Blue Sun Rising - Part 8
Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Complications and distractions. It's a small boat, and everthing is everyone's business.


Standard disclaimers apply. Firefly, Serenity, and the original characters are not mine. This was written for fun, not profit. Two new characters are mine, but Joss can have them if he wants because they really want to come out and play.

Archiving: Just let me know where.

Rating: PG13 for language and adult discussion.

Pairings: Kaylee/Simon; Mal/Serenity implied


Jenny is on the table, hooked to all the monitors. Her knee has been disinfected and masked off for surgery. The surgical tray is by the table with an array of instruments and supplies. River is at her side, talking to her. Simon walks in and stops abruptly.

SIMON: (Confused) Jenny, River,…?

RIVER: I thought I'd save you some time and get Jenny prepped. I'm going to be your nurse.

SIMON: (Checking the monitors, observing that they are all hooked up correctly, and that the tray contains all the right instruments) River, thank you. You did everything right, but you shouldn’t stay. It’s going to be a little bloody.

RIVER: (Rolling her eyes) Simon, you don't have three hands. I can operate the scope, move it where you need it so you don’t have to stop. I promise I'll be okay.

JENNY: Simon, she was very professional. I assumed she'd done this before, and she has an excellent bedside manner.

SIMON: (Resigned) Okay, but if you get nauseous it's your problem. You can start by doping her. Use…

RIVER: Can't use anesthesia, it will hurt the babies.

SIMON: WHAT? What babies? Jenny, why didn't tell me...?

JENNY: I'm not pregnant, I can't be. At least I don't think I am. What, how.... How could you know from the monitors?

RIVER: (Placing a hand gently on Jenny's belly) (Serene) Only five weeks, twin girls, healthy.

Jenny is completely weirded out by this.

SIMON: (Professional, grabbing a paddle attached to a cable) Jenny, the Alliance did something to her brain, made her able to sense things. I can't explain it, but she's usually right. I'll be able to tell for sure with this.

He holds up the paddle, and then plugs in into the monitor. He places a sheet over Jenny’s lap and pulls her gown up, exposing her belly. River reaches over and squeezes gel onto her without being asked, earning a surprised look from Simon. He warms the metal paddle in his hand, then runs it over her belly, looking at the monitor, and then looking at Jenny. As he's speaking he's cleaning up the gel and readjusting her gown.

SIMON: Yes, you’re pregnant. I'm not an OB, so I can't tell how far along without looking at a chart. It may be twins, obviously we can't tell about the gender, won't be able to for weeks without equipment I don’t have here. When was your last cycle?

JENNY: (Taken back a bit by Simon asking her this. Counting on her fingers, twice) I guess I am more than two weeks late, but I wasn’t really keeping track. (Brow furrowed, confused) Guess I should have been. (Looking at Simon, slightly panicked) I can't be pregnant, not now. Not here. This isn’t what we planned….

SIMON: (Going from professional to tender, misreading her concern) Jenny, its okay to be frightened. Pregnancy and childbirth are big, scary events, but if you're worried about your safety don't be. This infirmary is better equipped than most border hospitals.

RIVER: And Simon's got experience. He delivered a baby a couple of months ago. In a whorehouse.

JENNY: You did? (Pause) Simon, having babies is not what I'm worried about. Raising them is another matter. The life we’ve been leading lately isn’t exactly kid-friendly. But I have some time to think about that I guess. (Sigh) Can you still do the surgery? It looks like I’ll really need this knee tomorrow.

SIMON: (Suddenly realizing the enormity of the situation) Lao tyen yeh. This changes everything. You can’t go. (To River) Please get the Captain.

River doesn’t move a muscle. Simon sees this and starts to move toward the com. Jenny grabs his arm.

JENNY: (Steely) No, Simon. It doesn’t change a gorram thing. End of subject, dong ma? (Her voice lighter) I’ll tell them upfront. Perhaps they’ll take pity on an injured pregnant woman. They certainly won’t be expecting a jailbreak.

SIMON: (Taking a deep breath, going ultra professional) I’m not going to fight you on this, because I know I’ll lose. I won’t tell the Captain, but you must. He needs to know you’ll require extra protection. If he objects I’ll explain it’s so early that, short of being shot in the gut or tortured, your body will protect the fetuses from trauma. (He swallows hard and looks down, quieter) I know this from emergency room experience. (Softer, kinder) For the surgery I have a mild sedative that won't harm your babies, and I'll give you a local anesthetic. (A little awkward) You’ll need a complete prenatal exam when this is over.

