Where I Belong: Part III of VI
Monday, May 21, 2007

Kaylee is left to wonder what went wrong as they look for Simon. S/K.


Author's Notes: Thanks to those who read and commented. Glad you're liking the story so far.

For those of you who care about such things, for obvious reasons, the POV had to change from Simon, in earlier parts, to Kaylee, going forward.

Thanks to Mal4Prez for the beta.

Part I can be found:Here

Part II: Here.

------------- Where I Belong -------------

Part III

It was a dream. It had to be. All of it. From the moment Simon had pulled her into his arms and kissed her with such confidence and passion, to this moment, as she stared at the rubble that was now the entrance to the medical center. This couldn’t be happening.

Kaylee stared unblinking as the dust and the smoke cleared, as the burning buildings around her hemorrhaged people who’d thought they would be safe inside. Dimly, she heard a familiar voice, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from the medical center. She’d seen Simon run towards it, but she couldn’t calculate just when. It had been a few minutes, right? He’d had time to get into the emergency ward before the entryway had been hit – hadn’t he?

She barely registered the strong hand that pulled her backward into the whitewashed building, or another hand joining the first to shake her into mobility.


She turned unfocussed eyes on the dark-skinned woman. “Zoe?”

“Fiightin’s moved into the city. We need to make a run for the ship.” Kaylee felt herself being pulled deeper into the building. She knew there was an exit in the back of it, but when they reached it, Kaylee twisted out of Zoe’s grasp, eyes lighting with a horrified fire.

“No! Simon! We gotta go back for him. We –“

“Captain and Jayne are headin’ up there to get him an’ River –“

“No!” Kaylee cried, trying to force the words past her mouth. She knew they wouldn’t find him. Not unless she told them where to look for the body. Tears slid down dirt-smudged cheeks as she tried to pull the first mate back toward the front of the building. “He’s not – he was –“ She panted, her mouth unable to keep up with her mind.

“Kaylee, really, they’ll be –“

“No!” Her voice carried above all other noise this time, and Zoe stopped to regard Kaylee very carefully. “He ain’t gonna be there. He just –“ Kaylee gulped a big breath of air. “He just got inside when the – the – it hit the buildin’ and, I fell down – he, he’s – there.” Her hand swung limply in the direction of the rubble. “He can’t have gotten – he’s hurt. You have to find him!“

“Ok, ok,” Zoë said. Kaylee felt relief flood her body when she realized that Zoe understood. “We’ll find him. You need to stay back here.”

Kaylee shook her head. “No. Can’t. Have to go – can help –“

Another high-pitched wail came from the front of the building and Kaylee hurried to River’s side as Wash attempted to control the frantic girl.

“Just went nuts all of a sudden. Started screaming like –”

“I thought she was in the –“ Kaylee whispered, her eyes still focused in the direction of the medical center.

River fell into Kaylee’s arms and whimpered, “Ashes, ashes, they all fall down.”

Wash met Kaylee’s eyes and quipped, trying to lighten the mood. “I wouldn’t have chosen that particular children’s rhyme. All morose and depressing.”

“Simon’s trapped,” Zoe said and Wash’s jaw snapped shut. She turned to her husband, whose eyes widened at this revelation. “Take Kaylee and River out back. I’ll help Jayne and Mal find him.”

“No, I gotta go. I gotta –” Kaylee held River’s head against her chest, cradling the whimpering child as if she was a babe. She had to make Zoe understand that she needed to do this. She had to find him. It couldn’t end like this.

Zoe tilted her head, ear to the sky. “They’ve stopped fallin’.”

“Then let’s go.” Kaylee moved toward the front of the building, pulling River along with her.

By the time they reached the medical center, people were already digging at what remained of the collapsed entryway. Able-bodied men lifted what they could, revealing some bruised, mostly broken bodies of those unlucky enough to be caught beneath the roof when it collapsed. Doctors and nurses waited on the sidelines for the injured to be pulled out, careful to stay out of the way of those digging furiously through the rubble.

Kaylee rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand and moved forward with Wash and Zoe to help, but she stopped short when they lifted a section of the wall to reveal an unconscious dark-haired man. She shook her head in denial, her breaths coming in short, brief pants as the man was turned over.

Blood covered his face and bones broke the tanned skin. It was a gruesome sight and Kaylee knew, just by looking at the man, that he was dead.

“Not him,” River said to Kaylee, looking up with wet, swollen, eyes. “Not yet.” She returned her head to Kaylee’s chest.

Kaylee felt a mix of relief and elation at River’s words followed nearly immediately by fear when she heard the doctor pronounce the man they’d just found dead. If Simon was trapped under all that rubble, she feared the worst.

“Is he gonna make it, River?” Kaylee felt herself whispering into the younger girl’s dark hair. Her entire body tensed as she waited, carefully scrutinizing every bit of rubble the people cleared away.

The girl’s voice was muffled as she answered, “Too many variables.”

“Oh God,” Kaylee breathed. She remembered the last words she’d spoken to him, vitriolic in her anger, and felt intense shame flood her body.

“Didn’t know how to explain.” River’s voice was still muffled where her cheek lay pressed against Kaylee’s jumpsuit. “Didn’t want to hurt you. Didn’t want to hurt me. But thinks its ok for him to hurt. Better than having to choose.”

“That ain’t ok, River,” Kaylee’s voice cracked as another man, this time alive, was pulled from beneath the collapsed entryway. “He don’t gotta choose.”

