River's Serenity - Chapter 2
Tuesday, January 6, 2009

While on the way to Persephone to complete a job, Simon contemplates his decision and gets advice from the crew, whether he likes it or not. Post BDM. River/Kaylee. PG rating for this chapter as it's mostly a lot of talking.


All characters, settings and everything else about this lovely little 'verse is the property of Joss Whedon and Fox. I'm just having my way with it while their backs are turned.


Simon walked out of the engine room and immediately leaned back against the wall, holding his face in his hands. Thoughts and emotions were racing through his mind, wondering if he had truly done the right thing. All he for sure knew, though, is that he could not remember a time where he had been angrier at his sister. He didn’t get much time alone as just then, Mal rounded the corner and walked up hard on Simon. Simon could see that Mal had cold fire blazing in his eyes and groaned a bit to himself, in anticipation of the verbal lashing he knew was forthcoming.

“Well doctor,” Mal said with a bitter sternness to his voice, “would you care to explain to me why I just had my lovely engineer run past me, bawling her eyes out?”

Simon stood up fully and looked right into Mal’s eyes.

“I imagine someone as intelligent as you, Cap’n, knows exactly why Kaylee was crying. So if you want to hit me, feel free. I’m not going to resist.”

“I’m not going to hit you, boy. Not yet, anyway. First, I’d just like an explanation as to what exactly is going through that piece of gou shi brain of yours.”

Simon flashed a look at Mal for the insult about his brain, but took a deep breath and just shook his head.

“I don’t know Cap’n. It just seemed like the best thing to do.”

“Really? So you walking out on Kaylee was the best thing. I’d like to hear exactly what your logic is behind that, doctor. Because on my boat, anything that causes grief and tension between crew members is not the best thing.”

“What other choice did I have?”

“How about one where you suck it up and be a man about it? You know my stance on the crew fraternizing with each other like you and Kaylee have been. So if you want to blatantly disregard my wishes and start seeing a member of my crew, especially someone as sweet as Kaylee, you’d better make sure you’re in it for the long haul. Now listen here Simon, you know we’re landing on Persephone shortly so Badger can pay us for that job on Paradiso. Now I’m giving you until the time we leave there for you to fix this and make sure that everything is shiny between this entire crew. Dong-ma?”

Simon made like he was going to answer but before he could, Mal walked away, back towards the bridge.


Mal now wished to speak with River since he knew Kaylee would likely be a blubbering wreck and wouldn’t want to talk to anyone about things just yet. He hoped River would be on the bridge, prepping for the landing on Persephone and was thankful to find her sitting in her co-pilot chair, hugging her knees to her chest and looking miserable. Mal knew she could tell he was already outside and cautiously entered the bridge and sat down in his seat.

“We ready to break atmo little Albatross?” Mal questioned.

“I’m thinking you should handle that cap’n,” River replied quietly.

“Something the matter River?”

“Ship can’t fly without love powering her. And I don’t have to much love to speak for right now.”

“I take it you’re referring to that little incident in the mess hall earlier?”

River only sniffled and nodded.

“You want to talk about it any?”

“Not much to talk about Mal. I couldn’t keep my feelings in check and now Kaylee and Simon are paying for it.”

“So you’re saying you got…feelings for Kaylee?”

River merely nodded again, choking back a sob.

“Well listen, I can’t say I blame you none for having feelings. You were captive for so long that I doubt you really had much of a chance to feel attracted to anyone growing up. Now that you’re out, it’s only natural that you start feeling things like you do for Kaylee. After all you’ve gone through, you deserve some good feelings in your life. Okay?”

“Okay. You mind if I lie down for a bit before we land?”

“Go right ahead. I’ll take care of landing this boat.”

River got to her feet in one graceful motion and Mal put a comforting hand on her arm. River looked down at him with tears welling up in her eyes once more before walking out of the bridge towards her bunk.


The teapot whistled and Simon took it off the burner, pouring hot water into a mug where he already had a teabag waiting. After all that had happened in the past hour or so, Simon needed something hot to try and combat the gripping cold he felt inside of him. He sat down at the table and waited for his tea to steep, holding his face in his hands as he waited. He then heard someone walk into the mess hall and Simon groaned to himself, not really wanting to speak with anyone at the moment. But he was not granted his wish as Zoë sat down in front of him.

“Evening, doctor.”

Simon merely nodded to acknowledge that he’d heard her but kept his head bowed towards the table.

“It’s fine if you don’t wanna talk. But I’ll be here if you do.”

“I presume you’ve heard?”

“I have indeed. Captain is none to happy about it.”

“I’m aware. He’s already let me hear it.”

“So what do you plan on doing?”

