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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Kaylee throws Simon a surprise party - with the crew's help - and then everyone gets an unexpected ... and unwelcome surprise. Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, River/Rafe
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 973 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N: Okay, so we're five chapters in and now the plot really takes off - no one has so far guessed at what this story is going to revolve around, so I hope you like what I've cooked up!
Thanks to Leiasky and Kaynara.
Simon shifted a bit in the seat beside Kaylee, again fidgeting with his cufflinks. “Kaylee, do you really think this is the best night for us to be out?” he asked, turning to regard her.
Taking a deep breath so as not to lose her cool, Kaylee turned to him with a placid expression and asked, “What, sweetie?”
Simon could read the tension tightening at the corners of her eyes and he tried to ease it by relaxing. However, the knowledge that his parents would be standing on his doorstep in under ten hours was damaging his normally collected demeanor. “My parents are arriving tomorrow,” he told her by way of explanation.
Squeezing his hand gently, Kaylee inched closer and pressed a kiss to his cheek as the hover rumbled along. “I know, sweetie. But there ain’t nothin’ more we can do to plan for ‘em. You already called to check on their reservation at the hotel an’ I cleaned the apartment from top to bottom.” Holding her hand in front of his face, she pouted slightly and added, “I even got the grimy fingernails to prove it.”
Smiling softly, Simon took the upraised hand in his and kissed each fingertip, before tugging her towards him gently. Placing a light kiss to her warm lips, he whispered, “I’m sorry. I’m trying to relax, I promise.”
Nuzzling her nose into his cheek, Kaylee told him, “Well then, maybe dinner with the Butlers is jus’ the thing you need. You know Eli and Evie always put you in a good mood.”
Resting his cheek against her hair, Simon released one more heavy sigh and then squeezed her close. “You’re right. A nice quiet night is just what I need.”
In their current position, Simon missed the flash of concern in Kaylee’s eyes at his statement.
“Ain’t it time t’eat yet?”
Jayne’s grumbled complaint garnered eye rolls from the rest of the crew, while River simply jabbed him sharply in the ribs. Flashing a threatening expression to him, she whispered harshly, “Quiet. Can’t ruin the surprise.”
“Don’t see why we’s goin’ to all this fuss anyways. It ain’t like we ain’t gonna have another party tomorrow an’ the day after that.” Jayne continued to mumble under his breath, but the crew ignored him this time, their attention turned to the entryway as they heard the faint sound of a hovercraft settling to the ground outside. The foyer was dimly lit, but not dark, and Serenity’s crew had gravitated to the outer walls, hoping to stay out of Simon and Kaylee’s immediate line of sight until the surprise had been revealed.
Rafe and River stood together, his arm around her slim shoulders. Inara had noticed that the young man had not drifted from her side for more than a few minutes in the past twenty-four hours, while River had done everything she could to stay close to him as well. They had always been a quiet couple, not prone to the fits of giggles or squeals that had filled the ship when Simon and Kaylee were still aboard. But their mood in the past day had been a bit more subdued and while it concerned Inara slightly, she also knew that when and if either of them needed help, they would ask for it.
Inara stood beside Mal, a drink in her hand as they waited for Simon and Kaylee’s arrival. While they had again been sharing a bed, things between her and the obstinate captain were still a bit strained. She had not mentioned her daughter once in the past two weeks, but the tension that the topic had initially caused had yet to dissipate. Inara knew Mal was simply waiting for the other shoe to drop – and unfortunately, she also knew he was right to fear.
She would not give up on her search for her daughter, she couldn’t. She wanted to know her, to apologize to her and tell her that giving her up for adoption had been the hardest thing Inara had ever had to do. Inara needed that closure as much as anything and every day she went on without it was another day of immense sadness. Regardless of whether Mal could understand that, it was something she was determined to do.
Glancing to Zoe and Jayne standing just slightly behind River and Rafe, Inara turned her attention back to the doorway as Eli and Evelyn, their hosts for the evening, approached the door right before the chime sounded. The Butlers’ two grown daughters and their spouses were also at the back of the foyer, very excited to surprise their newfound friends less than forty-eight hours before their big day.
