Homesick: Chapter 7
Friday, January 18, 2008

Kaylee and Inara get closer to Simon and River, while River makes a call to Mal. Simon despairs in prison and Kaylee pines after him. Simon/Kaylee, hints of Mal/Inara.


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Homesick: Chapter 7
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There weren’t too many places Kaylee felt out of place. She was open-minded, full of love and had a smile that could melt even the meanest heart, and these traits often added up to not only put herself at ease, but often softened even the sharpest temperament.

However, as she stood beside Inara in the grand foyer of the training house, surrounded by gold leafing and floor to ceiling canvases, swathed in sky blue silk, her hair pinned and makeup perfect, Kaywinnet Lee Frye felt like the biggest fish out of water. And what was worse, she was petrified the fancy lady who was greeting Inara now was going to figure it out.

“Inara, I must say I was surprised to get your wave.”

With her shining and polished veneer of nonchalance firmly in place, Inara greeted the house mistress with a kiss to each cheek and told her easily, “Well, I really felt that my pupil could use some time learning with other students. There is only so much I can teach her.”

Giving her a wry look, Mistress Penelope muttered, “I doubt that.” As the two old friends shared a smile, Penny turned her attention to Kaylee who was doing her best not to fidget. It was hard; Inara had preened and primped her, her hair piled in a huge mound on the top of her head, her finger nails painted, her face covered in various kinds of makeup and her body wrapped in a silken dress that was the smoothest thing Kaylee had ever worn. Smiling politely, she did her best to keep her back straight and her eyes forward as Penny did a slow circle around her.

“She really is lovely, Inara,” the woman confided. “A bit older than some of our girls perhaps, but-“

“On the Rim, it doesn’t matter as much,” Inara interjected.

Extending her hand to Kaylee, Penny greeted her. “I am Mistress Penelope Nguyen. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

Taking the woman’s offered hand, Kaylee curtsied as smoothly as she could before brushing her lips over the back of the woman’s hand. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Mistress Nguyen. I am Kayla Winchester.”

“Well, Kayla, welcome.” Penny smiled, and this time it was a warm expression that relaxed the younger woman. Glancing to the bags they’d brought, she said, “I’m sure the two of you would like to get settled.”

Pressing a button on the closest wall, a young man arrived in an instant and began collecting their things. “Winn will show you to your rooms and then we can chat over tea. We’ll need to discuss Kayla’s proficiency so that she can be placed in the appropriate classes.”

Inclining her head as a manner of acceptance, Inara took Kaylee’s arm and followed the porter with their bags. “We’ll see you in an hour then, Penny.”

Inara was shown to her room first and she smiled to Kaylee encouragingly as Winn took her a few doors down the hall. Once she’d unpacked the few things she’d brought, Kaylee sought out Inara again. Entering her room, she flopped down onto her friend’s bed and lamented, “All o’ this propriety is exhaustin’ me.” Turning her head to Inara she saw the other woman’s bemused look and added, “No wonder Simon was always so cranky his first few months on board.”

“Yes, well you’ve made sure to cure him of that, mei mei,” Inara commented, noting the way the younger woman’s eyes flashed with mischief before darkening again.

Releasing a sigh, Kaylee studied the ceiling above her – even it was covered with ornate paintings – and found her thoughts dwelling on Simon. He’d been gone for over a month and Kaylee missed him. Sure, she missed the sex, but that wasn’t what made her heart hurt; she missed him. Missed the way he held her when he slept and the way he’d laugh when she said something dirty or funny or sweet. Missed the way his nose crinkled when River said something about sex and the way he’d place a hand to the small of her back when they walked together. She missed Simon.

“We’ll find him, Kaylee.”

Inara’s soft voice interrupted her musings and Kaylee sat up slowly with a sad smile on her face. “I know,” she murmured, her hand drifting to touch the pendant hanging at her neck.

“We will,” Inara assured. Crossing the room, she sat beside her friend and covered her hand. “We’ll find Simon and River and get them back.”

Taking a deep breath, Kaylee closed her eyes for a moment and when she reopened them her momentary melancholy was gone. Standing, she extended a hand to Inara and told her, “Well, what’re we waitin’ for?”

