Curiosity - Epilogue
Thursday, October 12, 2006

Simon confesses to Kaylee ... Feedback, as always, is most appreciated. Oh, and I'm working on a longer piece - honest!


Simon sat at the dining room table, staring into his plate. Everyone else was talking, laughing, the tension of the last few days relaxed and easy now.

“So when you gonna let that little girl back to work?” Mal asked, looking down the table at the young man. “Doc?”

“Sorry?” He looked up.

“You out playing with the fairies?” Mal asked good humouredly.

“No. No, just thinking.”

“Really. Not sure I should allow that on my boat,” Serenity’s captain added, trying to look serious. “I'm the only one allowed to do that.”

“And you’re so good at it,” Freya joked, smiling at him.

“That I am. Just ‘cos my plans sometimes don’t go quite as smooth as I intended, don’t mean they weren't well thought out in the first place.” His lips twitched. “So, when’s it gonna be?”

“What?” Simon asked.

“Kaylee. Getting back to work. She’s my mechanic, doc. Can’t have her lying in bed all day getting fat.” He grimaced as Freya kicked him under the table. “I meant lazy,” he amended quickly.

“You think that’s better?” Freya breathed.

“She needs a day or two more. Just so I can keep an eye on her,” Simon said, not letting the captain get to him.

“Well, something’s sure to break down soon. Just so long as you’re ready for that. Could be something important. Like the atmo feed.”

“Or the oven,” Jayne put in. “That’d be mighty hard to live without.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Hank said. “You pretty much graze on whatever’s around. It not being cooked probably wouldn’t bother you.”

Jayne scowled at him, but Zoe interrupted before he could get started.

“How’s she feel about you not letting her up?”

“She’s annoyed,” River put in, tearing a hunk of bread into pieces and wiping it around her plate. “Wants to be back with her baby.”

“She’s with … oh, you mean Serenity,” Simon said. “Well, not yet. Not until she’s ready.”

“She’s pregnant, doc, not broken,” Mal said.

“And she nearly died down on that damn planet!” Simon’s voice was suddenly hard and loud.

“But she didn’t die,” Inara said quietly into the hush. “She’s fine.”

“She might not have been!” Simon was angry, but he couldn’t decide rightly at whom. “Seems to me she gets hurt a lot on this damn boat!”

Mal stared down the table at him. “It ain't on purpose, doc. It ain’t never on purpose.”

“You all talk about being family, but you let things happen … how can you –“

“She is family,” Mal said louder, breaking over him, holding his own anger in check. “And I do my chiang-bao hoe-tze duh best to keep her safe. She didn’t have to come down after us. But she did. Because she’s family.”

“That isn’t good enough!” Simon banged his fist down on the table hard, making the glass next to his plate fall over, spilling water cross the wood.

River was up out of her chair in an instant, grabbing a towel from the counter and wiping up the liquid. “Always have to be messy,” she said quietly. “Always having to clean up after you.”

Simon stared at her, then looked around at the rest of the crew. His mouth worked for a moment, then he managed to say, “I'm … I'm sorry.” He collapsed back into his seat, his head down, shoulders slumped.

Mal looked at him, not unkindly, then said, “Everyone, out. I think the doc needs a little time alone.”

The crew glanced at each other, but did as Mal ordered. All except Inara, who looked Mal in the eye and shook her head.

He gazed at her then shrugged. Maybe he did need to talk, and Inara might be the best person to listen. Mal followed Freya out towards the bunks.

“Simon,” the Companion said softly. “What is it? It’s more than just Kaylee getting hurt, isn’t it?”

Simon didn’t look up. “I killed someone, Inara. I took the gun out of Jayne’s belt and I killed him.”

Inara held her breath.

“I’m a doctor. I took an oath ...”

“First do no harm,” she said softly.

Simon glanced at her and began to recite: “But it may also be within my power to take a life; above all, I must not play at God.” But I played God, Inara: I killed a man.”

“Who, Simon?”

“The manager at the mine. He came after us as we were carrying them out, heading back to the shuttle. I … I had to … I couldn’t stop myself.” His voice was bleak, matching the paleness of his complexion.

Mal hadn’t said anything, neither had any of the others, and Inara understood why. “He would have killed Kaylee. And Freya.”

“That makes it right?”

“Simon, we all have it in us. I wish we didn’t, but there’s a part of us, a dark corner, where we go sometimes. And when we’re there, we can do anything.” She put her hand on his arm. “All of us.”

“You too?” He was surprised.

“Me too.” She pulled her chair a little closer to him so she could put her arm around his shoulders. “Simon, there are things in everyone’s pasts that they’re not proud of, that sometimes cause us great pain and shame. But the trick is to understand them, learn from them, and move on.”

“I should take her away from here.”

Inara was shocked. “No, Simon! This is her home.”

