Even Roses Have Thorns, chapter twelve
Thursday, December 28, 2006

Kaylee thinks, Simon doesn't, Mal and Inara talk, and Zoe and River bond. PG13, for swearing. Postive feedback perfered.


Even Roses Have Thorns

Chapter Twelve: Si vis amari, ama (if you wish to be loved, love)

*** *** *** Chapters 1-10, Chapter 11

*** *** ***

Jayne had broken the tension by laughing hard at Simon’s stupid sarcastic joke; possibly he was just laughing at the two foolish lovers but Kaylee didn’t really want to think about that too much. Kaylee curled in her bunk, thinking on what Simon had said – and what Inara had said. It was true that most of Simon’s slights – the worst of them, at least – were largely products of Kaylee’s imagination. She was unreasonably sensitive to his thoughts and opinions. Inara’s finery and fanciness were exotic, but unthreatening. Simon’s austerity and propriety seemed somehow more – well, judgemental. But was he? Or was she simply judging herself based on what she thought that he must want?

Finally, after another few rounds of point for point in her head, she tired of her racing mind and padded up the ladder and out of her bunk.

Kaylee made her way to Simon’s bunk and let herself in. She gently shoved him toward the wall, but he woke up. “River, Mei-mei, so help me…” he began wearily but when he opened his eyes, instinct took over and he sat bolt upright. “Ah, hi Kaylee.” He was puzzled, but didn’t voice his annoyance at her not knocking. He’d scolded her enough for one night.

“Shove in, Simon.” Kaylee stated it plainly, clearly assuming that he would do as he was told.

“Ah…,” he groped for words in his sleepy state. Eventually one came. “Why?”

“’Cause I said so, Simon.” Kaylee’s tone made it clear that she thought that it was obvious. “Ya said it was okay if I wanted us ta be friends with benefits. Just wan’ ta snuggle, can’t sleep.”

“I did say that.” He muttered it more to himself, but he shoved in toward the wall and pulled the blankets down for her, before he lay back down and closed his eyes. “I hadn’t exactly meant… right after I’d made a jackass out of myself.”

In the dark, with his eyes closed, he couldn’t tell, but Kaylee’s eyes lit up. She rolled towards him, and rested her head on her upright hand. “That mean yer willin’ to make it up ta me?”

Damn. He’d left himself wide open, but he didn’t want to get into another fight, and he wasn’t willing to trick her into thinking that he was willing to go back on what he’d said, no matter how much she might want to be tricked; maybe even especially because he suspected that she did want to be tricked. “Kaylee, if you want to, I guess we can. It’s just, you don’t want to just be friends who sometimes have sex. You want it to be more than that.”

“So da’ you. Otherwise, ya wouldn’t still be calling me bao bei.” Kaylee countered.

“That’s… true. But I already explained that, we all ready discussed this. It just isn’t meant to be.”

“Isn’t meant to be right now, maybe. We’ll see.” She kissed him lightly on the lips, and, reassured by the wisdom of her response, he didn’t hesitate to return it.


As breakfast was ending, Inara looked toward Mal, and spoke quietly. “Mal, do you think you could spare a moment this morning? I have some things I’d like to discuss with you in my shuttle.”

Mal, lost in his own thoughts, looked up startled, causing Kaylee to grin and Jayne to snigger. “Sure, ‘Nara. I’ll be down in a bit, if that’s alright with you.”

“That’s fine, Mal. Please excuse me.” She stood and headed back toward the shuttle.

When he arrived, he knocked. It still made her smile. He’d been knocking, unasked and unreminded, since Miranda; one of many changes that had happened since then. “Come in, please, Mal.” He did. “Please sit. Can I offer you some tea?”

As he made himself comfortable he looked around the shuttle again. It was still the same, but somehow always a little surprising. Breathtaking. “Ah, tea would nice, ‘Nara.”

She handed him an expertly made cup, and sat back on the couch with her own. “This is a difficult matter to broach, I must admit.” She swirled her tea in its cup slightly, an indulgence she rarely permitted herself in company.

“This about business?” Mal tried to keep his tone civil, but Inara was too well schooled not to pick up the edge creeping into it.

“Yes, though in some ways, perhaps, more yours than mine.”

“’Nara…” his tone became warning.

