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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Kaylee learns more about Simon and his feelings for her and the crew as she continues to read his journal.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 794 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
The Dr. Tam Journals – Part 3 – Bushwhacked
Another yawn escaped from Kaylee’s mouth and she knew she’d have to go back to bed soon, despite her desire to read the entire journal before morning. She now figured that’d be impossible as she flipped through the numerous pages remaining. Just a little more she thought, hoping to catch more glimpses of how Simon saw her in those early weeks he and River had been aboard Serenity.
His ability to understand many of the crew so easily astonished her since he seemed to have trouble figuring her out forever. Then again, he had said he knew she was flirting with him and that he was attracted to her, but had no place in his life for a relationship or anything else. It was the figuring he was good at. The actual practice of courting a lady he was not so good at. At least with her.
Not that he had never had a girlfriend before. Since their serious relationship began they had both divulged their secrets of their past companions, including her tryst with Bester that had led to her getting her job on Serenity. He had laughed at the story and said he was glad the captain had discovered them because he probable never would have gotten to meet her if it hadn’t happened the way it did. When Kaylee thought on it, the number of circumstances that led her to Simon and him to her was so long and complex that if one thing had not happened the way it had then they never would have met. Perhaps that is the way for most people who fall in love.
Kaylee knew about his past girlfriends and his one serious relationship that went sour because of his obsession with finding and helping River. She had been a daughter of a business associate of his father and they had flirted with the idea of marriage. As he began to worry more about River, she obviously had no interest in the matter and he realized she was looking for a man with standing, a man to latch onto to climb the ladder of Osiris high society, not a man to love. The relationship ended badly, with a lot of crying and a terrible scene in a restaurant. But he knew her heart well for not long after their breakup she had taken up with one his colleagues and they were married shortly before he left Osiris for the last time.
Maybe it was herself who was the one who had failed to recognize his troubled position. She was so infatuated with him she hadn’t realized how tough his life was. Inara had set her straight a few times about this, but his seemingly lack of interest in her in those early days and his bumbling attempts at courtship later had made her so mad she sometimes had despaired if they would ever have a chance at a loving relationship.
She began to read again, setting her mind to stay awake long enough to read at least ten more pages. He described the next few weeks of uneventful life on Serenity, sometimes missing whole days without writing, with the exception of notes about River. The one tone that came from this was his despair about River. She had good days and bad days, nightmares at times and other nights she slept peacefully. He started making a chart to show when she had nightmares, on which days and times, hoping to spot a pattern, and he recorded her words she spoke when she awoke. He even placed a recorder near her bed secretly, hoping to catch something if she spoke in her sleep. The result was more strings of words that had no meaning to him and which she could not explain. His attempts to examine and question her she resisted, hating to enter the infirmary or submit to his examinations. He needed to find a more advanced hospital or diagnostic equipment to examine her brain, but that was out of the question with the whole Alliance fed force looking for them.
“She has gone two days without an episode and it seems like a miracle at this point. But I need to take her somewhere else. There is not much I can do on Serenity. We have been aboard more than five weeks now and I wonder if it will be five more, five months, or five years. The blackness of space and the occasional planet viewed through the bridge or dining room windows or from the cargo bay ramp are all we see outside of these metal walls. It is very lonely and confining, at least for me. River at times seems to feel happy here, exploring the ship so I have trouble finding her. Today I found her on the bridge, sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, chatting with Wash about space navigation and astrophysics like they were two students at a university on the Core. Wash was amazed her knowledge. I was not surprised at all.”
Space navigation and astrophysics! Kaylee still felt a little self-conscious when River went on about something or she and Simon had a conversation she could not follow. Now, mention a Rutina 89 radon accelerator core engine and she could take it apart in her mind and put it back together again with ease. Kaylee was glad that River had showed an interest in Serenity and its mechanical workings since they had to repair the ship after the crash landing on Mr. Universe’s little world. No one had ever been really interested in Kaylee’s work until something broke.
“River is still an oddity to the crew, with them either very protective of her, like Book and Inara, or at times fearful, even hurtful, as Jayne is when he calls her crazy on occasion. ‘Moon brain’ is his nickname for River and the frustration I feel at being unable to deal with him makes my blood boil at times. Of all the crew, Kaylee is closest in age to River and they seem to get along.”
