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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Kaylee and Inara need some time. Mal and Simon don't know what to do to help them. Simon/Kaylee. Mal/Inara. PLEASE read the warning in Chapter 1 before continuing. 31st story in a series.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 2355 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Again, please let this play out to its end before getting too mad. There's a lot to go. At least 8 stories with multiple chapters in a lot of them. This one has at least 5 chapters.
Review and let me know how you think its going. Guess how it will all turn out or let me know what you'd like to see.
This hasn't been an easy story to write but I hope I'm treating the characters with the same amount of respect as I am trying to treat the subject matter.
Everyone has diffrent reactions to this sort of trauma, this is my vision of how the characters in the Firefly 'verse would handle it.
As always, please read the warning contained in Chapter 1 as the subject matter might be offensive to some.
“Inara?” Mal stepped tentatively into the shuttle, calling her name. She’d been on edge and he didn’t want to add to any tension.
Her voice was soft, tender as she answered. “Yes, Mal?”
“Ready to talk about it?” He noticed her sitting on the couch just closing a data pad.
She set the pad on the low table in front of her and rested her hands in her lap. “I’m – I’m not sure there is much to say.”
Mal swallowed reflexively, afraid that she was keeping something from him. She’d been distant and he wanted to know why. Wanted to help. “You been pretty distant. Somethin’ happen ya don’t want anyone to know?” He took a seat beside her and was encouraged when she didn’t flinch like she had the last time.
Inara looked away. “It’s – just some old memories, Mal. Nothing to concern yourself too terribly over.”
Mal exhaled a breath he didn’t realize he’d been holding. Old memories? How could she think he wouldn’t be concerned? “Know you can lean on me, right? And I don’t just mean for the sexin’.” His attempt at levity went unanswered which wiped the small smile off his face in an instant.
“I – I can’t talk about it right now, Mal.”
He frowned. Perhaps he had been too hopeful that she would confide in him. They’d been through so much together. But, as he reflected on his relationship with Inara, nothing had ever been simple for them. Not really. They knew a lot about one another without really knowing much at all. She was an intensely private person. Her line of work necessitated that it be so. He could only make sure she knew that he was there when she wanted to talk. He nodded slowly, and glanced down at his hands.
Wordlessly, she leaned against his shoulder and he lifted his arm to drape it over her, offering silent comfort where he knew any words would fail.
In a very uncharacteristic show of emotion, Zoe stood in the cargo bay taking out her excess energy on the punching bag hanging above her head. A light sheen of sweat covered her dark skin but each throw was precise and accurate, snapped with just the right amount of speed to strike her target.
After a few minutes, she alternated skillfully executed roundhouse kicks to the bag with short, satisfied grunts.
Jayne watched for a few moments in silence, arms crossed, a lusty smile quirking his lips. He knew if she caught him spying, he had no doubt she could end his life faster than it had been given to him.
“Come hold this,” she said suddenly as the bag swung away from her. “Tired of my target moving.”
Jayne grinned and loped toward her. “Yea, don’t much use this thing anymore since – “ Jayne shook his head at the thought of Book’s loss, and Wash’s, and gripped the bag, holding it steady.
Zoe delivered a few short, hard punches to the bag, her arm snapping toward it so fast, if Jayne had blinked he’d have missed it.
“Let’s not take out my eye, ok? Wanna be able to see long ‘nuf to deal out some pain.”
“You ain’t the only one, Jayne.” A few more punches and then she turned to kicks, the force behind them pushing Jayne back a few steps. He gripped the bag as much to steady it as to use it as a protective barrier.
“We failed ‘em.” Beads of sweat dotted her face as she continued to hit the bag. “Ain’t somethin’ I’m gonna forget. An’ it ain’t somethin’ that’s ever going to happen again.”
“Yes. It will.” River stared down at them and unreadable expression on her face. “Over and over.”
“Not bloody likely, Crazy.” Jayne scowled up at the catwalk.
River didn’t answer him. She stared at Zoe, expertly continuing to deliver short, hard blows to the poor, helpless bag.