With twinkling eyes and a mischievous grin, Eli glanced to his wife with his hand on the door knob. Getting a small nod from her, he grandly opened the door as Evelyn hit a light switch on the jamb, dousing the room in bright light and cueing the guests to yell, “Surprise!”
While Kaylee clapped her hands happily and hugged Simon tightly, the bridegroom stared at their family and friends with a look of utter disbelief. Pulling back to kiss Simon soundly, Kaylee, eyes sparkling whispered, “Surprise.”
Shaking his head slightly to regain a modicum of awareness, Simon looked down to her beaming face. “You did this?”
Nodding once, Kaylee glanced to their hosts who stood arm-in-arm behind the young couple, smiling proudly. “Well, I asked Eli an’ Evie if’n they wouldn’t mind hostin’ all o’ us.” Craning her neck to find the captain, Kaylee turned from Simon and hugged the man quickly, before adding, “And the cap said they could get here a day early.” Embracing Inara quickly, before moving back to Simon’s side, Kaylee slid her hand into his and asked, “Surprised?”
“Are you kidding?” The look on his face telegraphed to the entire assemblage he’d had no idea to expect this, but Simon couldn’t help it. He was shocked; there was no other way to put it. Kissing Kaylee again, he returned her large grin with one of his own as he remarked, “I’m just not sure what this is for.” Turning to her, he took her hands and said, “The wedding is about us, not just me.”
The crew and their hosts drifted towards the parlor as Kaylee felt a few tears well in her eyes at his sincerity. Cradling his face in her hands, she told him, “Sweetie, you’ve been so stressed. I jus’ wanted you to have one night to relax an’ enjoy ‘fore your folks show up an’ my folks show up …” Her statement trailing off, Kaylee leaned towards him and brushed her lips against his in a lingering kiss. Leaning back, she finished, “It’s kinda my weddin’ gift to you. Just us an’ our family an’ friends. Like ya wanted.”
Simon’s heart beat sharply against his rib cage as his blue eyes studied Kaylee’s warm green ones. Even though he’d known her for two years and they’d been together for one, she still had the capacity to surprise him and to make his heart fill with more love for her than he rightly knew what to do with. Swallowing past the sudden lump that had formed in his throat, Simon reached out a hand to her face, his fingers gently tracing her cheek bone and jaw line. Kaylee turned her lips into his palm and kissed it, before again bringing glistening eyes to his face.
Resting his forehead against hers, Simon murmured, “You are amazing. Thank you for loving me.”
Smiling warmly, Kaylee again kissed him and whispered against his mouth, “Yeah, well that’s a two-way street buster. Thank you for lovin’ me.”
Moving his arms to her waist, Simon held her tightly and promised, “For the rest of my life.”
Sighing with content at the feeling of his strong arms around her and the sense of lightness in her heart, she luxuriated in his embrace for only a few seconds before pulling away and tugging him towards the sounds of the party in the next room. “C’mon, we got some celebratin’ to do.”
The minute Simon stepped into the parlor, he found his arms full of his sister. “Missed you, Simon,” she whispered in his ear, pressing a kiss to his cheek.
Wrapping his arms around her lithe form, Simon buried his face in her hair and squeezed her tight. “I missed you too, mei mei.” The siblings stayed locked in the embrace for a few more moments, before Simon finally pulled back. Looking her up and down with an appraising eye, he brought his gaze back to her face and asked earnestly, “Are you all right? You look wonderful.”
Smiling wide, River nodded once and confided, “I am wonderful, Simon. Better than wonderful.” Glancing over her shoulder to Rafe who was shuffling his weight from one foot to the other, she reached out a hand to him, smiling wide. The blond-haired man came immediately, sliding his calloused hand into River’s as she turned back to her brother and announced, “Simon, you remember Rafe, don’t you? We’re seeing each other.”
