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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Set four years after A NEW LIFE. Simon and Kaylee come to an understanding, while River and Jayne have a discussion about children. Simon/Kaylee, River/Jayne, Mal/Inara
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1621 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N: We are building back up to some angst folks, but it's going to be a bit of slow go for a while - hang in there!
Much thanks again goes to Leiasky for, despite her psychotic break earlier today (she wrote Jaylee!), writes and inspires some of the best fic out there.
Please, please, please, please comment ... please? ...
A NEW BEGINNING, ch. 21: Moving On
While Simon had enjoyed watching his son celebrate and watching his family enjoy the company of one another, it was with gladness that he saw River usher his children out of the room. They had already stayed up too late and now Kaylee had ordered them to bed. Although, judging by the amount of sugar they had imbibed, the chances of either of them falling asleep anytime soon were slim to none.
But as soon as the door shut behind them, Simon turned all his attention to Kaylee, even as he let out a violent yawn. His body was still recovering from surgery, but he would not fall asleep just yet, not until he’d spoke with his wife. She was moving about the room, trying to clean the mess they had made. Deflating balloons were starting to sink and torn wrapping paper was scattered all over the floor. She had already disposed of the plates and cups in a larger receptacle the hospital staff had provided and she was working now, bending and straightening to pick up the bits of colored paper at her feet.
“Kaylee.” Simon watched as she froze in mid-bend, hesitating for just a moment before continuing to pick up the piece of trash she’d been after and then straightened. Pitching her armful of materials into the bin, she turned to him with a big smile on her face, and asked, “Yes Simon?”
Simon frowned at her; Kaylee had rarely if ever avoided a topic of discussion with him. He could only remember a handful of times in their entire relationship when he had been the one to pry, forcing her to tell him something. With a slight sigh, he realized this would be one of those times.
“I want to talk with you,” he told her, keeping his voice low and calm. When she made no effort to come any closer, he reached out a hand and said, “Please.”
Sighing heavily, Kaylee straightened back her shoulders, brushing her hair out of her face and approached his bed. Sitting gingerly on the edge, she took his hand and held his gaze. Breathing a sigh of relief, Simon began. “I want you to tell me about what happened earlier. When you left suddenly.”
Kaylee smiled at him, trying to dispel his concerns with her own sheer will. Shrugging, she said, “Oh, it was nothin’. Just got a little overwhelmed is all.”
Frowning at her, Simon tugged gently on her hand to draw her eyes back to him and said sternly, “Kaylee, please don’t keep things from me.” As she swallowed hard past the lump in her throat, he told her, “Please tell me.”
While Kaylee had been resolved since her little conversation with River to not tell Simon what they’d discussed, she could feel that resolve weakening under his intense gaze. His eyes that searched her face now were not angry or hurt, they were loving, conveying all he felt for her and his concern that she was not as fine as she appeared. And of course, it made her love him more, if that were possible.
“Kaylee?” She had again let her eyes drop, and when she raised them back to his face, he saw that there were tears swimming there.
Reaching up and wiping at the few tears that had started to fall, she finally told him, “It’s nothin’, Simon, okay? Just let it go.”
His concern evident, he asked her, “How can I let it go when I know it’s affecting you so much?” She had no answer for that as her tears fell in ones and twos, hitting the tops of her cheeks and then dripping into her lap. “Bao bei, please tell me.” His voice was imploring and soft, and the tone of his words brought a small sob to her lips.
Stifling it, Kaylee again looked to him and smiled through her tears. “I just realized somethin’ today, when you and River was talkin’ about her birthday all them years ago.”
Nodding at her to continue, Simon waited as she shifted closer to him on the bed and then said, “I just realized that I was such a fool to say all those things to you back on Harvest.” She bit her lip to keep more of her tears in, even as Simon’s expression clouded with additional concern. “I should never have doubted you or us and I just …”
She finally ran out of steam her tears falling steadily now and running down her face. Squeezing her hand gently, Simon whispered, “You just what?” He knew that although she did not want to finish, she needed to.
