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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Maya. Post-BDM. The morning after the heroic rescue, everyone is relaxing, except for Simon ... a little angsty, so please read on! And thanks to all of you who comment - you are wonderful!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1715 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Simon couldn’t sleep. Something on those scans was prickling at him, and he knew he wasn't going to get any rest until he’d analysed them.
“Honey, where are you going?” Kaylee asked, her sleepy head raised, staring at her husband as he pulled on a pair of loose pants.
“Go back to sleep, bao bei,” Simon urged. “I just need to check something.”
“No. She’s fine. And fast asleep, like you should be.”
“So should you.” She rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand. “What time is it?”
“Early. Go back to sleep.”
“Can’t whatever it is wait a few hours?”
An odd feeling crept up Simon’s spine. “Not sure.”
“Okay.” Kaylee sighed and pushed back the covers. “Do you want some coffee? ‘Cause I can make –“
“I want you rested. Your family isn’t intending today to be an anticlimax.”
She giggled sleepily. “No, I think you’re right, there.”
He sat down on the edge of the bed, pressing the sheet back into place around her. “Now, please, close your eyes. Just for a little while.”
“’Kay.” She lay back. “I’d fall asleep quicker if you were next to me, though.”
“Then you’d never fall asleep at all, and I wouldn’t be able to go and do what I have to.”
She laughed again, but it died away as sleep regained its hold.
He leaned forward, brushing a lock of hair from her forehead, and softly kissed her. She gave a little sigh of pleasure and smiled, but didn’t wake.
Grabbing a light sweater, he tugged it over his head, running his fingers through his hair. Time to go to work.
As the sun came up, random activity began to occur outside the Frye house. Some of the family who lived close enough had gone home, but a large number had merely settled themselves down on the ground around the fires, chatting and dozing, until the morning. Now the fires were fed, and people began to prepare breakfast. The smell of fresh coffee wafted across the open area.
In the captain’s bunk back on Serenity, Mal and Freya were lying in each other’s arms.
“Odd day yesterday,” Mal said softly, stroking his wife’s shoulder.
“That it was.”
He glanced down at her. “Was it really that bad? I mean, going into that room, sitting in that chair.”
“It was just a chair, Mal.”
“You can tell me, xin gan.”
There was such a long silence that Mal began to think he’d upset her, but eventually she sighed and began to speak. “So many memories, Mal. A lot of it’s disjointed, like a bad dream, and most of the time I can pretend that’s all it was. A nightmare. But it’s there, always, in the back of my mind, in that dark area I try and close off. And there’s always the chair.”
Mal hated the sadness in her voice. “It doesn’t matter, Frey. Forget I mentioned it.”
“We’ve never really talked about it, have we?” She looked up into his blue eyes, feeling the love radiating from him.
“And we don’t have to.” He hugged her tighter.
“But I think perhaps we should. Dr Yi said I might, one day.”
“This doesn’t have to be the day, Frey.”
She smiled a little. “But when I am ready, you’ll be there to listen, right?”
“It’s none of it pretty.”
“I never thought it would be.”
“The things they did to us … to me … I understand why River’s never really told anyone. Not even Simon.”
“Think she talks to Jayne about it?”
Freya shook her head. “She doesn’t have to. He loves her the way she is, not for what she could have been.”
“Frey, honey, that’s way too deep for this time of the morning,” Mal complained.
“Too deep?” She put a soft kiss on his chest, then a second and a third, running down towards his navel. “How deep?” Her fingers went further south.
He groaned gently. “That ain’t fair.”
“Want I should stop?”
“Don’t even think about it.”
Kaylee wasn’t surprised to wake up alone. Simon sometimes pulled an all-nighter in the infirmary, and from the conversation earlier she knew he was still concerned about Freya.
Getting up and stretching, feeling her body relaxed and ready to take on anything her family could throw at her, she got dressed quickly and hurried down to find her husband. At the infirmary doorway she paused, a tender smile playing on her lips.
He had fallen asleep sitting at the counter, a number of hard copy scans spread out on the work surface. His head rested on his crossed arms.
She crossed the room and put her hand on his shoulder. “Honey?”
He stirred, and just for a moment wondered where he was. Half a dozen locations flashed across his mind, from the desk in his bedroom at home where he used to study for his exams, through to the doctor’s lounge when he was an intern. Then he realised it was his wife standing next to him, and he smiled at her. “Hi.”
“You fell asleep.”
He rubbed his hands across his face. “I must have.”
She picked up one of the scans. “Did you figure it out?”
