Because of You: Part 6 of 10
Sunday, June 25, 2006

Simon thinks of nothing but saving his sister and his relationship with Kaylee suffers for it.


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 Part 5


Because of You: Part 6 of 10


051. Destruction

Simon is frantic as he scrubs his hands, sterilizing them against any foreign agents that could enter his sister’s body while he works on her.

Kaylee stands in the doorway, Inara’s arms wrapped tightly around her friend’s trembling shoulders. She can’t take her eyes away from Simon as he works frantically to save his sister. Book acts as the determined doctor’s aide, providing him with the necessary tools as quickly and as efficiently as any surgical assistant.

Hours later, they are still standing there, watching, waiting, and some even praying. Simon doesn’t leave once the surgery is complete, he simply sits on the stool next to his sister’s unconscious form and smoothes the hair back from her face.

After a long while, Kaylee slowly extricates herself from Inara’s arms and walks in to stand at Simon’s side.

He flinches as she reaches out to rest a hand on his arm and doesn’t glance up, simply continues to brush his hand over his sister’s long, dark hair.

“Simon?” Kaylee’s voice trembles as she says his name but he doesn’t acknowledge her presence. She knows he’s hurting, and she wants to comfort him. Sliding her hand to his shoulder, tears slip down her cheeks when he still refuses to look up.

When he finally speaks, Kaylee’s heart plummets into her stomach. “We shouldn’t have left the ship.” His eyes are red rimmed from his struggle to keep the tears at bay. But his gaze hardens and his jaw sets. Clearly consumed with concern for his sister, he doesn’t think of the hurt he will cause when he asks, “Why did you make me leave the ship?”

Kaylee’s bottom lip trembles and she knows he blames her for pushing him to go out. Tears drip down her cheeks as she backs out of the room, horrified that he could think what he’s just said, much less voice it. She knows he’s hurting and will give him some time – but as she thinks about it, she’s not sure if she can completely disagree with him.

As she makes her way back to her bunk and throws herself atop it, Kaylee cries long and hard for River. She prays that the girl she thinks of as a sister will recover. Kaylee knows if the girl dies, Simon will never forgive her and any hope she had of a relationship with him will be irrevocably destroyed.


052. Apocalypse

She ignores Inara as she requests entrance to her bunk. She just wants to be left alone to wallow in her tears. Simon doesn’t want her near him and that hurts more than she can put into words. She hopes that he’s just said those things to her because he’s upset, but that doesn’t help the pain they’d caused by him simply saying them. She can’t even remember the touch of their lips before their lives got more complicated, and she wishes now that it had not happened. Even that little memory hurts to think about now.

When she doesn’t extend an invitation, Inara simply comes down anyway, her delicate shoes slipping and sliding on the metal rungs of the ladder.

“Mei mei?”

“Go ‘way, ‘Nara,” Kaylee sniffles and buries her face in her pillow.

“What’s wrong, sweetie?” Inara hurries to her friend’s side and sits herself on the edge of the bed.

“Simon hates me.”

Inara cocks her head at the distraught girl. “There isn’t anything you can do to make that man hate you.”

Kaylee shakes her head and tells Inara about her insistence they go out and play in the snow today. If they hadn’t been out there, River never would have been injured.

“He’s worried about his sister, mei mei. Give him some time to come around. I’m sure he didn’t mean anything he said.”

“He meant it, ‘Nara.”

Sighing, Inara realizes she'll get no where with the young mechanic. Maybe the doctor will be able to see reason instead. “I’ll go talk to him.”

Kaylee doesn’t answer and Inara purses her lips, intending to find out just what happened between her mei mei and Simon.

When she reaches the infirmary, Simon is still there, his head lying beside River’s, his mouth moving as he speaks to her. Inara waits for a few moments, not wanting to intrude and when he stands to check her medication levels and write in her chart, the Companion slips into the room.

“How’s she doing?”

It takes Simon a few moments to answer and it is very clear to Inara that he doesn’t want company.

“She’s stable.”

Inara sighs, knowing he isn’t giving her all of the information. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Let me work.”

