"Not Friends"
Thursday, November 8, 2007

"Simon realises that Jayne is right but can he convince Mal to give him a second chance?"


TITLE: "NOT FRIENDS" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: Simon/Mal. **CONCLUSION** RATING: PG-13 **SLASH** Implied not graphic STATUS: SEQUEL to "MULLING IT OVER" ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: WEBSITE: None. All "Firefly" stories archived at

SUMMARY: "Simon realises that Jayne is right but can he convince Mal to give him a second chance?" The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.


"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

I could not believe I had been given a lesson in morality by Jayne of all people. It made me stop and think. River noticed how quiet I had become but instead of prodding me for reasons she smiled sweetly and took my hand. We were in my bunk, River sitting cross legged on the bed next to me. Her lovely face tilted, her look gentle. Eyes so far seeing it hurt when the focus blurred into comprehension. For now she was more in her right mind than out. She saw me better than I saw myself. "*Fang xin*, Simon."

I tried to smile. To reassure her. "I'm not worrying, *mei mei*, just have things on my mind."

"Anything you break you can mend, if your heart is strong enough."

Her words jolted me, striking too close to the ache burning deep inside my soul. A stab of guilt throwing my world into a praeternatural darkness. A twilight of the soul. She leaned forward and kissed my cheek then hopped off my bed. "I feel the need for strawberries, starlit nights and ice cream!"

Before I could say anything she was gone. A whirlwind of arms and legs gone in a rush of laughter that filled me with envy. I knew she was going to find Kaylee. Her friend. And who did I have besides River? Oh, I knew I was part of the crew. *His* crew. Now it seemed, according to Jayne, that I was part of his heart too. I had not meant to hurt anyone least of all the Captain. I wasn't looking for romance. Not looking for declarations of love or commitment either. Should have known that nothing I did with the Captain would go smooth.

I needed to see him. Put things right. Only for once the ubiquitous Captain was nowhere to be found.

I eventually located him in the last place I thought to look: the infirmary. The Captain was leaning forward on his hands, arms braced, head down, a picture of utter dejection. I felt my heart lurch, pain radiating outward and momentarily robbing me of function. I had told him it was over. Our game had run its' course and I was moving on, only I hadn't. I'd got stuck and tried to break out of the rut by turning to Jayne only the mercenary had proved to be far wiser than I. Without realising I had moved I was suddenly beside him. Needing to reach out, touch, make everything right again. My heart aching, sorrow weaving a path through my emotional centre that was as devastating as any loss.

"Mal?" I whispered. Fearful of rejection. Anger. Accusation. He did not move. Fear touched me deep. I put a hand on his shoulder and felt him tremble beneath my touch.

Malcolm Reynolds is the strongest man I know and the thought that I had brought him to this was more than I could bear. Suddenly I could not wait for him to look at me. I needed to see his face, gaze into his eyes. Gently I raised his head in my hands, startled by the glitter of tears on his cheeks, the hollow emptiness in his pain-filled eyes that tore at my soul and squeezed my heart with regret. I had never seen him cry not even when we lost Book and Wash. Not when he had to shoot his friend Tracey then stood pall bearer to carry him through his last journey in this life. A wave of tenderness swept through me. All the love I had denied I felt for this man surfacing like an emotional tsunami carrying away the paper thin fabrication that I did not care. "Oh Mal, *bao bei*, I'm so sorry."

He could not speak and words were fast failing me. My eyes misting, my arms reaching out for him. A sob catching in the back of his throat as I embraced him, needing to make that physcial connection as if my very survival depended on it. I don't know which one of us wept more but I knew with a sudden clarity that I couldn't let him go. I had been afraid to love him, to be so consumed by passion that all reason would leave me weak and vulnerable. Looking into his eyes I saw all the reason I needed to come to my senses. The relief that flooded my heart made me smile deep into those eyes. I kissed his tears. Mal responded with hesitancy then pulled back to look at me. "No more games?"

His voice was hoarse from crying. I smiled to reassure him, my hands trembling at the thought of losing this man. "No, Mal, no more games my love."

That made him quirk his eyebrows up. A glimmer of humour rose from those dark depths and lightened my soul. Gently I wiped the tears from his face while he gulped down a steadying breath, eyes never leaving mine as if this was some dream that if he blinked I would vanish. My arms tightened around him, suddenly possessive and needing him to know it. I wasn't going anywhere. "What ya wantin', Simon?"

I wanted to take things slow, not scare him off or try to rush this. "Are we still friends, Mal?" I paused, watching his reaction as I held my breath. His hand rose to gently cup my face, such love in his eyes that I felt a tear roll down my cheek as if I had been given a gift I did not deserve.

"Just want your love, Simon." He whispered. "For now an' for always, *xin gan*."

Then I was kissing him, unable to keep from telling him with my body what I so clearly was unable to put into coherent words. Tongue tied with emotion I needed him to know how much I cared, how sorry I was for hurting him, and how much I wanted to be given a second chance. Deserving or not, my whole happiness lay in this man's hands. It was what had frightened me, made me act so callous in walking away not realising I was leaving my heart behind me. The thought of someone, anyone, having that kind of power over me was anathema. Yet here I was, in the one place that meant safety. Unconditional love. His arms the one place in the 'verse I would call home.

Mal deepened the kiss, our hands calming racing heartbeats with a joy we had almost lost. I was forgiven as simply as that. I chuckled as I drew back, papering his face with kisses, my words a babbling diahorrea of apology and words of love. A litany of promises which he halted with a smile. "Not no need to beg, Simon. Ain't goin' nowhere."

And just like that my world was whole again. My heart so filled with joy that it almost broke when I thought how close I had come to losing it all. And. I had Jayne to thank for bringing me to my senses.

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*fang xin* = don't worry (lit. ease your heart) *mei mei* = little sister *bao bei* = precious/treasure *xin gan* = sweetheart



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