With a wide smile and her own steely resolve untouched, Inara rose with her and headed out of the room.

---- ----

River’s parents had taken to locking her door every night. It was after she turned in when they figured her to be sleeping, but she wasn’t. She was always awake and alert, doing her best to soothe her troubled mind as Simon’s despair haunted her. So every night for the past five days she heard the subtle click that told her she was a prisoner in her own home.

Not that it made much of a difference. River had learned how to pick those locks at the age of six. She hadn’t yet this week; she hadn’t wanted to tip her hand. Diligently, she’d been forming a plan, doing her best to think of a way to get Simon out, back to Kaylee, unharmed. And while she was a genius and a government-engineered assassin, River knew that she’d need help if she wanted any chance of succeeding.

Slipping out of bed, she winced as her bare feet touched the frigid wood floor. Tiptoeing hurriedly to the door, she pressed her ear against it, listening through the heavy wood for any sound in the hallway beyond. Satisfied that the house was asleep, she worked quickly, popping the door silently. In minutes she’d made it to her father’s study. Firing up the Cortex, she keyed in the code for the wave and waited impatiently for the connection to establish. When it did she was confronted with the face she’d most wanted to see.

Beaming, but keeping her voice low despite her excitement, she said softly, “Hello Captain Daddy.”

“River?” Mal sat upright, knocking his feet off the console in front of him. Wide blue eyes regarded her incredulously for a moment before he finally shook his head, hard, as if to jar something lose. Apparently, it was his tongue. “River, where in the name of all that’s holy are you? And where’s your brother?”

“Simon’s still in jail and I’m at the estate.” She pouted, not at all liking her situation. With soulful eyes, she told him, “I need your help. You need to come and take us home.”

Grimacing, his face filled with a look of pure pain and River tensed slightly. Closing his eyes for a moment, he told her finally, “River, darlin’, you are home.”

Shaking her head firmly, she took a quick step towards the screen and said adamantly, “No. This isn’t home. It’s a building, four walls and a roof. No love, no laughter, no caring here.” Imploring him with those huge eyes, she added quietly, “Serenity is home.”

Mal studied her again. The fact that she knew exactly how to tug at his heartstrings until they sang like a violin unsettled him greatly; but the fact that he knew she was right, knew that she belonged on Serenity, with him and his family, unnerved him more.

“River, it ain’t a simple snatch n’ grab. Comin’ after you an’ your brother,” he said, hoping she’d understand his reticence; of course, no one else had, so maybe it was just wishful thinking.

Gazing at him for a moment, River did her best to push away Simon’s sadness and her own guilt and focus only on Mal. It was difficult, he was far away, but she could do it, she had the power. Inhaling sharply as she touched upon something, she whispered, “You’re close. And mother and sister are here.”

“Shenme?” Mal asked, his eyebrows rising in confusion.

About to explain, River felt her whole body go stiff as the wave screen abruptly shorted out and the lights in the study blinked on, momentarily blinding her. Whirling towards the door, she could make at the annoyed silhouette of her father, standing with his arms over his chest.

“I want to go home,” she told him firmly before he even had time to scold. Matching his pose, she said again, “Simon and I want to go home.”

“You are home, River,” Gabriel said, his voice a bit rough from sleep. Entering the room, he stood before her, deceptively gentle hands resting on her slim shoulders. “This is your home, sweetheart. Don’t you remember?”

Brown eyes that could easily drown a man staring at him, River said succinctly, “Not home. Serenity’s home. It’s where daddy is, where Simon’s heart is. It’s where we belong.”

“You do not belong on some garbage scow.” Her father’s impatience quickly boiled past the point of good humor and with a bit of a rough grip, he grabbed her firmly around the arm and dragged her from the room. River thought fleetingly of dropping him to the ground with a swift kick to his lower back and running for her life, but she suppressed the urge. There was still plotting to be done, still information to be gathered and she knew if she tipped her hand too soon, she’d end up in a cell, like Simon.

“Serenity is not a scow,” she told him hotly, allowing him to drag her and doing her best to keep her anger under wraps. “And we do belong there.”

As they reached her room, Gabriel opened the door and shoved her inside. Whirling on him she bit out, “We belong there more than we ever did here.”

