Faith and Love Alone
Friday, August 21, 2009

A long-awaited discussion is had between medic an dcaptain over a particular incident... (Post-BDM)


“I hope you made arrangements.”

Simon looked up from his coffee, startled to see the captain glaring at him as though he’d sicced the Alliance on the ship or the man personally. “Shenme?”

“You know damn well what I’m talkin’ about.” Rough hands firmly grasped a shiny handle in a worn gunbelt.


“Oh? That’s the best you can do? Make a little girl cry, cast her aside like some cheap whore, and all you’ve got is ‘oh’?!”

Simon blanched. “Captain, in no way do I consider Kaylee…” Before the young man could finish, Mal hastily grabbed him by the collar and began forcing him towards the cargo bay.

“I told you. I told you. You start this, things happen, and what did I say would happen?”

From memory, Simon replied, “Either make an honest woman of her or walk out the airlock.”

“And what happened?”

Swallowing hard, Simon forced the words out of his mouth. “Captain, how can I possibly marry her?”

“Real simple, top three percent—we get us a book of some kind, not real particular on which, an’ you stand with her in front of me an’ say the words ‘I do.’ Not hard at all.” The angry man was now shoving the young doctor in the general direction of the airlock, where the inside door was gaping open as if in wait.

“That’s…that’s…look, if you want to toss me out the airlock, fine, I’ll do it, but then what happens to Kaylee then?”

“Reckon she has that young’n and we raise him or her right,” the captian replied firmly. “Many’s the child who was raised by more’n one parent, of a sort.”

“That’s not my point,” Simon said. “Never mind. You wouldn’t understand.”

“Well, I’d get to the makin’ me understand real quick, lest I decide to shove off a mite early.” Mal was now glaring at the younger man, fully expecting an explanation.

“Captain, I…I have nothing to offer her.”

“I’d say the little one in her belly ain’t ‘nothin’,’ doctor.”

“Not…not that. Look at me.”

Mal looked. There in front of him stood the same Simon Tam as always did, looking tidy and sensible and neat as a pin. “Understandin’ ain’t comin’ real quick-like, doc. Best hurry.”

“I don’t have anything. I don’t have any means to take care of her, let alone the baby. I make whatever we manage to come across on one of your ‘jobs,’ and lately that hasn’t been much. No offense.”

“Well, I won’t be offended more.”

Simon closed his eyes a second, trying desperately to choose his words carefully. “I can’t protect her, Mal. I can’t stop someone from deciding Kaylee might make a good lure to draw me out. I can’t give her and our baby a name people will latch onto as a way to make money we both know doesn’t exist. Hell, I can barely protect myself from…”

“Why you’re here, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but that’s my point! I have to be protected by you! How in the ‘verse am I supposed to protect Kaylee if I can’t protect myself?! How can I protect a child?!

Mal loosened his grip on Simon’s collar as the younger man drew in deep, patterned breaths. “That’s what you’re worried about?”

“You have to understand. I’ve acclimated to this…lifestyle, I suppose, and I wouldn’t change all that much now that I’m here, but…it’s hard, I guess, because I always believed there were certain ‘expectations’ that had to be met before marrying a woman.”

“Seems to me you met ‘em,” Mal said sternly. “That little girl is over the moon about you, and I know you are about her, else you wouldn’t be havin’ this discussion with me just now.”

Simon collapsed onto the bottom stair of the port stairwell, trying to fix his gaze on the rusting floor of the cargo bay rather than the slightly confused and thoroughly angry expression on the captain’s face. “I just…Mal, faith and love alone can’t be enough. Not…not for someone in my position.”

“Seems to me you’re havin’ a little trouble learnin’ things, so here they are again: either go up there and agree to marry my mechanic and give that child a good name, even if it’s made up out of thin air, or start walkin’ out that airlock.” The captain then took a step over to the side and waited for the younger man to make up his mind.

The doctor thought about Mal’s ultimatum. Walking out the airlock might solve a few problems—especially where Jayne Cobb was concerned—but it didn’t solve the problem of taking care of Kaylee and their child. True, he didn’t have money, or even a hole-in-the-wall to call his own, but then, Kaylee never cared that he did. As for the name, well…

Finally, Simon picked himself up and started up the stairs towards the engine room, where he could hear the expectant mechanic banging loudly on some obscure part and cursing in Chinese. He had a feeling the Chinese wasn’t entirely directed towards the uncooperative part Kaylee was trying to manhandle into place.


“Go ‘way, Simon,” the woman mumbled. “Done enough.”

“Kaylee, I’m…I’m sorry.”

“Sorry I’m gonna have a baby?”

“No.” Simon knelt down on the floor of the engine room and caught Kaylee’s wrench arm, pulling her to look at him. “No. I’m sorry I’m so stupid. I just…” He sighed. “I would be lying if I didn’t say that I wish some aspects of my situation were different.”

“Ya mean you wish the Alliance wasn’t lookin’ so hard for ya.”

“Yes. I worry, Kaylee. It’s…” Simon smiled a little. “It comes with the job description.”

“You’re worried some feng luh with ideas might come ‘long, snatch me or the little’n up.”

“Have you been talking to River?”

“Nah. I kinda overheard ya talkin’ with the Cap’n. I get it.”

“Well, he also put me in my place.”

“He threatened…no. Simon, no.”

“It’s not because of that. It’s because…damn it, I do want to marry you. I want to shout it from the rooftops---or broadwave it to every ship in the quadrant, in this case. I want to walk through a town---any town—and say, ‘This lovely woman is Kaylee Tam, and she’s my wife.’ I wish I could put more away than I’m usually able to help plan for this baby. I wish…”

“Aw, Simon,” Kaylee said, reaching over and pulling his face towards hers, leaving a light grease mark across his jawline. “Knowin’ you’d do all that is enough.”

“You’re worth more than just the knowing.”

“And I know you’ll make a fine daddy. I ain’t worried much. Be interestin’, having a little one around, looks like ya…”

“Oh, no. That child will take after you.”

“So,” a voice said, floating in from the hall. “Do I hear wedding bells or a funeral march?”

“Oh, no, you did not,” Kaylee cried, grabbing her wrench again. “Cap’n, you are not…

“We’ll do it,” Simon said bluntly. The grin on his face would have lit up a mile of black in seconds.

“Good choice,” Mal said, turning to chuckle to himself as he went looking for a book of some kind. Knowin’ ‘Nara, she’ll have somethin’…


Friday, August 21, 2009 11:16 AM


I did smile at this though honestly I could not see Simon *not* asking Kaylee to marry him if he got her pregnant. The thinking he was not good enough to ask I imagine coming *before* that happy event not after he had sewn his wild oats. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Friday, August 21, 2009 4:40 PM


Fun look at the proper doctor and the angry acting Captain. I really enjoyed the way you wrote this.

Friday, August 21, 2009 10:48 PM


Nice (if that's the right word) angry Mal. I do agree with Amdobell that Simon would probably have had this conversation before he slept with Kaylee, because she'd more likely be the one not to want to marry him in case she held him back, but it was fun, anyway. Good job!

Saturday, August 22, 2009 10:35 AM


I have to agree with everyone else on th.s. More than likely Mal would be mad at a premature marrying, but you did a real good with Mal.


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A long-awaited discussion is had between medic an dcaptain over a particular incident... (Post-BDM)

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