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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
"Kaylee and Simon move in together. The Captain and Jayne find more than they bargain for. Then to cap it all, Simon drops a bombshell."
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 2139 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
TITLE: "MANNERS MAKETH THE MAN"
AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL
PAIRING: Simon/Kaylee. Mal/Inara.
STATUS: SEQUEL to "COMPLICATIONS"
ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where.
SUMMARY: "Kaylee and Simon move in together. The
Captain and Jayne find more than they bargain for. Then
to cap it all, Simon drops a bombshell."
The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly'
are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.
No infringement of copyright is intended.
"MANNERS MAKETH THE MAN"
Written by Alison M. DOBELL
* * * * *
It felt good to be out of the infirmary and finding herself moved into Simon's quarters made her stomach feel all fluttery-like. Kaylee eased up off the bed, wanting to get a good look round before Simon came back. A movement in the corner made her jump. "Gorramit River, don't startle me like that! Nearly gave me a heart attack."
River was unrepentent, unable to wipe the smile off her face or the welcome from her eyes. "Couldn't risk the stairs."
Kaylee frowned, non plussed. "*Shenme*?"
"Oh." Kaylee looked down at her extended belly and smiled happily, a hand protectively cradling her precious burden. River helped her sit back on the bed. The girls smiled at each other then Kaylee let her eyes rove around the room, her eyes widening when she recognised bits and pieces from her room now side by side with Simon's things. "River?"
The girl grinned back at her. "I have your room now."
Kaylee wasn't sure how she felt about that. Part of her was happy to finally be sharing a bunk with Simon but part of her missed the room. Her things.
"It's alright, I helped."
"I'm sure you did, sweetie, it's just..."
River grabbed Kaylee's hand and tugged her back to her feet. Breathless but laughing, Kaylee let River slide the tatami door open so she could see into River's room and gasped. All her things had not simply been put in River's old room. They had been carefully laid out to mimic where they had been in her bunk. Kaylee blinked, her eyes going all misty from unshed tears. "Oh, River, it's beautiful!"
Then they were hugging. That was how Simon found them, hugging and crying and filling him with a rush of panic as he hurried towards them. "What happened?"
"It's okay Simon, it's just..." Kaylee let her eyes rove around the room then come back to rest on Simon. "Don't know how to thank you an' River."
The doctor in Simon watched her closely, with concern, mentally checking her over while the man in love couldn't stop the swell of his heart just to be this close to the object of his affections. Simon was a very private man, used to containing his emotions as well as following the rules of behaviour expected of a member of the Alliance elite. It was a structure as inbuilt in him as his manners. All sharpened with a keen intellect and ascerbic wit the equal of any verbal slight the 'verse could throw at him. River squeezed Kaylee's hand then left on a light patter of feet. Simon closed the door and gave Kaylee the most beautiful smile in the 'verse. Something in his eyes made her take a tiny little step back.
Simon's eyes glittered, amusement sparkling in them as he grinned and began to slowly advance on her. "Come into my parlour said the spider to the fly!"
"I ain't no fly... Hey, what'ya doin' Simon?"
Her words ended on a squeal as Simon pounced, then she was laughing uncontrollably. Simon's long sensitive fingers unerringly finding all her ticklish spots until they landed in an uneven giggling heap on the bed. Limbs entwined, faces filled with the tapering sounds of their laughter. Eyes with love. As the laughter faded away their lips met. Soft and slow, nothing rushed. Kaylee felt a sigh of content as Simon did his best to put his arms around her. Just as she thought it couldn't get any better than this Simon broke away with a look of shock on his face. "What was that?"
Kaylee smiled, took his hand and laid it gently over the bulge. Watching his face, Kaylee could have drowned in joy at the look of stunned awe that spread over the doctor's face when the baby kicked. His eyes big and round sought hers. "Was that...?"
The mechanic nodded, no power in the 'verse able to keep the happy from spilling out. "Yep, that's our baby Simon."
"Our baby!" He gushed in quiet amazement.
"'Course," Kaylee teased as she enjoyed his reaction. "We gotta think of a name."
Simon blinked. A name. Names. His expression darkened a little. How could he have been so stupid, so distracted? Kaylee felt a brush of worry.
The doctor blinked at her then smiled back, leaning in for a brief kiss. "Stay here, *bao bei*, I'll be right back!"
She pouted at him in confusion. "Where ya goin'?"
"There's something I have to do. Don't go anywhere 'til I get back, *dong ma*?"