She sighed. “Mal, we have to discuss this. You’ll see why when we’re done. If you want to yell at me, please let me know if you’d rather do it before you hear what I have to say, or after, because I’m not going to try to talk over you while you do it.”

Mal looked startled again, but he hesitated only a moment. “After, I guess. Fairer that way.”

“You might not want to yell at me afterwards, though.”

“All the more reason to wait, I suspect.”

“Some people would make that argument, it’s true.” Her tone was amused, but clearly implied that Mal was not one of those she would have normally counted in that camp. She continued, more seriously. “I’ve been approached to broker a deal with you for the Lassiter.”

Mal did not even attempt to hide his shock. “Approached. So you didn’t… let’s see, perhaps accidentally and without meaning to, go looking for a buyer?”

“No, Mal. Nor was I sleep walking at the time, or under the influence of alcohol, or drugs. I was approached.”

After a moment, Mal spoke again. “That’s a mite alarming, ‘Nara.”

“It is. It either gets better or worse after this, I can’t really say.”

The Captain, clearly pondering more than he was listening, interrupted. “Who approached you?”

“I’m getting to that part, Mal.”

“Right. Sorry.”

“The person who approached me is a lawyer on Persephone. It took a while, but eventually I got him to reveal on who’s behalf he was seeking the Lassiter.” Inara paused, clearly expected another interruption. Mal just waited, so she continued. “It’s Durran Haymer.”


‘Aiya,’ Zoë thought. She was really uncomfortable. She’d barely made it through breakfast because her pants were so tight. Now, as she rummaged through her things, she despaired of finding anything larger. Most of what she owned now was smaller that her pre-pregnant weight. In retrospect, this was the biggest she’d ever been. Protein might not taste like much, but at least she’d been well fed since she’d boarded Serenity, and with Simon now aboard, the crew also had excellent health care. On that score, she could have no regrets. But, wo de ma, what was she going to do for clothes? If she’d lost all sight of her hips at eight weeks, what the hell was she going to look like in a few months?

Zoë unbuttoned her pants and threw herself unto the bed. She slipped the too-damn-tight pants to her ankles first, and then removed her boots, and then the gorram pants. As she was finally pulling free of their impossible tightness, there was a knock on her door. “Who is it?” She called. If it was Jayne, she didn’t what him seeing her half dressed.

“River.” The teenager’s voice sounded muffled through the door.

That was all right. “One minute, hon.” Zoë pulled her blanket around her lower half. “Come in.”

“I’m sorry to intrude, but I couldn’t help but over hear…” the girl looked embarrassed. Zoë smiled at what was clearly Simon’s influence. “I just thought maybe you could use some of these…” River handed Zoë a few of her more ‘flower child’ summer dresses. “They’ll be short for you, but they won’t pull around the baby.”

Zoë tuned them over in her hands. Short? The damn things would fall somewhere above her knees.

“I thought about that…” River started. “I’m sorry. I know that I should wait for you to say it out loud.”

“It’s ok. What were you going to say?”

“It’s just that if you wanted, I could get some of Wash’s pants from your bunk, and Simon could adjust them to fit you.”

Zoë stalled for time. If Wash had been alive, she wouldn’t have hesitated. Now, well, it seemed different. “Boy is handy with a needle.” River nodded. “I’ll have to think about it. Guess you knew that already.” River nodded again. “Thank you for the dresses River. It’s kind of you to share – I know you don’t have much for yourself.”

“That’s okay. It was my turn.” With that, the girl slipped back out of the room. Then, in hindsight, and perhaps in response to another over heard fleeting thought, she remembered to call, “oh! You’re welcome.” Zoë smiled and began to undress.

Chapter 13


Thursday, December 28, 2006 4:47 AM


Now with shiney html links to previous chapters!

Thank you to all who have read and commented (it means a lot more than I would have ever expected, to be honest).

I'm happier with this chapter than the previous one; I hope you are too.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 5:58 AM


River seems to have herself a new hobby - take care of the pregnant lady. This is an improvement over the previous hobby - annoy older brother.

Durran Haymer knows Inara was with the random guy who stole his gun? That's just not good on any level.

I have to give Simon demerits here. Friends with benefits *never* works if one friend is looking for more. Nipping the sleepovers in the bud until they actually have a real conversation somewhere would be the better idea.

