PHASE ONE - Part Two
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Simon is rapidly getting worse, and no one has any idea what to do about it. Angsty, S/K


Phase One

A/N: Second Part of Four. Enjoy!!!

PHASE ONE: Prologue


***** To see translations, hover mouse over Chinese word.*****

Day Thirteen

“Where are you?” River whispered, her face close to his.

Simon was really not in the mood for her riddles. “Right here,” he croaked.

Her eyes narrowed slightly. “But where?”

Simon groaned in frustration, and that made him cough. Each cough shook his ribcage and ripped through his throat like fire. He collapsed back against the pillows. “Right here,” he repeated.

She pouted. “I can see you. But I can’t hear you.”

Simon coughed again. “You couldn’t hear that?” he said, more harshly than he’d intended. The fact was, his mind was moving faster than it had been in the past two weeks, which he supposed meant the medicine was finally beginning to do its job. Now, if only he could move. That was what had him frustrated.

“You make sounds but you don’t sound like Simon,” River concluded, sitting up.

“That’s because my throat has swelled to twice its usual size and I’m high on painkillers,” Simon offered.

River frowned. “No, it’s not.”

Day Fourteen

Wash shifted nervously. “What did you just say?”

Simon spoke slowly, hoping the words would come out properly this time. “Said… hope no one gets hurt… on the job”

Wash nodded, still looking slightly apprehensive. “Right. Seeing as how our only doctor needs a doctor himself right now.”

“I’m fine,” Simon said, with no real conviction behind the words.

Wash still looked a little uneasy. “Does it… hurt to talk?”

“Yeah,” Simon said, wary about where this was going. “Hurts…”

With a chuckle, Wash loaded up the syringe. “Well, keep taking this, and you’ll be back to your usual coherent self in no time.”

“Coherent,” Simon repeated. Incoherently.

Wash watched the young doctor slip back out of consciousness, and sighed heavily.

Day Sixteen

Simon wondered how Kaylee managed to remain so stubbornly cheerful, even when her own eyes were heavy from lack of sleep. She bustled around him, smiling as she kept up a stream of chatter, telling him about the stupid things Jayne had said and latest argument between Mal and Inara. Simon liked to listen, although Kaylee looked at him sometimes like she wondered if he understood. It pained him a little.

“Anyway,” she was saying as she sat at the foot of the bed, “I just… oh, sorry.”

“What?” he asked, confused.

“I just sat on your foot, Simon,” she told him, shifting. She poked his foot playfully. Simon frowned.

“Didn’t feel it.”

Her face froze, eyes wide. He immediately regretted wiping the smile from her face.

“Come here,” he said, reaching out his hand towards her.

She beamed at his rare gesture of affection, and took his hand, moving up the bed to sit beside him.

“You gotta get better soon, Simon,” she told him, her voice shaking a little. “I miss ya.”

“Not anywhere,” he assured her.

“What?” she asked, looking confused.

He coughed, and tried again, pulling her a little closer. “Not going anywhere,” he repeated, and on impulse, he reached up to brush a strand of hair from her face.

Day Eighteen

“Go on, Kaylee.”

Recognising Inara’s voice, Mal turned to see the companion ushering Kaylee onto the bridge, before following herself.

“Somethin’ wrong, ladies?” he asked, standing.

Kaylee sounded tearful as she spoke. “ Cap’n, somethin’s really wrong with Simon!”

“Tell me something I don’t know,” Mal told her heavily.

“No,” Kaylee insisted. “I mean really wrong. He can’t talk!”

This got Mal’s attention. “What’d’ya mean, I was down there this mornin’, he was talkin’ just fine.”

“He can talk sometimes,” Kaylee continued. “But sometimes he can’t seem to put the words in the right order.”

Wash coughed softly, and everyone looked at him.

“I, er, may have noticed that too,” he admitted. “A few days ago.”

Inara stepped forward. “I’ve noticed it too. But it’s getting worse.”

“An’,” put in Kaylee, who was crying now, “He can’t feel his feet.”

This was a shock to everyone. Mal and Inara exchanged loaded glances.

Wo de ma,” Mal muttered. “What do we do now?”

Day Twenty One

“Can you feel this?”

Simon winced as the needle pierced his tender skin of his ankle. “Yes.”

Book sighed heavily. “I don’t understand. Paralysis is usually methodical. It doesn’t just pop up in once place and then disappear and appear somewhere else.”

The two men looked down at Simon’s immobile arm, stumped.

