Sweet Sorrow - Part III
Monday, April 9, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Simon makes a discovery, and jumps to entirely the wrong conclusion, with possibly tragic results. Feedback, please. And thanks for the birthday wishes - it was April 9th!


Simon stared at the sight of his sister lying next to the great hulking mercenary. She was cuddled up to him, her hand on his chest, her dress rucked up, so he could see her thigh. But that wasn’t the worst.

Jayne lying on his back, his body relaxed.

Next to his sister.


Simon could hardly breathe. He stepped into the room and punched the mercenary as hard as he could on the jaw, all his body weight behind it.

“Wha …” Jayne sat up, shaking his head.

“How could you?” Simon said quietly, his face white with rage. “Taking advantage of my sister.”

Jayne rubbed his jaw. “What the ruttin’ hell are you going on about?”

“Get up.” The young doctor was vibrating, anger making his heart beat so fast he thought it might burst, if he was thinking at all. “Get up! When I kill you I want you on your feet!”

River had woken up. “Simon?”

Jayne slowly got to his feet. “Ain’t nothing happened here, doc.”

“Nothing? You stand there like that and say …”

Jayne glanced down at himself, and realised the towel had come off some time during the night. “You think I’d be stupid enough to do something with you just -” Simon punched him again, and he began to see red. “Doc, I’m trying to tell you -” The young man drew back again, but this time Jayne didn’t let him complete it. He jabbed out, catching him on the chin.

Simon staggered back, only stopping himself from falling by grabbing the door jamb. “Get a gun,” he said softly. “Go get one of those damned guns of yours.”

“Doc, you don’t wanna do -”

“Now!” Simon turned and headed back towards his bunk.

“Jayne, what’s …” River had sat up, her face a mixture of confusion and alarm.

“You stay here,” he said, smiling down at her. “You just … stay here.” He stepped outside into the corridor and closed the door, locking it.

“Jayne?” She was up and trying the handle. “Jayne!”

He ran to his bunk, grabbing a pair of pants and his gunbelt, buckling it on as he headed back down. Simon was waiting for him in the cargo bay, his own gun on his hip, Kaylee standing in the doorway to the common area.

“What’s going on?” she asked, holding a sheet around herself.

“Go back, Kaylee,” Simon ordered.

Kaylee stared between her husband and her friend, and ran for the com.

“Doc, I know what it looked like, but -”

“You took advantage of my sister.”

“I keep trying to tell you -”


Jayne stared at him. “You think you really wanna fight me? You think you can outdraw me?”

“Time to try.” Simon was so certain, so …

“’Kay.” Jayne moved to give himself room, his hand hovering by his gun. “Go ahead.”

They gazed at each other, then Jayne saw the barest tightening of Simon’s eyes. His hand twitched, and Simon drew.

The sound of a single gunshot filled the cargo bay, at the same moment as Mal and Freya burst onto the top catwalk, and River kicked open her door. She screamed.

“What the hell -” Mal shouted, looking down.

“It’s okay, Mal,” Jayne said, half turning to look up. “It’s …” He slipped to his knees, then fell forward onto his face, not aware enough to put his hands out, his gun still in its holster.

River ran into the bay as the others hurried down the steps.

“He didn’t draw,” Simon said, staring down at the mercenary. “Why didn’t he draw?”

“Nothing happened!” River screamed at him. She went down onto her knees, turning Jayne over. A hole in his chest, pumping blood out. She put her hands over it, trying to stem the flow. “Nothing happened and you shot him!”

Mei-mei, he took advantage of you! You’re vulnerable and he … he forced himself on you!”

Mal was down on the deck the other side of River. He checked the big man’s pulse in his neck. It was thready, weakening. “Damn it, doctor, get down here.”

Simon shook his head. “No. He took -”

“No, he didn’t!” River was crying, her hands slipping in his blood.

“River -”

Freya put her hand on his arm. “No, he didn’t.” He turned to look at her. “Simon, she’s telling the truth. Nothing happened.”

His face crumpled. “You mean -”

“Help him!” River pulled Jayne’s gun from its holster, aiming it at her brother. The click of the safety being thumbed off was very loud. “Save him!”

Simon stared at her, and knew she meant it. “Get out of the way.” He took Mal’s place, putting his own gun down on the floor. Quickly he checked over the big man. “I need him in the infirmary. Now.”

Mal nodded, and he and Hank lifted Jayne between them, carrying him through the common area into the sickbay, placing the unconscious man on the medbed.

Simon fixed the sensors across Jayne’s chest, taking a glance at the readings produced. “His blood pressure’s too low. I think I must have … the bullet might have clipped an artery.”

“Save him,” River said, the gun still in her hand.

“River, please put that down.” He pulled a pair of latex gloves from the pack. “I work better without someone threatening to shoot me.”

“You shot him.”

“I …” He looked at her. “I know. Please, mei-mei.”

Reluctantly she handed the gun to Freya.

“I need help here,” Simon said, relaxing just a little.

“What do you need, doc?” Mal asked.

Simon primed a hypo, injecting it against his patient’s neck. “Glove up, Mal.”


He worked silently, aware of River at his elbow, watching every move. It reminded him of his days at medical school, when the teachers would hang over him, making sure he didn’t lose his patient. Of course, if he had back then, they weren’t likely to shoot him.


“I see it. Clamp just there.”

Mal did as he was told, sealing off the small bleeder.

“I don’t get it,” Hank said, watching from outside the infirmary. “What possessed Simon to shoot Jayne?”

“He was angry when we went to bed,” Kaylee said, staring inside. “About Jayne saying what he did -”

“About babies?” Hank’s eyebrows almost disappeared into his hair. “Why would that make him mad?”

“Well, then he went on to how it’s Jayne River’s been looking to for help. But I thought he’d got over that …” Kaylee wrapped her arms about herself.

