Sailor Boy
Saturday, March 3, 2007

Simon takes a meal at a skyplex and does a little thinking. Set post-BDM.


Disclaimer: all things Firefly/Serenity are the property of Whedon et al. I’m not making any money off this, just playing with the toys. For the prompt “tar”.

A/N: this comes after my Cold Understanding two-parter, but you don't have to have read that to know what's happening here.

“Something I can do for ya, Tar?”

My brows lifted in confusion. “Tar?”

He eyed me narrowly, giving the impression that he was speaking to an idiot. I suddenly had an understanding of what Jayne felt every time he opened his mouth.

“What is it you be wanting?” His accent was thick of the Earth-That-Was English style so favoured by the uppity wannabes. Of course, not even Badger’s was this coarse.

“Ah, well...” I surveyed the large room, noting the empty tables and garish neon lights. Quickly choosing a seat, I shifted my body in the hard chair to find some measure of comfort, but nothing seemed to work. “Perhaps if you could give me a menu?”

The barman searched around until he spotted something. “Here.” He thrust a slip of paper at me with the words ‘Eatins 15 bits. Room 20 bits. Water 30 bits.’ before returning to the bar proper.

“Thank-you.” I let the paper fall to the wet table and scanned the open-aired pub. The skyplex was bustling, a not unusual occurrence at any time. I continued to watch as people came and went, some fast, some slow, but all seeming to have a destination in mind. The shouts of the nearest vendor echoed off the walls of the pub and I recalled a similar type of voice from almost a year ago. Twelve bits it had cost me to have Kaylee turn her back and curse me.

So little seems to have changed since then. And yet everything was different.

Sitting back and hearing the chair creak a little, I recalled the past two weeks since Kaylee and I had our “talk”. It had been one of the few times where I hadn’t said the wrong thing or tried to make a horrible joke. Oddly, it had been freeing.

I still love her. But it’s not the kind of love that makes me want to leap through burning rings or sacrifice myself to Reavers for. In honesty, it’s the kind where I love how she has such a bright approach to life and how she paints little flowers on the walls and above her bunk. It’s a fun love, carefree almost. I chuckle at how River would take that last bit and say something, in that way she has, about me never being carefree.

“You buying something or not, Tar?” The barman’s voice was loud even against the cacophony of sounds from outside.

“Oh.” I mentally counted how much coin was in my pocket. “Eatins, I guess.” I stopped. “What exactly is the eatins special of the day?”


Surprisingly, the meal was better than the usual fare on Serenity. If it had been protein, enough had been done to make it taste very much like spaghettini and marinara sauce. I wiped my mouth with the ends of my thumb and middle finger, wishing I had thought to bring a handkerchief.

Resting my elbows on the table, I thought of how much my appearance had changed thus negating the need for a handkerchief. Gone were the formal shirts and vests. Washing and pressing them had proven difficult until I finally realised that there was no point in it. With all the blood and dirt from patching and fixing up the members of the crew, no shirt was going to stay pristine. Dark sweaters and pull overs were much more feasible, if far less fashionable.

I refuse, though, simply refuse to let my hair become a dishevelled mess. Clothes are ornamental no matter how much importance I place upon them. But I draw the line at letting my hair be anything other than well-kept. Too much of my life has been upended and even though it’s the Black, I still need to retain something of my cultured past.

That is something Kaylee never understood. She is content to let herself fall into the flow of wherever she is. Being on Serenity requires it and I expect that mentality helps her in finding solutions to the ship’s mechanical problems. She truly is a wonder; it makes my lips curl a little.

“Hello there.”

I jerked my head up and found myself staring at a very beautiful, very young looking woman. My ears were already burning and I could feel the heat moving down to my neck. I wanted to say something, but my mouth was not co-operating.

“You here all alone, are ya, Tar?”

I tilted my head, the scientist part of me taking charge. “What exactly is a tar?”

She gave me the same look as the barman then quickly changed to something more ‘come hither’. “It’s a sailor, handsome.” She reached a delicate and multi-coloured fingernail to my ear.

I flinched away and finally understood. Of course. She was a prostitute, likely encouraged to come over by the barkeep giving the idea that I was on some sort of shore-leave and had been without female companionship for quite some time. Jayne would have howled before butting in between us and Zoe would have snorted. It really was funny. I began to laugh, resting my forehead in my hand, before standing. The woman was mystified. Laughing was not apparently the response she normally received.

“I’m sorry, Miss, but I’ve spent all my money on the meal.” I reached for my jacket on the far chair. “But thank-you for the offer.” Striding away, I informed the barman that I would be sure to tell all my tar friends about this establishment the next time we docked.

A/N: “tar” is a 17th century term used to refer to sailors, according to the Oxford University Press dictionary.


Saturday, March 3, 2007 5:31 PM


Hmm....maybe I am just dense to the point of utter stupidity, but I get the feeling there's still a chance for some Silee lovin'. Simon's just not ready to be letting go of certain things that would allow him to care for Kaylee properly. The hair tells me so;D

Definitely some beautiful work here, AP! I like how you had Simon be introspective and consider Kaylee's behaviour compared to his own. And his thought about now understanding how Jayne feels every time he opens his mouth? Hilarious:D



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