“I’m not sure. I just have a couple more things to look at.”
“Can it wait a few hours? My Ma’s gonna be making us breakfast, and it’s one of her specialties.”
“Wild fruit pancakes.” She sighed. “With appleberry syrup.”
“That sounds nice.”
“Nice?” Kaylee grinned. “Simon, folks have been known to come from miles away to get just a smell of her pancakes. And she only makes ‘em on special occasions.”
He laughed. “And you asked for them?”
“Well, I might’ve kinda hinted.”
Still chuckling, he stood up, taking her into his arms. “Your mother is amazing,” he murmured.
“I know,” Kaylee said happily. “I’m so lucky. Got a family here on Phoros that loves me, got a great job looking after Serenity with even more family, got me a lot of good friends, a beautiful daughter … and a man who thinks I’m better’n all the other women he’d ever been out with.”
“Oh, better than any I’ve ever met. Or never met. Or will ever be likely to meet.”
“You been practicing that?”
“It comes straight from my heart.”
“I’m finally learning.”
She giggled and kissed him soundly, then stepped back. As much as she wanted to take this further, and from the slight tightness of his soft pants he did too, she knew there’d be plenty of time later. “Better get Bethany up. Although from the sound coming out of her room, I think she’s already awake and raring to go.”
“Okay. I’ll be along shortly,” Simon said. “Give me half an hour to shower and change, and I’ll join you.”
“Don’t be too long.” She reached up and pressed her lips just once against his. “And better make that a cold shower.”
“You shouldn’t have this affect on me.”
“Want me to stop?”
“God, no.“ He patted her on the behind as she laughed, heading back towards their quarters to collect their daughter.
Hank took deep breaths of the morning air, appreciating the change from the filtered variety he usually experienced. Almost like a connoisseur he tasted the different nuances. Dried earth, overlaid with a slight tang of chemicals from the factories some distance away, and just the hint of food cooking. He grinned. Wonderful.
“I thought you’d want to lie in,” Zoe said, walking down the ramp behind him.
“Well, I would’ve, but we’ve only got today left, and Kaylee’s Pa said there’s a fishing hole not too far from here where there’s a pike notorious for beating the very best anglers. Cal said he‘d take me.”
“And you figured you’d have a crack at it?”
“For a while.” He slipped his arm around her waist. “You could always come and join me.”
“And watch you stare at nothing for a whole morning.” She shook her head. “No, I don’t think so.”
“Could be fun. You, me, a few cold beers …”
“It would be boring, and I’d fall asleep.” She smiled at him. “Much better I stay around here. Do some chores.”
“Oh no.” Hank was firm. “You ain’t hanging around the ship. If you don’t come with me, at least you’re going to the party.”
Zoe laughed. “They know how to, I’ll give you that.”
“Mr Frye told me they once had one lasted for five days. And that only finished when the food ran out.”
“From the evidence of yesterday, that isn’t likely to happen.”
“You know this is only possible because all Kaylee’s family are pitching in.”
“I figured as much.” Hank looked almost embarrassed. “I offered her Pa some money, just to help cover things. He looked like I was trying to bribe him, then put his arm around me and told me to keep my coin. That it was ‘cause they love Kaylee so much they did this.”
“They don’t get to see her very often, so they like to make a big thing out of it.”
“They’re really good people.”
“That they are.”
He squeezed her waist. “Come on. Let’s go eat.”
“What about the ship?”
“Mal can close up. Or Jayne.”
“Ain’t gonna be here,” the big man said, passing them by as he strode towards the Frye house. “Gonna get me some breakfast then me and River’re gonna go for a wander.” He looked back over his shoulder. “Maybe find us a nice secluded spot for some fun.” He grinned and walked on.
Zoe saw the calculating look pass across Hank’s face. “No,” she said.
“You were thinking fish guts …”
Freya pulled on her pants and slipped her feet into a pair of soft shoes.
“Where’re are you going?” Mal asked, watching her, a smile on his face.
She grabbed a t-shirt from the drawer. “Going to make breakfast.”
“I think the Fryes kinda had that covered, from what they were saying last night.”
Freya paused. “That’s true.”
“So why don’t you come back to bed?”
She grinned. “Because if nothing else I have to feed Ethan. You know how crotchety he gets if he doesn’t get his food on time.”
“A few minutes ain’t gonna -”
“Dadda.” Ethan’s voice drifted from the nursery.
Mal laughed. “Our son, the human alarm clock.”
Freya slid the door open, smiling. “Morning, sleepy,” she said, seeing Ethan sitting up in bed, his arms outstretched to her. “And I’m Mama, remember?”
