BOOK OF DAYS SERIES: #28. "Where I Belong - 2/2"
Saturday, April 8, 2006

A wedding, some tears and some admissions. Simon/Kaylee. Mal/Inara. 28th story in a series.


There is an epilogue to this story. It was really too dark to leave in this chapter as I think it would have changed the tone of this story. I'll post it tomorrow.

The 'honeymoon' will be its own separate story as I didn't want to include it here.

The vows were the hardest thing I've ever done. And they were re-written more times than I care to admit.

Thanks to TamSibling for content suggestions. If you liked them, blame her, if you didn't, blame her too! Hee!


Chapter 2


Mal caught Inara’s eyes over Simon’s shoulder as the Shepherd stepped forward and began to speak. The unmistakable love radiating from the beautiful woman caused him to swallow convulsively. He loved her; every bit as much as Simon loved Kaylee.

When Inara smiled, he felt his heart thud sharply against his chest and then she looked away, at Kaylee and Simon, giving Simon a kind, encouraging smile as he prepared to say his vows.

Simon held Kaylee’s hands in his own and stared into her lovely eyes. He was so nervous. He wasn’t certain how he would ever make it through this. But as he opened his mouth to speak, the words, for the first time in his life, came out just the way he had memorized them.

"I never planned – anything. I always thought my life would be on Osiris, in the hospital, day in and day out, saving lives. I never knew that life wasn't enough, until I met you. I never thought I could be happy living on a ship traveling through the Black, living with that kind of uncertainty, until I met you.” His voice shook, but it was filled with such warmth and emotion, those fortunate to witness this moment could only hold their breath.

“And I certainly never planned to fall in love. But you, you captured my heart from the moment you turned that big, bright smile on me. And now, what I want more than anything is to make you smile like that for the rest of your life." He squeezed her hands as they trembled. His blue, blue eyes burned into her, through her, making her stifle a sob as he continued. "I love you, all of you, your generosity, your kindness and your beauty, both inside and out. You've lit up the darkest days of my life just by standing beside me, supporting me, asking for nothing in return."

He reached out and took the band Mal held out and slowly slid it onto her finger, his heart in his throat. "It's my turn now. I want to give you everything that you've given me, and more. With this ring, Kaylee, I vow to love, honor and cherish you for the rest of my life."

Kaylee’s bottom lip trembled and she swallowed hard, trying to control the sobs that shook her shoulders as his words registered in her mind. She hadn’t known what he was going to say and thinking back on what she had prepared, her words seemed to pale in comparison. But when he smiled at her, that swai confident smile she loved so much, she began, her voice shaking as much as Simon’s.

“I don’t exactly know how to say everythin’ I’m feelin’ right now, but I’m gonna try,” she said, her voice just loud enough for Simon, and the first row of the audience, to hear. “Ain’t no secret I wanted ya from just about the minute I saw ya. I could barely resist those pretty eyes and that shy, swai smile.”

His cheeks colored at the memory, and she squeezed his hands nervously. She didn’t want to embarrass him, not today.

“But then I got to know ya, to see what ya kept hidden away, all that love and fierce, quiet determination, buried under those pretty fits and that reserved, doctor’s manner. And I found the nicest, kindest, still so swai man I had ever met. I loved you so hard for so long and the day you kissed me, and held me, and told me that you loved me, I knew it would be you and me forever.”

Inara placed the silver band into the palm of Kaylee’s hand and closed her fingers over it, so that her shaking hands wouldn’t drop the precious heirloom.

“I love you, Simon. With all of my heart.” Simon held out his hand and Kaylee slid the band onto his finger with a small sob. They’d waited so long to make this real. It was almost too much for Kaylee to believe that they were standing here now. “With this ring, I promise to love, honor and cherish you for the rest of my life.”

A tear slid down Zoe’s cheek as the ceremony neared its end, memories of her marriage to Wash flooding every molecule in her body and she had to visibly struggle to not break down. Mal and Inara exchanged a meaningful glance over Simon and Kaylee’s shoulders.

