Finding Our Way - Chapter 14
Tuesday, March 7, 2006

A little role reversal and a lotta angst as Simon offers to give his life for the crew.


Ok, I lied, there are actually 16 chapters and an Epilogue if I decide to post it. I rather like how chapter 16 ends, so I may not.

We'll see.


Large, fat tears dripped down River’s cheeks as she whispered to her brother. He remained unmoving as she slowly, methodically pushed herself to her feet and glanced around the cargo bay, taking note of every single offensive position. Blood covered Simon’s back and her side, where it had soaked through multiple layers of clothing.

“Can’t take him from me,” River said, her voice cracking. “He protects me.”

“His fault, little girl. I warned him.” Adrian’s eyes hardened and he fought the rising lump in his throat at the despair on River’s face.

Inara held Kaylee back as she struggled to go to Simon’s side. She cried out his name in despair, but the sound couldn’t even begin to penetrate the fog of tension that filled the room. Tears dripped down her cheeks as she struggled against Inara’s iron-clad hold.

Alexandra and Regan stood motionless in place, shock registering on their faces.

A sudden chill swept into the room. “No power in the ‘verse can stop me,” River droned, her voice cold and calculated. The tears dripping down her cheeks were the only indication that she cared at all for the man lying on the deck at her feet.

Before anyone could react, she launched herself toward the nearest Alliance guard, kicking the pulse rifle from his hands. A fist and a kick later and he lay unconscious on the deck. Quickly, methodically, River made short work of the other two guards. It was over in a matter of seconds, and soon River stood staring down the much larger form of the now disarmed Adrian Bai. Her hands and legs shook as she recognized him from her dreams – from her nightmares.

Once the danger of being shot had passed, Mal, Zoe and Jayne drew their weapons. Book hurried to Simon’s side followed closely by Kaylee and Inara. But before they reached him, he lifted his head and glanced horrified around the bay, his eyes settling on his sister.

“River?” he questioned, his voice surprisingly strong for someone who had just been shot. He pushed himself to his feet and for the first time seemed to notice the blood covering his back and side. He touched the material and blood coated his hand. He stared at it with narrowed eyes and glanced back at his sister.

“No, River.” He took a step toward her, shaking his head, his bloodied hand outstretched. Why did he listen to her when she pleaded with him to lie there?

River turned and gave him a small smile. Her eyes drooped and she swayed a little as her strength faded. “You protect me, Simon. It was my turn.”

“No.” Simon hurried to her side just as she collapsed into his arms. “No!” He cradled her unconscious form for a few short seconds, brushing the damp, stringy hair out of her eyes. “River? God. No.” He lifted her into his arms and hurried toward the infirmary.

“Gao se!” Mal cursed and ordered Jayne and Zoe to deal with the unconscious alliance officers.

Kaylee and Inara followed Simon, Alexandra and Regan on their heels.

Mal slammed his fist into the controls and the bay doors began to rise. He gripped Adrian’s collar and dragged him at gunpoint toward the infirmary as Wash came down the metal steps to tell the Captain that they weren’t going anywhere.


Simon laid his sister on the medical chair and ripped off his vest, tossing it into a corner. He rolled up his sleeves and then carefully cut away the blood soaked material from the wound still oozing blood out of her side.

When Kaylee appeared in the doorway, he called to her, his eyes wide and his manner harried. “I need your help. Please.”

Inara let Kaylee go but stopped Regan and Alexandra from entering the infirmary. “He needs room to work. Please stay here.” The women looked as if they wanted to challenge the Companion, but Inara held her ground and they simply watched as Simon worked to save his sister’s life.

“Saline, bottom drawer,” Simon instructed as he quickly found and slid an intravenous line into River’s arm. “Hang it on the stand. Gauze, second drawer.” He rattled off a list of items that he needed and where she should put them. He slid a sensor onto the tip of River’s finger so that he could monitor her vital signs and swore beneath his breath when they popped up lower than he expected.

Kaylee’s hands shook as she gathered what she could remember and laid them out on the small table beside the chair.

Simon worked quickly, methodically, his instinct and training taking complete control. He injected painkillers, clotting agents, and antibiotics through the IV line while Kaylee pressed gauze to the still bleeding wound.

“I need to operate.” He glanced up at Inara. “My bag. I need it. My room.” His voice was calm, cool, but everyone could sense the underlying tension, the fear.