When the older woman finally glanced up at the troubled girl, a silent understanding passed between them and Zoe nodded curtly.
“The best defense is a good offense.” River moved away, her graceful steps silent as she disappeared into Inara’s shuttle.
Inara turned with a smile as she heard the soft footsteps. Kaylee was early, but it didn’t matter. They would just have more time to – her smile faded when she noticed River standing before her.
“Oh, River. I’m sorry, I thought you were –“
“Yes, we have –“
River didn’t have much time. She had other things to do today. “Don’t hide for long. He can help you. Tell him.”
Inara pursed her lips and took a step back. She didn’t want to discuss this with the psychic.
River lurched forward and clutched Inara’s hands. “Tell him.”
Inara blinked as the girl's eyes pierced into her soul. Finally, reluctantly, she whispered, “I will.”
With a satisfied smile, River turned and walked out of the shuttle, leaving Inara staring after her, a dumfounded look on her face.
Simon watched helplessly as Kaylee grabbed a few articles of clothing and stuffed them into a small bag.
“It ain’t you, sweetie. I – I just need ta spend some time with ‘Nara. Wanna talk ta her about some things.” Her back was to him so he wouldn’t see how upset she was and so she wouldn’t see the hurt look she knew he wouldn’t be able to hide.
“So you have to move into her shuttle?”
Kaylee cringed at the hurt tone in his voice. “You need ta heal, honey. Your shoulder –“ She tensed when she felt his hands on her arms, turning her around to face him. Tears dripped down her cheeks and she couldn’t meet his eyes.
“My shoulder is fine. It will heal. I’m – I’m more worried that something has happened between us.” Simon was at a loss. He’d seen Kaylee behave like this before – after the bounty hunter Early had come. But they hadn’t been so close then, he hadn’t been sure how to help her. He wasn’t sure how to help her now. He just knew he wanted to try. And the fear rising in his heart that there was something she was not telling him made him all the more frightened.
Kaylee lifted her eyes to his to reassure him and was struck silent by the pained look in his. She lifted a hand to his cheek and leaned forward to kiss him gently. “’Nara an I jus need ta talk about some things is all.”
“Things you can’t talk about with me?”
He was hurt. She knew he was. But she didn’t know how to allay his fears any more than she already had. She forced a wry smile to her lips. “Girl things, Simon.”
His face scrunched in confusion. He clearly didn’t believe her. And she knew ‘girl’ things wouldn’t put him off. “I’m worried about you, bao bei.”
The tenderness in his eyes and his voice nearly broke her heart. She felt like she was punishing him. But she wasn’t. And she didn’t know how to assure him that she would be back. She – she just needed to spend some time talking with Inara.
“Please talk to me.” The pleading look in his eyes caused her to swallow the sob rising in her throat. She leaned against his chest and hugged him tightly, inhaling the fresh scent that always seemed to permeate his skin.
“Can’t help me, sweetie. I just – need some time.” She looked up at him, into his pretty blue eyes wide with such overwhelming concern she felt instantly dizzy. “Remember when Early threatened me? I hid in my room for weeks.”
Simon nodded. “You weren’t married then. We weren’t so close. You have me now. All of me. I – I just want to help. Please let me help.” Simon didn’t understand what was happening. He didn’t know what to do. He felt powerless to do anything to help his wife and he needed to help her.
“You are helping me, sweetie.” She didn’t know how to explain. “’Nara just – she’s – she has more experience in this stuff. Training. Jus wanna talk to her, is all.”
Simon didn’t want to push. He didn’t want to upset Kaylee further. But he wanted to know why she couldn’t talk all day with Inara and simply come back to their bed at night. He suspected she wasn’t telling him everything that had happened and he desperately wanted her to confide in him. He didn’t understand why she didn’t, or couldn’t. They’d been so close. He was fearful of losing that now.
Kaylee kissed him again and stepped out of his arms. “It’ll only be a few days, honey. I promise.”
Simon stared after her, his heart in his eyes, fearing that they’d lost something that no amount of counseling or talking could regain.
“Don’t run away.”
