Cruel Summer (Chapter 3)
Thursday, August 3, 2006

The crew visits Kaylee’s family on Harvest. Kaylee shows Simon that there’s more to life outside Serenity’s walls than he could ever have thought. (PG)


Disclaimer: Firefly and all related elements belong to Joss Whedon.

Thanks to Yanlei for the beta!

Missed some earlier chapters? No problem! Here's a chapter listing:

Chapter 1 Chapter 2

Translations at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

Chapter 3: Remember When it Rained

Kaylee felt sick.

She grumbled as she shifted around, Simon’s arm draped over her waist. He was still asleep, but a fierce headache had brought her to full consciousness. It took her a good several minutes to recall the previous night’s festivities and just how much cider she’d consumed. She groaned at the thought, regretting it. She didn’t remember much after talking to her old girlfriends. Everything was patchy and she remembered snippets, at best.

She remembered dancing with Simon. His gentle words reverberated in her mind and brought a small, weary smile to her lips. She hadn’t known the song the band had played, nor had she known the dance. It was something fancier than she was used to, something she might have heard at that ball she’d gone to with the captain many months before had they stayed longer. But Simon had been there, showing her the simple steps, guiding her along. He was always such a perfect gentleman.

She frowned when her memory cut out after that. She remembered the bedroom afterward, remembered Simon beginning to slip her clothes off, but other than that everything was blank. Sighing, she decided she wasn’t going to push herself to remember. If she ever did get the memories back, great, if not, well, maybe it was for the best.

Groaning softly again, Kaylee rolled over and sat up, Simon’s arm slipping from her waist into her lap. She looked down at herself and saw that she’d been changed into her nightgown. Another part of her night she apparently didn’t remember. Maybe if she really cared enough once she felt a bit better she’d ask Simon about that. Otherwise, she wasn’t particularly interested in the recollections.

She was just about to slip out from under Simon’s arm and make her way to the bathroom when she felt his grip on her tighten slightly. Looking over, Kaylee realized he’d awakened. He was smiling softly at her. She returned the smile and watched him as he shifted, stretching and sitting up. It took just one clear look at her for Simon to see that she was hung over. He reached out and brushed some hair away from her face, letting his palm linger against the warm skin of her cheek for a moment.

“How are you feeling?” Simon asked.

“That bad, huh?” She asked wryly. “Usually ya kiss me first an’ ask questions later. If you’re askin’ first, I gotta look pretty awful.”

Chuckling softly, Simon leaned in and pressed his lips gently to Kaylee’s forehead for a moment before pulling back to meet her gaze again.

“You don’t look bad at all,” he replied. “I’m just concerned.”

“Nothin’ ta worry about, I’ve survived plenty worse hangovers,” Kaylee said weakly.

“I don’t doubt that,” Simon said softly. “But you don’t have to suffer this time. I’ll get you a glass of water and something for the headache, just stay here.”

With that he slipped out of bed, leaving Kaylee under the covers to rest. She watched him, smiling appreciatively at the way his pajamas clung to all the right places as he walked toward the bathroom. He picked up Kaylee’s water glass from the bedside table on the way and went to fill it. In the meanwhile she sat in bed, curling herself up more comfortably and wondering just what they could do that day. The forecast called for rain but when she looked out the window there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky.

Her attention snapped back to Simon when he came back into the bedroom, a brimming water glass in his hand. He set it down on the bedside table and knelt, reaching for the med kit he kept nearby so that if anything happened he didn’t have to run all the way back to Serenity to fetch something. Looking through it he found the pills he needed and took two of them from the vial before putting it back. After zipping up the med kit and stowing it away again, Simon moved to Kaylee’s side on the bed and held the tablets out to her, reaching for her glass of water with the other hand and handing it to her. Kaylee smiled weakly as she took both from Simon, swallowing the pills quickly and sipping a bit of the water.

Xiexie, Simon,” she said softly.

He nodded softly and took her water glass when she was done, replacing it on the side table. Turning back to her, Simon cupped her face in his hands and leaned in, pressing a gentle kiss to her lips. Kaylee inhaled sharply at the delicate contact, kissing him back equally softly. When he pulled away a moment later, her eyes fluttered open slowly and she smiled, leaning into him as his arms threaded around her.