“Possible… not.” Simon said eventually. He hardly ever spoke now. He hated that the words made sense in his head but not when they left his mouth.

Book looked at him sadly, and Simon turned away. He hated that look even more. Still, at least one word sentences he could manage.


Day Twenty Three

Kaylee squeezed his hand, praying inwardly from him to respond. He could shout at her, if he wanted, or hit her, or tell her he hated her and never wanted to see her again.

Anything other than staring blankly at the ceiling, like he was doing now.


She started; his voice sounded so weak, as if he hadn’t used it in days. Maybe he hadn’t.

“Yeah?” she said, mustering a smile just for him.


She nodded. “Get some sleep, then, honey. I’ll be right here.”

“Me, no. You. You’re…tired.”

A tear slipped out of her eye as she leaned nearer. Trying not to think about how much he sounded like River, she smiled bravely once more. “I’m fine, sweetie.”

He returned her smile with a weak one of his own.

“Lie, please. Down.”

Her smile was genuine, if watery, this time, and she wordlessly crawled onto the bed beside him. He didn’t move, maybe he couldn’t, but his fingers found hers. She allowed her eyes to close.

The last thing she registered was his cheek coming to rest against hers.

Day Twenty Four

“Clearly, something is very wrong.”

“Well thank you, Captain Obvious!” Jayne told Zoe, before she silenced him with one glance.

“This isn’t helping,” said Inara, sounding exhausted as she stroked a weeping Kaylee’s hair. “We need a solution.”

“Sure,” Jayne said. “Wash, get on the cortex. Search for ‘Alliance-Standard-Hospitals-What-Don’t-Mind-Harbouring-Fugies.’”

“Jayne,” Mal said. “Don’t talk.”

“Could be we’ll find somewhere that can help him, somewhere far enough from the Alliance to be safe,” said Book.

“You know why the death toll is so high on the rim?” Mal retorted. “It’s ‘cos places like that don’t exist.”

“So what do you propose?” asked Wash.

Mal closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, they were trained on Kaylee’s pale face, and his tone was apologetic when he spoke. “I got nothin’.”

Day Twenty Five.


Simon scowled in frustration. He couldn’t even inflect the word to show it was a question anymore.

“Yeah, sweetie?”

“Need talk.” Simon stole himself. Every time he opened his mouth, he sounded like a caveman. In front of the woman he’d been pining after for months, it was downright embarrassing. But he needed to go through with this.

“Sure,” she said, sliding down next to him. She was warm, and he found himself able to shift a little closer, which made her smile. And that made him smile.

“I…” Okay, that had been a good start. Simon tried saying the sentence in his head first. Even though I can’t talk properly, I can still think properly. I just can’t get the words out.

“Go on,” she coaxed, turning on her side so she was facing him. Ridiculously, he felt a jolt run through his body at the proximity, before his body remembered that it was far too damaged to feel arousal.

“I… can proper, talk. Can’t. Can’t talk.”

Her eyes, as usual, filled with tears. “It’s okay… it’s okay…”

Shaking his head, he opened his mouth again. “But… can. In head. Just… no words.”

She cupped his cheek. “You mean, you can talk in your head but just not out loud.”

“Right.” He smirked. “One sentence…fine. One word.”

She giggled. “Kinda like Jayne, then?”

“Please… no,” Simon joked, desperate to keep the smile on her face. It worked, and she giggled some more.

He stared at her, her beautiful face, until her laughter died, and she met his gaze.

“No…worry,” he instructed bravely.

“Me? Worried?” she said, trying to sound dismissive. “I ain’t worried about you.”

“Good.” He pulled her a little closer, such as his strength would allow.

“You’re gonna be fine, ain’t ya?” she asked, and he could detect a plea in her voice.


On instinct, she pressed a small kiss on his forehead. “Good.”

Day Twenty Seven.

It had been a long time since Simon had felt such real fear. His eyes darted around madly.

“River?” he croaked.

The room was so dark. It didn’t seem like his anymore. Was it because he’d been here so long? It had ceased to be a room and become a part of him. Or had he become part of the room?


The medicine bottle was the only thing he could see. It was shining, glimmering. It also seemed to be moving. Or was the whole room spinning?


The room tilted up. He was on the bed, against the wall, looking down on the wall that was now the floor. He waited for gravity to pull him down. But it didn’t. The room hadn’t moved at all.

“River? Kaylee? Book?”

The room wasn’t moving. And neither was he. He wasn’t moving.


