Water, Water Everywhere
Monday, March 26, 2007

This is a sort of companion piece to the first section of Two Times They Were Wet and Cold. It's also sort of crack!fic. While Mal and Inara were having a pleasant dialogue in the cargo hold, Kaylee and Simon spent some time getting to know each other in a broom closet. Takes place during the series. PG-13.


A/N: This is a sort of companion piece to the first section of Two Times They Were Wet and Cold. It's also sort of crack!fic. While Mal and Inara were having a pleasant dialogue in the cargo hold, Kaylee and Simon spent some time getting to know each other in a broom closet. For the lovely Leiasky, who’s been hounding me for this. ;) *** Water, Water Everywhere By Kaynara

Galley Level, Random Closet

A forceful whisper near his ear: “This way.” The next second, he feels a hand—short, smoothed fingernails, skin surprisingly soft given what she does. She clasps his hand in a death grip. A moment later they’re on the other side of a closed door, breathing heavily into the darkness. Dust particles float into his nostrils, tickling his sinuses. “Kaylee—” Her hand flies up to cover his mouth. He can taste her fingers, warm and salty against his lips. A part of him thinks: There’s no way that’s sanitary. But another part, insistent and new and ill-mannered, thinks it could be interesting to suck one small, salty pinkie into his mouth. “Shh!” she hisses. “They’re comin’.” He wills himself not to sneeze, not to breathe. “Okay, think we’re safe.” She releases her breath in a rush. “For now.” She shuffles forward a couple steps, feeling around in the darkness. She locates the controls for the electronics, and a second later pale blue light floods the inside of the closet. Kaylee stands before him, hair plastered to her scalp, clothes wet, eyes huge. “You know we’re humped, ” she says cheerfully. Chuckling, she coughs a little from the dust. “Won’t be long before they find us. River’s kinda eerily-good at hide ‘n’ seek.” “Yes, I’m aware.” “Her and Jayne formin’ an alliance—I didn’t see that coming. Though I guess it makes a kinda sense . . . ” “How does it make sense?” he asks, trying not to sound huffy that his sister chose Jayne over him. Her brother. “You know . . .” “No, tell me.” “Jeez, Simon. It’s nothing much. Just that she’s real young.” “Yes.” “And Jayne, well, he ain’t exactly a kid . . . ” “Um, no,” he says laughing. “But, he’s got, you might say, childlike qualities.” “Childlike? Kaylee, there’s nothing innocent or endearing about that man.” “Well, no, not . . . but they both like games a whole lot, and . . . ” “This isn’t Charades. Or, or, Tall Card. We’re grown adults, Kaylee. Adults who’ve taken to running around a spaceship shooting water at each other.” “Pretty fun, huh?” She starts rifling through some boxes behind her. He sighs and rests his head back against the door. “Maybe we should just give ourselves up. I mean, if we surrender, they’ll leave us alone. Right?” Turning around slowly, Kaylee looks him up and down, her eyes sorrowful. “Aw, Simon. You don’t got a single competitive bone in your whole body.” She shakes her head, dispersing a spray of water over her clothing and his. He watches a lingering teardrop fall from her drenched hair, skate fatalistically down the smoothness of her throat before disappearing under the collar of her flowery shirt. “I can be competitive,” he protests. He concentrates on keeping his gaze above her neckline. “I don't even know the rules.” “Si-mon. There ain't no rules. It's war.” Glancing down, she unbuttons her coveralls to the waist. She eases her arms from her sleeves and ties the damp fabric in a loose knot at her hips. Her t-shirt clings in soft wet curves to her torso. “I thought this was a water fight,” he says, trying not to stare. They’ve been at “war” for less than an hour, and already he’s becoming Jayne. “It is.” “So…are there teams?” Her dark brows knit together in a frown. “Aw, thought you were starting to get it. No teams, no rules.” “But River and Jayne formed an alliance.” “For now,” she agrees laughing. “C’mon, Simon. Can’t you just . . . let go?” “Sorry,” he answers automatically. Lately, he's always sorry for something. I'm sorry, Kaylee. Sorry I let that guy pummel me back on Canton. And that I didn't know what to say when our overbearing captain—who is most certainly not my father, or yours—found you sleeping on top of me. I’m sorry I can’t remember what happened in the two hours before we fell asleep, but, whatever happened or didn't happen, I’m probably sorry for that, too. I'm sorry that Jayne finds my background and my clothes and my “pretty face” so offensive. I'm sorry Jayne never enjoyed the benefits of psychiatric counseling. I'm sorry, Captain—sorry the evil men who experimented on my sister's brain didn't anticipate the ways in which her paranoid schizophrenia might affect your ability to break the law quietly. (I’m sorry for the apology I never make, and the one you never ask for: the one I owe you for bringing River onto Serenity in the first place.) I'm sorry she put your favorite dinosaur out the airlock, Wash, and your new knife, Zoe. I’m sorry for The Soup Incident, and I am fairly certain we won’t have a repeat performance. I'm sorry that River sneaked into your shuttle, Inara, and that she watched you and your client having . . . tea. I’m really, really sorry that she climbed up on the bed in the middle of . . . tea . . . and started reciting Whitman's, “Oh, Captain, My Captain.” (Or maybe I should be apologizing to Mal for that?) I'm sorry she took your Bible, Shepherd. I’m sorry she read it and found it lacking and took it upon herself to make some changes. Personally, and I won’t tell you this because you’ve reason enough to dislike me, personally I think she probably improved it. Still, I’m very sorry that she damaged your property. I'll try to keep better tabs on her, everyone, and River, River I'm sorry to you most of all. I'm sorry that I let them hurt you. Sorry I can't make you better. I’m sorry that the medicines