When the Cold Comes In
Thursday, March 8, 2007

"...and when a heart needs mendin' on this ship, a heart knows to come to Kaylee. It's just her way." Kaylee Frye ain't always so good at dealin' out here in the dark. Sometimes, she needs a little mendin' of her own. (Post-BDM In-the-Engine-Room angst/smut)



Seems to Kaylee that right now, Serenity is the only thing worth dependin' on out here in the black.

Zoe's got her own to deal with right now, with her bed as empty as the bridge. The pain's never gonna leak outta Zoe's eyes the way it oughta, and funny how Kaylee's never gonna know how that pain was put into Zoe's eyes in the first place. Not sure she wants to, anyway. Wash is dead and ain't no amount of knowin' how it happened is gonna change that it happened in the first place. Still, she wishes she could tell someone how much she's gonna miss dinosaurs and shop-talk and late nights in the pilot seat, knowing another part of her ship 'cause Wash showed her how.

Jayne's the same as he ever was, eatin' and gunnin' and basically being a pain in the pee goo, and Kaylee ain't never depended on Jayne for nothing but a strong set of arms and a real crude tongue in his head anyhow. Inara keeps to herself mostly, and Kaylee suspects after seein' so much death and destruction, even a Companion needs to take somethin' of a break. She don't bother Inara none, not with brushing her hair or nothing. And Inara don't come looking for her, either, and so it's just Kaylee, her and her own solitary self.

Even her Captain, the only other person to love Serenity just as fierce as she does, even he's let her down. She still loves him, loves him better than most any, but she's angry at him, too. He still ain't got to understanding that his decisions touch everyone gorram person on Serenity. He ain't the only one who's got to live with all the things he's made people do.

Ordered her to paint up her ol' boat, her home, with the blood and bones of Haven's cooling bodies. Made her stare down at Shepard's gentle, dead face and made her belly twist with knowin' the Reavers'd kill them, knowin' they might all die. And she doesn't blame River, not for a gorram second, but she does blame the Cap'n, way deep in her gut. She knows what it cost him, she knows how he must be dyin' inside, but she can't help it. He made the call, didn't he? Took 'em all into Miranda, where not a one of 'em came back the same. Took 'em all into Reaver territory, where poor ol' Wash never came back alive.

Took 'em all sorts of places where there's no comin' back from.

That's why she's here next to Serenity's big, broken engine. Knows that she's already gone through all she could go through in this room, with Jubal Early's feet inches from her face and his voice threatenin' to carve her straight through. Kaylee knows that nothing in this room is gonna up and betray her, knows as sure as oil and grease is dark that this room is the heart of Serenity, and Serenity could never hurt her. 'Sides, when a heart needs mendin' on this boat, a heart knows to come to Kaylee. She'll smile and laugh, do anythin' she can to chase away the dark, 'cause when everyone's got so many more reasons to be all angry and twisted, a person does all she can to make things a little bit better.

And when it comes down to it, Kaylee needs to do the mendin', needs to work with her hands to make somethin' good out of all the bad. Needs to make all the achin' in her chest go away so that it don't hurt to look at her Captain and his shattered crew no more.

So she stands for a moment, listening to the purrs and the rumbles of her machines. Hearin' 'em speak and hiss, whispers and stories of the pains they're sufferin'. She wishes she were a doctor like Simon--Simon, who hasn't said a word to her since gettin' back to Serenity and takin' care of River. She wishes she could stitch up all that twisted metal and put a bandage on all the smokin' parts. But she ain't, she's just Kaylee, so she does what she does best and she works what little magic she knows how with her stiff, aching fingers.

Waits for someone, something other than the ship's engine to hum her to life, to jumpstart her heart so ain't so damn frozen.