Inara’s eyes flash at his curt remark. “Is this how you spoke to Kaylee earlier? When she was just trying to help.”

Simon doesn’t answer, but simply moves to the other side of the room to fill a syringe.

“She blames herself for this. Can you please speak to her?”

When Simon looks up, his eyes are devoid of any emotion and that sends Inara’s heart plummeting into her stomach.

“I blame myself for agreeing to go outside with her.” If he hadn’t been so weak and given in to Kaylee’s plea, his sister wouldn’t be in this position now. This event has just reaffirmed his decision that he needs to keep Kaylee at arms length. There isn’t enough of him to split between the two girls. “If we hadn’t gone, River wouldn’t have been –“

“There is no one to blame for this but that hun dan who shot her.”

Simon glances down and Inara can see that he doesn’t agree with her. She takes a step forward and touches River’s small hand. “You’re a good doctor, Simon. You’ll pull her through this.”

Simon says nothing as he works but Inara can see the fear and tension in his body.

“I’ll be here if you need to talk, Simon.” Inara says as she walks out of the room. Over her shoulder, she adds, “And so will Kaylee.”

After a long while, Simon looks up at the door, recalling Inara’s last words. “If River dies, it won’t matter. Nothing will matter anymore.” He knows it’s wrong to blame Kaylee but right now he can’t feel anything but anger at the situation that placed his sister in danger in the first place.

River is his world, his reason for living, for giving up everything he ever had. He sinks into the chair and takes her hand, feeling what’s left of his shattered world crashing down around him. There’s nothing he can do about it but hope and pray that Serenity’s rudimentary equipment and less than high quality medication are enough to pull his sister through this.


053. Faded

A bit of his heart fades away each time he turns from her advances. Another piece breaks and he is certain he will never be able to put them back together. He shouldn’t blame her, he knows, but it hurts so very much that he doesn’t know what to do – to whom to turn.

No one understands what he’s done to keep River safe; to keep her alive. And now, because he let his own wishes and desires cloud his judgment she could die.

Guilt overwhelms him. Guilt at not being good enough, fast enough, smart enough to prevent this from happening. He should have known better. He didn’t want to go out and play in the snow. The cold, wet substance has given him yet another unpleasant memory.

His breath catches when he thinks of how he’s treated Kaylee, how he’s ignored her when she’s come to sit with River, trying to comfort him. He cannot even look at her and he knows it’s more from shame because of where he’s placed the blame for this incident.

He cannot bear the thought of losing his sister. Concern for her health has consumed almost every bit of his time on Serenity, and even in the years prior when he’d traded in his wealth and career to keep River safe.

It frightens him now, to the core, when he thinks of what he could lose because of this mistake – his mistake. The sister that he loves more than his own life and the young mechanic who has only ever had a smile and a kind word for him – even when he is incapable of saying what is in his heart.

His vision blurs with hot tears he has refused to let fall. But when he thinks about how empty his life will be if he pushes away those few that still love him, he cannot control the few drops that escape his eyes unchecked.

“It’s okay, Simon,” River’s voice is barely a whisper as he lifts astonished eyes to her face. “Good this happened.”

“River, shh, don’t try to talk. Let me –“ he tries to stand but she clutches his hand.

“Good that this happened.”

Simon stares at her, instantly recalling a very familiar quote. “If this is a blessing, it is certainly very well disguised.”

River smiles slightly as her eyes flutter shut. “Love you,” she whispers before sleep overtakes her once again.


054. Colorless

River wrinkles her nose at the colorless and odorless protein Simon has managed to liquefy into a healthy, but tasteless, drink.

“I want to start you on liquid. Solid food might upset your stomach too much.” Simon says, encouraging her to drink the unique substance. It has been a few days since she was shot and she is now able to sit up and take small sips of whatever liquid he holds to her lips.

“Let Kaylee make it next time, okay?”

Simon frowns at his sister. He knows what she is trying to do and is grateful for it. Since River has been awake, he’s been afraid to speak with Kaylee, to apologize for blaming her for River’s injury. He’s fooled himself into thinking that he needs to be here at all times. But he’s really just avoiding the inevitable.