I give you make you tired or make you sick or make you feel twenty other things you're too kind, or too confused, to tell me about. I'm sorry when you look at me with that total, unconditional love in your eyes. And I’m sorry when you don’t. I'm sorry that I brought you here, took you into the Black when you, my beautiful sister, should always be in the light. And, truth be told, I'm sorry that even crazy you fit in here better than I, who's supposed to be the sane one. For somewhere in one of Serenity's metal crevices, Simon's little sister is having a rutting ball. River always thought up the games. He’s only ever been along for the ride. Kaylee considers him from behind spiked-wet lashes. He clears his throat, trying to summon a smile to his lips. “So no teams.” “Nope!” “But we’re all to participate.” “Captain says somethin’ about it being good for cam'raderie.” “Right because we don’t all spend enough time together.” Her smiles starts to slip, and he adds quickly, “It’s just…this ship can feel a little claustrophobic.” Kaylee nods, her eyelids lowering in sympathy. “Everybody goes a little stir crazy in the Black. Jayne, especially. Captain figures this ain't so disgusting as the other ways of Jayne losin' his aggressions.” “Oh my God.” “Sort of a tradition now. Can you scoot to your . . . oh, never mind. Don't mind me, 'kay?” He opens his mouth to reply, closing it again when Kaylee drops to the floor at his feet. She thrusts her hand between his legs, her cheek resting against the side of his calf. “Sure it’s here somewhere,” she murmurs. He’s had several, sweat-inducing fantasies about Kaylee . . . doing things between his legs. Usually, they're in bed and she's wearing his blue-and-white Med-Acad t-shirt like a nightgown. Sometimes he combs the almost-red strands of her hair back while she uses her soft, pink mouth on him. Other times, she rides him, her thighs smooth and white with a crop of pale brown freckles. In none of his fantasies does she say, “Sure it’s here somewhere.” “Kaylee, get up.” He tries to keep his tone from sounding too plaintive. “Now, please.” She does, accepting the hands he offers to tug her to her feet. “What s'matter?” she asks, confused. “Kaylee,” he begins, lips struggling to form the words. “What are you doing?” She stares at him for several seconds, and he fears that he's said the wrong thing. Then she starts to laugh, her small, round shoulders shaking under her t-shirt. “Oh, hey.” She makes a face. “Guess that sounded sort of bad, huh?” He feels the color spread over his neck and cheeks. Her eyes go soft with sympathy though she continues to giggle. She hiccups. “Are you okay?” “Oh—hic—no! Simon, do something.” He doesn't have a cure for hiccups. In all his medical training—years of study—there was never a lesson on hiccups. Kaylee looks up at him with an expression of perfect trust on her face. Faith in him to make anything okay. The only other person to look at him like that . . . well, she doesn't now. “Hic—hurry!” she whispers. “They’ll hear us.” “Hold your breath?” he ventures. He pats her back awkwardly, and eventually her chest stops spasming. “Thanks a lot, Doctor.” She beams as though he just performed a lifesaving surgery on her kitten. “I'm a little short on cash, so I guess you’ll have to bill me.” She winks. “Um, sure.” He tries to smile back. “You were saying?” “Hmm? Oh, well, simple. Need weapons, don’t we?” “Weapons. Right.” He feels let down, though he can't say why. Did he think she dragged him into to this closet so they could grope each other like teenagers? Nudging him gently to the side, Kaylee drops to her haunches and tugs forward a large bin that was hidden behind his legs. “Sure it’s in here somewhere,” she says and starts rooting around. The bin, he’s sure, is the equivalent of the ship’s junk drawer. He crouches down next to her, peering over her shoulder. Wisely, he thinks, he refrains from commenting on the irony of a ship like Serenity having a designated bin for junk. “Look at all this stuff,” he muses. “Christmas tinsel, a bag of marbles, fish food . . . fish food?” Kaylee sighs. “Poor Fluffy.” Simon offers a sad smile. “Batteries, knitting needles, a can of spray paint. Is that a juicer?” “Looks like.” “I can't imagine the captain ever wanting to 'juice' something. One leather glove with a missing finger. A red triceratops—River said she put that out the airlock!” “Wash'll be real happy.” “Candles. Matches. A package of condoms that expired two years ago. As the ship's one and only medic, I'm going to take the liberty of disposing of these.” He tucks them in his pocket, and Kaylee snorts and goes back to digging in the bin. “Found ya,” she says finally, and unearths a water gun as long as her forearm. “Ain't she pretty? I got her on Persephone a few months back.” “She's very . . . pink. So you’re done, then? You got what you came for?” Kaylee grins, rising. “Or maybe I just needed an excuse to drag you in here,” she teases. “Knew you wouldn't come on your own.” “You could have asked,” he says, embarrassed. “Well, no worries.” She’s vaguely offended, pale eyes hovering between hurt and annoyance. “I don’t bite.” She reaches for the doorknob, and he jerks forward to grab her wrist. He doesn't know what he's doing, what he intends to do, but he knows that he wants her to stay. “My eighth-grade girlfriend made a similar claim.” He offers a tentative smile. “We were playing Ten Minutes in Paradise, Eden here being her mother’s linen closet. As it turned out, Carolyn did bite. The hickey didn’t go away for a week, and I had to endure an hour-long lecture from my father on the subject of 'petting.'” Kaylee claps a hand over her mouth to stifle a giggle. “I’m sorry,” she mumbles, guilty. “No, it’s okay.” He tries to look embarrassed, which isn’t all that difficult. “Laugh at my utter humiliation.” “I’ll bet River teased you something awful.” “I think she's only just now forgotten.” His eyes narrow. “And if you remind her, I will have to kill you. I’m a doctor. I can make it look like an