BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JANE0904

Darling Kaylee
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Just a little ficlet that I've written for your entertainment. Been done, I'm sure, so just my take on it.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1778    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Kaylee was singing softly as she gave Bethany a bubble bath, holding her up so that she could splash the water around.

“That’s pretty,” Simon said, coming up behind her and putting his arms around her. “What is it?”

She looked over her shoulder at him. “Just a song my mamma used to sing when I was little. I don’t even think there’s words, just soft sounds. Bethany likes it.”

“She surely does,” Simon agreed, watching his daughter smiling.

Kaylee hummed for a moment more, than sighed.

“What is it?” he asked, tightening his embrace a little.

“Nothing.”

“It was nothing you wouldn’t have sighed.”

“It’s just … it’s a kinda special day tomorrow, and …”

“Your birthday,” Simon supplied. “I know. I haven’t forgotten.”

She blushed. “I know you didn’t. Wasn't trying to remind you. But … work’s been tight for a few weeks, and there’s no money … I don’t want anyone spending anything on me.”

Simon kissed the back of her neck where her hair was caught up in a knot. “You think people are going to purchase lavish gifts for you?”

“That’s the whole point.” She splashed him with a little water. “I don’t want people doing that. Ain't the money to be wasting on me.”

“It’s your birthday,” Simon pointed out. “It’s not a waste.”

“Yes it is. When you’ve got other things to buy. Like food.”

Simon tried to be serious. “Well, there is that. I'm sure everyone would rather eat a meal of moulded protein than make you smile.”

“Don’t,” Kaylee said, and sniffed.

“Are you crying?” Simon asked, surprised and shocked. “Why?”

“’Cause I don’t want anyone to go hungry. Been like that before, back home, when there weren't no work. We had food, but I know my parents went to bed more’n one with no supper, just so’s we could eat. Didn’t happen too often, but enough so that I know what it’s like.”

Simon let go of her and moved around so he could see her face, gently pushing a strand of hair out of her eyes. “Kaylee, darling Kaylee …” He pushed the tear from her cheek with his thumb. “You’re the heart of this ship. Everyone knows that, from the captain down. They won’t want you unhappy.”

“Then tell them not to get me anything. And if they have, they should just sell it next planetfall.”

“No.”

She stared at him. “Why not?”

“Because for one thing Mal would really throw me out of the airlock.” He tried a half-smile. “He loves you, my beautiful ai ren. And if I even suggested they should sell your presents …”

“But it ain't right.”

“Yes it is.” He leaned forward to kiss her. “Kaylee, they won’t have spent so much that it embarrasses you.”

“It ain't that!” she insisted.

“I know. Bad choice of words. If they’ve bought you gifts, it’s to show how much they care.”

She glared at him, then her gaze softened. “Is this that post natal depression you were talking about?” she asked, wiping her nose with the back of one frothy hand.

Simon dabbed a few bubbles from her chin. “Probably. Of course, you could just be being Kaylee and worrying that everyone isn’t happy.”

“I want them to be happy!”

“And they are.” He grinned, and this time she smiled a little, making his heart lift. “And if giving you presents makes them happy?”

“Why’re you so nice to me?” she asked, looking like she was about to burst into tears again.

“I have no idea,” he admitted, leaning forward to kiss her again.

Bethany gurgled and splashed them both. ---

“Happy birthday, Kaylee!” Inara said as they walked into the galley, Bethany in Simon’s arms.

Kaylee blushed. “Thank you,” she said, sitting down quickly at the table.

Inara smiled. Simon had explained about Kaylee’s reticence, and it obviously hadn’t got any better. “Well, what does the birthday girl want for breakfast?”

“No, I’ll –“ Kaylee went to get up, but Simon pressed her back down into her seat. “It’s once a year, bao bei,” he whispered. “You don’t get to do anything today.”

“What if Serenity breaks down?” Kaylee asked.

“Then we’ll fix her tomorrow,” Mal said, stepping down into the dining area, Freya behind him. “’Less it’s the catalyzer again, and I know how to fix that.”

Kaylee couldn’t help it. She grinned. “That you do, Cap’n.”

“Although I’d rather have done without the shooting that went with it.”

“Not an uncommon event,” Simon pointed out.

“That is true, doctor,” Mal agreed, scooping some hot oat cereal into bowls for himself and his wife. “But not lately.”

“I’ll make sure we’re stocked with supplies.”