In a blur of emotion and words the couple’s minds barely registered, the Shepherd declared Simon and Kaylee husband and wife. Only when Mal softly whispered, “kiss her already,” did the younger man remember to do just that.

Raising trembling hands, Simon brushed aside the silk that hung in front of Kaylee’s face. His heart lurched at the tears marring paths down her face and he quickly cupped her cheeks in his hands and brushed away the tears with the pads of his thumbs.

“I love you,” he whispered, and then his lips touched hers in the most slow, sensual kiss they’d ever experienced. Kaylee sobbed against his mouth and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, hugging him tightly and deepening the kiss.

Only giving them a few short moments, River bounded up to the couple and wrapped her arms around them, smiling happily. Breaking the kiss and looking down at his happy mei mei, Simon’s closest arm came around her shoulders and Kaylee’s arm wrapped around her waist, bringing her into the circle of their embrace.

“When you’re done, the rest of us would like to congratulate the happy couple.” Inara had moved over to stand beside Mal and there was no mistaking the possessive way his arm draped around her waist.

Simon and Kaylee made the rounds, accepting the good wishes of their friends with smiles wider than anyone had ever seen on their faces. Kaylee bounced from friend to friend, from mother to father, while Simon watched with an loving smile. He grabbed his sister and pulled her back into his arms, hugging her tightly.

The closeness between the two siblings was well known so there was no surprise when Simon wrapped his arms around River’s waist and rested his chin on her head. Together, they watched Kaylee chat animatedly with anyone who caught her eyes.

“There gonna be booze at this shindig?” Jayne asked once he extricated himself from Kaylee’s little energetic circle.

“At the reception, yes,” Inara answered with a smile.

“Well, let’s get to it then!”

Inara sent a scathing look in Jayne’s direction that had it contained tiny daggers, Jayne would have been laid out dead at her feet.

Simon, River and the others were oblivious but Mal gave Inara’s waist a comforting squeeze, silently agreeing with her assessment of Jayne’s lack of tact.


The reception was a subdued affair, with Simon and Kaylee leading the first dance, standing close and simply swaying to the music. It was, in fact, quite difficult to pry them out of one another’s arms to dance with other partners.

But Simon made a point of dancing with River several times, trying to reassure her wordlessly that his feelings for her had not changed. He’d caught her several times looking far too sad, and thus, wrongly assumed that she was worried about being replaced as the most important girl in his life.

She was still as important in his life as she had always been. He’d even joked that now she had an older sister with whom to share the secrets that older brothers should not, did not want to know.

River clung to him, fighting back tears as they danced, wanting, wishing that she could tell him her fears, her dreams. But they were all still a jumble in her mind. All that was clear were the feelings. The despair and the pain. River forced them back, determined not to ruin her brother’s big day.

So she drowned out the feelings with laughter, family and food. By the time the evening had come to a close, there weren’t many people still sober, the bride and groom included.

With one last toast to Kaylee and Simon, the newlyweds were escorted by an elegantly attired attendant, toward a very secluded cottage not far from the training house. It was still on the immediate grounds, but no one would have known it existed, separated as it was by a multitude of dense trees and foliage. Inara had arranged for them to use it for the next three days. They deserved some privacy, with no teasing and no banging on their bunk door. With Jayne passed out in a corner, River amusing herself by covering him with napkins, Mal and Zoe speaking with the Frye’s, Inara finally allowed herself to take a seat and relax. ~*~

River pleaded exhaustion once she had finished decorating Jayne and went back to the room she had been given in the designated wing of the training house. The window, with a padded seat beneath it on which to sit, looked out over a particularly beautiful, serene portion of the large, spacious garden and River found herself sitting at the window looking out into the sparkling night sky.

She’d tried, and mostly succeeded, throughout the entire day to keep her feelings in check. She didn’t want to ruin her brother’s wedding. She didn’t want to make him feel guilty for choosing Kaylee over her. He’d done so much for her already. He’d given up his entire life for her – though in doing so, he had found the love of his life. River let that happy thought wash over her for a few moments.

