Damnit Simon
Saturday, February 25, 2006

Yes ladies and gentlement, pigs are flying, misskitten is writing SMUT! Started out a different take of a sceene in OiS, but it grew out of porportions. Rated NC-17 for sexual content. And oh yeah, it's Simon/Kaylee, but you allready guessed that right?


AN: Okay, this was originally planned to be just a short story. But as I started writing, the characters just wouldn't stop yapping in my head. LOL, it's TRUE! Originally written just to do something about one specific sceene, it just grew out of porportions.

AN2: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, pigs are flying, misskitten is writing SMUT! Now, this is important, I want comments, especially about the smut part, if I'm ever to dare do another one of these I need to know whether or not I'm on the right track, 'kay? But for goodness sake comment the other stuff as well... lol

AN3: For all of you worrying about when it is the next Hangover installment is coming. I'm working on it, Kaylee's chapter's almost finished, and I've started on both Inara's and Zoe's. The last mentioned is the one you should be on the look-out for. I can't say when, but there's definate progress. Plus I've just finished my exam, so there won't be that demanding schoolwork for the next couple of weeks, so I should have more energy to write.

Edit: Thanks to EA for the Beta-ing!

"Damnit Simon"

It had to be late afternoon. Though time measurement didn't completely hold out in the black, they were all used to living on central time, just for the sake of order with both work and meals. Kaylee pondered about tripping into the kitchen and grab a snack or something, but being the social creature she was, eating alone just didn't appeal much to her. Besides it wasn't as though she was insanely hungry or anything. Her next query was whether or not to take the trip to her bunk to get washed up. She looked at her hands. They were only slightly grimy. Her clothes were pretty grimeless also, except for her sandals, which she had managed to step into a spill of oil she had made when treating a minor screetching sound from the engine turning.

She washed off her hands and the oil from her sandals, which now were too wet to use. Her working boots were right down in her bunk, but she wasn't too tempted to go get them. It wasn't as if she was leaving ship or anything, so she didn't really need those clubby things hanging onto her feet. Besides, she kinda liked the feeling of cold metal under her feet. The engine room was often overheated, which in return made her body feel the same, so the idea of cooling down was more than appealing. It didn't hurt none, walking on the grates. They were the good kind of grates, the non spiky ones.

She assumed the doctor to be in his usual spot, the infirmary and was only slightly surprised to find him in the seating area outside the infirmary. As usual he had his nose in some sort of medical text that she would never truly understand. Not that knowing that discouraged her any. With Simon on board she didn't need to know how to fix people. Engines were her patients. Even though she objected when Simon told her her job was just as important, if not even more important than his, she liked the way he described her work. As if she was some sort of doctor herself. A ships doctor. So knowing all those fancy words, the whole language that doctors used to talk to each other wasn't important to her, though when they hung out and talked Simon would teach her a new expression every now and then. Sometimes she would repay him by teaching him a little bit about machinery. It was nice to have him so interested in hearing about mechanics.

It was even better to talk to someone who wasn't just interested in talking about their own stuff or just interested in her talking about hers. They had a balanced way of sharing things. It didn't feel like her getting to know him or him getting to know her. It was always something of getting to know each other. She had never had that with anyone before. Sure Inara was interested in hearing about her, particulary if there was any progress between her and Simon, but Kaylee always found herself being the one who asked more often. River on the other hand almost never shared anything, not that Kaylee could blame her with the way her mental state had been manipulated by the Alliance, it was also nice that the girl was a great listener. But with both her friends on ship, there was a balance lacking. She had that balance with Simon. Sure the way he always seemed to hold back what he wanted with her frustrated her to no end, but she had learned at least a little bit about having patience. She had a feeling that one day it would pay off.

Simon didn't seem to have heard her come down, as he was deeply into whatever material he was reading next.

- Thinkin' back at your old life, she asked cheerfully.

She noticed a surprised flinch in him, before he looked up. Boy, he really had been into the book.

- Hi, didn't hear you there, he chuckled. - Yes, well, I'm still working on an alternative treatment for River and then I remembered reading something about psychoses in this book once, so I thought I'd check up on it, see if it'll take me somewhere. I dunno if I'll have what I need for it, but I guess I can save up some... maybe arrange another hospital rip-off.

He grinned at the last part. She knew he was getting more and more relaxed about living the life of crime. Just as she had thought he would. True she had underestimated how deep the core sat in him, so it had happened about two months later than she had expected, but the important thing was that it had happened. Maybe this meant he would get more relaxed in her company, maybe manage to say out loud what it was he wanted. She didn't wait for any indication to join him, she knew just by reading his body language that she was more than welcome to. So she seated herself next to him.

- So you miss your old proper life still?

Simon didn't seem to have caught the question as he was looking down at her feet of all things.

- Where are your shoes?

She resisted the temptation to giggle and just shrugged.

- Got some grime on the sandals and hand to clean'em. Were to wet to wear an' I was jus' too lazy to fetch my boots.

- You must be freezing, he exclaimed.

Before she had even a second to protest, he had grabbed her feet and placed them in his lap, rubbing them warm. The boldness of the move surprised her. Maybe he was getting closer to speaking his heart than she thought as she fell back in her seat, from having lost her footing. She far from complained. With exception from Canton, their progress were in baby steps. A semi-date here, a hand-holding there.

- It wasn't always so proper, you know, he said. - My world.

- Oh, she challenged, raising her brow. - What... you tied your laces backwards or somethin'?

A grin appeared on his face, one of those irresisteble ones he had up his sleeve.

- I... ah.., he stuttered, blushing. - I once streaked in front of my entire graduating class.

Kaylee's mouth fell open, closed before opening again. This was definatly not something she expected coming from mr. properness himself. She was without words to what to say to it, the only thing she could manage to think was this was a story she definatly wanted to hear.

- I don't actually remember much of it, it was graduation and we went out for sake and next thing I knew I was flashing everybody...

Kaylee's mind was still stuck on the first part and she was giggling like mad.

- You couldn't possibly have, she cried out, still very much in denial.

- No, I wish I was lying. I just... we'd all just made surgeon, that was it, we were the elite, the word was ours, you know...

- So you had to be naked, Kaylee asked, still not getting away from that little detail.

- Naked, yes... and on top of the statue of Hypocrates, and... Can you just picture me?

- What... naked, she asked, still in a high pitched voice from all the giggling. - Hm... lets see now... I have to conjure up... yeah, that's gonna be difficult...

She teasingly tapped his chin lightly with her toes, still not able to completely control the waves of giggles.

- So the feds come, she asked, curiously.

- There were no feds, Simon replied, shaking his head dismissingly, holding the expression for a few seconds, before that adorable grin of his returned. - ... until I started singing.

- Oh no, Kaylee laughed loudly, her voice getting more high pitched than ever before. - What did you sing...?

Neither one of them seemed to notice River move in the scenery as they both were completely in the story moment. Simon blushed firecely.

- This is not funny. This is a morality tale about the evilness of sake.

- Come on, Kaylee begged. - Tell me.

- I think it was one called 'I believe I can fly'.

- No you didn't, she exclaimed, laughing even more.

- It was either that or the national anthem. Reports vary.

- So you don't remember any of this?

- I remember talking the feds out of telling my father... or paying them out of telling my father, I tend to get a bit foggy on the aspects.

Simon was smiling whilst watching her laugh. The intenseness of it all made her blush slightly.

- So.., he continued. - Now it's your turn.

She halfway sobered up.

- My turn?

- Yes, now I've told you what has to be the most embarassing story of mine, so I think I at least deserve to hear yours.

- I don't think I have anything to match it, she replied, thinking hard.

- Come on, he asked in a desperate voice. - You have to have something. Or else I'll never live this down with you.