JENNY: That’ll be a little weird, but I'd feel better knowing everything is okay. Thank you, Simon. I’m sorry I’m putting you and Wash through this.

SIMON: (Smiles) It’s okay. Wash is right. We’ve all taken risks for one another. It’s what you do for your family. (Suddenly distracted) I need to take care of something. I’ll be right back.

Simon reaches is a drawer and pulls out a box and removes an ampoule. He grabs a syringe and an antiseptic pad and heads toward his bunk. Jenny and River look at each other, realization dawning, and giggle. A couple of moments later Simon returns, wincing slightly, he tosses the needle in a sharps container.

RIVER: She's not pregnant.

SIMON: What? You just saw on the monitor...

RIVER: Not Jenny, Kaylee. She's not pregnant.

SIMON: (Incredulous and slightly taken aback) Of course she’s not....River, that's really not something... it’s not a subject....Look, I know this might make you uncomfortable, but Kaylee and I....

RIVER: Love each other. You make each other happy. I'm not a little girl anymore, Simon. I know what you were doing last night, and it doesn't bother me at all. It's natural. You don't need to hide it to protect me. I love Kaylee and I like it better when you’re happy. It doesn’t hurt so much. (She taps her head.)

SIMON: It's just before....

RIVER: Simon, I was nine. I freaked out. You were my hero and you were... it was just icky.

Jenny looks at them, almost not wanting to know what they are talking about. Simon sees this and realizes an explanation is in order.

SIMON: (Sigh) River walked in on me "playing doctor" with the girl next door.

RIVER: Doctor? You were having sex with her.

SIMON: It's a polite euphemism.

RIVER: Didn't look polite to me.

SIMON: (Exasperated) Can we please change the subject?

Simon prepares a syringe of sedative....


Inara a sitting, writing. Kaylee is under the "dashboard" working. It's been quiet for a few minutes, and Inara hears Kaylee sigh. Inara gets up and walks over to the cockpit and sits in the chair.

INARA: You okay under there?

KAYLEE: (Startled) Huh? (Clunk) Ouch!

Kaylee slides out from under the console, sits up, and rubs her head, smiling.

KAYLEE: Sorry, I guess I'm a little distracted.

INARA: That’s understandable. You two were positively glowing this morning. I take it things went well.

Kaylee stands up as she's speaking.

KAYLEE: (Hugging herself and rubbing her arms) Umm hmm. (Looking up at Inara). Oh, Inara, it was so perfect. I love him so much. I never dreamed. I didn't know it could be like that, and it just got better ‘n’ better every time.

INARA: So, more than once then?

KAYLEE: (Sheepishly, happily, she holds up three fingers) And that's only 'cause we ran out of protection. It was like we never stopped in between neither, just kept kissin' and cuddlin' and talkin'. (Blushing, she stops.)

INARA: You needn't reveal any details; I just wanted to make sure that it lived up to your expectations.

KAYLEE: Considerin' I didn't expect him to know nothing...well, I was pretty surprised. The first time was like something out of a story. He just catered to me, you know, like it really mattered to him.

INARA: I'm sure it did. Simon was raised to respect and care about women. I'd imagine that extends to the bedroom.

KAYLEE: The second time was more... more about finding out what we both really like. I didn't think he'd be so relaxed, so, I don't know, playful, experimental. (Happy memory smile)

Inara walks to a drawer and pulls out a vial.

INARA: Playful. Hummm. Do you think he's interested in accessories?

She hands the expensive looking crystal vial to Kaylee.

INARA: Tastes good, gets warm, and has other interesting side effects.

KAYLEE: (Smiling) That’s really nice Inara, but this looks expensive. I can’t take this.

INARA: Please, consider it a relationship-warming gift, literally.

KAYLEE: Thank you. That’s sweet. Don't know that we’ll be needin' any variety for a long while, but I bet he'd be game. He sure 'preciated the quality of the protection you gave me.

INARA: You need more?

KAYLEE: Uh uh, he's givin' himself a shot and we're going to take a blood test tonight.

INARA: It doesn't bother you that he wants to test you?

KAYLEE: Truth? I probably would have been pissed and knocked him off the bed if you and I hadn't talked last week about bein’ safe. He's really more worried 'bout givin' me somethin’, what with all the blood ‘n’ stuff he’s had splashed on him out here. (More somber, almost in awe) We talked about so much. Made us closer than just doin’ it ever woulda. Told me a lot of stuff last night that makes me feel real bad ‘bout the way I treated him ‘fore when things didn’t go the way I wanted. Stuff I'd never a guessed. We were both cryin'. Oh ‘Nara, the last time we were cryin' when we started. It was so intense. Everything just went away and it was like we weren’t even two people any more.

