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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
River goes for help and finds Kaylee. Chen grows worried that the Tams will not press charges against their son and takes matters into his own hands. Kaylee manages to see Simon and it doesn't go so well. Kaylee/Simon, hints of Mal/Inara.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1053 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
It really hadn’t been hard for River to sneak away. In fact, had her parents known how easy it was, they probably would have locked her in a jail cell next to her brother. But because they couldn’t or wouldn’t understand all their little girl was capable of, River was, in essence, free as a bird.
And if getting out was easy – a pop of the lock to her door, a quick scamper down the grand staircase – then locating Inara and Kaylee was almost a walk in the park. Getting into the training house had proved the most challenging, but with her usual grace and intuitive nature, River had padded her way inside on silent feet, blending into shadows and making no noise.
And so now, she was in Kaylee’s room, having a difficult time wiping the smile of relief that occupied her face at the sight of her friend.
Waking instantly, her heart pounding in her ears, Kaylee looked around wildly, trying to determine where that wisp of voice had come from.
River sat back on her haunches, waiting. With a bemused smile she watched her best friend’s brilliant green eyes recognize her, her hand flying to her mouth to stifle her surprised gasp. “River?” she breathed, wiping at her eyes to be sure she was truly seeing her.
As an answer, River threw her arms around Kaylee, holding her tight. “Thank you for coming,” she whispered as the young mechanic’s momentary shock faded to relief.
“O’ ‘course, sweetie.” Pulling back, Kaylee tucked River’s wild hair behind her ears and said, “We weren’t gonna leave you here.”
Grasping Kaylee’s hand suddenly, the younger woman told her, “Simon needs you.”
“An’ I need him,” Kaylee breathed, almost as an afterthought. Blinking rapidly to focus her attention back on her late night visitor, she asked hurriedly, “Is he okay?”
Shaking her head no, River said brokenly, “He’s scared. Needs to know he hasn’t been forgotten.”
Feeling her eyes sting with unshed tears, Kaylee immediately swung her legs off the bed, rising quickly. “Well, let’s get goin’ then. Where’s he at?”
“Jail.” Frowning slightly, River stepped before her friend and said, “Can’t go yet.” Glancing out the window, she added, “Couple of hours, when the sun rises.”
Swallowing thickly, Kaylee nodded. Feeling a little shaky on her feet as her fear and concern for Simon radiated through her, she sank thankfully back onto the bed. Pulling the covers around her, she did her best to push away her debilitating heartache and asked, “Are you okay?”
River paused for a moment, her automatic answer dying on her lips. Relatively speaking she was all right; better than Simon at any rate. But truthfully, her heart and soul were shriveling every day she was away from Serenity. Every day she was surrounded by the cold, possessive people whom the ‘verse had conspired to make her parents. “I will be,” she said finally, forcing a smile.
Bringing her eyes back to Kaylee’s face, she noted the way the young woman’s eyes shone and she tried to reassure her. Squeezing her hand, River murmured, “He’ll be okay. He just needs to see you.” As Kaylee’s look turned from sad to hopeful, River continued. “Thinks about you in that place. Thinks about how he misses his sunshine.” Her pale hand drifting up, River rested the pad of one finger against the gold pendant hanging at Kaylee’s neck. “Thinks about his happiness and how he never wants to be without it again.”
Wrapping her hand tightly with her own, Kaylee waited until River’s big, baleful eyes were on her before saying determinedly, “We’re gonna get him out, River. An’ we’re gonna take both o’ ya back home.” Searching the other woman’s face for understanding, she questioned, “Dong ma?”
Unable to trust her voice, River nodded fervently, wishing she could see the future … wishing she knew that Kaylee’s optimism wasn’t misplaced.
“Mister and Mrs. Tam, it’s a pleasure to see you again.” With a practiced ease and a learned grace, Chen bowed slightly at the waist to greet his guests, noting the guarded way they greeted him in return.
“Can we get you anything, Inspector Chen?” Regan Tam was nothing if not an impeccable hostess. “Tea or coffee? Perhaps some juice?”