- I dunno. I kinda like to hear 'bout you not being so...

- Snobby, he finished. - It's allright, I know I had to seem like that in the beginning.

She was about to object, when he cut her off again.

- So, now. Story, please.

- Allright, there's one. It has drunkenness and nakedness.

- Are we talking your nakedness, he asked boldly.

She nodded, giggling. The idea that Simon was eagerly anticipating a naked-story was a good sign, indeed. Her eyes squeased shut, as she tried to think hard back to how the story had been re-told.

- Now, I don' remember this more than you remember yours, so I'm very fuzzy on the detailes. T'was back when I was 'bout fourteen, fifteen. My daddy brews cider at home. He's not overly restrictive on it, like he lets me have a glass on Christmas an' both New Years. An' some friends of mine an' me was havin' a lil' party. Some of'em had older cousins or friends that got them booze. My brother wouldn't nick cider for me, cause he was a lil' protective of me, an' I wasn't 'bout to ask daddy for some, 'cause he's not up for drinkin' to get drunk.

- So you nicked it yourself, Simon asked.

- Not all at once. I first went to get 'bout two bottles. Drank it up pretty fast, so I went back, sneaked in an' got two more. This's where it gets fuzzy. I dunno how many times I went back. But a lil' into the night I was so warm from the alcohol that I started strippin' off stuff. One guy claimed I gave'im a lap dance, but I quickly learned from the others I hadn't. What I had on the other hand was I climbed up on the barn roof... stark naked.

Now Simon was laughing.

- Why did you do that?

- They never said. Could've been a dare, could've jus' been me being wild. I was real wild back then. My daddy called me his "wild child". Anyways... I got up to the top and sat there, shoutin' things out. Here's where daddy came out an' saw me.

- Jikes, Simon exclaimed. - That must've been embarassing.

Kaylee shrugged, a small blush creeping into her face.

- I don' remember much, except the whuppin' I got for it. S'well as the re-tellin' he's been doin' whenever he brings out the cider. He said he never heard what I was sayin' jus' that I was shoutin' up at the stars. He had ta climb up to get me down.

Simon looked about to comment on the method of reprimanding Kaylee had received, but as she was talking so lightly about it, he reluctantly let it go. Instead his brows was raised as he looked over to the door opening leading out into the cargo bay. Kaylee was puzzled at his change of focus as well as mood. He gently put her legs down and got up, her following him at once. They reached the doorway about the same time and saw River bending down, picking up a gun, studying it. They both held out their hands as they walked towards her, trying to calm the crazy girl down.

- River, you know that's not to be touched, Simon called out.

- Everybody just be calm allready, Kaylee cried out.

- Get it away from her.., Mal called as he was running down the stairs.

- Stop yelling at her, Inara shouted.

- Just put it down, Simon shouted to River.

Kaylee's eyes met Rivers as the girl still had the gun semi-pointed at Simon and her. The whole thing flashed back to a memory of River shooting down three men in front of her. When her focus returned to the sceene in front of her, the mechanic slowly started backing away, too scared to deal.

- Kaylee, River called out, making Kaylee just back more.

- What were you thinking, Simon asked, demanding Rivers attention. - Where did you get ahold of this?

- It was in my hand, the young girl said, with a confused expression, just as Mal grabbed the gun from her.

Relieved that the danger was over, but still shook up, Kaylee backed out and left the room. Rubbing her temple she set course up the stairs towards her safe space, the engine room.

- It's getting very, very crowded, she heard River call out.

Her voice seemed to be carrying towards her, making Kaylee hurry up the stairs.

- Kaylee, a small voice called out from the bottom of the stairs, but Kaylee ignored it out of terror.

River made no attempt to follow her. It pained Kaylee to treat the girl this way, but she just couldn't deal. River seemed to understand. Kaylee didn't go to work on the engine, she just sat herself on the edge of her hammock, waiting out the commotion a bit. When she heard distant voices coming from the helm, she got up and slowly moved her way across the ship.

- Sir, I know she's unpredictable. But I don't think she'd harm anyone.

- Butcher's knife, Jayne reminded everybody.

- Anyone we can't spare, Zoe continued, ignoring Jayne completely. - I mean, far as we know, the girl's never even picked up a gun before.

A knot formed in Kaylee's stomach as she now had entered the helm.

- That ain't so, she replied, softly, her head hanging down.

- Kaylee, you got something to say, Mal asked, everybody's attention being on her.

No words seemed to be able to get out.

- Why don't we go get the doc, t's his sister after all. Lets just gather in the kitchen for this.

Kaylee nodded, still unsure if telling them about this was such a good idea, but it was too late to turn around. She walked with the rest of them as Mal went to fetch Simon. Book was allready sitting in the kitchen. She leaned back against the cupboard, not meeting Simons eyes as he entered. She felt like telling this was betraying him and River, but she was left no choice. Only hoped that he wouldn't be mad at her once this got out.

- Okay Kaylee, Mal said, interrupting her worries. - Why don't you speak your piece.

She walked reluctantly towards the table, still not meeting Simons gaze.

- It was when... when the capt'n an' Wash got took by Niska.

- Ain't like to forget that anytime soon, Mal thought out loud.

- Well, we all went in, me too, she said as her eyes went over to Mal before bowing her head in slight shame. - Didn't make much account of myself, I'm afraid.

Mal placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

- I got no problem with the notion of you not killin' nobody, Kaylee.

She gave him a relieved smile as Simon spoke up.

- What's this got to do with River? She wasn't even in that fight.

- Well, no... she was. I got pinned down, there was three guys and I couldn't...

Kaylee stopped herself a little. The fear from the situation slightly revisiting her body. She shook it off and looked back up.

- An' then River comes up. Looks out, sees 'em all.. an' they was spread out, you know, had some cover. She only looked for a second an'... She took my gun, closed her eyes. Killed 'em.

- She shot them, Simon asked, disbelieving.

- All three, Kaylee confirmed. - Dead in an instant. An' her eyes still closed.

- Well that's fay-fay duh pee-yen. You saw it wrong, Jayne exclaimed.

- Not a jot, she exclaimed. - An' it weren't autofire... or luck... She just... she just did the math...

- You understand how that sounds, Zoe said, concerned.

- What, Jayne sarcastingly muttered. - She killed them with mathematics, what else could it have been?

- You couldn't've dont it, Jayne, Kaylee stated, then turning her head towards Mal. - Nor you capt'n. Nobody can shoot like that, that's a person.

- So, Simon said, drawing the word out. - River's not a person?

- Please don't be mad, Kaylee begged, trying to ignore the hurt from Simon thinking she thought like that.

- I just want to understand what you're saying here, he answered. - I thought River was your friend.

- She is, she cried out. - But Simon... the way she... right after, she looked at me an' smiled... like nothing was wrong. Like we were playin'...

She had to make him understand how terrifying that moment had been for her. Why she was now trying to avoid his sister, as she didn't know how to act around her no more.

- Scared me, she halfway whispered.

The Shepherd looked up at her, taking a pause before talking.

- Could be she saved your life, Kaylee.

- Oh I'm all aware of that, Kaylee explained. - I'm not trying to...

- She probably didn't even know what was going on, Simon said, desperately interrupting her. - Thought it was a game.

- Later on you can explain to me how that's a comfort. Might have to use some'a that math we been hearin' about...

- What we got to deal with is the larger issue, Mal said, interrupting Jayne's tirade. - An' the larger issue is we got someone on board this ship might be a danger to us... It's not a question of whether we like her... some of us have grown attached...

He paused and looked at Kaylee who was leaning a bit towards the wall, her head hanging down.

- Kaylee, I know you have or you'd've spoken up sooner, which by the by you should have. I find River pleasant enough myself. But she's got an oddness to her, and it ain't just her proficiency with fire-arms. Girl knows things. Things she shouldn't. Things she couldn't.

