title: Moving in a Non-Linear Fashion (or, Five Conversations Kaylee Frye Never Had About Simon Tam):|Chapter Six: Simon Tam|
Monday, June 11, 2007

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]


This one is for Chazzer and Leiasky, 'cause the former made me get my butt in gear and the latter is owed a fic. Hope ya'll enjoy!

- - -

VI. Hearts Can't Be Fixed With a Band-Aid: Simon Tam

Kaylee knows that she's wasted half the night drumming up the courage to find Simon and talk to him, but she never wagered that just when she was ready to get face to face with the doc, he'd be nowhere to be found.

She's looked in the med-bay, the kitchen, the sitting area, his bunk, and hell--even the engine room, in hopes that maybe Simon had come lookin' for her sometime in the night. But no such luck. Simon's just noplace that Kaylee can find, and she feels a flash of apprehension at it, wondering where exactly he could be.

Maybe it's all this talk of lovin' and losin', but Kaylee's sorta scared of all the ways her relationship with Simon could end before it even properly begins.

It wouldn't do to shout the whole ship down, though, and Kaylee's already too agitated to think much clearly. She takes a deep breath and tells herself that there's a reason everyone seemed to be around when she needed them most tonight. She's just gotta calm herself down and take their advice, take everything as it comes. When Simon is ready to show, he'll show. Till then, alls she can do is wait. No use in crowding him, especially since she's the one who took so long to figure out her own heart.

Kaylee smiles. Seems it's always been that way with her and her doc--one of 'em comprehending and the other all manners of confused.

It's with that thought in mind that Kaylee heads towards her own bunk, letting her fingers trace along Serenity's metal skin, her mind jumbled with thoughts. She's still a little hesitant, truth be told, 'bout what's to be said when she and Simon finally sit down to chat. Despite everyone's kindness tonight, she's still got butterflies only Simon can chase away, and a part of her is worried she's misunderstood and he don't like her like that at all anymore.

Well, what could wait till now can wait till tomorrow, then, she quickly decides. They don't have forever, maybe, but they got until tomorrow at least, right?

'Specially if what she's waiting for is soul-crushing rejection.

It's with that happy thought that Kaylee stares unseeing at her door. "There's just so much else to be worryin' about," she finally murmers to herself, trying desperately to explain away her sudden apprehension, kicking open her hatch and slowly descending the ladder. "I can't go off an' bother him now."

"That's why I've come to bother you."

The mild voice just about scares the skin offa Kaylee, but when she stumbles the last few rungs of the ladder and almost turns her ankle, the warm hands grasping her elbows steady her. "Easy," a voice says in her ear, breath against her ear making her go all trembly for a second.

"Simon?" Kaylee turns in Simon's arms, very aware that this is the closest she's been to his body since waking up on his chest, a lifetime ago in Canton. Her fingers reach up and grasp his shoulders, her lips curving a little as the heat seeps through his night-shirt. "How come you ain't in your own bunk?"

Simon smiles. "Well, since you've been doing a fairly good job at avoiding me lately, I thought it might be best if I came to you instead." His smile gentles, eyes impossibly blue under the twinkling lights strung up around Kaylee's bunk. "You thought I hadn't noticed, didn't you?" He leans closer, hand touching her cheek. "Even I'm not that much of a moron."

Kaylee blinks, stunned. "What'dya mean?" she manages, trying not to shiver at the way the doc's looking at her lips. It's with the same, single-minded determination he often gets when he's doing his medical work, and Kaylee can't help but preen a little at his obvious interest in her. No distractions here, she thinks, somewhat dazedly. Nothing to stop whatever he wants to say.

Simon chuckles, backs away. Kaylee pretends she didn't just whimper at the loss of his hand on her cheek, and thank Buddha, Simon does the same. "You've been running away," he responds simply, tugging her hand so she sits on the edge of her bed alongside him. "I don't really know why, but according to River, that's because I'm a bit obtuse."

Kaylee cracks a smile at that. "Well, I happen to think otherwise, Simon Tam" she starts, brilliance striking her as she shyly watches Simon's rueful expression change to curious. "I happen to think you're as acute as can be."