- - -


His voice is soft, all refined. Kaylee used to think it was something real shiny, to be with the swai doctor from a Core planet. Used to sorta get tingly in her nether parts just thinkin' of Osiris and all the ways life coulda gone different if she were a debutante and not a praire-gal mechanic. She liked to pretend that she was somethin' real special back then, and she really liked thinkin' that even if she weren't, the doctor liked her anyhow. It was her very first crush, she reckons, 'cause everything before was sorta just Kaylee likin' a man and a man likin' Kaylee and a bed and a moment and the sun rising the next day. None of the uncertainty and confusion of this--this wantin' she's felt for Simon. The force of her desire is something like the atmo imploding--several minor explosions in her blood whenever she catches sight of his fool smile.

'Cept right now at this moment, all the goofy grins and shininess of bein' rich and a genius and Simon Tam don't do a world of nothin'. Kaylee just wants to be left alone to her sullenness and her ship. She don't want him to see her lips turned down, or the way her eyes can't seem to do nothin' but weep. He deserves a little bit of a smile now that his sister's not hittin' people or rockin' back and forth with voices in her head.

"Well, hey," she says instead, her back to him. Her hands trace the jagged edge of a metal shard wedged in the ground. It's look a little like a barrier, one tiny defiant Reaver piece of destruction that is standing between her and her engine room. Standin' between Kaylee and her peace.

Standin' between who Kaylee was not even a week ago and who Kaylee is now.

She can feel the heat of Simon's hand on her shoulder, and maybe if that little jag of red and silver metal weren't slicin' into her engine room floor, she'd feel better about that heat. But all she can think at that moment is that this metal is foriegn, it just don't belong. She's gotta take it out, wedge her wrench underneath that glintin' steel, dig a hole so deep that ain't no one gonna trespass on her land again--

"Wuo de ma," Simon breathes, and Kaylee thinks absently that this is the first time she's ever heard him cuss in Chinese. That first time in Canton, and ye soo how long ago was that, didn't count. This, though. This oughta count. His voice is all tight and pained, and Kaylee turns her head to meet his eyes. He's taken off his sweater, and is holding the blue material against her hand gently.

"Kaylee," he whispers, and he gulps, hard. "Bao bei, please. You're hurting yourself."

Kaylee looks down at her hands, still clutching her wrench, and with a jolt, realizes Simon is right. The apathy that has settled into her muscles, the weariness and near-teariness that's gotten into her system ever since Miranda, it just about splinters at the sight of her own hand gettin' all ragged and bloody against that piece of metal. What shocks her even more than her skin against all that red, though, is the way it didn't even hurt.

Not one little bit. She can't feel, not one little bit.

"Simon?" she pleads, her eyes big and wide, and it's the first time she's ever let herself lean on him, let herself look at him like he's somethin' she could need. He's had enough on his plate. Had enough regrets and enough of being stone. She can't make him even stonier, it ain't fair. It's only that, looking at him now, the way he cradles her hand in his and the way there are tears in his eyes, actual tears for her, for her pain, for everythin' she's got in her head and heart right now...

It makes her feel. Makes her feel somethin' fierce, so that she hooks her clean hand, the one holdin' the wrench, behind his neck and tugs his mouth to hers. And when his own hands, big and strong and capable of holdin' her up and fixin' her right, settle on her hips, she sighs in relief.

The cold ain't so bad anymore.


They kiss sorta clumsy, which shouldn't surprise Kaylee so much. You spend more time buildin' something up in your head than you do at working on it, the end result's not gonna be so great. But it's not fireworks she's wanting right now, anyway. Just someone touchin' her.

Simon's shoulder is smooth under her hand and she breaks away, looking him in the eye for a second. So much skin, from his broad shoulders to his tight tummy to his narrow waist. His eyes are diamond-bright and his smile is so close to fright that she almost laughs out loud.

"Kaylee..." he says. "Can we--is this--" He fumbles and ducks his head, clutching the wrench from Kaylee's hand and throwing it down.

For once, Kaylee waits for his words. There ain't no hurry, not in this room, not in this moment. All the time in the world, in fact.

Simon leans in and kisses her proper, his lips dry and warm and his tongue hot and wet as she opens her own mouth in response. They kiss frantically for a moment, changing angles desperately to find a better fit, and he brings her flush against him, holding on to the ladder for support as she wraps her arms around his neck and settles her hips against his.

