Broken Wings: Chapter 13 (Repost)
Monday, November 12, 2007

Simon has some unexpected help with his fussy son and River receives another assignment. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.


Chapter 13

Simon’s eyes darted around the room, even more suspicious after his talk with Mai’s father. He willed his voice to remain steady – and it did. “I must have these transferred in a more frequent manner. But they must remain untraceable.”

“Of course, sir.” The voice on the other end of the line assured. There was no visual connection, only audio.

“Thank you.” Simon cut the connection and leaned back, breathing a sigh of relief. “I’ll be in touch.”

This would only work if he wasn’t caught. And if he was – well, he didn’t want to think about the consequences. “I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how dangerous it would be to discuss with anyone outside this facility the kind of work we do here.”

Simon shook off the chill that shot down his spine and nodded slowly. “Has something happened to give you cause to believe that I’ve done just that?”

Cheung shook his head and Simon carefully kept his face impassive. “Not at all. I’m simply reiterating this to every employee on a case by case basis. You’re my most recent hire, so therefore you were the first on my list.”

“I see.” Simon leaned forward and clasped his hands in front of him. He was playing a dangerous game here and he couldn’t completely trust anything Cheung said to be truth. “Has there been some kind of information leak?” He could see Cheung hesitate and wondered if he should not have asked

“I’m not quite sure. Security is checking into suspicious activities as we speak.”

Simon nodded and mentally recounted every secretive step he’d taken to make sure he’d left no evidence. He hadn’t. He was sure of it. He’d covered his tracks meticulously well.

Simon shook his head and pushed away from his desk. Everything was neat and orderly, just like he preferred it. He brushed a hand through his hair and quickly exited the room, eager to get home to his children. On his way out, he noticed Mai in the doorway. She smiled brightly as he approached.

“Late night?” she asked.

“Was about to ask you the same thing.” He smiled politely.

Mai chuckled. “Father has something important to discuss.” She rolled her eyes and he got the distinct impression that the ‘important’ thing involved him.

“Good luck with that.” He moved around her, hoping that she wouldn’t beg him to stay and weather the anticipated ‘couple’ discussion that inevitably came up when they were in the same room with her father. He wasn’t ready for that step. He didn’t know if or when he ever would be.

She gazed at the ceiling and he held back a chuckle that formed on his lips. Talking to your parents about much of anything didn’t get easier as one got older. They just seemed to meddle more. “Yeah, thanks. You’re so kind.”

“Have a good evening,” he called. But as he made his way down the hallway another thought crept into his mind. Perhaps his boss did have particular wanted to question his daughter about suspicious communiqué’s.

Once he reached the exit door, he turned and watched as she rounded the corner that would take her to her father’s office. Guilt crept into his chest. He should have warned her.

“Guess even family isn’t above suspicion,” Simon muttered to himself as he turned in the opposite direction and left the building.


Explosions rocked the ground beneath their feet and dust and debris clouded their vision. There was nothing for them to hide behind, so they ran, ran toward the rock quarry which air support had informed them lay in the distance. They needed some kind of cover, something other than the dead bodies of their colleagues.

“Keep movin’!” Mal called, sparing a quick glance back at the rag tag group of men that followed.

“Tired, boss!” a soldier answered, his voice weak with exhaustion.

“We don’t make it to that quarry, you’re not gonna need to worry much ‘bout bein’ tired!” came the unsupportive response. Mal grabbed a fistful of filthy uniform and pulled the man along behind him. “Can’t move when you’re dead!”

“Keep goin’.” Zoe wrapped strong fingers around another much younger boy’s arm and dragged him along. She grunted as she moved. The boy slowed her down, but she wouldn’t leave him behind.

“How far is it?” The boy’s eyes were wide with fear and Zoe felt for him. She’d seen all manner of men fall in this battle, and the ones before. It was either a testament to the boy’s fighting skills, or luck, that had kept him alive thus far.

Zoe squinted ahead. Their destination was still a speck on the horizon.

“Not far.” Zoe pulled him along, grunting as the debris from a nearby explosion skittered across the ground at their feet.

She met the young man’s determined eyes. He’d only needed a bit of help, a bit of confidence, before he pulled his arm out of hers. “I can do it.”

Zoe smiled and continued on without him. She jogged to Mal’s side and lifted her eyes to the sky. “They don’t get here with some more air support, we’re done for.”