“River, I really thought …” Letting the statement die, Gabriel dropped his gaze to the floor and when he returned it to his daughter’s face a moment later, she could read the immense sadness in his eyes. “I prayed that we’d find you in time, before Simon’s paranoia had tainted you.” With just the hint of sad smile gracing his features, he added quietly, “But it’s obvious to me now that we didn’t.”

And before she could form a retort, the door was again closed, the lock clicking into place. River thought of picking it again and getting the hell out of there, but she forced herself to be patient. Mal had given her all she needed to know; she had friends close by, Inara and Kaylee were near, and now River knew she could work a plan, one that would get Simon out of jail and both of them back in the black.

---- ----

“When did you get the first letter?”

Simon held Doctor Burband’s gaze unflinchingly. This was his third session with the psychiatrist in as many days and while Simon himself was fairly tired of hearing his same story repeated over and over again, the doctor seemed to once again be hanging on every word.

Sitting back in his chair, Simon studied the smooth, gray walls of the room and said quietly, “Her first letter came after she’d been at the Academy for a month. But it didn’t have her message in it.”

“How do you know?” the other man asked, sitting forward.

Avoiding the very strong urge to roll his eyes, Simon answered, “Because, once I studied the letters, I went back and applied the algorithm to all of them. River didn’t start to try and secretly communicate with me until she’d been at the Academy for almost eleven months.”

Burband nodded once, his hand barely stopping as he input data into his notepad. The boy’s story, while unbelievable, had been pristinely accurate in each of its tellings. Which led the doctor to form two conclusions; one, that Simon Tam was, in fact, telling the truth and that all of his actions, however illegal or seemingly misguided had been carried out to save his sister from a fate worse than death. Or two, that Simon Tam was so crazy and suffered such a mental break with reality that even he could not tell the difference. At the moment, Burband’s opinion of which theory might be true was decidedly split right down the middle.

“What made you think River needed help?” he asked softly, watching Simon as the younger man did his best to hide his irritation at being asked the same questions, day after day.

“When the letters stopped and then started again, they didn’t make any sense. There were spelling errors and inside jokes that we had never told. Stories about people and places we’d never met or visited. So I began to pay closer attention; I found the words and phrases that made the least sense, analyzed the misspelled words and eventually, with a bit of help, I was able to decipher the code.”

“Yes, help from your friend,” Burband said, glancing through his notes from the previous day’s meeting. “Doctor Ling, correct?” When Simon nodded, Burband asked, “What did he say? When you came to him with this somewhat radical request?”

Poor Geoff; he’d just been a good friend and now Simon feared that he might have unwittingly dragged him into a mess of infinite proportions. Shrugging lightly, Simon told him, “I didn’t explain the whole story. I simply told him that I thought River was trying to tell me something in code. He worked the math to break it, that’s all.”

“And your parents?”

And there it was; the same flash of anger that had sparked in the boy’s eyes both times before flared again and Burband made note of it. There was no love lost between the son and his father, but the psychiatrist had known that when he’d taken the case. After all, when a father was the one ordering the psychiatric evaluation, it was a pretty good indicator that the familial bond had eroded.

“They refused to listen.” Simon’s tone was cold and sharp, even to his own ears. “I showed them all the evidence. I asked them, no actually, I begged them, to do something and they wouldn’t.”

“How did that make you feel?” He hated to be so prosaic, but sometimes the most clichéd questions were the best.

Rising abruptly, Simon’s chair tipped back and clattered to the floor loudly. “How do you think?” he bit out. He was losing his patience. He had tried, he truly had, but after three days of this pointless questioning and almost a month of imprisonment, Simon’s emotions were boiling hot and right at the surface. He missed his sister and Kaylee and more than anything he just wanted to go home; back to Serenity.

Chest heaving now with barely restrained emotion, Simon said hotly, “I was furious. My parents thought that if I spoke of my theories to anyone I would be ruining my future. When I was caught in a black-out zone, my father came to bail me out and gave me an ultimatum.”

“Which was?” the doctor prompted.

“To stop my search or leave the house and never come back.” Frowning slightly, he added wryly, “I’m assuming you can guess which I chose.”

