Because of You: Part 5 of 10
Friday, June 23, 2006

Kaylee and Simon get closer but something, yet again, drives them apart.


I’m trying something new with this post. This is a collection of vignette’s (posted 10 at a time until we reach 100) that tell their own little story. It begins in the middle of the season, though no specific episode is mentioned. I have purposely left that vague.

The challenge table which gave me the words that prompted each little vignette is listed: Here if you want to see what the upcoming prompts will be.

I don’t expect a lot of people to like or read this because of the tense. It’s hard for me to read much less write. But I wanted to do it just once. Of course, you’d have thought I could choose something other than a 100 PROMPT CHALLENGE to do it with, huh?

I did have fun doing this, but, god I have never been so happy to finish something in my life!

If you make it through all 100, I thank you. I’ve written the prompts so that they create a little series. The first story I saw done like this was one of Mordsith’s. So it is to her I must thank (or curse!) for giving me the idea to try it too!

The last two are listed ‘Writer’s Choice’ but I had my beta give me 10 words which I wrote down on slips of paper and then chose two. It actually worked out really well.

Notes: Mucho thanks to TamSibling for beta’ing this monster that turned into 102 pages by the time I was done with all 100 prompts. Writing in this tense has been one hell of a challenge. One I never wish to ever undertake again.

And thanks to Leighkohl for saving my ass on a few of these prompts and tossing me ideas to keep me going.

For the other parts click here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Because of You: Part 5 of 10


041. Watch

Inara watches them from the shadows; their hushed voices halting her steps as she makes her way toward the galley. A wide smile lights her face when she sees how comfortable they seem and for a moment wonders if Simon has had anything to drink. But upon further reflection, she understands how they have reached this level – Kaylee is doing all of the talking.

Lifting a delicate hand to stifle the giggle that bubbles to her lips, she leans back against the bulkhead and watches for a few moments longer. The smile eventually fades from her lips as she becomes engrossed in their conversation – Simon talking now, drawn out of his shell by the enigmatic mechanic.

She can see his hesitation, his shy demeanor as Kaylee regards him from beneath her eyelashes.

She grins when he shifts in his chair, no doubt uncomfortable by the awakening of certain desires and the constant smiles aimed in his direction by the girl before him.

Inara’s thoughts drift to the somewhat easy friendship the two have developed and she secretly wishes that she could have that sense of comfort with their infuriating Captain. Lost as she is in her thoughts, she doesn’t see the pair of eyes watch her from where she thinks she has hidden herself well enough in the shadow of the doorway.

Mal’s eyes skim down Inara’s silk-clad body, and he swallows thickly. He can hear Simon and Kaylee’s conversation in the galley and scowls in their general direction when their topic turns too personal for his tastes.

Too stubborn to walk away and too curious after hearing his name mentioned along side Inara’s, he presses his head to the wall and listens closely.

After a few minutes he frowns, silently disagreeing over their mutual take on his relationship with the Companion. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a shuffle of fabric which can only mean that Inara has had enough of listening to them talk. But when he looks in her direction, he is shocked to find her looking straight at him – pinning him in place within the shadows he’d thought were safe enough from prying eyes.


042. Monsters

She screams; the faceless monsters rising from her nightmares to stand around her prone body. She cannot move. She is held in place, frozen, by their mere presence. Her mouth opens but nothing comes out, her breath stolen away by those intent on making her, molding her into a weapon of their own design.

She sits in a chair, arms and legs bound, while needles are shoved into her skin. It burns, the fluids that flow from these sharp sticks into her blood. She wants to claw at her arms, at her face as the chemicals begin their work.

River retreats into that small portion of her mind that she has created to withstand their torture. But those self-erected barriers are slowly destroyed by unrelenting procedures meant to test her mental aptitude and rising physical strengths.

She shrieks as images of her once happy, smiling family rise to the forefront of her mind. She loves her parents, they love her – don’t they? If they did, then why did they send her to this place?

