Tuesday, June 19, 2007

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


Job Satisfaction

A/N: Thanks for all shiny comments! Hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have. Please comment. And thanks to my beta Mavourneen! :D

Chapter Nine

To see translations, hover mouse over Chinese word.

Chapter Ten – Daddy issues

“Nice to see you son. Now, come with me, or the pretty girl gets it.”

Simon tore his eyes away from Kaylee’s terrified face.

“D-dad,” he stammered. “What are you…?”

“Looking for you, of course.”

Simon’s face hardened as the shock subsided. “I thought you said you wouldn’t come for me.”

“Well, that was before you made me a laughing stock. I can assure you, I didn’t track you down to the ends of the ‘verse to give you a late birthday present.” He shifted the gun a little, and Simon felt his breathing constrict.

“Dad, let her go.”

Gabriel looked at Kaylee properly for the first time. “Why?”

Simon took a deep breath. “There’s no need for anyone to get hurt.”

“I’ll be the judge of that,” Gabriel said. He looked down at Kaylee again. “Is she important?”

Simon met her eyes. “Yes.”

“Well,” Gabriel said with narrowed eyes, “Do as I say and she wont be harmed.”

“Okay,” Simon said a nod, “I’ll come with you.”

Gabriel nodded at River, who had been standing between Simon and Jayne, swaying slightly and saying nothing. “And River, too.”

“Okay.” Simon agreed. Jayne frowned at him in confusion.

His father’s eyes were still fixed on River. “What’s wrong with her?”

Simon glanced at his sister momentarily, wondering if she was having another panic attack, but was relieved to find her remarkably placid.

“She’s fine,” Simon said. “Apart from the whole ‘being tortured past the brink of insanity’ thing.”

“It shouldn’t have come to this, Simon,” Gabriel said, tightening his grip on Kaylee. “You should have left her alone. Then the name Tam would still mean something, and you’d be living a real life, not flying around on a piece of trash.”

“I said I’d come with you, Dad,” Simon reminded him, “Just please, lower the gun.” Taking River’s hand, he stepped towards his father. “We’re coming with you.”

Gabriel looked at him for a long while before nodding once. Slowly, he began to lower his gun…

Out of nowhere came Jayne’s foot, knocking the gun into the air.

“What the-“ Gabriel began.

Jayne caught the gun and succinctly took out the two guards nearest to the door. With a cry of rage, Gabriel pulled back, taking Kaylee with him, and Jayne, River and Simon quickly followed through into Serenity’s cargo bay.

The air was quickly filled with gunfire as on Jayne’s cue, all hell broke loose. There were about a dozen of Gabriel’s men scattered around, two of whom were flanking Mal. Zoe stood on the catwalk, and as Simon watched, took three of the men out, before ducking behind a crate where Inara also hid, holding a small pistol. Further along, Simon could see Book, holding a gun and aiming for kneecaps. Wash was hidden under the staircase nearest the infirmary door. Simon could see the door had been shut, and about ten more men locked out of the fight. Wash gave him a hasty thumbs-up before darting for better cover.

“What is going on?” Gabriel demanded, letting go of Kaylee at the sight before him. Seizing his chance, Jayne aimed his gun at Gabriel but the next moment, three of Gabriel’s guards had pounced on him.

Simon clutched Kaylee’s hand, and pulled her back through the doorway onto Regan’s ship, and ran right into his mother.

“Simon!” she gasped. “He wants to hand you over, Simon!”

“I noticed,” Simon snapped. “Kaylee…?”

“You should have listened to me!” Regan interrupted. She turned to her own guards and nodded them towards Serenity.

Pulling Kaylee further away from the gunfight, Simon watched as the men ran to the aid of Serenity’s crew, before turning back to the shaking girl.

Baobei, are you okay?”

She looked at him, but didn’t reply.

“Kaylee?” he repeated, his voice cracking as he spoke.

Silently, she shook him off, and moved away.

Simon made to follow her, but the next thing he knew, a hand had clamped over his mouth as another strong arm looped around him. For a second, he caught a whiff of a familiar scent, an old cologne his father had always used. The next moment, his world went black.

* River pushed her hands out more firmly, the metal cool against her bare hands and feet as she braced herself high above the doorway.

She watched with an almost detached interest as her father, the man who had raised her, drop kicked his own wife and deposited her beside his son’s motionless body. His eyes darted in all directions as he bound their hands, but his panic was overridden by determination, and, face set, he approached the doorway she hung across.