Simon gently rubbed Kaylee’s back as she rested in his arms, relaxing. All he wanted was to make her feel better. He didn’t have anything planned for that day so if they didn’t decide on anything they could easily just sit at home and relax for a day. They owed it to themselves to take some down time and just be together, alone. Quality time would be wonderful for their growing relationship. He wanted them to have a deep connection, deeper than they already had, before he showed Kaylee how much she meant to him on an even greater level. After that, everything was fair game.

Leaning his head down, Simon pressed a gentle kiss to the top of Kaylee’s head, inhaling the sweet, flowery scent of her shampoo. He nuzzled her softly as he held her, waiting for the painkiller to work. Glancing outside the window Simon noticed some sparse clouds moving out into the previously clear blue sky. He hoped it didn’t rain. At the same time, though, he wanted the rain. He wanted to sit under the overhang on the porch and watch the droplets fall with Kaylee cuddled up in his arms.

Simon smiled wryly, realizing he really was a hopeless romantic.

Kaylee shifted a little in Simon’s arms, making herself perfectly comfortable. The headache was already starting to fade thanks to the tablets she’d taken, and Simon’s gentle heartbeat against her cheek only helped her recovery along. She loved it when he took care of her like he was. He was always so good to her, so sweet and kind. She wouldn’t have traded him for anyone else in the world.

After a few minutes, Kaylee decided that as much as she didn’t want to move, she needed to. Glancing at the bedside clock she realized they’d already missed breakfast. Sighing softly she glanced up at Simon as she pulled away, smiling softly.

“Guess we’d better get on with the day,” she said lightly.

“Yes, but I’ll tell you what,” Simon proposed. “Why don’t we relax today, spend the day at home, or at least nearby? I think we could both use some down time together.”

Kaylee heartily agreed. She nodded softly and ran a hand through her messy hair. Simon chuckled softly and reached out to tame an unruly strand of her locks before slowly moving away from her, standing up.

“I’m going to take a shower,” he said softly. “I’ll be back soon.”

She nodded softly in return and watched him walk away. She was so incredibly lucky to have him, and somehow, even without him having to tell her, she knew he felt the same way. Sighing softly she made her way out of bed, heading to the vanity. Sitting in front of it, Kaylee was almost scared by her reflection. Her hair was all over the place, sticking up in unruly clumps, while her makeup had smudged and left dark black circles around her eyes. Reaching over, Kaylee picked up a bottle of a facial cleanser and a few cotton balls. She definitely had work to do.

In the meanwhile, Simon took his time showering, letting the water run over his sore, bruised back and ribcage. That fall he’d taken the first night had really done him some damage and he didn’t fancy another encounter with a ladder as long as he lived. He ran a sponge delicately over the bruises, hissing as he did so. It was all for Kaylee, though, so it was worth the pain. The look on her face when she’d seen the sunset had been far more than enough to convince him of that. If it meant making Kaylee happy, he’d fall off another hundred ladders.

As the couple went about preparing for the day, Inara made her way down the hall toward their quarters. She’d seen Simon carrying Kaylee inside the previous night and she had an inkling as to why that was. When they hadn’t been present at breakfast that morning she grew concerned and hoped that Kaylee was alright. She knew that hangovers could be awful. It had to be a hang over. After all, Kaylee had told her all about her and Simon’s pact of abstinence back when they’d first called it. She didn’t think anything in the world would make Simon break the promise he’d made to both himself and Kaylee. When she thought over all and weighed of that information, Inara decided that regardless of what had happened, she’d feel better checking on Kaylee.

Arriving at her and Simon’s bedroom door, Inara knocked softly, hearing nothing from the inside. A moment later she heard Kaylee’s soft voice inviting her in. When she stepped into the room and closed the door behind her, Inara found Kaylee sitting before the vanity and brushing kohl away from beneath her eyes. The Companion smiled softly at the young mechanic and stepped forward. She could see that the girl didn’t look as bad as she’d anticipated, for which she was glad.

“Good morning, meimei,” Inara greeted softly.

“Hey ‘Nara,” Kaylee replied. “What’re you doin’ here?”

“I came to check on you,” she said warmly. “You weren’t at breakfast and I grew concerned.”

“You didn’ have to check up on me, I’m doin’ fine,” Kaylee said, a light flush coloring her cheeks.

“For that I’m glad,” Inara replied lightly. “Why don’t you let me wash away the makeup for you?”

