BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

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Family--Part 2, Chapter 8/9
Thursday, June 1, 2006

This AU story takes place 9-10 years after "Serenity, the Pilot," and is Mal/Simon and River/Kaylee slash. Don't read if that's not your cuppa. Mal and Simon want a child. Will River and Kaylee help them out? Was there ever any doubt? Nine months in the life.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2867    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

DISCLAIMER: Don't own it, never did, never will--just having fun playing.

A/N: You should really read the first part of this story, if you haven't already. All chapters are interlinked. Chapter 1 Adult Only!, or an alternate beginning at Chapter 2 PG13

Part 2, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6 & 7

As always, thanks to kispexi2 for betaing this for me! Thanks to rhian_morwenna for making sure I got the medical stuff right! And thanks to woodsong_1978 for the final polishing! *g*

Feedback is my drug of choice. Feed my habit?

Chapter 8 Nine months in the life

They managed to keep River's pregnancy secret for almost a month. It took that long for Mal's injuries to heal sufficiently for him to have total mobility. Once he was up and about, keeping the secret had been impossible. Not only had he been in too good of a mood for someone who hadn't been able to get around easily for such an extended period, he'd taken to openly watching River and constantly asking if she needed anything. In short, his over-protective streak had been unleashed. Simon and Kaylee both tried to rein him in, while River tried to ignore him.

Finally, Zoë had asked outright, "What's gotten into you, Captain? Haven't seen you like this since... Oh."

"Yeah. 'Oh'," smiled Mal. "River's pregnant."

"Congratulations, Sir, but don't you think you'd better back off before either Kaylee or Simon resorts to violence?"

"Easier said than done," Mal grinned sheepishly, "but I reckon you're right."

"I am. When you gonna tell the rest of the crew?"

"Hadn't thought about it much, but reckon we might as well make an announcement soon."

"Sooner the better. Jayne's been lookin' at you, and I can almost see the wheels turnin' in that brain o' his, wonderin' what's up. And Shepherd and Inara don't deserve bein' left in the dark either."

"Conjure you're right. Let it go 'til tonight, though. Okay? We'll fill everybody in at dinner."

"Sounds like a plan."

"Hope it goes smoother than most of our other ones."

They had made the announcement at dinner that evening. Jayne had been a mite confused, first trying to figure out how two men could have a child and then trying to figure out how River got pregnant without sexin', but when Simon had explained, without a lot of detail, that it was a medical procedure, he'd accepted it with a "whatever floats your boat" attitude and continued eating. Inara had been genuinely pleased for them, as had Book.

***

Mal's over-protective streak continued unabated. Simon tried everything he could think of to keep Mal away from River. Whenever they were planetside, and a job was finished, Simon would take Mal shopping for supplies, out for dinner, out for a walk, anything to give Kaylee and River time together without interference. During downtime on the ship, they spent a lot of time in their bunk. Simon even went so far as to get a game of hoopball going now and then. He'd thought it had been hard distracting Mal after Eddie was born, but this was turning out to be even more difficult, especially since he wouldn't have minded spending a little time with his sister himself.

Pregnancy agreed with River. It smoothed her rough edges. The weight she gained looked good on her. She didn't suffer the usual complications of nausea and cravings. Sometimes, though, she seemed to withdraw into herself. When asked about that, she said she was "communing with new soul," which seemed logical. Zoë had done the same thing, just not as frequently.

Ever since River had learned to control her psychic abilities, she had talked in short, terse sentences. Using the fewest words possible to get her point across had allowed her to control the rest of her brain more easily. Now, though, she was frequently long-winded. It took some getting used to. Simon told Mal it was the closest he'd seen her be like her old self since she'd left home for The Academy. He'd tried to maintain a dispassionate front when he said it, but Mal had seen the residual hurt and anger in his eyes. Their love-making that night had been especially tender.

The first time Mal had felt the baby move, he'd been overawed. He thought he finally understood how Wash had felt during Zoë's pregnancies when he'd caught them cuddling at odd times. Of course, he couldn't touch River the same way Wash had touched Zoë, but he was grateful to her whenever she let him feel the baby. Occasionally, River would invite Mal and Simon into her and Kaylee's room. Once there, the four of them would talk quietly while Mal and Simon's joined hands lay on her stomach feeling their baby. The peace and contentment that came over Mal during those times was like nothing he'd felt since before the war.

Mal had asked not to be told the sex of their child. "Call me old-fashioned," he'd said, "but I want t' be surprised. Ain't like it'll make a difference anyways. It'll still be our child, and I'll love it the same, boy or girl." Not daring to say so, Simon had thought that was sweet, and had acquiesced.

***

As River reached the final stages of her pregnancy, it became harder for her to get around the ship. She was still graceful on her feet, but the extra bulk she was carrying made it difficult to get from one place to another. Kaylee and Mal had both expressed their concerns to Simon, who had told them not to worry, that everything was proceeding as normal.