Simon tried to keep the look of disbelief from his features, but he knew in the second his sister’s eyes flashed with disappointment that he’d failed. Stepping towards Rafe and trying to ignore that the man had placed a very familiar hand at his sister’s waist, Simon extended his arm and said, “We met when you took the job on Serenity. It’s nice to see you again, Rafe.”
“You too, doc.” He met Simon’s gaze unflinchingly and for that, the older man had to give him credit. His handshake was firm, not hard, but strong enough to let Simon know he could take care of his mei mei. “Congratulations on your weddin’.”
“Thank you.” Simon nodded, his gaze still guarded, his tone curt as he allowed his eyes to travel over this young man who presumed to love his sister. Kaylee chose this moment to float back to his side, easily disengaging herself from a conversation with Inara as she saw the tension on Simon’s face rising again.
Sliding an arm around his waist, she reached for River and the soon-to-be sisters embraced tightly, while Simon and Rafe continued to stare. As Kaylee made a move to greet Rafe, she shared an eye roll with River, both of them more than aware of the pissing contest currently taking place between their two men.
Rolling her eyes again, this time at her brother, River commented sarcastically, “I’m sure the Butlers have a ruler. We could settle this right now.”
Both men’s cheeks flushed at her comment, and Simon dropped his gaze first. Placing his arm around Kaylee’s waist, when he again brought his eyes to his sister, there was genuine happiness mixed with his concern. “Give me time to get used to the idea, mei mei.” Looking to Rafe, he added, “Please.”
River and Rafe both nodded, even as River reached out and squeezed Simon’s forearm. Waiting until his eyes had again locked with hers, she told him in a whisper, “I’m okay, Simon. Rafe is good for me.” Glancing to the young man who had so obviously stolen her heart, she added quietly, “He loves me.”
His eyes locked with hers, Rafe smiled at her comment and kissed her gently. “That I do,” he answered back, his eyes never leaving her face.
“Aw, well ain’t you two jus’ the sweetest thing I ever saw.” Kaylee’s squeal of delight was hard to ignore and Simon found his mouth turning up into a grin at her words. “Ain’t they, Simon?” she asked, turning those shining eyes to him. “Ain’t they jus’ so cute?”
“I suppose they are, bao bei,” Simon told her, pressing a kiss to her temple.
“Yeah, ruttin’ disgustin’ is what they is,” Jayne bellowed from nearby. He had parked himself at one end of the hors d’ouevre table and was now licking some kind of sauce off his fingers. “Kissin’ an’ neckin’ in every part o’ the – ow!”
The rest of Jayne’s statement came to an abrupt end as Zoe swiftly cuffed him on the side of the head. As he glared at her, rubbing the spot just behind his ear, she muttered, “Shut it, Jayne.”
“They actually make an adorable couple, Simon,” Inara interjected, moving towards the group, Mal trailing behind her like a lost puppy. “And they’ve been very discreet.” Allowing her eyes to drift to her friend, the bride, Inara’s eyes twinkled with mirth as she added, “In comparison to some.”
Blushing slightly, Kaylee smiled and said, “Oh, we was never that bad.”
As the crew all muttered comments of varying disbelief at her feigned innocence, Eli reentered the room and announced grandly, “Dinner is served.”
By the end of the night, Simon had to admit he was ridiculously relaxed. Of course, the half bottle of sake Kaylee had managed to ply him with was probably a key ingredient to his laid back mood at the moment, but he honestly didn’t care. He was surrounded by all those he held most dear in the ‘verse, he was marrying the woman of his dreams in just a few short hours and his sister was happy and smiling. All was right in Simon Tam’s world.
Sitting down heavily beside the slightly tipsy man, Eli slapped Simon’s leg heartily and asked, “So, Doctor Tam, are you enjoying your last hours of freedom?”
Smiling wide, Simon glanced to his other side and caught sight of Kaylee grinning from ear to ear as she animatedly shared a story with Inara and Mal. Glancing back to Eli, Simon nodded once and said, “Yes, I certainly am.”
