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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Simon and Kaylee start to discuss the pendant Inara gave her while Mal and Inara continue to dance around one another in their grief. Sequel to 'Parting Gift'.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1045 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Title: New Beginnings
Synopsis: Simon and Kaylee discuss the pendant Inara gave her while Mal and Inara continue to dance around one another in their grief.
Disclaimer: This story is not meant to infringe on the copyright of any person or company related to the trademarked characters and situations depicted in the Serenity movie or Firefly series. I make no money from this. Only done for fun – and a desperate craving to have more stories told about this wonderful ‘verse Joss Whedon created.
Notes: This is the sequel to Parting Gift
Thanks to Tamsibling for the beta.
“Kaylee?” Simon called down into the open hatch. He swayed a bit as he shifted the crutch beneath his arm but was steadfastly determined not to move until Kaylee surfaced. “Are you coming?”
“Be right up, Simon!”
He lifted his eyes to the plaque on the wall that bore her name. “I hope so,” he said to himself. “I can’t climb down there and get you.” He glanced down the ladder and shivered, knowing that even if he managed to get down there without pulling stitches, it would be a miracle. And he would never get back up again.
He cocked his head as that thought sank in, a small smile spreading across his face. He could definitely think of far worse things than being stuck in Kaylee’s very private bunk for a few days.
It was with this small calculating smile on his face that Kaylee found him. Finally making her way up the ladder, she watched him carefully step back to make room for her in the hallway.
“Whatcha thinkin’ about?”
Simon shook his head to get the incredibly exciting thought of being trapped in Kaylee’s bunk, with Kaylee, out of his mind. “Oh, uh,“ he indicated the hatch to her bunk with an arch of his neck. “That if I had to come down and get you, there’d be no getting me back up.”
Kaylee raised her eyebrows suggestively and stepped forward, leaning ever so lightly against his chest. “An would that be so bad?” They’d gotten close since he’d returned from the Alliance medical facilities and had spent many a night talking and no small amount of time exploring the inner recesses of one another’s mouths.
Simon’s mouth quirked into a knowing smile and he dipped his head to gently touch his lips to hers. “You read my mind.”
Mal appeared at the end of the hallway, an exasperated look on his face as he once again caught his medic and his mechanic making doe eyes at one another. “You two coming?”
The couple glanced sheepishly toward the Captain and nodded silently, guilt flooding through them for selfishly keeping everyone waiting. This was an important day. It wasn’t about them.
“Right. Let’s go then.” Mal didn’t wait for them to follow, simply turned on his heel and walked away.
As Kaylee began to follow, Simon’s hand caught hers. She lifted her eyes to his, the question on her lips dying when his fingers rose to trace the edges of the pendant around her neck.
Simon wasn’t sure what to think of it. He knew what it meant and the sight of the symbol put an instant lump in his throat. Their relationship was so new, it confused and excited him to believe Kaylee would be so comfortable wearing something that boasted of a more committed union than they currently possessed. Although perhaps assuming that the piece of jewelry had anything to do with their burgeoning relationship was false. The thought placed a slight feeling of dread in his gut, as Simon had realized quite quickly in the past few weeks that being warmed and loved beneath Kaylee's neverending smile was really the only place he ever wanted to be.
As Kaylee opened her mouth to explain, Mal appeared again, his jaw set and his eyes hard.
“Comin’ Cap’n,” Kaylee said quickly. To Simon she whispered, “I’ll tell ya later.”
“You’re tired, sweetie. Think ya need to lay down.” Kaylee’s eyes were narrowed as she got a good look at Simon’s weary face.
“It’s been a busy day.” Simon said with a tired smile as he nodded to Inara standing at the top of the ramp waiting for them, Mal standing beside her looking as forlorn and lost as anyone had ever seen him. River and Jayne had disappeared, presumably to their respective bunks. Zoe had remained at the gravesite, no one questioning why she wanted a few moments alone.
“Doing all right, Simon?” Inara’s concerned face brought a hint of a smile to Kaylee’s lips.
“Look a little pale there,” Mal added with a forced smile.
Simon nodded and forced a smile of his own at Mal before turning to Inara. “Yes, thank you. I do think I’ll go lay down for a bit. It’s still a little difficult to stand for long stretches.” He turned to Kaylee who immediately leaned forward and gently touched her mouth to his.
