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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Kaylee confronts her feelings for Tracey as she reads Simon's view of the events that led to Tracey's death.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 704 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
The Dr. Tam Journals – Part 12 – The Message
After laying in bed most of the morning and afternoon, enjoying long lingering hours of pleasure with her husband, Kaylee awoke and felt famished and the need for a shower. Simon still dozed so she carefully crawled out of bed, put on his robe, grabbed her soap, shampoo, and a green towel and, after a quick inspection of the passenger lounge to make sure no one was about, she dashed across to the bathroom. After disabling the timing device and adjusting the water to just the right temperature, not too hot, but just enough to sting, she climbed into the shower booth under the invigorating spray of water and enjoyed a long shower, without a shred of guilt as they would soon be on Persephone and could replenish their water supply.
She was still drying her hair with her towel when a knock came to the door. It was Simon so she let him in and gave him a long kiss. He badly needed a shower too so Kaylee disabled the control device once again and the water started flowing again immediately. After a long while he joined her in their room and they got dressed and went up stairs. It was now after seven and they thought everyone would be finished supper. They were wrong.
The table was full and the talking stopped as everyone stared at them as they entered the room. Kaylee felt very self-conscious.
“What?” she said as she suddenly felt hot and her face turned red.
“Still with us Doctor?” teased Zoe and everyone broke into grins at Simon and Kaylee’s obvious discomfort.
“OK, OK,” said Kaylee as they sat down, Simon also a shade of red. “Can’t us married folk enjoy an afternoon of …being together.”
“Is that what they’re calling it now?” Zoe continued.
“You don’t have to be married, though,” said Inara and she looked at Mal with a lingering lustful stare and he nearly spit out the sip of coffee he had just taken.
“Ah, yeah. We saved you some dinner,” Mal said as everyone smiled at him now. “Figured you’d….need it.”
“I’ll get it” said Simon as Kaylee was about to rise, more to escape from the continuing scrutiny than anything else. He made his way to the kitchen and got two plates and started putting a rice pilaf that someone had made on both plates. Simon returned to the table with the plates and utensils and he and Kaylee started eating.
Kaylee’s mouth watered as she dug in and it was fantastic. She looked at Simon and could tell he was enjoying it. too. “It’s wonderful. Who made it?”
“I did,” said River and Inara nodded as Kaylee and Simon looked at River in amazement.
“But…you never cook,” said Simon, looking at his sister with a bit of awe.
‘Cortex has recipes,” was all she said.
“Eat hearty, Doc. It’s great. If you’d been another five minutes I was gonna finish it off,” Jayne said as he got up and put his dishes in the sink. He then reached into a cupboard, got the dish detergent and started washing the dishes as the others brought their plates and cups over.
Mal looked at Simon. “After you finish regaining your strength, Doc, I need you to inventory all the med supplies and make a list of what we need. Was gonna ask you this afternoon, but figured…”
“Yes, captain,” Simon said quickly. “Get on it soon as I finish ah….eating.”
“Also, hope you don’t mind but I need to steal your wife for a while.”
“Steal my wife?” Simon answered, his voice rising a bit in worry.
Kaylee looked from one man to the other and suppressed a grin. “He don’t mean it that way. What do you need, Capt’n?”
“Suppose with you leaving I need to know all about my ship now, in case can’t find a mechanic right away. Give me the basics, nothing fancy, just how to run the engines and what needs tender loving care.”
“And you don’t mind if I steal your wife, Captain?” said River and Kaylee almost choked on a mouthful of food as she fought off a laugh and Zoe and Simon broke into grins and looked at Inara and Mal.
“I ain’t married,” said Mal, his voice with a slight trace of annoyance.
“Not yet,” said River and then she looked to a blushing Inara. “Can I sketch you? In your shuttle?”
“Of course River. Give me ten minutes to look my best.”
Inara rose and gave Mal a look and he did the same and both gave little grins and then she was gone toward the fore hall as River went the opposite way to get her sketch pad and pencils.