Trying to smile, but being completely unable to fake the expression, she finally said, “I just have this awful feelin’ that when this all over and you’re back to bein’ well you’re going to realize how awful I am and never wanna speak to me again!” She finished with a strangled cry and pulled her hand from his. She knew that her words were foolish and would probably hurt him, but she could not quell the fear that had started to coil in her gut. She could not take Simon’s rejection, she could not live without him, literally, but she knew that the things she’d said, the things she’d accused him of, were inexcusable.
And with a newfound need to clear her conscience, those words spilled from her lips like a torrent of water over a waterfall. “Simon, what I said, that was unforgivable. How could I have asked ya t’choose?”
Simon tried to sit up in his hospital bed, tried to get closer to her, but with the numbness still in his lower body and his drug-addled limbs, he was finding it difficult. Finally giving up, he pulled on her hand and said, “Kaylee!”
The commanding tone of his voice pulled her out of her hysteria and she again met his blue eyes with her own wide green eyes. Softening his expression instantly as he saw the fear in her eyes, Simon told her, “You are not to blame, for any of this. What you said was true. I was holding on to River, trying to protect her, when she was more than capable of caring for herself.” Kaylee started to interrupt him and he shot her a small smile as he said, “I’ve been waiting to say this, so you’re going to let me.”
Smiling back at him as he used her words from just a few days before, Kaylee nodded once and remained silent. Taking a deep breath, Simon said, “How you think I could let you go, now, after all we’ve been through, I have no idea.” Lowering his voice, he told her sincerely, “But if I have to convince you that I love you with everything I have every day for the rest of my life, I will.”
Rolling her eyes at him, which was not the expression Simon had expected, she muttered, “That’s the drugs talkin’.”
Grinning at her, and having to stifle a chuckle, he said, “I don’t know of any drug that can get a man to confess his undying devotion.” When Kaylee’s eyes met his grin, she returned the look just a bit and he continued, “If there was, I’m thinking Inara would have used it on Mal years and years ago.”
Kaylee actually laughed at that comment and Simon had to revel in the sound. As she again looked to him, he told her, “I love you, Kaylee Tam. That has not changed and will never change.” Pausing, he lifted her hand, touching it to his lips and then said, “Please, believe that.”
Leaning down, Kaylee kissed him suddenly, long and deep and Simon returned the kiss with as much passion as he could muster. When they finally parted for air, Kaylee whispered, “I don’t wanna be scared anymore, Simon.”
Caressing her cheek, he brought their lips together again and then told her, “There’s nothing to be scared of. I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere.”
Kaylee nodded, her forehead against his and they stayed like that for a few moments. Finally, with a heavy sigh, she straightened up and looked forlornly at him lying in the bed, all alone. “I guess I should go to bed,” she said sadly.
Simon did not miss her gaze as it flicked to the empty side of the bed next to him. Grinning at her, he said, “Stay with me, please.”
Her eyes brightened instantly, but then dimmed again. “Are you sure? I don’t wanna hurt ya or nothin’.”
Simon smiled wider at her, and told her, “Well, unless you’ve started kicking in your sleep, like Daniel, we should be fine.”
Kaylee’s smile again bright and shining bolstered his weary soul. She moved up next to him, pulling back the covers and snuggling in at his side. He had placed his arm around her shoulders, as she gingerly rested her head against his chest. Sighing contentedly at the feel of her beside him, Simon closed his eyes, knowing sleep would come quickly tonight. Pressing a kiss into her hair, he murmured, “I love you.”
Kaylee looked up at him and kissed his cheek, and whispered back, “I love you,” and within minutes they were both enjoying a peaceful sleep – the first one for either of them in weeks.
“Things have been real strange, since you left.” Cadie stared down at the small stone tablet that marked Elijah’s grave, her hand absentmindedly running over the letters. With a bit of a sigh, she continued, “Miss Kaylee and Simon, they had to leave all o’ sudden, ‘cause Simon got shot by this mean man. And Rylee and Danny went with ‘em.” Pausing, Cadie bit her lip and added quietly, “And mama and Jayne.” Sighing again as she felt a few tears fall, she told her brother, “I ain’t never felt so alone.”