Waving away her hospitality, Chen took the seat Gabriel offered him. Unbuttoning his jacket as he sat, he regarded the Tams with a detached interest. They were both considerably more standoffish since then last time he’d been by to visit and he supposed that stood to reason. The last time he’d been here, he’d told them of his son’s criminal activities and now, he was here to find out how far they were willing to go to lock that son away for good.
“I understand that your daughter and son have returned to you?” he prompted graciously, forcing an easy smile to his lips; it was not his normal countenance. “That must be wonderful.”
Nodding eagerly, Regan couldn’t help but let some of her excitement and relief show. “Yes, River is home and it’s been wonderful. We missed her so much,” she finished with a breathless sigh, her eyes wandering to a point just over his shoulder.
Turning to focus on Gabriel, he said, “I can imagine that your son’s incarceration is particularly trying.”
Nodding brusquely, the father answered, “No more trying than having to live with his actions.”
Hiding his smirk at the elder Tam’s textbook reaction, Chen added, “But surely, Simon has admitted his folly. Surely, your daughter hasn’t corroborated his story?”
Sharing an uncomfortable look, the tension in the room rose exponentially as Regan and Gabriel silently warred with what to admit to this Alliance lackey. Neither of them had been thrilled when he’d asked to see them, but knowing that refusing a visit from one of the government’s men could easily be construed as treason, they had relented. And now, they found themselves face to face with a man who wanted information – information about their children. They’d just returned home, couldn’t they have just a moment’s peace?
“We are assessing Simon’s mental faculties now, for when the case goes to trial,” Gabriel answered cryptically.
“So, you will be pressing charges?” Chen’s dark eyes darted between them both, but not surprisingly it was Gabriel who again spoke.
“Yes. Regardless of whether or not Simon’s actions were justified or he was suffering from a mental break as we initially surmised, he still kidnapped his sister.” Reaching for Regan’s hand, she did not pull it away as he held it firmly. “And we cannot allow our son to get away with such an action, both for the sake of the law and our family.”
The man’s answer warmed Chen’s heart for all the wrong reasons, but Regan’s reticence made him cold. She was still a wild card in this scenario; he could tell by the way she tensed at her husband’s words, how her eyelids fluttered when Gabriel mentioned Simon’s name that her resolve was failing. Perhaps helping Simon’s conviction along wasn’t such a misguided move after all.
Rising, Chen extended his hand to first Gabriel and then Regan. “I truly appreciate your time this morning,” he said, the fake smile again on his features. Heading for the door, he paused as Gabriel asked, “What made you stop by in the first place?”
Turning on his heel, Chen regarded them both with a blank expression before explaining. “Well, since I was the one who opened this case, I wanted a bit of closure. You understand, I’m sure?”
Nodding once, his host told him, “Of course. Good day, Mr. Chen.”
Returning the nod of dismissal with one of his own, Chen slipped out into the ostentatious foyer and headed for the door. The Tams had so far played their parts in his scheme exceptionally well. And while they were unknowing participants in his vendetta, Chen was somewhat impressed by their ability to so closely follow a script they had never seen.
However, things were coming to a head and quickly. While Chen wanted to believe that Gabriel and Regan Tam would continue to play their roles as upright citizens, intolerant of their child’s embarrassing behavior, he hesitated. He was too close now to lose everything in a moment of a mother’s weakness or a father’s guilt. No, he had to see this through.
And that meant paying Simon Tam a visit.
There were ten light panels in the ceiling, each one set apart by another panel of the same width. Were Simon the same kind of genius as his sister this information alone probably would have enabled him to calculate the exact dimensions of the room. But he wasn’t that kind of smart and so instead all he had to contemplate were ten light panels shining much too brightly overhead.
There were forty bars in the wall of his cell. Eight within the door frame. The guards came by every six minutes – Simon had actually counted it to the second, so he knew their rotation. But even with this knowledge: forty bars, eight in the door, ten light panels, six minute rotations; Simon was slowing starting to lose his mind.
Smirking, he chuckled aloud, knowing he probably sounded a bit insane and not having the faintest concern over it. Early in his incarceration had he stopped caring about what these people, his jailers and fellow prisoners, thought of him. Plus, if they thought he was really insane, hopefully they’d just leave him alone.
