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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Simon and Kaylee take their family on trip and Serenity gives them a ride and something else....S/K M/I
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1443 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimer: Not mine just writing for fun!
Continuation of Good Intentions Part One-Epilogue, The Talk, and Girl. If you haven’t read these, this story will make no sense! So, read those first! Thanks!!
A/N: Here is a new little Molly fic for those who have enjoyed them so much! I love that everyone has responded so well to Molly. It’s scary writing an OC, but she is definitely quite the little girl. I posted part one awhile ago, but there has been lotsa stuff happening in my life so I couldn't finish up til now! So here is the whole thing, renamed because I didn't like the original title either! I hope you like reading this because I have certainly enjoyed writing it! Thanks to Leiasky for all her inputs and checking it over (and LOL conversations!)! Please and enjoy, and if you liked it, comment please!
Molly waited patiently at the train station, her hands resting in her lap as she sat on the bench by the ticket stand, her mother next to her, feeding her five month old brother Caleb, while Ethan and Jared jumped up and down, pestering her father as he purchased their tickets.
She could hardly contain her excitement at their impending travels. They were taking the train to Hellum, where Serenity would be docked and from there, her parents were taking them to see her grandparents. She had only ever seen them twice before, when she had been four and then six, and they had come to the house both times. Now she was nine, going off planet for the first time since she could remember, having no recollection of her life before on Serenity.
She kicked her feet in their own little rhythm, back and forth on her excitement, staring across the tracks at the smattering of pines that ran into the mountain range.
"You okay, baby?"
Her mother's voice shocked her back out of her thoughts. She turned her eyes to her mother, "Uh-Huh."
Simon had picked up three year old Ethan, holding him against his side while six year old Jared trailed behind him, chattering at his father with the excitement of the trip.
"Why are we taking the train, Daddy? Don't they usually come here?"
"They have a job there and it was easier, time wise, to meet them."
"When we get to Hellum, Daddy, are we gonna have to wait around, or will they be waiting for us?"
"They'll be waiting for us, Jared."
"Good, cause I hate waiting around," Jared took a step closer to the boarding ledge, looking down the tracks, "Daddy, when is the train coming?"
Molly had heard the incessant questions all morning long and had reached her breaking point. She turned her head so quickly that her braids swung frantically, whipping around her shoulders as she hissed out, "Soon!"
She took an exasperated breath and leaned into her mother's side.
Her father gave her a knowing look, filled with remembrance and pity, but his words were stern, "Apologize to your brother for being rude, li shu."
She scrunched up her nose at the prospect, but dutifully turned to Jared, "Sorry."
Jared gave his sister a bemused glare and was about to start in on their father when a dinging bell alerted them that the train would be entering the station in just a few minutes. This sent him into an excited flurry, racing about the platform. Kaylee gently handed over a sated Caleb to Molly while she righted her blouse under the baby blanket she had over her shoulder for privacy and then smiled at her daughter. Molly had placed Caleb upright, his head resting on her shoulder and began to pat his back gently, just like her mother usually did.
"Here sweetie," Kaylee placed a small cloth underneath Caleb's head on Molly's shoulder, "Don't want to ruin your pretty dress, case he spits up."
Molly nodded to her mother before Kaylee got up to collect Jared. She then turned to her father, a pleading look in her eyes, "Maybe yi ma and Captain Mal will trade Jared for Cassie this time. He's much more useful now, he can do dishes!"
Simon bit his lip to hold back the smile that itched to spread across his face. Jared was certainly a handful, he loved his son's exhausting spirit, but could see the frustration it caused his eldest. She was practiced and precise, orderly, tidy, respectful. Jared was run by his passions, one of them being to incessantly antagonize his big sister.
Simon walked over to Molly and pet the top of her head, smiling down at his beautiful daughter, who was so much like him.
After two hours on the train with a persnickety Caleb, a grumpy Ethan and a relentlessly prattling Jared, Molly was ready to tear her hair out, that or toss her brothers out the window. She had tried to keep herself occupied with her data pad, reading over the new story she had pulled up off the cortex.
The lurching of the train as it rolled into the Hellum Station knocked Molly’s head against the window she had been leaning it on, eliciting a hearty laugh from Jared. She glared at him and stuck out her tongue while her father and mother were distracted with Ethan and Caleb, getting the toddler and infant ready for their departure. Before he could retaliate, Kaylee turned around, Caleb bundled in her arms and beamed at her two older children, “Ready, you two?”
Molly plastered a genuine smile on her face, standing with a regal air, back straight, haughty as a princess, “Yes, Mama.”
Jared picked up the little knapsack he had brought along for the trip, accidentally knocking it into Molly as he passed her, mumbling a sorry under his father’s watchful eye. Molly followed out, still miffed by the assault, her head held high. Simon gave his wife a soft, sweet look as he picked up Ethan, “They really do love each other, I am sure of it. Hopefully they can learn to show it before they murder one another.”
Kaylee smiled at her husband, kissing his cheek,” Soon, honey. They will soon enough.”
She then kissed Ethan, who had a precious grumpy frown on his face, making him bury his head into his father’s neck. Just as Kaylee began to move out of the train cab she heard her daughter’s voice cry out in the distance, “Mama!”
Her legs carried her faster down the hall, Simon on her heels to find her son stuck between two large crates. Molly was leaning against the wall, her arms crossed and casting a weary look at her brother, “I told him he would get stuck.”