- Are you saying she's a witch, Jayne asked, confused.

- Yes, she's a witch, Jayne, Wash joked. - She has had congress with the beast.

- She's in congress, the mercinary replied, even more confused.

- How did your brain even learn human speech, Wash laughed as Jayne shoved the tea jar at him. - I'm just so curious.

- Bi zui, neen hen boo-tee-tyeh duh nan-shung, Inara shouted. - This isn't a joking matter. This is about our lives and River's.

- Thank you, Mal said.

- She's deeply intuitive, Simon sighed. - It's true she has a...

- I don't rhink she's just intuitive, Doctor, Mal interrupted. - I think she's a reader.

- Psychic, Zoe asked, disbelieving.

- Is that even remotely possible, Wash added.

- You tell me, Mal said, looking at Simon. - You've been studyin' what they did to her.

Simon shrugged, looking as he was trying to find other explanations.

- They've definatly altered the way she reacts to things, even the way she perceives.., but I'm not...

- Psychic, though, Wash questioned. - That sounds like something out of science fiction.

- You live on a spaceship, dear, Zoe commented.

- So, he answered, his brows raised.

- Back up a sec, Jayne called out, shifting in his chair. - You're saying she might really read minds?

- Or near enough, Mal shrugged. - Am I the only one thinking along those lines?

- No, Book answered, meeting Mal's eyes.

- I don't like the idea of someone hearin' what I'm thinking, Jayne muttered, uncomfortably.

- No one likes the idea of hearing what you're thinking, Inara retorted.

Even with the seriousness of the situation, Inara's comment made Kaylee smile slightly. Book looked thoughtfull before straightening up.

- The Alliance could have any number of uses for a psychic.

Zoe nodded, understanding.

- A psychic... or an assassin...

Kaylee looked over at Simon who more and more started to study the lines of the table.

- She's just a kid, he whispered, getting everybody's attention. - She just wants to be a kid...

- I wish it were that simple, Mal replied, softly.

- Yeah, and if wishes were horses we'd all be eatin' steak, Jayne called out, harshly. - What do we plan to do about this?

- Well, that's the question, Mal admitted.

- I don't think she'd ever hurt any of us, Simon said, a desperate tone in his voice.

- Maybe you're right, Mal said. - Well, I ain't makin' a decision on anything 'till I've thought on it awhile. It's late... Lets get some rest.

The table broke up fairly quickly. Simon walked down the corridor, heading towards the passenger dorms. Not able to just leave it at that, Kaylee followed. Things were just so different than a couple of hours ago when they'd just been so comfortable in each others presence. More than anything she wanted back to it.

- Simon.., she called out as he rounded the corner.

- I gotta go check on my assassin, he muttered, dismissingly.

- Simon please don't be mad at me. I had to say something.

Her words made him turn around, facing her. She didn't know what to say or do, just that she wanted things at least to be right with them.

- I'm not mad at you, he explained. - I just... she loves this ship. I think it's more home to her than any place she's been.

Half of the statement brought a warm fuzzy feeling down her spine. She wanted them to feel at home, the chill however was that he was only saying that his sister felt at home.

- What about you, she asked, hoping he would include him in that statement.

- I'm... I thought the hospital was home, he replied.

She looked away, gave him a brave smile, though inside things felt colder.

- I was really making a difference there... and embarrassingly large stacks of money, and I could've... I would be there right now if she hadn't.., he muttered, looking down in sadness, giving her shivers down her spine. - If they had just left her alone.

- Is it so bad here, she asked, bravely, moving a little towards him.

He made a step towards her

- I don't even know if the captain'll let us...

- No, she interrupted. - I mean... isn't there anything about this place you're glad of?

'Me!' her insides screamed out. 'Please say me!' His eyes met hers, the cold emptyness slowly filling up with butterflies as his hand reached out to touch her cheek. 'He's gonna kiss me' she thought, happily, then the sound of footsteps, broke their gaze and Book came passing between them.

- G'night, you two, he said, eyes pretty much in his beloved bible.

Kaylee knew it was wrong to think bad of a man of God, like the shepherd, but it felt like the final breakthrough she had with Simon and the moment was broken. Simon gave her a nervous, awkward glance.

- Uh, I...

He waved his hands to gesticulate the need to leave. Her heart sank in her chest.

- Damnit, Simon, she cried out.

Before he had a chance to respond, she pressed him against the wall, her hands on his shoulders, her lips softly on his. He stood frozen for a couple of seconds as her lips softly left his, her eyes gazing into his. Then his hands found their way to her sides, sliding one hand at her lower back, the other inbetween her shoulders, meeting her lips again. Who had opened their mouths first was lost to them, as the kiss simply grew to something more. It was when the desperate need for air came up that they broke appart. Simon gazed at Kaylee, who was panting, her chest rising rapidly, her lips moist and swollen.

A smile crept upon her, as he leaned in again, as if his lips were tools meant to reassure him that this was real. He had blown it and still she had kissed him. He wrapped his arms tighter around her, her hands went up from his shoulder and into his hair, keeping him at her lips as long as she could manage. He nibbled at her lower lip, then teased her, but letting his tongue ghostly touch it afterwards. Her patience went on trial and lost. She slipped her tongue into his mouth, meeting his. He tasted like cinamon and she pondered slightly on how she tasted for him. Whatever it was, it was enough to keep him kissing her.

Their foreheads rested against each others and she almost giggled as she felt one drop of sweat splitting between her and him. His arms rested at her waist and hers had found his. And even though it was a small corridor and they would be in the way, neither of them seemed to want to move. They both waited for the other to bring it up. It was Simon who finally gave in.

- We can't stand here much longer.

- Why not, she murmured, not wanting to let him go, not when she just got him.

- How about we go down to the seating area, the couch's much more comfortable.

- I like the way you think, she hoarsely whispered.

He let one of her hands go and slipped the other around her waist. Even though it would've resulted in funny walking, all Kaylee wanted was to rest her head on his shoulder. She didn't, but let herself instead be lead down the stairs, then as they reached the couch, Simon pulled her down in his lap, again capturing her lips in a kiss. It took many more minutes before she had slid down, lying with her head on his chest, his arms around her.

- You know, he murmured. - All day I was working up my nerve to kiss you.

She sighed as she felt his lips gently caress the top of her head.

- I've been waitin' for a long time, she sighed.

- So have I, he admitted. - I know I'm terrible with words. I was just trying to find the right time, but I never managed to say anything right, I would always screw it up.

- You do say the right things, Kaylee argued, pausing slightly before continuing. - ...when you're drunk.

- All I can remember is upsetting you.

- Then you missed out on the best parts, she teased, lightly.

- We didn't... did we, he asked, a slight panic risen in his voice.

- No...

- Good, he sighed, interrupting her.

Kaylee raised her brows, confused.

- Good?

- I guess this is the core in me. But I'm just glad that I didn't take advantage of you.

- How would you be takin' advantage, Kaylee asked, slightly puzzled.

- You were drunk, your judgement cluttered. If I'd gone with my wishes I'd be taking advantage.

- I wasn't nearly as drunk as you, so I can't see how that'd be takin' advantage. Sorry, I jus' can't. Your judgement was jus' as cluttered as mine, so I can't see how you could've been blamed if anythin' had happened.

- Then you have no idea how much I've wanted you from the start.

The statement made her laugh.

- I don't? I was plottin' out different ways on getting your pretty fits off.

She felt him blush, from the head right down to his toes. But he made attempts to hide it, pulled her tighter to him. She snuggled up to him, like a cat wanting attention, she even purred like one.

- I always want you, she whispered.