But poor Kaylee. I actually felt sorry for her. She's really starting to try, but it might not be enough in the end. It's sad.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 6:07 AM


MG: Simon is one of my favourite characters, but he is (an acknowledged) boob. He knows that Kaylee wants more... he just doesn't like to admit that he does too.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 6:21 AM


Sorry, I just re-read my comment. What I was trying to say was:

Simon, like all characters (and people), has faults, and if I don't portray them, then I'm not really portraying him, just some Mary Sue version. But I think, especially in Simon's case, it can be more subtle errors of judgement than is sometimes done.

Anyway, that's just my logic on that.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 6:41 AM


I think it's more like watching someone make a mistake you did, and cringing in anticipation of the explosion. I wasn't saying you're wrong...more expressing a general opinion that this could get messy.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 6:50 AM


Ohh, I wonder what is going to get Simon to admit that he does want more? Some life-threatening thing?

I do like Kaylee ticking off the points in her head and coming to realize maybe she was being just a bit overreactive to Simon's comments and actions. Which she always has been with regards to him.

They've both got to grow up a bit if they want a relationship to work.

I'm looking forward to reading how you have them grow.

Friday, December 29, 2006 11:24 AM


I too like Kaylee realizing that she's been a bit overreactive.

I cannot wait to see how you have Simon and Kaylee grow apart and then together.

And poor Zoe - none of her clothes fit ... pregnant lady blues!

Saturday, December 30, 2006 9:30 PM


Gotta admit...loving how you're giving Simon the freedom to make bad choices, but I have to admit I would be doing something similiar in his own shoes: trying to walk a tightrope between telling Kaylee that nothing can happen till they have a nice, long, honest conversation with one another about how they feel and how they see things between them and keeping Kaylee generally pleasant to deal with. Kaylee's growing (and Simon too) but the time to test Kaylee's improving maturity is not quite at hand;)

And I love how River's taken up looking after Zoe...but I gotta wonder if her dresses would actually fit. Pretty much been established (though without direct canonical reference) that River's clothes come from Kaylee and Inara's cast-off pile. Neither woman is all that tall, and their body types are tad more openly curvy than the thinner and taller Zoe;D


Sunday, December 31, 2006 8:44 AM


To BEB, I hope Chap. 13 with the Mal/Zoe conversation answered your question. :)


You must log in to post comments.



Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Fifty-Three
Ultimate chapter (i.e. the conclusion). PG13 to be on the safe side (language only). Canon pairings +1 (River/ofc).

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Fifty-Two
Penultimate chapter. (No, penultimate is not a fancier version of 'ultimate'.) Some fluff - Jayne gets to go home. PG13 to be on the safe side (probably G, at least if you ignore the comments - man, I can't spell). Canon pairings +1 (River/ofc).

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Fifty-One
How far did Green and Banks get? Five moments of revealation. NC17 (adult themes). Canon pairings +1 (River/ofc).

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapters 46-50
All already posted before, just posted together for convience of new and (re) readers. Overall rating NC-17; this applies to all chapters in this grouping, for violence, non-con, death, extreme angst (hurt w/o comfort) and generalised squickiness. Canon pairings +1 (River/ofc). Postive comments perfered; any cease and desists recieved will be complied with, and shown off at parties.

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Fifty
The BIG DAMN Rescue. Some revenge, some poetic justice. Very narrator pov, but I like it. Hey, it worked for Dickens. NC17 to be on the safe side, but mostly implied. Canon pairings +1 (River/ofc).

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Forty-Nine
The crew pieces together the facts of Simon's disappearance. PG. Canon pairings +1 (River/ofc).

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Forty-Eight
Because it never goes smooth. PG. Canon pairings +1 (River/ofc). Bridging piece.

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Forty-Seven
Coda to Simon's time of dying. PG (language, themes).

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapter Forty-Six
Simon's point of view, in his time of dying. NC17.

Even Roses Have Thorns, Chapters 41-45
All already posted before, just posted together for convience of new and (re) readers. Overall rating NC-17; this applies to all chapters in this grouping, for violence, non-con, death, extreme angst (hurt w/o comfort) and generalised squickiness. Canon pairings +1 (River/ofc). Postive comments perfered; any cease and desists recieved will be complied with, and shown off at parties.