"Well, now, Doc," Kaylee grins, and a flash of her old spirit zooms right through her. Serenity seems to respond, swooping to the right a little, and Simon grins back as he swings her around the ladder and down to the ground, bringin' her close and cradlin' her against his body as lays her on the ground.

"You deserve something nicer than this," he says, a flash of regret lightin' his eyes a stormy blue. Kaylee feels a surge of somethin' a little different than lust and simple affection. She don't got a lot of people tellin' her she deserves any more than what she's had, and it's good to hear someone say different. Good to hear someone say she's worth a damn to anyone other than her ship.

"I'm as much a part of the grease and oil in this room as the engine," Kaylee says gently. "This is exactly what I deserve an' exactly what I want, Simon Tam."

Simon cocks his head, on his hands and knees over Kaylee. His chest is damp with the heat of the room and Kaylee groans as his skin, slick an' sweaty, warms under her hands. "This is exactly what you want, Kaylee?"

"Now how many times I gotta say it, Doc?" Kaylee asks. "We waited long enough and I want you real bad, and from what I felt just before, you want me even worse. Think it's high time we get to the sexin', and I don't rightly care where or how, so long as your sister isn't staring right at us."

Simon whips his head around, and Kaylee laughs. A real genuine laugh. "You're an easy mark," she says teasingly, when he turns back around to face her, his color high.

"And you're beautiful." Simon smiles slowly as Kaylee closes her eyes, a sort of joy blossoming through the pain still thawing in her bones. "I never get to finish when I say it, and you're right, we've waited long enough. I need you to know this. I think that you're the most beautiful girl I've ever known, Kaylee. You're beautiful everywhere. Everywhere." He leans in and kisses her slow, letting his lips cling to hers and then curling his tongue against hers. He tastes like the protein Cap'n made 'em all eat this morning, and something clear and sweet, like pure water. She gasps into his mouth, pulling him closer so that his elbows give out and his body is firm and heavy against hers. Her arms wrap behind his neck, her fingers speared through his hair, and she kisses him hard, wet, crazy. She just wants to taste him, all of him, 'cause she hasn't ever got to before, and he thinks she's beautiful. Thinks she deserves nice things.

He's making her warm all over, and it doesn't even matter that they're cramped up 'tween the ladder and the wall and that the engine is humming knowingly at the two of them. All that matters is that she ain't feelin' sad about all those people on Miranda anymore, ain't missing Wash like a limb anymore.

All she's feelin' is Simon Tam, and it's better than just sex--ruttin' hell, it's a revelation.


Simon's got this way about him, Kaylee decides, that's awfully different than the way his normal way is. And if that thought don't make sense, she chalks it up to the way the air is humid and hot in the engine room, the way her moans mingle with his and the whirr of the machinery add their own cadence to the primal groans. She chalks it up to how Simon peeled off her top all slow and tender, like a gentle doctor, before leaning in and kissing her like some sort of hunter. Hungry and determined, like he knew what he wanted.

Like what he wanted was her.

His hands run up her ribcage and trace the outline of her breasts before thumbing her nipples. She's not wearing a bra, and feeling his fingers against her skin is enough to make her neck arch and her voice come in sharp gasps. Off her reaction, his grin turns downright naughty, and he leans in to let his tongue swirl wetly around her breast.

"Simon," she grits, grinding her hips up against his. His cock is already hard, and for such a prim and proper doc, he's not keeping that ridge any sort of secret. He humps her right back, his moans fanning moist against her nipples.

Kaylee tugs Simon's head back up to meet hers, to kiss him deep as his fingers stroke down her abdomen, right down to her dainty floral panties. Only thing dainty about Kaylee at all is her pert little nose and her feminine underwear, and it makes her all kinds of happy to know that Simon can see this part of her. He strokes back and forth over her center, over the damp spot seeping through the fabric, and Kaylee's breath catches and stutters as she wraps her arms around his back and begs him to rub harder, faster. In fact, it'd be real shiny if Simon could tear off her panties and just--

"Simon," she says again, only it's more of a begging sound. "Simon, oh, tianna." His thumb slips under the hem of her panties and finds that sweet, sweet spot of hers, sinks deep into the heat and strums a tune only the rolling engine could mimick. Her back arches over Simon's supporting arm and she keens low in the back of throat as he rubs and rolls, pushes that bundle of nerves that is so much like the coil of wires running this ship. He whispers her name against her throat, and his eyes are so damn bright, and she's wanted him to look at her like this for so damn long that she fairly explodes when he flicks her clit just so.