“I’m really not sure. I doubt Kaylee will want to speak to me much after what happened.

Zoë nodded in understanding as Simon removed his teabag and took a sip. Suddenly, Simon did get the urge to ask Zoë about something.

“Zoë, can I ask you about Wash?”

“Um, well, sure I suppose. What’s on your mind?”

“Well, while he was…with us, you two had a pretty solid relationship. But where there ever times where you wanted to leave him?”

“To be honest, yeah, there were some times where he drove me absolutely kuang zhe de. I mean sure, he made me laugh but with how little that man took things seriously, it was maddening. But no matter how much he drove me crazy and made me want to put a bullet in his brainpan, I loved him and always will.”

“So, do you think I overreacted?”

“In my opinion, yes. Now I imagine that seeing your girlfriend kissing your sister like that had to hurt and be confusing but I don’t think you needed to break up with her over it. Sooner or later you’re going to have to realize that the rules are changed now and that things are going to happen that you will not like one bit. But the smart thing to do will be to press on and let bygones be bygones. Anyway, better get to the bridge ”

Simon sighed painfully as Zoë got to her feet and headed for the bridge, leaving Simon alone with his tea.


Inara walked through Serenity’s corridors on her way to Kaylee’s bunk. She knew that soon they’d be landing and she’d be confined to her shuttle but before they did, she wanted to see if there was anything she could do for Kaylee. She came to the door of Kaylee’s bunk and even though it was closed, she could hear Kaylee’s sobs down below. Inara bit her lip, feeling terrible for her friend and gently knocked at the door. Kaylee didn’t respond so Inara cracked the door open and Kaylee’s hysterical sobbing became even louder.

“Kaylee, it’s Inara. Are you okay?”

“Please go away. I don’t want to talk,” croaked Kaylee between sobs.

Inara sighed to herself, wishing there was something she could do for her friend. But she knew how stubborn Kaylee could be sometimes and figured she’d best just leave her be right now. As Inara turned to leave, she saw River’s eyes poking out from around the corner of the corridor but they quickly disappeared and heard River running off. Inara thought about going after her but decided against it, hoping that things would get worked out soon. With that, Inara walked off towards her shuttle to prepare for the landing on Persephone.


Simon continued to sit in the mess hall, his mug of tea now empty, but still he sat there, not feeling any better. He kept instinctively sipping at the mug, even though it had been empty for quite some time. His tea wasn’t on his mind; Kaylee was all he could think about. He had really begun to question if he had made the right decision when suddenly Jayne walked into the mess hall.

“Hey, we’re jus’ about to break atmo. Cap’n wants everyone strapped in.”

“Yeah, thanks,” Simon said distractedly.

“What’s the matter with you, doc?”

“I just have a lot on my mind.”

“Oh yeah, I understand,” Jayne said with a chuckle. “After all, it ain’t every day a man loses his best girl to his sister. Bet that’s gotta be hard on ya, eh?”

Jayne playfully jabbed Simon in the shoulder and laughed while Simon looked up at Jayne, giving him the angriest look he could muster. Jayne put up his hands to let Simon know he was sorry and backing off.

“Hey, sorry Doc. Didn’t mean anything by it. Kaylee ain’t gonna leave ya for yer moon-brained sister, so relax.

“You’re right Jayne, she’s not gonna leave me. I already left her,” Simon said hollowly.

“Oh, yeh did? Well, I’m, uh, sorry to hear that. Can’t say I blame ya too much though. I’d have done the same thing. I wouldn’t put up with my best girl runnin’ off with some other broad, ‘specially if she don’t invite me along.”

Jayne walked off to get strapped in for the landing at Persephone, leaving Simon sitting at the table, horrified. “Oh god,” Simon thought to himself, “if Jayne would have done the same thing, I know I screwed up!” Simon picked his mug up and put it in the sink with the dirty dishes from dinner before leaving to go get strapped in.


After Serenity had landed, the crew was in the cargo hold, loading up the Mule with a set of crates for Badger. Mal took a brief break and ran upstairs to the dormitories to check on Kaylee. Mal knocked on her door and immediately after, cracked the door open because he knew Kaylee wouldn’t answer herself.

“Kaylee, we’re heading out to meet Badger. You wanna ride along and get your cut?”

“No, thank you Cap’n. I’d just like to be alone for a while longer,” Kaylee sniffled.

“Okay, suit yourself. I got that list of parts you said you needed so I’ll pick those up. But I’m gonna need you to install them when I get back, dong ma?”

“Sure thing Cap’n.”

“That’s my girl.”

Mal walked off and back to the cargo hold where everything had been loaded up and ready to be delivered.


