Thursday, November 16, 2006

Simon spends some quality time worrying. Set after BIRTHDAY and before we get down to some more story-telling. Let me know if you like or loath it!


Out of all the crew, Simon was the one who probably worried the most. He’d been doing it for so long it had sort of become second nature to him. First with River, every day waiting for another of her odd letters from the Academy, knowing something was wrong but not seeing a way to help. Then actively trying to get her out, worrying that he was going to get caught, but worse worrying he wasn’t going to be successful.

Even when he’d sprung her, he worried that they’d be found, that he couldn’t help her and she’d be sent back.

And now he had all these other people to worry about. Hardly a week went by that he wasn’t sewing up a knife wound, removing a bullet or applying some kind of dressing. For five months he’d worried about Bethany, every day, waking in the night so he could worry some more.

Only it seemed all his worry had paid off. She was perfect. Lying on the medbed in front of him, gurgling and smiling at him, her little arms waving, wanting him to pick her up and hold her. Only he wasn’t finished.

Lifting up the tub of talc, he shook it over her, causing a cloud of white particles to fill the air. He sneezed, and Bethany gurgled even more, her version of laughing. Waving the cloud away, he looked down and considered that was probably enough.

Or maybe it wasn’t. Was there an optimum quantity of talcum powder you should use when changing a baby? Did it make a difference if you used too much? He understood the physical mechanism of dry lubrication, but … and then there was the cream. Didn’t the talc just get absorbed by it? If you used too much, did it sort of clump together, causing irritation? He shook his head. In this case, probably less was more.

Putting down the tub he took hold of the corner of the terry diaper. Kaylee had been insistent. Out in space there was no way they were going to use disposables. Apart from anything else, there was no guarantee they were actually going to be able to find somewhere selling them, so she’d bought the old-fashioned kind. Simon had almost gotten used to the clinical smell of the bin in the nursery, reminding him of some of the more unsavoury places in the hospital where he used to work.

So far Kaylee hadn’t made him empty it and deal with the soiled contents, but he knew that was coming.

He shook his head and pulled the other two corners into the middle, fiddling with them to get them into the right place. This was harder than it looked. What he really need was three hands. Or preferably someone else to do this. Holding all three corners in one hand, he picked up the large safety pin, waiting, already open. Making sure his fingers were between Bethany and the nappy, he pushed through the fabric.

And straight into his finger.

Letting go of the diaper he cursed loudly and stuck his finger into his mouth, tasting the metallic flavour of his own blood on his tongue.

“’N’ I was the one told not to swear in front of the squirt,” Jayne said from the doorway.

“I stabbed myself,” Simon explained, somewhat incoherently.

“So I figured.” Jayne stepped into the infirmary. ”Kaylee ain’t gonna be too pleased she finds out the first words this little’un says are cusses. And believe me, I ain’t gonna let her think it was me.”

Simon took his finger from his mouth and examined the stab, still welling a little blood. “Why don’t you help instead of making stupid comments like that?”

Jayne shrugged and stepped to the medbed. Bethany smiled at him. “Don’t see why you’re makin’ such a meal outta this, doc. It’s real simple.” He picked up the discarded pin and, his hands as gentle as Simon had ever seen, pulled the corners together, deftly sliding the point through the terry-cloth and fastening it.

“How … how did you …” Simon stuttered to a halt.

Jayne let Bethany take hold of his large finger, her entire fist not meeting around it. “My ma had me changing my brother soon as he was born,” Jayne explained. “And he used to need it doing on a regular basis. Never did see a baby needed so many diapers as Matty.” He looked up at Simon. “Didn’t you ever change River?”

“Um, no,” Simon admitted. “We had a nurse: I don’t think my mother even …” He swallowed. “Thanks.”

“Hell, weren’t nothing.” Jayne looked back down at the baby, now trying to suck on his finger. “Happy thing, ain’t she?”

“Like her mother,” Simon agreed.

“Got that right.” Jayne took his finger from her tiny hand and glanced down at the used nappy. “Better get that one in the box, doc. Before it stinks the place out and Mal starts complainin’. And he will.” With that the big man strode out of the infirmary.

Simon stared after him, then jumped slightly as River appeared in the doorway.

“He’s going to make a good father,” she said, patting her belly. “Some day.” She smiled ethereally and wandered off.

Now Simon was really worried.


Friday, November 17, 2006 2:10 AM


Perfect insight into Simon and all his worry. I think the ratio of talc to baby was my favorite moment.

Although, did you have to add insult to injury and have Jayne be so good at changing diapers? Poor Simon, he just can't catch a break!

Friday, November 17, 2006 3:59 AM


That was great and River patting her belly was a greattouch

Friday, November 17, 2006 2:20 PM


That was sounding very onimious initially. Made me think that Simon wasn't at all coping with the events of 'Birthday', despite talking with Inara and everything else.

To find out he was so worried about a diaper change...damnit if you haven't pegged Simon to a tee.

Great little fic here Jane0904.

Saturday, November 18, 2006 11:55 AM


Loved Jayne being so natural with baby changing and flooring Simon into the bargain! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, November 19, 2006 1:00 PM


Definitely could believe as a missing scene from a later season episode of the series, Jane0904...especially River yanking Simon's chain like that;D



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