accident.” She gives him a funny look, and he groans. “That was supposed to be humorous, believe it or not. Because it's funny when creepy wet guys threaten to kill you in broom closets, not to mention romantic—” “You were tryin’ to be romantic?” she interrupts. “I—no.” “Oh.” She chews on her lip. He frowns. “So was that your last date?” she prods. “The eighth-grade linen closet . . . ” “I—well, no. I mean, of course I’ve been with other . . . not a lot of other . . .” She smiles magnanimously. “I’m just rattlin’ ya, Simon. You don’t gotta answer that.” “No, it’s—there were other girls. Women. But I was always very focused. First on school, and then on . . .” “You don’t gotta explain,” she says softly. “You gave up everything you had to find your sister. Understandable you didn’t have a whole lotta time for dating.” “Well, what about you?” he asks, eager to shift attention from himself. “Do you get to do a lot of . . . dating . . . on Serenity?” “Oh, jeez, I haven't been on a date in ages! Hell, I hardly remember how.” “I'm pretty sure there's something to do with talking. Which is where I usually fail spectacularly.” “Yeah, but there's also somethin' to do with kissing.” “Only if you can get through the talking,” he corrects her. “And I pretty much always say something stupid.” “Naw, Simon. I'm sure that ain't so.” He takes a measured breath and then takes her hand, gesturing with a nod for them to sit. They lower themselves to the floor, and he watches Kaylee arrange herself as comfortably as possible on the cold metal, the water gun laying sideways over her lap. “That’s kind of you. I mean, you’re always kind. To me and to River and . . . everyone.” “Dunno, Simon.” She grins. “You ain't said something stupid so far.” “That's because we're not on a date. If you and I were to go out—” “If we were to go out . . . ?” she encourages. He hesitates. What sort of courtship rituals could two people have on a spaceship? Maybe he could take Kaylee out for a date sometime when Serenity was planetside. In between ducking the Feds and trying not to get killed, they might just have time for a coffee. “It’s just, the places we land. The captain takes us to some—” Hovels of human existence. “—interesting locations. Still, they’re not exactly places I’d take a date.” He meets her gaze, willing her to understand. “What about on your world?” she presses. “Osiris. Capital City.” He never knew he could miss a place this badly. After all, it's not a person, living and breathing. Still, missing the city is an almost physical ache. He misses the art museum and the opera, little sidewalk cafes with foamy cappuccinos and the wine bar that shows contemporary art the first Saturday of the month. He misses the hospital—the top floor with the glass-walled cafeteria overlooking the city. At night, pressing his forehead to the glass, Simon could see all the way to the ocean. “Imagine we were to meet each other at some glamorous party,” Kaylee is saying. “I'm wearing this gorgeous dress and drinkin' something sweet and fruity with, ooh, one of those little umbrellas. You've got on a dark suit, really shows off your chest. Say we start talking over the buffet table and just hit it off.” He tries to picture her at one of the parties his colleagues take turns hosting. She’s beautiful, of course. His friends think she’s very sweet. They also think he’s using her for sex because, with someone like Kaylee, it couldn't possibly be something more. “Simon?” Kaylee smiles at him. “Where would you take me? On our date . . . ” “Well, I guess first I'd probably take you someplace extravagant for dinner . . . and you'd hate the food. You'd probably get so bored you'd fall asleep over the soup course. Then, I'd start talking about something intellectual—history or politics or, or, the art of teacup-painting in pre-Revolutionary Sihnon.” He laughs. “You wouldn't know what I was talking about. You wouldn't care. By dessert, you'd probably be wishing you were out with someone else. Someone more—” “Average,” she finishes. “Exactly.” He looks up. “Shuh muh?” “It's okay, Simon.” She takes a section of hair, nudges the tip between her lips. “I get it,” she says softly. “You get it?” He takes a slow breath. “Maybe you could explain it to me then.” “I should be with someone average. Because that's all I am: average.” She looks down at her lap. “What? Kaylee, no! All I'm trying to say is I don't know how to talk to someone like you.” “Someone like me,” she echoes, and Simon winces. One hand slides up to tug on his earlobe. “That didn't come out right. You—you're a mechanic. You maintain an actual spaceship. The women back home are . . . different,” he finishes lamely. “Well, sure! Bet they take real good care of themselves.” “I suppose—” “Real educated, too.” “A lot of them are bright—” “They're all the things I ain't.” “Yes!” He's been trying for so long to say just that. Kaylee is everything the girls back home are not. She is like no one he’s ever known, and a part of him wants to take her to bed. Not just have sex with her, but make long, slow love to her and hold her afterwards. A part of him wants to wake up tomorrow—if tomorrows have any meaning here in the Black—with her slender arms wrapped firmly about his torso, her small, machine-handling hands thrust down his pants. He wants to press his lips to her temple, and although they haven't brushed their teeth, he wants to kiss her on the mouth. Because she's Kaylee, and she'll only laugh and squirm away. Or maybe she'll kiss him back, hard and demanding. But another part of him, equally insistent and clamoring, wants to wake up in his own bed tomorrow, far from all this. Not that luh suh cot down in the passenger dorms, but the mahogany queen in the bedroom of his penthouse apartment. He wants to awaken wearing clean pajamas, and roll and stretch on sheets that smell of fresh, sunny things. He wants to brush his teeth and masturbate in a hot shower. He wants to slip on the robe his father bought him for his last birthday and brew espresso in his espresso maker and