River smiled slightly, proud that she could be the cause of her brother finding that well-deserved sliver of happiness in the black, confused mess that had become his life. Good things always came to those who waited. Simon and Kaylee deserved the best their lives could offer.

River’s smile quickly faded as the feelings of the coming despair and heartache swept through her. She didn’t know when it would happen, but she knew it was coming. It would draw the crew closer together or pull them apart. She couldn’t see. Not clearly. So many choices. So many decisions. And each one led down a different path and toward more painful future. She couldn’t see the end from the beginning.

And she couldn’t warn them. If she did, she could see that future, and it was one that ended in the worst pain and heartache possible – for everyone except those who truly deserved it. All she could do was meddle in her own way and hope.

Large, fat tears slipped down River’s cheeks as she gazed out of the window, the only sound in the room the soft wisp of the evening breeze and her deep, heaving sobs.


A day after the wedding on Paquin, a special messenger arrived with a delivery for Regan Tam. She stared at its plain paper markings curiously before opening the package. When she lifted the glass orb from its velvet case, she gasped and nearly dropped the heavy object.

Floating within the crystal sphere were three rotating images. The first was an image of Simon standing beside River in an unidentifiable, yet very elegant garden, looking beautifully proper in what Regan instantly knew to be traditional wedding attire. The next image was of Simon and Kaylee, standing in that same garden, and the last was all three of her children, standing together as a family.

Regan stifled a sob as she looked at the images. They had not done well by their children. In many ways they had betrayed and condemned them. As the image rotated to Simon and Kaylee, she suddenly wished she had made the time to tell her son how proud she was of him. He’d carved a happy life for himself out of his parent’s mistake and a situation that would have broken a lesser man.

A surge of pride swelled through her as she thought of her children out there, free. But an overwhelming sadness that she and Gabriel had been the cause of them needing to live so far away to keep that freedom swept through her heart.

She quietly moved into her bedroom and removed an object from her mantle. She slowly, carefully and reverently packed a few things into an elegantly wrapped package and addressed it to Inara Serra, care of the Companion’s Guild.


“Well you two look well sexed.” Jayne met the newlyweds in the cargo bay when they returned from their seclusion.

Zoe smacked Jayne on the arm and Mal grinned in approval as the two just took Jayne’s crude comments in stride. Inara smiled down at them from the catwalk noting they didn’t look particularly well-rested. River was curiously absent.

“Well, it’s true! Lil’ Kaylee’s even walkin’ funny.” Jayne shrugged. “Not that she ain’t always looked like a sheep walkin’ on its hind legs.”

“Ain’t nothin’ you can say that can spoil the day, Jayne.” Kaylee stuck out her tongue at the mercenary, which only encouraged him further.

“Hey, lil’ Kaylee, keep that thing in your mouth. We know where it’s been!”

Kaylee’s smile wavered and then grew. “Don’t you wish you knew!!” she teased as the two continued on their way to their bunk.

Kaylee giggled when they reached their door and saw all of the brightly colored paper streamers hanging from it. Simon simply stood back and watched while she lifted them and twirled before opening the sliding door.

She gasped when she saw the gifts lying on the neatly made bed. “Oh! Look at all the shiny presents!” She bounced onto the mattress, jostling the packages.

With a low chuckle, Simon followed her, dropping their bags just inside the door and sliding it shut again – taking great care to make sure it was locked.

“Come sit, Simon! Let’s open ‘em!” Kaylee’s cheeks were flushed with excitement as Simon carefully settled beside her and dropped a gentle kiss to her cheek.

He leaned his back against the wall and pulled Kaylee against him as she lifted one rather large plainly wrapped package.

“Oh, this one’s from momma and poppa.” She ripped at the package like a child on Christmas and gasped when she looked inside.

Simon noticed the small smile pass across her face as she lifted the two hand-made blankets out of the plain paper. “Oh momma.” Kaylee brushed her hand across the somewhat rough, warn fabric. Simon imagined it was something similar to what she’d had growing up.