- I want you now, he replied, his voice muffled as he spoke into her hair.

She lifted her head and looked at him, as if to say 'What's stoppin' ya'.

- I just think that going from first kiss to first time in one day is too quick.

- Now, that's where you lose me, she said, shaking her head. - What's the point in waitin'? Haven't we done 'nuff of it already?

- I just want to show you that I want more from you than just sex, he sighed. - You mean so much to me. I dunno when it struck me. You've kind of always been in my head, ever since I first saw you. No matter what happened you would always make me and River feel like home, we were complete strangers and you trusted us, believed in us without a single doubt.

- Didn' you hear what I said earlier? I was tryin' to get your pants off.

Her comment made him laugh. His chest shook, which again got her laughing. She loved it when she made him laugh.

- You should do that more often, she murmured.

- What, he asked.

- Laugh. Makes me jus' wanna eat you up.

- Well, as long as it's you who do it, I have no complaints, he joked. - But seriously. Noone was more open to me and River than you. You took care of her, treated her like a real girl. She could act like a brat and steal your apple and you'd just run after her to get it back. Anyone else would just let her get away with it, either out of pity or fear. Until she gave you a reason, you were never afraid of her, you never belittled her.

Kaylee gave him a puzzled look.

- I don't see any other way of treatin' her.

- That's what makes you you. And you didn't do any of it to get anywhere. I don't buy it one minute, because I remember, when that fed shot you. I can't even begin to imagine what pain you were in. It was all my fault, yet you still smiled at me, still believed in me.

- T'wasn't your fault.

- I bargained with your life, he pointed out.

- You saw the chance to save two lives 'stead'a one. Makes you good man.

Simon shook his head in objection. Before he had a chance to say his objections out loud, she had leaned up and captured his lip in a gentle, re-assuring kiss.

- Like you said, she continued. - That fed wouldn't've shot me, if they'd just left River alone.

- If they'd left her alone, I'd never have a reason to bring her here in the first place.

- It's probably bad of me, but I'm glad you're here, she murmured.

- Because having your way with me's worth all this, he joked.

She looked up and grinned.

- Well I kinda have to try it 'fore I can tell you that.

Kaylee sighed and started tracing a finger over his sweather, playfully drawing circles on the chest she felt underneath.

- I admitt though, when I first saw you, I was lookin' for something with no strings attached. Sure I was crushin', I'm known for it, even though it don' happen too often. Out here in the black you don't get much time for relationships, 'less you got somethin' goin' on on ship, which I didn't. T'was when I started seein' you 'round River, saw how you cared for her, how you'd give everythin' for her to be happy an' safe. That was when I knew it would've be worth it.

- She's my sister, I'm sure your brother would've done the same.

- I guess. Ain't like we're gonna find out, so... But what I'm sayin' is that when I saw how you cared, was when I started learnin' bein' more patient. Especially since we were makin' progress. It was only baby steps, unless you count Canton, 'cause then it was elephant leaps, if there's such a thing.

- What did happen on Canton. I'm very fuzzy on it all, but you seem to remember it all.

- Most at least, she shrugged. - There was some kissin', bit of gropin' an' undressin'. We fell asleep 'fore anythin' real started happenin'.

- You think we would've... if we didn't fall asleep?

- Dunno... probably... Would that've been so bad?

- Would've been bad to not remembering it.

- Good thing, you ain't drunk now then, she hinted, allready seeing a slight objection in him. - Seriously, what's the point in waitin'?

- By waiting for the right time, I get to show you exactly how much you mean to me.

- We ain't in the core now, doc. It's different out in the black. You think I hesitated or took my time, waitin' for that I wanted? Most often I just skipped the kissin' an' went to the good stuff. Hell, it's even how I got on this ship in the first place.

She giggled when she saw the confused and slightly horrified look on his face.

- Wasn't like that. I was workin' for my daddy in the shop an' I started flirtin' with this cute guy that came by, said he was a mechanic. We hit it off an' he asked if I wanted come see the ship. Capt'n caught us in the act in the engine room.

- Let me guess, he wasn't a mechanic?

This made Kaylee giggle, not the first thing she expecting coming from him. Kind of relieved that he wasn't horrified with her view on sex.

- Well, technicly he was, Serenity's mechanic even. He jus' wasn't any good.

Simon raised his brows.

- Oh he was plenty allright there, jus' not in mechanicing. So I told the capt'n that I'd seen the problem, not that it was really a problem, took me less than a minute to fix it. But was 'nuff for Mal to hire me on the spot. And there I was, ships mechanic.

- I have to say, Simon stated, after a slight baffled pause. - That wasn't how I picured you getting on the crew.

- You shocked, she challenged.

- Surprised, he replied. - I'm not gonna act a hypocrite, expecting you to be a virgin or anything. I think I kind of always knew. You never hesitate saying what you want, so why should going for what you want be any different. You're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen and I can hardly be the only one who's seen that.

- Shush, you're makin' me blush.

- What does shock me however is how no one showed you the closeness and intimacy you can have in one single kiss.

He didn't let her respond, before he had pulled her up to be at his level and pressed his lips gently against hers. Simon let his hands slide under her shirt, slowly stroking and massaging her backside. Rolling them gently to the side, he held her firmly against his body. His tongue traced her lush lips, keeping the kiss shallow and teasing. She moaned gently against him, here eyes closed for a moment. Then she opened them up and looked at him.

- Ain't you warm in that, she asked, looking at his sweater.

- Burning, he admitted, his skin slightly pink from the combination of warmth from his attire and the closeness with her.

- How come you ain't takin' it off?

- I ah... I don't have a shirt underneath, he admitted, blushing.

- See, now you have to take it off, 'cause that's the lamest excuse I've heard.

- I just... I just don't think I'll feel comfortable being shirtless here, knowing that Book or worse, River can come and see us any moment.

- Then what're we waitin' for, she asked, sitting up, trying to pull him up as well.

- Kaylee, he protested.

- Simon, you need to start to trust that I know what I want. I don't need no assurance from you to know that this ain't jus' casual for you. An' correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you need one from me, either. We've waited long enough as it is.

She got up from the couch, pulling him up as well, meaning to drag him with her to his room, only when he got up, the first thing he did was wrap his arms around her, enveloping her in a deep kiss. Letting her form slip out of his grasp, he took her hand as they both moved towards his room.

His sweater was the first thing that came off when they reached the room. He had barely managed to close the door behind them before she was tugging on it, pulling it over his head. Once freed from it, he took her face in his hands, placing light kisses all the way from forehead to cheek, moving back up to her lips once more before trailing kisses down her neck, searching for that one special spot he knew was there somewhere. She gasped, burying her head in his shoulder, muffling the moans, as he obviously had found it.

Her breasts pressed through the fabric of her shirt against his bare chest. His hands once more slipped underneath the edges, stroking up and down her backside, holding her close to him. Her hands going over whatever part of his naked flesh she could reach. He let go of the spot on her neck, where he saw he'd left a highly noticeable hickey. It was probably a bit juvenile of him, but a sense of pride rushed through him, seeing how he'd left his mark on her. He trailed his lips back up to meet hers in a shallow kiss before he gently tugged her shirt over her head.

Now with the exception of her bra, their upper bodies were flesh against flesh when they met. He resumed his contact with the spot on her neck. It took her a lot of willpower and focus to withstand turning into a puddle in front of him. As much as she liked this torture, she wanted there to be progress. Her hands reached down, working on getting his fly open. He took the hint and let his hands trail up to the fastening of her bra.