A few more tears fell and Cadie pulled her knees up to her chest, staring at the mound of dirt that had just started to sprout a few tufts of grass. It wasn’t a lie – Cadie had never in her life felt more alone then she did at this moment, and it scared her. Scared her because her mind and her emotions had nothing, no one, to hold on to and she feared that the swirling abyss that whipped around her would soon drag her away and then she would be nothing, no one.
It had been this way since Elijah’s death, that part was true as well. Not only had she had to deal with everyone else’s grief and her own at the sudden loss of him, but with Simon’s injury and Rylee’s awakening powers, Cadie’s mind and body had been taxed beyond normal limits. She had hoped that once things had calmed down after Elijah’s passing, she could spend some real quality time with River, getting more help and tutelage on how to control her abilities, but now, with River halfway across the ‘verse, she had no one, no one to help her. And she was scared.
Turning her head sharply at the sudden intrusion, she relaxed a bit when she saw Ellie’s concerned face. Wiping her tears away as the older girl came to sit beside her, she smiled weakly at her and murmured back, “Hey.”
With a heavy sigh, Cadie again rested her head on her knees and turned back to stare at Elijah’s head stone. Sitting with her quietly for just a few minutes, Ellie finally asked, “You miss him, huh?”
Nodding, Cadie did not speak, knowing she couldn’t trust her voice. Missing Elijah was like missing air, it wasn’t possible, because with its absence, she ceased to exist. Blinking back more tears, she felt Ellie’s concern radiate towards her and she tried to block it out. Knowing that everyone felt sorry for her didn’t make it hurt any less.
“Just go, ‘kay?” Cadie asked quietly, not turning to facer her sister.
Scooting towards her, Ellie placed a light hand to her back and asked, “Why? I wanna help.”
Finally bringing her eyes to study her face, Cadie let her tears come freely as she said, “I know, but you can’t, so just go.”
Frowning at her, Cadie recognized Ellie’s patented determination and guessed the girl’s next statement before it even passed her lips. “I ain’t even tried yet. How you know I can’t help?”
Sighing heavily, Cadie stood quickly and stared down at the other girl. With a harshness in her tone she had not been expecting, she told her, “I just do,” and then stalked away, not at all surprised when Ellie hurried to catch her.
Grabbing for her hand Ellie caught it and whirled her around. “Now, look here Cadie Louise,” Ellie said, her own tone growing hard. “I ain’t gonna pretend I know what you’re goin’ through, ‘cause I reckon I don’t, on account o’ the fact I ain’t a reader.” Cadie held her gaze as the girl continued. “But I am your sister and Elijah was my brother too and I miss him.” A few tears had pooled in Ellie’s eyes which she quickly blinked away as she took one step closer to Cadie. “So at least let me try.”
Holding her gaze for a moment more, Cadie threw her arms around Ellie’s neck and hugged her fiercely, surprising the girl. Quickly recovering, Ellie held her back as she felt the little girl’s body start to shake with sobs. Rubbing a hand along her back, Ellie tried to comfort her. “Shush, it’s all right. We’re all gonna be okay.”
Shaking her head fiercely, Cadie pulled back and hiccupped, “No, we ain’t.” Taking Ellie’s face in her hands, she whispered ominously, “Somethin’ bad’s comin’ - again.”
Swallowing hard at this prediction, Ellie pulled the girl back into a tight embrace wishing she could find it within her to discount her theory, but knowing that that just wasn’t wise.
A week after his second surgery, Simon was starting to feel real fear. He still could not feel his lower body. He could at certain moments, certain sensations coming to him, but nothing that lasted for any length of time or with any amount of certainty. And as a doctor and a trauma surgeon, he knew that could be trouble.
Doctor Michaels was visiting him now, making notes on his chart and Simon had managed to be alone for this round. Clearing his throat, the older man met Simon’s concerned gaze and paused in his work. Noting that he had his attention, Simon asked, “What’s my prognosis?”
