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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
The Shepherd tries to get some of the crew to confide in him. While Simon continues repaying his dare. Sequel to 'Kiss' and 'Wet'.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1673 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
This is part of a prompt table I am working on. You can find it Here.
All the stories from it are standalones unless otherwise noted.
This is a sequel to ‘Kiss’ and ‘Wet’. Please read them first before reading this one.
This is attempt at writing more Book into a story as he is not in any way a strength of mine. Plus, I thought it was fitting that he'd try to counsel some of the crew on matters of the heart.
After the hilarious story surrounding the Captain and Inara’s dare, which Simon was grateful took any possible questioning off of what had or hadn’t happened with he and Kaylee the night before, Simon took River to the infirmary to continue with his testing.
Kaylee’d smiled at him encouragingly when he left, making him feel even more uncomfortable as he led his protesting sister out of the room.
Throughout the day, River tried to put him in a position where he’d need to talk to Kaylee, but he’d found all manner of ways to avoid it and he was all too happy when River had consented to lie down for a nap. She was getting better, her lucid periods and the way she’d handled Early a few weeks ago, proof that his treatments were working – somewhat.
His head in his hands, Simon didn’t hear the Shepherd approach until the man had joined him on the couch in the common room.
Simon’s head snapped up and he grinned wryly. “No more difficult than yesterday, or the day before.”
“You look tired, son. Everything else all right?” Book maintained that innocent look on his face but it was very clear to Simon that the man was prying for info.
But Simon refused to play along. He’d already been berated incessantly by Jayne all morning with his not-so-thinly-disguised attempts at finding out what had happened after he and Kaylee had gone to bed.
“Trying to find a cure for River is quite draining.”
“I imagine it is.”
The two sat in silence for a few moments before Simon leaned his head back against the couch, closed his eyes and said, “But thanks for your concern.”
Book smiled knowingly. “I’m here if you need anything.”
Simon popped one eye open and stared skeptically at the Preacher. “Oh, I don’t think there’s anything you can help with at this point.”
Book clasped both hands around his bible. “Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure about that. There are a great many passages in the bible about affairs of the heart and –”
Simon sighed, knowing where this was leading. He just wasn’t in the mood. “I don’t want to talk about it, Shepherd.”
“That’s obvious, son.” Book patted the younger man’s knee and stood, unwilling to push too hard. If and when Simon wanted to talk, he’d be there.
Book turned and glanced down at Simon, who was looking up at him with a small smile. “For what? I haven’t done anything yet.”
The older man chuckled and turned to leave, but added as he walked away, “Remember not to look this particular – gift horse in the mouth doctor.”
Simon stared after the Preacher for a long time thinking on just that very thing.
“Ain’t nothin’ to tell, ‘Nara,” Kaylee flopped down onto the couch beside her friend and pouted for a moment. But nothing could keep her perpetually good cheer at bay for long as she added, “But I wanna hear all about the game after we left.”
Inara laughed daintily. “I told you everything already.”
“Nuh uh. I think there’s more.” Kaylee slid closer, an expectant look on her face. “Why didn’t you give the Cap his foot bath in here? In – private.” Kaylee winked slyly at her friend and Inara rolled her eyes.
“He wanted to one-up me, mei mei. And I most certainly wasn’t going to let Malcolm Reynolds have the satisfaction.”
It was Kaylee’s turn to roll her eyes. “You two are worse than me an’ Simon.”
Inara leaned back and smoothed the folds of her dress. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“’Course ya don’t. Neither does Simon. An’ I wanna hit him upside the head sometimes too.”
Inara raised an eyebrow and leaned forward, hoping to distract Kaylee. “Speaking of – how did last night go?”
Kaylee scowled. “Told ya. Nothin’ happened. We was so drunk we just fell asleep.”
“Well, you’ve got six more nights to go.” Inara nudged playfully.
Kaylee turned an exasperated look on her friend. “I may tie him to my bed and have my way with him, he don’t make a move by then.”
Inara laughed and dropped her hand to Kaylee’s knee, her expression sobering instantly. “There may be other reasons he’s not – made a move.”
