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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
Mal and Inara come up with a plan (sorta) and Kaylee shocks the hell out of Simon...
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1504 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Life’s Too Short- Part Twenty-Five
AN: Sorry it's kinda short; I'm sleepy and I have next to no time to write, but I wanted to get back into the habit of posting weekly if I can. The poem is Shakespeare's Sonnet 116, and the little rhyme Kaylee recites is my own (pathetic, okay) creation.
“Jayne? Zoe! Bridge, now!” Mal’s voice rang through the air, shattering the uneasy silence. He was sitting in the pilot’s seat, Inara curled up in the copilot’s chair. There was a new, softer peace between them, but Mal was filled with too much adrenaline and nervous energy to enjoy it as much as he normally would. With a series of clangs and bangs, Jayne made his way up the stairs to the bridge. Zoe followed at a more stately pace, her dark eyes unreadable. She positioned herself behind Mal’s chair, cutting a lean, determined figure with her arms crossed and her chin set.
“We’ve found a contact on Persephone, one who we think is dealing directly with Saunders,” Inara said. “If we can find-” Just then, Simon ran up the few steps leading to the bridge and skidded to a halt, breathing hard.
“What have you found? Do you know where River is? What’s going on?” Kaylee appeared in the doorway behind him, her cheeks flushed from running.
“We heard ya shouting, Cap’n. What’s up?” Mal rolled his eyes expressively, and glanced at Inara. She began again.
“We think we know where River’s going. She’s going to find a man named Kyle Tremain, on Persephone. He’s connected to Saunders.”
“How do you know River won’t go directly to Saunders himself?”
“I doubt she’ll just charge in. Besides, chances are she doesn’t know where Saunders is.”
“How does she know where this Tremain person is?” Mal tilted his head.
“Well, he does Saunders’ dirty work. So he’s probably lookin’ for her, meaning he’s probably thinkin’ about her real hard. Being a Reader an’ all, she’s probably picking up on that. Either way, Tremain can lead us to Saunders.”
“Persephone,” Kaylee said, looking around at the faces turning her way. “That’s not too far from here.”
“Right,” Jayne grunted. “So let’s go.”
“Hang on,” Mal stated, turning to switch his gaze between Inara and Kaylee. “Got some more things to say. When we dock on Persephone, Kaylee and ‘Nara are gonna leave the ship.” He held up a hand to stave off protests, shaking his head. “It’s decided, and nothing anybody says is gonna change that. Doc, you can go with ‘em if you want, but I figured you’d want to go get your sister. Only one what can calm her down, too. So the two of you,” he continued, gesturing between Kaylee and Inara, “are gonna get a room, set yourselves up nice-like, and stay safe. We’ll go after River and Saunders. Now, I figure we’re ‘round two hours from Persephone, so get yourselves packed.” With a wave of his hand, Mal dismissed his ragtag crew, sending them off in various directions. Inara laid a hand on his shoulder comfortingly, and the warmth of her fingers lingered after she’d disappeared through the doorway. Zoe was the only one who stayed.
“You sure that’s wise, sir? Leaving Inara and Kaylee alone on Persephone?”
“They can handle themselves on a main planet like that,” Mal replied easily. “They’ll be okay.”
* * * *
“It’ll only be for a few days.”
“I know. Just… you never know what you’re gonna need, right?” Kaylee folded another pair of clothes into her bag, hands trembling slightly.
“Kaylee…” Simon came up behind her, taking her shoulders and turning her around to face him. “Are you okay with this? Do…” He paused, swallowing hard. “Do you want me to stay with you?” For a moment, Kaylee stared at him in utter astonishment. That Simon would offer to put her over his sister… well, that was just… but no, no, she couldn’t even think to ask him such a thing!
“No! No, Simon, you gotta go help River! She’s your sister, sweetie, and she needs you. ‘Sides, me’n ‘Nara can have a grand old time on Persephone. We’ll… we’ll go shopping, and go to spas, and sit in fancy hotel rooms that leave you those nice little gift baskets on the beds. Drink champagne and everything.” Simon smiled, but the worried look didn’t leave his eyes. She wasn’t telling him something.
“Do you want me to help you pack?” Ever since they’d returned from hearing the Captain’s announcement, Kaylee had rushed around the room, not allowing him to touch anything as she put it into her bags. She looked around sheepishly and shrugged.
“I guess so. Yeah, that’d be okay.” He kissed her nose and moved to rifle through one of his own bags. Simon pulled out a thin paperback book and handed it to her. Kaylee smiled down at the book, turning it over in her hands to read the title: Sonnets by William Shakespear.
“They’re poems,” he said shyly. “I’ve bookmarked my favorites. Love poems, mostly. They make me think of you, so I thought, when you were on Persephone, you could read them and think of me.” Kaylee burst into tears and flung her arms around Simon’s neck, sobbing into his shoulder. He returned the embrace hesitantly, uncertain as to whether her tears were ‘good tears’ or ‘bad tears’.
“Um… not exactly the response I was going for, but-”
“Oh, Simon, that’s so sweet! I’ll read them, I promise!”
“Bao bei,” he murmured, “it’s gonna be okay.” She drew back, leaving her arms around his neck.
“But… how can you be sure? I mean, what if- what if something happens? What if River doesn’t stop him in time? What if you get attacked? What if you don’t- if you don’t come-” She broke off, one hand going to cover her mouth.
“Sweetheart,” Simon said intently, searching her eyes, “I will come back. I swear to you I will come back.”
“You’ve gotta come back, Simon,” she whispered, eyes dropping to the floor. “I… it… now, especially…” The terrified undertone was back in her voice, and it worried Simon more than a little. His Kaylee was no coward. She shouldn’t have been this upset over staying behind. There was something very wrong here.
“Kaylee, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing! Nothing’s wrong!” Simon pulled her over to the bed and sat her down. She stared at her lap, leafing absently through the book of sonnets. “Read me one,” Kaylee said suddenly.
“A poem? Read me your favorite.”
“Right now? Kaylee, tell me-”
“Please,” she said quietly, looking him in the eye. Silently, Simon took the book from her hands and swallowed, flipping it open and thumbing through the pages. He stopped, cleared his throat, and sent her a small smile.
“ ‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.’”
He fell silent, the sonorous tones that had come upon him as he read fading away.
Kaylee rested her head on his shoulder, tears slipping down her cheeks. She wished she could stay forever in this moment, his voice washing over her, his love warming her.
“What does it mean?” Simon stroked the page, eyes distant.
“It means that I will love you forever, Kaylee Frye. ‘To the edge of doom’.”
“That’s beautiful,” she whispered. “I wish I could tell you in fancy poems, but I don’t know much pretty talk like that.”
“Everything you say is pretty, love.”
“There is one rhyme my Pa used to tell us before bed.”
“All right.” She took a deep breath.
“ ‘I loved you today ‘fore the sun went away, and more than I ever could tell; I’ll love you tonight even if you’re not in sight, and I’ll love you tomorrow as well.’” Simon’s lips quirked.
“Yeah,” she said softly, but there was no smile in her voice.
“Kaylee, what is it? What’s wrong?” Kaylee blinked, lifting her head.
“I didn’t want to tell you like this. I didn’t want it to be like this.”
“What? Tell me what?”
“Simon…” She closed her eyes, one hand going to rest gently on her stomach. Simon’s own eyes widened comically.
“Oh my God.”
Friday, October 6, 2006 11:25 PM
Monday, October 9, 2006 9:42 AM
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