Kaylee tried to be friendly with River in those early days and River had responded but she was so, “not there”, I guess was the polite way to put it, that their friendship really didn’t blossom until after River began taking the meds they had stolen from the hospital on Ariel. Of course Simon had masterminded that whole job. Wow, she thought, I’m married to a doctor and a criminal mastermind!
She then noticed another gap of two days in his journal entry. “Yesterday was a bad day, in many different ways. Jayne didn’t forget about me doping him during our recent adventures with Niska and the train robbery. His chance for revenge came with a little joke he played on me. At the same time, River and I came very close to being taken by the Alliance and I truly learned how vicious the Reavers are. We were on our way to a small moon in the Greenleaf quadrant to drop off some cargo before moving on to Persephone when in a very deep part of space we chanced upon a derelict spacecraft. It happened while the crew was playing a form of old style basketball in the cargo bay. I then learned that Serenity has a proximity warning system that allows the bridge to be unoccupied at times. Prior to this I had a short conversation with Inara where she indicated in an off handed manner that she was running from something too. She never elaborated and I never asked.”
Inara’s secret past life was a topic of much interest to Kaylee and the rest of the crew. Despite their friendship, Kaylee never found out why she had left her home world of Sihon. Speculation ran from a broken heart from a love affair, banishment as some form of Companion Guild punishment for a past indiscretion, or perhaps some mysterious criminal activity she was involved in.
“Jayne’s chance for revenge came when Reynolds and Zoe donned spacesuits and entered the derelict after we had attached Serenity to its airlock. I inadvertently divulged my fear of space to Jayne and he used it to his advantage. He told me the captain needed me on the derelict and that I should suit up. I did so, with much fumbling and a fear that I hadn’t gotten it on quite right. I arrived on the bridge of the ship to discover Kaylee, Reynolds, Zoe and Jayne – without suits. Jayne’s laughter let everyone in on the joke. Reynolds seemed slightly amused at the joke but admonished Jayne the same. Reynolds himself is not above telling a cruel joke as I learned after Kaylee was shot and he told me she was dead. Of course, she wasn’t but I’m sure they had a good laugh at my expense.”
A slight anger again rose through Kaylee’s body as she remembered when she had found out about that not so funny joke. She overheard Jayne and Wash in the dining room talking about funny things that had happened on Serenity and they had said that was top of the list. She confronted them and Wash had finally told her the truth. She burned with anger then and gave the Capt’n a piece of her mind until he apologized. She couldn’t stay mad at him for long, but that joke still didn’t set well with her.
“To add to my embarrassment Kaylee informed me that I had placed the helmet on incorrectly. All my memories of the two people being killed in the airlock accident came back and I never in my life wanted to kill another person as much as Jayne at that moment.”
Kaylee understood Simon well. Not that she wanted to kill him, but Jayne had a way of making comments at inappropriate times and was always looking for a way to hurt people, as if he had a sadistic streak in him. He had never fully accepted River and Simon as crew mates and even now, after all that had happened, she still wasn’t sure he did.
“The ship had been abandoned, or so we thought at the time. There were no logical reasons for it. Kaylee and I went to the engine room to see if there were any useful parts for Serenity. With one glance Kaylee knew that there was nothing wrong with the engine and that had not been the reason the vessel had been abandoned.”
It was running perfectly she remembered. They had taken a few parts, Simon helping her, and she felt close to him in the small space, enjoying his companion, glad he had come over from Serenity, even if it had been just a joke. And then they had heard the shots.
“…several shots came from another part of the ship. We went to see the trouble and discovered River had come over from Serenity. To say I was surprised and upset would be an understatement. Jayne had fired the shots at a survivor of the ship who had attacked him. We discovered him and Reynolds knocked him unconscious. Shortly thereafter Reynolds told us that he Zoe and River had discovered the dead bodies of the ship’s crew and passengers hanging from the ceiling of a cargo bay. They had been killed by Reavers. The crew again expressed great fear of the Reavers and I fully understand why now after seeing the condition of the dead people. Jayne, Book, and I cut down the bodies and Book said some words over them. My faith in religion has been challenged these past years but I could not help but admire Book and his determination to see that these strangers were given a proper way to meet their God, if they had one.”
And then Kaylee shut her eyes, as he filled several paragraphs describing the state of the bodies, what the Reavers had done, the doctor being a clinical professional, recording the trauma. Kaylee’s memories of Reavers were of screams, gunfire, heart-pounding fear, and three darts striking her neck, a numbness spreading across her body, a deep dread of being about to be eaten alive.