Kaylee’s eyes narrowed and she inhaled sharply. “Ai ya, Don’t even think that, ‘Nara! Would be such a shame. Such a swai man like him bein’ –” She shook her head, refusing to even entertain the notion.
But now that Inara had put it in her head, she was going to think about the possibilities all day long.
“No Preacher, so don’t ask.” Mal rolled his eyes and continued with his Captain-y duties; which, at the moment, included putting some much needed distance from the nosy Shepherd.
“You seem tense, Captain.”
Mal turned and scowled at him. “That’s because I ain’t fond a no shipboard relationships.” He turned away and kept walking, knowing Book was at his heels. “Damn the doc for taking that dare.”
Book restrained himself from chuckling with Herculean effort. “You don’t know anything happened last night.”
Mal stopped, turned and regarded the Shepherd with an exasperated glare. “No, I’m thinkin’ it didn’t, which makes things all manner of uncomfortable ‘round here now.”
Book nodded slowly, understanding. “Ahh. I see.”
“They coulda done it an’ gotten it over with but no, that prissy doc has to go and be all gentlemanly. Make Kaylee even more bibbly-eyed over him.” He stared Book in the eyes. “I really hate that man sometimes.”
Book finally had to chuckle. “You’re an amazing contrast of emotion, Captain.”
“Why thank you. Show’s at seven, don’t be late.” He turned to walk away but Book’s next words stopped him.
The older man found it increasingly hard not to laugh outright at the Captain’s behavior. “Perhaps all of this emotion, about everyone else’s interpersonal relationships, is hiding some truer feelings you’d rather keep hidden.”
Mal whirled on the man and actually laughed. “Yes, I harbor deep and meaningful feelings for Simon. I honestly think I love him. Truly. You’ve found me out.”
Book rolled his eyes at Mal’s attempt to divert his attention. What was it about this damn crew? Emotionally stunted, all of them.
"Oh, that revelation would most certainly break Kaylee's heart while I'm fairly convinced it would cause Simon to throw himself out the airlock." Book paused, judging Mal's countenance by the small smirk he'd allowed to grace his lips.
“Might ease some of my problems with the doc out of the picture,” came Mal’s quick retort, though he did regret the words the moment they’d left his lips. Trouble the doc and his sis might be, they were crew and he’d miss them if they were gone – mostly.
"I'd rather stop seeing you avoid your emotions, Captain. Contents under pressure will eventually explode," he added knowingly, watching as Mal's blue eyes widened and then narrowed. “The tension is so thick on this ship you couldn’t cut it with the sharpest laser saw.” Book stared pointedly at Mal until the man averted his eyes.
“So I should profess my undying love and break lil’ Kaylee’s heart?” Mal asked with all seriousness.
Book wanted to strangle the man but refrained as he continued to go on and on about Simon. It was easy to read through the lines, but if the Captain wanted to substitute Simon’s name for Inara’s, then perhaps he’d me more willing to accept some counseling. But before the Shepherd could even suggest such a thing, Mal continued.
“Tempted to pay for the doc to get some at our next stop.”
Book swallowed a disgusted retort and instead settled for, “Kaylee would be mighty upset with you over that.”
“Yeah, upset I didn’t pay for her to get some too, no doubt.” He turned on his heel and walked away, leaving the Shepherd shaking his head behind him at the entire situation.
As evening approached, Book returned to the Infirmary where Simon was still pouring over test results and medical journals.
“River down for the night?” he asked, stepping into the doctor’s sanctuary.
“Yes.” Simon didn’t even bother to look up.
“Best you head to bed then. Get some sleep,” Book encouraged with a small smile.
Simon chuckled and shook his head. “We all know sleep is the last thing I’ll be getting for the next week.”
“No, please,” Simon lifted his head and held up a hand. “I don’t want to discuss it.”
As Simon turned and walked away, Book shook his head, thinking, No one else wants to talk about it either. Only person routinely displaying any kind of emotion is the crazy one.
After Simon had done everything he possibly could to distract himself from going to bed, exhaustion finally made the decision for him. He climbed down into Kaylee’s bunk, not at all surprised that she was already there, the lights dimmed so that he could see where he was going.