read the news captures sitting at his little breakfast nook. He wants this all to be a dream and his brilliant, beautiful sister safely studying physics or dance or rutting fingerpainting at some nice, normal secondary school. He wants to think Malcolm Reynolds and men like him don't exist, having been driven to the ends of the 'verse after the War. He wants to believe the 'verse is a logical place, that the government is mostly beneficent, and that he was right all those years ago when he told River there were no monsters. He knows now there are lots of monsters. Ones that eat people alive, and ones that burn them. Ones that cut into children’s brains during the day and at night go home and make love to their wives. Some days Simon wants never to have known Kaylee, and other days he wants to know everything: her mother's maiden name and whether she likes lemons, what color underwear she wears and the number of freckles on her chest. He resents the way she can smile at him, bump his hip in passing, and call: “Hey, Simon.” He resents how, when she says his name, he forgets how unhappy he is here. He spends less time thinking about his old life—about 1000-thread-count sheets and Italian coffees and Dr. Alma Matthews with her black hair cut short like a boy's. The worst part, the part that frightens Simon the most, is that he's not even sure he really liked things how they were before or if he just liked that they were easy. That they were decided. When Simon looks at Kaylee, he thinks about these things. He can't not. Simon has never been good at talking to girls. But even if he were, he wouldn't know what to say to Kaylee. She's watching him, her expression pale and bruised. Oh, God. “Kaylee, no! Let me explain.” “Maybe you shouldn’t.” “When I said yes before—about you being different from the women back home. Well, I meant that as a positive thing.” “Oh, I see. It’s a good thing I ain’t bright or beautiful.” “Well, no, that's not what I . . . you know what? I think, I think I've had enough.” “Enough of what?” “I've had enough,” Simon decides, “of this. Of being misinterpreted and misunderstood. I'm not Mal. And I refuse to let this discussion dissolve into miscommunication and, and violence. Where’s that gun?” “You're gonna shoot me?” “Kaylee, I’d never shoot you. You're gonna shoot me. Every time I say something stupid or, or hurtful. You can just, just shoot me.” With the words come a kind of peace. He smiles. “Simon—” “Don't argue, Kaylee. You wanted me to be steely. Those were your words, remember?” “Oh, I remember. I was just gonna say—” “I can't let people stomp on me. That's what you said after that thug on Canton made me his punching bag. And I'm trying, Kaylee. I'm trying to live on a spaceship with eight near strangers. I'm trying to play hoopball and smuggle cattle and navigate the captain's ever-volatile moods. But I need at least one person on this boat to respect me, to listen when I talk as though there’s the slightest possibility I have something useful to say. And if you can't manage to do that, well, I'll just have to, to spank you.” He laughs lightly. Her mouth falls open. “Spank me?” she squeals. “Well, no. Of course, I would never—” “Shut up, Simon.” She squares her shoulders and sits up a little straighter. “I'll be good. And if I ain't—well, you'll just have to spank me.” His heart's beating too fast. She inches closer on the metal flooring, and he feels his heart leap into his throat, choking him. “Maybe you should spank me first.” She licks slowly along her upper lip. “Just a couple wallops so I know who's boss.” She smells too good. Like vanilla and engine oil. “I'm, um, pretty confident you'll behave.” “Oh.” She looks vaguely disappointed. “Where do you want it?” His heart's thudding in his chest again. “Sorry?” “That's what I was gonna ask before you got all steely. Where do you want me to shoot you?” “Use your discretion,” he says swallowing. “Simon? I think we oughta continue this discussion down in your room. Discretion and all.” “But the war and . . . camaraderie.” “Screw ‘em.” *** Passenger Dorms, Simon Tam's Bunk “Tank's drained.” Kaylee lays the water pistol on the bedspread. “Guess this means we're humped if anyone comes looking.” Reclining on his side, weight balanced on one elbow, Simon casts his eyes over his shirtfront. Kaylee tries not to concentrate too hard at the tight, wet muscles of his chest. “I'm sorry,” he says. “I guess I wasn't too articulate.” “You tried,” she says kindly. “To be fair, you were doin' all right till you started talkin' about the Core girls' hair.” “I meant yours is untamed in a good way!” “Ain't goin' there again,” she warns. “C'mon, Simon, let's not talk anymore. Sometimes just sitting can be nice. Or, you could spank me for gettin' you wet.” She grins and sticks out her foot, poking a toe into his belly. He smiles back, a little shyly, and meets her gaze. “Would you really want that, Kaylee?” “What, you spankin' me?” Her eyes glimmer with humor. “Hmm, that’s a tough one,” she teases. “Sure, why not? You got those smooth, doctor's hands.” She trusts him, too. Has from the minute she met him. Only other person she trusted so instinctively was the captain, and so far, hasn’t either of them let her down. “Maybe, but I wouldn't feel quite right using my hands on you that way. It wouldn’t seem . . . decent.” “Siiimon. Course it ain’t decent. That’s the whole point.” She arranges herself Indian-style, facing him. “Don’t gotta worry so much about what’s decent. Sometimes you gotta just do what feels good.” “And me spanking you would feel good?” She rolls her eyes, frustrated now. “I don't know, let's see how you like it.” Reaching around, she smacks his backside hard enough to sting. He yelps, and before he can react she spanks him again, letting her hand linger an extra second or two on the firm curve of his ass. “How's that?” she asks. “Oh, you are so—” He doesn't finish the threat, just pounces on her like a long, lean cat. She gasps as his arms wrap around her waist and haul her down to the