“Home?” Simon looked into her face, his eyes black with anger. “Where she can get hurt like this, almost killed? I don’t call this a home.”

“What do you call it then?” Inara shook her head. “Mal took you in, you and your sister, when it would have been so much easier for him just to leave you on some planet. But he took care of you, as he takes care of all of us. And now you’re angry at him.”

“I’m not …” Simon stopped. “I am, aren’t I?” He dropped his eyes so he couldn’t see into hers. “What he’s made of us, of me.” He swallowed. “If we hadn’t come on board, I could have … I would never have killed like that.”

“If you hadn’t come on board, sweetie, we’d never have met,” Kaylee said from the doorway.

“What are you doing out of bed?” Simon demanded, getting to his feet and crossing the galley to take her by the arm.

“River said you were angry. That I might wanna be here for a while.” She let Simon support her, even though she was more than capable of walking by herself. “Why are you angry?”

“Kaylee –“

“She says it’s ‘cos you killed a man.” She looked into his eyes. “Did you?”

“I …” He couldn’t lie to her, not to Kaylee. “Yes, I did.”


“Because of what he did to you!” Simon let it out in a rush. “The manager of that mine … he tossed you into it, meant for you to die …”

“Then that’s okay.” Kaylee smiled a little, and Simon was suddenly very confused.

“I don’t understand.”

“Honey, I’d rather you never hurt anybody, but …” She made him sit down, noting from the corner of her eye that Inara had melted away rather than intrude. “Simon, I ain't killed anyone that I’m aware of. And I don’t count Reavers ‘cos they ain’t men. But if it came down to it, if it were you or someone else … you think Frey and Zoe are the only ones on board’d kill for the men they love?”

“But I’m a doctor –“

“And you do it so well,” she finished. “And you’ve saved us all, lots of times over. I ain’t gonna hold a moment of madness against you. Now, if it had been in cold blood –“

“Not cold,” he interrupted. “Hot. Blazing. He hurt you.” Simon glanced down at her belly. “Is that the kind of man you want for the father of your child?”

“Man. That’s the word, Simon. You’re a man. Not a boy no longer. Ain't been that since you came on board, but you were too busy to notice. I didn’t fall for a boy. I love me a man.” She lifted her hand and put it on his cheek, cradling the smooth flesh. “Out here, boys don’t survive. Be a man for me.”

Simon felt tears prickling at his eyes. “Why are you so amazing?” he asked.

Kaylee grinned, suddenly looking like her old self. “Just talented, I guess.”

“I guess you are.” He leaned forward to kiss her gently, then opened his eyes when she kissed him back with a deal more passion.

“Can we go back to your room?” she asked, speaking into his mouth. “Please?”

“Kaylee, I don’t know if –“

“I’ll be good. Do what you tell me. I just want … just wanna be close to you.” She ran her hand through his black hair. “That’s all.”

He sighed, releasing all the pent-up feelings on one breath. “Kaylee, sweetheart, I know you. It doesn’t work like that.”

Her lips twitched, trying to keep a straight face. “I promise.”

“Okay,” he said slowly. “But then you get some sleep.”

“Yes, sir, Doctor Tam.”

Simon stood up and held out his hand, lifting her to her feet. She put her arms around him and they wandered, a little awkwardly, out of the galley back towards his room.

The other side, out in the corridor by the bunks, Mal was leaning on the wall.

“You told Kaylee to go to Simon?” Mal asked River who had appeared at his side.

“Always having to clean up after him,” she said, stroking the wall with one hand. “He can be such a boob.”

Mal smiled. “That he can, little albatross. But no getting involved in my lovelife, okay?”

“Of course not, captain,” River said, gliding away. “I don’t have to any more.”

Mal stared at her as she turned the corner back towards the cargo bay.


Friday, October 13, 2006 4:11 AM


I really liked this resolution - it was very necessary and helped put everything in perspective - Simon's emotions were dead on and I just loved his conversation with Kaylee!

Thank you!

Friday, October 13, 2006 5:32 AM


I really liked this especially Simon talking with Inara and Kaylee

Friday, October 13, 2006 5:38 AM


"He sighed, releasing all the pent-up feelings on one breath. “Kaylee, sweetheart, I know you. It doesn’t work like that.”"

Kaylee can be devilish. I love Simon here, he must be trying so hard to stay any sorta doctorly (yes, that's a word now).

Friday, October 13, 2006 6:46 AM


This was a very believable way to round the story off and I could so see Simon reacting like this, his emotions ruling his head until the only one who could see a way through was Kaylee. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, October 14, 2006 5:55 PM


Huh...I was expecting Simon's reaction...but not cuz he killed someone. I thought he was all POed cuz his kid's gonna have physical or mental damage from Kaylee's exposure to Tetris's mines. Though I can see Simon having this kind of reaction...that's not my point;)

Great job in any case, Jane:D



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