When Kaylee turned to her husband, there were tears in her eyes. “She made us two so when one gets dirty, we have a spare to keep us warm.”

“A very thoughtful gift, bao bei.” Simon slid his fingers down her arm and rested them gently at her wrist before dropping them to the fabric she held in her hands.

Kaylee’s bottom lip trembled and Simon leaned forward to kiss her gently.

“They really like ya.” Kaylee leaned back in his arms, cradling the folded blankets to her chest.

“They’re wonderful people. Who couldn’t like the people that brought you into the ‘verse?” Simon nuzzled her neck with his cheek and then pressed a gentle kiss to the soft skin. “How about we finish opening these gifts and then we can give them a test run?”

Kaylee nodded as a wide suggestive smile lit her eyes. She carefully selected another, more elegantly wrapped bag filled with all kinds of colorful paper. Peering inside, she gasped when she pulled out a delicately carved box inlaid with what looked like ivory in traditional oriental designs. Kaylee opened it slowly and stared at the smaller boxes contained within. A billfold with more money than Kaylee had ever seen rested on its side within the box. She glanced once at Simon, knowing that they knew no one else but his parents even capable of giving them such a gift.

But they hadn’t known about the wedding. They hadn’t even come. Kaylee wondered if Simon was curious about how they had received such a gift. They could talk about it later. Kaylee knew the subject of his parents was a sore one.

“The box has been in my family for generations,” Simon finally said, recognizing it the moment Kaylee had pulled it out of the bag. “I remember River playing with it when she was little. Mom always got so upset with her.”

“Oh, Simon. It’s beautiful.”

Kaylee opened each little box within gasping appropriately as each additional piece of jewelry was reveled. Her fingers shook as she held each piece and then carefully put the pieces back into their boxes.

Simon finally had to take the box out of her hands when she couldn’t stop staring at it and its contents. He slipped it back into the colorful, expensive bag and set it beside the blankets Kaylee’s parents had given them. When Kaylee didn’t immediately reach for another unwrapped gift, Simon did it for her, choosing the other somewhat elegantly wrapped package. He placed her hands over it and helped her open the wrapping.

When they removed the lid from the box, Simon lifted the heavy object from its velvet interior and held it up to the light. Inside the floating glass sphere were moving captures of the wedding and reception that rotated every few seconds. The data disk held hundreds of captures, all clearly taken by different attendees.

Kaylee’s mood brightened immediately and she plucked the heavy frame out of Simon’s hands with an excited smile and pushed herself out of his arms. “I know the perfect place for it!”

Simon grinned as she carefully, reverently, placed it on the mantle above their heads so that they only had to look up when lying in bed to see the memories of the happiest day of their life.

When Kaylee returned to his arms, she didn’t need to look at the card he held to know who had given them the thoughtful gift. “From ‘Nara, right?”

Simon grinned and snaked an arm around her waist. “And the Captain. Yes.”

“’Bout time for them two.”

Simon laughed. He couldn’t agree more.

Kaylee reached for the next, rather heavy gift, crudely wrapped in plain brown paper and wrapped with a kind of twine.

“No need to guess who this is from,” Kaylee giggled as she tore into the paper.

“That he even gave us a gift worries me more than what could possibly be inside,” Simon replied with a grin of his own.

When Kaylee pulled out the heavy, printed volume, Simon amended his previous words. “No, never mind. The gift is truly more frightening.”

Kaylee’s eyes lit as she turned the worn and crinkled pages. “Oh, but you love old books!”

Simon pointed at the page she’d turned to and kissed her neck, whispering hotly against her skin. “I don’t think we need a book to give us fully illustrated sex positions.” Kaylee tilted her head and sighed as his lips moved along her neck, finally ending the long kiss beneath her ear. She trembled as she turned the page. “Oh, I dunno, sweetie, could be fun.”

Simon closed the book and plucked it out of her hands, setting it on top of mom and poppa Frye’s homespun blankets. “We can try them out later.”