Sounds of her crew, her family, suffering within angered River slightly, because she knew she could be helping them. She could be stopping this. But too much blood had been spilled already, and River waited patiently as her father passed beneath her, unheeding.

River sighed, and began to count silently in her head. It was time to end this.

Waiting as long as she dared, she landed deftly on her feet, making no noise. She heard Simon grunt slightly behind her, struggling to regain consciousness, and she took a split second to blow a fond kiss in his direction, before darting, unnoticed by all, through the door after her father.

* He couldn’t have been out for more than ten minutes, because when Simon awoke, the sound of gunfire was still echoing around the room, slightly more distant than it had been. As the room blearily came into focus, he saw that he was at the opposite side of the cargo bay on his mother’s ship, away from the fight still waging in Serenity’s cargo bay.

He glanced around him. His hands were roped together crudely, but he hadn’t been secured, which gave him the impression his assailant – his father – had been in a hurry. A small moan sounded at his other side, and he saw his mother was bound beside him, her face bruised and her eyes closed.


There was no response, and Simon cursed, before shuffling closer so he could feel her pulse. Relieved to find it beating steadily, he once more surveyed his surroundings. Kaylee was nowhere to be seen, nor was his father.

Someone, it sounded like Wash, cried out in agony from the cargo bay. Simon winced, knowing he should be there to help, and knowing that even if someone had noticed he was gone they would be unable to come to his aid for the time being.

It looked like he was on his own.

Praying that Kaylee had gotten back to Serenity and was relatively safe, he turned back to his mother, whose eyes were flickering.

“Mom?” he tried again.

She murmured something incomprehensible, and her eyes opened.

“Simon?” She peered at him in confusion as her mind caught up with her. Then her eyes widened in horror.

“Simon! You’re father, he’s… gone to find River… going to steal this ship…” her voice trailed off weakly as her eyes rolled in pain.

“It’s okay,” Simon soothed her as best he could, gingerly stroking her hair. “River can handle herself. Can you move?”

She nodded, but swayed as she pulled herself in to a sitting position. With great difficulty due to his bound hands, Simon pushed her gently forward so that her forehead rested on the ground.

“As soon as you stop feeling dizzy,” he whispered frantically, “get to Serenity and hide behind one of the crates. The Captain will find you when the fight is over, and he won’t hurt you, whatever he says. Stay with him till I get back.”

“Where are you going?” she murmured, not watching as he scrambled to his feet uneasily.

“To find dad,” he said stiffly, and ignoring the pounding in his head, he stumbled back towards Serenity.

* River crawled swiftly through the ventilation shafts, mentally navigating her way through them to take her on the fastest route towards the bridge. A thought nudged its way into her mind, and frowning slightly, she paused, and then shuffled backwards a few feet.

There was a resounding bang, and the smell of burning metal reached her nostrils as a bullet-sized hole appeared in the vent in the exact place her heart had hovered above moments before.

Not flinching, River crawled forward once more, being careful to avoid touching the still scorching metal.


Gabriel cursed as he was thrown back against the wall. Jayne wiped his hands together menacingly before aiming his gun at the chest of the winded man.

“I’d apologize for what I’m ‘bout to do… ‘cept I’m not sorry,” he said, cocking the gun.

Seizing his chance to act while the bigger man was talking, Gabriel clamped his hand down on a crate beside him, and flung it at Jayne with all his might. He ducked away quickly as Jayne yelled out in frustration, a bullet shooting harmlessly through the vent-shaft above them.

Gabriel ignored him. River wasn’t in the cargo bay, which meant she was elsewhere on this wreck of a ship. Happy to note Jayne was now being distracted by one of his guards, Gabriel took off up the steps to the cat walk, which had long since been vacated by Zoe, Book and Inara. Gabriel continued up towards the bridge, heart pounding in his chest.

As his father disappeared from view, Simon stepped into the cargo bay, barely seeing the fight in front of him. He searched for River, Kaylee and his father, and he could see none of them. Looking desperately around, he saw Jayne’s knife lying discarded on a nearby crate. He grabbed it

Taking the steps three at a time, he reached the catwalk and raced towards the bridge, working at his bindings as he went.

Moments later, Regan stumbled through into the cargo bay, her eyes wide with panic and her face pale from the blow she’d taken to the head. Trembling, Regan took one shaky step towards a stack of crates, and almost screamed when a stray bullet shot past her. She froze in terror, but seconds later a hand closed around her wrist and she was pulled out of harm’s way behind a crate. Kaylee’s concerned face swam before her.