She whimpers at the sight of her brother, dressed in his finest clothing on the day of his graduation from the Medical Academy. She reaches out to him for help but he cannot hear her, he cannot see her. He walks away and she panics, her arms break free of the metal bindings, skin ripped and bloody, and she calls out to him with all of the fright left in her small, fragile body.


She thrashes beneath the covers, limbs twisting painfully in the fabric as she struggles to extricate herself from beneath it. She calls for him again as she dives out of bed and folds herself into the farthest corner. Her eyes dart around the small room and her body trembles.

And then he arrives. Pulling her into his arms, he whispers her name and her body stills, her breathing evens. She closes her eyes and rests her head on his chest, listening to the rapid thud of his heart. She knows he will stick another needle into her – just like they used to do. But she knows his purpose is an honorable one.

So she doesn’t fight when the needle slides into her arm, drugs meant to calm her, to make her sleep and while she hates it, while a small part of her hates him for it, she is only too relieved when a blank, dreamless black lowers her into her medicated slumber.


043. Time

It is said that time heals all wounds. But there are some that no medicine, nor any amount of time, can heal. Like River’s fragile, yet brilliant, mind. No matter what Simon does, what he tries, he cannot stop her pain, her nightmares.

He feels like he has failed and amidst all of the pain and heartache of not being able to help his baby sister, his determination has never once wavered.

He needs to sleep. He needs to eat. He’s far to thin and pale for his own good.

He is not alone; one is never truly alone on a ship like Serenity. But most of the crew does not go out of their way to see how Simon is doing, to see how River is doing. Even the captain goes to Simon only if he needs something. Inara and Book check on him when they can; check on River’s progress. They occasionally ask how he is doing as well.

But it is Kaylee who asks how Simon is doing, who cares enough to engage him in conversation when he is not immersed in manuals or tests – and sometimes even when he is. She grounds him at times when he feels like he is slipping.

Kaylee engages River’s troubled mind in childhood games. She chases her through the hallways, down the catwalks and around the cargo bay, treating the younger girl like a little sister. She doesn’t know how to behave any differently.

And when the two girls bounce into the infirmary, playing keep away with some precious piece of fruit, while Simon stands between them writing in a journal, it is some of the happiest days of Simon’s life. He watches the smiles on their faces and the happiness sparkling in their eyes and he knows there is no other place that he would rather be. This place; this piece of luh suh heap flying through the black has become home. And he has slowly come to love it.

In this time, in this place, with two girls who mean more than the world to him, juice slipping out of the coveted fruit and onto his paperwork, he simply smiles at Kaylee and River. His eyes hold Kaylee’s for a moment longer than usual and a flush creeps down his neck when his sister gives him a quick peck on the cheek, and tells him she knows he would rather get it from Kaylee – the kiss.

Then she dodges another one of Kaylee’s attempts to steal back her fruit and races out of the infirmary, satisfied that she has embarrassed her brother for the day.

Kaylee hesitates for only a moment before chasing after the little thief, her dancing eyes sweeping down Simon’s body and offering the promise of more than a kiss if he would simply accept.

It’s too bad he’s already gone back to his work and misses the heated look.


044. Seasons

In the Black there is no spring, summer, fall and winter. There is just a calendar of days. And even that calendar varies depending to which planet’s cycle you conform.

The Black is cold and unforgiving. It has no seasons. It has stars and suns and moons and planets. They all turn at precise rotations, tilt exactly on their axes. The stars flicker and pulse, the moon rises as the sun falls.

River watches with cold fascination as they the black vanishes to slowly be replaced by the blue green haze of the planet’s atmosphere. She stands on the stairs at the forward section of the bridge, out of sight and out of the way. She loves the black and shivers as the ship descends to the surface, landing with a gentle bump on the snowcapped ground.

She can hear Kaylee calling her, can feel the mechanic’s excitement at the opportunity to go play in the snow. She wants to play. She wants to be a girl. She wants to be normal. And so she dances down the stairs and allows Kaylee to find her.