"But Zoë was never that big," Mal had protested.

"It's all right, love. Every woman's body handles pregnancy differently. Trust me, River's fine," Simon had replied.

**

"She's havin' a hard time sleepin', Simon," Kaylee had told him. "Seems she can't get comfortable. Isn't there anything you can do?"

"I'm sorry, Kaylee. I know it's hard for you." Simon hugged Kaylee as she sniffled on his shoulder. "River can be a real grump when she's tired, and you're having to bear the brunt of that. But I don't want to give her a sedative. Anything I give her could also affect…"

"I know. It's just so hard."

"Shh, it's okay," Simon stroked her hair as he held her. "Have you tried any of the relaxation techniques we talked about?"

"Yeah. Sometimes they work, other times she just pulls away and won't let me near her."

"Do you want me to talk to her?"

"Oh, would you?"

"Of course I will. Don't know if it'll help any, after all I'm only her boob of a brother, but I'll try." Simon smiled when his comment had the desired effect of making Kaylee giggle. "Feel better now?"

"Yes, thank you." Kaylee smiled, wiped away her tears, kissed his cheek and left the infirmary.

**

Simon found River in the lounge off the kitchen where she was playing cards with Inara. He smiled at them when he walked in, but instead of interrupting them, he poured himself a cup of tea. He stood at the stove, blowing across the top of his cup to cool the tea, trying to make himself as unobtrusive as possible. He couldn't hear their conversation, just the gentle tones of Inara's voice, talking soothingly to River. River didn't seem to be upset, so, having learned tact somewhere along the way, he decided to leave them to their game and conversation, and took his cup of tea back to the infirmary with him. "Enjoy your game," he commented to them as he left. They both acknowledged him with small, secret smiles.

A short time later, as he was taking inventory of his supplies, River interrupted him, speaking from the doorway, "You worry too much, gē ge."

"Do I? I'm sorry. Old habit, you know," he said with a smile. "Would you like to sit down?"

"Not in here. Not time yet. Soon."

"Yes, you're right. It will be soon, and then you'll be able to get around just like before. Come on, let's go sit out here." He guided her to one of the chairs in the common room. "Kaylee tells me you're not sleeping well. Is there anything I can do?"

"She worries too much, too. Nothing to be done but wait. We're fine," River said as she gently rubbed her stomach.

"I know. Maybe if you take several short naps during the day?"

"Maybe. Tired now. Read to me?"

"Of course, mèi mèi. What would you like me to read? Some poetry, perhaps."

"Mmm…sounds good." River leaned back sleepily in the chair as Simon opened a book of poetry he found on the table. Soon the smooth tones of his voice, and the rhythm of the words, lulled her to sleep. Several minutes later Mal walked in on his way to the infirmary in search of Simon. Simon glanced up at him with a smile, but continued to read as Mal quietly sat down next to him. Mal leaned his head against the back of the couch, closed his eyes, and soon he, too, fell asleep as he listened to the sound and cadence of his husband's voice. They were still there two hours later, when Kaylee came looking for River, but by then Simon had stopped reading and joined them in slumber, his head on Mal's lap. Kaylee smiled sweetly as she turned down the light and went back to her engine, happy that River was finally getting some much needed rest.

Chapter 9

COMMENTS

Thursday, June 1, 2006 10:22 AM

AMDOBELL


Ah, sweet. I'm thinking though that it might have been a good idea if it had been Kaylee reading to River not Simon, so the two could have some quiet time together while he went off to find Mal but this works beautifully anyway. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, June 1, 2006 10:30 AM

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Ali,

Thanks! Glad you liked it. *g*

The thing about Kaylee reading is that she had asked Simon to talk to River, and this was his way of doing so. But I guess I could have included some quiet time with just Kaylee and River. Ah well, live and learn. *g*

"I love my captain."

Thursday, June 1, 2006 11:18 AM

LVS2READ


Wanmei,

Thanks! *blushes* Glad you're still enjoying this!

"I love my captain."

Thursday, June 1, 2006 11:25 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Ya know, Lvs2read...I rather like how ya have River handling being pregnant. Some other fic authors have had her going a bit more nutty in some ways from the excess hormones flowing through her. Your method is both plausible (I assume due to the meddling the Academy did to River's brain chemistry) and allows River to mature further with learning how to adapt while being a victim of horrible acts of cruelty:)

BEB

Thursday, June 1, 2006 11:33 AM

LVS2READ


BEB,

Oh, that's so very nice of you to say! *hugs* I'm so glad you think I handled it well!

And may I also say how grateful I am for all your positive comments throughout this story. I saw in the Pet Peeve thread that slash isn't necessarily something you like, and yet you've been nothing but supportive throughout this. Thank you, so much! *hugs again*

"I love my captain."


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