Objects in Space: Alternate Ending
Friday, May 5, 2006

This idea came to me and then just wouldn't leave. One-shot. Possibly a PG-15.


You ever been raped?

Kaylee lay there, scared witless. Scared of the man who threatened her in a way she’d hoped all her life, prayed even, she’d never be threatened. Scared of what he would do to River. Scared of what Simon would think of her, when he found out River had been taken from under their noses, and she’d told them where to look.

After a while, Kaylee heard noise coming from the stairs. Looking up, she saw Simon walking up. She wanted to shout out, for help, but then Kaylee saw him, the man, holding a gun to Simon’s back. She watched as he directed Simon towards the bridge. Her arms hurting where the grating dug in, Kaylee propped herself up slightly so she could see. Just after a few seconds, she collapsed, trying not to make any noise. Then she heard River.


Kaylee shivered. Even though she was hiding where River told her to, behind some crates in the cargo bay, she still felt unsafe. The man, who River had revealed to be a bounty hunter, was still on the ship, and Kaylee didn’t like the idea of what would happen to her if he caught her. She clutched her knees to her chest, trying to listen out for the man who wanted to hurt her in ways not even present in nightmares. She perked up, hearing a commotion. Sounds from the bridge echoed down to her, all quiet, but still audible. She listened closely, knowing it was Simon fighting for River, wherever she was.


It wasn’t a loud gunshot, but it triumphed as a noise above all others before it in Kaylee’s mind. She bit down on her fist, trying not to scream. She felt a tear run down her cheek, the second time today. She wiped it away, sniffing. There was more commotion, then she heard the hatch open. The man must have gone, got what he came for. Without a seconds hesitation, she ran for the stairs, leaping them two at a time in an effort to hurry. She saw the hatch close, and heart in her mouth, ran to the bridge. Simon was lying on the stairs, blood dripping from his leg. Zoe and Wash were crouched next to him, Zoe applying pressure to the bullet wound. Simon looked up, seeing Kaylee. His face lit up.

‘Kaylee!’ He said, stumbling forwards. Wash caught him, and Simon stood there, transfixed by her. He touched her head, her neck, her shoulders, arms, as if checking she was really there. ‘Are you okay? Did Early…hurt you?’ He said. Kaylee shook her head.

‘He didn’t hurt me none.’ She said. He smiled, wincing as Zoe attempted to fix a makeshift bandage to the wound. Satisfied, she stood up and observed her work, seeming proud of it. Kaylee got in under his right arm, with Wash under his left, as they helped him walk along. ‘He hurt you pretty bad. Gotta get you to the infirmary.’ She said. Simon watched her, smiling. Kaylee smiled back. Seemed to grow close, each time they got hurt, Kaylee thought. Her with her stomach wound, and Simon with his leg wound. She hoped they wouldn’t make a habit of it. As they reached the bottom floor, standing at the end of the stairs, Kaylee turned to Simon, a question forming in her head.

‘How’d he threaten you?’ Simon stopped, looking puzzled.


‘Early must’ve done something to get you to help him, what’d he say he‘d do?’ She asked.

‘He threatened to blow my brains out.’ Simon said. Kaylee shook her head, denying him that answer.

‘I know you, Simon Tam. You’d have died for River, Heck, you gave up your life for her. What’d he threaten?’

‘Tell her.’ They both spun around, Simon wincing again as more pain spread through his leg. The pain was quickly overcome by joy, however, as his face lit up upon seeing River, standing there in a spacesuit.

‘River! You’re safe! What happ-’ River interrupted him.

‘Tell her why.’ Simon paused, digesting this. He turned back to Kaylee.

‘When Early spoke to me, he didn’t just threaten to kill me.’ Simon took a deep breath, as if contemplating his next few words. ‘He said that after that, he’d hurt you. That he would…’ He trailed off. ‘I wasn’t going to let someone I care about get hurt because of me.’ Kaylee’s eyes widened. He turned back to River. ‘I’m sorry I didn’t refuse to help, but I couldn’t let him hurt her. I care for her. I’m sorry. I failed you.’ River shook her head, smiling.

‘You did the right thing, you silly boob.’ Simon grinned. Once again, he turned to Kaylee.