“Let’s go!” Kaylee takes her hand and drags her toward the infirmary.

“He won’t go. Hates the snow.”

Kaylee’s happy smile falters for just a moment before she shakes her head. “We’ll make him come out. You and me together!”

River wonders if there is anything capable of dampening Kaylee’s perpetual good mood. She feels light and loved, happy to be included.

While Mal, Jayne and Zoe go into the nearby town looking for work, Kaylee happily chatters that he didn’t order them to stay on the boat.

They make it into the infirmary but it is empty. So is the common room and the passenger bunks. River feels Kaylee’s elation when she thinks Simon has already decided to venture out into the snow but River knows better. She knows he’s hiding because he knows Kaylee will want to drag him into the cold, wet stuff.

River giggles and tugs on Kaylee’s hand, stopping her motion toward the open bay doors. “Not out there. Know where he is though.”


045. Want

Kaylee stares at the snow with barely contained enthusiasm but she follows River as she leads the mechanic all the way to the bridge. Kaylee’s mouth falls open when she sees Simon sitting in the co-pilot’s chair, looking out and down onto the snow-covered ground.

“Simon! Didn’t ya hear me callin’?”

Simon scowls at his sister, knowing what she’s done.

“Told you he doesn’t like snow,” River says, stepping back to let Kaylee work her magic on her brother, knowing he will not be able to resist the pretty mechanic. His thoughts are filled with her often enough as of late.

Kaylee stares at Simon. “How can ya not like it!” She reaches for Simon’s hand and tugs on it to get him to stand. “It’s so pretty an –“

“Cold and wet.”

Kaylee glances down at him unable to believe he doesn’t like the snow. She turns to River, “Ain’t ya ever seen snow before?”

“Love snow,” River says with a smile. “Simon has a love hate relationship with it.”

“River –“ Simon glares at his sister, warning her to say nothing further.

Kaylee doesn’t understand so she does what she always does when she doesn’t understand something – she asks. “Why you hate the snow, Simon?”

“It’s cold and wet.”

Kaylee frowns and tightens her fingers around his hand. “We won’t get ya wet.”

River is quick to correct her. “I didn’t promise that.”

Kaylee’s eyes widen and she glances back and forth between the siblings. She senses a secret that she just absolutely must know. “C’mon, Simon. Please come with us. I know you want to.”

Simon stares out the front window and shakes his head. “No, I really don’t.”

He can’t bring himself to look at Kaylee, at the hopeful look he knows is just burning in her eyes and he most certainly cannot glance down at their joined hands. It would be a mistake and he would lose this little battle and end up going outside. So he stares ahead, trying to forget just how good her hand feels wrapped around his.


046. Need

“C’mon, Simon! Ya gotta come out with us!” Kaylee begs, tugging enthusiastically at his hand. “I know ya want to!”

“No, I really don’t, actually,” Simon says with a half-hearted smile. It’s nearly impossible to be in the same room with Kaylee and not smile at least a bit.

Kaylee glances back at River for a moment before leaning down to whisper into his ear. “But I need ya.”

Simon’s eyes widen and he can feel his heart rate double at the words and the heat of her breath on his ear as she says them. He is moments away from standing when a slight movement out of the corner of his eye catches his attention.


His little demon of a sister.

He slouches in his seat and says pitifully, “You don’t need me that badly.”

Kaylee glances back at River who she can tell is trying not to smile too widely. There is something going on here, and she is going to get it out of Simon one way or the other. She leans forward and brushes her lips against his ear, causing Simon to jump slightly and slide his hands over his lap. “Yes I do.”

Simon lifts his eyes up and all he has to do is lean forward and touch his lips to hers. They haven’t really kissed yet. Come close, but not yet a touching of the lips. His own fault, he knows, but he clings to the propriety of his old life and he knows one of these days he will need to simply discard it. But not yet, not quite yet – and certainly not with his sister watching.

