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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Set three months after A NEW BEGINNING. Kaylee's health takes a turn for the worse as the stress of Rylee's kidnapping and the twins' births hits home. River vows to get Rylee back, while Mal and Inara try to help their friends. S/K, R/J, M/I
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1437 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N: Thanks to everyone for the great comments on chap. 9. Rylee's story and the aftereffects of her kidnapping will be long and painful - just a warning.
Please, please continue to read and respond - feedback is like a drug ... and I'm addicted!
And thanks again to Leiasky for the beta.
A NEW DAY, ch. 10: Murphy’s Law
Regan found Simon with Kaylee, trying to comfort her daughter-in-law, although guessing by the tears and the pleading, it was a losing battle. Entering the room, they both looked up at her entrance and Kaylee immediately wiped her face, ashamed for her mother-in-law to see her in such a state.
Turning to face her, Simon kept an arm around Kaylee’s shoulders as he said quietly, “Mother, this really isn’t a good time.”
Frowning at him, Regan walked to the other side of the bed and sat at Kaylee’s side. Taking her hand, Regan pushed some of the girl’s hair back from her face and got a watery smile in return. Looking to her son, she told him, “I don’t think there’s going to be many ‘good’ times in the next few days, do you?” When he didn’t answer her, Regan leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Kaylee’s forehead. “Your babies are beautiful, my dear.”
Smiling weakly at her, Kaylee pulled away from Simon and hugged the woman. “I’m glad you’re here,” she whispered, hugging the woman fiercely. Meeting Simon’s gaze over the girl’s shoulder, Regan rubbed her back as Kaylee told her, “Please, tell him he can’t go.”
Her eyes widening, Regan pulled back from the girl and asked her son, “Go? Where exactly were you planning on going?”
Realizing that the two of them teaming up on him wasn’t fair, but being unable to do anything about it, Simon said, “Back to Osiris, on the shuttle father sends. I have to get Rylee.”
Kaylee sobbed again as he said the words, and Regan continued to rub a hand along her back, trying to soothe her. Giving him a stern look, Regan said, “Well, Kaylee’s right dear, you can’t go. That would be about the stupidest thing you could ever do.”
His eyes narrowing at her admonishment, Regan frowned to him again and then said, “You know your father won’t give you up once he’s sunk his claws into you again.” Looking back to Kaylee who was crying again, Regan wrapped an arm around the girl’s shoulder and pulled her to her side. “And you can’t leave this beautiful girl either.”
Rising, Simon allowed some of his frustration to surface. “I don’t want to, what makes you think this is a choice I’m making?” Looking to them both with an incredulous expression, he finally said, “I just have to get Rylee back.”
“Why don’t you let River and I worry about getting Rylee back?” Regan asked him, waiting for his reaction. She didn’t wait long.
“No, River is to go nowhere near Rylee or any member of my family.” His tone was hard and cold and Regan shivered despite herself. “Ever again,” he bit out with finality, his eyes matching his tone.
“You can’t blame her, Simon,” Regan told him, guessing from the way his body tensed it had been the wrong thing to say. “You can’t, son. She’s your best shot at getting Rylee back and you know it.”
Nodding in agreement, Kaylee turned her tear-filled eyes to him and said, “She’s right, Simon, you know she is.”
Shaking his head tiredly, Simon couldn’t believe this. “There was once a time when River needed rescuing, do either of you remember that?” His eyes blazed as they darted between the two women before him and he plowed ahead. “I can and I will protect my family and I will get Rylee back. I don’t need River to save us.”
“But I have to.”
The voice startled all three of them and it was Simon who reacted first. Looking to see his sister and Jayne standing in the doorway, he approached her quickly and growled, “Get out.”
Not moving, although she did flinch under the fire in his gaze, she shook her head slightly and said, “No, we have to make a plan. All of us, together.”
Edging towards her menacingly, Simon bit out, “No, River. You are not to be here. Do you understand me? Get out.” He placed a hand to her arm, determined to force her from the room, but with an equally strong grip, she pulled it away.