‘Kaylee, I-’ He began, and was interrupted almost immediately as Kaylee grabbed hold of him by the scruff of his top, pressing her lips to his. Simon stood in shock for a second, before he embraced Kaylee, pulling her to him. He ignored the immense pain in his leg, knowing that this was worth any discomfort. He opened his mouth, feeling Kaylee shove her tongue down his throat. He quickly followed suit. Wash and Zoe stood by, agape. River watched, smiling her usual content smile. Mal over, attempting to go downstairs before he saw his medic and mechanic, passionately embracing each other and making out, as if they were all alone. He looked like he was going to say something before River scowled at him, shaking her head. He shut his mouth silently, Inara walked over past the infirmary, and saw them. She smiled, knowing Kaylee finally got what she’d been chasing after all these months, and Simon, dropping his propriety and finally just doing the right thing.

They broke apart, Kaylee smiling like a child given a new puppy, and Simon looking as if he’d won the lottery. They held each other in silence, faces centimetres apart.

‘You know,’ Kaylee said, grinning from ear to ear, ‘We really should get you to the infirmary.’

‘Probably.’ Simon replied, giving Kaylee a run for her money. Mal cleared his throat. They turned their heads towards him, and Kaylee felt Simon begin to let go of her, but she pulled him closer, feeling him regain his confidence.

‘I think she may be right on that point, doc.’ He said. Simon winced, feeling the pain spread through his leg once again. Kaylee kissed him again, and Simon felt the pain disappear as it had before.

‘Do you mind?’ Mal asked. After a few seconds, they broke again, smiling once more.

‘No, not really.’ Simon told him.

‘Come on,’ Kaylee said, leading him towards the infirmary, ‘You gotta go. Mechanic’s orders.’ Simon pouted.

‘Tyrant.’ She gave him a last kiss before helping him onto the bed. Simon called Zoe in to help, instructing her to get some items out of the various cupboards around the room. ‘Looks like I’m going to be a bit busy.’ He said, grinning sheepishly.

‘I’ll be waiting.’ She said, holding his hand for a few seconds longer, before departing from the infirmary.


As Kaylee watched Zoe and Wash help Simon, Inara hugged her, resting Kaylee’s head on her shoulder. She looked down at the girl, smiling away at what life might be like from now on.

‘Good for you, mei mei.’ Inara said, and Kaylee beamed. To be honest, Inara thought, she was a more than a little jealous of the young mechanic. Early had dropped into their lives like a bombshell, and left just as quickly. It had really shaken them both up, but Kaylee had found respite in that her relationship with Simon had gone up a notch. Oh, the possibilities. She glanced over at Mal. He looked both angry and upset. Inara tried to see things from his point of view. His ship had been invaded, he’d been knocked out, his mechanic trussed up, his medic held at gunpoint and his…Inara paused, not knowing how Mal truly felt about her. As well as that, however, Simon and Kaylee had stepped up their relationship to romance, something that she knew full well Mal didn’t approve of. Well, Inara thought, Kaylee hadn’t stopped when it was just a crush. Why would she stop now?


Many hours had passed since Early’s departure, and Simon was propped up in his bed, with Kaylee sitting on his lap. He’d put his arms around her, and she sighed as he kissed her cheek. He rested his head on her shoulder, before turning to her and looking into her eyes with an expression of mischief.

‘You know, we’re in my room.’ He said.

‘Yeah.’ She said, resting back, letting his chest support her.

‘We’re alone in my room.’ He continued. He raised his eyebrows conspiratorially. She playfully brushed her hand across his face, laughing.

‘You have a dirty mind for a doctor.’ She said, grinning.

‘Well, I‘ve been all nice and clean for so long, I thought I might as well give it a try.’ He replied.

‘Where’s all that propriety and stuff?’ Kaylee asked.

‘Hasn’t really been a proper day.’ She looked back at him, curiously.

‘How so?’ His jaw dropped, and he pointed to his leg.

‘I got shot.’ He repeated the motion, indicating the big, blood-stained bandage, mocking a shocked expression. ‘Right here.’

‘Well, I bet I can make you forget all that.’ She said. She got up, turning around without leaving the bed, and settling back down again, this time straddling him.