bed. She laughs and twists, and her face gets mashed in his neck, and her nose nuzzles the hollow of his throat. She presses her nose into his skin and breathes deeply. He tastes like the same, woodsy soap all of them except Inara use, but on him it's different. Simon-y. She realizes she's losing the wrestling match and attempts to recall the benefit of winning. Nope, nothin' coming. Squirming, she tries to stick her fingernails in his armpits—she’s heard from River he's ticklish there—but he maneuvers her onto her belly. He covers her spread-eagle, his arms stretching to bind her wrists, his legs splitting to hold her feet. She's helpless, immobile, and completed turned-on. She wiggles . . . just a little. He groans. “Simon?” “I'm not sure what to do here,” he admits. “Thought you were gonna spank me.” She probably deserves to be spanked about now. The thoughts swirling about in her brain ain't exactly pure ones. “Right. Spank you.” He releases her arms. “Except to do that, I'd have to be someone not me.” Slowly, he eases off of her. He pats her shoulder, indicating for her to roll over onto her back. “I'm sorry,” he says. He stares down at her, soft blue eyes more troubled than usual even. “Don't gotta be sorry,” she tells him. “I know I—I mean, I know I don't always—” “We're all out of water, Simon. Just say it.” “All of you on this ship—it's as though you're living outside laws.” “Simon. We are living outside the law. We're criminals.” “Not just The Law, Kaylee. Laws. Any laws at all. It's not just what you do for money, although, honestly, I never imagined myself smuggling geisha dolls. It's just, my life used to have rules. And suddenly I'm here, and there are no rules. Contrary to what Mal says, hoopball makes no sense. And this—we're grown ups having a water war, Kaylee! On a spaceship. There are no teams, no rules, no clear objective even. The rest of you just seem to get these things. You don't even question. River, she's always been good at make believe. But I—I can't—” “Simon.” She works her fingers through the short stalks of his hair. “Way too much goin' on up here. Sometimes you just gotta . . . ” She slides a hand around the back of his neck and lifts her head. The kiss is soft, almost friendly, and when she pulls away she sees that his eyes are still closed. “You didn't ask for this.” “Shuh muh?” He squints at her, his nose crinkling in a way that's real cute. “You mean the kiss? You don’t have to apologize for—” “Serenity.” She smiles, and he closes his mouth. “If you had a choice, you wouldn't be here. All of us know that. Just figure, since you are here . . .” He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t even look at her. She starts to slide her hand from the back of his neck, and he catches her wrist. “You’re right,” he says with a firmness that surprises her. “I’m here.” She feels a kind of hitch in her throat and swallows hard. Simon is warm and real and smiling, and it's been a long while since she went to bed with anything that met those standards. She can see what she’s doing to him—making his breath catch and his body stir. He’s not thinking about River now, or doctoring, or thieving, or how he’s lost everything he had in the ‘verse. Right this second, all he’s thinking about is Kaylee. “Simon,” she begins, licking her lips. “No more talking, Kaylee.” He takes a moment to gather his courage, and she sees a glimpse of the boy-Simon: the one who's lost and confounded and more than anything wants to go home. Then he cups her face and kisses her. His lips are warm and insistent and they shake rubbing against hers. Their noses bump and they slide their heads side to side, trying to find the right fit. Finally, they make it work, and it isn’t awkward or fumbling. It's sexy as all hell, and she doesn't want it to end. Simon kisses down her chin and along her jawline, opening his mouth over the curve of her throat. She trails her hand along the wet curve of his bicep while he sucks sweetly at her neck. Slowly, lazily, she opens her eyes. River stands in the doorway, her expression soft and dreamy. A child's eyes staring out of that beautiful woman-face. She watches the scene on the bed, and smiles as her brother blows warm air into Kaylee's ear. She doesn't stop smiling, even when Kaylee goes stiff and murmurs her name: “River.” Simon freezes when he hears his sister's name. He spares Kaylee a brief glance of apology before easing off of her and turning to face the figure in the doorway. “River?” River rubs a hand up and down her arm like she's cold. Except her face is flushed with heat. Simon takes a step in her direction, and she sort of snaps back to reality. “Cool down, soldier,” she advices her brother an instant before shooting him in the groin. “River!” he exclaims. Having accomplished her task, River sticks her gun down the too-big opening of her boot and moves to go. “Wait. River.” Simon grabs her by the elbow. She looks pointedly at the weapon shoved in her combat boot, and he releases her, stepping back. “You're going to keep this to yourself right? Not go telling . . . everyone?” Her eyes are huge and guileless. “Tell everyone what, Simon?” “I’m referring, River, to what you saw when you were spying on me.” He folds his arms over his chest. “Just like the hickey, Simon.” River eyes her brother sternly. “Daddy has to know what you did.” Before he can respond, she skips off: a beautiful waif with her water gun and parka. After, they sit in silence. Simon looks uncomfortable, but it could be that his pants are soaked now along with his shirt. “So,” Kaylee teases. “Think she's really gonna tell your folks on us?” She thinks maybe she's said the wrong thing—like maybe Simon's tongue-tiedness is catching and having just spent considerable time with his tongue in her mouth, she's caught it. He stares at her for a few seconds, and then cracks a smile. “Well, that's one unexpected benefit of renouncing my family and taking up with space pirates. She'll have one hell of a time getting this information to our father.” *** Galley