“Mrs Tam, are you okay? Where’s Si…River?” Kaylee’s deft fingers worked at the ropes binding Regan’s hands as she spoke.

Regan shook her head, the room spinning. “I don’t know.”

Kaylee pulled the older woman into an embrace, rocking her soothingly.

“We jus’ gotta sit tight, Regan. It’s gonna be fine.”


Gabriel was walking past the crew bunks when he heard a gun cocking behind him. He halted, slowly raising his arms without turning, and waited.

No one spoke, but he heard footsteps moving towards him. They stopped about a meter behind him, and the voice shook as it spoke.

“Turn around, dad.”

Gabriel turned to meet the wide eyes of his son, who held a gun steadily at his father’s chest.

For a long moment, neither of them spoke, and Gabriel thought frantically.

“You haven’t got it in you, son,” he said calmly. “You’re a doctor, not a killer.”

“And you’re inhuman,” Simon spat out. “You shouldn’t have been allowed to raise children.”

Gabriel smiled tightly. “I rather wish I hadn’t. They cause much more trouble than they’re worth.”

Simon tightened his grip on the gun. “Then why bother, dad? If we’re so much trouble, why don’t you just leave us? Go back to your perfect life and forget all about us.”

Gabriel narrowed his eyes, and thought for a moment. “You were so perfect, Simon.”

Simon felt the gun slip a little in his hand at the unexpected words, and stepped closer.

“You were the perfect son,” Gabriel continued. “You had a perfect life.”

“No,” Simon said, shaking his head, “Never perfect. However well I did, you always expected more. I was never quite good enough, was I, dad?”

“You’re a sentimental fool, Simon,” Gabriel said coldly. “It’s your one flaw. You can’t see the bigger picture. You were willing to throw everything away to play the hero. And look where it’s got you?”

“Answer the question, dad.”

“You answer my question, son,” Gabriel said. “If you could turn back time, would you have made the same decisions? Would you throw it all away again?”

Simon didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”

Gabriel took a step forward, so that the gun almost grazed his chest. “Then you are a bigger fool than I thought. And you deserve to be locked up.”

“Locked up?” Simon said incredulously. “You know as well as I do, they’ll kill me as soon as they can. To stop me from interfering again.”

“You brought it on yourself.”

Simon’s eyes bore into his father’s, unflinchingly. “Answer. The. Question.”

Gabriel leaned forward, his face inches from Simon’s. “I’m handing you over so that I can have my perfect life back. Being the one to bring two dangerous fugitives to justice? I will be worshipped.”

“No,” Simon said, “You will be despised. People will be horrified. Handing over your children to be killed, tortured? It doesn’t matter what they think of us. You’ll still look like a monster. You are a monster.”

“And you’re a failure,” Gabriel said. “Drop the gun, Simon, and drop the pretence. You’re not going to kill me.”

“Give me one good reason why not.”

Gabriel pursed his lips. “Because all you want, Simon, - all you ever wanted – is for me to love you. For me to be proud. And if you pull that trigger, it will never happen.”

Simon couldn’t speak. His whole body shook, though his gun hand remained steady. He swallowed harder, fingering the trigger, trying to push his father’s words away.

“Go on,” Gabriel taunted softly. “Shoot me, Simon. Shoot me.”

As if his hand had a mind of it’s own, Simon began to lower the gun, inch by agonizing inch. “No,” he gasped, his voice cracking, “No…no….”

Gabriel sneered at him, but his next words were cut off as the comm. flickered to life.

“Lost. Lost in the woods.”


“Lost. Lost in the woods,” Rivers voice floated through the cargo bay. Everyone froze at the sound, even the four or five people still standing.

At Kaylee’s side, Inara sat up straighter, and shot a questioning look at her friend. Kaylee shrugged, and glanced to her other side where Regan crouched. She reached out and squeezed her hand comfortingly.

“You all are,” River continued. “Every single one.”

Mal clutched at his shoulder, blood leaking through his fingers. He had raised his head at the sound of River’s voice, but kept his eyes on everyone around him. Everyone looked as dumbfounded as him.

“Can’t see the wood for the trees,” River was saying. “The trees are everywhere.”

Jayne frowned, recognition ghosting his features. Unnoticed, he faded out of the room.

“Have to wait. Wait for the right moment.”

Zoe glanced at Wash, checking he was still awake and breathing. Vaguely reassured, she continued searching the room for Simon, her eyes busy but her ears trained on River’s cryptic message.