Which one it was who succeeded first, they didn't know as her bra and his pants slid down and hit the floor at about the same time. It wasn't a competition, so there was no point in pondering who had been, either. Her hands reached down, cupping him through his boxers. It hadn't taken long from the first time they had kissed and until he had felt himself hardened. It had been a long time since he had been in any position to think much about sex, let alone doing anything about it. So it wouldn't take much time before he would finish, hence he wanted to drag it out some. He felt her warm breath against his neck. Listening to her moans against his ear, knowing well she was listening to his.

Her jumpsuit was the next on his agenda. He slipped his hands slowly around her waist, letting them trace the way around her back, to her sides, to the front where he slowly untied the arms. The material slipped between his fingers, pooling at her feet. His hands found their way back to her backside, slowly moving down to her thighs. Picking her up, slightly he moved her over to his bed and placed her on the edge and sat down on his knees in front of her. This made her lose the contact her hands had with his groin, something he thought was better off as he felt as if he was ready to pop any minute.

A groan escaped him as he now really could see how Kaylee looked like naked. She was everything he'd imagined her to be, more even. Her hair was bushy from his fingers running through it. Her lips were moist and delicious to look at, even better to kiss, her skin was flushed to bright pink from heat and arousal. Her breasts were perfect, he could exactly cup one in his hand, no flesh was left untouched, from her breast nor his hand. Perfect fit. He leaned over and captured the other in his mouth. Tracing his tongue in circles around the nipple, before sucking gently. He let go of the other and moved over to do the same there. He continued to trail kisses down between the breasts, down her womanly curved tummy. His fingers gently slipped under the waistband of her panties. Gently tugging them down, her back arching to help him out. Soon enough he was pulling the panties down her ankles and she was completely naked in front of him.

The smell of her arousal hit him long before he had made his way back up to her pelvic region. At first he didn't even touch her, just blew at her from closeby and she cried out in frustration. Then he ran his hands from her ankles up behind her knees, then up her inner thighs, gently rubbing close, but not direct to any part of her intimate flesh. His hands continued up the front of her thighs, then they rubbed just below her tummy. Her hands reached down, trying to guide him to touch her, but he resisted, gently pushing her hands away. He traced circles around the area, slowly closing in, in a spiral movement. eventually he reached her lips, gently pinching the flushed and soft skin, still not touching anything directly. Then finally his fingers slipped between them, meeting the wetness. She jumped at the touch, hoping he wasn't going to torture her with this teasing much longer.

He bent down and placed a kiss right above the crease, gently trailing down kisses until his mouth was placed directly over her clit. He darted out his tongue, gently, briefly touching it.

A throaty moan escaped her lips. He looked up watching her throw her head backwards, biting her teeth together so she wouldn't cry out loudly at the touch. It was sheer willpower that allowed her to succeed. Neither one of them wanted the embarassment of his sister or the shepard overhearing the act. Her breath escaped her lips in shallow pants and her hands once more tried to meddle, tried to make his contact more direct. Again he brushed them aside, before turning back to his work. He let his tongue work its way down, loving the way she smelled, the way she tasted, feeling the warmth of her radiate against his face. He placed his lips around her clit, suckling gently at it. This time, Kaylee's hand flew to her mouth to muffle her moan. She bucked and withered at the touch, seemingly unable to know what to do with herself if she couldn't meddle. His hands were placed at her thighs, holding her steady, whilst continuing his work.

He let go, planning to give her a few seconds to catch her breath before going at it again. The pause let Kaylee have free control of her hands again. She tugged at his shoulders.

- Inside... now, she panted, pleaded desperately.

At first he tried resisting her tug, wanting to draw it out more, but he was helpess to the plea in her voice. His hands ran up her sides as he was back up on his knees, capturing her mouth in a kiss. The minute her hands could reach, she slipped her fingers inside the waistband of his boxers, tugging them downwards. She only managed to get them halfway down his thighs, but it was enough to free his erection from its prison. He felt her hand wrap around him, stroking him up and down and he had to act quickly to stop her.

She grinned when she felt him pull her hands off, he was close, she knew he was, but she wanted him to at least feel some of the torture he had just put her through. Her hands rested at his sides as he gently leaned her down onto the bed. Then he moved up above her, putting some of his weight on her. The rest of his weight he rested on his knees and he looked deep into her eyes, capturing her lips once more in a soft, caressing kiss. She could feel him gently poke at her entrance and she arched against him, hoping for him to take the hint. He gently pushed the head into her, a throaty groan escaping him. Though it was barely audiable against her moan. The sensation made them both think that if they hadn't held back of all their might they would've come right there and then.

Simon waited until the initial sensation of the light joining was over before he pushed himself completely into her heat, stretching her out perfectly, as if when they'd been made they were meant to be a perfect fit. He was forced to wait a little longer, until it was safe to move. The pace from the start was irregular, all the time they had been on the couch or caressing each other in here, not to mention the months and months of pent up tension, had made sure this wouldn't last long. If he was to guess right, even with his strong willpower it wouldn't take more than half a minute tops until he couldn't hold back any longer.

Kaylee arched her back, meeting every thrust. She wanted to tell him how close she was, but nothing more than vowel sounds could escape her throat. Her vision blurred, her thoughts reducing to a puddle as she felt her orgasm build up, like a tingling shooting up and down her spine. If one of them came before the other the margins were so small it wasn't noticeable. They clutched onto each other, riding the wave out, until she felt the full weight of his body against hers as he collapsed. And she wrapped her arms around him.

It took several minutes before anything besides moans and throaty sounds once more could be said by the two. She tried to object as he pulled out and removed the weight of him, but before she knew it, he had flipped them around, her body resting on top of his. One of his hands were around her waist, the other was busy running its fingers through her hair. He lifted his head and placed a lazy kiss on her temple. Her lids were already heavy, even though she wanted nothing more than to stay awake.

- Sleep, he whispered, noticing, tugging to free the blanket they were halfway lying on top.

She didn't manage to nod before her body was following his advice. The last thing she felt was the blanket beign draped over her backside.

She woke up from the chilly air hitting her back, opposing the warmth of Simons naked body towards hers. She lazily looked over at the floor where she could make out the edges of a blanket that during her sleep had slipped off. If it had been minutes or hours, she couldn't tell, she was tired as hell, but the chill of the room as well as a nagging sense that she needed to check those sounds she had heard from Serenity earlier that day kept her from going back to sleep. She had meant to check those sounds before going to bed, it wasn't as though she had planned or expected having things go so well with Simon that day. She lightly ran her hand down his chest, feeling the muscles under her fingers. Shivers going down her spine as she thought back at the events previous to sleep. It didn't seem like she would get back to sleep anytime soon, and knowing there still was some work to be done, she carefully tried to slip out of his embrace.

It was a wonder she managed without waking him, but she had. She started searching the dark room for her clothes. Her panties were what she found first, then her coveralls and her shirt. It didn't bother her not to find her bra, as she was only going to do some minor work. Slipping on her shirt and pulling her coveralls up, fastening them back at her waist. She turned to look at him, feeling a tingle go from her toes up through her, all the way to the roots of her hair. Looking down at the blanket at the floor, she picked it up, carefully draping it over him, recovering the warmth he'd lost from her leaving his embrace. She bent down and planted a kiss on his forehead, then carefully slid the door open, sneaked out and up the stairs towards the engine room. The sounds were still there, coming from the far back of it. She slipped her sandals back on, as they now were nice and dry again.

She carefully followed the sounds, checking every single part she came over, finally she with her carefully trained eyes spotted the glitch. Another one of those bothersome extra parts were malfunctioning. She reached back for her toolbox, her hands searching blindly for the shape of the right wrench. At the very bottom, she finally found it, then stretched out to get to the fastenings of the part, it was a very tiring procedure as it was a tight space to work in and the position demanded her to bend down in an unnatural crawl.

A yawn escaped her lips. As soon as this part came lose and she'd combined the two pieces that it held together, she could return to Simons embrace and give into one of her dreams. The thought of it making her smile.