But what he was laughing about was the fact that his father might, in some twisted, backwater way, get his wish. Keeping Simon locked away from his sister, from Kaylee, from his life might actually make his brain a puddle of mush. He might actually start drooling and spouting nonsense.
Sobering instantly, he sat up swiftly realizing that would be exactly what his father wanted and he would not give the man such satisfaction. Rising, Simon began a nervous pacing. He hated the anxiety that welled in him, forcing his limbs to move about the small space, his hurried motion almost making him claustrophobic in such tight confines. Of course the anxiety was a balm for the anger he felt; the anger that matched his equally fervid despair.
He missed her smile and her laugh; the way her eyes danced when she talked; the feel of her lips on his and the soft sigh she’d make just before drifting off to sleep, curled around him perfectly, as if both he and Kaylee had been waiting their whole lives to fit together. To love one another; and the fact that he was separated from her now, because his father was a close-minded, unfeeling idiot and his sister had been tortured by government officials made him rage.
Simon didn’t want to think about how Kaylee must have reacted to the news … or did she react at all? Shaking his head firmly, he paused in his pacing, taking a deep cleansing breath. That was the other problem with all this alone time, he was starting to doubt, everything and everyone including himself. There was no reason Kaylee should want to be with him – he was a boob of the highest caliber. He had hurt her feelings more times than not, had even bargained with her life, allowing everyone to think he would actually let her bleed to death in Serenity’s cargo bay if the captain hadn’t run. He was uptight and stodgy and too proper and Kaylee was none of those things. She was perfect, but Simon was starting to lose sight of why she had ever professed to care for him.
“Deep thoughts, Doctor Tam?”
Whirling quickly towards the door – eight bars – Simon’s eyes widened and then narrowed as he took in the man standing on the other side. He was of medium build with no distinguishing features and wore a plain tunic over plain pants. A flash of the Operative springing to mind, Simon tensed as the cell door opened, allowing the man inside.
With his hands clasped firmly behind his back, Chen looked Simon up and down with a calculating eye. The boy was showing all the normal signs of imprisonment – gaunt cheeks, dull eyes, sagging shoulders, unkempt hair and clothes. Chen was fairly certain that if he stepped any closer he’d also be treated to the doctor’s delectable aroma as well, and so for that reason alone, he stayed just inside the cell’s entrance, the door shutting behind him as one of his men, unseen, closed it.
“Doctor Tam, I am Chen.” He extended one hand, which Simon eyed like a poisonous snake. Good, the boy’s paranoia was coming along nicely.
Waiting a handful of seconds, the government’s man dropped the hand back to his side and then began walking a slow circle around the prisoner. Simon’s back went rigid, his eyes never leaving his new visitor. Once he’d completed a full rotation, Chen said, “I imagine you’d very much like to go home.”
One muscle in the man’s cheek twitched but otherwise, no reaction. Even that impressed Chen; this young doctor obviously had more mettle than met the eye. “I imagine your sister would be very happy to see you.”
“I’d appreciate it if you left my sister alone,” Simon ground out, his fists clenching at his sides. “You and all of your friends,” he added, stressing the last word with a sneer that left no question as to the meaning.
“Yes, of course.” His tone pure condescension, Chen leaned back against the bars, arms across his chest. “I had almost forgotten. Your sister was once tortured, in a secret Government facility that no one has any recollection of except the two of you.” Watching as Simon continued to seethe, he added, “Convenient alibi, Doctor Tam, I must say.”
“It’s not an alibi.” His tone was more of a growl and Chen imagined that if he were a lesser man, he’d be frightened of the doctor trying to menace at him now. “My sister was tortured. But somehow, I think you know all about that.”
“You know if you just admitted that all of this was a hoax, one giant blunder by two rich kids who wanted to run away from home, I could get you out of here.” Chen fought to hide the small smile that tugged at his mouth as Simon’s agitation took on a level of epic proportions.
“Get out.” It was an order, although the boy had no authority and so Chen ignored him.
The two of them once again found themselves locked in an intense staring contest. Chen’s gaze one of unflappable superiority while Simon’s was full of pent-up rage. The boy was much stronger than Chen had anticipated; he’d made the right move in coming to visit.
