Drops of Jupiter - Barely Holding On (Chapter 8)
Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mal lashes out angrily as a way of dealing with the devastating news of Kaylee’s condition, while Inara attempts to control the situation while barely being able to cope with the news herself. Simon is pained in more way than one, and together, he and Inara do all they can to ensure Kaylee gets better. FINALLY updated... Sorry it took me so long. PG-PG13 ish for language. Enjoy!!


Word Count: 2853 Author's note: I know its been a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time, but I hope you like this one. Thanks to Wanmei for the beta reading.

Miss a chapter? Click a link to read that chapter! Chapter one, Chapter two Chapter three, Chapter four Chapter five, Chapter six Chapter seven

"She... She's gone comatose. She's in a coma..."

Simon could feel Mal and Inara’s shocked stares boring into him, but he didn’t look at them. His anxiety-filled eyes were still fixed on Kaylee’s unconscious form, trying to stop the tears that were prickling at his eyes. He was doing better than Inara; he heard her sob a moment later, and finally looked up to see her cover her mouth and rush to Kaylee’s side, her free hand cupping Kaylee’s uninjured cheek, as though she had to touch her to believe it was true. Mal had been silent so far, looking from Simon to Kaylee in a shocked silence, but Simon could tell he was finally finding words, and prepared himself in case a lashing was in order.

“She what?” he demanded, stepping closer. Simon swallowed hard, forcing back his tears. He had to be a man about this, he couldn’t just break down. He was the doctor and he was the only one that knew what to do… he had to be strong until he was alone and could break down away from everyone else.

“She’s g-gone comatose.” He repeated somewhat shakily, managing to banish a bit of the panic from his tone, but the emotion still surged freely through his body. Mal stared at him for another moment, apparently speechless, while Inara attempted to control herself, one hand clutching Kaylee’s lifeless one. Simon swallowed thickly again, his eyes stuck on Kaylee’s calm, sleeping face. He couldn’t let himself give up hope, though he was truthfully terrified. Since his eyes were on Kaylee, he didn’t notice the mass amounts of emotions passing through Mal’s face at that moment. A crushing sadness filled his eyes, followed by utter fear and devastation, but all were quickly replaced by anger. Simon wasn’t ready for the Captain’s scathing tone as he began to speak, and the doctor took a step away from him, as though the words had actually scalded his skin.

“How could you let this happen to her?!” he snarled fiercely at him. Simon’s gaze immediately left Kaylee and settled on Mal’s livid face, the doctor’s eyes widening in indignation, fear and a bit of anger himself. “Excuse me?” he said incredulously, though his heart was pounding from the look of pure fury in Mal’s eyes.

“I said, how could you let this happen!?” he shouted in anger, stepping towards Simon briskly, with fire in his step. “You were in charge of her and now look at what happened! Inara said she fell, why weren’t you carrying her? Why wasn’t she still in bed? Why the HELL would you let her walk down the stairs on her own THIS SOON?!” Mal’s voice got louder and more hoarse with every word he shouted at Simon, the anger almost giving way to furious tears, but the Captain held those back and raged on. He had reached Simon now and shoved him, sending the doctor stumbling back into the counter. Loud clatters echoed around the room as medical instruments flew out on either side of Simon as he righted himself, his cheeks flushed with anger and desperation. He flew at Mal and shoved him hard right back, surprising the Captain. Mal stumbled backwards and before he had recovered, Simon had shoved him again, out of the infirmary.

Mal stumbled greatly and nearly fell to the ground but just managed to recover, and righted himself as Simon charged at him again, forcing him into the common area around the passenger dorms. Inara had followed them and was yelling at them to stop, but neither heeded her for a second.

This time Mal struck first, a nice blow to the side of Simon’s face, sending him to his knees with a split lip, blood starting to slip down from the cut. Simon wiped the blood carefully and scowled.

“You son of a bitch!” he exclaimed, standing up and moving back towards Mal, ignoring the voice in the back of his head that was telling him to stop or he’d get beaten. He knew he wasn’t much of a match for Mal, but he was pissed off. Kaylee was in the infirmary, probably dying, and Mal wanted to have a fist fight to let off some stress. ‘Well,’ Simon thought to himself, ‘If he’s gonna bring me down anyway, I may as well go down swinging.’ With that thought in mind, Simon swung a heavy punch at Mal.