Doing his best to hide a smirk, Burband nodded once and returned to his note-taking. Simon stood over him for several moments, still trying to withhold his mounting rage. He knew he shouldn’t be showing such anger to the psychiatrist and the doubtless observers on the other side of the two-way window in the room, but Simon also knew he was close to exploding – self-destructing past the point of no return. The days of quiet and the stress of imprisonment were taking their toll and Simon was starting to think he might really live out the rest of his days in a jail cell.

Releasing a heavy sigh as his despair again overwhelmed him, he righted his chair and sat. Burband waited until Simon was again sitting, and then glanced up and regarded him with a blank expression. “Simon, what would have happened to your sister if you hadn’t kidnapped her?”

“I didn’t kidnap her,” he refuted half-heartedly. It was a distinction no one was willing to make and it was grating on his nerves. “I rescued her from a laboratory, where doctors were sticking needles into her head. Where they had already cut into her brain and irrevocably altered it for their own purposes. They basically turned her into a schizophrenic paranoid and I don’t think I really need to illustrate to you how damaging that is.”

Shaking his head once, Burband assured, “No, Simon, you are correct. I am fully aware of the challenges faced living with schizophrenia.” Pausing for a second, he asked again, “So, what would have happened? If River had stayed in that environment? With those men?”

Raising tired eyes to him, Burband was confronted for the first time with Simon’s disheartened look and it made him decidedly uncomfortable. “She would have died,” he said simply. Taking a deep breath, he added, “And if she had, I would have been partly to blame. Knowing what I did and not acting on it …” Drifting off, Simon’s eyes focused on a point the doctor couldn’t see and so he waited.

Weary and lonely, Simon finished. “If I hadn’t acted on the information I had – if I hadn’t listened to my sister, she would be dead by now.” Leaning forward, he rested his elbows on the table, clasping his hands before him and locking the doctor in an intense gaze. “And that would have been the real crime.”

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The nights on Osiris were pretty, but Kaylee couldn’t see the stars, and she missed them. Her body ached and yearned for comfort and she foolishly hoped that if she could see those small, distant twinkles of light, her anxiety would lessen and her heart rate would again return to normal. But she knew that stars could not fix what was wrong with her now.

Sighing heavily, she turned back into her room, shutting the veranda doors behind her. It was close to the middle of the night and she knew she should be sleeping. One of the teachers today had made a terrible fuss about the bags under her eyes, about how it was not becoming of a Companion. Kaylee had done her best not to be offended. She had no delusions about her own elegance, although she knew that appearances for this job were important.

But it really didn’t matter. She couldn’t sleep; had barely been able to catch more than a few hours rest at a time since Simon had been gone. Sliding back under the cool sheets, Kaylee rolled onto her side and hugged one of the large pillows to her chest tightly. It could never be a substitute for Simon – it was too soft and cold and Kaylee’s ache only deepened at the fleeting memory of lying in Simon’s arms … of his lips on hers.

Closing her eyes, she tried to conjure up an image of Simon, tried to imagine him kissing her. But all she could see was the face of a stranger, one who should not be there, but one she knew would be until she could again kiss the real man of her dreams. And she hated that almost as much as Simon’s absence.

She never should have agreed to this. Kaylee had had serious doubts about Inara’s assertion that she could convincingly pretend to be a companion in training. While Kaylee was a bright, confident woman, she had also been raised on the Rim, where ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ were considered the height of propriety and everything else was just overkill. But it had never truly been her mannerisms she was most concerned with. It was the ‘companion’ part of her disguise.

She liked sex, that was no secret to anyone who knew her, and while Kaylee understood, on an intellectual level that there was more to Inara’s job than just the physical act, secretly, Kaylee had always assumed it was really just a bunch of pretty window-dressing to mask the main event. Regardless, Kaylee had assumed that she’d be all right; as a trainee, she wouldn’t be expected to take on clients or anything, but she would be expected to go to class.

The first few days had been nothing special, a lot of talking, some demonstrating by others – not Kaylee – and some frank discussion. Keeping her head down and speaking only when spoken to, Kaylee had managed to avoid any awkward moments; until today.