Inara hurried toward the passenger dorms and returned quickly, dropping the case on a nearby counter. Regan and Alexandra had stepped into the infirmary while she’d been gone and she quietly drew them back out of the room to give Simon room to work.

“I need to stop the blood flow.” Simon pulled the laser scalpel out of his medical bag. Simon wiped the back of his arm across his forehead and readied the scope, glancing up at the monitor and then down at the bleeding wound.

Noticing the fear on Kaylee’s face he gripped her shoulders. “I need your help. Can you do this?”

Kaylee nodded, her body trembling.

“Xin Gan, I need to know if you can do this?”

Regan and Alexandra exchanged a wordless glance at the use of the endearment.

Her voice was soft, trembling, but she confidently answered. “Yes.”

Simon scrubbed his hands with an antiseptic, pulled on some gloves and turned to slide the scope into the small hole in River’s side.

Simon worked methodically, surgically stitching torn skin, fusing nicked blood vessels. After hours of painstakingly slow work with the substandard equipment available, he had repaired the tissue enough that he could reach and remove the actual bullet, which had lodged between River’s ribs.

Mal and Zoe took turns holding the gun to Adrian Bai’s back, each wondering at times why they had let the man live. They stood outside one of the infirmary windows, watching, waiting, and though they would never admit it, praying.

Jayne, Book and Wash watched through another window, while Inara, Regan and Alexandra stood in the doorway, their eyes glued to the complicated and bloody procedure taking place within.

When they noticed Simon heave a huge sigh and take off his gloves, they all knew he was done. He looked weary, his eyes bloodshot, no doubt from the tears he had forced back at having to operate on his own sister. He took the gloves off Kaylee’s hands and pulled her wordlessly into his arms, taking comfort in her warm embrace. “Thank you,” he whispered before gently brushing his lips against hers.

As his eyes shifted around the infirmary, he noticed the tall stoic form of Adrian Bai looking at him through the window. Simon’s entire body tensed and he released Kaylee. He pushed out of the room, past his mother and Alexandra, crossing the distance quickly between himself and where Mal and Zoe stood with Adrian.

Kaylee followed him out of the infirmary and Inara wrapped her arms around the young girl, hoping to lend some measure of comfort. Jayne, Book and Wash watched as Simon angrily approached the Alliance officer, his eyes hard. With a quickness that surprised everyone, Simon raised his fist and struck Adrian hard across the face.

“Saw that comin’,” Jayne muttered but no one heard him.

Simon’s voice dripped venom as he spoke in the suddenly silent room. “If she dies, there is no tox screen in the Core that will be able to determine your cause of death.”

With that, he turned on his heel and went back to the infirmary, leaving everyone gaping after him in shock.


Many more hours passed but the crew and their prisoner still waited, seated around the common room in various uncomfortable positions.

Regan sat on one side of her daughter’s bedside now, Alexandra lending a comforting hand beside her.

Simon sat on River’s other side while Kaylee rested her cheek on his shoulder, her hands encased in his, comforting him in the only way she knew how. Very few words had been spoken as they waited and watched. Simon had been restless, checking and rechecking, cleaning, medicating. After a while, he left Kaylee’s side with a kiss to her cheek and stepped out of the infirmary.

Alexandra and Kaylee followed a moment later, leaving Regan to stare helplessly down at her daughter’s ashen face.

Mal stood as the young doctor approached, curious as to what he could have to say to their resident prisoner. Much to his surprise, Simon’s voice was soft, but very, very steady.

“No one needs to be a highly educated genius to understand the trouble we’re in,” Simon began, staring at Adrian. “Therefore, I propose a – deal.”

Mal’s eyes narrowed. “Wait a minute here –“

“Shut up and let me speak.” Simon snapped, and everyone else crept closer to listen.

“You can take me. Back to the Feds, throw me in a cell, whatever. In exchange, you let Serenity, the crew and my sister go.”

“Simon –“ Alexandra shook her head.

But Kaylee’s cry stopped her protest. “No!”

“Not a chance.” Mal shook his head, eyes narrowed.

Simon turned to Mal, defeat in his eyes. “You’ve suffered enough for harboring us. It’s not been fair to your crew.”

“Simon, you don’t have to do this.” Inara stepped forward, holding Kaylee as the young mechanic shook with fear.

“Yes, I do, Inara.” Simon risked a look at her and then turned his attention back to Adrian.