“So in light of today's events, I'm gonna be suspending all water-related fighting for the time present. Can continue fighting with one another in the typical fashion, though my head would surely welcome a night's reprieve.” “Aw, your head hurt, Cap'n?” “Oh, I got horses in there.” “Galloping?” “Yeah, River, they do feel to be galloping.” “Poor Captain. Simon and Kaylee were kissing. She wanted him to spank her.” “Whatsit now?” “Oh, gosh!” “River, I'm going to remember this on your wedding day.” “Aha!” “You knew about this, Wash?” “No, sir. Just thinking that it makes what Zoe and I did—trying to have normal, un-kinky sex—seem not so bad. Don't you think?” “Shut up, dear.” “Yeah, Wash, think you best listen to your wife on this one. Not like you two are in a position to be layin' down judgment if you catch my meaning.” “Hey, what'd they do, Mal?” “Nothing, Jayne. And we can end this conversation right—” “Not a gorramn thing. Cursed little latex sock of love. Except…not little.” “Heh, you wish, Little Man. That's why I always carry a spare bucket for my load.” “Lovely, Jayne.” “Thanks, Nara.” “I was being sarcastic.” “Well, how 'm I 'sposed to know that, huh?” “I mean, Zoe's my wife. If we wanna have a moment's intimacy in the privacy of the infirmary . . . well, what's so wrong with that? I mean, between Jayne the Poet and Simon the Spank King—” “Oh, Dear God.” “Poet, huh? Shiny.” “And, really, infirmary sex is, like, clean. All those sparkling surfaces.” “Shut up, Wash.” “Yes, Captain, sir.” “Ai ya, Shepherd oughta thank his God he’s in bed sick. He gonna be okay, Doc?” “Book will be fine, Captain. It’s just a 24-hour virus, and I gave him some—wait. People were having sex in the infirmary? My infirmary?” “I can assure you, son. No one was copulating in your infirmary. Which isn’t, in fact, yours so much as mine.” “Wouldn't be no room for copulating with all the screwing goin' on.” “Jayne, shut up.” “Just sayin’, Mal.” “Oh my God. I’m gonna have to sterilize everything.” “Easy there, Doctor. I stumbled in on the Washburns 'fore they could hurt themselves or others.” “It's true, Simon. Wash and I spent all afternoon hidin' from your sister.” “I knew where they were.” “Meimei, hush.” “So did ya do it, Doc?” “Did I do what?” “Spank lil' Kaylee.” “Oh, God.” “Jayne, hush.” “C'mon, Nara. Surely you've engaged in a little slap-the-crack with clients.” “Jayne, kindly leave Inara's whoring out of this.” “Please don't try to defend my honor. Ever.” “You didn't complain the last time.” “Yes, I did! I did a lot!” “*Cough.* Ungrateful.” “Can you believe them two? Two hours ago they're all snuggly in the cargo bay, and now it's down each other's throats and not in a good way.” “Oh, ho, ho. Hold on, now. Captain Sex Patrol was snuggling? Was anyone actually playing the damn game?” “I was.” “Yeah, know that, little one. Think the insides of my eyeballs are still wet.” “Hold up a minute. Captain was cuddling Inara?” “Shut up, Kaylee.” “Nuh uh, I wanna hear this. Jayne?” “Jayne.” “Aw, hell. You pay me, Mal, but she pulls arm hair.” “Pussy.” “Mal!” “Cap'n!” “Sir!” “Sorry, ai ya.” “Hush, Cap'n. Tell us more 'bout this supposed snuggling, Jayne.” “Kaylee, it really wasn't anything—” “No, Nara. It's shiny. Crew wants to know the gory details, might as well tell 'em.” “Wait, there are gory parts? I wanna hear the gory parts. Please. Pretty please?” “Fine. Y'all wanna hear what happened? Truth of it is Inara and I got ambushed early on. Both of us were decently soaked by the time we got to the bay. Seein' as we were out of ammo, the only viable course was to stay hid.” “Sounds like a logical course, sir.” “Thank you, Zoe. Now we weren't drawing enemy fire, but—” “Enemy fire? How exactly are you meant to tell friend from foe in this yu bun duh game? I mean, without defining teams from the start—” “Little tip, son. Usually the ones shooting at you are foe. Anyway, conditions in the bay were mighty cold. Inara and I held out as long as we could but, well, eventually had to succumb to our baser needs. Did what we had to in order to survive, and if that includes a little snuggling together for warmth, well, nobody's feeling overly shamed.” “Speak for yourself.” “Hey!” ` “I dunno. Nara didn’t look all that uncomfortable when I happened on her and Mal. Reckon she looked sorta cozy.” “Why, thank you, Jayne.” “Oh, please. You’re going to take Jayne’s word for it?” “Heh, maybe Nara’s just sore she wasn’t the one gettin’ spanked.” “Jayne! Quit helping!” “Sorry, Mal.” *** Bridge