Frowning for a moment, the doctor said, “Good, right now. Your levels are returning to normal, your wound is healing quite nicely. I think –“
“What about my legs?” Simon questioned him, interrupting the man’s benign reassurances.
Sighing, Doctor Michaels sat on the edge of Simon’s bed and told him honestly, “Simon, as a doctor you know that the recovery time from an injury like this could take months. Expecting such fast results in a week is a little much, even for a young man like yourself in good physical shape.”
Frowning himself, Simon told him, “But I should have some range of motion, doctor. And I don’t.” Pausing for a moment, he probed, “Is there something you’re not telling me?”
Shaking his head, Doctor Michaels rose again and said, “No, Simon. Both of your surgeries were a success. During the second one we were able to repair much of the damaged tissue. I think at this point, son, you’re going to have to learn to be patient.”
With a pleading gaze, Simon said quietly, “Doctor, my wife is pregnant with twins. We have two small children under the age of five. How patient do you expect me to be?”
Smiling patiently at him, the doctor said, “I can understand your desire to resume your life, Simon, truly. But the body cannot be rushed.” When Simon opened his mouth to lodge another protest, the doctor continued. “However, we’ll give it a few more days. If we haven’t seen any positive results in that time, I’ll order a scan and see if we can more accurately pinpoint what the hold-up might be.”
Simon nodded his appreciation and muttered, “Thank you,” just as Kaylee and the children reentered the room.
Smiling to them, Doctor Michaels moved past them as Kaylee made it to Simon’s side. “Everythin’ okay?” she asked.
Forcing a smile to his face, Simon told her, “Yes. Everything’s great.”
“He’s not all right, is he?”
River looked up at the sudden intrusion, looking in the room’s mirror at Kaylee’s drawn face just over her shoulder. Turning, River gave her a small smile and asked, “What?”
Sighing, Kaylee took another step into the room and said, “Simon. He’s not all right.” It was less of a question this time and more of statement.
River felt a small lump rising in her throat. Her promise to Simon, to not tell Kaylee the extent of his injuries, was one she could not break. Shrugging, she said, “I’m sure he’s fine. He’s just antsy. Wants to get back to Harvest, back to life.”
“Then why ain’t he?” Kaylee asked, stepping forward into River’s path.
Stopping abruptly before her, River met her sister’s green-eyed gaze and saw her concern and love for her brother swirling there. Sighing, River placed her hands on Kaylee’s shoulders and said, “It just takes time.”
“Not this much time.” Kaylee said, dropping her gaze and trying to stymie her fear. “Not for Simon. He ain’t never been this down and out. Maybe after Early came aboard,” she asked, again meeting River’s gaze. “He was shot then too and he was still up and walking in about a week.”
“It was a different injury then, Kaylee,” River tried to explain, wishing she could think of a reason that would placate her friend. “Each wound takes its own time to heal.”
Sidestepping her, River went to leave, hoping Kaylee would just drop it. But she should have known better. “What ain’t you tellin’ me?” she asked, her voice harsh.
River stopped mid-step and took a deep breath before turning back around. “Kaylee, you just have to trust the doctors and Simon, that they know what’s best.” With that, she left the room, hurrying away before Kaylee could demand more information from her. River hated lying to her outright, but she had promised Simon. Praying that she hadn’t just alienated them both, she quickened her pace, searching for Jayne.
Kaylee found him at the nurses’ station and paused before approaching him. Trying to quell the nausea growing in her gut, unable to tell if it was morning sickness or fear, she moved towards him and called quietly, “Doctor Michaels?”
The older man with the kind eyes turned towards her and smiled warmly. “Good morning, Mrs. Tam.” His brow furrowing just a bit, he placed a hand on her arm and asked, “Are you all right, dear? You look a little pale. Do you need me to page Doctor Ming?”
Waving away his concern, Kaylee smiled weakly and said, “Oh no, doc, I’m shiny.” Taking a deep breath, she said, “I actually wanted to talk about my husband.”
Meeting her gaze, he asked, “What about Simon?”