The smile on Kaylee’s face assured him that they would.

Simon grinned and reached for the next gift. They read the tag first. “My parents always said you should have at least one set – Zoe.”

Kaylee tore into the package and her eyes widened when she noticed the fine silk sheets folded neatly within the paper wrapping. She arched her neck and licked her lips. “Gots lots of things to test out when we’re done.”

“We do, at that.” Simon hugged her and reached for the final gift, which appeared to be some kind of rolled parchment.

They opened it together and when the fine silk fell into their hands, Kaylee pushed herself off the bed and held it up.

“Wow, Simon.” Kaylee’s eyes swept down the delicately embroidered silk wall-hanging. In addition to the Chinese characters depicting the words for love and commitment stitched down the side, down the center there was an image of a beautiful dragon twined with a silver phoenix, which symbolized equality.

“It’s beautiful.” Simon pushed himself off the bed and gathered the gifts, carefully setting them on the bedside table. “Where do you want to –“

Kaylee already had the place picked out and he grinned when she plucked the necessary hooks – that River had so thoughtfully included – out of the wrapping and affixed the beautiful piece of art over the desk on the far wall.

While Kaylee did that, Simon changed the linens on the bed, replacing them with Zoe’s rather thoughtful gift. Then he spread the Frye’s gift over the bed and pulled back the covers. When he turned around, he saw Kaylee watching him with a coy smile and a mischievous grin.

“Why don’t you look all domestic, Simon Tam.” Her body shook with a giggle which only grew when he stalked toward her and wrapped his arms around her waist.

“Anything for you, Kaylee Tam.” He dropped his mouth to hers and lifted her into his arms.

Her whispered murmur of, “I like the sound of that’ was lost as he lay her atop their bed and slowly, reverently divested them of their clothes so that they could properly break in a few of their new gifts.


Inara smiled as the glass frame rotated to reveal another image of her standing in Mal’s arms; this time they were dancing at the reception. River had captured some very beautiful and poignant images and Inara treasured every single one of them as they rotated before her eyes. So distracted was she with the happy memories that she didn’t hear Mal as he walked into the shuttle and stopped behind her.

“I knew you’d saved some of those captures,” Mal said with a smug grin.

Inara nearly jumped out of her skin and whirled him, her eyes wide with an irritated fire.

“Will you ever knock?!” She was more annoyed than she wanted to admit that he’d caught her mooning over the images like some love-sick girl.

A smile curled the end of his lips as he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her against him. “Since when?”

The disappointed tone in her voice was evident. “Just once I’d like to be surprised.”

Mal caught the rotating image over her shoulder and grinned. “I like that one.”

Inara turned out of his arms and watched as the image changed from them dancing to them kissing. Inara knew River must have followed them around all evening to get a capture of that one, single moment.

“Image ain’t no substitute for the real thing, though.” His breath was warm on her neck and it caused goose bumps to instantly pebble her skin.

“I – agree,” Inara breathed, her knees weakening as his hands slid gently up her waist to cup her breasts.

“Think we need to do somethin’ about that.” When his mouth dropped over that sweet, sensitive spot on her neck, Inara whimpered and leaned back into his arms with a breathy sigh.

“Mal –“ Inara could barely push his name out of her mouth.

“Somethin’ ya need ta tell me, darlin’?” he turned her around and stared down into her eyes, their lips mere inches apart.

Inara swallowed thickly. She’d been wanting to say it for a long time, but had always hesitated. But now, as his hands slid down her back to gently cup her backside, they were on the tip of her tongue.

Never had a man made her body tingle like this. Never had she fallen into a man’s eyes and not cared if she wasn’t able to claw her way back out again. He’d asked her one day what she was running from. And now she knew. She was running from this. This at once overwhelmingly powerful and helpless feeling of love.

“How ‘bout I say it first,” he whispered as he brushed his mouth against hers.

Inara’s mind screamed no. She didn’t want to hear it. Couldn’t hear it. Not now. It was too soon.