When her orgasm is over, she's still wound tight. She breathes deep against Simon's neck and feels that hard ridge again, poking into her. Hooking her thumbs over her panties, she wriggles out of them, grinning at the way Simon moans under her squirming. "Oh don't you worry," she says cheekily. "There's more where this came from." Simon gives a breathless laugh.

"I sincerely hope so, Kaylee Fryre."

"I know that you do, Simon Tam." Kaylee cocks her head as she sits naked as the day she were born, her legs thrown on either side of Simon and her breasts swaying gently as she moves. Never really struck her to be ashamed, so she's not now, but maybe she's not as confident as she'd like to be, showin' Simon all her little dips and valleys and quirks. It's like when she covers the engine when she works sometimes. A thing's gotta have some dignity.

She must have said it out loud, 'cause Simon's eyes darken and he lets his hands run from her neck down to her flanks. "You're not a thing, Kaylee," he says. "You're the most dignified person I know when it comes to certain parts of life, anyway." His smile is wry and a little pained. "Never did let me get away with any affronts to your pride."

Kayle blushes. "Thought you thought I wasn't good enough." Her legs tremble and she lets her eyes drift shut at the friction already building up in her core, the way Simon's stroking her center again, the way his zipper is hitting her clit at each thrust of her hips.

"I think you need to let me take care of you, Kaylee. Took care of me long enough, haven't you? Taken care of everyone here." He smiles tenderly and Kaylee nods.

"Only if you get taken care of at the same time, Doc." The sound of a zipper undone, and the feel of his body against hers. His warmth filling her, melting her down so that if she were this ship, if she were this boat, she'd be in the red so deep that her crew would be goners. The engine roars to life for a moment, and Serenity thumps, its parts realigning and getting to know one another once again.

Simon thrusts, letting her surround him and welcome him home, and Kaylee lets him be a part of her, too, lets him be the doctor of her engine for once, lets him mend her clean through. His voice in her ear and his hands on her skin are enough to drown out the fear and the memories, and for one bright, shining moment in the engine room of this ship Kaylee loves, it's a better home than she could ever have imagined.

It'll take a lot of doing, but eventually, there won't be any cold left out here in the dark. Just her and him and their family on this ol' girl flying through space.



Thursday, March 8, 2007 10:20 AM






I liked it.

Right now I'm torn between tears and a cold shower....

That was INCREDIBLE. It's perfect. I am in awe.

More please?


Thursday, March 8, 2007 11:59 AM


Wham...bam...god-fucking-damn! This was utterly insane its brilliance, biggrstaffbunch! I agree with Chazzer in being torn between crying from all the pain the BDHs are going though and taking a long, icy shower to temper the hotness you brought to the table;D


p.s. If my cursing offends thee...I apologize:(

Thursday, March 8, 2007 12:01 PM


I could see Kaylee feeling a bit resentful towards the Captain, but I think she would understand that the choices he made would tear at him just as deeply.

I loved all of this ... Kaylee's depression was so well detailed and the smut was hot ... Good ol' Kaylee/Simon angst/smut/fluff -- what could be better?

Thanks for sharing - I hope you have more S/K for us!

Thursday, March 8, 2007 8:07 PM


Damn, that was awesome.

Thursday, March 8, 2007 9:12 PM


Sweet Holy Buddha!

That was, I mean I just....Gimme a coupla seconds to recover here.

*Two minutes pass*

Okay. I've come to the conclusion that that was, unequivocally the hottest, most touching, most awesomest fic in...well, it was really bloody good.
It rings so incredibly true, you got Kaylee just perfect. It's so heartbreaking to read...then it gets kinda hot.