“Yes,” Simon sighs, “I’ll let Kaylee make the next one.” He stares at his sister expectantly. “Now drink.”

River takes a sip then promptly hands the glass back to her brother with a disgusted grunt. “Let Kaylee make this one too.”

“You are such a brat.”

River closes her eyes and smiles. “I know.”


055. Colorful

Simon stands in the hallway, looking down at the strand of lights surrounding the hatch that leads to Kaylee’s bunk. He has been standing there for a long time, wondering what to say, how he is going to apologize for his terrible behavior.

He was raised to be a gentleman in all things; and that includes how to address a lady.

And Kaylee is every bit a beautiful, energetic, creative –evidenced by the bright sign sitting above the entrance to her bunk, as any woman he knew on Osiris. Colors swirl around and through her name, giving a hint as to the personality of the one who lives below.

He smiles as he thinks of her eyes, beautifully wide and expressive. It is easy to tell what kind of a mood she is in simply by looking into those beautiful orbs.

And her smile outshines even the largest and brightest star. He doesn’t know where he would be right now if it wasn’t for Kaylee. Her encouragement, faith and friendship have gotten him through some of his most difficult days out here in the Black.

“How long ya gonna stand there?”

Simon’s head snaps toward the bridge, where Wash stands staring down with an amused smile poised on his lips.

“As long as it takes,” Simon says, not in the mood to have to explain why he is standing in the middle of the hallway staring at the hatch to Kaylee’s bunk.

“I’m sure she wouldn’t care if ya went down.”

Simon shakes his head, knowing that Wash is trying to encourage him. But he needs to do this on his own time. If he rushes, he will only ruin it. And while he knows Kaylee would rather he rush, there are some things that are just not appropriate – though he is learning that such proper behavior out in the black is more of a hindrance than a benefit.


056. Black

If he spends the rest of his life living on Serenity, he will never understand the allure. He can barely stomach standing on the bridge and he almost never looks out into the blackness that surrounds them.

The few meters of metal and glass that separates them from painful suffocation, do not give him much comfort when confronted with the vastness of space itself.

It scares him. One of the many things that does, truth be told. How he and his sister can be so so different, baffles him. She loves the black, its vastness; the secrets she is certain it holds. While he prefers to keep his feet on the ground, on something solid, River wants to dance through the stars. She looks into the Black as if it contains all of the answers to every question in the known universe.

Up and walking around now, she ruffles his dark hair when she sits gingerly beside him on the couch.

“Make nice with Kaylee finally?”

Simon scowls at her. “Stay out of my love life, brat.”

“Don’t have one yet. Haven’t even really kissed her,” River retorts with a smile.


“You’re such a boob,” River stands and walks away, a bit unsteady on her feet still, but she is healing faster than he ever anticipated – another side effect of Academy training – he supposes.

“But you love me anyway,” he calls after her with a small smile.

“So does she,” is the only answer he receives in return.

Simon lowers his head and tries to concentrate on the text sitting in his lap. His thoughts turn back toward Kaylee and how similar she is to River: They both love the blackness of space. And then he wonders how either of the girls can love someone so dull and unimaginative.


057. White

When the lights are on, he nearly blends in. There is no sun here, no warmth. With his pale skin and equally serious demeanor, the same could be said of Simon, himself.

The infirmary is the brightest room in the entire ship – for good reason. And its walls are white and sterile – the perfect place for a doctor to do his work. But it is a place to heal not to live.

Yet he spends most of his time here, treating his sister, looking over scans, trying to come up with the latest medicinal cocktail that he hopes will be the answer to his prayers. And when he’s said something particularly stupid, he hides from Kaylee in here. He is more comfortable here than in any other room on the ship.

Living with such an eclectic group of individuals, which neither his schooling, nor his upbringing prepared him for, is daunting. From their personality quirks to their very outlook on life itself, everything is so different from the life with which Simon is accustomed that he still finds it, even after months of living on the ship, very difficult to fit in.