“Everyone having a good laugh at my expense?” he finally said to the others as they laughed out loud.
“Oh, come on, sir,” began Zoe. “You don’t mind teasing Simon and Kaylee. Can’t take it?”
“She’s not my wife!” he said in exasperation. “This is like a recurring bad dream.”
“Then what is she, Capt’n?” asked Kaylee and it was finally out in the open, what they’d been wanting to ask him for the last few days. Jayne stopped washing the dishes and was listening in.
Mal sighed and thought for a long moment. “Don’t know yet. Seems like were just getting to know each other for the first time.”
“She staying?” asked Jayne, another question they’d been thinking on.
“Ain’t broached the subject,” he replied quietly.
“She’ll stay,” said Kaylee with conviction. “She’s just waiting for you to ask her to.”
“Guess so,” said Mal. Then he had a look of determination come to his face, one they had seen many times before when he suddenly made a decision. “Best I get on with it then.”
He stood, drained his coffee and with purpose strode toward the fore hall and the last they saw of him he was heading downstairs.
Barely a minute later River entered from the aft hall at with her sketch book and pencils. She sat across from Zoe and opened the pad to a clean page.
“Inara’s going to be busy. I’ll sketch you now,” said River and no one even batted an eye or was surprised that River knew what was going on.
“How do you want me to pose?” Zoe asked, and Kaylee got the impression she was uncomfortable and wasn’t used to being sketched or having her picture taken.
“Just like that, at the table, a cup in your hand, but with less scowl.”
“I ain’t scowling!”
“Yes, you are. More so now,” teased Kaylee and Zoe just glared at her and then put on her sweetest smile.
“Too nice,” answered River. “You’re supposed to be a warrior.”
Zoe rolled her eyes and then put on a look that was one Kaylee had seen her give Wash many times and River said, “Perfect. Hold it.” And Kaylee knew Zoe was thinking on her man, not in a sad way, but remembering the happy times.
As River sketched Zoe, Kaylee and Simon finished eating. Then he went off to the infirmary to do his inventory and Kaylee made her way back to their room with a cup of tea in her hand. The reality of them leaving was starting to sink into her now and she wasn’t sure how to go about it. She sat at the table and took one of Simon’s pens and a small piece of paper and made a list of things to do. She had to clean the bedding, especially after today, wrote it down and then decided to do it right away. After it was loaded in the dry cleaner she returned to her list and crossed that one off. Hmmm, she’d already made some progress.
Next she wrote down “pack bags” and then decided to look at their luggage. Simon had one suitcase and all she had was an old duffle bag she still had from when she first came aboard the ship. There had been no need to get anything new. Kaylee also had all her tools she had brought and acquired over the years and would need them for their new home and if she found work. She knew the two bags would never be enough, especially when she remembered River had come aboard naked and so they would definitely need something borrowed or new once they reached Persephone.
The next item was “Things to take” and she made some sub-headings “Clothes” “Toiletries” “Tools” “Med Kit” “River’s Medication” “Books”. She stopped and looked at the books and the red spine of the journal caught her eye immediately. She wanted to read more but she knew what was coming next and was afraid. Tracey was next.
Funny thing was now that she thought on it, the episode with Tracey had been a silly girl’s game she had played with Simon. She barely knew Tracey half an hour and she was flirty with him and later when she thought on it she had probably been trying to make Simon jealous. But then again Simon wasn’t even around to see all her flirting with Tracey 'cause it had been mostly in her bunk she had done so. She had been mad at Simon and his stupid mouth again and felt all alone in the big verse. Then this sad package had come their way, a dead friend of Zoe’s and Mal’s, who wasn’t so dead and was very cute on top of all that. But cute outside didn’t mean he was the same inside and shortly after deciding she really liked him, he had a gun to her head and was trying to force her to fly him out of danger on one of Serenity’s shuttles. And then he really died.