‘I bet you can.’ He pushed away her hair out of the way of her face, and kissed her softly. He looked over her shoulder and sighed. ‘Not now though.’ She looked distressed. Was this his propriety taking hold again?

‘Why?’ She said, sounding a little distressed. She’d waited so long! Why now, when she was so close? He nodded towards the doorway, indicating the figure standing there, smirking.

‘Looks like you two gonna be having some fun these next few weeks.’ Mal said. Kaylee grabbed a pillow and tossed it at Mal, who held up his arms in defence.

‘Captain!’ She whined.

‘Now, now, Kaylee, we work before we play.’ He said, still smirking. She sighed, turning back to Simon.

‘You wait here, okay?’ She said, brushing aside his hair and planting a kiss on his forehead.

‘Yes, mistress.’ He said, jokingly. She tilted his head down to look at her, and gave him one last passionate kiss, feeling him pull her close. When they broke, she beamed at him, and he thought that she looked the happiest he’d ever seen her.

‘And don’t you forget it.’ She said, before leaving the room, closing the door behind her. Simon rested back on the bed, attempting to get some rest, just as the door opened again, and Mal entered.

‘Kaylee finally got through to you, I take it?’ He asked. Simon nodded. ‘She’s been pining after you for a while now. You near enough gave up your sister so that Early wouldn’t harm her, and I appreciate that. She’s a good, sweet girl with a kind heart.’ He put his hands palm down on the end of the bed, and leant forwards menacingly. ‘Which is why I say this. Now, you know I don’t much like shipboard romances, but I knew this day would come most like. Now, we all care for Kaylee. We love her, she’s family. Now,’ he began, his voice growing deeper, almost growling, ‘If you harm a hair on her head, or make her cry in any nasty fashion, you’ll be out the airlock. I know you have to care for your sister, and we might do that for a spin, if she proves useful. Could always use a reader. That, however, will not stop us hurting you if you hurt Kaylee. Dong ma?’ Simon stared in horror nearly half a minute, before swallowing his heart, which had risen to his throat, and composing himself.

‘Yes, I understand. But let me assure you Captain, I would never do a thing to harm Kaylee.’ Simon told him. Mal nodded, accepting this, and leant back off the bed, dropping his menacing persona.

‘Good. Now that’s all out and clear, you get your rest. Much as you want Kaylee,’ God, Mal thought, gonna take a while to get that image out my brainpan, ‘You might wanna rest a while. Don’t want her to ruin all the good work Zoe did.’ With that, he left, closing the door behind him. Simon lay back, finally attempting to get some well deserved rest, when the door opened for a third time and River walked in.

‘You told Kaylee.’ She smiled. ‘Finally.’

‘I know, I know, I’ve been all “proper”’ He said, raising his hands in defeat. ‘Now, can I get some rest?’ River nodded, walking back to the door. As it closed, she spoke some last few words to him.

‘Not such a boob after all.’



The family, as Mal had put it, sat round the table. Mal and Inara sat next to each other, looking apprehensive. Jayne sat down next to Book, eyeing the food spread out across the surface. River sat all by herself, between two empty chairs. Book looked up, spotting the lack of the new couple.

‘Where are Simon and Kaylee?’ He asked.

‘Kaylee’s spreading, Simon’s loving.’ River said, twirling her food about on her fork. Mal choked, spluttering. Inara paused, her spoon halfway to her mouth. Zoe and Wash exchanged knowing glances, grinning. A smirk spread across Jayne’s face as he noticed the Captain‘s obvious displeasure at this information. Book looked shocked, his mouth catching flies.

‘Oh.’ He, breaking the awkward silence. Mal swallowed, and turned to River, quite upset.

‘What’cha go and say that for?’ He asked, as Zoe began chuckling.

‘Trying to see what speaking like Jayne feels like.’ She said, rubbing her throat and mouthing a few more words. ‘Crude, but effective.’ With that, River chomped down on whatever delicacy she’d been playing with. Wash leaned back, grinning at Jayne.

‘Crude but effective. Jayne in a nutshell.’ He said.

‘Damn straight.’ Jayne added.

‘It’s…sweet,’ Inara said, searching for the right words, ‘Those two getting together.’

