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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Next set of prompts in the Simon-centric 100 prompt story. Kaylee is having a hard time dealing with the afteraffects of her torture - much to Simon's distress. Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1378 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N: Sorry for the delay - here is the next chapter in my Simon/Kaylee angst fest!
As promised - the angst just keeps on comin'!
Thanks again to Leiasky for the beta ... and everything else.
And don't forget those comments ... I'd hate to have to threaten you with something like - refusing to update!!! Yes, I'm a meanie!
The Right To Love - Chapter 7 (Prompts 51-55)
River awoke, panting and breathless. With wide eyes she took in the small confines of her bunk, the buttery yellow walls, the little space and with barely a thought, she pushed the covers off her body, whipping open the screen door and bolting into the cargo bay.
Once she was in the cavernous room, she felt her heart rate slow, her breathing returning to normal. Crying silent tears, she closed her eyes for a moment, searching for the root of her distress. With an audible gasp, her eyes snapped open and she realized things were only going to get worse. Shaking a bit, she ascended the stairs, taking up her favorite spot on the catwalks above and lying down on the cold metal. Soon, she wasn’t alone.
She couldn’t breathe, really. This wasn’t the imagined breathlessness of her dreams; no Kaylee was good and awake and she could not breathe. Heaving as her lungs fought for air that wouldn’t come, she sat up in the bunk, fighting the pain that shot through her still bruised ribs.
With tears running down her cheeks and her heart ready to beat out of her chest, Kaylee pushed her covers off, and staggered to her feet, her left leg still encased in a cast making it difficult for her to stand. She swayed dangerously over Simon and he woke quickly, his eyes wide as soon as he realized that he too, was not dreaming.
Rising, he encircled her waist with a strong arm and tried to sit her back on the bed. “Kaylee, it’s all right. You’re okay. Just lie back down.”
Shaking her head, Kaylee couldn’t form words. The room was so small and getting smaller. Why were the walls closing in? As the ship’s mechanic, she should have known if they were capable of something like that.
Simon’s initial confusion gave way to dread as he watched her try and bolt from the room. “Kaylee, please.” He was begging with her, imploring her to stay, to go back to sleep, to let him help. But with more strength than he had expected, Kaylee continued to struggle towards the door, and eventually, Simon gave in and tried to help her.
Wrapping an arm around his shoulders, Simon snaked the other one under her knees and hauled her up. Kaylee rocked against his chest and stayed there, her head buried in the crook of his shoulder. She was crying heavily now, sobbing and trembling against him and Simon found himself again swallowing back his anger at the men who had done this to her and his own inability to make it right.
Sliding open the screen, Simon didn’t know what to do. He tried taking her towards the infirmary, but as he headed in that direction, she finally managed to hiccup, “Can’t breathe. Need air.”
Knowing that the cargo bay was the biggest room on the ship, Simon turned and headed for the large space, noticing how Kaylee visibly relaxed once they entered. Exhausted and concerned, Simon sat on the nearest set of stairs and Kaylee cuddled further into his lap. He rocked her for a few minutes his only concern at this moment in time getting her to calm down. Feeling gently for a pulse, he realized her heart was racing at an alarming rate and Simon, the doctor, wanted her to take it easy. Simon, the lover, just wanted her to stop shaking.
After more minutes than Simon could count, Kaylee’s breathing finally slowed and while she still had her arms wrapped around him tightly, he could feel the tension in her limbs receding. Reaching up, he placed his hands on her cheeks and pulled her back to look at him. When she would not bring her eyes to his, he asked softly, “Kaylee?”
Kaylee didn’t want to talk about it, but she knew he did. She’d scared him, just as she had been for the weeks she’d been back on board and while Simon had been overwhelmingly patient and understanding, he was ready to get some answers. But Kaylee wasn’t so certain she was ready to give them.
Swallowing hard past the lump in his throat, Simon called again, “Kaylee?”
With fear still lighting her eyes, Kaylee finally lifted her gaze to his face and Simon inhaled sharply as the wind was violently pushed from his lungs. The eyes that stared at him now weren’t Kaylee’s; they held none of the warmth or the light he had always reveled. It was gone, destroyed, and Simon found his anger over their predicament and his fear for her rising. “Please tell me what’s going on.”
It took Kaylee many shaky breaths before she could say anything. “I jus’ felt the walls was closin’ in.” More tears fell as the terror returned, coiling in her stomach. “Simon, I’m so sorry,” she whimpered, again falling against him.