Kaylee put down her pen and reached for the journey without a moment’s hesitation, intensely curious now on how Simon had seen the whole thing with Tracey.
“It’s been a few weeks since we saw the last of Saffron and the Lassiter is becoming something of a burden to us. The captain has contacted several people who he thought might want to buy it or knew someone who would. Badger said no and two others, I believe they are twins, Fanty and Mingo Wash called them, also refused to touch it. “Too hot”, as Jayne described it, meaning that it was such a rare item that to buy it or try to move it was very risky. We are going to stop tomorrow at a skyplex, not like Niska’s, thankfully, but more like a space bazaar, one that has shops and traders, restaurants and carnival booths, and an Alliance post office. I think I overheard the captain say he has a prospective buyer he wants to meet. It’s on the route between Greenleaf and Athens so it is a bit out of the way of the heavier Alliance military traffic. I want to try to send a letter to our parents to let them know we are alive but Mal thinks it’s too risky. Someone might trace it back to the post office, ask questions, and it could lead them to Serenity. I reluctantly agreed with him. River and I have no idea what has happened to our parents, are they OK, are they being watched by the Alliance, harassed by them, nothing. I can’t help but worry about them even though they abandoned us in the months prior to my rescuing River.”
Oh, Kaylee felt so bad for him and River. His parents didn’t care for him yet he still worried about them, wanting to know if they were all right. Kaylee feared meeting his parents for the first time, if it ever happened, hoping things would go well when Simon and River finally confronted them about the past. The wave conversation after their wedding had been short and polite, but the pain was obvious as Simon and River chatted with them. Simon had decided before they opened the connection to make no mention of the past, not in this way, wanting to be sitting with them on Osiris in their home before he finally said what needed to be said.
“Today has been another tragic day on Serenity. None of our crew has been injured, except Wash slightly, but we were all in danger and we had to watch as a young man died before our eyes. I felt so helpless I could do nothing to save him and feel remorse as I write these words. The day had started with all in a good mood as we docked at the shopping skyplex. We all had some money tucked away and the captain gave permission for all to disembark. River, for whatever reasons I don’t know, seemed interested in joining Jayne and Book as they went shopping for ammunition and to look at some guns so I was free. I found myself alone with Kaylee and she was radiant as always, dressed in a lovely flowery dress, with a short hemline, and I found myself getting hot under the collar as I have rarely seen her dressed in anything other than her working clothes.”
Kaylee had hoped he would like that little dress. She had worn specifically for him and hoped it would catch his eye.
“I plucked up my courage and asked Kaylee to join me for a look at some carnival booths. She said yes immediately and I was overjoyed. Now I wish I had never asked her because almost at once I made another blunder and this time I feel she will never forgive me.”
Well, she had forgiven him, but he just…tried too hard sometimes! She told him to speak plainly more than once but he thought he was still courting ladies of high society on Osiris. Men were so…stupid! At times, anyway.
“We found a carnival booth where the barker claimed there was an alien and right away Kaylee wanted to see it. I knew there was no such thing as there had never been an alien life form found on any of the worlds humans have colonized. The booth was dark and in the center there was a large glass container with a cow. The fetus of a dead baby cow to be exact, mutated but still a cow. Kaylee made a comment about how it got to be in show business and I started to compliment her and somehow I put my foot in my mouth again. We were close and she was touching my hand and my nerves just got the best of me I guess. I meant to say she was the only woman in the world for me but it came out all wrong and I said she was the only woman left in the world, or something like that. She took it to mean I was only interested in her because she was the only woman around and I had no other choices and got extremely angry and stormed out of the room.”
Yup, that was about what happened. Later he apologized and explained it all to her but at the time it made Kaylee feel so small and unwanted. She just had to get away from him and let herself calm down. As she walked through the skyplex she found herself doubting her feelings for Simon and wondered when if ever anything would happen and began to think it never would. Then she found the others at the post office and was hit with another blow when she found out there was no mail for her. They hadn’t been to a post office in over a month and at the time it had been more than three months since she heard from her father or any friends or relatives. Her father wasn’t much for writing letters she knew but still anything, a post card, a little note, anything would have been nice.