She scanned quickly and got past that part, coming to his description of the survivor and his treatment. She scanned that also and then came to the part about the Alliance cruiser that had stopped them. There was no mentioned of the booby trap that Kaylee had disarmed because of course he didn’t know about it until much later.
“Once again luck was against River and I as an Alliance cruiser just happened upon us as we returned to the Serenity with some property we had ‘liberated’ from the derelict. I feared Reynolds would use us to get his way out of this jam and Jayne seemed all set to hand us over but Reynolds surprised me once again. His plan was to have River and I don spacesuits and crawl out the top airlock, which I did not like one bit. My fear of space was obvious again, to all this time. Jayne and Kaylee helped us put on the suits and Kaylee was very reassuring as she gave me instructions on what to do and how to operate the airlock. She also said that they wouldn’t let them take us and that made me feel better than anything else.”
The fear had been plain on his face as he had suited up. River, on the other hand, had seen it as another adventure and couldn’t wait to go. Kaylee was glad her words had helped calm him. She and Jayne had raced back to the cargo bay and had just arrived in time when the Alliance came on board. The officer had then insulted Serenity and Kaylee was miffed to no end. It was the first time she had been pinched and her anger helped her to not give in to the case of nerves that was building. The officer that had interrogated her gave up after she wouldn’t shut up about engines and ships and on and on about how nice Serenity was. He had wanted to know where we had any secret compartments, about Simon and River, about where we had been but she just ignored his questions.
“We crawled out of the airlock to the top of the ship and grasped some handgrips near the dining room windows. River’s joy was obvious as I suppose was my fear. I knew Serenity’s artificial gravity would keep us attached to the ship but the fear of falling off and drifting through endless space I could not shake. After about an hour I chanced returning to the ship after I noticed through the windows no more Alliance personnel. But I was too impatient and shortly after we returned Reynolds was led in by several Alliance soldiers. As related to me later, the survivor from the derelict had gone mad, cutting on his flesh to make him look like a Reaver. He had escaped from the Alliance ship, killed a soldier guarding Serenity, and killed one more just a few feet from where River and I were hiding. The urge to assist the injured soldier almost overwhelmed me but I could not, knowing they were looking for us. Reynolds once again showed his efficiency at killing as he dispatched the attacker.”
Hmmm, thought Kaylee, Simon sure had a strange view of the Capt’n. He wasn’t this cold hearted killer Simon seemed to make him out to be. Earlier Simon had mentioned him as a “noble thief”, which she guessed was a compliment of sorts. He still called him “Reynolds” or “captain” through the journal, a very formal way, as if he was an authority figure. I guess to Simon he was at that time. Then again, Kaylee herself still called him “Capt’n” despite knowing him these few years. And Zoe always called him “sir”. Kaylee had never been in any army and knew nothing about them, but Simon wondered why she called him “sir” after he learned the Capt’n had only been a sergeant in the war and not an officer. Book said that perhaps he had been an officer temporarily during the war. Perhaps it was just Zoe’s way since she had been a career soldier before the war.
“The Alliance officer, in view of the fact that Reynolds saved his life, decided to let us go, although he didn’t let us keep the cargo from the derelict. I found myself thanking the crew for not saying anything about us, even to Jayne, who just grunted and walked away. It took some time to clean up the mess the Alliance had made of the ship but now things are back to normal.”
Kaylee’s eyes hung heavy after reading this last. He was so long winded at times! Oops, a bad thought about her man. Well, she was allowed some. No one’s perfect. She stretched out her legs, adjusting her silk nightdress a bit as she did so. She loved this nightdress. It had been one of her bridal shower gifts from Inara, Zoe, and River. Simon loved it too and sometimes couldn’t keep his hands off her when she wore it. In fact, she sometimes had to wait for him to leave the room to change clothes because he loved watching her dress and they would never get any work done if they were in bed all day. Not that that was bad, but they both had responsibilities too.
She laid the open book on her chest and closed her eyes for just a second. Her mind drifted back over the time since she had left home, the time on this ship, these people she had come to love and call family. It was not a perfect life but it was good enough for her, for now. The last thing she thought of as she drifted off to sleep was about Simon and his warm, wonderful smile.
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