There was no emotion in his voice, no fear, no hope for help. Just a raw determination she had seen many times before; a determination to get his men to safety.

“Ain’t gonna die here, sir.”

“Not plannin’ on it, Zoe.”

“Got a long fight ahead of us – we’re gonna take that mine.”

“Yup.” He was tired. They all were. She didn’t need to look at him; she could hear it in his voice.

“We can do it, sir.”

“Sure as hell gonna try, Zoe.”

The sun was hot overhead, and there was no shade. They were sitting ducks even running as they were. But they had an unspoken hope that someone or something would come to their aid.


Simon walked around his room, cradling his son in his arms. He whispered to the wailing boy, in an attempt to entice him into taking his bottle, but Billy would have none of it. Simon exhaled deeply and closed his eyes. At least his mother wasn’t home to come running in to take the crying babe out of his arms. It ached to not be able to calm his son, when his grandmother seemed to be able to do it so easily.

But this evening, she had taken Madeline out to get a few clothes, much to her great protest, and his father wasn’t even home – as usual.

A knock on his door caused Simon to roll his eyes. He slung the nine month old over his shoulder and pulled open the heavy, cedar door.


“Master Simon, sir, you have a guest,” answered the maid.


“Yes, sir,” she smiled in a way that made Simon instantly suspicious. Like she knew something he didn’t.

“Well, is it important? I’ve got my hands full here.” Simon wasn’t in the mood to see anyone. He’d been working too much as of late and he felt guilty that he hadn’t been home to take care of his son.

“What is all the fuss?” Mai Cheung strode confidently down the long hallway toward them. She reached out and immediately pulled Billy out of Simon’s reluctant arms and began to bounce him on her hip. She made funny faces and sang a few notes to him while at the same time reaching up to snatch the bottle of sweet juice Simon still held. Billy stopped his crying and stared at the unknown woman.

Simon was so dumfounded with Mai’s actions that he couldn’t formulate the words to scold her for snatching away his child. He blinked and shook his head quickly, trying to push away the growing ache in his heart. He knew Kaylee would have been able to calm their son, would probably have snatched him out of his father’s arms just like Mai had just done.

Simon watched his guest carefully, suspiciously, and noticed the maid smile approvingly at him before she made her way back to the winding staircase at the end of the hall.

“Oh, you’re fine.” Mai pressed her lips to Billy’s cheek and he gurgled in response.

Simon’s chest constricted and he turned away. Mai had never seen Billy before, and standing before him now was the reason. She was a far more qualified and adequate parent than he could ever hope to be. He needed someone other than his mother to help him. He needed Kaylee. And glancing back over his shoulder now, he couldn’t fathom another woman standing by his side, raising a child that was not hers. Not in this society. Not in the Core.

“He really is a cute baby.” Mai’s voice broke through his melancholy thoughts and he turned around to see Billy nestled into her arms calmly sucking on his bottle.

“Yeah.” It was a lame response, but it was all Simon’s confused mind could come up with.

Simon could see the hope in her eyes as she offered, “I can help you with him whenever you need, you know.”

“Thanks.” Simon glanced down at his son so he wouldn’t need to meet her eyes. “I just – I need to learn how to do it on –“

“You don’t need to be alone, Simon.” She put a small hand on his arm which forced him to lift his eyes to hers.

“Mai –“ He shook his head and took a small step backwards.

“But I didn’t come here to talk about us. My father is suspicious of someone at the lab.”

He shook his head. “I’ve not done anything –“

“I know,” she glanced around the hallway and then expectantly back at him.

With a sigh, he stepped back so she could enter the room, and closed the door behind her. She pulled a small circular device out of her pocket and set it on the bedside table.

“Doesn’t that look even more suspicious if there is someone listening in on our conversation?”

His heart struck his ribcage strongly when she turned twinkling eyes on him. “Oh, I’m sure they think we’re engaged in other – activities having nothing to do with betrayal.”

“Right.” Simon took another step back and sat down on the edge of the bed while Mai settled into the rocking chair, her charge nearly asleep in her arms.

“You need to be more careful.”

“I haven’t been sending those communiqué’s.”