“I can’t stop shivering.” Her narrow shoulders tremble beneath the flimsy fabric of her gown. “It’s as though my body’s acting on it’s own accord.” “I know the feeling. Here, take my coat.” “Mal, you need that.” Her big, dark-fringed eyes—a brown so deep and rich it’s almost black—look up at him. “You’ll freeze.” “Inara, honestly I think we both might.” “Mal, this is silly. You can’t die. The crew, they need you.” “Just the crew?” His voice is hoarse, hesitant. “I—maybe not just the crew,” she murmurs. “Maybe even an exceptionally beautiful Companion-person ain’t ever needed nobody?” “Mm, yes, Mal. Do be an arrogant pigu even while we’re freezing to death.” “Hey! This is my little fantasy scene, you hear? You can’t tear me down in my own head!” “Of course I can.” But her mouth softens, the edges twitching in a smile. “You called me beautiful.” He shrugs. “Most beautiful creature in the ‘verse, ‘s’what you are.” “Cold. Is what I am.” “Which is why you’re gonna stop bein’ so stubborn and take my gorramn coat. Better?” “Not entirely. You know what we have to do, Mal.” “You mean…?” She lowers her lashes. “It's the only way.” “Oh, hey. Well.” “Hush, Mal.” She lifts a hand to his cheek, and her thumb grazes a shivery path along his jawline. “It’s the only way.” “You’d really . . . lie with me, Inara?” “You’re not the only one to benefit from this arrangement. At least you can’t speak with your mouth occupied.” “Captain? Do you have a minute?” Mal forces his eyes apart and blinks furiously at the young man standing before him. “We're in space, Simon.” He rolls his shoulders to loose some tension. “I don't have much else. Though I did mean to spend the next collection of minutes sleeping off this ta ma duh headache.” “I could give you something to help you rest.” “Naw. Thanks, Doc, but I'm not one for being drugged. Can't have the captain all moon-brained and dreamy.” Uh huh. “No, I suppose not. I’ll be quick. I just thought you and I should talk.” “Well, if you got your heart set on it.” “I just wanted you to know, Captain, I didn't actually . . . ” Mal raises a brow. “I mean, Kaylee and I, we may have kissed . . . a little. But I certainly didn't . . . spank her.” “Quite all right, Doc.” Mal raises a hand. “Let's just leave it there.” Sweet ye su, leave it right the hell there. “Right. Good. Sleep well, Captain.” “Thanks. Oh, and Doctor?” “Yes.” “Just so we're on the same boat—metaphorical boat. You hurt her, I'll kill you. Maybe not nice and painless with my pistol either.” “Right.” Simon swallows. “I understand.” “Shiny. Night, Doctor.” “Goodnight. Captain.” Alone again, Mal settles back in his chair. Closing his eyes, he stacks his feet up on the console and lets out a sigh. ”Well, Nara. What were you sayin’ ‘bout my lips?” *** End Crack!fic