“All right,” he whispers his acquiescence but she whoops her arms into the air like she’s just won a championship hoopball game. He grins at her reaction, lost in the sun glinting off her smooth skin until he catches sight of his mei mei.

“Wait,” Simon says as Kaylee pulls him to his feet.

At her questioning look, he points a long finger at his demure-looking sister. “Keep her away from me.”


047. Vengence

But it is not to be. As soon as Simon and Kaylee step out into the snow, a perfectly round snowball hurls through the air and right into Simon’s chest.

With a deep scowl, he stares at his sister, prancing around in the ankle-high snow like a dancer performing in an elegant ballet.

Kaylee pulls Simon to face her, but frowns when his eyes dart around the snow to keep a close eye on his sister. “Why ya afraid ta go out with her, Simon?”

He ignores her question and simply says, “Keep an eye on her, okay?”

“Aww, Simon, you’re –“ Kaylee is cut off as a snowball impacts with the side of her head. This time she huffs as she falls to her knees, an otherwise lovely position for Simon if her absence didn’t place him in the direct line of fire for River’s next wet missile.

“Oh, that’s it!” Simon drops beside Kaylee, shaking the white bits out of his hair and begins to roll his own little snowball.

With revenge clearly distracting him from his sister’s close proximity, River finds it easy to skip around to his back and shove a large, round, wet snowball right down the back of his pants.

“Second time I got you that way with a girl!”: River singsongs as she dances away. “At least your pants were fastened this time!”

Simon’s jaw falls open as Kaylee stops her snowball-rounding and stares at him, her eyes big as saucers.

“You don’t want to know,” Simon groans as he stands with his perfectly packed snowball and looks around for his sister.

But Kaylee grabs his wrists and turns him to face her. “Oh yes I do!”

“Didn’t learn his lesson when he was sixteen!” River darts around them, tossing a snowball from each hand. She squeals when they impact their targets with a wet smack. “Caught him with the girl next door. Mom was not happy.”

Kaylee’s annoyance at being struck by yet another snowball is tempered by this amazing new information about her shy doctor. “An just what were you doin’ with this girl, Simon?”

“Playing doctor!” River’s voice echoes around their heads and Simon sets his jaw.

“That’s it.” He clutches his snowball tightly in one hand and grabs Kaylee’s hand with the other. “She’s getting it now.”

Kaylee laughs as he drags her around the ship looking for his sister, wondering just when she’ll get the chance to ‘play doctor’ with the too swai for his own good Simon Tam.


048. Direction

“Damnit Mal, hold ‘er steady!” Jayne cries as gunshots echo around their heads. He should have known better than to let Mal get involved in a discussion with a former Alliance soldier. And now, here they were, with no job, and with that hundan and his men chasing after them simply because Mal had fought for the Independents.

“I’m tryin’ ta figure out how to get out of this maze of a town, Jayne! You just point and shoot. I have every confidence you’ll hit something!” Mal scowls at the ice-covered ground and curses the sun as its light reflects off the crystalline snow, blinding him at the most inopportune moments.

Zoe ignores their bickering and continues to return fire.

“Not gonna hit nothin’ if I fall outta the ship ‘cause you bank too hard!” Jayne growls as a shot sails by his head, barely missing his ear.

“Gorramit, Mal –“

Mal navigates around a narrow corner and hisses at Jayne. “Would you prefer if I stop an ask directions?!”

“Gentleman, I don’t think this is the time for –“ Zoe scowls as she is interrupted.

“It might get us out of here faster!” Jayne cries, frustrated that no matter how many men he shoots out of the chasing hovercraft, more take their place.

“I ain’t ready to die, Jayne.” Mal grits out and shifts the mule into a different gear.

Jayne glances back and notices the trailing craft has gotten closer. “We’re gonna ifin’ you don’t go faster!”

“Maybe you’d like to get out an push then!” Mal snaps back and banks sharply, nearly throwing Jayne from the back of the mule.