Kaylee started to nod when Simon spun round and darted off. Gone. Kaylee stared at the empty doorway and held her arms out to the sides, a baffled look on her face. "Where'm I gonna go? We're on a gorram space ship!"
But Simon was out of hearing leaving Kaylee none the wiser.
It was hot work. Given the size of Serenity and the task before them the Captain was adamant they needed to check every single inch of his boat. Jayne thought he was taking his paranoia too far. "Huh, that's on'y 'til we find the transmitter, *dui*?"
The Captain had finished checking the valve on Jayne's suit, making sure he had a full tank of oxygen and that the seals were good. Jayne had done the same for him and now they were out on the asteroid surface, deep down in the trench River had found to hide them. The trench being so deep was also very dark, the light at the top cutting off into shadow before it could penetrate to their hiding place. Mal sealed the airlock and faced Jayne. "We can't assume there's on'y one transmitter, Jayne. What if they wanted to make sure, cover all the bases? My guess is one'll be pretty much in plain sight, the other hid somewhere sneaky."
"You're assumin' they think like ya."
"Let's hope they do."
Jayne blinked, trying to process that comment until it made sense. Instead he shook his head and gave up. Captain was already climbing up on to the top of the ship. He thought about telling his fool Captain not to waste his time then thought better of it. Would only waste gorram oxygen anyway.
River was humming up on the bridge, legs folded under her as she sat in the pilot's seat. She wasn't alone for long. Not turning round she could feel Zoe's eyes boring into the back of her head.
"What have you been tellin' my son?"
River swung the chair round and met the first mate's barely controlled anger with a calm that did nothing to reduce the tension. "The truth."
Zoe took a step towards her. She did not have Joshua with her. River knew the boy was in the shuttle with Inara. Knew Zoe wouldn't understand until the proof was standing right before her and even then it would be hard to accept. "The truth? Who are you to go puttin' your twisted thoughts in my child's head?"
"Transmigration of Souls."
"I don't wanna hear it! More than that, I don't want Joshua to hear it, *dong ma*?"
"Reincarnation. Karma. Ask Inara, she knows."
River looked sad. "Dying isn't simply the end, it's a new beginning."
There were tears in Zoe's eyes now and Zoe never cried. "Wash's dead, River. Why can't you let him rest in peace?"
River could have explained, told her, but Zoe was too close to the edge. Didn't want to break her again. Not when the healing had been going so shiny. "I miss him too." She murmured. Her words so soft that Zoe didn't hear them. Long after Zoe had gone River stared at the doorway. "You don't have to believe for it to be true."
Inara looked up as her shuttle door was opened. Worried by the look on Zoe's face, the grimness and tightness around her eyes not quite hiding the threat of tears. Joshua was asleep on the bed, a soft velvet throw wrapped around him to keep him warm. Make him feel safe.
"Zoe, I don't know what to say."
Zoe shook her head, the anger draining out of her as if she was full of holes. Feeling worn out she sank on to the sofa, her eyes dark and worried fighting back a pain she thought she had mastered. Inara got up and began to make them some tea, calming her own feelings and fears with the familiar routine. Slowly Zoe began to feel calmer.
"River told me to ask you."
That surprised Inara, though it really shouldn't. River was nothing if not unpredictable. "Ask me what?"
The first mate looked down at her hands. "About Reincarnation and Karma."
Inara turned to face her. "Some of us believe we live again. That our bodies are nothing more than a temporary suit of clothes. That we each have an immortal soul and that the spirit that animates that soul moves from life to life, learning, evolving."
Despite her funk Zoe felt a tinge of interest. "Then what's Karma?"
Inara took a seat beside Zoe. "Karma is like a cosmic form of cause and effect. In the physical world you know that if you hit a wall hard enough you can make it fall, *dui*?" Zoe nodded. "Karma is the same principle but spread over multiple lifetimes only it includes everything we think, do and say. Heart, mind and soul wrapped in one concept."
"So," Said Zoe slowly, trying to piece the notion together. "With Karma you're sayin' you push the wall in one lifetime, it falls over in the next?"
The Companion nodded, a smile on her face at the over simplification. "Yes, perhaps not quite so crudely as that but the principle is the same. It means that if you do bad things in one lifetime you always get to pay for your actions, if not in this life then the next or the one after that and so on. Conversely, if you do good in one life it will be paid back to you in this life or another. It is called the Law of Karma."
"An' what about," Zoe frowned, trying to recall River's exact words. "The Transmigration of Souls? What's that all about?"
Inara sighed. This was the difficult one, the one that carried an ocean of pain in a concept that should bring enlightenment and peace. "It's the means by which Souls move on, from body to body, life to life."