INARA: Kaylee, you and Simon are very lucky. Many, most people never experience that level of closeness, of unity. It may not be like that for you every time. Don't be disappointed if it isn't. Enjoy what you are doing while you are doing it. It is much more satisfying than trying to reach an ideal. (She looks sort of far away.) KAYLEE: I don't know that I want it to be that intense again if I have to see him in that much pain first. Oh, I should go work on the other shuttle. Mal'll kill me if I let Simon distract me, and I think this counts!

INARA: I think I'll go and see about getting lunch started for the crew. It is the least I can do.


Inara walks in. Mal is sitting at the table going over plans and adding details to the tablet, he sighs and rubs his eyes. Inara begins some simple lunch preparations in a big soup pot.

INARA: You look exhausted. Would you like a cup of tea?

MAL: Please. I didn't sleep much last night.

Inara goes about making tea.

INARA: You have a lot of responsibility.

MAL: Yeah, and it didn't help that Simon and Kaylee chose last night to test the thickness of the bulkheads.

INARA: (Slight giggle) Perhaps someone should let them know they were overheard. I'm sure Simon would be horrified.

MAL: Simon wasn't the problem, least not most of the time. Though I suppose he was the cause of it. Girl missed out on a career in opera. Really wasn't expectin' that.

INARA: (Enjoying Mal’s discomfort and wishing to prolong it.) I gather from taking to Kaylee that there were several performances.

MAL: And an encore.

INARA: (She lays a hand lightly on his shoulder and leans over to place his cup on the table.) Lucky them. (He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.) Here’s your tea. Watch the soup. I’ve got to check my screen. I think I have another connection that may help the plan along. Then I’ll go see how the surgery is coming along and have a chat with Simon about volume control. I'm sure he'd rather hear it from me than you.

MAL: Yeah, you should’ve seen him this morning. I think he thought I was gonna toss him out the air lock.

Inara exits.


Jayne and Simon carry Jenny in and place her on the bed. River is carrying pillows. Simon carefully arranges her leg with the pillows. Jayne exits.

SIMON: Your knee needs to stay in this position for the next four hours. I'll come back in and check on you then and move it to a new position. I am hoping to have you up and around on crutches in eight hours, and putting all your weight on it this time tomorrow.


Simon is sterilizing instruments, humming happily. Inara enters.

INARA: How's our patient?

SIMON: The surgery went perfectly. We moved her to her room a few minutes ago.

INARA: Does she need anything?

SIMON: River is with her. Those two seem to have bonded.

INARA: (Leaning on the counter quite close to him) Speaking of bonding.... You have made Kaylee a very happy woman.

SIMON: And she's made me a very happy man.

INARA: Simon, she isn't Eliza Doolittle...

SIMON: Inara, I love her just the way she is. I have no plans to "make a lady" of her. Nor do I plan to hold her back if she chooses to change, people do. She's changed me already.

INARA: Just don't forget she's not from your world.

SIMON: I'm not from my world anymore. (Looking around him) This is my world now, and I can't imagine a better person to share it with. (Pause) I...I want to thank you for your friendship. It has made it a lot easier to adjust to this life.

INARA: (Smiling and looking pleased) As has your friendship with me. It often helps put this world, and those who choose it, into perspective. One other thing, I don't want to alarm you, but I understand that you two were audible through...

SIMON: (Sheepish, but not all that embarrassed with Inara) Yes, I know, the bunks aren't soundproof.

INARA: Mal told you?

SIMON: (Caught off guard) Mal? No, Wash told me after breakfast. Hell, I didn't even think about Mal. No wonder he had such a hard time looking me in the eye this morning. Good thing he knew what was going on and didn't think I was murdering her. We were rather loud.

INARA: So I gather. I think he was probably a little jealous as well.

SIMON: Of me with Kaylee???

INARA: Not specifically. More of the, um, frequency and duration of what caused you to be loud. Men are very sensitive about performance issues.

Wash enters as she is saying this.

WASH: Only because so much is expected of us. Where’s my stubborn sister? Is she okay?

SIMON: Jenny’s fine. She's in her room. Her knee will heal completely. There is something else, no; you should go speak with her.

Wash, looking worried, rushes out again.

INARA: Is there something wrong?

SIMON: Not wrong, exactly, no.

INARA: (Concerned) What is it? SIMON: Doctor/patient privilege.

WASH: (Off camera, loud enough for the entire lower deck to hear) Pregnant!!

SIMON: So much for privacy.