“No,” she told him again, and shoving him aside, she entered the room.
Seething with rage, Simon wanted to leave them there to their plotting, distance himself as far from his sister and her manipulations as possible, but as he looked back to Kaylee and her impossibly wide eyes, he knew he could not desert her now, not when he’d have to in just a few short days.
Returning to her side, Simon would not meet his sister’s gaze where she regarded them from just over their mother’s shoulder. Looking to Kaylee with a sorrowful gaze, she murmured, “I’m so sorry.”
“I don’t want to hear your apologies,” Simon muttered, his tone again cold. Looking to her for just a minute, he said, “I just want to know how you think you can fix this.”
Meeting his gaze, River told him simply, “I’m going to get Rylee back.”
“How?” Kaylee breathed, her hand clasping Simon’s with a bit of hope that made his stomach turn. How could she believe anything out of his sister’s mouth now?
“With mother’s help, if she’s willing,” River told her, looking to the woman.
Taking her hand, Regan squeezed it gently, and said, “Of course, dear, whatever you need.”
“You are insane if you think I’m going to trust you to get my daughter back.” Simon’s anger was on the rise and he stood now, pulling away from Kaylee as he again stared his sister down. “How do I know you won’t use her, again, to get what you want? How do I know you won’t sell her out for a shot of that antidote?”
Fighting back tears at the hate Simon was hurling at her, River shrugged and told him, “I guess you don’t. But I won’t, I wouldn’t, ever.” There was nothing she would be able to say in the next ten minutes or ten days that would convince him of how truly sorry she was. There was nothing she’d ever be able to say to regain his trust, she knew that. The only hope she had of mending the broken relationship with her brother was to bring his daughter back, safe and sound. And that’s exactly what she was going to do.
“I’m goin’ with her, doc,” Jayne added quietly, looking to Simon and wishing he’d divert those angry eyes in his direction for a change. River’s current hold on her sanity was tenuous at best and he didn’t need her snapping again. “We ain’t gonna do anythin’ to jeopardize Rylee, you gotta know that.”
Shaking his head sadly, Simon let his gaze roam the room slowly, stopping on each of their faces. Finally he muttered, “I don’t know anything anymore,” and he left the room, trying to ignore Kaylee’s cry for him to come back.
Looking to Regan with wide eyes, the older woman pressed a kiss to Kaylee’s temple and told her, “I’ll get him, dear. You just rest, all right?” Kaylee nodded once and then watched her go, leaving her in the room with River and Jayne.
An uncomfortable silence fell between them and it was River who had to break it first. “Kaylee, I know that –"
“River, you don’t have any idea what I’m feelin’ right now, so don’t try and tell me otherwise, dong ma?” Kaylee’s tone was harsh despite that tears that still ran down her face. As she turned her green eyes to her sister-in-law’s face, she did not relent as she continued. “I don’t know why you did what you did and I don’t rightly care. And if Simon decides he don’t want to ever see you again, I ain’t gonna try and talk him out of it.”
River had started to cry again, and she nodded once, still holding Kaylee’s cold gaze. Pausing for a moment, the other woman finally told her, “And if’n you don’t get Rylee back, I guarantee you, you ain’t never gonna see us or your nieces or nephews again.”
Stifling a fresh sob, River bolted from the room, leaving Jayne to throw Kaylee an annoyed look. Wagging a finger at him, she told him sternly, “Don’t look at me like that, Jayne Cobb. You know I’m right.”
Shaking his head, Jayne headed after River and called back to her, “Ain’t nothin’ ‘bout any o’ this that’s right.”
“Simon?” Regan watched as he stared out into the night, his arms crossed over his chest in a stance of pure defiance that she had seen many times before. With a heavy heart, she could only imagine the pain and anguish he was feeling right now and although she wanted to be hard on him for his behavior towards his sister, she knew she had no right.
“Leave me alone, mother.” His voice was still cold and Regan did not like it. She did know that one of the many things that set Simon apart from his father was his capacity to love. And she wanted to see that again, soon.