He was tempted to just grab a blanket and sleep on the floor, but he also knew she’d be real upset with him if he did that and – truth be told, he did want to sleep next to her.
So, hours later, Simon lay with his back toward Kaylee, fulfilling, for the rest of the week, his promised dare. He’d made sure River was well taken care of, with Book and Inara watching over her, but he still felt guilty for leaving her in their care – all so that he wouldn’t have to listen to the ribbing if he did not complete the dare.
Simon couldn’t think of anything more difficult than lying in bed with the pretty mechanic and being unable to roll over and touch her, kiss her. That would cross a line that Simon just couldn’t do right now.
And if he stopped to think about why he was so willing to work off the remainder of the dare, even though River’s tantrums provided an adequate excuse to get out of it, it was because he really wanted to spend some more time with Kaylee.
He’d gotten his wish – in spades.
He hadn’t seen her until dinner, as they’d both been caught up in their respective jobs; Kaylee with repairs and Simon dealing with his sister’s treatments. Well – and putting off anyone who so much as thought to ask him about last night. He briefly wondered if Kaylee had gone through the same attempted inquisition.
But now, the lights had been dimmed and the two were lying in the small bunk, no portion of their bodies even touching. He’d just gotten the frantic beating of his heart under control; had forced his eyes closed and his body not to respond to the unnatural heat radiating off her, when her voice pierced the semi-darkness.
“Simon?” She didn’t even ask if he was awake. She could see the tension coiled in his body.
From his precarious position on the bed, Simon cleared his throat and answered. “Yes?”
“Am I pretty?”
Simon’s heart began racing again as he struggled to come up with a suitable answer that wouldn’t get him kicked out of bed or pinned to it beneath the very sexy mechanic. Not that the later option was a particularly unpleasant notion but –
“Why do you ask, Kaylee?” He kept very still; kept his arms crossed and his body teetering on the edge of the small bunk. He could feel Kaylee shift in the bed and tensed when she leaned over him.
‘’Cause ya act like I got the plague or somethin’.”
He could detect the sadness in her voice and wished with everything he was that he could roll over and assure her in every way possible that she was the prettiest woman he had ever seen. But he couldn’t. He knew if he started down that path, he wouldn’t be able to stop. And he’d vowed to himself that River would be his first priority until he could find a way to cure her.
“Or do ya just not like girl folk?”
Simon coughed and rolled over quickly to dispel the notion that he was sly, when he came nose to nose with her worried face.
“I’m not – “ he cleared his throat, trying to remember what he’d planned to say. But her beautiful eyes and her expressive features once again tied his tongue. “I don’t –“
He could see the disappointment she tried to mask as she leaned away from him. “Its okay, Simon. I didn’t know.”
He lay there immobilized for a moment as the impact of her words sunk into his addled brain. “No – that’s not it, Kaylee.” He reached out, his fingers sliding around her wrist. “I – you –“ He cursed his inability to talk to this pretty woman as his eyes fell from her face. “I’m not sly. That’s not –“
“You’re not?” Hope lit Kaylee’s eyes and when he returned his gaze to her face was rendered nearly breathless.
He chuckled, despite himself. “No. Kaylee.”
She scooted closer, so close he could feel the heat from her body seeping in through his clothes. “I just –“ he cleared his throat. “River – she needs – and I can’t –“ he stopped, unable to look away from the mouth hovering so close to his. He could feel her breath on his cheek, the fingers as they slid into his hand, and all of a sudden he couldn’t resist the incredible temptation lying right in front of him.
All of the pent up and frustrated emotion leapt out of him like a magnet drawing its opposite and he wrapped his free hand around the back of her neck and drew her head closer. The motion was quick and he could not only hear her startled gasp, but feel her surprise as his mouth covered hers.
That momentary tension gave way to a flood of emotion as she sank against him with a long sigh. Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck and he was instantly swept up in the euphoric tide of touching her, kissing her, the intoxicating scent of her coiling its tendrils around him. Her warm, supple body pressing against his was enough to melt the tension right out of him and he groaned against her mouth.