“As I walked around trying to find Kaylee to apologize the crew received some post, including a letter from Jayne’s family which came with a silly looking winter hat he persisted on wearing, and a crate with a coffin and a dead body inside, as I learned later. It was a young man named Tracey, someone who had served in the war with Mal and Zoe.”
The crate had mystified them all and when it was opened and they saw the body it was a shock, especially for the Capt’n and Zoe. Kaylee saw a handsome young man lying all still and knew he was dead and felt like he’s too young to be dead. As they started to take the crate toward Serenity Simon had reappeared and, not knowing what was in the crate, ask if they had received anything fun. Kaylee had just stared at him like he was the biggest jerk in the verse. Of, course, he didn’t know what was going on but at that point she just didn’t even want to be near him or speak to him.
“The body had no wounds we could see and no obvious cause of death. I suggested an autopsy but the captain said it wouldn’t be necessary. Kaylee was miffed that I had suggested such a thing and I think she called me a ‘robot’ under her breath. I had definitely hurt her badly and now she is truly mad at me.”
Yeah, he got that part right anyway. Simon was so…doctory, I guess was the only way to put it and of course he couldn’t help it, it was his profession. She was the same around machines, if something didn’t sound right or was not the way it should be she wanted to fix it if at all possible. Her calling him ‘robot’ was just a way to get back at him for what he had said earlier. Later she had regretted it and had said sorry to him and he was very gracious.
“Tracey had a recording device in his hands and it contained a message asking Zoe and Mal to return his body to St. Albans to his family. Wash set course immediately. The message had an affect on the crew, being very sad and eerie at the same time, coming from a man we all believed to be dead.”
Kaylee had been deeply affected by Tracey’s message, him wanting his body to go home to his folks and all her homesickness had come flooding into her heart, the loss of her mother, her father all alone, no mail again, her troubles with Simon, she felt so alone in this big verse. She asked for the recorder from Zoe and she handed it to her without a word.
“After we left the skyplex I went looking for Kaylee to apologize. I tried the most obvious place first, the engine room, but as I approached I could hear Tracey’s message playing and when I came to the door I could see Kaylee in her hammock, listening to the message. She was very still and I sensed that she wanted be left alone so turned around and decided I would find a more opportune time to say sorry.”
Now that was news to her! He had never told her he had been there at that time. Kaylee felt a twinge of guilt as she could imagine Simon, feeling so bad for what he had done, wanting to make up with her, and she was being so cold to him that he felt he couldn’t even interrupt her when she was just listening to a recording. That was so sweet of him! She would have stopped and listened and perhaps secretly in her heart she was hoping he would come and talk to her. Perhaps.
“I had gone to find River and she how she was fairing with seeing a dead man when suddenly the ship suffered a tremendous shock and shook all over. It was caused by a small Alliance police ship with a renegade Alliance officer on board named Womack. It turns out he was after Tracey’s body because the former comrade of the captain and Zoe was smuggling human organs inside himself and had taken drugs to make it appear he was dead. As I prepared to open him up for an autopsy to see what Womack wanted, I noticed a previous surgical scar on his chest. Tracey gave us all quite a fright as he awoke and screamed as my scalpel made the first small incision. He attacked me believing I was attacking him and Mal managed to pull him off of me. I don’t blame Tracey for the attack because it is quite disorienting to awake from a comatose state. My own experience on Ariel was only for a few hours while Tracey’s was much longer, a week he claimed, and he was lucky to have survived such a deep death-like state for so long. Not that it matters now.”