Simon set Ethan down next to Molly, who quickly grabbed the sullen boy’s hand, and retrieved his son after pushing the crates far enough apart to let him slip out.
Simon grasped his son’s hand firmly and pulled him along down the hall, Kaylee giggling behind him, bouncing Caleb to keep him from fussing, while Molly and Ethan brought up the rear, their faces equally dour but for completely different reasons.
“Tien she dah, that man is potent,” Mal leaned over to whisper to Inara as Simon and Kaylee’s brood made their way up the ramp, followed by Jayne and Patrick, hauling some bags behind them. Simon was lugging a suitcase of his own, the other hand securely gripping Jared. Kaylee was holding her new son while Molly had picked up Ethan , her skinny body struggling under the weight of the whimpering three year old.
“Sshhh Mal, Molly has excellent hearing, and I don’t want to have to explain anything else to her,” Inara replied under her breath before running down the ramp to extricate a now sobbing Ethan out of Molly’s arms.
“I’m so happy we made it!” Kaylee sighed as she leaned in to kiss Inara’s cheek.
“Me too, mei mei.”
Inara returned the kiss and then tried to settle down Ethan, while Molly skipped up the ramp, planting herself in front of Mal with a wide grin, “Hi, Captain Mal.”
Mal reached down and lifted Molly up in a great bear hug, “Glad someone around here knows how to rightly address me.”
Molly giggled in his arms, tightening her arms around him. She pulled back in his arms and addressed him with brilliantly shining hazel eyes, “Where’s every one else?”
“River and Yan are keeping Cassie and Lena occupied in the galley, think they are making something, don’t know what but it sure smells good.”
She gave Mal a perplexed look, "How about Zoe?"
Molly had her own personal bond with Zoe. She liked that Zoe was quiet and thoughtful, something Molly whole heartedly appreciated.
"She's off visiting her beau, but she wanted you to know that you can stay in her bunk, if ya didn't want ta share with yer brothers."
Her eyes lit up with the idea of being on the complete other side of the ship, away from the bickering and crying that seemed to follow the three around at all times.
Mal deposited her on her feet and she set off running for the galley, her nose leading her the whole way.
After they settled in, River took off from Beylix, her niece seated in the co-pilot's chair watching with fascination.
River took a sweeping look around the cockpit, and raised her eyebrows in assurance that they were completely alone, “Maybe when we are a little farther out, I will let you pilot Serenity.”
Molly looked over at her a yi, “No auto pilot?”
River nodded her head solemnly, “No auto pilot.”
Molly’s grin stretched from ear to ear at the prospect of it, unfortunately the moment was ruined for her by Jared, who had entered the cockpit and jumped up and down at the pronouncement.
Mal followed after Jared, giving River the evil eye before addressing both children, ”No one but me or your a yi are goin’ to be flyin’ this ship,” Mal turned around and pointed his finger at River, “No one!”
River gave Molly a wistful look and then mouthed to her when Mal had lifted her up out the chair, his back to River, later.
Molly exited the cockpit leaving Jared to rattle off all he knew about the Firefly class to Mal and her a yi. She escaped down the hallway to hear boisterous laughter and chattering from the galley. Before she could enter, her yi ma Inara floated out of the galley entrance, smiling at her niece with a conspiratorial look.
“Would you like to come to my shuttle and have some tea?”
Molly looked in at all the hoopla that was going on in the galley and then back to her yi ma. She nodded her head enthusiastically, always happy to go to a calm and peaceful place, especially away from her loud, obnoxious brothers. Inara ushered Molly gently down the hallway to the catwalk that lead to her shuttle, a serene smile spread across her lips.
As they entered, Molly was awed by how lovely the room was, it was all gold and reds, everything glittered, except for the small toys scattered about the bed, the only sign that children lived there. Inara lead Molly over to her couch, seating herself as if she was a royal dignitary on a diplomatic mission. Inara brought out her tea set and began heating the kettle on the small hot plate she kept in the shuttle. Molly smiled as they both just existed together in their silence, something she could never get at home.
When the tea was ready, Inara brought over her tray service, two glittering white cups with gold filigree placed in front of the delicate tea kettle that was all gold and engraved wit flowers and dragons. Molly’s beam broadened and her chest puffed up with the prospect of having a quiet, civilized conversation over tea with her yi ma, she felt very grown up.
“It’s so nice and quiet in here.”
Inara gave her an generous smile as she lifted the tea cup up to her lips, taking a sip before replying, “Not so much when Cassandra and Helena are about.”
Molly cocked her head to one side, knowing from overheard conversations between her parents that her yi ma and the girls slept in the shuttle while Mal had his own bunk. It had made her question then why her parents had their own room together, since both couples had children and she knew the whole baby making process.
“Why aren’t you and Captain Mal married?”
Inara magnanimously set her tea cup on the tray and gave Molly a wink, just adoring that she addressed Mal so formally, “It’s ...complicated.”
Molly mulled over her words before letting forth another round of questioning, “You’re not a companion anymore, right?”
Inara shook her head, her long dark hair moving with the movement, “No, xin gan. What has that to do with anything?”
“I heard Mama mentioning to Daddy that you once were and now that you’re not, she didn’t see why you and Captain Mal weren’t married. So then I looked it up on the cortex because I didn‘t know what it was. It‘s easier than asking my parents.”
