BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

GIRLFAN

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Fifty-One
Monday, April 16, 2007

How far did Green and Banks get? Five moments of revealation. NC17 (adult themes). Canon pairings +1 (River/ofc).


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2829    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Even Roses Have Thorns

Chapter Fifty-One: lusus naturae (a freak of nature)

*** *** *** Chapters 1-10, Chapters 11-20, Chapters 21-30, Chapters 31-35, Chapters 36-40, Chapters 41-45, Chapters 46-50 *** *** ***

Simon wasn’t an idiot. Well, that much was clear from the fact that he was a bona fide genius. So really, when Simon thought something about not being an idiot, that wasn’t really what he was thinking about.

No. He was fuming, waiting for his little machines to tell him what he already knew. What he knew he already knew. He could have waited anywhere but the infirmary – it didn’t have happy memories for him, either – but he wasn’t fit company for the others, yet. Not without apologies, discussions; he wasn’t ready for any of that. He’d been a little surprised at how easily they’d all gone back to their normal – if you could call it that – routine. Mal and Inara had passed by frequently, signally or as a pair until he’d stepped out and informed them that Jayne had ripped the keypad out of the wall, and that they could stop worrying, he was just running some tests.

No. Things wouldn’t really be normal – such as it got for Serenity and her crew – for some time; Simon knew that it was actually going to get less normal before it got more normal – he just had to wait for the results to pop up.

It didn’t take as long as his impatience made it seem.

He left the infirmary to head to the passenger dorms. Mentally calling to his sister or her lover instinctively seemed as rude as shouting; it wouldn’t have occurred to him to do it. When he arrived at his sister’s door, he could hear two voices; all the more reason to keep his mind in his own skull. He knocked and he heard River’s happy voice call, “Come in!”

The girls were sitting together on the bed; Simon pulled the door closed and sat on the floor. Really, they should do this in the infirmary – but they all hated it, almost equally, by now. Even Simon didn’t care enough about the protocol to insist. Or, at the moment, protocol in general. As a doctor, this was news for only one of his patients. Things were never that simple, and Simon had given up on trying to pretend that they were. He took a breath, and looked at Ceres. “Your tests have come back.” When Ceres looked at River, he shook his head. “No. This affects all of us.” His pause was short. “You’re pregnant, with twins. They’re both girls, probably deliberately. I’ve checked their maternity and paternity. One of them is yours. One of them is River’s. Both of them are mine.”

“Genetics project,” Ceres stated dully.

“Yes.” Simon wasn’t certain he was ready to be a father, but he was already certain that he couldn’t terminate the lives of his own children. He hoped Ceres wouldn’t want that. If she chose to have them, somehow he’d see that they were taken care of; if she didn’t, well, he didn’t think he could ask her to do it for his sake. After all, one of his daughters was his niece as well, the product of incest. Even without a concern about genetic problems, it was a deeply ingrained taboo.

Ceres had never really seen children in her future – and hell, one of them wasn’t even hers, to be technical about it. Simon was both of the babies’ father, and an uncle to one of them; River was both of the babies’ aunt, and mother to one of them. One of them wasn’t related to her at all.

River seemed to understand what was going through both of their minds. She suppressed her concerns and let only her happiness show. “I want them. Both of them. Will you have my baby?” She looked at her lover.

Ceres’ smile was a little sad, but only a little. “Of course, darling.”

“Will you have mine?” Simon muttered, but he was overheard.

“Yes.” Ceres’ smile was warmer this time.

“I know it’s not what people – look, I don’t want to keep this from Kaylee.” He didn’t need to elaborate. They all understood.

“Of course,” Ceres said. It would be public soon enough, and it would most likely be most awkward for Simon, on several levels.

Simon stood, gallows-humour smirk on his features. “Great. I’ll tell Kaylee, then I’ll go fetch Mal, and ask Zoë to bring a shot gun.” He headed for the door.