Kaylee had heard the noise from the infirmary and had been stunned to see the young man awake and sitting on the infirmary examining table. He stared at her and she felt suddenly like a school girl again, all shy and mealy mouth around a boy she liked. She saw Simon standing behind him and all her doubts about him came back into focus, the things he had said still fresh in her mind. It all seemed so silly now but at the time she wondered why she had ever been interested in the doctor in the first place.
And then she remembered what she had thought on before. Because he was there. The same thing he had said to her in the carnival booth was the same reason she was attracted to him. He was there, and he was the only one she saw every day, the only one who invaded her thoughts all the time, the only one she had a thing for. He had no competition and she had none also, despite her jealousy of Inara. They were constantly alone on the ship, all nine of them. Zoe was married, River was his sister, and Inara was a professional Companion who was obviously attracted to the Capt’n. It was just her and that’s what he meant. He had fallen in love with her because she was always there and he got to know her without any distractions from other women, his attention totally focused on her. And it had been the same for her. Wash was married, the Capt’n was like a brother and a bit older than her, the Shepherd was a Shepherd and a lot older than her, and Jayne was just…Jayne, and she couldn’t see past his crudeness to find anything attractive about him.
After Tracey had dressed they sat in the passenger lounge and Tracey explained what was going on. He just wanted to make some money to get his folks off cold St. Albans to a nicer place and Kaylee felt like that was the kindest thing anyone had ever done in the verse. The Capt’n seemed angry at Tracey for bringing his troubles to Serenity and Kaylee didn’t understand why at the time. Tracey had been their friend in the war, hadn’t he?
The next part of the journal was a long description of the organ transport method Tracey was using, the technology involved, and about the dangers of doing it. Kaylee just skimmed it as she usually did with the medical stuff and went on to the rest of the story.
“Womack and his ship were persistent in getting back Tracey so Mal convinced him our fore airlock was damaged by one of the near missile blasts and we had to land to open the doors. Womack fell for this and we were near enough to St. Albans so we made like we were going to land. We found an area covered in canyons and ice fields. Wash made a valiant run for it and we thought we had lost them after we found a cave to hide the ship in. But then they began dropping aerial mines with an electromagnetic pulse. Fearing that our electronics would be fried or the cave collapsed on top of us, the captain decided to call the feds and surrender. In reality it was all a plan to trap Womack. I was unaware of all this till after, but Shepherd Book noticed that there was federal station close by and Womack had not called them. He surmised, correctly it turned out, that Womack was operating illegally and his deal with Tracey was purely for his own profit. It was decided to confront Womack and force him somehow to abandon his quest for Tracey. I get the feeling that killing Womack and his men was not beyond the scope of this plan but it did not come to that.”
At that time Kaylee and Tracey had been in her bunk and she was getting the feeling that they had been connecting somewhat. It had been a long while since a man had been in her bunk and even Simon hadn’t been there despite being on the ship for so many months. As Kaylee sat on her bed with Tracey she began to have naughty thoughts about him and the explosions of the near missile blasts and the bouncing around of the flight didn’t even bother her. Then the ship stopped and he ran up to see what was happening.
“Tracey however was unaware of this plan and overheard only the part about calling the feds. He jumped to conclusions and grabbed one of the guns that Jayne was preparing for the possible upcoming fight. The captain ordered Wash to call the feds and Tracey tried to stop it. All it would have taken was a few seconds to explain to him what the plan was but emotions were running high and Tracey had a gun pointed at Wash. He fired at Wash and the bullet just grazed his forehead. But Zoe’s bullet hit true and struck Tracey in the chest. Why he did not die or collapse right away I can only surmise as I did not do an autopsy after. It’s possible the bullet struck a rib and went down into his lung or intestines area. Also, the pain of the wound may have been delayed by the shock. Finally, it is also possible that the brand new genetically perfect internal organs he was carrying managed to keep him alive longer than a normal person’s would have.”