“Well, I’m glad,” the older man stated, looking about the room and surveying his family and friends as they laughed and chatted. Leaning back against the couch, Eli and Simon sat in a companionable silence for a moment, before the older doctor finally broke the bad news. “But I might have to revoke that time off for your honeymoon.”
Simon knew the man’s statement should have caused a bit of alarm, but with the alcohol coursing through his veins, the best he could manage was an upraised eyebrow. “What?”
Frowning slightly, Eli leaned towards him and said, “The transport carrying your replacement didn’t show up tonight like it was supposed to. I just heard from the hospital. The Chief of Staff is a little nervous letting you go without having someone to pick up the slack for two weeks.”
Glad that the low din of conversation in the room had kept this news from Kaylee, Simon sat forward and forced his addled mind to focus. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”
His frown deepening, Eli told him, “I’m afraid so. But I promise you Simon, I will do everything in my power to let you keep those plans.” His eyes shifting just past Simon’s shoulder to Kaylee’s laughing face, he reiterated, “And I do mean, everything.”
Nodding once, Simon was about to thank the man when Kaylee’s excited tone pulled his attention away from his boss.
River watched her brother from across the room. She had joined in the conversation with the rest of her family and friends intermittently throughout the night, but now, she was content to observe them. Of course, it was Simon, his moods, his well-being that she scrutinized most intently.
He was happy. River had never known Simon to feel such unadulterated happiness before. There had been moments, in childhood, adolescence, even once they’d boarded Serenity where he had felt flashes of relief, but never happiness, never full-bodied content as he felt at this moment. And River found herself undeniably grateful for not only Kaylee’s presence in her brother’s life, but the good fortune they’d had to end up on Serenity in the first place.
Rafe’s light hand against her arm drew her big, brown eyes to his face and River smiled serenely as he took a seat beside her on the small bench. Edging closer, River pressed her thigh to his, dropping her head to his shoulder and nodded. “Yes, I’m fine.” Her eyes still focused on her brother, she murmured, “He’s so happy.”
Rafe followed her gaze, noting the absolutely euphoric look on the young doctor’s face. Glancing to Kaylee’s equally ecstatic expression, Rafe murmured, “Well, darlin’, I think they both are. Seems they got a lot to be happy about.” Leaning away from her a bit so he could look down into her wide eyes, he said softly, “They’re in love.”
Nodding, River shifted slightly and met his gaze, a small smile finding its way onto her face. “Before you, I didn’t understand how Simon could be quite so happy with Kaylee.” Her fingers gently ghosting over his stubble-covered chin, she murmured, “I understand now.”
Kissing her lightly, Rafe told her, “Glad I could help, jian mei.”
Resting her head back on his shoulder, River snuggled in closer and let the peace and tranquility of her happy family wash over her.
“’Nara, can you believe it?” Kaylee all but squealed, grasping her friend’s hand in excitement as the two of them had finally managed to squirrel themselves away in a corner alone. “I’m gonna be married – to Simon. Ain’t it shiny?”
Unable to not share her friend’s joy, Inara returned Kaylee’s grin and told her, “Yes, mei mei, it’s wonderful.” Brushing some of the younger woman’s hair off her shoulder, Inara added, “I’m so happy, for you both.”
Feeling tears of happiness again welling in her eyes, Kaylee flung her arms around her friend and hugged her tight. “I’m so glad you’re here, ‘Nara. It’s all so excitin’.”
Patting her back, Inara allowed her friend’s joy to infuse her spirit. Kaylee’s enthusiasm had always been infectious, but given the uncertainty and strain of the past few weeks on board, Inara found herself more grateful for it now than ever before.
Leaning back from her friend, Inara glanced across the room to Mal and Simon, the former doing his best to engage the obviously inebriated doctor in some kind of bet. “You seem happy here, Kaylee.”
It was a statement, not a question and Kaylee caught on to the slight wistfulness in her friend’s tone as she studied Inara’s suddenly serious features. Resting a light hand to her arm, Kaylee answered, “Yeah, ‘Nara. I am, real happy. I thought for sure I’d be bored to tears, but since I started at the orphanage, it ain’t been so bad.”