Nodding softly, Kaylee relented the cotton balls she was holding to Inara. The older woman took them and soaked them again in the cleanser before reaching out to gently hold Kaylee’s chin up with one hand while cleaning off the streaks of eyeliner and mascara with the other. At that moment she heard the adjacent shower shut off and guessed that it was Simon. She turned her attention back to Kaylee and finished up cleaning off the makeup slowly, smiling gently the whole while at the younger girl.

At that moment, Simon realized he’d forgot to bring clean clothes into the bathroom with him. Drying off he set the towel aside and went to dash into the bedroom to get something to wear. He stepped out and headed for the closet, pausing in mid step when he turned his head and noticed Inara with Kaylee. Both women were looking at him. Kaylee was smiling and trying to hold back a fit of giggles while Inara’s expression was soft, calm.

Simon felt his heart freeze and stop for a moment. It took him a good six or seven seconds to realize what was going on. The moment he did he turned on his heel and wordlessly strode back into the bathroom, locking the door behind him. By then he’d turned a good nine different shades of red. Turning to the mirror he braced his hands on the counter and held on, his knuckles turning white. Why did it always happen to him?

The second the door closed behind Simon, Kaylee burst out in a vehement fit of giggles while Inara’s lips turned up in a delicate smile. All of Kaylee’s tales, the ones Inara had always considered embellished delusions of Simon’s grandeur, had just been confirmed. He really did look amazing under all of those layers and he certainly was well endowed. She’d noticed the bruising on his ribs and she guessed it was an aftereffect from the tumble he’d taken down the ladder. Shrugging off her concern, Inara focused her attention once again. Turning to the giggling mechanic, Inara shushed her gently.

“I’m not sure Simon would appreciate your laughing at his predicament,” Inara said with a chuckle of her own. “He certainly has become a lot more easy going since his first days aboard the ship, but I’m sure he’s still quite easily intimidated.”

“I’m sorry ‘Nara, I couldn’t resist,” Kaylee said, stifling more giggles.

Meanwhile, Simon stood completely mortified in the bathroom. He groaned inwardly. He was a physician, he was used to seeing people completely dishabille, yet when it happened to him he was so easily embarrassed. It was stupid, really. Besides, Inara had seen her fair share of men without their clothes in her lifetime, why did he feel any more intimidated than any of them? He shook off the tremors that had gripped his body and steeled himself, deciding on finishing up with brushing his teeth and a few other things before venturing out into the bedroom again.

Kaylee had finally calmed down from her giggle fit and Inara had managed to finish cleaning all of the makeup off of her features. She looked down at the younger girl and smiled softly, lightly resting a hand on the mechanic’s cheek for a moment.

“I’ll leave you to your routine,” Inara said softly. “You should probably go see to Simon. I’ll see you later.”

“See ya, ‘Nara,” Kaylee replied.

With that the Companion turned and left the room, the door closing behind her with a soft snick. Kaylee watched her friend go and gave herself the opportunity to let a few more giggles out before standing and heading toward the bathroom door. She reached it and tried the doorknob, discovering it was locked. Sighing softly, she knocked.

“Simon, honey?” She asked gently.

“Please tell me you’re alone,” came his muffled reply.

“It’s just me out here,” Kaylee replied. “Why don’tcha let me in?”

There was a long, pregnant pause in which Kaylee began to worry that she’d never get Simon out of the bathroom before she heard the door unlocking. She waited a second and pushed it open, stepping inside and finding Simon with a towel wrapped around his waist. He was still a darling shade of pink and it brought a soft smile to her lips. Reaching out she took his hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.

“Aw, honey, you don’t got nothin’ ta be bashful over,” Kaylee said brightly.

“Whether or not I have anything to be bashful over, that was still embarrassing,” Simon muttered.

“You don’t have ta be embarrassed,” Kaylee commented. “You ain’t got nothin’ ‘Nara hasn’t seen before. Now if it was Jayne, then I could see why you’d be embarrassed, but not ‘Nara.”

Of course, Kaylee had a point. Sighing softly, Simon ran his free hand through his still damp hair. At least it had only been a few seconds. It definitely could have been worse. Shaking off the residual awkwardness, Simon turned to Kaylee and smiled softly. Tugging on her arm he pulled her closer and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. Pulling away again he took in her appearance. The makeup that had been smudged under her eyes was gone, but her hair was still something of a mess. Reaching out, Simon picked up the hairbrush lying on the counter and held it up.