“You’re going to have bury your anger at River and trust her again, son,” she told him quietly, standing beside him at the porch’s railing and following his gaze into the dark. “I know you don’t want to and I know that it’s killing you, but you’re going to have to.”
Turning an incredulous look to her, Simon asked quietly, “How could you possibly now any of what I’m feeling right now?”
“Because my daughter was taken too once,” she reminded him in a small voice.
His eyes widening slightly, he paced away from her and told her bitterly, “The situations are totally different. You consented for River to go to that Academy.”
Nodding to him, Regan swallowed her tears and said, “Yes, I did. But I didn’t consent for you to kidnap her.”
More anger rising to the surface, Simon opened his mouth to rebut her statement, but she silenced him with an upraised hand. “That’s not what I meant, Simon and it’s not what I came out here to say.” Stepping towards him again, she placed her hands on his arms and told him quietly, “River, Jayne and I are going after Rylee and we will get her back. I trust your sister to do the right thing and you have to as well.” When Simon did not have an answer to that statement, she continued. “I can’t possibly apologize for all your father has done, all I have done, but Simon, you’re going to have to have faith in us.”
Simon held her gaze and wanted to dismiss her words. He wanted to tell her to go to hell and leave him be, but he knew he couldn’t. Despite his assertion of just a few minutes ago that he could protect his family, he knew that once he got on his father’s shuttle, his options would be slim to none. With a heavy sigh, he told her quietly, “I am going to have to get on that ship when it gets here.”
Nodding once, Regan told him, “I know that, but let’s not throw it in Kaylee’s face tonight, all right? She needs time, Simon, which I know you don’t have a lot of, but you can at least give her another day.”
Simon nodded once, and tried to smile through his fresh tears. Placing a hand to his cheek, Regan told him, “By the time you get to Osiris, we’ll have Rylee back and all of us will come back here and you’ll be with your family again. Just keep reminding yourself of that.”
Nodding again, Simon hugged her lightly and said, “Thank you.” Pulling back from her, he added, “I don’t want to know what you’re doing. It’ll be better if I don’t. Just bring her back, please.”
With that final plea, Simon kissed her cheek and walked away, heading back inside, no doubt to his wife’s side. Once he’d gone, Regan leaned heavily on the porch’s railing and sighed, wishing she felt half as confident as she had just sounded when reassuring her son.
Deciding that wallowing would get them nowhere, she straightened her shoulders and headed back to her ship, guessing River and Jayne were probably already waiting to take off.
Kaylee awoke the next morning in Simon’s arms and she breathed a sigh of relief. He had returned to her after the argument with his sister, apologizing and professing his love for her and their family over and over again. With more tears than she cared to remember, Kaylee had simply begged him to stay with her, to not make her suffer through the loss of him again and with kisses and a warm embrace Simon had tried to reassure her. Of course, every profession of his devotion was another reminder that their daughter was still out there, possibly suffering torture neither one of them could possibly understand and the knowledge that Kaylee might have to choose her husband or Rylee made her stomach turn uncomfortably.
Looking up into his face, she saw the salt stains down his cheeks and blinked back fresh tears of her own. This whole situation, all of it, was unbelievably painful and Kaylee only hoped that they would soon all be standing on the other side, safe and whole.
He stirred as she pressed a light kiss to the corner of his mouth and stretched at her side. “Good morning,” he told her, his voice still husky with sleep. Leaning towards her, he kissed her again, nice and deep and Kaylee returned the gesture. With new fear welling in her gut that any moment with Simon could be her last she wanted to be as close to him as possible at any given minute of the day.
Pulling back from her, Simon held her green-eyed gaze and caressed her cheek lightly. They sat there like that for minutes on end and finally, Simon whispered, “Feel like going for a walk?”
Her eyes lighting at the chance to see her two new babies, she asked, “Can I?”
Nodding once, Simon rolled off the bed and walked around to her other side as he explained. “Yes, in fact you should. It’s good after the surgery to get up and walking within a day.”
With a bit of hesitation, Kaylee watched as Simon pulled her covers back and helped swing her legs out over the edge of the bed. Leaning towards her, he pressed a kiss to her cheek and whispered to her, “Just wrap your arms around me, okay?”