We see River in the pilot’s chair, hands on the controls, obviously piloting. Wash is in the co-pilot’s chair walking her through a sequence.

WASH: That’s right. You can manually override the thrust limiters if you engage the secondary boosters first. But you’d want to warn Kaylee so she’s nowhere near the engine when it happens…

Mal steps through the door, stops and stares for a moment. He looks confused and then horrified.

MAL: (Angry, but controlled) What in the tyen shiao duh is going on here? Wash, what is that girl doing at the controls. I told you you could teach her to navigate, but I don’t remember givin’ you permission to risk my boat. River, ain’t you supposed to be watchin’ Jenny?

RIVER: Zoë’s with her. They’re talking about babies. (She looks at Wash and smiles. Wash grins nervously.)

River effortlessly takes Serenity through a leisurely barrel roll.

WASH: Mal, she’s really good. She’s a natural pilot. You think I’d risk my ride? Besides, you said yourself, the more people who can pilot Serenity and the shuttles, the better off we are.(Pause) You talk to Jen again?

MAL: (Taking a deep breath) Yep, like talkin’ to a gorram wall. Least we didn’t yell this time. Woman wants her husband back and this plan’s the least apt to require violence. Now, ‘bout this doublin’ up on jobs; it ain’t a bad idea. So long as she keeps doin’ as well as she has been, stable and such, you can train her, but only out here in the black.

RIVER: (Secret smile) You didn’t like the lift off from Londinum?

MAL: (Angry and impressed) That was you? (Turning toward his pilot) WASH!!

WASH: I never would have let her do it if I didn’t think she could. She’s really, really good. Hold on a sec., I’ll prove it.

Mal is trying to calm himself as Wash moves to the pilot’s console, leans over River’s shoulder and punches a few buttons; putting the ship on autopilot, and bringing up a new screen that looks like the view out the front window, but with different stars and an asteroid belt.

WASH: Here, watch this. (To River) Ready?

River smiles and takes a firmer grip the controls as Wash hits another button. Suddenly the image on the screen begins moving, asteroids tumbling into view. River calmly maneuvers through the belt with deft moves and quick adjustments to the systems. The scene is so realistic Mal flinches and nearly ducks at one point. A few moments later the screen pops up with a “high score” notification. Mal is standing behind River, mouth open.

MAL: (Pointing at the screen) What’s this?

WASH: (Giving Mal a “huh” look) The flight training simulator.

MAL: (Puzzled) Yeah, I can see that. When did we get it?

WASH: (Incredulous) It’s standard equipment, Mal. It came with the ship. Didn’t you even look at the systems when you bought it?

MAL: Not really. (Serious) Flyin’ a simulation is one thing, flyin’ without gravity, or any one of a number of things that can go wrong, is different. I’m serious, Wash; I don’t want her up here without you. You’re to keep an eye on her, see that she don’t do nothin’ crazy and kill us all.

River turns toward Mal, who has subsided into the co-pilot’s seat.

RIVER: You worry too much. It’s not good for you. Besides, (Eerie smile, delivery mimicking Mal perfectly) you don't know me, Captain. So let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed.

Wash looks confused, but Mal looks awed and creeped out. River sees his look. She smiles and laughs.

RIVER: (Giggling) Don’t make faces.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005 10:20 PM


aww sweet. I especially like the interaction between Mal, Wash and River at the end. Very sweet.
Keep going, can't wait for more.

No Power In The Verse

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 6:15 AM


Very much fun. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 6:28 AM


Best bit ever? River? Just loved that last exchange of dialogue. Shiny, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 6:16 PM


Very nice story, have enjoyed the whole thing. Look foward to the rest.

Friday, May 27, 2011 2:36 AM


More good stuff - especially Mal and Inara talking about, well, what they heard! 'missed out on a career in opera', indeed! :)


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Missing Scenes from OiS
Just filling in a few blanks.

Questions and Answers - a deleted scene from Blue Sun Rising
Kaylee has questions, Simon has answers.

Blue Sun Rising - Part 12
Treachery is revealed in more ways than one, and Mal's scruples are tested.

Friends Survey - Serenity
Serenity responds!

Revolvers, Grenades, Action! WARNING! Unintentional spoiler for BDM. If you don’t know what it is I’m not telling!

Blue Sun Rising - Part 10
Finding Common Ground
**Accidental spoilers for movie**

Blue Sun Rising - Part 9
When did it get so gorram complicated?

Time to Go
A short little standalone about the inevitable.

Blue Sun Rising - Part 8
Complications and distractions. It's a small boat, and everthing is everyone's business.

Blue Sun Rising - Part 7
Plotting and Planning