She had been called upon to demonstrate kissing with one of the other boys in the class. He was handsome, to be sure, sandy blond hair and a pleasing face. He’d been nervous too and that had made Kaylee feel a bit better. She remembered how he’d blushed the minute the teacher had started to explain.

“A kiss can communicate quite a bit about us, as professionals and as people, to our clients and vice versa. It is often the first intimate contact we’ll have with a client and while it can be brief, just a meeting of the lips, a kiss can oftentimes be more satisfying than any other physical act.”

Wasn’t that the truth? Kaylee remembered her first kiss with Simon; it had been so good, although now, in hindsight, she often wondered if that hadn’t just been her anticipation talking. She had honestly never thought it would happen and when it did, she was fairly certain Simon could have been the worst kisser in history; she still would have reveled in it.

But today, she’d kissed that student and he had been pretty awful. But she’d still done it; Kaylee had kissed him, on the mouth, and now whenever she tried to remember Simon’s kiss, she could only pull up a mental picture of this other man and it made her heart hurt. It had all been fake, a lesson and nothing else, but to Kaylee it meant more and she felt shame for allowing it to happen.

She didn’t understand how Inara could do this for a living – it wasn’t real. None of it and that was probably what unnerved Kaylee the most. What she had with Simon, that was real. What Inara wanted to have with the captain, that was real. All of this: the clothes, the makeup, the tea, it was just window dressing, used to help people hide from their real lives. It made Kaylee sad for Inara too; her friend was more than likely so good at her job because she’d managed to convince herself that other people’s emotions were more important than her own. And that just wasn’t true.

Sighing heavily, Kaylee snuggled deeper under the blankets, wishing the ache in her chest would go away. Wishing that Simon were free so they could go back home and forget all of this had happened. She wished for sleep, too, but she knew that wasn’t going to happen. And so she accepted it.

---- ----

Mal watched the few handfuls of people bustle by outside, his lip turned up in an expression between disgust and annoyance. He wanted off this over-saturated planet. He wanted to be back in the black and sailing – preferably towards Osiris, if he could swing it.

“Problem, sir?”

Turning on his heel, he regarded Zoe, his first mate standing at the top of the ramp, arms over her chest in a stance that spoke of defiance and confrontation. Liking neither, Mal faced away from her and said sharply, “Nope, not a bit.”

For a second he thought she might actually leave it at that, but he should have known better. The clang of her booted feet against the metal snuck up on him and he caught her out of the corner of his eye as she took up a spot next to him, her deep brown eyes also focused on the crowd.

“That’s where I’m thinkin’ you’re wrong, sir,” she said succinctly, in her clipped “I-can’t-believe-I’ve-followed-your-sorry-pigu-this-long” tone.

Releasing an annoyed sigh, he asked her, “How so?”

Turning to fully face him, she said, “We’re still here an’ Simon an’ River ain’t. Not to mention ‘Nara an’ Kaylee.”

With another annoyed snort, he stalked back into the cargo bay, searching for something to do, anything actually, if it would allow him to avoid this conversation. “We ain’t talkin’ ‘bout that, Zo.” Not when I don’t have the whole plan figured out.

“Like hell we ain’t.”

Freezing, Mal had to wonder if he’d just heard what he thought he had. Zoe rarely, if ever, swore; not out of some strict moral code, she just didn’t. People found her intimidating enough without the need for coarse language. But she had just cussed now and what was worse, it had been directed at Mal.

Looking back to her, Mal turned to face her and asked, “I beg your pardon?”

“We need to get to Osiris, mashong,” she said in way of an answer, matching his stance muscle for muscle. “We got crew there that needs us.”

“What in hell do ya think I’m tryin’ to do?” he shouted. “Bellerophon’s the closest we been to the Central planets since before Miranda. Why the hell do you think I took this job?” Before she could answer, he told her, “It certainly weren’t for the money as I’m fairly certain those bobble-headed geishas netted us more coin.”

Frowning heavily now, Zoe opened her mouth to speak and then closed it again. Eyeing him suspiciously, she asked, “So, we’re going to Osiris?”