Kaylee had heard the shots and came climbing out of her bunk only to be grabbed by Tracey and become a hostage. The sudden turn of events dazed her. One moment she was feeling all warm and good inside about this handsome stranger and then he had a gun to her head and was dragging her through the ship trying to force her to take him out on a shuttle. The Capt’n, Zoe and Jayne had quickly surrounded him and then the Capt’n shot him again. Later when Kaylee thought on it the Capt’n could have shot him in the arm or knee or somewhere else and maybe Simon could have saved Tracey. But she also felt he wasn’t going to take any chances, Tracey holding a gun to her and having already showed his willingness to shoot someone on the crew. Much as she liked Tracey before all that disappeared in an instant, especially as she listened to him rant on about how he knew he could dupe the Capt’n and Zoe.
“I was with River when we heard the shots. I told her to stay put and I ran toward the cargo bay just in time to see Mal shoot Tracey. Kaylee came running down the stairs yelling for me and I ran up the stairs. I saw the blood on her back and asked if she was shot and she told me it was Tracey’s blood. I went to him and told them we needed to get to the infirmary but Tracey just lay there and said there was no point, he was busted up inside and was a goner, as he put it. His breathing was a bit labored and he had two closely spaced chest wounds. I felt his pulse and it was very weak and I believed he was suffering from internal bleeding, and perhaps the second bullet grazed his aorta. I tried to pick him up and he screamed in pain and turned very pale. Mal placed a hand on my shoulder and just shook his head and said he’d seen it many times in the war and there was nothing we could do. His super new organs gave him a few more minutes of life as far as I could tell. I’m mystified as to why they all seemed to give up. I still feel I could have saved him or at least should have tried but they just did nothing.”
Kaylee had struggled with that too for a while. Simon had saved crew members before, including her, and she was sure he could have done something or at least tried. But the Capt’n and Zoe did nothing, looked at each other and seemed to say he was finished and they were right. Still, it didn’t sit right with Kaylee, almost as if they wanted Tracey to die. Maybe.
“Shepherd Book has shown his knowledge of police procedure is more than just superficial. When Womack and his men finally came on board the Shepherd confronted them and told Womack in no uncertain terms that they should forget about Tracey or they’d find themselves dead at the bottom of a canyon. Shepherd even knew where Womack had been stationed and this caused all kinds of raised eyebrows. After Womack had left Jayne even made comment on the Shepherd having former police ties, which the Shepherd did not deny or confirm.”
“Tracey died and Mal refused to let me do an autopsy. Jayne even suggested that his undamaged organs could be sold and I really thought Zoe was going to hit him. I treated Wash’s wound and prepared Tracey’s body so it was clean for his parents. We dressed him in a new shirt Mal donated and placed him back in his coffin. Then we found the village where his parents lived on St. Albans and brought their son home to them. I’m not sure how the captain explained what happened or maybe he didn’t, it being best they didn’t know that we had been the ones to kill their son. Better that they know he was a good man, and not the man he had became after he had left home.”
That was mighty nice of Simon to write that. Kaylee had never asked the Capt’n what was said but she was sure Simon was right.
“During the funeral Kaylee stood next to me and I wanted to say something to her but this was definitely not the right time. I had noticed her looks at Tracey and felt a slight jealousy. Then I found her hand searching for mine and she grasped it and held on tight and I felt her tremble. It made me feel so good in the midst of this tragedy that I felt a little guilty for experiencing this moment of pleasure.”
Kaylee had again felt all alone in the verse and there was Simon and all her feelings for him were still there and she knew the events of the last while had been just all a big misunderstanding and silliness on both their parts, hers especially. She wanted to touch someone, to feel alive and he was there and she knew he was feeling bad about what he had said to her. Taking his hand was for her benefit as well as his.