Monday, March 26, 2007 4:46 PM


Oh if this is Crack!fic I am surely addicted! I love it!

There are so many lines, so many moments, I have no idea how to choose - so I won't. But it is just amazing!

Write more Simon/Kaylee, k? And I'll write more Mal/Inara!

Monday, March 26, 2007 5:48 PM


LOL, nice!

And, I love that they named the fish "Fluffy".

Monday, March 26, 2007 6:09 PM


Oh, I've read part of this but the rest...oh, I was giggling over so much! LOL! I couldh't pick a favorite moment. There are too many!

The end it was a bit difficult to know who was speaking but, it was funny anyway.

I didn't expect to see them kiss, it was a squee moment for me. . .
Yes, you keep writing S/K and Tamsibling will write M/I. :P

Monday, March 26, 2007 7:37 PM


>Yes, you keep writing S/K and Tamsibling will write M/I. :P

And so will you ... I know that's the part you forgot to leave out of that ... :-p

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 1:39 AM


Very funny, and yes, do write more lines for EVERYBODY! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 6:59 AM


Oh my god, there was just so much in here to love! Poor Kaylee. I felt bad for her, though. For a moment, it seemed like the stars had all aligned and our little mechanic was going to get some... and then Simon punks out on her. *shakes head sadly*. Boy needs a boot upside the head.

Also, I would love to see your take on "The Soup Incident" and well as River's recitation of "Oh Captain, My Captain."

>>“Oh my God. I’m gonna have to sterilize everything.”<< That is exactly what Simon would say. I can see that wide-eyed look of horror on his face. Ahhh, fun times...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 12:37 PM


Sorry I'm so late to review, Kaynara; I saw this fic last night, but was too tired to post an appropriate review.

First off, my congratulations on yet another in your spectacular line of Firefly stories.

There were so many good lines I don't know where to begin, and the galley scene near the end was absolutely hysterical.

As ever, you write Simon/Kaylee as well as you write Mal/Inara, and I think you know what my opinion of your abilities in that department is.

And all the little details that suck the reader in, from Kaylee's comment about the fish named 'Fluffy' to River's antics... simply too good for words.

Please, keep up the excellent work.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 3:57 PM


Oh...the utter brilliance of this entire thing leaves me both breathless and awed, Kaynara! The dialogue was spot-on every single time and the scenarios were so skilfully crafted that I was able to easily imagine the actors going through these scenes with their usual panache :D

Gotta say what really got me was Simon's sudden balls-dropping moment where he just drops the air of Core-bred propriety and tells Kaylee he is sick and tired of constantly getting misunderstood, and refused to keep on with getting into a cycle of Simon saying something honestly innocuous, Kaylee getting offended and Simon having to apologize. The squirt gun punishment for misspeaking was a delicious twist, I must say though ;D

And River actually snuck into Inara's shuttle while she was in the midst of a job to recite Whitman's "O Captain, My Captain?!?" Damn...guess we now know how Inara gets through her various job contracts :O


Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:48 PM


You've once again proven that you have more writing talent in your pinkie finger than most people can imagine posessing in their wildest dreams. This was wonderfully witty and clever and a delight to read.


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Water, Water Everywhere
This is a sort of companion piece to the first section of Two Times They Were Wet and Cold. It's also sort of crack!fic. While Mal and Inara were having a pleasant dialogue in the cargo hold, Kaylee and Simon spent some time getting to know each other in a broom closet. Takes place during the series. PG-13.

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Post-BDM. Mal makes a delivery on a familiar moon. Inara reflects. M/I. PG-13

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One-shot set after OIS. Kaylee/Simon. Response to the prompt: “Simon bent Kaylee over....”

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This is a standalone set preseries (no Simon, sorry, Leiasky). I have no idea what kind of introduction to slap on this thing, so I'll just say, enjoy! Special thanks to Ann for curtailing the worst of my rambles. NC-17. Comments are love!

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Just another day on Serenity. Preseries. PG-13. Happy September 30th.

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