A shiver went down her spine as she heard or at least thought she'd heard something. And she pulled out to look into the pitch black hall to see if there was anyone there.

- River, she asked, knowing the girl had a tendency to wander around, unable to sleep.

There had been times back before that terrifying event with the gun, when Kaylee had met River on one of her nightly wanders. But as there was no answer, a creepy feeling of it being someone else washed over the mechanic. She quickly bent back down underneath, plugging together the remaining parts as quickly she could whilst still doing a good job, the cluttered part remaining in her hand the whole time. The minute she had tossed it she would hurry back down. Even though she always had a sense of safety in the engine room, she couldn't help, but feel the need to just crawl under the blanket, snuggle up to Simons warm body. She was just getting back to her feet when she suddenly stood face to face with a strange man. The surprise made her drop the part, which made quite the noise as it met the metal grid on the floor.

- I like this ship, the stranger said, looking between her and the room. - Serenity. She's good-looking.

- H-how did you get on..., Kaylee asked, desperately trying to keep her voice steady.

The stranger smiled at her, usually a smile was an indication of good, but the only sensation she got from it, was to be terrified. Something about him screamed danger.

- It strains the mind a bit, don't it, he asked. - You think you're all alone... Maybe I come down the chimney, Kaylee, bring presents to the good girls and boys.

She backed even further as she heard him call her by name. How did he know her name?

- Maybe not, though, he continued. - Maybe I've always been here.

- W-what do you want, she stuttered.

The man completely ignored her question, just turned to the spinning engine. She hadn't yet closed it up for safety in the night, like she usually did. So every part of it was exposed, if the man wanted to hurt them, he could do it real easy.

- That's a beating heart, isn't it? Pull off any one of her thousand parts, she'll just die. Such a slender thread.., he said, his eyes not leaving the engine at all. - You ever been raped?

A icy chill went down her spine, tears started to dwell in her eyes. This couldn't be happening. It was hers to give, not his to take. Hers to give, and only Simon was allowed to...

- The capt'n's right down the hallway, h-he can hear... you.., she cried out in panic.

- The captain's locked in his quarters. They all are. There's nobody can help you. Say it.

She swallowed over and over again to get that lump out of her throat.

- There's.., she muttered, feeling the tear run down her cheek. - There's nobody can help me...

- I'm gonna tie you up now, he explained.

Kaylee was unable to keep herself from crying silently out in fear. It was barely audiable.

- And you know what I'm gonna do, he continued, giving her a seconds chance to answer before continuing. - I'm gonna give you a present. Get rid of a problem you've got. And I won't touch you in any wrong fashion, nor hurt you at all, unless you make some kind of ruckus.

He observed her fear for a few seconds.

- You throw a monkey wrench into my dealings in any way, your body is forfeit. Ain't nothing, but a body to me, and I can find all unseemely manner of use for it. Do you understand?

- Yes, she hoarsely whispered.

- Turn around and put your hands behind your back, he ordered.

She whimpered, but couldn't help, but do exactly as he asked. She could hear him pull out the tape, feel his breath on her shoulder, her neck. She felt his grasp on her hands, as he tightly tied them together.

- Now tell me, Kaylee, he whispered into her ear. - Where does River sleep?

She whimpered, but was unable to answer.

- Girl, you don't want to make me angry, he warned. - Tell me where.

- S-stairs, she croaked. - Passenger dorm, first door to the left.

- Now, there's a good girl.

He pulled out a few more pieces of tape, just to make the hands tied tight enough. Then he laid her down on the floor, before leaving the room. Tears started streaming down her face. Realization that she'd now lost Simon. The man would either kill Simon or knock him out, either way, he would get to River and if Simon even was lucky enough to live, he would never be able to talk to her ever again, once he learned this. Kaylee knew this. He'd brought River out here to be safe, not to have her be betrayed like this. The mechanic knew she had betrayed the girl, she should've said something else, sent him in the wrong direction, she should've been brave, like she knew everyone else would have been.

She could no longer hear him. With the exception of the heart of Serenity there was no other sounds to be heard. At least this meant he hadn't shot Simon... yet. Even though he wouldn't forgive her, why would he. It felt good, reassuring that at least he would get to live. As the silence became unbearable, she focused on that one thought.

How long things remained silent, she didn't know, could be minutes, could be hours. She forgot to count the minute she heard Rivers voice over the com. She wasn't talking to her, she seemed to be talking to the stranger.

- You're wrong, Early. Wrong about River. River's not on the ship. They didn't want her here...

The tears returned as Kaylee heard it. She couldn't help, but feel responsible for it. She had given the crew just another reason to fear the girl, to distance themselves from her. More than anything the mechanic wished to be able to erase the memory of River shooting the three men in front of her from her mind. Then she could've still treat River like the normal girl she'd thought existed in there somewhere.

- But she couldn't make herself leave, so she melted. Melted away. They didn't know she could do that.., but she did. I'm not on the ship. I'm in the ship. I am the ship. River's gone. You're talking to Serenity. And Early... Serenity is very unhappy.

Rivers voice disappeared for a moment. Kaylee was shivering, still on the floor, terrified. On one hand she was glad that River was still safe, on the other, the things the younger girl was saying, it was tearing a hole in Kaylee's heart. Suddenly River's voice appeared again.

- Kaylee..? Kaylee, can you hear me?

- River, Kaylee cried out.

- You're afraid.

- He tied me up, Kaylee replied in a tiny voice. - I don't know where he came from...

- It's okay. Gonna be okay.

- I told him where you were. I'm sorry, I didn't know what else to do...

- Shhhh... I'm fine. Only I need you to do something for me. Gotta be brave.

- I'm tied up, she argued. - I can't...

- Got tools. Something sharp. Don't be scared. I'm right here.

- What do you...?

- Open the locks. Sneak over, he won't see you. Open the locks and get out of sight. Captain will do the rest.

- I'm not sure I can...

- Don't be afraid. Captain will take care of him. He won't hurt you. Won't see you, I'll keep him occupied.

- Where are you, Kaylee asked.

- Somewhere safe.

It got silent again. She waited to hear if the younger girl had anything more to say, but it was once more dead silent. Kaylee pushed herself up to a sitting position, looking all around for whatever was sharp enough to help her. The closest was the broken engine part. She turned her back towards it, reaching her hands out, somehow managing to get a hold of it. It was more difficult than how River had said it was gonna be. But eventually she got a hold of it, just in time to hear River laugh over the com. For some reason, Kaylee had a feeling this was part of Rivers way to distract the man.

- Early, Mister Jubal Early, bounty hunter.... may I call you Jubal? Your mother does. I'm sorry. Did. She's gone now.

Kaylee silently crept out of the engine room, slowly making her way towards the quarters. She could hear the strangers voice coming from the helm, but she couldn't yet make out what he was saying. Now River's talking over the com made more sense to her, now that she heard it being a conversation, not just River's usual jumbles of phrases.

- You're a liar. I don't think your intentions are honorable. You hurt people. Wrong! You're a bad liar. You crawl inside me uninvited and you hurt my crew, I see everything that passes...

Kaylee move further along the kitchen, making her steps small and silent. She could hear River giggle over the com again, which although sounding all sorts of freaky, was a bit comforting. She was making their 'guest' uncomfortable.

- I care.

She was more hearing the man's shouts, but still couldn't hear the words. Except the last couple of ones.

- River!?! ...Serenity!?!