There's a ringing silence in the bunk for a moment, and Simon's brow furrows for a devastating second, before he smiles in delight.

"Kaylee," he says, his voice full of awe. "You just made a math joke." He leans in, grinning that boyish grin. "You don't look like a math person."

Kaylee's bright happiness dims a little and she bites her lip, inexplicable anger stinging through her. "Well, I ain't one to toot my own horn," she says witheringly, "but I'm wittier than I look, Simon."

Simon's smile falters at her flat tone. "I-I know that," he says uncertainly. "I was only trying to say--"

"I know what you were tryin' to say," Kaylee says hotly, "and that's exactly why I've been avoidin' you! You think that just 'cause we ain't in any imminent danger now, you can go back to just stompin' all over my feelings like I'm a--"

"Incredibly complicated, infuriating woman?" Simon finishes, pressing the heels of his hands to his eyes and shaking his head. "Kaylee," he says pleadingly, touching her shoulder. "Please. I know the past few weeks have been extremely stressful on us all, but please, please don't misunderstand now, not when--" He trails off, raking his hand through his hair. The long dark strands are endearingly messy, falling in front of his face and curling against his neck. Despite herself, Kaylee's itches run her fingers through his nape.

She sits on her treacherous hands and glares defiantly up at Simon. "You never aim to hurt me, Simon," she says quietly. "And you're correct, I do misunderstand a lotta the time. But I ain't misunderstanding now--I'm showin' you that you're saying something that don't sit right with me."

Simon shakes his head and touches Kaylee's elbow. "Then tell me how to fix it." His eyes are alive and burning, flaring. Kaylee's not used to seeing him like this--seeing him so focused on her, instead of that usual half-yearning, half-distracted look that's so familiar. She aches to touch his cheek, to watch his dark lashes fan down as he gazes at her hand on his face. Instead, she tries to meet him halfway for once, and really talk.

"Speechifyin's not exactly my hobby," she begins haltingly. "I don't know how to say--" she shakes her head. "I just don't know what to say, most of the time." She looks down. "But when you say things like that, when you assume I can't make a simple joke 'bout geometry, it tells me that you think I'm just some uneducated country bumpkin. Like I ain't smart enough or intelligent and accomplished enough to speak to you 'bout anything other than, I dunno, ships, or River, or--protein."

"We've never talked about protein," Simon teases gently. His voice is solemn, though, and one look at his regretful, tender expression confirms to Kaylee that he ain't making fun.

"No, we haven't," she agrees. "And that leads me to my next point. When you say things like I don't look like a math person, Simon, it also makes it plainer than the nose on my face that you don't know me at all."

Simon's expression flickers, and he seems almost annoyed. "That's a bit melodramatic, don't you think?" he asks.

Kaylee's color rises. "No," she says shortly. "Know why, Doctor Tam? 'Cause you didn't even use that big head of yours to stop and think, well, hey: this girl is a damn ace mechanic and she works real good with machines and stuff, oughtn't she know a thing or two 'bout numbers and measurements and how things fit together? You may be number one when it comes to doctorin' people, Simon, but I'm Serenity's doctor, and I know everything a person needs to know 'bout fixing her up." Kaylee's voice soften. "And that includes angles, acute, obtuse, or otherwise."

Her feet swing against the floor, a nervous habit. Their is silence in the bunk, the only sound the tiny metal tinks and plunks of Serenity settling.

"I didn't mean to imply you were uneducated," Simon says finally. "I could never think that--anyone who did would have to be deeply stupid, not simply moronic like me." His smile again, is rueful, and Kaylee has the insane urge to just kiss the corners of that little self-deprecating grin. "I just meant to say that you didn't strike me as the nerdy type, like, well, me. Because Kaylee, you have to remember, I'm not used to mind-bogglingly attractive women being so intelligent." Now his expression has a bit of the devil in it. "I'm from the Core, you know."

Kaylee lets a giggle slip before she schools her features again, but it's enough for Simon to brighten and plunge on.