Mal gave him a look then returned to the table.

“Here,” Inara said, putting a bowl of the cereal in front of the birthday girl. “Eat. You look like you could do with it.”

“Thank you,” Kaylee said.

“Hey!” Jayne almost shouted as he ambled in. “Ain't eaten all the food already?”

“No, Jayne,” Mal said. “I think you’ll find there’s a sufficiency.”

“Well, good. Being hungry makes me horny.” He slopped cereal into a bowl, then realised it had gone quiet. He looked up. “Well, it does.”

Freya shook her head and laughed. “Jayne, that was way too much information.”

Jayne sat down. “Tell the truth in this place and you still get slapped.” He spooned sweetening onto his breakfast and began to eat.

River wafted in. “Happy birthday,” she said quietly. “And I think Simon’s already given you his birthday present,” she added.

Both Kaylee and Simon blushed this time.

“You coulda stayed in bed,” Mal said, smiling.

Jayne tossed his spoon down. “See? I talk about sex and I get silences. She does and everyone just accepts it.”

“She’s a girl, Jayne,” Zoe said, joining them, Hank at her heels.

“You know, I hadn’t noticed,” Jayne scoffed and picked up his spoon again.

River just smiled at him and patted his arm as she passed him.

“Actually I have given Kaylee her birthday present,” Simon said, looking around at the table.

“Sex ain't a present,” Jayne muttered but everyone ignored him. “Less’n it’s free.”

Kaylee held out her wrist and showed the bracelet clasped around it.

“Oh, that is so pretty,” Inara said, leaning forward so she could examine it.

“They’re not real,” Simon added quickly. “Just polished stones, but I liked them.”

“You should,” the Companion said. “It’s an alphabet bracelet.”

“A what?” Kaylee stared at it.

“Each of the stones represents a letter of the alphabet,” Inara explained. “If I’m not mistaken it says ‘I love you’.”

Kaylee’s face broke into a surprised grin. “Really?”

“I think so. I can check if you like.”

“Oh.” The young mechanic turned to stones on her wrist and looked up at Simon. “Did you know that?”

“No,” he admitted. “I just thought you’d like it.”

“I love it,” she said, leaning forward so she could kiss him.

“Not while we’re eating, please,” Hank pleaded.

Mal leaned forward himself. “Happy birthday, mei-mei,” he said softly, and she warmed at the sound of his voice. He hadn’t called her that in a while, not really since Bethany was born, and it felt nice. “This is from Frey and me.” He handed her a small parcel.

“Thank you,” she said, pulling the paper off. Inside was a box of new microtools. “Ooh,” she said excitedly. “Thank you!”

“I don’t get it,” Mal said, shaking his head. “How can you get as worked up about those as something pretty?” He looked at Freya.

“Because it’s Kaylee,” his wife pointed out.

“I guess that’s it,” he agreed, and grinned.

Jayne was next. “Aw, hell, this is for you,” he said, handing over a box. “That is if River ain't eaten ‘em all.”

“I didn’t touch them!” the psychic protested.

Kaylee grinned and lifted the lid, the scent of fresh strawberries wafting up to her. She closed her eyes for a moment and let the perfume take her into green fields and summer sunshine, then looked around at everyone. “Here. Take one,” she said, holding the box out.

“No,” Mal said quickly. “They’re yours. No-one’s gonna be eating them but you.” He glared at Jayne.

“Hey, I gave ’em!” the big mercenary complained. “Ain't gonna eat ‘em too.”

“Here, open mine now,” River said, handing Bethany a flat parcel tied with string. “I couldn’t get any ribbon,” she apologised.

“Hey, string is handy,” Kaylee said, untying it carefully and putting it to one side. “I've mended Serenity before with a bit of rope.”

“Are you saying my ship is held together by string?” Mal asked, appalled.

“And shoes and sealing wax,” River put in, laughing.

“Cabbages and kings,” Simon added.

“Yeah, I've read Lewis Carroll too,” Mal replied. “Don’t mean to say I’m happy about my boat being stuck together like that.”

Freya put her arm around his waist and squeezed, and he grinned.

Kaylee laughed and opened her present. “Oh …” She held it up to everyone could see. It was a picture of Bethany, so lifelike everyone could almost hear her gurgling. “It’s perfect.”

River smiled and sat down. “I intend to draw one every year, so you have a record of Bethany’s growing up. Then I’ll draw her wedding day.”