She took a deep breath, laughing to herself that Molly, indeed, did have excellent hearing.
“Even with that obstacle removed, it still isn’t the right time.”
Molly, still ever inquisitive, kept fielding questions at her yi ma, “Has he asked you?”
Inara remembered to when she had told Mal that she was pregnant for the first time, his chivalrous reaction being to propose marriage and her turning him down immediately.
Seeing that she was getting nowhere with this line of questioning, Molly switched subjects with lightening speed, “It seems so grand, being a companion.”
Inara tread carefully, choosing her words wisely, “It’s a life of constant practice and intense training.”
“Oh, I know! I saw all the years of schooling that is required. It’s just so fascinating! And all the companions are so lovely! You have to learn so many things, music, art, politics, etiquette, literature, dancing. You get to go to parties and wear fancy dresses. I think I may want to become one.”
Molly’s words made Inara choke on her tea, loosing all her composure as the great fit of coughing racked her body. Molly quickly set her cup down and came to stand next to her yi ma, patting her back to help with the coughing. When Inara’s body recovered , she reached up and held Molly’s hand sweetly, taking a soothing breath before looking into the young girls eyes, “I think we’ve had enough tea for now.”
Dinner was a boisterous event. Molly sat primly in between her father and Cassie, eating delicately at the food in front of her. She glanced across the table at her brother Jared, who seemed to be in some sort of unannounced eating contest with Jayne, revolted by their table manners. Everyone was laughing as Kaylee recalled the time Jared and Ethan had gotten into the cooking oil, spreading it around the kitchen floor and sliding from one end to the other. Molly didn’t laugh as much, remembering it was her and her mother who had ended up cleaning the mess while her father gave the boys a bath.
Jared swallowed his enormous bite before declaring, “That was so much fun!”
This elicited another round of laughing, Jayne slapping the boy on the back. Molly flashed the I am so over you look at her brother before turning to Cassie to help her with the rest of her meal. She adored the little girl, with her curly black hair and chubby cheeks. She was sweet and good natured, something
her brothers, especially Jared, lacked. Molly picked up a piece of carrot with her chopstick and fed it to Cassie. Inara smiled over at Molly from the other side of her daughter. She was busy trying to get Helena to finish her meal and was glad for the help with Cassandra. As she watched, Inara thought maybe it would be nice for Molly to have her wish for a little sister. The thought of Molly broaching a trade for Cassie only a few years back, made Inara beam. Molly had been so perfectly logical and diplomatic about the whole deal that Inara could only wonder if maybe she would be a good candidate for Companion training. She certainly had the intelligence, she was thoughtful, dutiful, engaging, though a little shy. She truly would be an excellent candidate for the Guild to consider. Further down the table River began giggling and then leaned over to whisper to Yan, something the young women did quite often during meals. Yet there was something to those giggles and Inara returned her focus to her daughter, hoping that it had nothing to do with anymore bartering involving her daughters and Molly’s brothers or Simon having a coronary in the future when his daughter revealed her new found interest in the life of a Companion.
Kaylee lay awake in their old bed, her brain sifting through all the wonderful memories that had been held in this room. She leaned over and caressed her sleeping husband's cheek, smooth now after he decided he was getting older and wanted some of his youth back. She giggled at the thought of when he first shaved it off, keeping that gorram black mustache for three days before her incessant laughter drove him to the razor. She ran her hand along the side of his ear and into his dark hair where three little gray hairs had popped up in just the last month. She had awoken to find him staring in the bathroom mirror, his hand gently brushing the strands as his brow furrowed, he then turned and pointed at her, "Your children did this."
This had sent her into a fit of laughter, but she wasn't discounting the theory, they were definitely a handful. She was certain that was the cause of his sudden decision to shave after almost seven years, but she kept it to herself, she didn't mind which ever way he looked, as long as it wasn't like a walrus.
Simon stirred in his sleep, rolling over and flinging one arm around her waist, pulling her closer to his chest with out even waking up. He almost looked just as he did when they had first been in love, except there were tiny little lines that creased at the edges of his eyes. His face was so perfect to her, she couldn't help herself as she leaned forward and pressed her soft lips against his. Her intrusion into his slumber was met by a soft groan as he responded to her kiss, but still kept his eyes closed. When she pulled back, Simon rolled onto his back, still consumed by sleep, his arm now flung across the sheets. That certainly wasn't the response she had hoped for as she sat up in bed, pushing her hair behind her shoulders and staring down at her passed out husband. She then smiled to herself as she pushed on Simon's shoulder, nudging him to wake up, her voice barely above a whisper, "C'mon sweetie, get up."
Simon rolled over again, this time dangerously close to the edge of the bed, since they were used to sleeping in their own large one. She bit her lip as she nudged him again, her voice a bit more firm, "Honey, wake up."
Simon raised his head at her words, his hair sticking out to the side as his legs scrambled to stay on the bed, "Wha...what is it bao bei? Is it the children?"
His voice was rough with sleep and confusion, making Kaylee's mouth twitch, her shoulders hunching up just a little with the suppression of laughter. She then crawled the distance between them, her eyes shining with mischief while her nightgown lowered just enough to tantalize her husband's senses, “Ain’t the children, Simon.”