Just as he differs from River in her enjoyment of space itself, so, also do they differ in their comfort zones. River has made the entire ship her home. She crams herself into the nooks and crannies – some of which even the captain has forgotten. As mentally unstable as she is, she makes these people care about her. Simon knows she feels more at home on Serenity than any other place she’s ever been.

Simon always thought the hospital was home; a place where he could use his training and skill to save lives, to do some good. But until he was forced to leave his comfortable, monotonous life, he never realized he could find another home – or another love. He never thought he would find either embodied in the heart of a pretty, Rim-world mechanic.

As he looks around the infirmary, he knows that this is not home, not really. Neither was the hospital on Osiris . Home is where his heart is – and right now, that muscle is wedged firmly between duty to his sister and his feelings for a certain honey-haired mechanic with bright expressive eyes.

He looks around at the one room on the entire ship that has made him feel the most comfortable and realizes it is just a room. It is not home.

Home is where River and Kaylee live. Home is Serenity, whether he feels comfortable there or not.


058. Sunshine

The light that normally burns brightly in her eyes is gone now; replaced by sadness. Kaylee’s smile is dulled as she watches Simon’s reaction to the Captain’s announcement. What friendship they have forged in the months since Simon and River have been onboard is strained and stretched to its limits as Mal pushes more of Simon’s over-sensitive buttons. Simon reacts poorly every time, which gives cause for Mal’s temper to rise.

“You can’t take her,” Simon says, his hands clenched at his sides. “She’s not going.”

“She’s going.” There is a finality to the Captain’s tone that would have stopped most men, but Simon is oblivious.

“She is not going.”

Mal glances around the table, at the faces of his crew, and then back to Simon. “When you’re the captain of this boat, you can give orders on it.”

“You can’t take her.” Simon continues, oblivious to the mounting tension in the room, or perhaps acutely aware of it.

“Simon –“ Kaylee reaches out and touches his arm but he flinches away and doesn’t even look at her.

“Stop arguin’ what’s been decided.”

This is not the first time Simon has had this argument with the Captain, and Simon knows this is not the last time either. He stands and goes back to his infirmary, not noticing, or simply ignoring, Kaylee’s forlorn look as he walks away. Days later, he cannot help but feel disgusted and angry at his inability to impress upon the captain how dangerous it is to take his sister. The sun beats down on the mule as Simon walks to the end of the ramp, watching as River’s form disappears into the distance. It is a hot day, but he – and now Kaylee – stand safe and cool in the shade.

Even Kaylee’s ever-present sunny disposition cannot break through the impenetrable barrier that Simon has erected over himself. He doesn’t want to listen to her try to cheer him up. He wants to be left alone. He hasn’t heard a word she’s said and he turns away to go back to his room to sulk, missing the longing look in Kaylee's eyes as she, again, watches him go, powerless to bring light to his darkened mood.


059. Puppet

She is a puppet created by those who think they can meddle in the affairs of others. A Reader can glean much information from her enemies without having to end a single life. But she was trained to fight, to maim, to kill. And as she stares up at the screen displaying singing, multi-colored, dancing animals, that trigger, that killer, is awakened.

Buried deep, River’s eyes widen as she reads the subliminal message contained beneath the colorful advertisement. Words, memories, training, all come back to her in a rush of emotion she is unable to control.

She twirls with the grace of a dancer, or a marionette with invisible strings, taking down every obstacle in her path. Long legs lift into the air and connect with the side of her opponent’s head; a slim fist connects with the next man’s cheek. Long, sharp fingers connect with a familiar man’s privates, dropping him to the ground with a muffled cry.

Only one is lucky enough to strike her face, and he pays for that amazing act with his blood. Man after man falls at her feet, none strong enough or quick enough to put an end to her rage.

As she feels the cold metal of the gun slide into her hand, she whirls and hesitates when she looks into the confused and scared face of Captain Daddy. That hesitation saves his life, and hers, as from a distance she hears the words that make her sleep.

The only words that can stop this man-made killer set loose upon the unsuspecting public.

“Eta kooram nah smech!”

As she collapses, she glances toward her brother, who stares down at her with an unfathomable sadness in his eyes.