“The time to act comes when eyes are elsewhere.”

The comm. flickered off, and before anyone could move, a gunshot rang out from above them.


Gabriel hit the floor, hard, before the shock had even registered. Gasping as blood leaked from his abdomen, he raised his eyes with difficulty to meet Simon’s. Simon stood above him, shock colouring his features as his gun hung limply from his hand.

Gasping, Gabriel clutched at the railings behind him as he saw the dark shape approach.

“Si-Simon!” he gasped, and Simon fleetingly wondered if it was a warning, or a plea.

Jayne appeared at his side, brandishing a steaming gun. “You ‘kay?” he asked quietly.

Simon nodded. “Thank you, Jayne.”

“Simon!” Gabriel choked again, and this time Simon could hear the pleading tone.

“Mom’s ship has a medic,” Simon told his father evenly. “Call off your men, and we’ll get you to her.”


“Call off your men,” Simon demanded.

The door behind them opened, and River floated down the steps from the bridge, a handheld comm. in her hands. “Call them off.”

She held the comm. above Gabriel’s mouth, and choking back blood and bile, he spoke the orders.

* Serenity landed beside Gabriel’s ship moments before Regan’s. Wash chuckled gleefully.

“Beat them!” he told Zoe enthusiastically. “And that’s with a broken leg.”

Zoe smirked. “How does a broken leg affect your flying, baby?”

Wash shrugged, as Mal stepped forward to clap him on the back.

“Go get some rest now, Wash, you heard Simon.”

He left the bridge, and headed towards the cargo bay, where he found Book and Jayne clearing the mess that had been made. Book nodded amicably in his direction.

“Everything well, Captain?”

Mal nodded. “Looks like.”

Jayne scowled. “Still can’t believe we’re gonna let ‘em go.”

“Ain’t our choice,” Mal told him, stepping through towards the infirmary. “Simon made his call.”

The man in question appeared at Mal’s side. “Are my ears burning?”

“Hope not,” Mal said, “don’t sound healthy.”

Simon grinned. “I suppose not.”

Mal followed the doctor into the infirmary, and Simon looked puzzled. “Can I help you, captain?”

Mal shook his head. “Just, er… wondering.”


“If … everyone’s okay.” He looked at the doctor pointedly.

Everyone is just fine,” Simon answered with a smile.

“Shiny,” said Mal, getting to his feet.

“And Mal,” Simon called to the captain’s retreating back. “Everyone appreciates your concern.”

Mal nodded, and moved to the couch, where Inara sat with River.

“You doin’ okay, little one?” he asked gruffly.

River nodded. “Yes captain. A-okay.”

“Good.” Mal turned his gaze to Inara. “An’ what about you?”

“Me?” Inara repeated, eyes widening at Mal’s question. “Why would you…?”

“Not going to be interrupting business, are we?” Mal added quickly.

Inara rolled her eyes. “No, Mal, business is going to be good as always.”

With a wordless smirk, Mal moved over to the passenger dorms, and slid the door open.

“Mrs Tam?”

Regan looked up from the card game she’d been playing with Kaylee. “Captain?”

“What’s up Cap’n?” Kaylee asked, her voice not as bright and bubbly as he was used to.

“Just checking on my passenger. Hope everything’s okay?”

Regan nodded. “The journey was most enjoyable, thank you captain. I appreciate you allowing me to stay here… you understand I needed to talk to Simon and River.”

“Well, they both seem happy enough,” he informed her.

“Yes,” Regan agreed with a smile. “They are happy here.”

Kaylee shifted uncomfortably, and it did not go unnoticed by either Mal or Regan.

“Anyway,” Regan said awkwardly, “Now that I’ve settled things with my children, I can be on my way with one less weight on my shoulders.”

Mal nodded. “Of course. Kaylee?”

Kaylee looked up. “Yeah?”

“Walk with me?”

Smiling weakly at Regan, Kaylee stood up. “It’s been real nice meetin’ ya, Regan.”

“Apart from the kidnapping, you mean?” Regan said dryly, also getting to her feet. She pulled Kaylee into a friendly hug. “I am sorry, my dear.”

“It’s ‘kay,” Kaylee said, shrugging. “Look after yourself.”

“You too.”

Kaylee followed Mal from the room and up the stairs. “There a problem, cap’n?”

“You tell me,” he said.

“Well,” Kaylee said with a frown, “The engine’s got pushed a bit, but there ain’t no dam…”

“I ain’t talking ‘bout the engine, Kaylee.” Mal said.