“You can take me, or you will die here. It is your choice. I trust you will make the one that is most beneficial to yourself and your position.”

“We’re landlocked, here, folks,” Wash interjected. “We can’t go anywhere.”

This was information Simon had not heard yet. But it didn’t matter, he was thinking clearer than he had in a very long time. “And you will lift the lock on Serenity.”

Adrian thrust his chin into the air. “That is quite a long list of demands for a fugitive who is wanted alive – or dead.”

“Yes, but alive you have a better chance of catching River,” Simon shot back with an effectiveness that surprised even Mal. “You can bide your time knowing she will do everything in her power to come for me. No doubt you won’t even have to leave the system. She’ll come back to you – eventually.”

“And you’re willing to give yourself over to me knowing I will know exactly where she is and how to locate her? Do you know what will be done to you to obtain information?” Adrian raised an amused eyebrow, a smirk tugging at the corner of his lips. “You’re not as bright as your transcripts say, boy.”

“Names can be changed with the right amount of capitol. People can disappear out in the black. And I can die long before the Feds can get an ounce of information out of me,” came Simon’s retort. He had obviously spent a great deal of time thinking about this. “You know this as well as I do. You’ve caught us now only because we walked right into a carefully laid trap.” Simon turned not-quite-so-understanding eyes on Alexandra. “I’m still not sure why –”

“I’d be likin’ some answers as well. Now seems ta be as good a time as any.” Mal glanced at Alexandra and motioned her forward, glancing only briefly at Regan as she clutched a nearby wall, her knuckles white from the effort.

Alexandra reached for Simon, who twitched away from her hand. She sighed sadly and began. “I have followed your entire lives; yours and Rivers even though your parents and I had a falling out when River was just a baby.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out the picture she had removed from her wall. She held it out to Simon who took it with a measure of hesitation.

Simon’s eyes widened as he recognized the location captured within the image. “This is our estate.” He looked up at her. “I remember this. I was – I couldn’t have been more than seven.”

“River was barely a year old there. That was the last day I saw you.” Alexandra smiled sadly. “In person.”

“But – how – why –“ Simon stammered. So many questions burned through his mind he wasn’t sure which one to ask first.

Alexandra shook her head. “It doesn’t matter now. When I saw you on Paquin, I set up this elaborate plan to bring you home, disguised as an easily completed cargo run. I wanted to reunite you with your parents, and, maybe patch up the twenty-year misunderstanding that tore our family apart. The warrants for your arrest are all over the cortex, and the central worlds. But as I investigated the reasons for those warrants,” she glanced at her husband with spite, “I came to understand that what had been done to River was the most disgustingly inhuman thing I have ever heard. I was so proud of you for rescuing her.”

“Why? Who are you to us?” Simon was nearly at a loss for words.

Regan sighed sadly nodded slightly at Alexandra as if giving her permission to reveal a long-concealed secret.

“I am your mother. Your birth mother.”

Simon inhaled sharply his eyes darting from Regan to Alexandra and back again. “What?” Simon’s confused gaze settled on the only mother he had ever known, whose head was lowered in shame. “Mother?”

“I couldn’t bear children, Simon, but Alexandra, she could.”

Simon blinked rapidly, his intelligent brain struggling to comprehend what his mother was telling him.

“Oh, my eggs were healthy enough, but I couldn’t carry a child to its full term. So Alexandra offered to carry you. It was such a perfect pregnancy. No complications – that we knew of.”

Kaylee wrapped her arm around Simon as he stepped back, unable to comprehend what he was hearing.

“And after a few years, your father and I wanted another baby. Astonishingly, I got pregnant and was able to carry the baby. Alexandra had spent some time with you growing up, but when River was about six months old, she came to us and wanted to spend more time with you. She felt a certain closeness to you, a bond, because she had carried you. She couldn’t have any more children and even though it was my egg and your father’s sperm that had created you, she felt she had some right.”

It was Adrian who spoke next, his voice rough with anger. “My wife gave up her ability to have children with you, boy. And what’d you do in the end? Dishonored your family and threw away a brilliant medical career. ”

Regan continued. “Alexandra’s desire to see you, spend as much time with you as she could drove a rift between us. Her obsession put a strain on her marriage and on our relationship. Alexandra and Adrian moved to the other side of Osiris and involved themselves with military matters and politics while Gabriel and I invested our lives in the care of our children and our business.”