She shook her head. "Not buyin' that, once you're dead you're dead otherwise the 'verse would be over run with ghosts an' suchlike. Be no room left for the livin'."
"That's a common misconception."
"It is believed that there are never any more or less souls in existence at any one time. Always there will be those caught between, either because they need to rest between painful lives or need longer to adjust to the notion of rebirth and all it entails. Sometimes a spirit just isn't ready to start again with a new body, a new project, a new corner of the soul to master. Those that want or need to return choose the moment, the timing, and the vessel."
Zoe blinked. She looked stunned. "You believe all this *goushi*?"
The Companion's look was gentle. Such love and caring in her eyes that Zoe could not disbelieve that Inara meant every word she said, even though Zoe could not grasp something so alien and far fetched. Maybe it was one of them exotic fairytales told in Core worlds to assure the elite that what they stole and cheated others out of in one lifetime they could take with them to the next? Yeah. That sounded about right. Screwed in one lifetime, screwed in the next. Like Harkan had once said, for some the War is never over. Looked like only the battlefields changed.
It wasn't every day that things just fell into Jayne Cobb's lap but gorramit, today was the day. Hardly able to contain his glee he grabbed the transmitter and yelled into his helmet mike. "Found it, Mal! It was like ya said, the sucker was hid in plain sight."
There was a slight delay before the Captains' voice floated back to him. "That's good Jayne, real good. Where was it?"
Jayne frowned, where was it? What kind of weird ass question was that and what in *diyu* did it matter?
"It was near the front stabiliser leg, why?"
"Not askin', Jayne!"
The big man muttered something physically impossible and definitely obscene half under his breath.
"Oh, an' Jayne?"
"Yeah what?" Growled the mercenary in a less than happy tone.
"Whatever you do don't smash up the transmitter or switch it off, *dong ma*?"
Jayne's frown deepened. "*Weishenme bu*?"
"'Cause whoever put it there knew we'd find it which means it could be booby trapped."
Silence utter and total fell. Jayne stared at the transmitter in his gloved hand as if he was holding a hand grenade and Mal had just pulled the pin. How had his shiny day gone so quickly to ratshit?
Simon looked everywhere but for once he couldn't find hide nor hair of the Captain. Stepping on to the bridge he could see immediately that no one but his sister was on it. He frowned, mystified. River was staring intently out of the main window.
"River, have you seen the Captain?"
"Where is he?"
Simon blinked and took another glance around. When he stepped closer to his sister she pointed out of the window. "There!"
The doctor dipped his head and looked where River was pointing. His eyes widening in disbelief at the sight of the Captain climbing over the ship in an EVA suit. What in the nine hells was he doing?
"He's looking for barnacles."
Simon blinked. Was the Captain rubbing off on his sister or was she rubbing off on the Captain? Either way it did not bode well for the sanity of the rest of the crew. He knew he would regret asking but he had to know. "Barnacles?"
"Yes, but we're no whale."
"River, what are you talking about?"
"Bugs. Transmitters." She paused and watched Simon's face. "They found one, looking for the others."
It took a moment for Simon to realise what she was talking about then relief hit him hard. "Good, then we can stop worrying about being pursued."
"Stop is a relative term, Simon."
"What do you mean, *mei mei*?"
"The wolf doesn't go away just because the prey goes into hiding. He waits, a patient hunter. The Black isn't safe any more."
"But if they don't know where we are..."
"You aren't listening, Simon! They *always* know where we are."
That was when he saw the tears in her eyes, the sorrow that never quite went away making something in his chest ache. He had been so happy, so bursting with the need to talk to the Captain. Now everything was in jeopardy. The past a constant scourge that would come back to haunt him and his sister no matter where they went. A wave of depression settled over him. River reached out and touched his hand, a watery smile a tenative olive branch. Simon smiled back, even though his heart was not in it.
"Now you understand."
"Yes, but what good will it do if they catch us?"
His words almost choked him as he realised it would not just be him and River, it would Kaylee too. The crew would suffer because of them. Simon put his head in his heads. "*Wode ma*, River, what can we do?"
A voice interrupted the downturn in Simon's hope. "Not nothin' if all you're gonna do is cry about it."
Simon lifted his head and stared as if the man was an apparition. The Captain stood with his helmet in one hand and a couple of transmitters in the other. He was still suited up and there was perspiration on his face but he looked pleased. Not so happy when he saw the look on his doctor's face. Behind the Captain they could now hear Jayne Cobb stomping along the catwalk. Simon swallowed and tried to bring himself back under control. "You, you found the bug?"