“Turn around,” he said softly. “I’ll brush your hair.”

Kaylee’s eyes glowed with wonder as she stared up at Simon for a moment. Sometimes she really thought he was too good to be true. Smiling lightly she slowly turned and stood against the counter, watching in the mirror as Simon stepped up behind her and began to gently brush the knots out of her hair. She didn’t hiss even once. He was being so careful that he wasn’t tugging at all. Instead she felt herself relaxing, shivering occasionally as a strand of hair tickled her neck.

Simon continued gently brushing Kaylee’s hair until it was perfectly detangled again. He was used to brushing River’s hair and so he’d become rather good at the art. Leaning over Kaylee’s shoulder, Simon looked at her reflection in the mirror. Save for the slightly glassy look in her eyes still lingering from the hangover she looked completely fine. Setting the brush down, Simon reached up and ran his fingers through Kaylee’s hair, his hands finally coming to rest on her shoulders. She stood still for a moment, enjoying the warmth of his palms against her skin, before turning to look at Simon. Her gaze raked over his body and settled on his ribs. They really were bruised quite badly. Leaning in she settled her hands on Simon’s hips and pressed a few gentle, fluttering kisses to his chest, trailing them down to his ribs. Whenever he kissed one of her injuries better, it definitely worked. She only hoped it would work for him, too.

When Kaylee’s warm, supple lips touched his ribs, Simon inhaled sharply. The simple kiss was enough to make him want her, but he couldn’t let her weaken his resolve. He steeled himself and looked down at her just as she pulled away, smiling lightly.

“You have no idea what you do to my restraint,” Simon said with a chuckle.

“Prob’ly the same thing you do ta mine,” Kaylee replied with a wink.

She reached out and ran a hand delicately down his ribcage, tickling playfully. Simon only watched, completely amused. Kaylee only teased him for a moment before turning and opening the bathroom door, striding out into the bedroom to get dressed. Simon followed along, making sure that the coast was clear before dropping his towel and getting ready.

Several minutes later the couple had finished up in the bedroom and found their way down to the kitchen where Inara and River were helping Kaylee’s mother do the dishes. Delia turned away from the sink when the pair of them entered the room and set her eyes on them, smiling warmly.

“I’ve set breakfast aside for you two,” she said brightly, turning her eyes on Kaylee. “An’ how are you doin’ this mornin’, missy?”

Kaylee smiled softly.

“Shiny,” she replied with a smile.

“Good ta hear. After last night I thought you woulda been hung over somethin’ fierce,” Delia said happily. “You looked well an’ truly tanked when that man o’ yours carried ya off into the house.”

The young mechanic blushed a delicate pink and turned to Simon.

“Was it that bad?” She asked innocently.

“I’m afraid so, baobei,” Simon chuckled.

Kaylee winced and groaned inwardly, pursing her lips slightly in a disapproving pout. She turned back to her mother and smiled lightly.

“I was a bit wrecked this mornin’ but Simon took real good care o’ me,” she said brightly.

Delia nodded approvingly and turned to Simon.

“It’s nice to see that my little girl’s in good hands,” she said with a content smile.

The doctor blushed slightly and smiled with a light nod. He watched as Kaylee’s mother went back to doing dishes with Inara and River. His gaze turned to Kaylee as she handed him a protein bar, nibbling on one of her own. She’d considered staying in and eating the breakfast her mother had prepared, but then it was so nice outside that she just wanted to get out and breathe the air. Taking Simon’s hand she set the half-eaten bar on the counter and tugged him along, bidding a quick goodbye to the ladies in the kitchen before heading for the porch with him in tow. Simon hadn’t had time to so much as take a nibble of the bar and in his haste to follow Kaylee he’d dropped it on the counter, not even bothering with it.

Delia turned and watched the young couple go. She chuckled softly to herself and turned back to the dishes as the two of them fled the house. She’d never seen Kaylee so happy and she was glad that her little girl had finally found someone to love and to love her in return. The door opened and closed behind the two lovebirds and Delia knew that they’d be out painting the countryside red, they were so in love.