Her sultry voice made Simon’s eyes pop open wide as a sheepish grin spread across his face. Kaylee brushed her lips against his, closing her eyes at the heat that surged through her body when he nipped at her bottom lip, his hands beginning to tangle in her hair. She let forth a soft moan before climbing over her husband and yanking on his arm to follow her up off the bed. He obeyed his wife without question, pulling her against him when he rose to his feet, his hands roaming down her back and along her hips. She quickly kissed him and grabbed the com they had placed at the side of their bed, pulling him towards the door.
He gave her a mystified look and stood stock still, his arm pulling at the socket with her insistent tug, “What are you doing?”
Kaylee let go of his hand and gave her husband a seductive look. She then reached up and untied the ribbon that held the front of her nightgown together, pulling it slowly and letting the fabric float open to expose more of her breasts, but still covering them just slightly, “Don’tchya remember, honey? Engines make me hot.”
Simon sucked in his breath at the sight of his wife, rubbing the palms of his hands on the sides of his sweatpants before crossing the length of distance between them and grasping Kaylee’s hand in his own, pulling her behind him as he slid open the door.
“Just remember, bao bei, we have to keep it down.”
“Simon, we have FOUR children! I’m used ta keepin’ it down.”
River sat at the dining table, sipping her tea and giggling to herself when Patrick entered the galley. He had wanted to do some work on the engine while everyone was asleep, he enjoyed the quiet, but was confused as to why the door to the engine room hallway was closed shut. It was never closed shut. He nodded solemnly to River as he stalked by, determined to investigate.
“I wouldn’t go down there if I were you.”
Patrick stopped in his tracks and turned his attention to River, who was now resting her chin in her palm as she stared off into nothing.
Just then a loud, masculine moan followed by an excited exclamation filtered into the galley, echoing through the engine room hallway.
Patrick’s cheeks turned a flaming shade of red as he figured out what exactly River was talking about.
With that, Patrick turned right back around and headed off to his bunk at a breakneck speed. His work could wait till morning.
Kaylee slid down the wall, her body slick with sweat, her cheeks rosy with the shattering release Simon had just given her. He leaned down next to her, his smile filled with manly pride, exhausted himself.
Her eyes shown with pleasure as she giggled against his lips, “Just like old times.”
He knelt in front of her and pulled her compliant body against him, having her legs straddle his hips as he began exploring her throat, “Uh-Huh.”
She let out a long sigh, pleased that her husband wasn’t quite yet finished with her. She ran her hands through his soft, damp hair, letting his strong arms hold her up , since she had no strength left to do it herself. When he hit a sweet spot right behind her ear, she let out a high pitched squeal and ground her hips against his own.
He chuckled and then pulled back to stare at his beautiful wife, “Whatever happened to keeping it down?”
She took his face in her hands and gave him a stern look, “Quiet, Simon.”
Kaylee then pressed her lips against his hard and demanding. He responded in kind, moving his hand up to cup her breast while making soft circling motions against the skin with his thumb. When they finally had to part for air, she leaned her head in the crook of his neck, her lips moving against his skin as she admonished,” I swear, if you get me pregnant again, I’m gonna kill ya.”
Simon lifted up her chin with his forefinger and gazed into his wife’s eyes, “It will be your own fault and you know it.”
Inara walked briskly along the catwalk, the lights dimmed for the night cycle, the com gripped firmly in her hand. She had gotten the girls to bed, accidentally falling asleep with them for a little bit. When she awoke, she silently scooted herself off the bed, picked up the com they kept to listen in on their children through the night, and headed for Mal’s bunk, leaving them to sleep peacefully. They spent most nights together, unless he was being particularly irritating, in which she was glad to have the comfort of her own space on the ship, even if she had to share it with her girls.
As she climbed the steps up to the hallway of the crew's bunks, she noticed the light on in the galley and moved closer to investigate. River, who was usually in the cockpit at this hour, sat at the table with a mug in front of , running her index finger along the rim of it, looking for all intents and purposes to be thoroughly bored.
“River, sweetie, what is it?”
River turned her head to Inara, then moved her finger off the mug and pointed in the direction of the closed door that lead to the engine room. At that exact moment a lusty wail echoed down the chamber, causing Inara to blush ever so slightly before giggling at the younger woman.
“They have been doing a lot of reminiscing.”
Inara burst into full laughter at River’s tone, the exasperated little sister once again. Another moan echoed into the galley and Inara gave River a puzzling look, “Why are you here then?”
River stood up from her chair instantly after the question left Inara’s lips.
Inara suddenly felt another presence enter the room from behind her.
River looked to the left of Inara, “Ready?”
Inara swirled around to see Molly, in her pajamas and hair braided for the night, smiling brightly at her a yi and yi ma. She nodded her head but gave an apprehensive glance towards Inara.
“Don’t worry. Inara won’t spoil our fun.”
Molly beamed at River as she passed Inara, leaning into the older woman to whisper, “You might want to keep him distracted for awhile.”
Then River clasped her hand in Molly’s and led the girl to the cockpit, leaving Inara to shake her head in mirth and vexation. She sighed to herself and then headed to open Mal’s bunk, listening closely as to make sure that there were no outcries to alert Mal as to what was happening on his boat at that moment.
“Mal, are you awake?”
Her voiced echoed down into his bunk, sounding tinny and far away to her ears.
A perturbed Mal sauntered up to the bottom of the ladder, crossing his arms over his chest, “Of course I’m awake, been waiting for ya half the gorram night.”