Wedding?” Simon said, almost choking on his mouthful of cereal.

“It’ll be a while yet,” Kaylee assured him, patting his hand.

“Here,” Hank said, handing across a badly wrapped, soft parcel. “Sorry, but I don’t do pretty.”

Kaylee smiled at him and pulled off the paper. It was a new t-shirt, bright and cheerful. “I love it,” she said sincerely.

“I hope it fits. Zoe said it would, but I –“

She held it up against herself. “It’ll fit,” she assured him.

Zoe coughed slightly. “I didn’t know what to get you, so …” She held out a little book.

Kaylee took it, intrigued. Opening the cover, she read out loud, “This book contains twelve baby-sittings, four hours duration each.” She laughed. “That’s great!” she said, looking at Simon. “Imagine … forty-eight hours of just us.”

“One at a time, please,” Zoe said. “For when you want … you know … an evening alone.”

“Are we talking about sex again?” Jayne asked.

“No!” everyone else said and he subsided.

“Hey, this has Hank’s name on it too,” Kaylee pointed out, thumbing through the pages.

“It does?” the man in question asked. “Have I been volunteered for something I don’t know about?”

“You have,” Zoe agreed.

“With you?” he suggested, his eyes wide and hopeful.

“Maybe.”

He grinned. “That’s fine then. I don’t mind volunteering for that.”

“Then it’s just me,” Inara said, holding out a small velvet bag.

“What is it?” Kaylee asked, taking it.

“Open it and find out.” She smiled in anticipation.

Kaylee tipped the contents of the bag into her hand. It was a small medallion, a dragon’s head on one side and what looked like a waterfall on the other. There was a small hole in the centre through which was threaded a fine chain. “It’s lovely,” Kaylee breathed.

“It’s for long life and happiness,” Inara said. “For you to hang over your bed.”

“Thank you,” Kaylee said sincerely, looking at her, then around the table. “Thank you, all of you.”

“You gonna start crying?” Jayne asked.

“And if I do?”

“Nothing. Just gonna be ready with a hankie, is all.”

Kaylee laughed. “No, thank you all. I’ve never … it’s a lovely birthday.”

Everyone applauded.

“There’s one more thing,” Simon said as it quietened down. “Just a little thing, but …” He took Kaylee’s hand and held it to his chest. “When you were worried about your presents, I …well, I wanted to give you something special.”

“You have!” she said, but he interrupted.

“Not like that. Not something physical.” He licked his lips. “I wrote you a poem.”

“A …” She looked into his eyes. “A poem? For me?”

“Just so you know how I feel about you.”

“I know how you feel,” she said, her other hand caressing his face.

“Then so everyone else knows.”

“Son, I think we’ve kinda gathered that,” Mal said quietly.

“Just let me, okay? Before I lose the courage.”

“Go ahead.”

Simon cleared his throat, then began to speak.

“If there is but a moment’s breath left in me My last and only thought will be of you; You kiss, your smile, your sweetly filled remembrance In all this ‘verse is all that I hold true. No matter that the sky is dark above me, No matter that my life is said and done, Yet still I smile at thoughts of when you’re with me And know our love continues when I’m gone.”

There was silence once he’d finished, then Kaylee said, very quietly, “I love you, Simon.”

“I love you, my darling Kaylee.”

“Oh, hell,” Mal said, his voice slightly choked. “Just go back to bed, will you?”

COMMENTS

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 9:10 AM

TAMSIBLING


That was absolutely beautiful. Everyone's gifts were perfect and Simon's poem at the end made me a little teary!

Plus, Kaylee's trepidation in the beginning was absolutely perfect. So completely Kaylee!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 1:21 PM

AMDOBELL


I loved this, bravo! Made me all misty eyed especially when Simon recited the poem he had written for Kaylee at the end. Although, it kind of had a 'funereal' sound to it. Lovely, all the presents were perfect gifts for a perfect little lady. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 3:03 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Even when professing his love for Kaylee, Simon still makes it sound like he's performing a funearal ode...tis quite a skill;D

Anyway...this was a supremely shiny effort, Jane0904! Definitely could see Kaylee having a moment like the one while she was bathing Bethany about not wanting others to suffer just so she can be happy. And the present choices are perfect:D

BEB

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 12:53 PM

GOMITHROUS


That was so amazing. The poem was beautiful and I loved Simon's reaction when River mentioned Bethany's wedding.


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