Kaylee skipped along, pulling Simon with her as she crossed the vast expanse of the field behind the house, heading for the woods. Looking up into the sky she saw a number of clouds gathering, but from the looks of it there wouldn’t be any rain for quite some time. That thought in mind, Kaylee decided to take Simon for a nice, long walk in the forest. It was quiet, private and comfortable. The fresh air would do them good.

Simon looked around as Kaylee slowed at the entrance to the woods. There was a nice, wide woodchip pathway leading far into the sparse trees, the canopy overhanging it. Little specks of sunlight penetrated the leaves and cast whimsical spots of illumination on the path. He walked slowly side by side with her as they made their way down the path, enjoying the scenery. As they walked, Kaylee looked over at Simon.

“This is one thing I miss a lot about bein’ at home,” Kaylee said softly. “Bein’ out here, in the wild with nothin’ but the birds and the trees for company. There’s just somethin’ about bein’ out in the woods that makes me feel so alive, ya know?”

Simon had never really had the chance to experience nature like he was at that moment, but he was quickly getting to understand what Kaylee meant. Breathing the fresh air, feeling the warm summer breeze on his skin, Simon felt at peace. For the first time in a long time he felt at ease. Looking over at Kaylee, Simon nodded in comprehension.

Tugging on Kaylee’s hand as they walked, Simon pulled her closer. He let go of her hand and wrapped his arm around her waist, gently stroking her opposite hip as they made their way deeper into the woods. He could see something sparkling in the distance and as they got closer to the source of the glimmer, Simon noticed there was a small pond just off to the side of the path they were on. He glanced over at Kaylee as they neared the bank. The water rippled in the pond and cast a splash of light onto her features; lighting up her eyes and making her look almost unnaturally radiant.

He turned his eyes back to the pond, watching a few fish skim by just beneath the surface. He couldn’t think of any place he would rather have been at that moment. It was perfect, peaceful and he had the woman of his dreams standing at his side. Simon turned his gaze down to Kaylee, his heart fluttering at the perfectly content smile gracing her lips. As long as she was happy, he would be too.

Simon turned to Kaylee, gently slipping the hand that held hers up to her upper arm, turning her to face him as well. He planted his hands on her shoulders and leaned in, pressing his forehead delicately to hers, feeling her warm breath on his lips. The hands he had on her shoulders massaged the skin there gently as Kaylee’s own hands found his hips. Their eyes met and held; hazel and blue in contrast. They were so completely absorbed in one another, staring unblinkingly for minutes on end, their lips just barely touching, that neither noticed the dark, angry clouds which had gathered overhead or the cool wind which had begun to whistle through the trees.

As the first few droplets of rain fell from the heavens, Simon finally closed the inch of space between him and Kaylee, pressing his lips ever so gently to hers. His hands slipped from her shoulders to her waist and he pulled her closer, ignoring the wetness that had begun to seep into his clothes and his skin as the rain fell increasingly thickly around them. Kaylee’s own arms came up to circle Simon’s neck and she was forced to her tiptoes as the kiss was deepened, their lips parting and their tongues touching delicately, lovingly.

A sharp crack of thunder a moment later broke the lovers’ kiss, startling both of them thoroughly. Kaylee clung to Simon and giggled nervously a moment later, realization dawning on her. Her smile brightened and she looked up at him, raindrops staining the skin of her cheeks.

“Looks like we’re gettin’ rained out, doc,” she said with a soft chuckle.

“I digress,” Simon said with a grin.

Leaning in once more he pulled Kaylee closer to him, their chests pressed together firmly, the heat of each other’s bodies warming them both against the delicate chill of the rain. Their lips molded against each other’s, their kiss deep and passionate. Kaylee let out a soft moan of contentment as Simon’s hand slipped under the quickly dampening fabric of her shirt, rubbing her toned back gently, making her shiver. He loved feeling how she reacted to his touches, his kisses, it made him that much more confident that what he was doing was right. She just reacted so wonderfully vividly that he couldn’t think otherwise.

Kaylee quickly grew breathless and flushed, finding herself completely enraptured in Simon’s kiss. She loved the taste of cinnamon that always seemed to cling to his lips, it was perfectly, captivatingly intoxicating. If she had her way, she’d never have to pull away, to break the kiss, but unfortunately, life had other plans.