"And besides," he says, playing with the frayed edge of her collar, nudging an errant curl over her shoulder. "Maybe I don't know everything about you, like where you went to school, or what your grades were, or, your feelings about anything other than this boat, my sister, and uh, apparently, protein. But I do know enough. Because I do know you." He lets his knuckles drag over Kaylee's collarbone before smoothing his thumb over the scar on her neck. "I know your heart," he explains. "I know your sweetness, your spirit, your smile." He leans in, heat emanating from his skin. "I know a lot about you, Kaylee Frye. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, but I'm sorriest if I've said anything to make you believe I don't know who you really are, on the inside."

Kaylee's anger drains away in the face of Simon's heart-breakingly kind gestures. Her cheeks burn as she thinks of how childish she must have just sounded--and after all her crew's wisdom to listen to her heart, too. Her heart says Simon's just being Simon, and she's being too sensitive, even though her mind was eager to pick up any hint of discord 'cause she was raring for a fight. She sighs. Won't never learn, will I? she wonders.

"It's okay," she says aloud, ashamedly. "Know you didn't mean anything by it. I suppose I'm just a bit testy tonight, an' I'm takin' it out on you. T'ain't right, is it? You got a ton of other stuff to be worryin' on or looking after, don't need an ornery mechanic to add to the list." She sighs, unable to describe how upset and overwhelmed she suddenly is, and exactly why.

Simon's eyes soften and his hand touches her knee. Somehow his touch, and the warmth of his dear, blue eyes, makes the hard, frantic knot in Kaylee's stomach ease. "That's just it, Kaylee," he says. "I get that you're frightened, and that's possibly why you haven't been quite as available of late. And I understand that you'd be, um, testy, as you put it, as a result of your fear. You're not a person who takes something so dark as the past few weeks very, well, lightly. That's what I like about you, actually." His smile is unbearably, adorably shy as he touches her chin.

"What I don't get," he says carefully, his eyes serious, "is what exactly you're frightened of."

Kaylee's heart seizes for a moment as she meets his gaze, tears blurring her vision. She thinks of how much she cares for this man, how gentle and good he's being, and how gorram bad that is for her resolve not to cry.

"Don't ya understand yet?" she asks hoarsely. She releases her hands from under her bum, wincing as they tingle their way out of numbness. Then she touches Simon's hand over her knee. "It's you," she says. "I'm afraid of you, Simon." Her hand rises to graze his hair. "And I'm afraid of what I feel for you. How you make me feel. The things you make me wish. The things you make me say." Her eyes close, and a tear drips down her cheek. "I ain't never felt so dull and so beautiful at the same time than when I'm with you. Like I'm some sorta gem underneath all this dirt--"

Simon wipes away the tear, his fingers warm against her cheek. A smear of grease comes away with his hand and she sighs miserably at it as he looks down at his thumb and forefinger, a bemused look on his face.

"See? I get you all dirty, too. No matter how shiny your words are, no matter how pretty they make me feel, there's always been a part of me that feels like I can't touch you too much, or for too long, 'cause people like you want the diamond, not the rough." She ducks her head and sniffles, wiping another fool tear away from her face. "Ain't never been ashamed of the rough before, 'cause it's my way, and I ain't ashamed now. Just hate knowin' I can't give you better, and you do deserve better, Simon."

Simon's expression flickers again, and it's definitely annoyed. "Kaylee," he starts, his voice incredulous. "You do realize you're talking to an ex-fugitive--well, actually, I'm very possibly still classified as on the run--who always seems to muck up everything he does. Well, everything not related to a scalpel and anatomy, that is."

Kaylee shakes her head. "It's different, Simon," she says. "I know all I got to offer you is a fun time under the covers, whereas you--"

"Whereas I can give you a medical scanner, a crazy, moody, adolescent sister, and a mouth that always seems to spit out the very thing that makes you angriest!" Simon is annoyed now, she can tell. "I'm no catch, Kaylee, and I absolutely loathe hearing you compare yourself with me in any way that makes you come out unfavorably."