He tried to shift, just slightly. If he fell out of bed, it would make a noise, and someone was bound to hear. But he couldn’t move. Not even an inch. Nothing except his head.


He needed to see her, she would stop the room being so dark. And she would be warm. He wanted to feel warm again. He was tired of the cold. And he was tired of being tired.

Why couldn’t he move?

“No… no….no.”

He raised his head half an inch of the pillow, and dropped it back down. Thanks to the pillow, it made no noise whatsoever.

“No… no…no.”

He lifted his head again, further this time. When he dropped it, the headboard shook, hitting the wall behind it gently.


He dropped his head back again and again, matching the rhythm of his cries. The headboard shook back and forth, beginning to crash louder against the wall.


* Kaylee heard the banging even in her sleep. It shook her awake, and within seconds she was out of the passenger bunk she had claimed since Simon’s illness and outside his door. Sliding it open, she ran in, and stopped short.

His eyes met hers, wide with panic.


She didn’t move to him for a moment, too frozen by fear. The look in his eyes scared her to her very core. The desperation in his voice…


With that, the tears came, and her body was set free from its invisible prison. In less than a heart beat, she was at his side.

“Simon, honey, what is it?”

He spoke, but they didn’t sound like words. They sounded like bullets.

“Move. Can’t.”

Please comment! :D

PHASE ONE: Part Three


Thursday, May 31, 2007 3:52 AM


You've got me stumped!!! What's going on? I have to keep reading 'cause I need to know! Damn my nosy nature!

Thursday, May 31, 2007 5:13 AM


Ok, this is painful to read - but in a good way.

I like the little snippits of each day as we see Simon getting worse. But - nearly 30 days and they haven't bothered to get him some help way before now?!

Looking forward to seeing where you take this next!

Thursday, May 31, 2007 12:44 PM


Simon is in bad shape - does Mal really want a dead medic on his hands? I am absolutely on pins and needles wondering what's going to happen. I feel terrible for Kaylee and for River - I'm surprised she hasn't made a bigger deal out of getting her brother the help he so obviously needs. I too like the idea of snippets that show Simon's deterioation. I think it's more powerful than really dragging it out ... can't wait for more!

By the way - you'd better not kill 'im!

Thursday, May 31, 2007 1:29 PM


As Jayne and Mal made obviously clear above, Leiasky, other than travelling to the Core and seeking medical attention from a facility where they would have the equipment and staff to get Simon better...they have no other options. 'Less River goes dumpster diving in Simon's head for medical treatments:(

Definitely some wizard work, Chazzer! Really can't wait to see how things can get worse from Simon being basically quadriplegic...


Thursday, May 31, 2007 8:33 PM


Poor, Kaylee. I can't imagine how she feels, just reading this is breaking *my* heart.

Please, if there is any good in you, update really, really soon.
And also, don't kill Simon.


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Angst ahoy. Simon and Kaylee need to talk.

Things have to end, one way or the other. Simon takes aim, but can he pull the trigger? Action and Angst.

Vents are useful things. Mal plays the messenger boy, Simon learns how to be intimidating, and Jayne doesn’t take the hint. Big Damn Action ensues.

Regan plants the seed of doubt in Kaylee’s mind, while Jayne, Simon and River hatch a plan. A cunning hat and a girl with a gun? Yeah, this is gonna go great. Meanwhile, Mal rethinks his attitude to Simon.

Kaylee is in Regan Tam’s clutches, but all is not as it seems. River decides to clean up Simon’s mess. Mal clutches at straws, and Jayne clutches his big stick. Serenity has some visitors…and then she has some more.

Mal considers childproofing the ship when he discovers Simon and Jayne are gone. Regan makes some progress and Simon learns what it takes to buy a gun. As always, a little angsty, but not too much.

What’s going on? No one’s quite sure… Simon has some serious regrets and turns to an unusual source for comfort, and Mal is sick of the doctor causing trouble. More angst as the crew is being whittled down. S/K

When Simon has made his mind up on something, there’s no swaying him. And right now, he’s decided to be an idiot. Big Damn Angst, as the crew try to find the missing River.

Some people just can’t catch a break. Jayne thinks Simon had a deprived childhood, Wash is left out, Simon gets to go fishing and Kaylee has been waiting long enough. A little fluff, a little smut, and a whole lot of things going not smooth. R, I guess.

The crew decide to hide while figuring out their next move. Sun, sea and sand … all Kaylee is missing is her boyfriend. Simon is torn and River plays ‘I Spy.’ A good healthy mix of fluff and angst.