The Captain smiled and held up the transmitters, two black oblong boxes with wires hanging down blinking at them. Simon tried to move back but the console was in the way. He pointed at the transmitters. "They're blinking."
"That'd be 'cause they're still workin'."
The doctor blinked. Confused. Was the man a total *baichi*? "We have to switch them off, destroy them, or, or..."
"*Rongyi*, Simon, don't panic. First we gotta make sure it's safe to swich 'em off."
Now Simon was beyond confused. "Why wouldn't they be safe to switch off?"
"That's what I asked him." Grumbled Jayne coming up behind the Captain. Simon noticed the mercenary was carrying another transmitter. How many of those gorram things had been attached to the ship?
"They got them all." River answered Simon's unspoken question. "Never bet against Ahab when he's fighting the whale."
Ten minutes lates Kaylee sat at the big table in the commons room and stared at the three devices. Both the Captain and Jayne were out of their bulky suits and Inara had made tea for everyone. Zoe sat with a now wide awake and curious Joshua on her lap, her arms round him as much to keep him close as to stop him scrambling over to Kaylee to help dismantle the transmitters. Their luck being what it was it didn't need a push in the wrong direction.
"Can you disable 'em, little Kaylee?"
His not-so-little mechanic finished giving the devices a thorough once over then beamed up at the Captain. "Piece of cake, Cap'n."
"That mean they ain't booby trapped?" Said Jayne hopefully. Curious but wary.
"Oh they're booby trapped an' all." Said Kaylee cheerfully. "Good work too, precision stuff."
Jayne paled. Truth to tell he hadn't really believed the Captain. He shot the man a covert look of respect. Maybe the Captain did know what he was doing most of the time after all.
Simon shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "Um, point of interest? What would have happened if we tried to switch them off or distroy them without disabling them?"
"They'd detonate. Be a pretty big explosion too, guess that's why they planted three of 'em. Do more damage." Simon paled at Kaylee's happy description. Kaylee was working carefully on the first transmitter, a really thin screwdriver making short work of the connections without tripping the detonator. "But they ain't just ord'n'ry devices. See here?"
Everyone leaned closer to get a look.
"This is high tech work, this transmitter has a secondary smaller unit inside."
"What's that do?" Said Jayne.
"It's on'y for short distance transmissions. The idea is simple but smart. Anyone finds one of the transmitters an' switches it off it sets off this other switch which turns on all three detonators." Kaylee looked up from her work with an impressed grin. "Then boom, everything blows!" Her look darkened as she realised what she was saying. Kaylee looked up at the Captain, now serious as a heart attack. "If you had missed just one of these devices, Cap'n, we'd all be chewin' hard vacuum now."
It was late. Everyone was either in their bunks sleeping or getting ready to do just that. Simon chose his moment and followed the Captain into the commons room. No one else was about. The Captain turned to see who was behind him and raised a curious brow as he washed his mug out. "Somethin' on your mind, doc?"
Now that it came to it Simon was nervous. He didn't know what to do with his hands, whether to stand, walk, sit or pace. Wanted to be anywhere but here and doing anything but this. But this was for Kaylee. "You said that even though all the transmitters were found we had to stay in hiding."
Not sure what the doctor was heading towards, the Captain put the mug on the drainer and leaned back, arms crossed, a patient look on his face. "Uh huh. Your sister said somethin' about waiting out the fox or somesuch. Or was it a wolf?"
It never ceased to amaze Simon that the Captain actually listened to his sister. He was her brother and half the time he had no clue what she was talking about and yet she seemed able to connect with the Captain in ways he could not. He should be alarmed, disturbed, only he wasn't. "How long do you think we need to stay in hiding?"
"Got no notion on that. River seems to think it'll be a couple of weeks."
Alarm flashed in Simon's eyes. "We can't stay here that long, Captain!"
Mal's eyes narrowed. "Why not?"
"What if Kaylee goes into labour? She's already started once, if it happens again..."
"Simon." Simon blinked. When had the Captain stepped up to him and put a hand on his shoulder? "It is what it is, *dong ma*? Baby won't come in your time. Trust me, better we play safe."
"So we're going to stay here until my sister says the coast is clear?"
The Captain crossed his arms again, his lips quirking with amusement. "Somethin' like that but that's not what this is about is it?"
The doctor blinked. "What do you mean?"
"You been lookin' for me so I hear."