Pushing himself off of the bars, he took a few steps towards Simon, his gaze never wavering. When he was only a hands-breath away, he asked quietly, “You’re not going to change your story are you?”
Jaw set with determination and eyes burning with a controlled fire, Simon told him, “No.”
With a heavy sigh that belied his true intent, Chen dropped his gaze to the floor and then struck, hard and fast. Simon was ill prepared for the swift and strong punch to his gut and he doubled over instantly, wheezing as air was forced from his lungs.
Head swimming as Chen’s other fist connected with his jaw, Simon staggered backwards, arms flailing for something to steady him. Instead, he fell hard on the ground, his backside hitting against the edge of his cot, while his wrist, which he’d put down to break his fall jarred unnaturally. Wincing in pain, he fought to regain his senses as Chen approached him again, this time a syringe in hand.
Leaning over the young man, he grabbed his arm forcefully, his fingers digging hungrily into Simon’s pale flesh and jabbed the needle into his skin. “What?” Simon breathed, as his lungs still fought to regain the air they needed.
“Just a little something to help your story, Doctor Tam,” Chen assured, the needle again disappearing. Rising, Simon watched as Chen doubled and then coalesced to a single person. Feeling as though he might throw up, he sank onto his side, his uninjured cheek resting against the cool floor as the towering man told him, “We need to make sure that insanity conviction really sticks.”
Simon wanted to ask more questions, wanted to hurl invectives at the man that would make his head spin, but whatever drug he’d given him was quickly taking effect, all of his limbs weighing heavily, his mind numbing and his eyes refusing to remain open.
Watching with detached interest as the younger man finally passed out, Chen provided him with a swift kick to his ribs, just for good measure, before turning and exiting the cell. Now, if he could control the girl, everything would be just perfect.
Kaylee waited anxiously in the anteroom at the police station. As soon as the sun had risen she had dressed hurriedly and rushed to the station. She wanted to see Simon, needed to see him actually. And luckily, her current disguise was going to afford her the opportunity.
Companions were their own separate echelon in high society, especially on Core planets like Osiris. As soon as Kaylee had walked in, dressed in her finest attire and putting on all the airs Inara had taught her, she was ushered to a private room and told to wait for an escort.
An officer entered finally, smiling to her and gesturing for her to proceed him out of the room and down a narrow hall. Using every inch of self-control she possessed, Kaylee walked with a non-hurried pace, concentrating on her breathing. If she just kept breathing in and out, she hoped it would drown out the pounding of her heart.
But within a few seconds, Kaylee could have cared less about appearances, about fake identities or clandestine meetings; all she cared about was Simon. She could see the curve of his back as he lay on the small cot in his cell, his face towards the opposite wall. She knew it was him and every muscle in her body tingled with the anticipation of not only seeing him, but touching him. She needed to know he was real; she needed to remind herself as much as he needed the reminder that they were real, that this jail cell was all an awful nightmare and soon both young lovers would awake from it, wrapped up with one another, snug in their bed.
If the officer noticed her increased anticipation, he made no indication. Opening the cell door, Kaylee stepped through and stood uncertainly as she heard it clang shut behind her. “You’ll have about ten minutes, miss,” the young guard told her and then he was gone and Kaylee found her feet could not move fast enough.
Rushing to Simon’s side, Kaylee sat beside him, resting a light hand to his shoulder. Rolling him towards her slightly, she gasped in horror as she saw the giant bruise covering his left cheek. It was an angry shade of purple, mixed with red and Kaylee could only guess how badly it hurt. Running her hand lightly through his hair, he did not stir and now she was worried.
Simon was not a heavy sleeper; living with a sister who suffered from night terrors for a year was enough to ensure that, never mind his years of medical training. So the fact that she could sit so close to him now, touching him without getting so much as a flutter from his eyelids, turned her earlier eagerness into dread. What had they done to him?
Shaking his shoulder slightly, she leaned down and whispered, “Simon, sweetie? It’s me, it’s Kaylee.”
Stirring, Simon groaned softly. He had to be dreaming, but it was a good dream for once; Kaylee was with him, her hands gentle against his tired body. Watching as her face came into view, he murmured, “Kaylee.”