Wondering what in the world she was sorry for, Simon held her tight to him and let her cry. He was slowly starting to lose hope. He hadn’t wanted to; he’d wanted to believe that once Kaylee’s physical injuries were on the mend, the emotional trauma would fade as well. But he had come to realize in the past two weeks that the physical and emotional would not, possibly could not, heal in tandem. As a doctor, he found that extremely frustrating. As the man in love with the woman he now held, he found himself despairing.
“Kaylee, why are you apologizing?” He tried to keep his voice from breaking, his own emotions running hot and close to the surface. “You have nothing to be sorry for.”
Shaking her head against his shoulder, she mumbled, “You shouldn’t hafta deal with me, all blubberin’ like this. It ain’t right.”
More concerned now than just moments before, Simon again cradled her face in his hands and made her hold his intense gaze. “Don’t say that,” he told her firmly, willing his voice to stay even. “Not ever. I love you. There’s no where else I want to be right now.” As she again rested her head to his shoulder, he murmured into her hair, “I just want to help.”
“But you can’t,” she sighed quietly, more tears falling. “Nobody can.”
“You don’t know that, bao bei.” Simon ran a light hand down her back, hoping it would help. In all the commotion, he hadn’t realized that this was the first time in over a month he’d been able to hold her in his arms. It felt good, to have her close, but he was disappointed and saddened that his embrace could not provide the comfort she so desperately sought. “It’s going to be okay. You’re just going to have to give it time.”
River heard Kaylee’s sobs, and she cried right along with her, although her tears fell in silence. Rolling over and onto her back, River closed her eyes tight, and felt more pain well in her chest. Oh yes, so much worse.
“Simon, I’m so tired of feelin’ bad an’ bein’ scared,” Kaylee told him, her voice shaking as her tears receded. “I’m jus’ so tired,” she sighed, her head buried against his chest.
“I know, bao bei,” he whispered into her hair. He wished there was more he could say, more he could do. But there was nothing; medically speaking, he’d done everything possible for Kaylee, giving her every kind of drug, every kind of treatment; emotionally speaking he didn’t know what else to do. It wasn’t necessarily his area of expertise and Simon only hoped that his presence, his love for her, was enough.
She was crying again, Simon could feel her body shaking against him, feel her hot tears falling against his bare chest. Tightening his arms around her, Simon waited a moment, and then said quietly, “Kaylee, tell me what I to do, and I’ll do it.”
Shaking her head, she finally managed to get out, “There ain’t nothin’ you can do, Simon. Nothin’ at all.” With a heavy sigh, she swallowed thickly and uttered a phrase she had never thought she’d say. “I wanna go home.”
Simon’s whole body froze at her whispered statement, as he felt his entire world implode. Keeping his arms around her, he said cautiously, “You are home, Kaylee.”
Shaking her head again, Kaylee could not meet his gaze, knowing the sadness she’d see there. “No, I wanna go home, to my mama an’ daddy. I wanna be safe,” she finished quietly, more tears falling.
With a quiet sigh, Simon closed his eyes and buried his head into her hair. Inhaling deeply, he felt his heart break at her admission, at her very real desire to get off of Serenity and go home. He was also cold, chilled to the core that she would feel he couldn’t keep her safe, he couldn’t protect her. Of course, she was right; he hadn’t been able to keep her from being beaten and tortured, hadn’t been able to stop those men. Why should she feel safe with him?
“Kaylee, why don’t we go back to bed and get some rest?” he asked her quietly, even as his heart continued to sink in his chest. “And we can talk about it in the morning, okay?”
She nodded once and tried to rise, but Simon stopped her, again picking her up and taking her back to his bunk. As he laid her back in bed, she did her best to scoot over and looked at him with watery eyes. “Hold me, Simon, please.”
Powerless to resist her and already aching for the feel of her back in his embrace, Simon slid in beside her and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Just get some sleep, Kaylee.” She nodded and settled against him, even as he pressed a kiss to her lips and whispered, “I love you.”
“Love you,” she murmured back before her body finally gave in to the sleep it so desperately needed. Simon found himself staring at her long into the night, realizing that if she walked off this ship, his heart would go with her.
From her perch in the cargo bay, where she had spent more and more time since Kaylee’s return, River cried more silent tears as Simon’s anguish joined Kaylee’s. Their family was broken, dying and River only knew one way to fix it: to kill him.