Ah. River. "Yes. I wanted to ask you something." Simon paused, took a deep steadying breath and looked the Captain in the eye. If he was going to do this he was going to do it properly. "Captain Reynolds, I know you are not Kaylee's father but you care for her and look after her like one." Simon gulped in another breath, not sure if he was relieved or not that the Captain didn't say anything. "What I am trying to say is that I love Kaylee very much, with all my heart, and in the absence of her father I am formally asking you for her hand in marriage. I promise faithfully to love, honour and protect her for the rest of my life."
The Captain stared at Simon, stunned and mightily impressed. Now that he was noticing he could see that the boy was all smartened up. Clothes looked pressed though they had no iron of any kind on the boat. Shoes were shiny, hair slicked back, and face all shaved if he was any judge. Not that he thought the doc had to run a razor over his face more'n twice or three times a week but still. He was man enough to stand up and say his piece and Mal knew he wasn't weak. "Simon," Said the Captain softly. "While I'm all kinds of flattered to be asked I ain't Kaylee's pa as you so rightly pointed out but that ain't what's confusin' me. Why the rush?"
He was not sure but it looked like a pale red flush was creeping up the doc's neck. Gorramit, was the boy blushing? "Um, it's just the baby could come any time Captain and I would like to marry Kaylee before that happens. So that our child will be born in wedlock."
Mal just stared at him. Simon actually straightened up a little more, his chin lifting as if to defy any derisory comment the Captain might make, not that he was making any.
"I want our child to have my name. I want Kaylee to be more than someone I just have a relationship with, Captain. I want her to be my wife."
The Captain felt mighty moved. There was no doubt that when the doc set his mind to do something he did it right. Made a man proud. "Well now, knowin' as I do that Kaylee thinks the 'verse revolves around you an' that you pretty much feel the same 'bout her, I'd be happy to give my blessin' Simon. Not sure how much it'll mean but anythin' I can do to help you have on'y to..."
"There is something else now that you mention it, Captain."
"...ask." The Captain paused, noting the doctor looked much more confident now that he had Mal's approval. "What would that be?"
"Um, I'm not sure how this is done but River assures me that as ship's Captain you have the right to marry people on your ship?"
Okay, so he wasn't expecting that. Mal stared at him for a couple of long seconds, his mind a fog. As the fog began to clear he got his brain back into gear. "Well, yeah, it's in the rules an' such but I ain't never..."
"Will you, Captain, please? I know we don't always see eye to eye but I do respect you and it would mean so much to me. I know Kaylee would be delighted."
Well, now, that was low bringing his little *mei mei* into it but Mal was in no mind to refuse the doc anyway. Was relieved in fact that he thought enough of Kaylee to do right by her. The Captain gave a slow genuine smile. "In that case, how can I refuse such a handsome request?"
Simon had chosen his moment well. Almost everyone was in their bunks. He had managed to corner the Captain on his own and with the obstacles falling before him a great weight lifted off him and a smile spread across his face. His quick walk back to his quarters turned into an impatient run. He couldn't wait to get back to Kaylee to tell her the good news.
Up on the bridge, River sat curled up in the pilot's chair. Even though the ship wasn't going anywhere it soothed her to be there. Big old tears welled up in her eyes and slowly rolled down her pale cheeks. She was happy for Simon, happy for Kaylee, but there was a part of her that would never be quite whole. "Always the bridesmaid never the bride." She murmured. The slow soothing hum of Serenity's heartbeat seemed to enfold her, helping to ease her own pain and sadness. As the last of her tears dried she couldn't help thinking of what was to come. Kaylee would be her sister-in-law! She would be a bridesmaid! Feeling much better she jumped to her feet and went to her new bunk, smiling as she looked at the lights around the door and Kaylee's name winding round the stencilled flowers. Yes, she could be happy for them but first she needed to get some sleep. Big day tomorrow. What would she wear?
CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)
*shenme* = what *bao bei* = precious/treasure *dong ma* = understand?
*dui* = correct *goushi* = crap/dog shit *diyu* = hell *qu* = yes (lit. go)
*weishenme bu* = why not? *mei mei* = little sister *wode ma* = mother of God
*baichi* = idiot *rongyi* = easy
Sunday, June 11, 2006 6:11 AM
Sunday, June 11, 2006 11:14 AM
Sunday, June 11, 2006 12:19 PM
Sunday, June 11, 2006 7:25 PM
Sunday, June 11, 2006 10:40 PM
Monday, June 12, 2006 3:01 PM
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 1:49 AM
Saturday, November 5, 2011 6:54 PM
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