Inara smiled to herself as she began to climb down the ladder, he was lucky she had a mission. That kind of attitude would have surely sent them into a reeling fight, which of course would have lead to make up sex, but she couldn’t risk him leaving after heated words to wander the ship. She reached across and hit the button for the door to hiss shut.
“Good lord, what took you so long?”
Inara twitched her nose at the amount of restraint she was being forced to use in keeping her cool. She then placed her hands on his shoulders, “Shut up, Mal!”
Before he could respond to her command, Inara slammed her body against Mal’s, crushing her lips against his as she stood on her toes and slid her hands from his shoulders to cup his face.
She pushed them towards the bed, holding the kiss until Mal’s knees knocked against the side of their bed. She pushed him back onto the mattress, his legs hanging over the sides as Inara climbed above him, straddling his hips and frantically pressing kisses to his face and neck, her hands roaming along his torso, pulling at the ends of his shirt.
“What has gotten into you? Not that I’m complaining.”
Inara turned her dark eyes on Mal, her breath coming in soft pants as she caught her breath, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”
She then leaned down and began kissing him again, and for once, Mal did exactly as Inara told him to.
Yan emerged from her and River's bunk still a bit sleepy but happy to hear the small giggles of Molly from the cockpit as River gave her flying lessons in the middle of the night. Mal had been quite perturbed with River when she had suggested that Molly could fly Serenity under her supervision. She had walked in on the lecture he had been giving her when Jared had finally left the two alone, River taking his reprimand in stride, her face passive and subdued. She had only known River for a few years, the Captain had more time in with her and yet he still couldn't read her. Yan had smiled pleasantly at Mal when he left the two women alone on the bridge, but turned a knowing eye to River.
"So..." Yan leaned against the console, bending at the waist to face River eye to eye.
"I am not waiting up the whole night for you."
That was all they had said on the subject and here it was fifteen after and Yan was up, waiting on River.
She approached the cockpit, pulling her hair back into a bun, twisting the hair and looping it while she padded up the stairs. River turned from her niece's laughing face to put on an apologetic one for Yan, "Sorry...we got carried away."
Molly looked to Yan and smiled brightly, "I just learned how to plot a course and I even flew the ship, no autopilot!"
Yan smiled back at Molly, "You seem to have taken to this life, maybe your a yi will be out of a job soon."
Molly's grin broadened as she took Yan's words very seriously, shaking her head no.
"I do believe that if the Captain finds out about this little lesson, there will be a position open none too soon."
River shook her head, "He's too busy to notice."
Yan shot River another exasperated smile as she went to Molly's side, resting her hand on her shoulder, "Well if not a pilot, what does interest you?"
Molly's eyes widened with excitement as she looked to Yan and then her a yi, "I've been reading about a Companion's life and it just seems so wonderful! I have to research it some more, but I think it would be lovely! Mama says I have the best manners out of anyone she knows and I learn quickly. I read once where you have to be very observant and aware of other people's needs. Daddy says just those things about me, so..."
"I think it's a great idea."
River's words washed over Yan, causing her to bite back her laughter as she glared at her.
"Me too!" Molly agreed as she looked to her a yi's approving nod. Molly then stifled a yawn, holding her hand up to her mouth and covering it before smiling back.
"Maybe it's time for all of us to be heading to bed," Yan proclaimed as she squeezed Molly's shoulder.
Molly looked up at Yan and nodded, "Mama is going to need help in the morning," she looked over at her a yi, "Boys are such a chore."
Rolling her eyes at the thought of having to help her parents with her brothers irritated the sleepy girl as she pushed herself out of the co-pilot's chair. Yan petted Molly's head as she passed by, agreeing with the young girl, "They certainly are."
River giggled at Yan's comment, "Mmmm-hmmm."
Molly had already slid down into Zoe's bunk by the time River engaged the auto pilot. Yan still had her arms crossed as she stood in between the console's, "You shouldn't encourage her with this Companion business, you know your brother will never allow it. Not to mention she is the daughter of a former fugitive."
"She won't be a Companion."
Yan eyed her again and then grasped her hand to pull her along to bed. As they headed down the stairs Yan heard a muffled noise but couldn't make it out, she knew it wasn't Inara or Mal, they had "finished" just awhile ago, and Jayne was out. Another noise filtered down, this one definitely sounding like laughter.
"When did Patrick start giggling?"
River shook her head, "That's not Patrick."
Yan looked at River and then back down through the galley to the closed door that lead down to the engine room, "You mean-"
"Simon forgot, but now they are both remembering."
She cocked her head to one side and River giggled at the thoughts flying through Yan's brain.
Kaylee rolled over knocking her husband's arm off her shoulder, sending him moaning to the other side of the bed in his own exhaustion. She heard the faint sounds of whimpering mingled with cloudy voices and opened one eye. The com on the bed crackled with the sounds of her boys and daughter milling about in the room across form theirs. She struggled to get out of bed and searched the room for her discarded nightgown as she heard the sound of Molly's voice dually through the com and next door.
"Mama is not going to be happy, Jared."
"If you keep quiet, her and Daddy won't even know."
"Daddy's never going to let you keep it. You should just give it back."
"Why do you always have to be telling me what to do? You are so bossy!"
"If you give it back, I won't tell on you."
"Forget it, it's mine."
The whimpering continued as she heard Molly start shushing Caleb, and Ethan call out, "Quiet."