Normally River’s mind was full of color, and they were usually vibrant: reds, blues, yellows, purples. Each shade representing a different member of the crew, a different emotion, each one reminding her that they were all alive, all connected. But she didn’t feel alive anymore.
The colors were no longer bright or vibrant, they were worn, faded into almost gray, and River hated it. Since Kaylee had announced her decision to leave and Mal had reluctantly asked River to pilot a course to her home planet, everything had been off. Every reaction, every thought, every moment skewed by this gray dinginess that permeated all of them now, even Jayne.
It had affected Simon worst of all, of course. River had stayed close, especially once Kaylee had asked to be moved back to her bunk. Simon’s pain at Kaylee’s rejection had caused even his blue, blue eyes to fade beyond recognition. They were dull, lifeless, and it made River shiver.
She was mad at Kaylee, mad at her selfishness, her weakness, but she also understood. River knew what it was to be frightened beyond belief; to be injured and hurting and not no where to turn. But River and Kaylee both were lucky, because they had a guiding light when they were lost – they had Simon. And Kaylee was pushing him away.
As another quiet and uncomfortable meal wound to a close for the crew of Serenity, River hotly stalked towards Kaylee’s bunk, determined to talk some sense into her. Not bothering to knock, she kicked open the hatch. Descending the ladder hurriedly, she found Kaylee lying in her bunk, her back propped up against the wall. She was toying with something in her hands, something River couldn’t see and something Kaylee hid from her as soon as she appeared.
The two women held each other’s gazes for a moment and then finally, River spoke. “You’re hurting him.”
With the same lifeless eyes that her brother now saw the world with, Kaylee asked, “What?”
“You’re punishing him for something he couldn’t prevent. You’re running away so you don’t have to deal. And that’s not fair.”
Averting her gaze, Kaylee muttered, “Go ‘way, River. You don’t understand.”
“Don’t I?” the younger woman asked, moving to Kaylee’s side and sitting next to her. “You don’t think I know what it’s like to be hurt, to be scared. I’ve been tortured before too, Kaylee.”
“It ain’t safe here, River. I gotta go.”
“It’s not safe anywhere,” she retorted. “It wasn’t safe for me on Osiris and I grew up there. It wasn’t even safe for Wash in the cockpit or the Shepherd on Haven.” Kaylee’s eyes darted back to her face and River softened her expression just a bit at the sadness in her friend’s green eyes.
“I don’t know how to not be scared,” she whispered, her voice thick with emotion.
“Let him help you,” River answered, taking her hand. “When you were in the hospital, he didn’t leave you, not once. Did you know that?” Kaylee nodded, but did not speak, her voice having failed her. “Why do you think that is?” River questioned, wanting the girl to admit it.
Shrugging lightly, Kaylee answered in a whisper, “’Cause he loves me.”
Smiling at her, River said, “Exactly, because he loves you. And I know you love him or you wouldn’t be trying so hard to protect him.”
Kaylee’s big green eyes again locked on the younger woman’s face. How had she known that was her motivation? “He deserves more than me, River. I’m broken now. Not even half the woman he loved before.”
“That’s ridiculous and you know it,” River scolded. “And it hasn’t changed his feelings for you one bit, it’s just strengthened them. He would gladly take that day back if he could. He would have stopped you from going, no matter the consequence. He would have readily gone in your place to spare you this pain.” Squeezing the young woman’s hand, she added, “If that’s not love, what is?”
Kaylee bit her lip, hoping to stifle the sob she felt, but it was no use. River edged closer to her and wrapped her arms around the young woman, holding her steady as she cried softly. She felt empty, desolate and she hated it, hated the feeling. And she wanted Simon, she wanted him so badly she couldn’t take it, but even she was tired of hearing herself cry, of waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, of shaking every time the ship so much as shuddered.
River continued to run a gentle hand down Kaylee’s back even as her tears subsided. “I still wanna go home,” Kaylee said between shaky breaths and River smiled slightly, pulling back from her.
“Well, of course you do, you want to see your folks,” she said, wiping at the girl’s tear-stained cheeks. “Just promise me you’ll let Simon help. He’s hurting so badly at the thought that you don’t want him anymore.”
“But I do,” Kaylee said desperately. “I do, River, I jus’ don’t wanna hurt him. I don’ want him to be with me ‘cause he feels sorry for me.”
Shaking her head, River told her firmly, “My brother doesn’t love like that Kaylee, he loves with his whole heart, all the time. His feelings for you won’t fade, ever.”