I'm speechless. I am without speech.


Friday, March 9, 2007 2:25 AM




Er. I think you, um, nailed it, right there. (Can I say that? Is this thing on...)

Monday, March 12, 2007 5:25 AM


I dunno. I think Kaylee's blame Simon for bringing River on board before she'd blame the Captain. Though, her interest in Simon could blind her into not thinking to blame him.

But the rest....its VERY warm here now. . . was great to hear it all in Kaylee's voice. You definitely nailed (or was that Simon? Hee . . ) her well :)

I hope there's more where this came from!

Monday, March 12, 2007 6:13 AM


That was great! Hot and Sweet! good work!


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(you must love me like an arrow) shot into the killer storm
<i>It's strange how crowded it is, these bodies in bed and all the ghosts they have between them.</i> So, an energy matrix, a god-king, and a futuristic slayer all walk into a bar. A schizophrenic sings the story in her head, as across the multiverse, three sisters work towards some sort of end. [Firefly/Buffy/Fray crossover] [m/f, f/f] [WARNING: Whedoncest]

Thisis Your Brain on Drugs (3/?)
"This is your brain, Mal," Inara impatiently explains, poking the captain in the temple. "That?" She makes a vague motion towards the bed. "Was your brain on drugs." Mal furrows his brow. "Crazy, love-makin' drugs?" he asks. Inara sighs. "Crazy, love-making drugs," she confirms. Under the influence of a substance that causes intense--and frequent--bouts of sexual desire, Mal and Inara struggle to keep their heads in a situation rapidly escalating out of their control. But the question they want to stay in control after all? [Mal/Inara humor/smut, post-BDM]

Poetry in Motion (Five Kisses Mal and Inara Never Shared, In Lives They Never Lived): Going to Wars [1]
Five alternate realities, five Mals, five kisses with a woman who will always matter, regardless of the timestream. Romance in universes unexplored. [series of au/ar firefly standalones]

Nicks in the Headboard
Stupid people died all the time. This one mattered more than most, though. [post-The Message]

title: Moving in a Non-Linear Fashion (or, Five Conversations Kaylee Frye Never Had About Simon Tam):|Chapter Six: Simon Tam|
Kaylee's never been one to get complicated 'bout her feelings. Now that she is, though, it sure is a good thing the crew of Serenity is around to help. [post BDM angst/genfic/romance/who knows]

five stages of grief that zoe washburne never/probably/definitely went through (or, an elegy for a pilot)
maybe kubler-ross got it right after all. five steps zoe took in the days following her greatest loss. [post-bdm, spoilers for the whole entire damn series/movie]

Zoe Washburne don't believe in ghosts. (post-BDM angst) |Zoe/Wash|

Thwarted Plans
Kaylee’s hoping her spring cleaning will make a certain reticent doctor more…<b>open</b> to visiting her bunk. Simon, however, has his reasons for staying away.

This is Your Brain on Drugs (2/?)
<i>"This is your brain, Mal," Inara impatiently explains, poking the captain in the temple. "That?" She makes a vague motion towards the bed. "Was your brain on drugs." Mal furrows his brow. "Crazy, love-makin' drugs?" he asks. Inara sighs. "Crazy, love-making drugs," she confirms.</i> Under the influence of a substance that causes intense--and frequent--bouts of sexual desire, Mal and Inara struggle to keep their heads in a situation rapidly escalating out of their control. But the question they want to stay in control after all? [Mal/Inara humor/smut, post-BDM]

This is Your Brain on Drugs (1/?)
<b>"This is your brain, Mal," Inara impatiently explains, poking the captain in the temple. "That?" She makes a vague motion towards the bed. "Was your brain on drugs." Mal furrows his brow. "Crazy, love-makin' drugs?" he asks. Inara sighs. "Crazy, love-making drugs," she confirms.</b> Under the influence of a substance that causes intense--and frequent--bouts of sexual desire, Mal and Inara struggle to keep their heads in a situation rapidly escalating out of their control. But the question they want to stay in control after all? [Mal/Inara humor/smut, post-BDM]