Inara’s eyes snapped up at Kaylee’s mention of the children’s home and she did her best to control her anxiety. “Yes, the orphanage. So, you like it there?”
Nodding, Kaylee told her, “Oh yeah, the lil’ ones are so sweet. An’ they love Simon,” she confided, her eyes alighting back to her bao bei’s face, a sly grin spreading across her features. It made her all squishy inside when she thought of the way the children swarmed around him when he came to check on them or how his eyes always danced when they told him a joke. “He’s gonna be such a great pa.”
Pulling her thoughts away from the selfish place they had drifted to, Inara patted her friend’s hand and told her, “It will happen, Kaylee. Just be patient.”
“I’m done bein’ patient, ‘Nara.” Kaylee’s tone had hardened in seconds and she let a bit of her annoyance show through as she looked back at her friend. “I wanna be a ma.”
Swallowing around the sudden lump in her throat at her friend’s heartfelt statement, Inara forced herself to focus on Kaylee. “I know, Kaylee and you will be the best mother ever, I know that. Just give it time. Things like that can’t be forced.”
Sighing wistfully, Kaylee dropped her eyes to her lap and murmured, “I know.” Refusing to let anything ruin her happy mood, she straightened her shoulders and brought her gaze back to Simon’s face. Remembering the unbelievable thrill of being loved by him, she told her friend, “’Course, Simon an’ I, we don’t mind the practicin’ neither.”
Giggling softly, Inara covered her mouth demurely with one hand and added, “I’m sure you don’t.”
It was exceptionally late by the time Kaylee and Simon literally stumbled back to their apartment. Whether it was truly the sake still affecting his motor skills or just the headiness of being in love, he wasn’t certain, but at the moment, he didn’t really care. Kaylee helped him into the bedroom, whispering promises of all kinds of passion when she emerged from the bathroom and Simon could only moan softly at her words, kissing her breathless until she finally disentangled herself.
Waiting until he heard the water running, Simon forced himself off the comfortable bed and made his way into the living room, feeling a bit more cogent as the movement got his blood flowing. There was one thing he had to check on before he succumbed to both Kaylee’s wiles and the call of sleep.
Flipping on the screen, he waited for it to warm up impatiently, hoping he could confirm that the Fryes had indeed made it to the hotel before Kaylee came out and asked what he was up to. As much as he had loved his surprise party that evening, he knew Kaylee would love his surprise more.
Putting in a wave to the hotel, Simon greeted the concierge with a smile. “Good evening, sir. How may I help you?”
“Yes, I, ah …” Simon swallowed hard and concentrated on not slurring his speech. “I had made reservations for my in-laws. I wanted to be sure they had checked in this evening.”
“Name?” the man asked, either oblivious to Simon’s struggle or discreetly ignoring it.
“James and Eleanor Frye.”
Simon waited as the man tapped at his keyboard. Glancing quickly over his shoulder, he concentrated for a moment and relaxed once he was again assured that Kaylee was still in the bathroom.
“I’m sorry, sir, but they haven’t checked in yet.”
Snapping his eyes back to the screen, Simon’s brow furrowed as concern warred for dominance in his alcohol-ridden brain. “What? Are you sure? Their transport was set to land over four hours ago. It was coming from Persephone.”
The man’s face blanched and Simon felt his stomach churn uncomfortably. “That transport never landed, sir,” the concierge explained. “They’re still looking into why. It took off from Persephone on schedule and did not broadwave any alerts or distress signals en route.”
Slumping back in the chair, Simon desperately tried not to panic. “Well, it can’t have just disappeared,” he muttered angrily, lifting his eyes back to the screen.
Still pale, the man told him, “Maybe not, sir, but it appears that it did.”
Up next: Chapter 6
Monday, May 21, 2007 6:25 PM
Monday, May 21, 2007 10:35 PM
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:26 AM
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:31 AM
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 5:25 AM
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 12:23 PM
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