Kaylee whirled at the soft, gentle sound. She was only a few steps from the quiet solitude of Inara’s shuttle and the sudden voice startled her more than she wanted to admit. She turned a shocked and tearful expression on River and tried to swallow past her fear.
“Not runnin’, sweetie,” Kaylee said, trying to steady her voice. “I just – need to spend some time with Inara. We got things to talk about.”
“Can talk to Simon.”
Kaylee looked away. She couldn’t talk to Simon, not about this. She couldn’t worry him needlessly. Inara said she could help her work past her fears and she trusted that her friend could do just that.
River surged forward and took Kaylee’s hands. “He can help. He wants to help. Let him.”
Kaylee shook her head fiercely, another inexplicable fear gripping at her heart. She had to force herself to calm her breathing, feeling a panic attack on the way. “No, sweetie, Simon needs to heal. He won’t heal right if he’s worryin’ on me. You’ll look after him for me, won’t ya?”
“He’ll worry anyway. Won’t listen to me.”
A small smile twitched at the corner of her mouth. “Big brothers never listen to little sisters, I know.”
River nodded, matching Kaylee’s small smile. “Even when he knows I’m right.” She shook her head. “He’s such a boob.”
The light, friendly banter reminded Kaylee of many times when they’d talked about how stubborn Simon could be. Kaylee tried to hold onto that good, happy feeling but it slipped through her trembling fingers. Her guilt over not being able to confide in her husband settled over her shoulders like a lead weight. She inhaled a shaky breath and tried to disengage their hands. “Won’t be gone long, sweetie.”
“I know.” Without another word, River turned and walked away.
Kaylee stared after her for a long moment before stumbling the remaining steps to Inara’s open shuttle door. Once inside, she collapsed against her friend in a state of utter despair, her sobs filling the small ship with anguish.
Later that night, Mal wandered into the galley looking like a lost, forlorn little puppy. Inara had asked him to stay in his old bunk for a few days while she and Kaylee talked over a few things. He’d felt a little off put and more than a little worried when she didn’t turn to him for comfort that she obviously needed. A wry grin curled his lips when he noticed Simon in the small kitchenette pouring some hot tea.
“There’s more if you’d like a cup,” Simon said as he walked slowly to the table and sank into the closest chair.
Mal nodded and wordlessly pour himself a cup. He stared at the back of Simon’s head for a long moment before joining him at the table.
After a long few minutes, it was Simon who finally broke the silence. “I don’t understand.”
Mal sighed into his own cup. ”Women are a confoundin’ species.”
Simon raised an eyebrow. “That’s an understatement, Captain.”
“Lil’ Kaylee didn’t feel much like talkin’ either, huh?”
“Not with me. Apparently.”
There was a bitter edge to his voice that Mal had never heard before and he winced. He loved Inara somethin’ fierce but Simon and Kaylee were married. He could only imagine what Kaylee’s decision to stay with Inara for a few days was doin’ to his medic.
“I’m ‘bout as lost as you are, truth be told,” Mal admitted, not looking at Simon.
Simon inhaled slowly, shakily. “There’s something they’re not telling us.”
“’Nara an lil’ Kaylee always been close. I –“
Simon’s head snapped toward the Captain. “Do you really think they are having one of their fun little girl talks?” Simon shook his head, not wanting to voice his true thoughts for fear of them coming true. “I – it’s something more. I know it is.”
“We’ll give ‘em a few days to get their bearin’s,” Mal said suddenly, drawing Simon’s gaze.
“I’m not sure I can give them that,” Simon confessed quietly.
Mal looked away; at the table, the wall, anything to keep from seeing the raw pain and defeat on Simon’s face. He knew, as he looked into his heart, where he kept all emotion locked tightly away, that the same pain written so plainly clear on Simon’s face would stare back at him if he looked into a mirror.
Silence fell again. Neither man knew what to say. The simply sat there, nursing their rapidly cooling tea and their wounded pride, worried that they had failed the woman they loved so badly that things would never again be the same.
And for gods sakes if you're going to rate the story, leave a review and tell me what you liked or didn't like. We get the e-mail alerts that ya left a rating anyway :)
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