“Yes, you cared for River so well.” The sarcastic tone in Simon’s voice sent shivers down the spines of nearly everyone listening. He shook his head, trying to understand the flood of unexpected information.

Regan sighed, tears welling in her eyes. “When you started to tell us about her letters, I contacted Adrian. I knew he was well placed in the military and in Osiris politics and asked him if he would help me investigate the Academy.” Regan stared sadly at the large man, who simply averted his eyes. “He reluctantly did as I asked, for his wife, he said, and came back to me with reports that the Academy was a specially funded portion of the government and a child with River’s exceptional skills would do well there.”

“Now she is a crazy seventeen year old girl who has had her brain cut into multiple times for reasons as yet unknown to me,” Simon spat, his eyes narrowed. He turned to Adrian. “Do you agree?”

It took a moment for everyone to follow Simon’s subject change.

A small, calculating smile crept across Adrian’s face. “We will leave immediately.”

“When I know River is going to recover, I will remand myself into your custody,” Simon countered. “You can, however, release the landlock on Serenity.”


“No,” Kaylee, Alexandra and Regan said together.

“I don’t think so, doc.”

Simon turned steely eyes on Mal as Kaylee wrapped her hands desperately around his arm. “Decision has been made, Mal.”

Mal’s eyes narrowed. “I make the decisions on my own boat, doctor! And the last time I looked, you weren’t its captain!”

“He’s right, Simon,” Inara interjected. “Mal will find another way.”

“Not if he wants to save the lives of his crew.”

The smirk slid off Adrian’s face as Zoe leveled her gun at his head. “One word, Sir. All I need is one word.”

“No,” Mal growled. He knew Simon was right. He knew they were all humped if they killed Adrian now, or if they let him go without Simon as his prisoner. No doubt the man had left word of where he was going to be today.

Simon nodded slowly at Mal slipped back into the infirmary, Kaylee tugging on his arm, begging him to reconsider.

Mal, Zoe and Wash took Adrian to the bridge to get the landlock released while Jayne went to check on the prisoners he had tied securely in the cargo bay.

Inara, Regan and Alexandra followed Simon and stopped in the doorway, staring, when he whirled around and held Kaylee’s tear-stained cheeks between his hands.

“I have to do this, xin gan.” He bent to kiss her cheeks, to wipe away the tears but they flowed past his lips in a never ending stream.

Kaylee trembled as he embraced her, enfolding his arms around her shoulders and pressing her cheek against his chest. They stood like that for a while, the silence only punctuated by Kaylee’s sobs. When they parted, Simon pressed his forehead to hers and kissed her lips gently. “It’s been a long day. You’re tired, bao bei. Let me give you something that will relax you.” He turned out of her arms and prepped a syringe, all the while ignoring the look he was receiving from Inara.

“Don’t want to sleep,” Kaylee sniffled when Simon returned with the syringe.

“Not sleep. It will just relax you.” His voice was soft, soothing and she believed his lie.

“You’ll stay with me?” Her eyes pleaded with him and he felt his resolve nearly melt.

He swallowed thickly and forced out the word, hoping his voice didn’t shake too terribly. “Yes.”

Kaylee nodded as Simon lifted her arm, wrapped a tourniquet around it and injected the sedative. When he was finished, he dropped the syringe and the elastic band onto the bedside table with a heavy sigh and pulled Kaylee into his arms. He selfishly wanted to hold her for as long as he could. She melted against him and almost immediately he could feel the tension slide out of her body. Her sobs subsided and her eyes drooped. When she looked up at him, smiling like he wanted to always remember, he bent and pressed his lips to hers. “Sleep now, bao bei. I love you.”

“Love you,” Kaylee whispered as her eyes fluttered closed.

Simon rested his cheek against hers as his eyes filled with tears. “I’m sorry, Kaylee. I’m so sorry.” He gently lifted her into his arms, ignoring the women standing in the doorway, and carried her to his room.


Tuesday, March 7, 2006 9:37 AM


OMG, This was just heartbraeking!!! And River, wow, Didn't she know this before?!?! Y'know, armor an bullets an Adrians?
Oh, and yay for firstys!!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 10:00 AM


Ok, so now he's leaving....sad! Glad he could fix River and interesting take on Alexandra Bai. Only two to three more chapters? I am hoping for that not unhappy ending will not make me cry!!! Great Job!