A little while later, Mal, Zoë, Jayne and River were standing in Badger’s office with the crates Badger had requested. Badger doffed his trademark bowler at Mal as one of Badger’s cronies stepped towards the crates with a crowbar in hand and started to pry the top off. He got it off and peered down into the box to find a set of smaller boxes that were brightly colored. The henchman picked up one of the boxes and set it on Badger’s desk so Badger could inspect it more carefully.

“This is the real deal then, is it Reynolds?”

“Sure is Badger. Crate full of delicious, nutritious Fruity Oaty Bars.”

“Ah, it’s about gorram time. That bloody commercial plays all the ruttin time and I need to see what the big deal is.”

Badger opened a drawer in his desk and pulled out a sack of coins. He tossed it to Mal, who smiled and led his crew out of the office as Badger unwrapped one of the Oaty Bars. Just as the door closed, Mal could hear Badger spit and throw the bar to the ground.

“Ugh, tastes like shit. Buncha money thrown down the drain for nothin’.”

Mal smiled to himself as he walked away. Soon after, the crew was sitting in a bar and Mal had poured the money out on the table. He divided up the coins amongst his crew who took their shares. Jayne immediately left, muttering about needing some alcohol and ammo.

“Right, I’ll be sure to give the doctor his wage. Zoë, can you take care of Kaylee’s?”

“Um, actually Cap’n, could I take care of Kaylee’s share?”

“Uh, sure River. Don’t see why not. Well, Zoë and I have some supplies to get so you’re on your own little one. Don’t get into too much trouble, ya hear?”

River smiled at Mal as he slid her Kaylee’s share of money. She slipped it into the small purse she was carrying and headed out of the bar.


Simon wandered through the crowded streets of Persephone, glancing around for anything that caught his fancy. He just hoped that the captain would be back soon enough to give him his pay so that he could actually pay for something. While wandering around, he spotted his sister for the first time since he caught her in the ceiling, watching him break up with Kaylee. She was standing at a produce stand, and was paying the merchant as Simon walked over to her. As she turned to leave, she saw her brother coming towards her and immediately her face fell.

“River! River, can we please talk?”

“What’s to talk about? I kissed Kaylee and you broke up with her. Seems pretty simple to me.”

River tried to set off but Simon cornered her against a wall and River rolled her eyes and crossed her arms across her chest, waiting for her brother to make his point.

“Listen, I realize now that I made a mistake. And I’m going to try to make it up to Kaylee, okay?”

“It’s your life Simon, do what you please. At least until you screw up and break her heart again.”

“Hey, I may have screwed up but it wouldn’t have happened if you wouldn’t have kissed her. Speaking of which, why’d you do that mei-mei? You know that Kaylee’s mine.”

“Yours?” River scoffed. “Let me tell you something Simon Tam, Kaylee isn’t some piece of property. You don’t own her. She is her own person. At least I understand that. And Kaylee understands that about me. She sees me as a girl and nothing more. Not as a weapon, not as a broken valuable and certainly not as some gorram science fair project.”

Simon’s face hardened and he looked right into his sister’s eyes, the rage for her that he felt back in the engine room returning.

“Now you listen to me River, and you listen good. I have given up everything in my life for you. I gave up my career, I gave up my money, I gave up my home, I even gave up my reputation as an upstanding citizen so that I could break you out of that Academy. I’ve given the world to you and this is the thanks you give me? After all I’ve done for you? Breaking you out and trying to get you back to the sister I love and did everything for? And now I finally find one piece of happiness in this ‘verse and you want to take it away from me? You know, sometimes, I wonder if it was even at all worth it.”

Simon stared angrily at his sister who definitely seemed shaken by his words. She could only look at the dusty road, and over the tumult of the crowd, Simon could hear her sniffling. But when she looked up at him, there was cold fury in her eyes beneath the tears as she began her retort.

“All you’ve gone through? Well what about me, Simon? What about how much I’ve been put through? Do you think it was easy back there, getting my brain played with and being transformed into a killer? Was that supposed to be a fun time for me? Don’t you dare tell me about going through hardship because you will never know what I’ve been through. So why can’t I have a little fun for once? Why can’t I have something in my life that makes me smile and be thankful to be here? Don’t I deserve that? I guess I don’t. Sometimes I wonder why you decided to break me out in the first place. I mean if I’m such a burden to you and caused you to lose everything, why would you even bother?”

Before Simon could say anything, River ran off down the street, tears streaming down her cheeks as she clutched whatever she had bought against her. Simon was left standing alone once again, getting the distinct feeling that he had messed up even worse and that the captain would be having words with him once he found out.



gou shi - crap kuang zhe de - nuts


Thursday, February 19, 2009 4:50 PM


nice very nice


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