Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fifth in the short episodes following BIRTHDAY. This one's for TamSibling! Simon regains his senses ... as always, feedback, please!


Kaylee was humming as she changed Bethany. Nothing in particular, just some soothing lullaby she’d heard once.

“Can I come in?” Simon asked, standing outside the nursery.

Her humming stopped and she barely glanced at him. “If you want.”

He didn’t move, just stood and watched her. He wasn’t surprised – since his total mental aberration of a few days before, they’d hardly said a word to each other. In fact, she’d been sleeping in the nursery with Bethany, and knowing she was just a few inches away at night was killing him.

“I've been talking to Inara,” he said quietly.

Kaylee slipped the one-piece back onto Bethany. “That ain't a secret. Serenity’s not big enough to keep secrets. ‘Cept maybe why you’ve changed.”

“I haven’t changed.”

“Oh?” She turned on him, her eyes blazing. “Sayin’ you wished Bethany had never been born ain’t changed?”

“I didn’t!” he insisted. “I mean I didn’t mean it!” He stepped inside, preferring to face her wrath than live with the dreadful silences there had been between them.

“Then why did you say it?” Kaylee tried to keep her voice down, but she couldn’t. “She nearly died, Simon. Your daughter nearly died ‘cause you weren't there. And all I could think was that you’d never see her, never know how beautiful she was.” Tears rolled down her cheeks, all the anger and despair she’d felt finally coming to the surface.

“Kaylee …” He reached out for her but she batted his hands away.

“Don’t! I grieved for you, thinking you weren't coming back!” Her voice was rising. “Then you turned away from us!”

Simon tried to stop her. “Kaylee, I didn’t mean it!”

Bethany, hearing the shouts, did what any baby would do, and wailed. Instantly her mother had turned to her, scooping her up from the bed. “Shh, shh,” she crooned, rocking her gently.

“Is she all right?” Simon asked, stepping closer, reaching out.

“Go away,” Kaylee hissed. “You ain't her father. If you were, you wouldn’t have spoken like that about her.” Her face was red as she looked at him. “Get out.”

Simon backed up, almost falling over the sill, and Kaylee slid the door across with a thud, leaving him staring at it. Slowly he turned, leaned against the wall and slid down, his heart near breaking point. He was such a tah mah duh hwoon dahn, a go tsao duh idiot, a … a … his knowledge of Mandarin curses let him down. He was all of them, and much more. And now he was on the verge of losing the woman he loved more than anything.

“Kaylee?” he called. He didn’t know if she was listening, but he had to try. And for once he really didn’t care if the rest of the ship was listening. “I’m stupid.” He paused. “There’s a long, complicated medical name for it, but what it boils down to is … I'm stupid.” He half turned so he was leaning his face on the wall. “I wouldn’t admit I had a problem, not until I said that. Truth is, I don’t even remember saying it, and it’s agony not knowing what else I said, or did, to you that I don’t remember. All I can say is … it wasn't me, Kaylee. It wasn’t me saying that.”

He moved closer, ignoring the dirt and dust he was picking up on his pants. “When I saw her sleeping in that damn crib Jayne made, I … I just wanted to hold her forever. My daughter. My child, Kaylee. I’ve never had a child, never even come close. There was no-one, not in all those years studying or working at the hospital that ever meant enough to me. Not until I came here. Not until I met you.”

He put his head back against the wall. “First time I saw you, sitting outside a dirty, broken-down looking ship, I felt something move inside me that I thought had been dead for a long time. That crazy sunshade, that little jacket you had on … I could describe every detail, every colour. I can even tell you that the polish on your toenails was chipped, but only on your right big toe.” He smiled. “I could have gone with the Brutus, or the Calliope, or any of the other ships, newer and safer looking. I didn’t know about Capisson 8 engines then. But I didn’t. I chose this one. This Firefly. Because I’d fallen in love with the barker outside.”

There was silence from inside the cabin, but it was a listening silence, and Simon felt strangely encouraged.

“Everything you’ve ever said to me, every word and gesture, I remember. That teddy bear on your coveralls, the way you said my name for the first time, that habit you’ve got of talking to Serenity as if she was alive … like the time I was telling you about when I graduated, and I got drunk and naked, and you said you couldn’t picture it … I wish I’d had the nerve to tell you then that I was picturing you naked. But I was stupid. Only seeing one goal, and not what I really wanted.” He licked his lips. “You, Kaylee. It’s always been you.”

He thought she was just inside the door, and moved forward, putting his cheek against the carbon sheeting, lowering his voice a little. “I thought you were going to kill me when I reacted so badly when you told me you were pregnant. It was a shock, and I was … well, I’ve already used the word stupid a couple of times, but it fits. Seeing your face, your tears … I would have done anything to take back what I’d said. And the first time I saw Bethany on that scan, when your tears were joyful, I wanted to hold that moment in my heart forever.”

By now his voice was barely above a whisper. “I wanted to be the one to deliver her, to catch that life in my hands as she left your body, still connected to you but her own person. I wanted to lift her up, show her to the stars and shout that she was my child. I wish with all my heart that I could have been there, helping you, taking the pain for you. But I wasn’t, and I am so sorry for that.”

Tears were dripping from his nose, his chin. “She’s perfect. Our Bethany. Yours and mine.” He wiped his face on his sleeve. “Don’t you think we’ve lost enough on this ship? Wash, Book, Alice …” He swallowed the lump in his throat. “I can’t lose you too.” He moved forward, his lips almost touching the door. “I love you, Kaylee. And I love Bethany.”

It seemed to be an age but the door slowly opened. He looked up into Kaylee’s face, as wet as his own. She reached out a hand towards him. He took it, his own trembling slightly, and got to his feet.

“Serenity isn’t dirty,” she said quietly. “Nor broken down.”

“I know,” he said, looking at her. “You taught me that.” He touched her face, smoothing away the tears. “You’ve taught me so much.”

“You?” She half-smiled. “Mr Top Three Percent?”

“Being intelligent doesn’t mean you can’t be stupid too.”

“No. Seems like you keep proving that.” She bit her lip. “You mean everything you just said?”

“Every word,” he promised.

“You’re gonna remember everything you just said?”

His lips twitched. “I’ll never forget.”

“And I can bring it up when we fight?” Her brown eyes were glimmering with more unshed tears.

“Every time.”

She gazed at him for a moment, then said, “Oh, Simon …” and stepped into his arms.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006 6:51 AM


YAY! Thank you sooo much! That was a great Simon speech outside the door. And I loved Kaylee wondering if she could mention it every time they fought!

You know what would make a good companion piece to this ... one from Bethany's point of view. Maybe not totally, because you know she's like a week old, but maybe a nice moment with Simon finally holding her (I don't think he has yet).

I loved it! Thank you so much for tugging at my heartstrings!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 7:27 AM


It sounds like Kaylee needs counseling almost as much as the Tams do.

Nicely done.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 11:55 AM


Yeah, I was waiting for this one and wasnt' disappointed! I agree, Kaylee needs counselling as well but not half as much as she needs to forgive Simon and get on with having a happy family life. Shiny, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 4:27 PM


How's about combining the Bethany story and Kaylee's counselling. Babies would make great sounding boards to get all your frustrations out and see when one's being an ass;)

Still...this was mighty brilliant stuff, Jane0904! Definitely loved Simon's slow emotional collapse and public pleadings for Kaylee to understand all that has gone through his head in the past year or two since he joined Serenity's crew:D



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[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

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[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

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Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
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[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

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[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]