There was a pause. “Oh,” she said in a quiet voice.

“You gonna be okay?” he asked softly.

She nodded as the reached the engine room. “Shiny, Cap’n.”

He failed to look convinced, and she bit her lip.

“We headin’ back to the beach for a while?” she asked.

“Thought we could use another rest.” Mal said. “Mrs Tam has kindly paid us ‘compensation’ for the past week, so we can cope laying low for a few days.”

Kaylee nodded. “’kay, Cap’n. I best get to work.”

She moved away from him and began tinkering. He watched her for a few moments sadly, then walked away.

* “Stop crying, mom,” Simon said, beginning to feel embarrassed.

Regan clung to him, the tears not subsiding. “I’m sorry, Simon, I’m just going to miss you.”

Simon sighed. “I’ll miss you too. But you have to let go now.”

“I can’t,” she sobbed.

“No, I mean, you have to literally let go,” he explained. “You’re starting to hurt.”

“Oh, sorry,” she said, loosening her grip. She held him at arms length, and gave him a watery smile. “I’m so proud of you, Simon.”

Simon shrugged, and said nothing. Regan moved to River.

“You’ll be okay, won’t you sweetheart?”

River nodded. “Have Simon.”

Regan hugged her. “Thank Buddha.”

She pressed a kiss to both her children’s cheeks, and began to rummage through her bag.

“What are you doing?” Simon asked, and was she stuffed an envelope in his hand in response.

“I’d give you more, but…” Regan began.

Simon shook his head. “Mom, we don’t need your money.”

“But it can’t hurt,” she countered, and Simon sighed.

“Thank you,” he said, and Regan smiled.

“One last thing, Simon,” she said, glancing behind her as her crew prepared to leave. “About Kaylee…”

Simon shifted uncomfortably. “What?”

Regan placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently. “Hold on to her, Simon.”

And with that, she gave them each one last hug and boarded her ship. Simon took hold of River’s hand, and they watched hand in hand as their mother flew away.

Only the epilogue to go. Now, please comment, or a stern reprimanding will be in store ;)



Tuesday, June 19, 2007 1:22 AM


I like the action, even if I did get a little confused at times. But at least Regan isn't as bad as we first thought!

But Gabriel ... how did he ever manage to become a father? And won't he still keep looking for Simon and River, especially now he knows where they are? And will all this be resolved in the epilogue?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 1:24 AM


Probably should have made note of the fact that I NEVER write action.

Because, I can't.

Sorry for confusion, thanks for commenting :)

And don't forget there is a sequel in the works. xx

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 2:56 AM


I thought the action was done very well.

'Silently, she shook him off, and moved away.'
Oh, for f***s sake Kaylee, get over it.

As always, awesome chapter. Glad at least one of the Tam parents isn't evil- As far as we know.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 5:50 AM


Okay, Kaylee needs to give Simon a little leeway and let him talk to her. Plus, has he checked out that bump on her head, 'cause something tells me, it's worse than it looks.

And Gabriel - ooh, I could just ... well, Jayne already killed him, so I guess that's enough. Although torture wouldn't have been over the top. Really great stuff - I cannot wait for the epilogue and the shiny Kaylee/Simon reunion ... that is what's going to happen, right? *Right?!?!?*

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:10 AM


Take that Gabrial Tam!!

Yay, I just hope the last episode makes team K/S all happy. Good work, I've enjoyed this little series.

On a compleatly unrelated note. I know your busy with FireFly fanficion already. But can't I convince you to write Grey's Anatomy fanfiction ;p

Sorry, I need my George/Callie angest and fluff fix. And so far the fanfiction I've found is sad!

XD I'm looking forward to more of your stories. And I'm jokeing about the Grey's Anatomy fanfiction. Although I am currently lamenting the lack of decent G/C angest and fluff!

Some of those writers just arn't as talented as our FireFly authors. ;p

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 1:28 PM


He got what was coming to him.

Can't wait for the next chapter.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 5:25 AM


This better be one LONG epilogue! 'Cause I think its going to take a long time before Kaylee will talk to Simon again after the brushoff she gave him in this chapter.

At least the kids didn't have to kill pops.

Saturday, June 23, 2007 7:56 PM


Oh boy...Kaylee definitely needs a chat with Simon. Cuz even if they don't get back togther again, there's a lot of bad air that needs clearing right now:(

And I personally thought the action sequences were quite well done, espcially since you're not an action-oriented kind of writer. Though Gabriel's status not being clear does make for interesting times;)



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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.