River looked thoughtfully at her brother as he headed for the door, then back to her lover as Ceres spoke quietly, “Simon, wait.” When he turned back, she eyed him seriously. “Dr. Tam, I’d like to ask for your blessing before I ask your sister to marry me.”

Simon looked stunned for a moment, but internally was grateful that propriety would be given a chance – though, of course, that depended on his rather less than proper little sister. He nodded and swallowed, “Yes, of course, Miss Swann.” He stepped out of the room; a moment later, a happy River pulled back the door and pulled him into a hug. “I’m getting married! And I’m having a baby!” She let him go. “Go tell Kaylee. I’m going to ask the Captain to marry us after dinner.” She beamed and closed the door again quickly.

***

Kaylee chewed her lip a bit. She was hurt, but it wasn’t Simon’s fault. It was nobody’s fault. “Ya sure that you’re happy about them marrying, Simon? River’s awful young and they ain’t known each other so long.”

Kaylee could see that Simon’s expression was maddeningly certain before he spoke, “Of course. Ceres is pregnant. With River’s child. With my children.”

Kaylee tried to put herself in Simon’s shoes and hedged, “Ya scared that otherwise she’ll take off and ya won’t see ‘em?”

“No,” Simon shook his head. “Not really. But at least this way, I can be the girls’ uncle, all publicly acknowledged; I won’t ever be able to be their father.”

“Right and proper,” Kaylee managed to say it without any trace of the bitterness she found biting at her.

Simon nodded. “Yes.” For this, for family, yes, proper still mattered.

***

“Albatross, that was a mite quick don’t ya think?” Mal asked hesitantly from the co-pilot’s chair.

“It’s become a matter of some urgency, Captain.” River’s voice was aimed low and sombre, and her face both serious and uncomfortable.

It clicked immediately with Mal what she was saying; she was in the family way – except that no, she couldn’t be in the family way, could she? It must be Ceres – he didn’t like to think of how she’d come to be with child. He was appalled, but had to at least try to protect River from making a decision she’d regret. “I won’t pretend I understand this situation, but I won’t pretend I don’t know that these things don’t happen either. It’s an ugly place for a girl to be, and I know you don’t like to see her in pain. But that baby is not your responsibility River, and it will be if you marry Ceres.”

“Babies. We’re having twins.”

Mal rolled his eyes upwards beseechingly. He tried again. “River, you ain’t having nothing unless you go putting a ring on that girl’s finger.” He held up a hand before she could interrupt again. “I ain’t gonna throw her off the boat, River. I ain’t asking you to stop loving her. I just think you only turned eighteen a little while ago, and that’s an awful young age to become a father.”

River rolled her eyes. “I’m not the father.” But she wasn’t just being pedantic. “Simon’s the father.” She continued before he could say anymore, explaining exactly how the two tiny blobs of cells that she already thought of as her daughters had been conceived.

*** River and Ceres didn’t go to breakfast because Mal insisted that it was bad luck to see each other on the day of the wedding, and confined them to quarters. Immediately on finishing their breakfasts, Sam and Simon left to bring breakfast to the River and Ceres and to start helping the brides to get ready, and Mal claimed that he had Captainy things to do, and wandered in the direction of the bridge.

“They wouldn’t be doing it if Ceres weren’t pregnant,” Kaylee complained to the others, who looked at her, startled by her uncomfortable revelation.

Jayne thought he understood her anger was disappointment at getting pipped to the post by River and Ceres. Still, he couldn’t let it slide completely, especially given how the girl must have fallen pregnant, “Ain’t no call for that sorta talk Kaylee. Height of bad manners to imply a bride’s got a bun in the oven even if she’s bigger and rounder than a moon.” His gruff voice was soft, however.

Inara stared at Jayne. In all the time she’d know him, she’d never known him to care one jot about etiquette, but Kaylee’s petulant comment distracted her: “It’s true.”

Inara pursed her lips, “Jayne’s right, Kaylee. It really isn’t any of our business until she announces it.” Inara tried to turn the conversation. “In any case, mei-mei, I would have thought you’d enjoy a wedding.”