“Oh for god’s sake, children!” Zoe cries as she clutches the side and hangs on for dear life. The chilly air makes it difficult to get a solid purchase on the even colder metal rail and Zoe tries not to think that maybe this is the last ride she will ever take with the Captain.

Thanks to that move, the following craft collides with the corner of a building, delaying its pursuit.

Mal guns the engines and smiles smugly when they round the corner and are greeted with open land. “Zoe, get on the com and tell ‘em to fire it up. We need to get out of here right quick.”

“On it, Sir.”


049. First Love

Simon grins smugly when he and Kaylee finally catch River. Kaylee squeals with delight when the wet substance strikes the younger girl’s chest and explodes into tiny pieces. Simon’s heart flutters sharply in his chest at the sound and out of the corner of his eye he sees River winding up to toss another little wet missile at them.

Suddenly, Simon pulls Kaylee against him and turns around, River’s snowball striking him in the back instead of hitting Kaylee squarely in the face.

Kaylee closes her eyes as the remnants from the snowball sail over his shoulder and into her hair. When she leans her forehead against his chest, he wraps his arms around her shoulders, intent on doing more and thinking less.

When Kaylee lifts her head, their eyes meet and she smiles widely.

Thinking back to the other girls he has been with, Simon knows he was never truly in love with any of them. But this girl, standing right now in his arms, he knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is the first woman he has ever loved.

River is forgotten as Simon dips his head to touch his lips to hers. Just as their mouths meet, Wash comes racing down the ramp, calling out to the couple standing a good pace away from the ship.

“Kaylee! Stop kissin’ the doc! We got –“

Gunfire erupts from the treeline ahead of them and they all turn to stare at the two rapidly approaching craft.

“They’re comin’ in hot!” Wash cries and bolts back up the ramp to get Serenity warmed.

Kaylee and Simon run toward the ship hand in hand but as they reach the base of the ramp, Simon whirls around, his eyes darting around the white powdery landscape for his sister.


Kaylee grasps for his hand but he hurries back down into the snow. The crafts are nearly upon them now, and she can see Mal yelling and waving at them to get in the ship. But Simon ignores them and continues to call for his sister.


050. Weapons

Shots ricochet off Serenity as Mal pulls the mule up short in front of Simon, and now Kaylee, who has run to his side.

“What the gorram hell is goin’ on! Get in the damn ship!” Mal returns fire but Simon still calls for his sister.

“River’s out here!” Simon ducks behind the mule, pulling Kaylee down with him.

Kaylee glances around. “Maybe she went back into the ship already!”

“I told you not to get outta the ship!” Mal growls.

“No you didn’t, Cap!” Kaylee answers loudly, hands held at her ears as the loud guns go off around her head.

“Gorramit, we ain’t havin this conversation now, are we?!” Jayne spits as another man falls off the hovering craft, which is slowly maneuvering itself around the stopped mule.

Zoe refrains from a retort about their earlier conversation about directions, filing it away in her memory to reference at a later date.

Suddenly, River runs down the ramp, her hair flying out behind her and her eyes wide with fear. “Kaylee!”

When the girl reaches the mule, she throws herself into Kaylee’s arms, just as a gun pokes its way around the outside of Serenity’s massive cargo bay. Distracted as they all are, they didn’t notice one lone gunman make his way off the hovering craft and around the ship.

“Git back there you stupid moonb–“

The shot solitary shot echoes in their ears and time slows as River pitches forward into Kaylee’s arms.

“No!” Simon cries and reaches for his unconscious sister, covering her from any further shots with his own body.

She leans heavily against Kaylee, her head on the older girl’s shoulder, as shots echo around them. Simon moves to her side and reaches for her. But she lifts a small hand up to his cheek, eyes fluttering as she fights to keep herself conscious. Her mouth moves and only after the third time is she able to get out what she wants to say. Her eyes squeeze closed and she clutches Kaylee tighter.

Simon leans close as she breathes, “Don’t let this destroy you.”