Kaylee closed the journal, her mind and heart full of emotion after reading all that. Tracey was so young, he must have only been a teenager in the war. What had happened to him? How had he turned out so…bad? But weren’t they all bad, too? Weren’t they all criminals? Kaylee never thought of herself as a criminal. She was just the mechanic. Book certainly wasn’t a criminal and Wash never did anything really criminal except in the Skyplex fight and that was a rescue, not a crime, although she’s sure he shot a few people. Zoe, Jayne and the Capt’n were without doubt criminals, at least in the eyes of the Alliance, but Kaylee never saw them as such. They were her crewmates, even Jayne despite all his faults. River had killed people, she had seen that, but she was far from being a criminal. Simon, the criminal mastermind. Now he did fit the bill, but the robbery had been all for his sister so she really couldn’t count that. Nope, when it came right down to it, they weren’t criminals at all. Now, if she could only sell that to an Alliance judge if it ever came to it.
A knock came to the door and Kaylee put back the journal and answered it. It was the Capt’n and he wanted to get on with the mechanical tutoring. Kaylee wanted to ask him what Inara had said about staying but decide to let him tell them himself. She dropped by the infirmary to tell Simon what she was doing. He was standing in the midsts of boxes and vials and bottles and marking things on a clipboard and after a quick smile he distractedly said he’d see her after. A long two hours later she had explained as much as she could to the Capt’n and at least she thought he understood most of it. In the end she agreed to write down some basic steps for certain things.
It was getting toward bedtime so Kaylee got their bedding out of the dry cleaner and made the bed. After, her and River did the final checks for the night and set the ship for sleeping. River was going to sleep on the bridge and she and Kaylee brought a pillow and some blankets up. Being this close to a heavily traveled route made the Capt’n nervous and he wanted her there in case they came a little too close to another ship. It was a small chance but he didn’t take chances with the ship, not least since the engine failure that nearly cost them their lives. Simon joined them on the bridge and after making sure River was comfortable they said goodnight.
Back in their room Kaylee sat on the bed as Simon changed his clothes. He noticed she was not getting ready for bed.
“Anything the matter?” he asked.
“Just read about Tracey is all,” she replied in a sad voice.
“Oh. And about me and my stupid mouth again.”
She smiled a little. “Yeah… robot.”
“I guess I deserved that.”
“Wasn’t feeling too kindly towards you that day.”
“I know. You didn’t hide it well.”
“Never could hide my feelings, you know that.”
“One of the many things I love about you.”
She put on a big grin then remembered something else. “Were you coming to see me in the engine room to apologize?”
“Yes. You were listening to that recording. Didn’t want to interrupt.”
“Just got all sad when I heard it. He was so young. Why was he so bad? Thinking he could trick the Capt’n and Zoe, shooting at Wash, taking me hostage…just still makes no sense.”
“We don’t know anything about him, except what Zoe and Mal knew from the war. We don’t know why or how he got involved with that policeman. What was his name?”
“Right. Womack. You know, Shepherd Book seemed to know an awful lot about police matters, didn’t he?”
Kaylee looked at him as he sat on the bed next to her just wearing his pajama bottoms. “He was a cop I bet.”
“I think so, too” Simon replied.
“Maybe Jayne can find out more when he visits the brothers.”
“Yes, but how do we ask Jayne to ask them seeing as we all aren’t best friends these days.”
Kaylee thought on it. Then she grinned. “I’ll ask Zoe and she’ll ask him. You now how curious he always was about the Shepherd.”
“Maybe he’ll decide to stay in the abbey and become a Shepherd himself.”
Kaylee looked at him with wide eyes and then the laughter just poured out of the two of them and they spent the next few minutes making jokes about Shepherd Jayne, the priest who’ll slap you and shoot you if you don’t go to church. They had slept a good part of the afternoon and neither was tired so they stayed up for a while talking more and thinking on what to do the next day. And then Kaylee remembered what he had said about the engine room and he groaned, thinking he could never be able to one more time after so many times earlier in the day and she said not to worry, she would make sure he was up and ready. She grabbed his hand and dragged him upstairs and the ship was quiet and then before long one more of Kaylee’s fantasies came true as she had her man all to herself in her favorite part of her favorite ship in the verse.
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