He kissed her, soft and gentle but with a building desire that he knew, in the back of his brilliant mind, once unleashed would incinerate them both. It was with that shred of knowledge that he tried to pull away, tried to put some distance between her mouth and his. But the magnet was too strong. It kept them crushed together, panting from lack of oxygen.
Simon wanted to damn the consequences of his actions; deal with them in the morning. His hands skimmed down her neck to her shoulders and below, over the soft mounds of her breasts with their pert nipples that caught on the fabric as his fingers passed over them. He wanted to deny there was nothing between them, wanted to think that he simply needed comfort and she was there to provide it.
It would be easier.
But nothing in his life had come easy since he’d freed River from the Academy.
As Kaylee lifted her leg over his hip and pressed her body more firmly against him, Simon came to his senses. He couldn’t use Kaylee in this way. He wasn’t that kind of man. Despite how desperately he wanted to be tonight.
With every ounce of strength remaining in his highly aroused body, he released her lips and leaned so far back from her that he nearly fell off the bed.
He couldn’t believe he’d just given into such base feelings and desires. He didn’t know how to explain and he didn’t know how to apologize. But he had to try. He lifted his head and looked at her, heart threatening to pound its way out of his throat. “Kaylee – I –“
“If you apologize for this, I’m gonna smack you in the head with my biggest wrench.” Her voice carried with it a mixture of awe that he had initiated the kiss and annoyance that he had been the one to stop it.
“Kaylee, this isn’t something that I –“ He couldn’t look at her. Instead, his eyes focused on an object over her head, some souvenir from some distant world that was unabashedly something Kaylee would own. “I’m not – I don’t–“ He broke off, taking a deep, calming breath.
His body still tingled with the feel of her, and he craved, so much he could taste it, to kiss her again, make love to her for what remained of the night. “River – I – I have to take care of her.” He fell back on his old excuse. But one that was very relevant and one that made his heart ache whenever he thought about the two women. “I don’t have time – I can’t –“
River deserved his whole heart, deserved his unyielding attention, as he tried to fix her. And Kaylee deserved the very same thing, but for different reasons. He couldn’t split himself between them. It wouldn’t be fair.
“I understand.” Kaylee said softly, reaching out to trail her fingers down his cheek. Her eyes were open, inviting, and even a bit hopeful and Simon felt safe and loved when he looked into them.
“She’s all I have,” Simon continued, reaching up to twirl lock of her hair around his finger. He had to touch her, just in some way. She was a drug, and now that he’d had a taste, a small sampling, he wanted more – so much more. And he couldn’t help but think it wasn’t fair that he had to deny her.
“You got me.” Her voice was a mere whisper but it resounded like the loudest boom in his ears.
Simon shook his head, trying to deny her words, but when his mouth opened, the words that came out completely betrayed the implication of his shaking head. “I know. But I – River. She deserves my whole heart, everything I can give to her to make her whole, heal her. And you – you deserve all of me. All of my loyalty and – my love. I can’t –“ he glanced away, willing his heart to slow, hoping his overly brilliant brain could explain this without screwing it up and upsetting her even more. “I can’t give you that right now.” He took a deep breath and glanced at her. “I don’t know when I’ll be able to – if I’ll be – I want this – us, to be more than one night. More than just – casual and –“
The hopeful look in her eyes caused his heart to skip a few beats. “But – we got tonight, right?” She leaned forward and boldly kissed the corner of his mouth.
His arms came down around her and held her tightly, his answer seemingly apparent in that simple gesture. She laid her head down on his chest but before he could speak, to confirm or deny her question, the com to Kaylee’s bunk crackled to life and behind the urgent voice of the Shepherd they could hear River’s screams echo through the small room.
Simon was out of bed instantly, muttering apologies to Kaylee even as he made his way to the ladder and ascended it without looking back.
Kaylee watched him for a long moment and then closed her eyes, fighting the sadness that filled her heart. Untold moments later, a small, tentative smile began to spread across her face and she touched her fingers to her lips, reliving his kiss, trembling as she remembered the feel of his arms around her, his mouth moving against hers.
Ever the optimist, Kaylee glanced at the ladder hoping that one day he would be back and that they could spend countless nights together – uninterrupted.
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