He gurgled, grinning widely at her as she picked him up.
“He’ll say it soon enough,” Mal said, suddenly close behind her, his breath on her neck.
“I know,” she replied, checking his diaper.
“Is he dry?”
Freya nodded. “He is. You’re a good boy, aren’t you, Ethan?”
“See, he’s getting there.” Mal ruffled his son’s hair.
“Dadda!” Ethan laughed.
“That’s right,” Freya said. “Naked Dadda at that.” She turned, feeling her husband’s bare skin very close. “You’d better get dressed. I’ll feed Ethan, and we’ll head to the Frye’s.”
“We could just stay here. I think we’re likely to have the ship to ourselves.”
There was a pause. “As tempting as that is, we do at least have to put in an appearance,” Freya said regretfully.
“But we can bear it in mind?”
She grinned. “Oh, yes.” She ran her hand down his chest, stopping just below his waist. “Definitely.”
Simon stood under the shower, water cascading off his shoulders and back, running in rivulets down his strong thighs and calves. He was leaning on the wall, his eyes closed, seeing the scans yet again in his mind’s eye. He knew, if he’d had more time at the hospital to study the images in 3-D he’d have been able to figure it out, but something was eluding him. Something so obvious, so basic, that he just wasn’t seeing it.
Lifting his face into the stream, he let the spray play across his forehead, easing the slight headache he’d had since he woke up staring at the … His eyes sprang open, fastening on the crack in the tile in front of him where Jayne had slipped one day.
“Tzao gao!” That was it. It was simple, and staring him right in the face.
He turned off the water, towelling himself dry quickly before heading back to the infirmary. River was just inside.
“I was looking for you,” his sister said. “We’re going to breakfast - although Jayne’s already gone. I don’t think anyone should get between him and food, not if they … Are you all right?”
“I’m fine,” Simon assured her, grabbing the scans and staring at them.
She joined him, her bare feet making no sound on the cool floor. “You know?” she asked softly.
“I think I do.”
River stared at the images. “Do you want me to -”
She nodded and hurried out of the infirmary, running up the stairs to the dining area.
Freya was sitting at the table, watching her son spoon warm milk and cereal into his mouth, and making a mess. She was laughing. “Morning, River,” she said. “Look at this. He gets more on his face than he eats.” She wiped gently at Ethan’s chin.
“I’ll finish here, if you like,” the young psychic said.
“No, that’s fine. He won’t be that much longer.” She leaned forward quickly and caught a large blob before it could make its way onto his chest.
“Only Simon wanted a quick word.”
“Really?” Freya looked up in surprise. “What about?”
“He didn’t say.” River sat down next to Ethan and took the cloth from Freya’s fingers. “The sooner you go and find out, the sooner you’ll be able to join the party.”
Freya laughed. “I’m not sure I can take much more partying,” she admitted, standing up, her hand pressed lightly into her hip. “I’m not as young as I was.”
“Always young,” River murmured. “Age is a state of mind.”
As she passed the young woman, Freya nodded. “You know, I think you’re right about that.”
“You wanted to see me?” Freya asked, leaning in the doorway of the infirmary. “Only I thought you’d be out enjoying the Frye family breakfast.” She chuckled. “Or have you got a hangover?”
“No hangover.” Simon looked at her, his normally warm face quite serious. “I have the results of the hospital scans.”
“Sounds bad. Should I sit down?”
“Freya …” Simon paused.
“If it’s bad news I don’t want to hear.”
“That isn’t the way to –”
“No!” Freya glared at him. “Not like this. Not …” She stepped into the room and pressed the com button. “Mal, could you join me in the infirmary?”
“I thought –”
“You’d only have to tell it twice.” She swallowed and managed a smile. “He’s probably only just around the corner anyway. You know what he’s like about eavesdropping.”
“Just ‘cause I’d good at it,” the man himself said, his thumbs stuck in his pants pockets. “River said you’d come down here. So what’s all the fuss?”
Freya took a deep breath. “I think Simon wants to tell us what he’s found out.”
Mal stood straighter. “The limp?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Well, doc, what’s the damage?” His light tone and easy words hid his concern, but his blue eyes were troubled. He moved close to his wife and put his arm around her.
“There’s … there’s really no easy way to say this, but I need to operate.”
to be continued
Saturday, June 9, 2007 3:30 PM
Saturday, June 9, 2007 5:25 PM
Saturday, June 9, 2007 9:50 PM
Sunday, June 10, 2007 9:52 AM
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