“I’ll see ya in a bit.” She squeezed the hand she still held as he smiled tightly, nodding respectfully to Mal before walking gingerly toward the passenger dorms. Kaylee watched after him as if he had her heart tied to a string. When she turned around, she noticed the Captain watching them with a sort of detached interest.
“I – uh,” Mal stuttered, drawing both women’s attention. He pointed toward nothing in particular at the back of the cargo bay and continued, his voice shaky. “Got Captainy –“ His eyes met Inara’s and his voice broke, clearly not at all sure what he should be doing now. “Captainy things to do.”
Kaylee frowned and Inara looked away, staring out into the darkness, her mind far away. As Mal turned slowly, hesitantly, Kaylee pursed her lips and reached out to touch his arm. He halted for a moment and lowered his gaze to Kaylee’s hopeful eyes as they darted between himself and Inara.
With a quick shake of his head, He blinked slowly and visibly exhaled before resuming his motion toward the metal staircase.
Kaylee huffed in annoyance that Mal had missed this very glaring opportunity to comfort a grieving Inara and reached out to push a closed fist into the back of his shoulder. “You’re dai ruo mu ji,” she hissed with a scowl.
Mal closed his eyes for a moment and shook his head before continuing his solitary journey toward the cockpit.
Kaylee pursed her lips and returned to Inara’s side, silently looking out into the night. They stood for a few quiet moments, each lost in their own thoughts.
After Mal disappeared, Inara turned to her friend, her eyes lighting with a small, sorely needed spark. “I see you found a use for it.”
Kaylee followed her friend’s eye line and reverently touched her fingers to the gold necklace. “Oh! I meant to give it back to ya. I just –“
Inara shook her head. “Nonsense. I gave it to you. I don’t want it back.” A wistful look crossed her features for a moment. “You’ll make better use of it than I ever will.”
Kaylee laced her arm through Inara’s and led her into the common room, a smile fighting for purchase over the melancholy look on her face as she thought about the pendant. “Didn’t get a chance to tell Simon ‘bout it, tho’. He looked all kinds a nervous.”
“Sweetie,” Inara smiled gently as they sat down on the couch. “Simon is just built that way. He’s been a bundle of nerves since we –”
A dreamy look passed across Kaylee’s face. “He’s built all right.”
Inara’s eyes widened. “You two –” She glanced toward the passenger dorms then leaned toward her friend and asked, “You haven’t?”
A dreamy smile passed across Kaylee’s face at the implication. “Oh, not yet. He’s still hurtin’ pretty bad. But I been helpin’ him get dressed an all since he’s been back.”
A small smile flashed across the Companion’s face. “Ah, I see.”
Kaylee didn’t even bother to hide the smile that spread across her face at the thought of Simon’s lean, muscled body. “Yeah, I been seein’ too. Every chance I get.”
Inara found herself probing for more information, despite her lack of romantic interest in Serenity’s resident doctor. “Nice, hmm?”
Kaylee sighed dreamily. “So swai, ‘Nara. Them muscles in his arms….ai ya, how he hid that for so long, I ain’t never figurin’ out.”
Inara quirked an eyebrow as she realized that there was probably more to Simon than met the eye. In her experience, there always was but she’d been so wrapped up in thoughts of Mal that she’d never looked at Simon in the way Kaylee did. She reached up to touch the pendant at Kaylee’s neck. “See, I was right in giving this to you, then, hmm? Might need it sooner rather than later.”
“Oh, ‘Nara. I don’t wanna rush ‘im. It’s all so new. An, we ain’t even done nothin’ much yet. We ain’t ready for that kinda step.”
“I’d have to be blind not to see your anticipation, Kaylee. You’ve been after Simon for a long time now. We’re all glad you finally caught him.”
Kaylee leveled a disbelieving look on her friend. “Cap’n is real put off by how close we been gettin’.”
Inara waved her hand dismissively. “Oh, ignore him. He’s probably just jealous.”
“That’s obvious, as Simon’s been sayin’.”
Inara had to chuckle at that. “Our clueless doctor –“
“When we ain’t talkin’ ‘bout us, we talk about you.” Kaylee said quickly, her eyes twinkling with barely contained excitement.
Inara stood quickly and smoothed her dress. “There isn’t anything to talk about, mei mei.” Glancing down at her clothes, she said,” I should change out of this. It’s covered in dust.” When Kaylee frowned at the subject change, Inara hastily added, “And I’m sure Simon would help you get out of that. You might not even have to ask.”