Kaylee knew the sounds of all of her children and began to frantically search the room for Simon's pants, flinging them at her husband as she shimmied into the nightgown.
"Put your pants on Simon, we're ‘bout ta have company."
Simon raised his head, trying to get his bearings straight before Kaylee marched over and shook him again, "Pants, now!"
Just then his daughter's voice called out from across the hall, "Mama!"
Simon scrabbled into them, practically falling out of the bed as his daughter slid open the screen door to their room. She was holding a fussy Caleb and Ethan was toddling behind her, grasping onto the back of her shirt.
"Caleb's hungry and Jared has a knife."
Simon's voice boomed across the room, causing Caleb to progress from whimpering to a full out cry. Kaylee gave Simon the eye as she lifted Caleb out of Molly's arms, "I'll feed him, you go talk to your son."
Simon pushed himself off the bed and stormed out of the room to catch his son trying to sneak out before his father came over.
Simon shook his head and pointed for Jared to make his way back in the room as Kaylee settled herself back on the bed to feed her baby boy.
Molly lugged Ethan up into her arms, "I'll take Ethan upstairs to play with Cassie and Lena, okay?"
"Yeah sweetie, that would be nice."
Molly turned back around, the little bounce in her step making Kaylee smirk. As she leaned back against the pillows, positioning herself comfortably while helping Caleb latch on to be fed, she wondered if she could have ever had such two completely different children, and if they would make it through this fighting phase. She also kicked herself for staying up all night because she feared this was going to be a very long day.
Simon marched Jared up the stairs, his hand resting firmly on his son's shoulder as he maneuvered him into the galley. There sitting at the table, spooning the largest portion of food the utensil could possibly hold into his mouth, was the object of Simon’s frustration.
He lifted his head up, his mouth still full of food, “Wha?”
Simon closed his eyes at the disgusting site and moved his son forward. Jared had a sullen look on his face and shuffled his feet beneath him as he reached out to hand back the pocket knife Jayne had given him the night before.
“Thank you but I can’t keep this.”
He spit out the words, Jayne knowing full well that Simon had told him to say them.
Jayne shrugged and took the knife out of Jared’s hands, continuing on with his breakfast and thinking no more of it. Jared retreated to the kitchen to fetch a plate as Simon stood in front of Jayne, staring at him with complete irritation.
“I’d appreciate it if you would refrain from gifting weapons to my children.”
Jayne sneered at the doc’s prissy tone, wishing like hell he could shove the bowl of protein up Simon’s ass, but knowing that would be a waste of food and time.
“It ain’t a weapon, it’s an army knife, for...camping.”
“We do not camp.”
Simon stared down at Jayne and scowled before leaving the man to finish his breakfast.
The galley was a buzz with energy as Mal made his way from his bunk in. Everyone was there, except for Inara, who was trying to make herself presentable after he had dragged her back to bed earlier that morning. They had heard Molly already taking charge of the girls in the shuttle, which had been enough leverage for Mal to convince her. Patrick sat quietly at the table while Kaylee rattled on about some engine part or another and Mal noticed the dark circles under her eyes. He shook his head, chuckling to himself because he thought his two girls were a handful, he couldn‘t imagine having four. Simon, looking just as exhausted as Kaylee, was across the table glaring at Jayne while his son Jared sat next him, giving almost the same exact look at his father. Molly sat on the floor in the lounge holding Cassie in her lap and River was directly across from her, with Ethan in her own. Toys spread around them as the toddlers laughed and played between each other. Molly had a satisfied look on her face, Mal wasn’t sure if it was because Jared was upset or she had figured out a new scheme to relieve him and Inara of one of their girls. Yan was already feeding Lena so all Mal had to do to start the day was grab his own cup of coffee and plant himself down at the table.
They’d be downing in a few hours on Harvest, dropping off Simon and Kaylee for a day or two, and if everything went according to plan, picking them back up and heading right back for Beylix with a new shipment on board. He smiled as he watched his crew, former and present. Some things never changed, like Simon and Jayne always having something between them, while others did dramatically, as in the case of his pilot. He smiled as he saw her turn her head towards him, knowing that he was thinking on her. He sat himself at the end of the table closest to Yan and Lena, trying to take over the job of feeding his daughter, but Yan shooed his hand away.
“You always make a mess of them,” Yan chided good naturedly.
“No I don’t.”
Yan smiled and continued feeding Lena, ignoring her captain.
Mal turned to Patrick and Kaylee interrupting their conversation, “Patrick did ya get that new.....thingy installed last night?”
Patrick’s eyes widened at the question, not wanting to think on the reason he was behind in his work. Kaylee and Simon paled a bit as they glanced at one another.
“Well, why not?”
Patrick blushed as all eyes turned to him, his fingers fidgeting on the table top. Yan, Kaylee, and River began to giggle as Simon closed his eyes, rubbing his temple at the onset of a new headache.
“I....I was...really tired....I’ll go do that now.”
Patrick leapt from his seat and rushed out of the galley faster than Mal had ever thought the small man could run.
Mal looked around at the rest of the adults, the three women still stifling their laughter. Simon quickly took another bite of his food and stared at his wife who was finally settling herself down. Yet, one look at Simon sent her back into a fit of giggles which in turn set Yan and River off into them as well. Mal had an oddly familiar feeling settle in the pit of his stomach and shook his head, pushing himself out form the table and staring at Kaylee, “The engine room? Ain’t you two a little old for that?”