The captain moved out of the punch’s range fairly easily, and swung back, aiming for the cheekbone. By some miracle, Simon managed to dodge what would surely have been an agonizing blow, and doubled back quickly enough that he managed to score a well placed punch to Mal’s stomach, making the Captain double over, gasping for breath. Simon exhaled sharply through his nose, not unlike a bull satisfied with its performance, and turned to leave, wiping his lip.

He was almost free of the area when he heard Mal rushing after him. Before he’d had time to even turn around, he let out a pained yell as Mal grabbed a handful of the doctor’s hair and pulled hard, dragging him backwards. Simon stumbled over his own feet as Mal pulled him and ended up crashing to the floor, wincing as he untangled himself and scrambled to his feet, his side aching.

“This is for Kaylee.” Mal snarled darkly as Simon stood unsteadily before him, panting. He wasn’t used to fighting like this, and he wasn’t quite sure what to do next. Before Simon had a chance to react however, Mal punched him straight in the nose, a short crack echoing around the room and making Simon grunt in pain. The captain quickly followed up with a solid hook to the side of the face, knocking Simon clean off his feet. Mal hadn’t planned where Simon would go down, but watched with only a sliver of regret as Simon’s head collided with a small side table as he fell and knocked him clean unconscious, his body crumpling to the floor.

Inara let out a soft scream-like gasp and rushed forward, turning the unconscious doctor’s head towards her, cupping his face in her hands.

“Mal, why did you do that!? Can’t you ever control your temper?!” She exclaimed, pulling a silk cloth from a small pocket of her dress and wiping some of the blood that had begun pouring from Simon’s nose. Mal stood wordlessly, watching her tend to him, a muscle twitching violently in his cheek. He was shaking slightly with adrenaline, and shame began to wash over him. Why had he done that? There really was no reason; he knew Simon cared about Kaylee just as much as he did, so why had he blamed him? ‘Because…’ Mal told himself, swallowing a lump in his throat. ‘you had to blame someone.’ Mal jolted out of his silent thoughts as Inara snapped at him.

“MAL. For gods sake, are you even listening? Help me get him to his bunk, or I swear over my dead body I will never speak to you again.” She hissed at him angrily from where she knelt on the floor, Simon’s head propped up on her knees. Mal knew he should help, knew he should apologize, but the anger in Inara’s eyes was making the shame even worse. Mal wasn’t used to feeling shame. The captain did everything on purpose, and lived his life the way he wanted; he wasn’t often regretful or ashamed of things he’d done. But this time was different. And because it was different, it made Mal angry. So instead of helping, Mal turned and left, trying to ignore Inara’s curses and shouts after him.

He stomped down the halls towards his bunk, and literally walked into Jayne very close to his destination.

“What’s all the yellin’ about?” Jayne asked curiously, clearly not realizing anything else had happened to Kaylee.

“Go help Inara get Simon to his bunk.” ordered Mal shortly, opening the airlock door to his bunk.

“Wha?” Jayne asked, clearly confused. “What in the hell are you talkin’ abou--”

“Jayne for once just do what the gorram hell you’re told to do without asking any goddamn questions!” Mal snapped, quickly descending his ladder and shutting the door without waiting for a reaction, the hinges releasing the locks with a hiss. Mal heard Jayne’s boots hurry along the corridor towards the passenger dorms and let out a heavy sigh, leaning back against the ladder and massaging his temples, lost in weary and desolate thoughts.


Meanwhile Inara was attempting to drag Simon along the hall to his bunk, but she wasn’t strong enough. Not for lack of trying, she’d gotten him about ten feet from where he’d fallen and was trying to drag him further, letting strings of Chinese curses flow from under her breath.

“’Nara?” Jayne asked in surprise, hurrying over to the frustrated Companion. “What in the ruttin’ hell happened?!”

