostle the sleeping infant. If I can just get you to hold him for a moment, I’ll see if I can find a clean medicine dropper.” He delicately transferred the baby into her arms, and as he did, ran his finger across his daughter’s translucent forehead. “Her temp is improving,” he commented hopefully. “Let’s hope it stays that way.” He turned to the cupboard. “If you can express a little milk into this, we can feed them that way.” “Simon, cargo bay. Now!” Simon handed Kaylee the dropper and kissed her forehead. “I’ll be right back, bao bei. If you need me, buzz me.” He walked briskly out into the cargo bay. “Yes?” “At the fastest we can go without Kaylee in top form, we can be on Persephone in a week and a half,” Mal informed him. Simon swallowed. “Can they make it?” “Kaylee is attempting to feed them with a medicine dropper. I have them swaddled in heated blankets and am maintaining skin-to-skin contact. They’re breathing on their own now that it has been stimulated, but it’s all touch and go.” The buzzer at Simon’s hip buzzed. “I have to go. Thank-you, Captain.” He tried to suppress his panic as he half-ran to the infirmary. “Kaylee?” “She ain’t breathin.” Kaylee was near hysterics. “Simon, make her breathe!” “Gorramit.” Simon picked the limp little bundle out of Kaylee’s arms. There’s an oxygen tank under the sink. If I can find a mask small enough… He fumbled under the sink, trying to keep an eye on the baby. “We don’t stock paediatrics, he muttered,” taking out the smallest size he could find. It still covered most of his daughter’s face, but it would have to do. “Come on, sweetie,” he willed her. “Breathe for daddy, that’s it.” He felt a rush of love when her tiny chest started moving. “That won’t hold for long,” he told Kaylee. “I’m going to see if there’s a neo-natal ICU somewhere closer. Persephone is still a week away.” He retreated to Inara’s shuttle and quickly did a proximity search for properly equipped hospitals, then desperately waved the closest one. “How old is the infant?” “Four days. Twins. A boy and a girl.” “What is their gestational age.” “Approximately 30 weeks. The girl is one pound eight ounces and the boy is one pound four ounces.” “What is the nature of their condition?” Simon relayed their condition and treatment procedures. “There are two isolettes plus care for the mother if you can arrive within the next two days.” Simon swallowed. “We can do that. Thank-you.” He turned the cortex off just as River’s voice came over the intercom. “Serenity has decided that we’re going to Pacquin instead,” she said authoritatively. “Don’t complain. She likes the small ones better than any of you. Except Kaylee.” Simon smiled to himself and walked back to the infirmary. His daughter was still breathing and his son was sleeping on his wife’s chest. “We’re going to Pacquin,” he told Kaylee. “They’re going to be okay.” Kaylee grinned. “They’re gonna be okay anyway,” she replied. He kissed her forehead. “Listen, I need to go out and talk to Mal for a little while, okay sweetie? Buzz me if you need anything. I’ll be right here.” She nodded. “I was just gonna nap anyway.” Simon smiled at her, and then walked out of the infirmary and straight into the bunk he shared with Kaylee. He’d been so busy the past four days; he hadn’t had time to breathe. It surprised him wholly. Even after he and Kaylee had decided to have a baby, he wasn’t completely comfortable with the idea of children, and now that they were here, he’d give up his right arm and his life to protect them.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5:44 PM


*sniffles* Oh, SO sweet. You have no idea how much I needed something like this after the night I've had.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 5:45 PM


Very interesting take on Simon. I've never thought he didn't want children - being so close with his younger sister. But you made it quite convincing.

And I like how he came to the realization, once he held them, that he would give anything to protect them.

I hope there is a (much longer!) sequel to this.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 4:45 AM


I second(third, fourth?) Leiasky's comment. Very like Simon to initially be awkward at the idea of having children. Having had two of my own... it's very true. The minute you hold the little life in your arms, you'ld move heaven and earth to protect them. The rush of love is indescribible.

Thursday, June 15, 2006 5:49 AM


Such a realistic reaction from Simon and I am hoping they get to Pacquin in time to save the poor babies. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, October 2, 2006 4:40 AM




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