“Well someone has, and they’re on the verge of being caught.” Mai’s concern touched him, but he wasn’t surprised. She’d always liked him. For an all too brief time, he’d cared very much for her. “I’ve got an untraceable transport sitting on a private landing pad should it ever be needed.” She leaned forward and handed him a small card. “That has all the information you’ll need to gain access.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Simon said stubbornly. But his fingers closed tightly around the data card anyway.

“No. But if you ever need –“

“Thank you.” He hoped she could hear the gratitude in his voice.

Voices wafted through the door and Simon tilted his head. “That would be my mother and Maddy.” He stood and took Billy out of her arms. “You should probably go.” He laid the sleeping baby in his crib and plucked the device off his nightstand.

He didn’t miss the disappointment that crossed her face as he dropped it into her hand.

He walked her toward the entrance as if it were the end of a very awkward first date. “It wouldn’t be good for my mother – or Maddy, to find you here behind a closed door.”

She nodded but a mischievous smile passed across her face, making Simon instantly uncomfortable. “In your bedroom,” she said, then her turned playful. “Alone. Yes, I can see exactly how that would look.”

He rolled his eyes at the thought of being embarrassed about having a woman in his room. He was an adult – but one, according to what he’d told his parents, who already had two children out of wedlock.

She leaned forward to place a lingering kiss on his cheek. He watched numbly as she pulled open the door and walked out, just as Madeline bounded through it to tell him of her day.


River sat in the darkness waiting for the message to finish its security cross check. It was a small room with no distinguishing markings. But it was appropriate for an assassin – a shadow. It was something she needed to be during these times. She couldn’t let emotion cloud her judgment, that was one of the main lessons drilled into her head by those at the Academy. But – they were right. If she let emotion get in her way, there was more of a chance that she would stumble, falter, and loose sight of her goal.

As much as she struggled against what they’d forced her to become, she had to admit that it had been effective – useful to executing her plans effectively now. After Miranda, after the voices that continuously called for her to reveal their secrets, River found that she could switch her emotions off at a whim to get the job done. The days where she would wake up confused and disoriented were few and far between, but she did constantly struggle with the desire to be normal, and the far easier task of Academy trained killer.

It became harder and harder to let the emotion in when the job had been completed. She wasn’t an automaton. She was a live, flesh and blood girl. One day, maybe she’d be able to leave this behind her and be that girl again. But for now, she had jobs to do.

A small circular device rested beside her, scrambling any sounds someone on the outside wished to hear.

The console chimed and she glanced down at it, waiting impatiently.

The voice that began was deep. “We need you to go to the House on Sihnon. There is information that must be picked up in person. It is too sensitive to be transmitted over subspace.”



“It will be done.”

“Don’t let anything, or anyone, get in the way of this mission. It is of the utmost importance that you retrieve –“

“Nothing ever gets in my way.”

“The coordinates are being transmitted as we speak.”

“I’ll be there.”

The connection ended and the data port flashed, indicating it had finished its download.

TBC ----------------- Reviews before the hack. -----------------

kittykat26 Friday, September 21, 2007 - 05:28

Loving this!!!!!! -----------------

wytchcroft Friday, September 21, 2007 - 05:57

still flyin on full power:) -----------------

AMDOBELL Friday, September 21, 2007 - 12:20

OOh, suspense if building and I worry for Simon. Tempting to have him take that vehicle Mai gave him and run before this creaky house of cards comes tumbling down upon his head. Of course, Mai could be setting him up and they could be waiting to see if he takes the bait. Ali D You can't take the sky from me -----------------

MerryK Friday, September 21, 2007 - 12:38

Poor poor Simon, unable to calm Billy on his own. I hope he learns at some own father never could learn that, and still feels (unjustly) inadequate. That's not the sort of feelings Simon needs, and just the fact that he doesn't need to be told that he should be spending more time with his children shows what a good father he is (or could be). -----------------

BigBadJayne Friday, September 21, 2007 - 14:18

And now the awful waiting begins.....

well at least I won't be spending so much on tissues....But Simon having trouble with Billy is definately tugging at my heartstrings...mite too much.....sail on, Leiasky, enjoy your trip! -----------------

Desertgirl Friday, September 21, 2007 - 17:27

Another great chapter. I'm on edge for all our Big damn heros!!!! May they all find hteir way home. -----------------

LadySage Tuesday, September 25, 2007 - 06:05

really enjoying this - and also worrying about the next step on each character's path! What's gonna happen to our BDHs?!?




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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.

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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.