Not knowing of any other way to phrase the question, she blurted out, “Why ain’t he up and about yet?”
Sighing heavily, Doctor Michaels looked to her for a moment and knew that he would have to tell her. Even though Simon had expressed his wish to keep his wife in the dark, the doctor could not keep the truth of her husband’s condition from the woman if she outright asked. Taking her elbow gently, he guided her to some seats along the wall. Once they were seated, he turned to her and said, “You know that his injury is very serious. It will take time for it to heal.”
Kaylee nodded once, but would not be deterred. “I know that, but he was shot before, in the leg, and he was up and walking in about a week. But that ain’t the case this time.” Kaylee’s hands were clenching into fists and unclenching nervously and she hated it. She didn’t like knowing that there was something happening with her husband that she did not know. “He obviously don’t want me to know and I’m guessin’ that’s ‘cause he don’t want me to worry,” she confided. With her big eyes, she finished, “But not knowing is worse.”
Nodding once, Doctor Michaels moved forward and took her hands in his. “Kaylee, the reason Simon isn’t up and moving yet is because he can’t.” Her eyes widened imperceptibly at this knowledge and she tried to drown out the pounding of her heart as he continued. “He’s temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.”
Kaylee felt her entire body tremble. “T-temporary,” she stuttered, trying to keep her wits about her. “So it ain’t permanent?”
Shaking his head, the doctor answered her, “We have no reason to believe that Simon won’t make a full recovery. It’s just taking him a little longer than we anticipated.”
Looking to him with hope in her eyes, she asked, “You’re sure?”
Smiling kindly to her, Doctor Michaels said, “I’m sure. The two of you just need to learn how to be patient.”
Smirking at him, Kaylee answered, “Oh, doctor, that is a virtue neither one of us ain’t ever had.”
Jayne had searched the hospital high and low for his wife and come up empty-handed. Discouraged, but not deterred, he had taken to scouring every floor for her and when he did finally find her, fear immediately welled in his chest.
He watched her from afar for a moment, noticing how she leaned her head to the glass of the observation window, a peaceful smile on her face, her eyes dancing. She had lifted one hand up and pressed it to the glass and now, waved with just one finger, ever so slightly, before sighing contently and continuing to stare.
Swallowing down to keep his heart in his chest, Jayne approached her and placed a hand to her shoulder. “River, baby, you all right?”
Not taking her eyes off the nursery before her, River breathed, “Aren’t they beautiful, Jayne?”
He could not follow her gaze. It killed him to see her like this, so wrapped up in other folks’ babies. It couldn’t be healthy, not after what they’d been through. Taking her by the elbow, he tried to pull her away. “Come on, darlin’, why don’t we go see your brother?”
River shrugged off his touch and shook her head, still staring. “No, you go. I want to stay here.”
Taking a deep breath, Jayne returned to lean against the window, his shoulder pressing against the hard surface as he regarded her. Waiting for just a moment, he finally asked, “What’re ya doin’ here?”
“Watching the babies,” she told him simply, her gaze never wavering.
“Yeah, I can see that,” Jayne told her, reaching up and brushing her hair back and off her shoulder. Letting his hand rest against her cheek, he asked, “But why?”
Finally, she brought her eyes to meet his gaze and he was relieved to not see pain or heartache there. “It’s peaceful,” she told him. Stepping towards him, she wrapped her arms around his waist and rested her head against his chest. “It helps to calm my mind, especially here, where there’s so much death and pain.”
Understanding finally dawning, Jayne wrapped her tight to him, and pressed a kiss to her head. “Well then, jus’ tell me where you’re goin’ next time, dong ma?”
Looking up to him with those big eyes that easily melted his heart, she smiled and said, “Okay.” Standing on her tip toes, she pressed a kiss to his mouth, which Jayne returned and then some. They had had precious few moments alone since they’d lit off of Harvest and their time before that had been strained. Jayne missed his wife and he suspected she missed him too. Pulling back from him a bit, River whispered, her breath tickling his lips, “I do. I miss us.”