No, it wasn’t soon enough. Her heart betrayed her. She wanted to hear it. She wanted to say it.

“I love you.”



Saturday, April 8, 2006 6:28 AM


YAY!!!!!!! Oh My Goodness, who loves this installment? ME!!!! The vows were so sweet! THe whole wedding and the significant glances and a teary Zoe and awwwww! Loved that you included a glimpse of Regan Tam and her reaction to the wedding. River's angst, I just want to give that girl a hug! And the presents, so cute ( loved Jayne's !:D)and sweet! I have to say, Mal and Inara stole the show at the end! I squealed with delight reading those last lines! That was a big awwwwww moment. The end made me all kinds of weepy and excited. Now about that sad epilogue....bring it on, cause this one was so sweet! Plus we have the honeymoon to look forward to! As always, just love your stories!!!! Excellent Job! -Leighkohl

Saturday, April 8, 2006 7:16 AM


The rating I've placed on this review is for the series to date. You got a good touch with the BDH's Leiasky. The dialog is crisp and touching and sounds just like them. I have great hope for the epilog. I hope it leads to some thriling heroics and general misbehavior.Thank you for evry thing youve written so far.

Saturday, April 8, 2006 7:23 AM


"I never planned – anything." Wow, that there is the perfect line, leiasky. I can hear sean. sigh.

and okay, mal and inara--so so pretty. i loved it!

~ kaynara

Saturday, April 8, 2006 9:32 AM


Another brilliantly perfect chapter!

I love the vows and I think you've got the perfect amount of emotion here. You're not being clichè, it's just amazing. I love everyone's little bits and insights here, just the characterization and the pace at which the story moves.


Keep it up, I can't wait to read more!

Saturday, April 8, 2006 10:21 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER have made this poor cynic cry....gorramit;)

This is something truly beautiful, Leiasky. I can just see these scenes playing out on screen (either type...I ain't picky). And Simon's vows....pitch perfect I think for someone like Simon at that stage in his life:)

River....this girl deserves so much for all the suffering she has gone through and is going through now:( All the pain and uncertainty of not knowing just when the hidden enemy will strike until the last possible moment....definitely Whedonesque in its tone:D

But I have to chime in with Leighkohl..the Mal/Inara scene at the end just stole the whole thing:) This is the payoff a lot of Browncoats have wanted to see play our somewhere canonical for ages! And Inara's in character and so heartbreaking too: love of a good man or the life she chose and trained for. Plus I really loved how you had her snap at Mal for his usual habit of bursting right in....even love can't kill the banter;)


Saturday, April 8, 2006 10:31 AM


Oh my god!! That was BEAUTIFUL. I loved it, amazing :D

Thursday, April 13, 2006 4:27 AM



Tuesday, May 23, 2006 7:33 AM


“There gonna be booze at this shindig?”

Again with the typical Jayne.

River's vision/darkness is definitely something I am looking forward to, and decorating Jayne with napkins is just funny.

Yay also for Mal/Inara.


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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.

Broken Wings: Conclusion (Repost)
The crew take Kaylee home to be buried and the reason for Simon's secrecy is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 18 (Repost)
Simon, Mal and Jayne have a moment with Kaylee. Inara and River are reunited with the rest of the crew. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 17 (Repost)
Simon has a conversation with Zoe, Mal and Jayne - separately. Sequel to 'On the Edge.' Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 16 (Repost)
The crew is reunited - mostly, as Simon arrives to treat the wounded. River rushes to Inara's aid before her deception is discovered. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 15 (Repost)
Simon's escape is halted by his father. But River comes to the rescue. Jayne - sees the light - far too up close and personal for his safety. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 14 (Repost)
Simon and Inara's deception is discovered. Mal, Jayne and Zoe continue to fight what looks to be a losing battle. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 13 (Repost)
Simon has some unexpected help with his fussy son and River receives another assignment. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.

Broken Wings: Chapter 12 (Repost)
Inara and Simon continue their work while a message gets out to those on the front lines. Sequel to 'On the Edge'. Cannon pairings.