Kaylee feels a thrill of pleasure despite his harshness. It's the stern tone, she reckons. Always did have that whole thing for teacher figures. She pictures Simon telling her she's been a bad, bad girl and she blushes so hard she almost misses the most beautiful thing Simon's ever said to her.

"You're everything, Kaylee," he says, his voice low. "You're not just--what I said when the Reavers were attacking, about being with you--I didn't mean sex. Or I mean, yes, sex with you would be...well, obviously, what idiot wouldn't...oh, go se." He curses. "Look, see? I'm just mucking this up, muck, muck, muck."

Kaylee can't help the tiny grin starting up on her face.

"Kaylee." Simon cups her cheek again, tilting her chin so that she's looking deep into his gaze. It never wavers, never falters, or looks away. "You're the only part of this ship that feels like home no matter what, okay? When I first met you, the reason I boarded the ship wasn't just because you were going to the rim. It was because I've never met anyone with such an honest face before. And you've've never changed that. Not once. You're honest when you're being kind, you're honest when you're being angry. So when you said sex..." he falters, but squares his shoulders, and Kaylee's glad. He's said so much already, she wants--needs---him to finish.

"When you said sex, I agreed. In the only way I could, I agreed. Because I didn't know--couldn't dare to hope--that you felt more for me than that."

Kaylee's voice is hurt. "You thought all I wanted was a roll in the hay?"

Simon shrugs. "So to speak," he says simply. "And I was ready--I would've done just that, Kaylee, if it would've gotten me close to you. Because I didn't even know quite how deeply my own feelings ran, just that I couldn't bear the thought of us not getting that chance. When that dart hit you..." Simon's hand caresses her scar again, eyes troubled. "I swore that if we lived, I would find it in myself to make sure we got that chance. More than just sex, more than just fun. Something lasting." His smile is tender. "You talk about what I deserve, Kaylee. But what you deserve is something deeper than 'I mean to say.' You're not a diamond in the rough, you're gold through and through."

Simon can wax poetical when he aims to, Kaylee thinks, a little dazed. "Tell me more," she demands, 'cause that's just her way. Been so long since anyone's given her something so lovely to think on for the dark times. She knows she can run a million frightened, uncertained moments on these words alone.

Simon pulls Kaylee closer, holds her hand tightly. His thumb presses into the fleshy mound of her palm, and she makes a small noise of thanks as he begins to rub soothing circles in her tight muscles. "That honesty of yours is a haven. I know I can trust you with anything, Kaylee. Anything, and it may not seem like it to you, but bottom line is, the way my life has gone--trust is far more important to me than, say, how smudgy your nose is by the end of the day."

Kaylee's eyes mist. "I get pretty smudgy," she protests weakly. In response, Simon kisses the tip of her nose.

"I trust you with my sister, Kaylee. I trust you with my life. I trust you with my med-bay and with my secrets and with my past. I trust you with me. My heart. I trust you with my heart, and I don't know that I've ever done that before. So maybe I do understand, a little, of why you were afraid. Afraid of how we can make each other feel." He looks flustered and his skin is bright red, and there's sweat edging his hairline. Kaylee thinks he's never been handsomer.

"When I say you're everything," he continues, clearing his throat, "I mean that you're not only fun, and smart, and kind, and sexier than anything I've seen in this 'verse. I mean that you make me laugh, and you know what to do in the uneventful case that I ever am less than manly and cry--" he winks and Kaylee giggles again, "--and it means that when I look at you now, I don't see my past haunting me, running after me, ready to eat me alive. I see a future."

He leans closer. "I see a sister, for River." Kaylee shivers as his lips stop a hairsbreadth away from hers. "I see the woman I've come to love, for me." Kaylee's breath catches and a sob rips at her throat. She clutches at Simon's collar, so floored by his admission that she can't see straight. Or maybe that's the tears. "And maybe," he barrels on, his smile widening recklessly, his voice soft, "I see one hell of a mother, for any children God is stupid enough to entrust to me eventual care."