Grinning mischievously at her, he pulled her lips into another kiss, even more passionate than the one before. Pressing her hands flat against his chest, River pulled back with a laugh and said, “Jayne, not in front of the children.”
Glancing through the window they were standing next too, he rolled his eyes and said, “Of course, how could I forget?” River giggled again, and Jayne pulled her back tight to his chest. It never ceased to amaze him how perfectly River fit against him.
They stood there like that for a few moments, until finally River admitted something to him she had been trying to avoid for the past few days, fearing his reaction. Taking a deep breath, she questioned, “Jayne?”
“Mmm.” His response vibrated from his chest and into hers and she smiled at the feeling.
“I want to adopt Cadie.” As soon as the words were out, River bit her lip and held her breath in anticipation.
It took Jayne a full minute to process what she’d said. Pulling back to look down at her, he asked, “You wanna what?”
Unblinking, she regarded him and repeated, “I want to adopt Cadie. I want her to be ours.”
Jayne had probably known, somewhere in the back of his smallish-sized brain that this was a request she would eventually make. However, after the death of their own child, River’s emotions had run the gamut, from fear to despair to anger to guilt and back again, and Jayne had assumed it would take her some time before she would even think of changing their lives so drastically.
Noting his hesitation, River asked him, “Don’t you love her?” She knew he did, but she also knew he needed to admit it.
“Of course, I do, baby girl, this ain’t about that.” Jayne pulled her back to him and let his cheek rest against the top of her head.
“Then what’s it about?” River waited, trying to be patient as Jayne focused his thoughts.
“It’s just … I’m not sure that’s the best idea,” he finally admitted.
With a force he had expected, River pushed away from him, an anger burning in her eyes he hadn’t seen for a while. Crossing her arms over her chest defiantly, she accused him, “Because of me, right? Because I let our baby die?”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Jayne said hurriedly, rushing to her, and placing his hands on her arms, forcing him to look at her. “You know that ain’t true and you know that ain’t what this is about.” As River’s chest heaved with her emotion, Jayne said, “It’s just, when we first got to Harvest you said some pretty mean things to that girl. And I know you’ve apologized and all, but still … That was real tough on her.”
River blinked back fresh tears and could not meet his gaze. He was right, and that’s what really irked her. She had been stupid and foolish, blaming Cadie for an image she had no way to control. And the more River had thought on it, the more she considered that maybe Cadie hadn’t been so wrong after all.
Looking to Jayne, she told him, “I’m not going to make her come with us. I would understand if she didn’t want us to be her parents, especially after what I said, but,” River paused, wondering how much she should reveal. Forging ahead, she said, “I think that what I was mad at her about, I think maybe I was wrong to assume she showed me something we couldn’t have.”
Jayne’s eyes widened with confusion and River tried to explain. “I think the baby she showed me, all those years ago, was her. When she was that small.” Placing both her hands on Jayne’s cheeks, she told him, “I think she’s been calling us mama and dada since we met her for a reason.”
“You think she knew, somehow, even back that then, that we’d be her parents one day?” Jayne wasn’t sure he totally bought into this line of questioning, but he knew River did and that was good enough for him.
Nodding once, River said, “I think she’s always known we would be a family.”
Jayne tried to digest this information. It was a lot to process all at once, but as he looked back into River’s shining eyes, he knew he would do whatever she asked. He did love that little girl they had left on Harvest, he had since they’d first met her, and he knew that River’s love for her had never wavered. Kissing River again, Jayne told her, “If she’ll have us, then I say, we start being a family right quick.”
Smiling widely at him, River threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tight. Jayne hugged her back, lifting her small body off the ground. “I love you, Jayne Cobb,” River told him as she again met his gaze.
“I love you, River Cobb,” he murmured back and then moved in to kiss her again.
Friday, August 18, 2006 6:35 PM
Friday, August 18, 2006 6:43 PM
Friday, August 18, 2006 8:02 PM
Sunday, August 20, 2006 5:33 AM
Tuesday, August 22, 2006 4:59 AM
Thursday, August 24, 2006 7:12 PM
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