Kaylee watched with a somewhat forlorn look as Inara quickly fled the room to go back to her shuttle. She wanted to hit, or kick them both. Inara and the Captain. Most stubborn people she’d ever met. With a heavy sigh, she resolved she’d talk more with Inara later, right now, she was eager to see if Simon was still awake. She all but skipped to his room, smiling slightly when she found the sliding door open; the invitation to enter plain.
She moved to Simon’s side, concerned when he didn’t raise his head at her entrance. As she got closer, his eyes popped open and the swai smile he gave her made her knees wobble instantly. She dropped her hand into his and sat along the edge of the bed. “Feelin’ okay?”
“Just a little tired. I’m fine.” His voice was soft, silky, and it made her skin instantly pebble. “I’m glad you came back. Have a good talk with Inara?”
‘Course. Always do.”
She had trouble concentrating as his fingers brushed absently over the underside of her wrist. But she could see his eyes droop with the effort of keeping them open and she leaned down and pushed her free hand through his dark hair. “You’re tired. We can talk in the mornin’.” When she moved to get up, she was shocked to feel his fingers tighten around hers.
She turned wide eyes on him. Since he’d been back, she’d spent a few nights, especially when he was confined to the infirmary, sleeping at his side, but since he’d moved back into his room, they’d parted ways each night, falling asleep in their respective rooms. His invitation now sent shivers of excitement through her.
She looked down at her funeral dress. “Ain’t got no clothes here.” Her eyes glimmered mischievously. “’Course, don’t really need none.”
Simon swallowed thickly, his eyes sweeping down her body. “I – ah – don’t think it’s wise to lay here with no clothes on.”
Kaylee glanced at his bare arms, curled her fingers into the blanket and drew it quickly to his waist, unable to mask the slightly disappointed look that crossed her face when she noticed he was wearing pants.
Simon chuckled. “I’m somewhat clothed.”
“I can be too.” Kaylee got up and rifled brazenly through his drawers. Finding a pair of his sweatpants, she pulled them up beneath her skirt and then let the flowy material fall down her legs. Unfastening the bottom buttons on her pink Chinese top, she deposited it on the floor atop her skirt. Now clad in the white tank top and Simon’s sweatpants, she moved to the door, sliding it shut.
“Well, yes, okay, that works.” His gaze was intense as it followed her every movement until she returned to his side.
Without a word, she crawled over to his uninjured side and slid her legs beneath the blanket already warmed by the heat of his body.
Simon, with difficulty, pushed himself as far to the edge of the bed as he could to give her enough room, but her hand on his chest made him forget his attempt and simply watch her.
“It’s all good, Simon.” She lifted herself onto her elbow and gazed down at him, while the other hand lay motionless atop his smooth chest. “We can snuggle a bit.”
Simon didn’t trust his voice to answer. Snuggle. Yes, that would be good. Even if he wanted desperately to do more than that, his body wasn’t nearly healed enough. His eyes searched her angelic face, finally coming to rest on the pendant still hanging around her neck. He raised his hand to gently brush the pads of a few fingers against the antiqued metal. “So, Inara gave this to you, hmm?”
Kaylee’s eyes widened as she glanced down at his fingers. Before she could ask, he answered her unspoken question.
“I overheard you two talking about it.”
A coy smile spread across Kaylee’s face. “Spyin’ on us, huh?”
Simon hid his slightly horrified look at her rather true assessment by covering the hand that rested on his chest with his own. “Well, no – I wanted to see if you could help me with – “ he trailed off, knowing how foolish his excuse sounded. “But you were busy so I decided I didn’t want to interrupt.” He truly had wanted some help getting out of his clothes, as it was still very difficult to bend, but their conversation had intrigued him so much, he’d forgotten what he’d left his room to ask and simply listened.
Kaylee’s eyes gleamed in the dim light. “Shoulda waited. I’d of helped ya out of them clothes.” Her eyes swept down his chest and she leaned down to kiss him.
Knowing he was better off repelling such intimate contact for at least another week or so, he made a half hearted attempt to sink tiredly into the mattress. But as soon as her lips touched his, he knew it wouldn’t be so easy. The kiss was slow, gentle but he could feel the emotion and the desire bubbling just beneath the surface of their skin. Deciding their discussion about the pendant could wait until tomorrow, he sighed against her mouth and closed his eyes.
The weeks it would take his body to appropriately heal were going to be the longest of his life.
Dai ruo mu ji- dumb as a wooden chicken
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