Kaylee laughs in happy disbelief, in utter joy, tugging Simon's face closer, unable to wait. Their lips press together then, just the warm press of his mouth against hers, his fingers threading through her hair and her hands clasped against his neck. Then Simon moves his mouth and their lips are clinging to each other, the dry brush of his mouth fitting over hers and opening to reveal a heated, rough slick of a tongue. She gives a muffled gasp as he touches her tongue with his, slants his mouth over hers in an unhurried, luxurious effort to find the best, closest angle at which to kiss.

Now that's geometry, Kaylee thinks deliriously, and ohh, does Simon taste good. Like tea and mints, the ones he keeps in the med-bay, should anyone have an upset stomach.

They kiss heatedly for a moment before separating, both breathing heavily.

"I've wanted to do that for a really long time," Simon confesses, tilting his forehead against hers.

Kaylee smiles. In the space of one lovely speech and a killer kiss, Simon has managed to tell her he loves her, call her family, and inform her of his secret plan to ensnare her as the eventual mama to his eventual kids, 'cause no matter how hesitant Simon sounds, there ain't no way he'd ever be anything but the best damn father in the 'verse. "Boy," she says, "When you go for a gal, you really go for 'em."

Simon cracks a smile. "What can I say? I'm an overacheiver." He leans back against the pillows on Kaylee's bed, tugging her down to lay her head gingerly on his chest. Her hand rests gently over Simon's gut wound, and she tears up again as she remembers the horror of seeing Simon go down. Of hearing his words to River.

"I hate to leave you."

Kaylee shudders, and some of that intense, surreal, good feeling dissipates. Simon's arm comes around her shoulders though, rubbing her skin.

"What's wrong, bao bei?" A tiny thrill at the endearment, but her hand throbs, pains over its spot on Simon's scar. "Kaylee, what's wrong?"

"Tonight," she begins, her voice faint, "I got accosted by no less than the whole crew, at separate times." Simon's chest is still rigid, and his eyes still concerned, but he lets her speak, stroking her hair gently. "I had a bit of a crisis, you see, 'fore coming to talk to you. After that disaster of a chat we had when we thought we was goners.." she gives a rueful chuckle. "I just wasn't sure of anything, you know?"

Simon nods against her hair. "I do," he says evenly, his voice muffled. He drops a kiss against her temple, and she smiles up at him, pressing her hand a little firmer onto his chest, feeling the warm skin beneath his shirt. His heart beats against her palm and she sighs.

"Everyone had a bit of talk for me. River was so smart, Simon, you'd have been so proud of her. Not in the book-smart way, neither, just...the common-sense, heart-smart way. She told me to get my butt in gear and talk to you, made me see you were the only one I wanted. No other puzzles, no sir." Kaylee giggles at Simon's confused look. "Sorry," she says, "Inside joke." Simon raises an eyebrow, a dry "I bet," going unspoken.

"And 'Nara made me some tea, made me see how important it was to do something even if the risks are great, or you ain't sure 'bout what's on the other side of the door you picked." Kaylee is on a roll now, thinking of everything she's learned tonight. "And Zoe damned near got me crying so I couldn't stop, telling me how much she wished she could do things over when it came to Wash--"

Simon's hand tightens on Kaylee's shoulder, and she instinctively ducks her head, drops a kiss to his neck to soothe. She knows the guilt he tortures himself with, wishing sometime he'd never brought himself and his sister on the ship. Kaylee, for one, knows there's nothing in the 'verse she wishes less, however.

"She helped me see that I ought to make sure I didn't have nothing to regret, Simon. That I didn't look back and wish. And the Cap'n, he sorta gave me the same advice. Told me to grab whatever I wanted and hold tight, no matter if I didn't think I deserved it or not. Said the 'verse was givin' me a gift, and I ought to appreciate it." Her eyes are wide. "And I do, Simon, I don't think there are words for how much I appreciate this night with you, the words you've given me, dong ma?"

"I know, Kaylee," Simon assures her. "I do. But there's a but in there, somewhere. I can hear it."