Kaylee stretched her head and could see a bit of the man up at the helm. Her first instinct was to duck for cover, hide. But River needed her. She had allready betrayed her once, couldn't do it again. She felt even more encouraged, when she could hear Simons voice up there with him. Biting her lip, she shook her fear off and silently crept over to the console, pressing in the command to unlock the crew quarters. The minute she saw the green light appear above that capt'n's bunk, she quickly rounded the corner, making her way down into the cargo bay. The room felt too big for her, too open, as she got there, so she made her way back to the passenger dorm, stopping the moment she saw Book on the floor. Bending down to check his pulse, she made sure he was alive. He was moving, groaning, but didn't do much else than rub his head insisively. Suddenly all lights went out around her. Terrified, she sunk against the wall, wishing over and over again for the man to leave.

- You're not welcome here anymore, Early. I know it. Wish I didn't. You like to hurt people. It's why you took the job... Power. Control. Pain. Your mother knew. Sadness in her when she waved goodbye, but she's relieved. Saw darkness in you. You're not well. Big golden retriever, sitting on the lawn. Never took to you. Smell on you, the neighbors pets, you did things to them.... cleaned up afterwards. Shined and polished. Everything in here gleams...

The way River was describing the man made Kaylee feel more and more terrified. Her hands nervously rubbed against each other in her lap. All her might was on hoping he wouldn't come back down there, or go looking for her. She hoped on all her might that River's plan would work. That the capt'n would clean things up. Get him gone. Suddenly River was laughing again.

- It's very interesting. All these buttons... Put the gun away. You're not right, Early. You're not righteous. Got issues. Talk too much. It's okay, Early. I'm going with you.

Kaylee's eyes widened. River couldn't be serious. This had to be part of the plan.

- Don't belong. Dangerous. Like you. Can't be controlled. Can't be trusted. Everybody could just go on without me, not have to worry. People could be who they want to be, could be with the people they wanted... could live simple. No secrets. And I'll be fine. I'll be your bounty, Jubal Early. And then I'll just fade away.... Simon?

The sound of a gun shot, caught Kaylee's attention, followed by River's scream. It made her heart pound in her chest. Despite her fear she had see that he was allright. As she came higher up in the stairways she heard the sounds of struggle. She waited at the top of the stairs until it got silent, then she crept around the corner. Seeing Simon lying in the stairway to the helm, she ran over, forgetting the man, forgetting her fears.

Simon was shaking as he was clutching onto his leg, which was bleeding. His eyes met hers and she saw a sense of relief wash over his look.

- Kaylee, he whispered.

She crouched over him, not able to take her eyes off the wound the minute she truly saw it. Simon reached out a hand, broke her glance.

- He's taking her, he hoarsely cried out. - She's letting him... Have to stop him.

She shook her head.

- No, it's a plan, has ta be a plan. She said that... that capt'n was gonna save us. S-she said...

Tears started to streak down her face, some for her, some for River, some for Simon. All of it just mixing up in one more stream of tears. Simons voice became more soothing.

- Hey, he whispered. - Don't cry.

He pulled her down to him and placed a reassuring kiss on her lips. Her cry softened to simple sobs. As she got more control of herself, she helped him sit up. Then wrapped her arms around him, resting her head on his shoulder, him doing the same to her. One of the hatches opened and Zoe and Wash came climbing up. Around the same time, they heard a hatch out in the stairway open. Simon and Kaylee looked up to see Mal and River coming into the hallway, both wearing space suits, helmets off.

- Boob, River shot out at Simon, who only could smile, relieved to see his little sister being safe and sound.

- You hurt badly doc, Mal asked.

- No, Simon groaned. - Just a shotwound... will be fine with some pain relievers... and getting the bullet out.

Mal nodded, only giving a single glance at Kaylee before turning to Zoe and Wash.

- You two able to help the doc out?

- Inara's locked up in her shuttle, Simon told Mal.

- Best I do somethin' 'bout that. Kaylee, how's about you help River out of her suit, keep her occupied, think her brother's gonna need some quiet if he's gonna get that bullet out.

Kaylee nodded and reluctantly let go of Simon, watching Zoe and Wash slowly helping him along the corridor, through the kitchen and then over to the stairway leading down into the infirmary. When he was out of sight, she turned towards River, the girl smiled at her and turned around, giving Kaylee better access to help her remove the suit. As the final piece was taken off, the mechanic saw how drenched her clothes were, most likely from the heat from wherever it was she was.

- You really ought'a change, else you'll just get sick.

- No bothering Simon, River said, shaking her head.

- I can't let you walk around in that, come here, we can find somethin' of mine for you.

River nodded and followed Kaylee down the ladder to her bunk. The mechanic pulled out a purple skirt and a blouse that matched, throwing it to the younger girl, then turned around to give her her privacy. Pulling out a red skirt and a yellow blouse for herself, Kaylee too started to change.

- I know you were with my brother tonight, River suddenly said.

Stopping halfway in pulling her blouse on, Kaylee looked down. The one thing she hadn't thought about in all of this with Simon was how River would take it, should anything happen.

- It's allright, River said, comforting her. - He's such a boob. Been reading you from his mind for months, and he still screws up. Glad you were brave enough to do something. He needs that. Maybe he'll stop worrying so much.

Kaylee turned the minute she had pulled her skirt on. There was nothing, but complete sincerety in the girl's eyes. The worry in her heart started to fade away. She still didn't know what to say to the girl.

- You're to keep her occupied, captain's orders.

Kaylee smiled at her referring to herself in third person. In the beginning it had been weird to hear her switch back and forward with these, but it was getting easier by the day.

- We could play Jacks or somethin', she suggested. - You know how to play?

River nodded, gave her a smile.

- Then Jacks it is. It's kinda non-spacey in here. Wanna go play in the kitchen?

The younger girl shook her head.

- Cargo bay, she replied. - View to infirmary, but distant. No distracting the doctor and patient.

The mechanic smiled and nodded. She used to hate it when River spoke in word jumbles, now it just felt great. Could have something to do with River giving Kaylee her blessing in her own little strange way. Or could just be that Kaylee no longer felt scared whenever near the girl.

As requested they set up the game in between the two staircases seating themselves so River had a perfect view to the infirmary.

- Want you to tell a story, River said, finishing up her round in the game.

- Sure thing, what about?

- Sex.

Kaylee coughed in surprise. River remained completely calm where she was sitting. Her eyes wide open, filled with questions, curiousity.

- She's broken, wants to be a real girl, but things lack. They never taught her, still a child when taken from mother's lap. She never learned.

Kaylee nodded, strangely enough it made sense. Simon might still think of her as a kid, but River both wanted to be as well as was becoming a woman. The mechanic had always been in a kind of an open minded household. Her mother had taught her all about sex before she started developing serious thoughts about it. She knew about the joys and consequences it lead to and it made her able to completely decide for herself when she felt ready for it. She couldn't even begin to imagine River's frustration about not knowing anything about it. To carry the confused thoughts as she was discovering her sexuality as well as the trauma caused by the Alliance doctors and scientists.

- What you wanna know, she asked.

- Just a story, River replied, shrugging. - Thoughts are too direct, too intense. Can learn some other way.

- Hm.., Kaylee muttered, searching her mind. - Well there's one. I'd just turned seventeen an' I was workin' at my daddy's shop. So this guy walks in, real cute, tall, well muscled. Gorgeous. If I'd been to guess I'd say he was like nineteen, twenty, older then me, but I kinda liked'em older. 'Course I start flirtin' with him, askin' him where he was from, what he was here for. He told me his family was on a trip an' that they were stayin' in port 'till the next day...

Kaylee heard the voices of Jayne and Book coming down to train, but shut them out as she returned to her story.

- ...So he asked me what we did for fun 'round there. I made some hints, which 'course lead into the back room. An' boy can I say 'equipped'. Right in the middle of it, door busts open an' I's caught red handed on the couch. Daddy grabs onto him, holds him by his collar 'till he's called his folks to come an' have a chat with 'im. All the time he's not lookin' at me one bit. And then his folks come to fetch him, an' turns out he's like fourteen years old!