‘Well, I don’t think we need a blow,’ Mal shuddered, ‘by-blow commentary.’ He glanced scathingly at River.

‘I wouldn’t mind none.’ Jayne said.

‘You might learn something.’ River said to Jayne, and the crew burst out laughing, with the notable exception of Book, Jayne and Mal. A nervous smile played Book’s lips. Mal turned to him, looking for help.

‘Don’t you have something to say about doing…that…before wedlock?’ Mal asked. Book looked towards the ceiling, as if looking for spiritual guidance.

‘Well…’ He began, before gaining confidence and looking Mal in the eye, ‘I believe that when the Bible speaks of “no sex before marriage”, it can be interpreted as “no sex before commitment”, not as such an actual marriage, more a spiritual one, a union of souls.’ He smiled, looking proud of his statement. Mal stared open mouthed as his last resource for support vanished before his eyes. Inara grinned at his gob-smacked expression.

‘Oh Mal, it is sweet. Kaylee finally got her man, and Simon finally dropped a few personal barriers.’

‘That’s not all he dropped.’ Jayne said, grinning. Zoe, River and Inara gave him you-will-die-a-slow-and-painful-death looks. His smile vanished. ‘What?’

‘If you don’t stop, I’ll tell them why you’re so interested.’ River said to him. Everyone stared at her. Jayne’s mouth opened and closed like a goldfish, too shocked for words.

‘You wouldn’t.’ She raised an eyebrow, daringly.

‘Then stop.’ Jayne sighed.

‘Gorram mind reader.’ He muttered.


Kaylee lay beside him, breathless. The feeling of their bodies together was incredible, better than she’d ever imagined. It had been everything she’d thought it would be and more. Nuzzling up to his cheek, she rested, feeling him hold her to him. She felt Simon run his hands through her hair playfully, and sighed with pleasure.

‘That was…brilliant.’ Simon said, looking down into her eyes.

‘Shiny, even.’ She said, stroking his cheek. He took her hand and kissed it, like she’d seen in the ballroom on Persephone. ‘Being a gentlemen now, are you?’

‘I can if you want.’ He said. She wriggled her hips, feeling him grow larger inside her. ‘Someone wants more.’ Kaylee got up on top, straddling him.

‘Someone does.’ She saw him eyeing her, like a art lover observing a masterpiece.

‘God, Kaylee, you’re gorgeous.’ She giggled.

‘Why, thank you.’

‘No, I mean it. I’ve never met anyone as beautiful as you.’ She leant down and kissed him, bringing him back up with her as she sat up straight. He wrapped his arms round her, and she felt her breasts squeezed between them. She wriggled more, and he moaned into her. For a while longer, he just held her there, their lips sealed together as if permanently fused. When they broke, she pushed him down onto the bed and led his hands to cup her breasts. She groaned inwardly with pleasure as she felt him play with them, and started moving.


River paused at the table, listening out. She felt them mix, their emotions from the last eight months spilling into this one moment. They’d been in love for some time, but Simon had been such a boob, not doing anything with Kaylee. She sighed, before getting on with eating. So many relationships. Simon and Kaylee, Zoe and Wash, maybe eventually Mal and Inara. Then there was her, Jayne, and the preacher, left in the world by themselves. She considered her options for about a second, before shaking her head in despair. The food on her plate just didn’t seem appetising enough. Pushing it away, she walked down to her room. Maybe, she thought, just maybe she could hear enough to find out what all the fuss was about.


Friday, May 5, 2006 11:47 AM


Ahh, if only it could have ended like that for real! That'd be my happy fantasy.

River wanted to listen in, huh? And why did Jayne want to? Just because he likes to watch?

>‘Kaylee’s spreading, Simon’s loving.’ River said,

Made me laugh out loud. And since I'm at work, it got me all kinds of funny looks.

Friday, May 5, 2006 7:09 PM


Hmmm...Maybe a little too fast? I can see Kaylee goin' all crazy, but I think Simon's too shy to get so committed. I mean the last thing they did was hold hands in The Message, right?

I certainly wish it ended like that, but technically it ended at Heart of Gold for me.

The dinner scene was an excellent piece of writing. I can just see Mal chokin on his food lol

Tuesday, May 9, 2006 6:41 PM


That's how I would've ended it


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