Kaylee smiled at her and River pressed a kiss to her forehead before leaving he bunk, knowing that she had just lifted the grimy fog from her family – at least for the time being.
Simon glanced around the infirmary warily and released a heavy sigh he hadn’t even felt building.
“That bad, huh?”
Snapping his eyes toward the door, Simon saw Zoe’s bemused look and smiled slightly. “It always is, isn’t it?”
Entering the colorless room, Zoe walked towards the exam table and hopped up. “You wanted to check on these ribs?”
Nodding once, Simon moved for his instruments and then turned back to face her. The woman had already parted her shirt, not at all shy about baring her naked stomach to the younger man, and with a physician’s detachment, Simon examined her. She only winced once, when his hands touched over a still tender spot.
Finally, he stepped back and told her, “You’re doing fine. I’d say in about another week, you won’t feel any more pain.”
Zoe nodded once, buttoning up her shirt and sliding off the table, watching as Simon moved methodically about the white space, each motion measured and paced. She had guessed, a long while ago that Simon’s attachment to medicine was partly derived from his attachment to order. And she guessed that now, when everything seemed so believably out of control, he was clinging to this small, colorless room with even more ferocity.
Both times she’d been right.
Simon turned at her call, noting she was again standing in the doorway. “Hiding from the world in here’s only gonna get you two things.” As Simon cocked his head, encouraging her to explain, she told him, “One, it’s gonna make you look more pale than you already are.” As the man smiled slightly, she added, “And two, it’s gonna cause you to lose that girl.”
By the time Simon looked back to her, she was gone and he found himself sinking onto a stool, lost in thought. He didn’t have a choice did he? He didn’t want to lose Kaylee, was actually fairly certain that he would not survive if she walked off Serenity for good, but she had made it clear that she wanted to be alone. He was trying to respect that, trying to do what she asked, even though it was killing him.
He’d never seen her in such emotional pain before, which was only fueling his uncertainty. The physical injuries were healing nicely, but her emotional distress ripped at his soul in ways he never would have guessed possible. It ate at him even worse than River’s tantrums. It tore at his heart, because it was Kaylee who was suffering, the one person in the entire ‘verse who he loved with his mind, heart and soul.
“Needs to be reminded.” The small voice floating into him could only be his sister and with a tired look, he saw her in the doorway, almost mirroring Zoe’s pose of moments before. “Needs to remember, needs to feel.”
Walking towards him, River rested a hand to his face and told him in a whisper, “Needs color, bright, shiny, vibrant.” Holding his gaze, she said, “Needs blue mixed with green. Brown mixed with black.” Glancing to his skin, she smirked and said, “White mixed with tan.”
Smiling despite himself, Simon rose and told her, “Okay, mei mei, I get the point.”
“Good,” she said, pushing him gently towards the door. “Do something about it.”
Kaylee’s fingers rolled the silky fabric absentmindedly. Since River had gone, hours ago now, she had been fidgeting with the bright blue scrap of fabric. Pausing for a moment, she stared down at it, having to blink her eyes to clear the tears there.
It was decidedly Simon, this scrap of material; a handkerchief he had offered to her one day when she’d had a cold ages ago now. It had been before they’d been dating and so Kaylee had simply “forgotten” to return it. She’d felt guilty for a while, but every time she looked at the bright blue swatch, she remembered Simon, remembered his blue eyes and swai smile and it brought a warmth to her heart.
Right now though it was only serving to make her sadder. She didn’t want to just have this hankie as a reminder of him, she wanted him. But she’d pushed him away, made him move her back down to her brightly decorated bunk, where she had never felt more alone.
Despite River’s assurances that he still loved her, Kaylee worried that it wouldn’t be enough; that she would never again be the woman Simon had fallen in love with, that their relationship would never recover, and it was that fear that kept her from reaching for the comm on her wall and asking him to come to her.
Hearing the sound of her hatch opening, she again buried the fabric beneath her pillow, expecting River to appear at any moment with more words of encouragement. But she quickly realized it wasn’t the young woman who was coming to visit and Kaylee found her breath catching in her throat with disbelief.
Monday, April 02, 2007 10:55 AM
Monday, April 02, 2007 12:03 PM
Monday, April 02, 2007 3:44 PM
Tuesday, April 03, 2007 9:32 AM
Thursday, April 05, 2007 12:43 PM
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