“Don’t hafta tell me twice,” she teased, getting a slight chuckle from him. Placing her arms around his neck, she felt him brace her around the middle of her back and scoot her towards the edge of the bed, before pulling her up slowly into a standing position.
She swayed a bit on her feet, and cringed at the pain that shot through her middle, inhaling sharply as it subsided quickly. Looking down into her face, he asked her, “Are you okay?”
She nodded once, blinking back the few tears that the sharpness had brought to her eyes. Continuing to study her face, he told her gently, “This is probably going to be a little uncomfortable, but you need to get moving. We’ll go slow, all right?”
“I just wanna see the babies,” she told him, bringing her eyes back to his and smiling at him.
Returning the grin, he wrapped an arm around her waist and allowed her to lean against him heavily as they took slow steps out into the clinic. Millie was there, monitoring the twins as she had been for most of the past twenty-four hours. She smiled tiredly at them both as they entered the room, oblivious to most of what was happening, except for the fact that Rylee had been taken. Her smile was small, but warm and both Simon and Kaylee returned it.
As they made their way across the room to the incubators, Simon asked her, “How are they today?”
“The same,” she answered, yawning and stretching as she crossed the room ahead of them and laid out their charts so Simon could review them once he and Kaylee had made it.
Grimacing slightly to her, Simon did not like that answer. He’d hoped she’d tell him they were doing great, but he knew that in just twenty-four hours, that was a bit much to ask. Noticing as she yawned again, he told her, “Why don’t you go get some rest? Some real rest,” he added, as Millie opened her mouth to protest. “I’m not planning on going anywhere.”
Nodding, Millie could not argue the fact that she was tired. “All right, but I’ll be up with the lil’ ones, if’n you all need anythin’.”
Smiling their thanks to her, both Simon and Kaylee watched her go, even as they continued their slow pace across the room. Biting her lip in anticipation, Kaylee had just started to make out her son and daughter’s incredibly tiny forms in the plastic boxes before her and what she saw made her breath hitch in her throat.
As Simon brought her closer, Kaylee felt her heart thud against her rib cage with fear; they were too little, too sickly and Kaylee had not been prepared for that. Not noticing her distress, Simon guided her to a rocking chair that had been pushed between the incubators and helped her sit.
Reaching for their charts, Simon’s back was turned as Kaylee started to cry. Her eyes were fixed on her son’s small form. He was so tiny and the yellow tint to his skin made her stomach flip with disgust, knowing that her inability to carry them well or right had caused them to be in so much danger. And the little tube that snaked out his nose and down his face only made her feel worse. She had failed them, just as she had failed Rylee and the realization made her sadder than she had felt in days.
Turning back as he flipped through their vitals, Simon was talking as he regarded the notations there. “Well, it seems that the little guy here hasn’t had any –" He cut off as he raised his eyes back to Kaylee’s face and saw the look of anguish playing across her features.
Immediately kneeling in front of her, he cupped her cheek in his hand, even as Kaylee refused to remove her gaze from their son’s small form. “Bao bei, what is it?”
Tearing her eyes away from the baby finally, she looked at Simon and whispered, “I’m a bad mom.”
His eyes clouding with confusion, he asked her, “What? How can you say that?”
Her eyes drifting back to their son and then over to their daughter, she whispered, “Look at ‘em. They’re sick and tiny. I didn’t take good care of ‘em, Simon.”
Smiling at her with new understanding, Simon leaned forward and placed a kiss to her forehead as he wrapped her in a strong embrace. “That’s not true, Kaylee. You did everything you could for them. They’re going to be fine.”
Pulling back from him, she asked him quietly, “You know that for sure?”
Swallowing hard, Simon didn’t want to lie to her, but he also knew that at the moment, she probably couldn’t quite take the whole truth. “I know that they’re getting stronger and that our baby girl is breathing on her own,” he told her, grimacing as this last statement brought more tears to Kaylee’s eyes. “We just have to watch them. They’re going to need a lot of extra attention for a couple of months.”