“Mal’s being a Ge zhen de hun dan again… help me, please? I can’t carry him…” she requested, a slightly uncharacteristic note of pleading in her tone. Jayne complied without asking another question for now and hoisted Simon over his shoulder, carrying the man down the corridor and laying him on his bunk. Inara hurried in after him and finished wiping up Simon’s face. She let out an emotion-filled sigh and sank onto a chair beside the bed, putting her face in her hands.

Jayne waited a moment, a tense, impenetrable silence filling the room and making him fidget uncomfortably.

“So… what happened?” he asked again after a few moments, watching Inara jump slightly from the sound of his voice, as though she’d forgotten he was there. The Companion looked up at him, tears prickling her eyes once again as she began to explain.

“Kaylee fell… she slipped in the corridor at the bottom of the stairs and smacked her head on the last stair. Simon says she’s… she’s…” Inara had to take a moment, inhaling deeply as her voice began to shake uncontrollably. “She’s i-in a coma.” Inara watched Jayne’s eyes widen. They looked at each other for a moment before Jayne turned and went to the infirmary, wanting to see for himself if it was the truth, leaving Inara at Simon’s side, holding his hand and crying silently, waiting for him to wake up.

Jayne entered the infirmary and slowly approached Kaylee’s side, looking down at her, her body seeming tiny and impossibly fragile. No one was around, and the soft side that Jayne had hidden away somewhere was showing. No one but Kaylee could make that soft spot shine, and presently Jayne took one of Kaylee’s limp hands in both of his own strong ones as he sank onto the stool beside her bed, looking down at her, a stricken look on his face.

“I know we ain’t always the best a’ friends…” Jayne said quietly to her, feeling kind of silly but at the same time knowing that if the positions were reversed, that Kaylee would be talking to him. “But… I… I just want ya ta get better, okay? We…. We all miss ya…” he said, his voice trailing off as he squeezed her hand, deciding that he would remain at her side until Simon was back on his feet.


Half an hour later, Simon finally began to come around. He moaned softly, which jerked Inara out of her light, restless doze at his side. She stood and brushed his hair out of his eyes, looking down at him as he slowly opened his eyes, giving him a sympathetic look as pain and confusion swirled in his eyes.

“Are you okay?” she asked softly as he opened his eyes all the way, one of his hands coming up to touch his forehead briefly before he let out a heavy sigh, laced with a soft groan.

“I’ve been better.” He murmured groggily, struggling to sit up. Inara gave a half hearted attempt at a smile but gave up, helping him sit up instead. Simon touched his nose gingerly and winced with a small hiss of pain. Inara grimaced sympathetically.

“Is it broken?” she asked, handing him an ice pack that she’d retrieved earlier before returning to his side. He accepted it gratefully and gently touched it to his nose, wincing and then relaxing as the ice helped numb the pain.

“I don’t think so.” He said, his voice sounding oddly nasal. “I think it’s just cracked. Hurts like hell though.” He commented, giving a small, dry laugh that held no humour. Inara nodded and placed her hand on his arm as a reassuring gesture, and he tipped his head once, as an acknowledgement.

“Oh Gou shi.” He exclaimed suddenly, dropping the icepack. It slipped off his lap and landed on the floor, bursting and sprinkling Inara’s partially bare legs with icy cold water droplets, making her gasp.

“What is it?!” she asked in alarm, seeing the urgency in Simon’s eyes, already forgetting about the water.

“How long was I out?” he asked in a panic, throwing off the blanket that had covered him and jumping off the bed, nearly toppling over as he landed.

“About thirty minutes, why?” she asked as she reached out to steady him, her voice mirroring his panic, especially as she had no idea why he was freaking out.

“Kaylee’s leg! I was going to set it before Mal--” he ended the sentence abruptly, not wanting to bring up the captain, as he was still incredibly pissed off at Mal. Simon hurried into the infirmary with Inara at his heels and pulled Kaylee’s blanket up off of her legs, looking down at the injured ankle. It was bruised badly, the skin swollen and bright purple. Simon swore and checked that the bones were aligned, quickly setting up the x-ray machine and banishing Inara from the room for a moment as he checked how bad the break was.