"There is," she agrees, unhappily. "I suppose the most surprising advice I got was from Jayne. He told me--"

"Kaylee." Simon's voice is suddenly dark. "Jayne gave you love advice and you're taking it to heart? The man's probably fathered half the 'verse's population of--"

"Don't care," Kaylee says sharply. "You an' I are allowed to have layers, Simon, and Jayne ain't? I know he's been rotten to you, and I reckon he'd probably turn on you and your sister sooner than you can say a word--"

"Already has," Simon mutters under his breath.

"--but when it comes to certain things, a man can't hide his true nature. Jayne gave me some powerful good insight in regards to his own mistakes tonight, and I'm just...thinkin' on them. As heartened and gladdened as I am by everything you told me, Simon, there's a part of me still so scared. Not of your feelings, or mine, but of losing you. I know I ought to appreciate just havin' you, so I don't got no regrets and 'cause I know you're the only one for me, but--"

She shakes her head. "But I ain't Zoe. I don't think I could handle losin' you with grace. I've already lost so much of myself, Simon, some of the good and light that made you like me so much."

"Love you so much," he quietly corrects, and the word still brings a warm glow to Kaylee's belly.

"If I lost you," she says seriously, "I would probably shoot whoever done you in, and then myself. It's the way of it, Simon, the crazy and buggy-eyed of how I feel. It scares me."

Simon is quiet, and Kaylee reckons it scares him, too. "So where does Jayne fit in to all this?" he asks finally, turning so he's facing Kaylee and she's scooped up securely in his arms.

"Jayne lost his lady love early on, you know." she says softly. "And when he could've been so angry about it, he was mighty wise, instead. He told me that love ain't scary so much as dumbfoundin'. Makes you wonder how you can feel so much for a person, so it makes you want to stop. And when you stop, you're all alone. Worse than where'd you be had you been with your crazy-makin' baby in the first place." She tilts her forehead against Simon's again. "So a part of me wonders iff'n Jayne weren't on to something. Iff'n maybe...maybe I ought to tell my fears to go to hell and just kiss you again."

Simon looks as if it physically pains him to say, "I think...that Jayne...was right." He leans closer, breath mingling with hers. "And I definitely think you should kiss me again."

So Kaylee does, and even though her heart is still afraid, it's not alone any longer. She's got someone who loves her to ease her fears, to make her reach for new gifts and to make her realize that risks and rewards were the way of life on this here boat.

And maybe she had to stop at a lot of diverging roads before she got to this point, but moving in a straight line ain't so much better than travelling all sorts of paths.

After all, it's moving in a non-linear fashion that gets you to the solution in the most rewarding of ways, ain't it?

- - -


Monday, June 11, 2007 10:20 PM


Has to be a ten. This is marvellous, and so real. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 5:40 AM


I commented before but it seems to have dissapeared.

You have no idea how happy this makes me!!

I love it. Perfick ten!

One word springs to mind... SEQUEL!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007 6:16 AM


This was a good series. I've read them all and I really enjoyed them.

Well done and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 3:48 PM


Jury duty sucks....really.

Now I've gotten that off my chest, this was fantastic! My favorite paragraph was when Simon was telling Kaylee what he saw in her - the future.

You bring up so many good points that I think could have been touched on had the series gone on longer.

This was excellent and just what I needed after spendign all day sitting in a court room!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 8:07 PM


This was awesome! I loved it! It's a great end to the series and I am *so* glad that Simon waited for Kaylee in her bunk and that he kept talking even when he was messing it up! Happiness!

Thursday, June 14, 2007 10:10 AM


Been quite a long time since the last chapter before this was posted, biggrstaffbunch...but it still hasn't lost its power and message:D

This finale was a perfect 10 and all kinds of brilliant! I was definitely turning ever the more greener with envy as I read through this:D

Only point of contention (and I am not gonna dock your for it, rating-wise) is the fact you had Simon call River "prepubescent." Last time I checked the OED or Webster's...that means River has not entered puberty yet. And while I can imagine the Academy monkeying with her biological clock, I would assume she had at least a couple of periods before she left for it at age 14;)


Thursday, June 14, 2007 4:48 PM


Thanks, BEB! Fixed it!

And thanks to everyone else for the wonderful comments. :)


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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]