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 10:05 AM


> I am hoping for that not unhappy ending will not make me cry!!!

My beta did. I teared up when writing it.

Take from that what you will :)

>And River, wow, Didn't she know this before?!?!

Of course she knew. She'd been warning him for chapters . . . :) She took the bullet for him knowing he would have died if it had struck him.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 10:16 AM


Wow, tricky River and noble Simon, and it's looking like we'll get some rescuing BDH's ahead, yay!

Good story.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 11:23 AM


Oh my God! I'm at work and now I'm all teary! The Kaylee/Simon scene at the end was absolutely heart-wrenching. Poor Kaylee! My heart breaks for them both.

Mal better think of some thrillin' heroics - and fast! Great chap.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 12:02 PM


*blows nose* Kinda hatin' you right about now.

Fix it? Pretty please?

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 12:10 PM


>I'm at work and now I'm all teary!

Don't read the next two chapters at work then.

>*blows nose* Kinda hatin' you right about now.

Aww, that mean's I did it right.

>Fix it? Pretty please?

Some things can't be fixed.

>Wow, tricky River and noble Simon,

Yep. She IS a genius after all and he already gave up his career and the life that he knew for her - he only had one last thing to give. . .

>it's looking like we'll get some rescuing BDH's ahead, yay!

Well - no. Sorry.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 12:15 PM


P.S. You may just be evil!

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 12:56 PM


"it's looking like we'll get some rescuing BDH's ahead, yay!"

["Well - no. Sorry. "]

Ah man! If we do not get the rest of the story by tonight, I will have to wait until Thursday to read it. You have me completely absorbed in their story and anxiously awaiting for the end. Please take pity! ;)
I am hoping you are just being perverse in your response to the comments, as I am a sucker for a happy ending. Either way, I love what you have done so far and look forward for the rest.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 1:01 PM


I'm sad.

I'm going to miss him. Isn't that strange? I love this story very much, but it won't be the same without Simon, even though I had a small feeling that he wouldn't be there forever. I have a love/hate relationship with stories like these--in my fluffy little 'verse...well...okay, in my fluffy little 'vese, Wash is still alive, and Kaylee and Simon will always be together...but I have to admit, I'm growing to like this sort of torture. \

Anyways, the point of this was that I hope he comes back to Serenity, because I'm crying thinking about him not.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 1:11 PM


Oh and by the way, I like her now. She isn't creepy. :)

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 1:48 PM


>You may just be evil!

I told you I was!

>Ah man! If we do not get the rest of the story by tonight,

One more chapter will be posted tonight.

>I am hoping you are just being perverse in your response to the comments

I'm being deliberately vague.

>I'm sad.

That means I did my job right. As a writer, I feel like I'm successful if my readers care about what happens to the characters.

Plus, I feel really good if I manage to make someone cry :)

>and Kaylee and Simon will always be together...

In my mind, Simon and Kaylee will always be together as well. Even if it is in death.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 2:05 PM


"In my mind, Simon and Kaylee will always be together as well. Even if it is in death."

That's so very sweet, and a little bit comforting. HOWEVER! Now I want to go finish reading "Romeo and Juliet" and we're supposed to stretch it out over the course of a month, so darn you! I'll be finished by tonight.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 10:10 PM



Friday, May 26, 2006 6:52 AM


*“No power in the ‘verse can stop me,” River droned, her voice cold and calculated.*

Now ya done it, ya pissed of the killer. ?!?!?

*Mal and Zoe took turns holding the gun to Adrian Bai’s back, each wondering at times why they had let the man live. They stood outside one of the infirmary windows, watching, waiting, and though they would never admit it, praying.*

That's a damn good point. Why aren't they at least torturing him yet?

*“If she dies, there is no tox screen in the Core that will be able to determine your cause of death.”*

I wouldn't ever want to piss off Simon. Ever.

*“Shut up and let me speak.” Simon snapped, and everyone else crept closer to listen.*

Woah. Simon telling Mal to shut up. Nice.

*“I am your mother. Your birth mother.”*

Jaw drops, eyes wide.

Woah. Good installment.


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Simon and Kaylee discuss other - avenues, as they lay in bed. Oddly, this is a pretty PG story.

Simon and kaylee disturb the ship with their nocturnal activities. Post BDM. Part of a challenge table. Rated NC-17 for adult content.

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