After determining that it wasn’t as bad as he’d thought, and that he didn’t have to yank on her leg to set it, he began to gather the supplies to cast her leg, from her foot to just below her knee. It was only her ankle that was broken, but he didn’t want her to strain it should she wake up and not realize what had happened.

Inara assisted him and soon the cast was finished, making her leg look at least twice its normal size and abnormally bent a bit at the knee. Inara sighed shakily and sank onto a stool on one side of Kaylee as Simon went about hooking her up to an IV with a saline solution, and quickly took her vitals before sitting down on the other stool across from Inara. His face was throbbing in several spots but instead of taking pain killers, he embraced the agony, trying to drown out some of the fear and dread he felt whenever he looked at Kaylee. Inara seemed to feel the same and was staring down at her lap, her thumb absently stroking the back of Kaylee’s hand that she held in her own.

Inara finally looked up many long moments later, her eyes slowly raking over Simon’s bruised cheek and down to his split and bruised lip, sympathy and fear mixing together in her gaze as tears welled up again. Simon seemed to sense her eyes and looked up to meet them, his own full of the same fear, and pain, both emotional and physical.

“Is she going to be okay?” she asked softly, tearfully, and they both knew she was asking for reassurance; asking for a chance to hope. Simon didn’t answer at first, as his gaze slipped past hers and off to the side, slightly unfocussed for a moment. He wanted to cry, but he felt almost like he was beyond tears now. Crying wouldn’t fix anything. All he could do was hope, and pray. Finally he looked back at Inara, and when he spoke, she knew he had never spoken so softly, so vulnerably.

“Its beyond my skill now. All we can do now is hope.” he said, his voice wavering unsteadily. He knew Inara would have seen through a sugar coated lie, so he had told her the truth; truth she had already known, but had been too scared to face. He watched as emotion quickly overwhelmed her, and was at her side before she noticed he’d moved.

Simon gently stood her up and wrapped his arms around her, doing his best to reassure her wordlessly that they were in this together, and that there was still hope. Inara lay her head down on his shoulder and cried softly into it, her hands clinging to small handfuls of the fabric of his shirt. ‘At least, I hope there is…’ Simon thought to himself shakily, closing his eyes as a tear slipped down his cheek, resting his head against Inara’s as they stood silently, both praying desperately to the Gods, even offering their own lives for hers. All they wanted was to see her smile again.

Translations: Ge zhen de hun dan – a real bastard Gou shi - crap


Monday, February 19, 2007 12:14 PM


Very well done, I'm so glad that you'd decided to continue this fic. I am, however, going to ask that you do 2 things: 1)Make it longer next time, and 2)Don't make us wait so gorram long :). (These are requests born of a desire for more good fics, please take them as a compliment :) )

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 10:37 AM


Ohh, Simon got himself beat on. It's sick that I enjoyed that, isn't it? Someone better take Mal to task for hurting the Doctor who is the only one who can actually help Kaylee. . .

Good to see another chapter from you. Don't make us wait so long for the next one :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 6:55 PM


Holy...crap! Mal wasted Simon! I mean...I was honestly surprised Mal didn't try and shoot Simon where he stood!

This has been a crazy-brilliant series since the word "go," Yanlei, and I definitely have wanted to see the continuation of this storyline for quite some time:D


Tuesday, February 20, 2007 7:08 PM


Thank you everyone for the comments and compliments! It means so much to me when everyone comments!

Cassandra - I used goddamn as well because I hate to be too repetitive. Sorry! :(

Goblueguy - Thanks so much! I promise I'll try to write the next one soon... very soon, hopefully within the next couple of weeks!

Leaisky - Thanks ^^ Glad you still like this story =)

BlueEyedBrigadier - I didnt want Mal to shoot Simon when he's got Kaylee to take care of... I thought knocking him out and cracking his nose was sufficient, hehe. Thank you SO much for the compliments, I am so glad you like it that much! =D


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Mal lashes out angrily as a way of dealing with the devastating news of Kaylee’s condition, while Inara attempts to control the situation while barely being able to cope with the news herself. Simon is pained in more way than one, and together, he and Inara do all they can to ensure Kaylee gets better. FINALLY updated... Sorry it took me so long. PG-PG13 ish for language. Enjoy!!

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