“Ya really don’t think it’s too soon? We haven’t even buried Aren yet.” Kaylee’s tone was no longer petulant, but rather one of real confusion.

That was a sore spot for Inara, but she smiled calmly anyway. “All the more reason to grasp the tighter to what joy you may find, xaio mei-mei.”

Zoë just nodded, not really trusting herself to speak.

“S’actly,” Jayne stated around a mouthful of pancakes. “I like weddin’s. Always nice to have a party. Reminds me I should talk ta Mal, see iffin we can’t swing by home on our way back from Haven.” He tried to make it sound more casual than he truly felt about it. But Inara, Zoë and Kaylee were safe enough waters to test the idea in.

Inara’s eyebrow shot up, and Kaylee looked genuinely interested, “Would be nice ta see yer sisters again, wouldn’t it? And we’d all get ta meet ‘em, finally.” Inara considered that Kaylee might well be the only one on board to know anything at all about Jayne’s sisters.

“Yeah.”

“So you gonna tell us, or we gonna hafta beat it outta ya, Jayne?” Kaylee was grinning, finally.

Jayne considered another forkful. “Katie’s getting married. Wants me ta walk ‘er down the aisle.” He shoved the pancakes in and crewed happily around them.

“I think the Captain could get on board with that,” Zoë said lightly, and Jayne gave her an appreciative nod.

Kaylee smiled determinedly, but she didn’t feel all that cheerful inside. It seemed like everyone else was making a family around her: Zoë, Mal and Inara, River and Ceres, and even Simon – Jayne getting to go home and see his family again. It didn’t feel like her Serenity anymore. Everything had changed so much, and suddenly she felt out of place. She wondered how differently the last few months would have turned out if she’d just said, ‘yes’ when Simon had asked her to marry him.

It was the first time she’d actually thought that she might have made a mistake back then.

Later that evening, when she saw Simon’s happy smile and sad eyes as his sister danced at her wedding, she wondered about it for the second time.

And when Simon caught her eye and squeezed her hand, she was pretty sure that what she was feeling was actually regret. It wasn’t clear to her how she was going to fix this, but she was determined that, somehow, she would.

*** *** *** Chapter 52 *** *** ***

COMMENTS

Monday, April 16, 2007 12:21 PM

GIRLFAN


Ok, without the navel gazing, I'm not happy with it. I know, I know.

My muse has abandoned this for my thesis, so I don't think I get to complain too much.

Next chapter: some fluff, finally - Jayne gets to go home.

Monday, April 16, 2007 2:20 PM

TKID


Ewwwblergughhhhhhhhh. Are Green and Banks dead? Because what they did ... just ... ick.

But Kaylee ohhhh Kaylee ...

I'm a terrible person - is there any chance Jayne has any other marriagable-age sisters? Or cousins? Or nieces? Because the resulting kerfuffle that could happen if one of 'em latched onto Simon ... the look on Jayne's face alone would be priceless.

Monday, April 16, 2007 3:08 PM

MANICGIRAFFE


Part of me is totally squicked out at the origin of the kids. Part of me is totally awed at the level of maturity the three Tams - Ceres is now a Tam, ye? - showed in dealing with it (actually, props to Mal for not exploding at River as well). Only time and a glass of gin will decide which reaction wins out here.

I can't help notice something. Ceres marrying River and dealing with kids, as well as Simon agreeing to be an "Uncle" on par with Mal and Jayne instead of a dad, gives Kaylee exactly what she wanted 51 chapters ago: to be first. Realistically, Simon's kids will always be first to him, but several folks also metioned that if River had been Simon's daughter instead of sister, Kaylee would never have faulted him for his behavior. Kaylee finally gets primacy of place, which seems to be manifesting itself as regret that she didn't stick with it the first time.