Glancing back to them, Kaylee felt more tears come. Despite Simon’s assurances, she still felt terrible. She should have known better, taken better care of herself, eaten more – the list was endless. With a renewed sadness, she reached out a shaky hand to her son’s encased form and felt her fingers hit the cold plastic.
“I wanna hold ‘im,” she murmured, not looking to Simon.
Giving her a quizzical look, Simon told her quietly, “You can’t, Kaylee, not yet. They’re not strong enough.”
With a fearful gaze she told him urgently, “But I gotta, Simon. They gotta know that I’m here and I love ‘em. They gotta know not to be scared.” Her voice dissolved into sobs, and she tried to push past him and stand, but he refused to let her up.
Again embracing her tight, Simon rocked her a bit, even as she struggled against him, “Simon, please. They’re all alone. They gotta be so scared.” As she continued to protest, Simon had to wonder how much of her grief was directed to the twins and how much of it was directed to Rylee. Guessing it was a pretty fair 50/50 split, he just held her tighter to him and tried to reassure her.
“They’re going to be all right, Kaylee, all of them,” he whispered into her hair, wishing he had more for her than words, wishing he could just snap his fingers and bring Rylee back to her arms. “Bao bei, calm down for me, please? It’s not good for you to be so worked up.”
Kaylee sobbed a bit more and then winced against him, pulling back out of his arms, her hands flying to her stomach. His concern skyrocketing, Simon looked to her and said, “What? What is it?”
“It really hurts, Simon,” she told him breathlessly, her eyes scrunched against the pain.
Lifting up her night gown, Simon saw the blood that was soaking her seat and immediately knew that all of this had been too much for his wife, too soon. Swallowing past his immediate fear, he told her, “Kaylee, just breathe for me all right?”
She obeyed his request, sitting back against the chair and keeping her eyes closed against the pain. Rising, he rushed about collecting some gauze pads and going back to her. Pressing against the flow of blood, Kaylee cried out again and he winced at the sound, murmuring, “Sorry,” as he prayed he could get the blood to stop. He knew that women bled after pregnancy, it was fairly common, however, with a c-section the chance of hemorrhage was greater and Simon did not have the blood available for a transfusion should Kaylee need it. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw the stack of equipment and supplies his mother had brought and thought fleetingly that he really needed to take inventory of it.
Looking back to Kaylee, he saw that she was again breathing normally. Pulling away the gauze from her, he felt confident that he had stopped the bleeding. Discarding the dirty materials and washing his hands quickly, Simon came back to her and rested a hand against her cheek. Her eyes fluttered open to meet his gaze and when she looked at him, he saw more tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry, Simon.”
“For what, bao bei?” he asked her quietly, not at all liking the look of pure sadness that had seeped into her features.
“For not takin’ better care o’ myself or the babies,” she sobbed, her cries much quieter than they had been before as her body felt the effects of losing so much blood.
Kissing her lightly, Simon stood and gathered her in his arms, whispering into her hair, “You did everything right, Kaylee. You are the best mom in the ‘verse, you know that.”
She tried to argue with him, but she was so tired, she couldn’t form the words. Simon carried her back to her bed and changed her out of her dirty pajamas, taking extra care to bathe her first with a warm rag. Kaylee was barely awake as he tended to her, but when she finally managed to open her sleepy eyes to him, she saw his gaze full of tears staring back at her. Taking her hand in his, he kissed it gently and whispered, “I love you so much.”
Smiling at him Kaylee murmured, “Love you,” before her tired body and her exhausted heart finally took her for sleep.
Simon watched her eyes drift closed and breathed a huge sigh of relief once he knew she was asleep. With fresh fear welling in his chest, he rose and found some of the data his mother had brought him. Sitting in the chair at her bedside, he started reading about post-surgery complications, hoping he might be able to prevent something like this from happening again.
“They’re real small,” Mimi breathed, standing on her tiptoes to see into the plastic boxes that held her newest cousins.
Inara took her hand and drew her back slowly, murmuring quietly, “Yes, baby, they are.”