All too soon, Simon pulled away and slowly opened his eyes, meeting Kaylee’s gaze. He reached out and brushed a few strands of wet hair away from her eyes, watching as a few rivulets of water made their way down over her soft features. They were both soaked to the bone at that point and shivering despite their shared warmth as they remained in each other’s embrace.

“We should probably head home,” Simon said pointedly. “We don’t want to catch cold and spoil our shore leave.”

Kaylee smiled wryly and nodded in response. She reluctantly pulled out of Simon’s arms and reached out to take his hand instead, tugging him back toward the path down which they’d come. They quickened their pace, nearly jogging down the long and winding road back to the field behind the house. It took them a good fifteen minutes but they finally reached the yard. By then the rain had nearly doubled in intensity and they bolted the last stretch to the house, rushing in through the back door and stopping on the mat, watching the water drip from their clothes and skin onto the floor at their feet.

As the couple stood there, Delia Frye rounded the corner carrying two large, white fluffy towels. She handed them to the pair, smiling knowingly and chuckling softly to herself as she turned and headed for the kitchen.

“You two go an’ get cleaned up and dried off now,” she instructed. “I’ll have some nice, hot tea waitin’ for ya when you’re all done.”

Both smiling impishly, Simon and Kaylee took the towels and dried themselves off as best they could before trudging through the house toward their shared bedroom. Upon reaching it, Simon tossed his own towel aside and brushed a few tendrils of hair away from his eyes before turning to Kaylee. Stepping up to her he gently cupped her face in his hands, bringing her up to look at him.

“Why don’t you get undressed and wrapped in a towel?” Simon suggested. “I’ll draw you a nice, hot bath.”

With that he leaned in, pressing a gentle kiss to her lips before turning away and disappearing into the adjacent bathroom. Kaylee smiled softly as she heard the water beginning to splash into the tub. She still believed that Simon was too good to be true. She took her time undressing, tossing her wet clothes into the hamper and wrapping a fresh, warm, dry towel around herself. She slowly made her way toward the bathroom and was assailed with the scent of roses the moment she pushed the door open.

Looking up from where he’d been stirring the water with his hand, Simon smiled at Kaylee and stood, brushing the frothy bubbles from his arm. He stepped toward her and reached out, gently plucking the towel away from her body. Her skin was cold to the touch, as was all of his save for the arm which had been submerged in the bathwater. He set the towel aside and pulled Kaylee closer, guiding her toward the tub. His hands settled over her shoulders as she climbed in and reclined against the back of the tub, settling herself comfortably beneath a blanket of warm water and bubbles.

Reaching over, Simon turned off the tap. He trailed his hand through the water until it came to rest at Kaylee’s collarbone, his fingertips teasing there softly. He felt her shiver at that and it brought a soft smile to his lips. Kaylee relaxed, sinking into the water up to her neck, loving how the warmth enveloped her. She met Simon’s gaze and reached a hand out of the water to him, dabbing a small amount of the foam from the bath onto the tip of his nose and giggling.

Simon chuckled lightly, a rich sound that made Kaylee relax even further, if possible, and wiped the bubbles away. He reached for a loofah which hung on a small hook above the bathtub and dipped it into the water. He slipped it up to Kaylee’s ribs, brushing it gently over the submerged skin, brushing away the chill which was clinging to her skin. From there he continued upward, delicately washing her breasts, her chest and collarbone.

He worked slowly, carefully, making sure that every inch of Kaylee’s body was cleaned. Looking up at her face he noticed her eyes were closed and a small smile played about her lips. Finishing up washing Kaylee’s neck, Simon wrung out the loofah, hanging it back up on the wall and simply looking at Kaylee for a long moment. After not feeling Simon’s touch for a minute, Kaylee opened her eyes and blushed from the intensity of his gaze. She felt much better than she had before she’d gotten into the bath and she had him to thank for it.

“Mmm, that was nice, Simon,” Kaylee said softly. “Real nice.”

“Well I’m glad,” he replied warmly. “Now why don’t you just stay and soak for a while longer while I get changed? After that we can go down to the kitchen for tea.”

Kaylee simply nodded and went back to letting the water warm her as Simon stood and made his way into the bedroom. He took his time, wanting Kaylee to have maximum benefits from her luxurious soak. Stripping, Simon tossed his wet clothes into the hamper alongside Kaylee’s and quickly changed into a warm pair of trousers and a flattering black sweater.