> I'm a terrible person - is there any chance Jayne has any other marriagable-age sisters? Or cousins? Or nieces? Because the resulting kerfuffle that could happen if one of 'em latched onto Simon ... the look on Jayne's face alone would be priceless.

The look on Jayne's face? The look on Kaylee's face might melt a bulkhead at that point! That whole "there is no wrath..." thing.

Monday, April 16, 2007 3:16 PM

TKID


* The look on Kaylee's face might melt a bulkhead at that point! That whole "there is no wrath..." thing. *

Yes! Exactly! And Jayne's sisters wouldn't be no pushovers, either!

Your thoughts on Simon'n'Ceres'n'River were spot on.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:07 AM

GIRLFAN


>I can't help notice something. Ceres marrying River and dealing with kids, as well as Simon agreeing to be an "Uncle" on par with Mal and Jayne instead of a dad, gives Kaylee exactly what she wanted 51 chapters ago: to be first. Realistically, Simon's kids will always be first to him, but several folks also metioned that if River had been Simon's daughter instead of sister, Kaylee would never have faulted him for his behavior. Kaylee finally gets primacy of place, which seems to be manifesting itself as regret that she didn't stick with it the first time.

Well done. Yes, that is definately something that is going on, and you'll see more of next chap.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:23 AM

CHAZZER


Wow, it's all so deep.

And just wow in general.

Seriously, Girlfan, just when I think you can't get any meaner to our beloved crew, you give them babies and mess with their heads. I'm a bit aprehensive about how quickly River and Ceres 'solved' the problem. I have a feeling the arrangment wont work for Simon however much he wants it to.

And poor Kaylee....

There relationship is doomed, isn't it?

*cries*

I'm counting on you to make it right, gorramit.

As always, an amazing chapter!

xxxx

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:46 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


*jaws drops in shock*

Ok...if this is a sign of your muse switching tracks and focusing on your thesis, then I really can't properly fathom what a chapter would be like with full creative focus. Cuz this chapter was just friggin' brilliant and awesome and....brawsome (yep...coined me a new word;D)

I too was all kinds of squicked out knowing that one of the children Ceres is carrying is a CSI Special...even if Simon and River were not aware of the child's creation. And like Chazzer, I get the feeling the marriage and Simon's decision to be "uncle" will not work out as planned. River and Ceres do love each other, but I get the feeling that Kaylee - surprisingly blunt and rude as she was - is right in that they would have not thought about marriage for quite some time had Banks and Green not decided to play eugenics.

Honestly not sure how I feel about Simon and Kaylee getting together for once. Normally, I would be all over the author to get those two crazy kids together so they can find some modicum of happiness...but after 51 chapters of predominantly angst and character exploration, I gotta wonder if being crew mates and - hopefully - friends would be better in the long run. Cuz I really am feeling all kinds of "Wuh oh" for the fact that Simon has fathered children (even inadvertently) and Kaylee will probably have this as something major stuck in her craw for some time to come. Doesn't really bode well for Silee when there some serious 500-lb. elephants in the metaphorical room.

BEB

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 4:09 PM

MANICGIRAFFE


After chewing on it a few days, I think it's hit my brain why Kaylee's newfound determination makes me feel a bit wary.

For 51 chapters, both she and Simon have studiously avoided talking about their initial problem: what "rank" River and Kaylee have in Simon's life. They've glossed it voer and tried to ignore it, but their basic patterns have no changed: Simon is obsessed with protecting/taking care of EVERYONE, not just Kaylee; and Kaylee is completely unable to consider anything other than her own immediate desires. The latest daring rescue came about by taking their faults to the extreme: the stress of "protecting" finally snaps Simon altogether, and Kaylee's insistence on taking a poll to see if the rest of the crew agreed with her certainly didn't help.

The concern is that the "solution" to the problem, while resolving the one difference that prevented the marriage, didn't come about by anyone growing as a person. It came about from ouside influences not of their doing. My fear would be that they're "getting away with it" this time, but without some actual acknowledgement of thier habits and trying to change them, they're just headed for another round in the future.


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