Glancing to Mal, she watched as he studied the newborn girl’s tiny form and she had to wonder what exactly he was thinking. They had come down to the clinic to speak with Simon and Kaylee, but as they had yet to visit with the new babies, they had paused at the sight of them and how little they were.
Watching him for a second more, Inara finally called, “Mal?”
Blinking quickly, Mal shook his head to pull himself out of his reverie and crossed to her side, pressing a kiss to her temple. “Yeah, darlin’, I know, we need to see Simon.”
“Well, here I am.”
“Uncle Simon,” Mimi squealed at the sight of him. Rushing forward, she launched herself into his arms and Simon obligingly picked her up, swinging her about. Hugging her to him, both Mal and Inara saw the regret that clouded his eyes as he no doubt was reminded of his own missing daughter as Mimi continued to giggle in his embrace. “Your new babies is real tiny,” she told him truthfully. “But they’re pretty.”
Kissing her cheek, Simon told her, “Well, thank you, Miss Mimi, I’ll tell Aunty Kaylee you said so.”
Pouting the girl asked, “Can’t I see her?”
Smiling sadly at her, Simon said, “No, sweetheart, she’s sleeping. But you can come by and see her later, okay?”
With a sigh, the girl screwed up her face and said softly, “Okay.”
“All right, that’s enough visiting,” Inara told her daughter, moving forward and taking her from Simon. Setting her on her feet, Inara kissed her daughter on the top of her head and told her, “I think Rie Rie told me she was making some chocolate cake.”
“Ooh, chocolate,” the little girl exclaimed and without a look back, she ran to the door, pulled it open and was gone.
Smiling after her, Simon moved to shut the door behind her and then leaned heavily against it, studying his two friends. He had not seen Inara for more than a few minutes since he’d asked her to lead the search party for Rylee and he smiled tiredly at her, before turning the same weary look to Mal.
“How’re you doin’, Simon?” Mal asked him, noting the fatigue that seemed to permeate the doc’s entire body. “How’s lil’ Kaylee?”
Sighing, Simon decided he’d much rather talk about his wife, than himself. Moving towards them, he went back to studying his infants’ monitors as he said, “She’s sleeping at the moment, thankfully. I had her come out today and see the twins and I don’t think it was the best idea.”
Making a few notes, he finally turned to regard them again and met Inara’s quizzical look. “Why not?”
“She’s blaming herself for their health,” he admitted, wishing he could have predicted that would be her reaction; he would never have brought her by so soon if he’d have guessed.
“Well, that’s just ridiculous, Simon,” Inara told him, moving forward and placing a hand on his arm. “She’s just overly emotional right now, with all that’s happening. She’ll be all right.”
“You think so?” Simon asked skeptically, giving Inara his best grimace before also throwing it to Mal. “Because I’m not so sure.”
“Hey now, don’t be talkin’ like that,” Mal admonished him, stepping closer and placing an arm around Inara’s shoulders. “River an’ Jayne an’ your ma, they’re gonna get Rylee back, you’ll see.”
Sighing heavily, Simon stepped away from them and went across the room to the couch and sat down on it wearily. Tipping his head back, he squeezed the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger and wished the simple move could remove some of the pressure there. When it didn’t work, he finally said, “Yes, they might, but – I don’t think you understand everything that’s happening.” Looking back to them, he explained quickly, “My father is sending a shuttle for me in five days and if I don’t get on it …” He trailed off, unable to finish the statement as he thought of Kaylee just a few feet away and his son and newborns.
Unaware of this new wrinkle, Mal took a step closer to his friend, even as Inara moved to sit by him on the couch. Looking to them both with a sad expression, Mal told him, “I think you better start at the beginning, doc. We’re gonna need all the facts if’n we’re gonna work a plan.”
Simon very much doubted there was a plan to be worked, but he indulged them, recounting his conversation with his father, his mother and his sister from just the day before. Inara’s eyes widened as he revealed each new complication, and at the knowledge of his father’s demand for him to return to Osiris, she finally allowed her fearful eyes to fall to Mal. She watched the set of his jaw harden and lock, and she knew that while she was only growing fearful for both Simon and Kaylee as the moments passed, he was just getting angrier.