When he’d finished he found a few things for Kaylee, things he knew she loved for their comfort and warmth, and headed into the bathroom once again. Setting them down he picked up the towel Kaylee had come into the bathroom in and held it up, looking down at her. She turned her gaze to him and smiled softly, sitting up out of the water, bubbles clinging to her skin. Reaching into the depths of the tub, Kaylee pulled the plug and watched as the water began to drain quickly. She stood and stepped out of the tub, onto the rug on the floor and right into Simon’s arms. He wrapped the towel he held around her. When she gripped it he ran his hands over her body, drying her gently.

Feeling the last droplets of water dry off of her skin, Kaylee turned to face Simon and handed him her towel. He folded it, trying not to watch her as she dressed, knowing that if he did he would be powerless to stop himself from taking her right then and there. Once he’d folded the towel he draped it over the towel rack and turned back to Kaylee, who by then had managed to get dressed. He smiled softly and held out his hand to her, waiting for her to accept it before heading out of the bathroom.

Together they left the bedroom, heading down the hallway. Looking out the window at the end of the hall near the staircase, Kaylee noticed that it had stopped raining. She chuckled softly and headed down the stairs with Simon, hearing snippets of conversation from where the crew were all gathered in the den, spending the day indoors on account of the inclement weather. The two of them reached the bottom of the stairs and made their way to the kitchen, finding themselves in the company of a few fellow crewmates, as well as Kaylee’s mother. Simon paused to greet each of the crew members present, feeling a blush rise in his cheeks when he came face to face with Inara. She simply smiled demurely.

“Hello Simon,” she said softly.

“Inara,” Simon replied, bowing his head and averting his gaze.

“Please, you needn’t be embarrassed,” Inara said lightly. “I’m sorry about this morning, I didn’t mean to intrude.”

“No harm done,” Simon said quietly.

With that Inara nodded and turned back to where she was helping prepare supper. Simon turned to Kaylee and she smiled softly up at him, reaching out to pick up a mug of tea and hand it to him before picking up her own. He sipped it gingerly, feeling it burn his lip the slightest bit, glad for its warmth. He needed it after the chill of the rain.

The two of them spent the remainder of the afternoon in the kitchen with the other ladies, talking and laughing, helping with supper. It was a pleasant scene with a very familial feel to it. It was something Simon realized he’d never experienced before. He loved it, and he had Kaylee to thank for it. She’d changed his life, changed him so much, helped him find a place in the black. He owed so much to her and he only hoped that his love was to express his gratitude.

He had the rest of their trip to show her just how thankful he was, just how much she meant to him. By the end of it all, if things turned out in his favor, he would have the rest of his life to show her those things and more.


Xiexie: Thank you Meimei: Little sister Baobei: Sweetheart

Tell me what you think!


Thursday, August 3, 2006 10:15 AM


Hee! Poor, embarassed Simon. But lucky Inara. *giggles*

Simon taking care of Kaylee, the walk in the woods/kissing in the rain, the whole damn chapter, was just so sweet and vivid that I think I'll be smiling all afternoon.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 10:17 AM


More fluffiness ensues in the upcoming chapters, I assure you!

I'm so glad you liked it!

Thursday, August 3, 2006 10:21 AM


These chapters make me feel all warm and fuzzy - but isn't Simon taking a bit TOO much care of Kaylee?

When's it his turn to be cared for? She's not a child, and I'm sure she could care for him in a whole bunch of ways, that might drive him a little crazy with desire, but still ... he should be getting some attention too!

Still though, this story is so sweet and full of obvious emotion. You're painting S/K's budding relationship so beautifully - I love it!

Thursday, August 3, 2006 10:23 AM


Simon will get his turn, don't you worry. This story has a planned 13 chapters, we're at chapter 3, there's plenty of time for Simon to get his turn. Besides, I prefer writing from Simon's point of view more than Kaylee's, so that's why it's him the majority of the time and not her.

In any case, I'm glad you like it!

Thursday, August 3, 2006 10:33 AM


Dammit. I want a Simon, too! Well, except female, but otherwise, just like that!

And Inara gets a peek, too. Simon's going to have the entire female crew after him at this rate (excepting River, we hope).