Kaylee bit her lip and closed her eyes, nodding in agreement as Simon sunk his head into his hands.
River piped up from the corner of the lounge, “Some things never change.”
Mal gave them all the evil eye before walking out of the galley, practically knocking into Inara. He pointed at her shaking his finger, “You! I’ll talk to you later.”
Mal marched off towards the cockpit mumbling to himself about women and their wiles and how bunks were a perfectly natural and private place, wondering why no one else on his ship felt the same way.
Inara smiled at the rest of the crew, “Everyone having a good morning?”
Jared turned to his mother, all smiles as he asked, “Are Daddy and you in trouble?”
Jayne laughed boisterously, almost knocking his bowl off the table.
“No, we are not in trouble Jared,” Simon’s voice was definite.
“Are you sure? Captain Mal looked pretty mad.”
Simon kept his head in his hands and said the first words that cam to mind, “Jared, go to your room.”
“I don’t have a room here.”
Molly looked over at her parents and called out, “Daddy, why is Captain Mal mad?”
Jayne held back his laughter and turned to face her, “Well, Mol, your ma and pa-”
He was quickly cut off by all the adults in the room calling out, “Jayne!”
Jayne snickered as he got up from the table, deposited his bowl in the sink and left the galley. Kaylee turned to her daughter, “The Cap’n’s not mad, baby. He’s always like that in the mornin’.”
Molly looked at her yi ma who was shaking her head as she got herself a cup of tea and then at her a yi, who was smiling broadly at her father. She hated it when adults were so evasive, all she did was ask an honest question.
*Two Months Later*
Simon awoke to the sounds of his wife retching in the bathroom, his doctor mode kicking in with a fierce urgency.
He leapt out of the bed and headed in quickly, running a hand through his disheveled hair and rushing over to the side of his kneeling wife. Kaylee held out her hand, stopping him in his tracks immediately. She turned a weary face to him, her eyes piercing his own, "Don'tchya come near me."
"Bao bei, if you're sick I need to-"
Kaylee cut him off and spit out, "Ain't sick Simon."
Simon took in his wife's irritated tone and then thought back over the last couple of months, counting in his head. They had been so distracted as of late he hadn't noticed that they had been uninterrupted for awhile now, "Oh?!"
Kaylee nodded, a tight smile plastered across her face.
Simon began to kneel in front of her, trying to take her hand in his as he bit his lip, holding back his own excitement at the prospect of a new child, wanting only to get her settled and feeling better, "Kaylee, why don't-"
Her face turned suddenly pale and she turned her head just in time to begin retching again into the toilet, cutting off Simon. He knelt down beside her and rubbed her back, holding back a smile. He just hoped this time it would be a girl, for Molly's sake.
*Seven Months Later*
Molly sat on the bed next to her mother, looking down at the brand new baby. Her smile was contagious, lighting up the room with her immense joy.
“She’s perfect, Mama.”
Kaylee pulled the blanket that her new daughter was wrapped in away from her tiny, little face. She had the same ebony hair as all her children did, and her eyes were scrunched shut with sleep, but they were blue, just like her daddy’s.
“You're all perfect, Molly.”
Molly let the mention of her brothers pass as she leaned in closer, reaching out her finger to gently run along her sister’s cheek.
“I still think we should have called her Daphne.”
Kaylee bit back a smile, “Megan’s a fine name.”
Molly leaned up and kissed her mother’s cheek, her brilliant smile warming Kaylee’s heart.
“Thank you, Mama.”
She smiled back, “Good things come ta those that wait.”
Molly returned her gaze to her little sister, “They sure do.”
Simon entered the room he shared with his wife quietly, taking in the sight of his girls happily sitting with each other. This particular pregnancy had been somewhat of a trial for Simon, since Kaylee had been content to have four children and she hadn’t been expecting to be pregnant only five months after her last child had been born.
Kaylee turned a little scowl to Simon as he approached the bed, then looked back down at their daughter, wiping the good natured scorn from her face.
“How’re the boys?”
Simon sat down gently on the side of the bed, kissing his wife’s temple and looking down at his daughter before answering, “Caleb is napping, Ethan and Jared are otherwise occupied with Jayne out in the backyard.”
Molly smiled at the mention of the new puppy Jared had received for his last birthday, and even though it was Jared’s dog, she had a special little place in her heart for him. A thought occurred to Molly as she cocked her head to one side and stared at her parents. Simon’s pulse sped up as he caught the look in Molly’s eyes. That particular one always lead to questions, most of them the kind he hated answering.
“We should have gone on Serenity a long time ago. I think it makes people have girls.”
Simon’s jaw dropped as he feared that Molly might have heard them reminiscing, but Kaylee forged ahead, “Jared was made on Serenity.”
Molly nodded her head in agreement, “Yes, but he was an anomaly, an outlier. He skews that data, but the statistics show that more than likely, if you have sex on Serenity, you’re going to have a girl.”
Kaylee’s nose wrinkled with suppressed laughter as Simon paled at the thought that his daughter had actually figured out when Megan had been conceived. Molly turned back her eyes to her little sister and smiled, “I’m just glad you finally did it right.”