Once silence had again descended upon them, it was Inara who was able to find her voice first. Reaching out a hand to Simon’s shoulder, she waited until he had turned his tired blue eyes to her and told him earnestly, “You can’t get on that shuttle.”
Shaking his head slowly, Simon sighed heavily and said, “I don’t see as I have much of a choice, Inara. The best thing to do is play along until I know for sure that Rylee is safe.”
“And what makes you think your pa ain’t gonna have thought o’ that?” Mal asked him, his tone a bit more biting than he’d intended. As Simon’s confused gaze met his, Mal told him, “Look, I ain’t sayin’ I’m half as smart as you or your sis, but your pa, I think I understand. And what makes you think he ain’t gonna have Feds on that boat ready to start playin’ with your brain the minute you set foot on it?”
Simon’s mind reeled at this assumption and he realized with self-disgust, he had not even considered the possibility until now – but it did make perfect sense, Mal was right and it would be exactly the type of thing his father would think to do.
“If it brings Rylee back, it doesn’t matter what they do to me,” Simon muttered bitterly. “And honestly, I don’t even want to think about what my father will do if I don’t go.”
Kaylee’s weak voice startled them all and Simon launched himself off the couch and to her side in an instant, but as he brought an arm to her, trying to steady her, she backed away from him, fear burning in her eyes. Looking to him, she whispered, “You said you weren’t gonna go. You said you couldn’t.”
Fighting back tears, Simon reached for her again, but she again flinched away from him. Allowing his hands to drop to his sides, he said quietly, “I can’t, I don’t want to, but I might have to, Kaylee.”
More tears fell down her face as she shook her head violently from side to side. “No, no,” she muttered over and over again, backing up with tiny steps from Simon even as he again tried to steady her.
Noticing her friend’s distress, Inara rose and moved to her side, placing an arm around her shoulders. “Come on, mei mei, let’s get you back to bed. We can talk about this a little later.”
“No, we’re gonna talk about it now,” Kaylee bit out, her tone more forceful than any of them had suspected. With hurt and angry eyes, she brought her gaze back to Simon and whispered vehemently, “How can you even think of leavin’ us?”
Blinking back tears, Simon reached for her, saying, “Kaylee-“ and then stopped as he watched her stumble in Inara’s grasp. Rushing to her, Simon gripped her hands in his and watched as her face paled, turning whiter than anything he’d ever seen. “Kaylee,” he asked her urgently. “Kaylee, can you hear me?”
“You can’t go,” she whispered once more, before her head fell back and she went limp in Inara’s grasp, her friend’s arm and Simon’s grip the only thing that prevented her from falling to the floor.
“Kaylee!” His voice was loud and insistent, but it did not wake her. Looking hurriedly to Mal, the other man came in a second, relieving Inara’s hold on their friend and helping Simon get her to the exam table. As the two men took her away, Inara allowed her gaze to fall to the floor, trying fervently to blink away her own tears and the sight there brought a hand to her mouth.
Looking back up to Mal and Simon as they doted on Kaylee’s unconscious form, she called shakily, “Simon?”
Meeting her gaze, he could read her fear and rushed over, following the shaky finger she had pointed at the pool of blood under where Kaylee had been standing moments before. Eliciting a string of curses that neither Mal nor Inara had even thought the doc knew, Simon rushed back to Kaylee’s side and started barking orders.
“Inara, I need you to get Winnie and Thom. Kaylee’s going to need a transfusion and I’m going to pray that one of them is a match.” Inara nodded once and rushed from the room, running as fast as her legs would allow, while Simon turned to Mal and said, “I need you to get Millie for me. She’s probably asleep in the house.”
Mal nodded once and thought of trying to say something to ease the young man’s fear. Knowing there were no words in the ‘verse that strong, he left hurriedly, and Simon was again alone with his unconscious wife.