And that 13 chapters is going to have some angst, right? I think the romance is so much better with a bit of angst thrown in.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 10:36 AM


I'm not sure whether I'm going to make it angsty or just a bit dramatic. Angst would take a few chapters to recover from, and I don't want to draw it out, since this is a fluffy series, but I could definitely do drama. I guess I'll see where my muse takes me!

Thursday, August 3, 2006 11:36 AM


Aww, now that was real sweet.

Inara getting a peek was just hysterical as was Simon's lingering embarrassment over it.

I don't know how those two are going to wait until the end of their trip to do anything more than pet and kiss, though!

Ahh, if only we could find men like Simon is portrayed here. I'm not sure they exist, but we can dream!

Looking forward to reading more!

Thursday, August 3, 2006 11:40 AM


What can I say, in my opinion they have plenty of self control. It won't be easy, it'll be cruel (hence the story title) but they'll make it.

In any case, thank you for the lovely review. More to come soon!

Thursday, August 3, 2006 11:46 AM


Holy meddling, Batman!

Geez, people, what is with all the questions? Let the girl write her own fic! If she wanted input from you, she'd ask for it.

Thursday, August 3, 2006 12:09 PM


Actually I really like the self-control, let the relationship have time to develope angle. If more couples actually took the time to do this there would probably be fewer marital problems in the world.

I'm really enjoying this series, and I think I will continue to no matter where it goes.

Keep up the excellent work,


Thursday, August 3, 2006 12:12 PM


Thank you for your kind words goblueguy! I love seeing other people that believe in love and a firm basis for a relationship like I do. :)

And thanks to you too, FrellingBlonde! I'm glad you think I should go where the winds take me! :)

Friday, August 4, 2006 7:21 PM


Aww...So much cuteness

Saturday, August 5, 2006 6:26 PM


Sail on, Wanmei! Let the four winds guide you as the may;)

Definitely loving this "let's take it slow, bao bei" version of Silee...especially since it allows so much exploration of the characters and their backgrounds:D


Tuesday, August 8, 2006 3:02 AM


If she ever did get the memories back, great, if not, well, maybe it was for the best.
~I have only not remembered my actions on a handful of the many many nights I have been out drinking, though there are some that I wish I had not remembered.

He wanted to sit under the overhang on the porch and watch the droplets fall with Kaylee cuddled up in his arms.
~One of my favorite ways to enjoy the rain as well.

The scene with Simon leaving the shower without clothes and Inara seeing him was very good.

I really liked the scene in the rain as well.

As for the meddling, well, I think it is called FEEEDBACK. Others on here would do well to remember that they do the same and more when reading or convincing others not to read other people's fics.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 5:37 AM


Thank to blackbeanie, BlueEyedBrigadier and RiverIsMyGoddess for the feedback! I'm glad you're all liking it so far!

The next chapter promises more romantic fluffiness as well as the added bonus of humor! I'll have that one up soon! :)


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Caught in the Act
As she waits in the infirmary for Simon to join her for an evening out, Kaylee's curiosity gets the best of her.

Cruel Summer (Chapter 4)
The crew visits Kaylee’s family on Harvest. Kaylee shows Simon that there’s more to life outside Serenity’s walls than he could ever have thought. (PG13)

Cruel Summer (Chapter 3)
The crew visits Kaylee’s family on Harvest. Kaylee shows Simon that there’s more to life outside Serenity’s walls than he could ever have thought. (PG)

Cruel Summer (Chapter 2)
The crew visits Kaylee’s family on Harvest. Kaylee shows Simon that there’s more to life outside Serenity’s walls than he could ever have thought. (PG)

Simon is feeling dominating and decides that it's Kaylee's turn to sumbit. Simon/Kaylee. (HARD NC17)

Cruel Summer (Chapter 1)
After the BDM, the crew decide they need some quiet time and go to visit Kaylee’s family on Harvest. Kaylee shows Simon that there’s more to life outside Serenity’s walls than he could ever have thought. Simon/Kaylee. (PG)

Soft Curves
Simon wakes Kaylee up in an unconventional way. (R)

As My Anger Reigns
Sometimes all it takes to soothe an angered soul is a gentle kiss. Mal/Simon. (PG13)

What Defines Her?
Simon thinks about Kaylee and all that she means to him. (PG13)

Kaylee decides that maybe a little pain is worth the gain. Takes place just post the pilot, Serenity. (PG)