Her voice dissolved into giggles, bringing out a laugh from the other girl as well.

- I mean, he must have been some kind of genetic experiement, 'cause I swear he was.., she continued, empathising it with a look. - Oh... my daddy whupped me so hard.

Trying to continue the game, she lost control of the ball.

- Dyah! I'm at fours. Let's see you match that.

- I can win this, River replied in a serious tone.

- I'm hearin' a lot of talk there, genius, Kaylee teased. - Come on. Show me what you got.

That River actually won it, didn't surprise the mechanic at all. After all, everything came as natural to her as breathing did to the rest of them. She was about to congratulate the girl, when River looked up over her shoulder.

- He's done.

- That he is, River. And just ready for visits from his favourite girls, Zoe said, giving Kaylee a wink, before moving on towards her bunk, Wash following.

- That's allright, Kaylee said, nodding at River. - You go.

- He understands. You had no choice. Jubal Early was a bad man, I know. I was in his mind. Didn't like it there one bit.

- I could've told him somethin' else. Could've refused.

- He'd rape you, kill you an' he'd still go looking for her. Simon knows what Jubal said. Big brother acted brave, until Jubal told him. Then he wasn't so brave anymore. Did what he was told.

Kaylee swallowed nervously as River was telling her this.

- You allready got hurt once because of me, River continued, putting her finger right over where Kaylee's scar was located. - Can't let you again. You're in here.

River pointed to her chest, where her heart was located.

- I jus' need a few more minutes, Kaylee croaked.

River nodded and got up, made her way to the infirmary. Not bothering to gather up the jacks, Kaylee just turned around, watching the entrance, so that she'd know when River came out.

The girl stood in the doorway, waiting until hers and Kaylee's eyes had met before moving towards the dorms, most likely her room. The mechanic took a deep breath, then slowly got up and made her way towards the infirmary.

Simon greeted her with a smile from his location in the examination chair. She slowly made her way up to his side, meeting his smile, not saying a single word, just gazed into his eyes and took one of his hands. The other traced slowly up her arm, then her neck until finally reaching her cheek, caressing it gently.

She closed her eyes briefly, just feeling the warmth of his hand tracing her skin. His index finger traced her lips, before he pulled her into a soft and tender kiss. He didn't break off until he felt traces of tears streaming down her face.

- Hey, he whispered, pulling her down to sit on the edge of the chair, right next to him. - I'm allright, see? I can't walk without a cane for the next few weeks, but I'll heal. Early's long gone. River's safe and sound.

- No thanks to me, Kaylee muttered, looking away.

- That's not what I heard. River told me you were key player in her plan, she's proud of you. I'm proud of you.

Kaylee shook her head, hick-uping, trying to stiffle the sobs.

- That don't matter none.

- It matters a lot to me. Without you, River would be his prisoner by now.

- She might as well been. An' it'd be all my fault.

- Nobody can be blamed for him sneaking on. We were all caught by surprise.

- But I told him where she was, Kaylee cried out, her sobbing starting up again.

There was a dark shadow going over Simons eyes and she sobbed harder, knowing that this time she was the one who's screwed up. Her eyes closed, not able to watch him get mad, get disappointed. A few moments later she felt herself being pulled into a big warm hug, his hands stroking up and down her back. She opened her eyes as he gently let go of her back and placed both hands at each side of her face, his fingers wiping away each tear she shed.

- I know, he simply answered. - There's no end to what I'd like to do to that hwoon dahn for threatening you.

- Everybody gets threatened, that's no excuse. I should'a been brave, should'a told 'im somethin' else, told 'im nothin'. Anyone else would'a.

- In what way could him hurting you help River?

- You wouldn't've told him.

- The minute he told me how he was gonna hurt you if I didn't help him, I didn't even hesitate. I just hoped that my helping him wouldn't bring him closer to River. I could never let him hurt you. Was my fault he was there in the first place. He was following me and River, you shouldn't even have been involved.

- Ain't your fault people are comin' after you. You can't control that, Kaylee objected.

- And it's not your fault that you got caught in the crossfire. No matter what you'd done, if something happened to River it would've been my fault, not yours. I don't want to see you blaming yourself anymore, he said, gazing intensely into her eyes, before his expression softened. - River told me she beat you at Jacks.

- Lucky shot, Kaylee stated, a spark appearing in her eye. - I'm gonna demand a rematch.

- Thank you, he murmured.

She tilted her head, giving him a confused look.

- For what?

- That, he simply answered. - Just being you.

He shifted in the chair, trying to make room.

- You look tired, he explained, when she gave him a look. - I'd tell you to go to bed, but I guess I'm not ready to let you go just yet.

- Chair ain't big enough for two, she stated, varyingly glancing over at his injured leg.

- My leg's doped up, Simon replied, catching her glance. - Don't worry, you won't hurt me. I just wanna hold you.

- Your bed's bigger, she hinted. - Not far to go either.

- Not arguing with that, he laughed. - Hell it's a lot more comfortable than this old chair as well. But I'm pretty infirmary bound for a few days now.

- For medication?

- It's more the fact that I have to lie still for the wound to heal, and then after that I need crutches or a cane to keep weight off my leg for a week or two, just to be safe.

- Can you stand on your good leg?

- It's local anaesthetics, so my other leg should work just fine. Why?

- Nuthin', just thought if you'd lean on me, I could help you to your room. You'd be much more comfy stayin' there than here.

- You don't need to do that, I'm fine here, really.

- Well I'm not fine with you sleepin' here. I wanna play nurse on you without worryin' 'bout messin' things up.

- You wanna be my nurse?

- Ain't that what girlfriends are for, she asked. - 'Sides, who else'd do it... Jayne?

- Hmm... girlfriend, Simon murmured, pulling her in for a kiss. - I like the sound of that.

The End


Saturday, February 25, 2006 12:25 PM


I like this story. I was always curious about how Simon and Kaylee started talking at the beginning of OiS. And the smut was well written.

Keep it up. Finish off the "Hangover" series so that we can see the twins again.

Saturday, February 25, 2006 2:15 PM


It's a great story, a good way to slip a little extra scene in there, but the copious spelling errors made reading it very choppy. I suggest a beta reader.

Saturday, February 25, 2006 2:50 PM


Very nice. I love the scenes you added in between the parts we saw of the episode.

The sex was well written (do write more, will ya?!:) and I love that she took the initiative and just pushed him against the wall to get him to kiss her the first time.

And I love that her anguish over telling Jubal where River was didn't last past that day. She and Simon had it worked out before he even left the infirmary.

Sweet and tender and I hope you write more quickly.

Saturday, February 25, 2006 6:44 PM


OOOOOOOooooOO! *squeee* SMUT with PLOT??? Now there's an anomaly! I loved it! It was lengthy too, but no problem since I'll always read anything you write. Just the whole time I was reading this..I was like..Ive never heard of Smut with Plot! LOL :P It was Awesome! :D :D :D Hey Frell! You have competition!

Saturday, February 25, 2006 9:32 PM


Alllllssooo...Rereading it..LOL Cause it's that good...Liked this line-

""A icy chill went down her spine, tears started to dwell in her eyes. This couldn't be happening. It was hers to give, not his to take. Hers to give, and only Simon was allowed to...""

Sunday, February 26, 2006 3:01 AM


Kaylee's story sounds familiar... Oh, right, it's in 'pretty, pretty' isn't it. I was trying to place that for ages!

Well written!

Monday, February 27, 2006 9:45 AM


Loved it, doll. And SQUEE! You wrote smut! Really GOOD smut, too!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 2:35 AM


Shiny, love the refrences to the pretty fics.


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