060. Birthday

The last birthday party she had was when she was ten. Her mother dressed her up nice and pretty and they had tea at a very exclusive club. Only the daughters of her parent’s very wealthy and influential friends had been invited. River had not been friends with any of them. But it was how things were done. She played the part of dutiful daughter well, but it was the last time she played it.

River only wanted one thing on that birthday, and every birthday after that – to spend it with her brother. But he was gone. He was their parent’s child prodigy, the one who would elevate their social standing, and he was in the middle of final tests to enter MedAcad – one of the youngest to ever attend the prestigious school.

After that day, she never wanted another party. She became more withdrawn, more unruly, and she knew her parents wanted her to attend a school outside the city. She knew when she wasn’t wanted. They treated her like a china doll, but their little china doll talked back, she wanted things not proper for a girl of her standing.

Pulled from her dreams by the click of a door, River opens her eyes and stares at her brother. She wants to cry, to scream, to make him understand. She can feel his fear, and his love, mixed with incredible confusion.

She stares into the distance as he cleans the blood from her skin. He asks questions and she has answers, but her mind cannot push them out in a proper, coherent form. And he doesn’t understand. She can feel the danger. She knows what happened. But she can’t communicate it with him no matter how hard she tries.

Simon cleans the blood from her skin, but she can barely feel his touch. She is lost in the memories of the past; a past that is too long for her short life, full of memories she should not have. A past with faces and feelings she's never known, but ones she can remember, as plain as day. A past of fear and rage and excitement and anger that burn her up from the inside and chill her on the outside. A past she cannot explain, cannot comprehend and a past from which she cannot run.



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

This type of story/tense is new for me, and once this is done I will not be writing in this horrible tense ever again!


Sunday, June 25, 2006 1:01 PM


Erhm, that's me up there. :)

Sunday, June 25, 2006 2:10 PM


I love how you have weaved these stories into the movie! It takes great alent to make these prompts flow flawlessly into the plot of Serenity! I was sooo mad at Simon att he beginnignof these particular prompts, blaming Kaylee, and River's encouragement to rectify the situation was perfect! My Fav lines-
“You’re such a boob,” River stands and walks away, a bit unsteady on her feet still, but she is healing faster than he ever anticipated – another side effect of Academy training – he supposes.

“But you love me anyway,” he calls after her with a small smile.

“So does she,” is the only answer he receives in return.

Just love their relationship and River's relentless prodding of Simon! What a great post and I cannot wait to see how the rest of these unfold! Love your work!

Sunday, June 25, 2006 8:26 PM


This is so very good. One of my favourite parts is when River starts to come round after being shot when Simon has closed himself off from Kaylee and is trying to get her to drink that protein mush and she tells him to let Kaylee make the next one, then to make this one. Sweet exchange and so in character for them both. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, June 26, 2006 6:04 AM


Did no one else think Kaylee was being a selfish little brat??? I honestly just wanted to smack her. "oh excuse me, my sister might be dying but you go throw your little tandrum." Perhaps when the smoke clears, but anything said or done when dealing with that should be forgiven without thought.

I liked how you weaved it into the movie. Simon's coldness didn't seem odd the first time i saw the movie but once i'd seen the series I was like "uhm... why you so mean. You two were just going over the evil's of Sake!!!"

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 9:36 AM


I disagree with ducky, I do not think Kaylee was being selfish so much as feeling her own guilt and beating herself up for what happened to River.

I loved all of the developments in this part of the story. I know that Simon and Kaylee will eventually have a talk about the rift between them, and absence does seem to make the heart grow fonder.

I like how you included scenes from the movie as well, changing some of the dialogue, and describing the feelings and thoughts behind the scene in the Maidenhead.

Sunday, July 2, 2006 8:18 PM


Wow...gotta give ya mad props for weaving these drabbles in with the BDM, Leiasky....though I do wonder how much time passed between the first couple of drabbles and the last one. Cuz Inara's in the first couple but the last happen during the BDM, when she's off at the Training House.

However, still can't wait for the next series of drabbles from ya!


Friday, September 8, 2006 4:58 AM




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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.