Kaylee couldn’t believe that Simon could get any paler, but she was proved wrong the instant those words fell from Molly’s lips. She decided to end her husband’s torture, even though she was enjoying it and felt justified in his receiving it. She told him he had better not have gotten her pregnant.
“Molly, honey, I’m a little tired, can you bring the bassinet over. I think it’s time for a nap.”
Molly scooted off the bed and wheeled the bassinet over for mother. Kaylee let Molly take the brand new baby from her arms, Molly being careful just like her parents taught her. She leaned down and kissed little Megan and then went up to her parents, wrapping her skinny arms around Simon.
“Daddy, can I use the cortex.”
“Of course you can, li shu.”
Kaylee reached over and cupped her daughter’s face in her hands, “Could ya keep an eye on Jared and Ethan for me, please?”
Molly nodded as she replied, “Yes, Mama.”
She kissed Molly’s cheek, then released her daughter’s face as she bounced out the room.
Simon looked after his eldest and then returned his gaze to his wife. She looked over at their sleeping baby and then back to Simon.
“You know you’re ta blame for this, right?”
Simon raised his hands in mock submission, “Yes, I take full responsibility for you waking me up in the middle of the night and allowing you to drag me to the engine room."
Kaylee crossed her arms over her chest at his snarky remark.
“Ta my recollection, it was you draggin’ me.”
He pointed at her with conviction, “You started it.”
She squinted her eyes in irritation at her husband being absolutely correct, “Well, you certainly finished it.”
Simon smiled that lopsided goofy grin that just made Kaylee’s heart flutter as his eyes took on a far away glaze, “Yeah...I did.”
Kaylee punched his shoulder in her frustration, but Simon just wrapped his arms around his wife’s waist and began kissing her neck, “As I recall, you finished too. Quite loudly."
Kaylee let a smile slip onto her face, but kept her arms still crossed over her chest. Simon moved his hand to cup her chin and turn her face to his, “Are you happy?”
Megan let out a little mewl from her bassinet, melting Kaylee’s heart, the love for her family and brand new daughter welling in her eyes, “Yeah.”
Simon gently kissed her lips, letting her know just how happy he was in return. When they parted, mischief twinkled in Kaylee’s eyes, “You ain’t touching me for awhile.”
Simon raised his eyebrows, “We’ll just see how long that lasts.”
Kaylee snuggled up in Simon’s embrace, “I have lotsa willpower.”
Simon squeezed his wife, kissing her neck again, “I have been witness to it numerous times, bao bei.”
“Calling me pretty names ain’t gonna get ya nowhere.”
He raised his head and stared deep into her eyes, “My meili, stunning, forthright, clever, amazing-”
His words were cut off by her lips pressing against his own , her hands holding his face steady. When she pulled back for air, Simon chuckled, her hands still cupping his jaw, “You are such an easy mark.”
Kaylee moved one of her hands up to tug at the side of his hair, where a new sprouting of grey had appeared next to the ones her children had given him, “And you're an old man. Better watch out or you’ll get ta be as crotchety as the Cap’n.”
Simon pulled her closer in his arms, “Not too old to satisfy my beautiful wife.”
Kaylee shook her head no, her hair falling out from behind her ears, sweeping across her shoulders.
“Are you going to trade me in when I stop functioning properly?”
She giggled at the thought and shook her head no again, “Nah, I like fixin’ things.”
“You don’t regret anything, do you? Giving up your life on Serenity. Raising children instead of working out in the black, traveling the ‘verse?”
Simon searched his wife’s eyes intently, looking for any smidgen of doubt. Kaylee beamed at her husband as she replied, “Always wanted to be a mama, Simon. Weren’t gonna stay on Serenity forever, ya know. I loved everythin’ about that life, well....not the molded protein. Still miss some parts of it, but I think I got my hands full here, now. I love fixin’ things and workin’ on engines, I get my chance, too. Fixed Hankemeirer’s tractor couple a months back and Sister Joan always sends for me when somethin’ needs ta be taken care of at the mission. Sides, I love my babies,” Kaylee brushed her hand across the top of his hair, moving it off his face, “All of ‘em. Wouldn’t want my life ta be any other way.”
Simon kissed his wife thoroughly. When they broke apart their kiss, Kaylee settled into Simon’s arms, leaning her head against his shoulder.
Simon’s face took on a perplexed look as he thought about his daughter’s request to use the cortex. She wasn’t in school, the children were on break, so she couldn’t be using it for homework, and this thought began to nag on his conscience.
“I wonder why Molly wanted to use the cortex?”
Kaylee let out a sleepy sigh, “She’s always curious about somethin’ or other. Ya know, when ‘Nara and her had tea, she was goin’ all on about Companions and asking questions, sayin' she wanted to be one-”
Megan let out a whimper in her bassinet, the surprised uttering of her father stirring her sleep. Simon disentangled himself from Kaylee and went over to pick up Megan. As he soothed his baby daughter, swaying her in his arms, he turned a consternated look at his wife, who was holding back the giggles that were threatening to erupt from her throat. He handed Megan over to Kaylee and stormed out of the room, his wife’s giggles following him down the hallway as he called out to his oldest child, “Molly!”
Kaylee looked down at her daughter and smiled as she confided, “You’re daddy is the easy mark in this house.”
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:36 PM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:44 PM
Thursday, June 29, 2006 7:51 AM
Friday, June 30, 2006 12:39 AM
Sunday, July 2, 2006 4:12 AM
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