River tilted her head and offered a weak smile. “And he thinks I’m the crazy one.” She turned her head, and Kaylee could just barely see the girl’s eyes flit across the stone and mortar. “He’s as broken as I am.”

Kaylee shook her head. “Ain’t so. He’s just got –“


“River?” Kaylee asked, frightened that River might just explain in further detail just how broken Simon might be.

River pulled out of Kaylee’s arms and took a few steps toward where her brother had just been found.

Kaylee inhaled sharply and took a hesitant step forward, but the doctors rushed ahead of her and immediately searched for his vital signs. Her hands began to tremble when she overheard one of the doctors demand the infusers. River wiggled against her side and together they watched as one of the nurses ripped open Simon’s shirt. Another woman, presumably a doctor, held two metal disks to his bare chest and called ‘clear’, moments before his torso shook from the current being sent through it.

Kaylee swayed, and only her grip on River kept her on her feet, as the man pushing a needle into Simon’s arm announced that he was still not breathing. Time slowed for Kaylee; she stared, unblinking, while the group huddled around Simon did their best to bring him back.

Someone said something about a collapsed lung, she heard another person mention broken ribs, but it all melded together as Kaylee thought back the night before, and how surprised she’d been to be pushed up against the wall and kissed so hard she had to tear her mouth away to take a breath.

She remembered the silky feel of his hair, the softness of his skin – no man should have skin so soft, and the sure, determined motion with which he removed every stitch of clothing before lowering her to the bed.

Her body tingled with the memory, and so she watched, eyes glued to his bloodied face and thought back to how it had felt to stare down into his eyes that morning, see his expression change from desire, to wonder, and back again as she touched him, as they moved together, as his muscles bunched and flexed in all kinds of arousing ways.

The instrument was on his chest again, and Kaylee’s eyes remained wide as she watched them try desperately to save his life. They knew who he was, had seen for the last three days what dedication this stranger felt for his profession. He’d helped them without question.

The doctor slid a tube down Simon’s throat and Kaylee felt herself gag at the thought of what such a thing must feel like. She raised a surprisingly steady hand to trail calloused fingers over her lips and down her neck, recalling the feel his mouth there. He’d left no visible mark, and Kaylee fleetingly wished he had. Something she could see in the mirror; a visible reminder. She watched the medical team work for an indeterminate amount of time, but she didn’t really see – instead, she remembered what she had gained – and lost in the span of a few short hours.

TBC ----------

Liked it? Hated it? Leave a review and let me know.


Monday, May 21, 2007 6:47 AM


I don't put it past you to kill Simon, but damn! This is killing me here - which I know was your absolute goal!

Unbelievable description of the violence and destruction wrought by the bomb and the desperation felt by Kaylee and the crew to get to Simon. Where exactly are Jayne and Mal? Something tells me Kaylee could use her captain right about now ...

And I loved River in this too - just cogent enough to be understood, but cryptic enough to guess a bit at the double-meaning.

Monday, May 21, 2007 8:28 AM


The dichotomy between Kaylee remembering the night before and watching Simon being worked on is really incredible, makes for a very intense expierence...and I don't put it past you either. But I'm going to hate to see it happen if it does...
and yeah, where the hell are those guys?

Monday, May 21, 2007 9:57 AM



Please don't kill Simon. Please?

You wouldn't....right?

Yeah, this was brilliant. And I have to agree with BigBadJayne - juxstaposing her remembering with her watching was a stroke of genius.

Cannot wait for more :D:D:D

Ten, of course.

Monday, May 21, 2007 7:39 PM


Oh...this was all kinds of superb, Leiasky! The amount of tension and possible character death is unbelievable...though par for the course with anything you or Joss can dream up;)

Have to ditto what BigBadJayne and Chazzer said...all kinds of brilliant to have Kaylee think on her last happy moments with Simon as the doctors struggle to save Simon's life. And River's cryptic but lucid statements are still haunting me as I write this:S


Tuesday, May 22, 2007 5:46 PM


Please don't kill Simon. Take Jayne instead.

And I know it's been said, but, that scene with Kaylee watching and rememering was very cool and saddening.


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Simon and Kaylee discuss other - avenues, as they lay in bed. Oddly, this is a pretty PG story.

Simon and kaylee disturb the ship with their nocturnal activities. Post BDM. Part of a challenge table. Rated NC-17 for adult content.

Broken Wings: Conclusion (Repost)
The crew take Kaylee home to be buried and the reason for Simon's secrecy is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 18 (Repost)
Simon, Mal and Jayne have a moment with Kaylee. Inara and River are reunited with the rest of the crew. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 17 (Repost)
Simon has a conversation with Zoe, Mal and Jayne - separately. Sequel to 'On the Edge.' Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 16 (Repost)
The crew is reunited - mostly, as Simon arrives to treat the wounded. River rushes to Inara's aid before her deception is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 15 (Repost)
Simon's escape is halted by his father. But River comes to the rescue. Jayne - sees the light - far too up close and personal for his safety. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 14 (Repost)
Simon and Inara's deception is discovered. Mal, Jayne and Zoe continue to fight what looks to be a losing battle. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 13 (Repost)
Simon has some unexpected help with his fussy son and River receives another assignment. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 12 (Repost)
Inara and Simon continue their work while a message gets out to those on the front lines. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.