Dropping his gaze to the deck for a moment, Mal tried to collect himself. Truthfully, he was upset at himself for being so stubborn as to wait this long. Stepping towards her, he said, “Yeah, Zo, we are. Soon as we meet this guy an’ get refueled, we’re headin’ out full burn.” Allowing that to sink in for a second, he added, “I shoulda gone with ‘Nara an’ Kaylee, I just … I figured if’n the two o’ them wanted to try it on their own first, I wasn’t gonna stop ‘em. A shuttle gettin’ down on that planet is a hell of a lot easier than a firefly.”

Her lips quirking into a small grin, she said quietly, “You were gonna go all along.”

Matching her smirk, Mal said, “Yeah. I just din’t wanna say nothin’, get lil’ Kaylee’s hopes up.” Turning to head back into the ship, Mal grimaced and added, “’Course, us actually goin’ ain’t a guarantee it’s all gonna turn out shiny.”

---- ----

“Good afternoon, River. How are you?”

The sullen girl, with impossibly wide, dark eyes and the palest skin Burband had ever seen sat across from him placidly. Her delicate hands were folded in her lap, her hair brushed to the point of shining. Her feet were bare, which caused Keith to smile, but her expression was unreadable and it unknowingly set him on edge.

“Fine,” she said quietly, her voice small.

Shifting a bit in the ostentatiously large armchair he’d been appointed, Keith looked about the parlor. He had agreed to interview River in her home, at her parents’ insistence, and it was a beautiful estate. Taking in all of the priceless artifacts and works of art within moments, he looked back to the girl and told her, “Your home is very lovely.”

“It’s not mine,” she told him, her voice still deceptively small. As he regarded her quizzically, she elaborated. “Belongs to my parents. Not my home anymore, not mine and not Simon’s.”

Nodding once, Burband studied her for another second, noting the utter sadness that filled her features at the mention of her brother. “River, do you love your brother?” he asked suddenly. It hadn’t been his intent to begin their session this way, but it seemed to fit and Keith had learned years ago to trust his instincts.

Tears welling in her eyes, she said, “Of course, I do. Simon is my brother, my savior. He keeps me safe, makes me well.”

“It must be very difficult for the two of you to be separated,” Keith commented, noting that River’s tears cleared in an instant.

“Not a game. Wasn’t a joke.” Her tone was firm now, louder than before and it caused the psychiatrist to pause. There was obviously much more to this waif of a child than he had initially suspected. “I didn’t make it up.”

“Make what up?” Surreptitiously, Keith had pulled out his notepad and stylus and started to take notes.

“The Academy. What they were doing to me and the other students.” Dropping her eyes to her lap, River stared at her hands as she wrung them together in desperation. “It was a bad place, full of pain and darkness. I would have died there without Simon.”

Before Keith could ask another question, her eyes shot back up to his face, this time begging with him. “He’s so sad, so lonely. He misses his sunshine. Please let him come home.”

Shaking his head once, the doctor told her, “I’m sorry, River, but that’s not up to me. The judge will have to decide how best to handle Simon’s case.”

More tears and this time they fell, two steady trails down her perfect cheeks. “He’s already given up so much for me. Lost so much, sacrificed so much. This isn’t fair.”

River mentally kicked herself for her weakness. She had not intended to cry, not in front of this man, but he had been to see Simon only a few hours before and River could read her brother’s residual emotions from the doctor; and they were agonizing to her.

Watching as River struggled to control herself, Keith finally prompted. “River, can you tell me how Simon knew to come and get you?”

Nodding once, it took her a few more minutes to pull it together. With a huge sigh that shook her entire body, she looked to him steadily and began. She told the story of the encoded letters and how she prayed Simon would figure it out. She told horrifyingly detailed stories about experiments and procedures she was subjected to. She told heartbreakingly painful stories regarding her last few days in that place before her brother had come for her – when River had seriously considered ending her own life.

And when she was done, over two hours later, Burband was more confused and conflicted than he’d ever been. Their stories matched; didn’t just match, were identical. In all his years as a court-appointed psychiatrist, Burband had never encountered such unequivocal accuracy, not unless it was the testimony of an innocent man. There was not one misstep, not one detail out of place.

As he left the Tam estate, bidding River a warm goodbye, although the girl’s expression was again stoic, Burband sifted through his notes, waiting to make his final call once he was back in his office.