Simon doesn’t understand and there is no time to ask as River’s body goes limp in Kaylee’s arms.

Mal, Zoe Jayne and now the Shepherd, from his place of cover in the cargo bay, return fire until no one is left alive to shoot back.



Liked it? Hated it? Have some constructive criticism? Love to hear it! No comments = no next part! Nyah!

This one was shorter than the last, but, they tend to get much longer.

Each character will appear in this series of stories, some more than others.

This type of story/tense is new for me, and no, once this is done I will not be writing in this horrible tense ever again!

And let me just say its good to be back and able to post! Haken rocks!


Friday, June 23, 2006 10:13 AM


Did you just kill off River, because if you did... well, I have no good threat but... crap! just don't kill off River!!!

That first prompt was pure gold. I'd never invisioned this and yet it's so perfect and plausible

Saturday, June 24, 2006 8:05 AM


Okay, first of all - the whole "snow" bit with River and Simon and Kaylee's desire to uncover the secret - hi-larious! I loved it, loved it, loved it! The idea that River can be such a brat warms the heart.

Secondly, "Directions" absolutely perfect! I could totally see the exasperated look on Zoe's face as she tries to keep them from getting killed, while Mal and Jayne decide to have a testerone fight. The whole "get out and push," nice nod to SW!

And of course, River, shot? Say it isn't so? Don't kill her, ya hear me? Don't, DO NOT - that would be very, very bad ... but since you like to torture Simon, it wouldn't be completely out of the realm of possibility now, would it?


Sunday, June 25, 2006 3:30 AM


You do this so well, but River shot? I just hope the ending is HAPPY(?!)

Sunday, June 25, 2006 2:55 PM


I loved the snow bit as well...Poor Simon, he is tortured at every turn, isn't he?! River is the consumate little sister, I should know I have a few of them!
“Oh for god’s sake, children!”- Poor Zoe...they are like two of the most annoying boys ever!
And you shot RIver! Well you didn't do the act, but you wrote it! Only two words for you...FIX IT!
Great Chapter! You have written such a compelling story in a tense that is quite a trial to work kudos for you! Love your work1

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 5:48 AM


The snowball fight was great, and this was my favorite line:

"His little demon of a sister."

River getting shot just hits me in such a way that I really don't even know what to say. Very well written, and I am enjoying the tense, even though I know it was hard to write in.

Sunday, July 2, 2006 8:02 PM


What?! You can't kill River! Simon's is about as stable as a Fox exec's common sense right now!

Still...really loved the drabbles with River, Simon and Kaylee playfighting in the snow...all manner of good things come from this type of image:D


Thursday, July 13, 2006 5:10 AM



Sunday, November 6, 2011 10:29 PM


LOVED Kaylee River and Simon in the snow!!! Super shiny!!!


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Simon and Kaylee discuss other - avenues, as they lay in bed. Oddly, this is a pretty PG story.

Simon and kaylee disturb the ship with their nocturnal activities. Post BDM. Part of a challenge table. Rated NC-17 for adult content.

Broken Wings: Conclusion (Repost)
The crew take Kaylee home to be buried and the reason for Simon's secrecy is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 18 (Repost)
Simon, Mal and Jayne have a moment with Kaylee. Inara and River are reunited with the rest of the crew. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 17 (Repost)
Simon has a conversation with Zoe, Mal and Jayne - separately. Sequel to 'On the Edge.' Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 16 (Repost)
The crew is reunited - mostly, as Simon arrives to treat the wounded. River rushes to Inara's aid before her deception is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 15 (Repost)
Simon's escape is halted by his father. But River comes to the rescue. Jayne - sees the light - far too up close and personal for his safety. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 14 (Repost)
Simon and Inara's deception is discovered. Mal, Jayne and Zoe continue to fight what looks to be a losing battle. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 13 (Repost)
Simon has some unexpected help with his fussy son and River receives another assignment. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 12 (Repost)
Inara and Simon continue their work while a message gets out to those on the front lines. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.