Hooking her up to IVs and monitors, he watched her breathe in and out, her chest rising and dipping shallowly as her body fought to stabilize. Kissing her forehead lightly, Simon murmured to her, “Kaylee, you’ve got to stay with me, bao bei. I can’t lose you.” He received no response, and fighting the urge to sob against her, went back to his preparations.
As soon as Millie arrived, she assessed the situation and joined him at his side, working diligently and following his orders to the letter. Mal stood back, unable to walk away and looked to the door as Inara returned just a minute after him with Winnie and Thom at her heels.
At the sight of Kaylee’s distressed form, Winnie cried out and rushed to her side. “Oh, my baby!” Looking to Simon, she asked fearfully, “What’s the matter, son?”
“She’s hemorrhaging, badly,” Simon explained tensely. Looking to Winnie, he asked, “Do you know your blood type?”
Nodding, Winnie gazed back to her daughter’s face, knowing her answer would not be the one Simon was looking for. “It’s AB.”
Grimacing, Simon turned his concerned look to Thom and the man shook his head sadly. “Sorry, son, but I’m A positive. We can’t help ya.”
Nodding once, Simon felt his heart sink to his feet. Looking around helplessly, his eyes again caught the sight of the medicines from his mother. With one fleeting hope welling in his chest, he rushed to the crates and found one that looked suspiciously like a mini-cryo unit. Saying a silent prayer that the Shepherd was indeed looking out for them, Simon hit the few buttons on the built in monitor and read the boxes contents.
With a satisfied smile on his face, he turned back to Millie as he hefted the container to Kaylee’s side. “Remind me to thank my mother when she gets back,” he muttered to the woman.
Reading what Simon had, she grinned at him as well, and then moved over to the stack of equipment, finding the corresponding tools they’d need to start Kaylee’s transfusion.
Looking to his family, Simon told them, “It’s probably best if you all step out. I’ll come and get you as soon as she’s stable.”
Reluctantly, the four of them headed out the door. Mal was the last one to go and he stopped short as Daniel’s small form collided with his legs. Seeing his grandparents and Inara all congregated on the porch of the clinic had set his five-year-old heart to pounding and now he struggled to move past his uncle so he could get inside.
Reaching down and picking the boy up even as he struggled, Daniel wailed, “Uncle Mal, I want to see my mama.”
“You can’t, son,” Mal told him quietly, walking away from the group and around the side of the house, trying to quiet him.
“But I want to,” he cried again, his body beginning to convulse with sobs as the stress from the past few days caught up with him.
“I know, darlin’, but you can’t. Your mama ain’t feelin’ well and your pa’s gotta help her.” Mal held him tight to his chest, feeling the boy’s small form heave with sobs. “As soon as we can see her, I’ll take you in there, okay?”
Still not happy about it, but knowing he had no other choice, Daniel nodded sullenly against Mal’s chest and reached his arms up and around the man’s neck. Rubbing his back, Mal found one of the rocking chairs on the side of the porch and sat heavily with the boy in his lap. He had no idea how long they were there, until Inara came looking for them, having watched Mal walk away with the distraught boy, her own gaze full of tears for their mei mei’s family.
Seeing the scene before her, Inara moved to Mal’s side and placed a kiss to his temple, before placing one in Daniel’s hair. Looking up to her, Mal smiled sadly and murmured, “When is this all gonna end?”
Sighing heavily, Inara knelt at his side and placed a light hand to his arm, her eyes locked on his. Shaking her head, she whispered, “I have no idea.”
Saturday, September 23, 2006 6:07 PM
Saturday, September 23, 2006 6:12 PM
Saturday, September 23, 2006 6:20 PM
Saturday, September 23, 2006 6:32 PM
Saturday, September 23, 2006 6:34 PM
Saturday, September 23, 2006 7:07 PM
Sunday, September 24, 2006 12:08 AM
Sunday, September 24, 2006 12:33 AM
Sunday, September 24, 2006 4:48 AM
Sunday, September 24, 2006 6:28 AM
Sunday, September 24, 2006 6:33 AM
Monday, October 2, 2006 3:29 AM
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