“Honey, hadn’t you better go look to Bethany and Ethan?” Zoe suggested. “The shot must’ve woken them up.”

“Ethan’s in with Bethany. She’s fine. She’s …”


“Curious. She asked how Jayne was.”

Zoe and Hank exchanged a look. “Had you told her?” the first mate asked.

“No.” Kaylee looked even more unhappy. “I’m hoping she heard the voices, worked it out for herself.”

“Kaylee, you know what it means if she didn’t.”

“I don’t want her to be psychic,” Kaylee whispered. “If they find out …”

“She probably just guessed,” Hank said, putting his arm around her shoulder. “And nobody’s gonna find out.”

Kaylee shivered.


Simon closed up.

“Well?” Mal asked.

“I … the bullet did a lot of damage. It caught an artery, damaged one lobe of his liver …frankly I’m surprised he’s still alive.”

“Will he stay that way?”

“I think I got it all. He’s not out of the woods, but … I think so. Barring complications.”

“Good.” Mal stripped the blood-stained gloves from his hands and threw them onto the counter. “Now, would you like to tell me what the tyen shiao duh is going on here?” His anger, bubbling below the surface, was threatening to overflow.

Simon pressed the dressing into place. “I thought he’d taken advantage of my sister.”

“Taken …” Mal stared. “You mean raped?”

“No! But … she’s vulnerable. It would only take a few words from a man like that to -”

“You think your sis doesn’t know about this kinda thing?”

“Mal, she’s a child!”

“No she’s not,” Freya said from the doorway, the place she’d stood throughout.

Simon turned his agitated gaze on her. “She doesn’t understand the way things happen out here in -”

“She’s twenty-one.”

“And hasn’t had the experience to tell when a man wants … that.”

“Kinda a moot point, though, don’t you think, doc?” Mal put in. “See as, according to Frey, nothing actually happened.”

“He was naked! In her bed! What was I supposed to think?”

“That she has bad taste, maybe, but that don’t give you the right to go shooting him. You coulda tried asking instead.”

“What if it had been your sister, Mal? Or your daughter?” Simon immediately knew he’d gone too far.

Mal stood perfectly still, not even blinking. “You might want to reconsider those words, doctor.”

“Mal, I’m sorry. But she’s my sister. She’s the only family I have.”

Kaylee, listening outside, stiffened.

“You know that isn’t true.” Freya could feel the young mechanic’s unhappiness.

Simon glanced guiltily out of the sickbay, but kept to the matter in hand. “I thought he’d used her.”

“Much as I might once have agreed Jayne was capable of that, I’d have to say, on recent evidence, he ain’t no more.” Mal shook his head.

River, who hadn’t taken her eyes off the unconscious man, nor shown any sign of hearing the conversation going on behind her, finally spoke. “Jayne loves me.”

“He doesn’t even understand the concept!” Simon insisted.

She moved to face her brother. “He didn’t even draw. You were going to try and kill him, and he didn’t even draw.”

Simon took a step backwards, away from the sheer rage in her eyes. “I … I know,” he stammered.

“Why was that, little albatross?” Mal asked. “Do you know?”

River still gazed into her brother’s face. “Because he knew he could kill Simon before he could blink. And if he had, or even hurt him in any way, I would never have forgiven him. So instead I can never forgive you.” She stared at him a moment longer, then went back to Jayne’s side.

“River …” His voice was beseeching, pleading with her to understand.

“I don’t have a brother any more,” she whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks.

to be continued


Monday, April 9, 2007 11:09 PM


Oh Damn! The hits just keep on coming! How many people can Simon alienate in one misguided action? Let's see, his sister, his captain, his wife, his daughter and one very pissed of Merc, when he wakes up that is - and he'd better or I think River's getting off at the next planet.

This was amazing, Jane0904 - I didn't see it coming, but that's what makes it even better!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 3:17 AM


Well now, that's a startling turn of events! Thank you for providing my daily dose of angsty Firefly. Where do we go from here?!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 3:28 AM


Wow this is the best chapter I think that you have ever written,just please dont let Jayne die.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 9:16 AM


As much as this just raises the dramatic tension to an almost unbearable level I cannot quite wrap my head around a Simon so unstable that he would try to take a man's life without at least demanding a full explanation before riddling him with holes. Especially as he has already been shown to be wrong in his conclusions about Jayne previously. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 4:28 PM


I agree with Amdobell. Simon just really flew off the handle on this one. And he's not only turned his sister against him, Kaylee is not going to respond well to "But she’s my sister. She’s the only family I have.” I also have difficulty seeing Simon calling Jayne out on a duel. Might just be me.

Let's not also forget that Jayne is partly responsible for this. He could have easily taken Simon down before any guns were drawn or just walked away to let Simon and River deal with the issue. I'll be curious to see what reason Jayne gives for accepting the duel in the first place.

That said, I still enjoy reading your work every day and look forward to it. I hope that Jayne lives and River can see clearly enough to take back her "I don't have a brother any more" comment.

Saturday, April 14, 2007 5:51 PM


Holy crap! You basically killed Jayne...through Simon! This better be some really back-handed way of getting Jayne and Simon to deal with their mutual dislike for one another so that River and Jayne can have a smoother future than probable...or I don't know how I will take it:(

What really gets me all kinds of confused is Jayne's action's here. All he had to do was get Mal to intervene or refuse to capitulate to Simon's insane demand, and Simon would have been hard-pressed to do much except shoot Jayne in cold blood or violate his oath by doing something to Jayne while he was on the exam table in the infirmary sometime down the road. Really, it seems Jayne gambled on Simon shooting him in a non-vital spot or missing entirely...and lost. Can't imagine how Jayne's gonna be acting when he recovers...



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[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]