Flipping on the cortex, he waved an official halfway across Capital City and said, “Simon Tam is not insane. Nor is he guilty. He’s telling the truth.”

Concealing his anger at this assessment, Chen simply nodded curtly and said, “Thank you for your work doctor. Your services will no longer be required on this case.”

---- ----



Friday, January 18, 2008 6:39 PM


Interesting and i could see mal not being sure and kinda half always planning on going but not saying something. The only thing i can critic is I think he would have said something when Kalyee left. But thats just a matter of oppinion. Look forward to the next part.

Saturday, January 19, 2008 3:02 AM


Nutluck, I also think Mal would have said something when Kaylee, his *mei mei*, left. It seemed so out of character. This chapter is better and I just loved River and simon in this though I am worried that Chen now knowing that the siblings are considered to be telling the truth will make him move faster. Just hope our Big Damn Heroes can get them rescued in time! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, January 19, 2008 4:54 AM


I was thinking that maybe Mal thought that Simon and River needed time to sort things out with their parents. Sorta to bring closure to that part of their lives before returning to Serenity. This is sort of what seems to be happening. Besides, if the warrents get lifted, then it will make life all manner of easier for them. Mal is stubborn, but I would expect he would have said at least something. I'm just waiting for Kaylee to slip up and say 'aint.'

Saturday, January 19, 2008 8:55 AM


To all:

Mal's reluctance to go after the siblings was a bit like what Roninwriter described - he's not totally convinced that they don't belong on Osiris. That everything that happened with Miranda, maybe them going back to that life would be better for them. Certainly safer, in Mal's opinion.

Thanks for pointing out what didn't seem true. To be fair, my incomparable beta, Leiasky, also pointed out that Mal's reaction seemed a bit out of character. The shortcomings to the story are simply my own - I was trying for something and I guess I didn't quite nail it.

Thanks for continuing to read. This is one of my shorter FF stories, so we've only got about 7-8 chapters left.

Saturday, January 19, 2008 11:09 AM


I think Mal was really afraid of loosing more crew but he certainly couldn't expect Kaylee to stay hands on belly when Simon was in danger - the fact that Inara and she teamed up and went on their own is worrying him more... that's just my humble opinion. Would you blame me if I told you that River's daddy sucks? He just CAN'T take her as a prisoner in her own room!!

Also liked the scene between Mal and Zoe... nice move Zo!

Keep flyin' ;)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 1:53 AM


your writing is pursuasive enough - i can follow where you take the characters, everything has integrity to the writing (if that makes sense) people may question characters - coming from the show - but everything here (in your take on the verse) is well motivated and truthsome.


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River goes to Inara for help, while Kaylee finally gets Simon to open up. NC-17 for some lovin'. Simon/Kaylee with appearances by River and Inara.

Make a Wish (2/5)
River's wish causes repercussions throughout the crew. Kaylee wants more details about Simon's first time, while Mal has a friendly tip for Jayne. R for suggestive language. Simon/Kaylee and crew.

Make a Wish - Chapter 1
Post-Miranda. River is turning 18 and she makes a wish that unsettles her brother. Simon/Kaylee, with the rest of the crew. PG-13 to R for suggestive language.

Homesick: Epilogue
Simon and his parents reach an understanding while Mal and Inara find themselves on the same page ... finally. Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara.

Homesick: Chapter 10
Mal's a bit surprised by the welcome her receives. Gabriel and Regan see the light, but Chen is anxious to keep them all in the dark. Simon/Kaylee, hints of Mal/Inara.

Homesick: Chapter 9
River decides to tell her parents the truth - all of it - and they're not happy. Kaylee is still reeling from her visit with Simon. And another Big Damn Hero joins the mix. Kaylee/Simon, hints of Mal/Inara.

Homesick: Chapter 8
River goes for help and finds Kaylee. Chen grows worried that the Tams will not press charges against their son and takes matters into his own hands. Kaylee manages to see Simon and it doesn't go so well. Kaylee/Simon, hints of Mal/Inara.

Homesick: Chapter 7
Kaylee and Inara get closer to Simon and River, while River makes a call to Mal. Simon despairs in prison and Kaylee pines after him. Simon/Kaylee, hints of Mal/Inara.