Smiling to him softly as he said her name, she leaned over and pressed a kiss to his mouth and this was what finally awakened him. This couldn’t be a dream; it was too real. He could taste Kaylee’s sweetness and smell her strawberry scent.
Forcing his mind to full consciousness – he still felt a bit groggy from the drugs, there was no mistaking the sight of the angel before him now. “Kaylee?” he murmured again, struggling to sit up.
Helping him, Kaylee gently guided him so his back was against the wall and then scooted closer. With a shaky hand, Simon brushed the pads of his fingers against her cheek and watched as her eyes closed against his touch, the smallest sigh escaping her lips. “Simon. I missed you,” she breathed.
Fighting to find his voice, Simon could not answer her and so her eyes snapped opened at his silence. Noting his distress, Kaylee edged a bit closer and wrapped her arms around him, holding him firmly. As her fingers again stroked through his hair, she whispered, “It’s gonna be okay, sweetie. We’re gonna get you outta here.”
Squeezing her tight, Simon shook his head once, still trying to steady his voice. “You shouldn’t be here,” was all he could get out. It was the complete opposite of what he wanted to say. He wanted to tell her he was grateful to see her, thankful she’d come, that he loved her, but instead, he’d said the first foolish thing that had come to mind.
But instead of pulling away from him as he had thought she might, Kaylee simply held him tighter and kissed his temple. “Yes, I should,” she whispered, her lips against his ear. “There ain’t nowhere else I should be.”
“Kaylee, I’ve missed you,” he admitted in a rush, burying his face into the crook of her neck, trying to find solace in her warmth. “I need to get out of here.”
Squeezing her eyes shut against the tears she felt forming, Kaylee refused to say anything, knowing her voice would betray her if she did. She needed Simon to get out of here too; she needed him to be all right; she needed the two of them to be together.
Knowing her time was short, she leaned back reluctantly and tipped his head to the side so she could take in his bruised jaw. “What happened, Simon?” she asked. “Who did this to you?”
It was all a blur and Simon could not remember. Of course, he could feel it, could feel the sting on his cheek and the burn in his gut from the punch he’d received. But who had it been? A man, a man he’d never met before. What was his name?
His eyebrows knitting together in confusion, Simon breathed in sharply and whispered, “I don’t know.” Searching her face, his blue eyes were wild and pained and Kaylee’s heart beat sharply against her rib cage at the sight. “I can’t remember, Kaylee.” He was close to hyperventilating now as the memory still refused to come.
Pulling him against her, Kaylee pressed kisses to his temple and whispered, “It’s okay. You been in here a long time, things is bound to get confusin’.”
Simon tensed in her embrace for only a second more before melting into her, releasing a heavy sigh in the process. “I love you,” he murmured, brushing his lips past her cheek as he moved back and cradled her face in his hands. His eyes roving over her features for another moment, he said softly, “You’re so beautiful.”
Blushing slightly at the unexpected compliment, Kaylee pushed some of his hair off his forehead and teased, “Well I gotta be to catch a swai fella like you.”
Barely registering her joke, Simon dipped his head towards her and kissed her, the contact soothing his weary spirit more than anything else. Her lips were soft against his own, but Kaylee’s touch was passionate, her arms holding him tightly and Simon returned the embrace. He knew he smelled awful and probably looked even worse, but he didn’t care at this moment. All he cared about was the fact that Kaylee was once again in his arms and he didn’t want to lose that – ever.
“What is the meaning of this?”
But all too soon it came crashing down around them. Breaking their embrace quickly, Simon and Kaylee turned simultaneously to regard the stern man standing on the other side of the cell, his arms over his chest and his face set in a deep scowl.
Muttering a quiet curse, Simon refused to let Kaylee up, even as she tried to move away from him. He would not be ashamed in front of his father, not about Kaylee. “Father,” he ground out, his blue eyes never leaving the man even as Kaylee’s expression turned from bashful to shocked. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to see that you were all right,” Gabriel said truthfully, still unnerved by the compromising position he’d found his son in. The girl was attractive, that was true, and dressed very nicely, but something about her, something the older man could not identify was off and he did not like the idea of his son being so unabashedly public about his affections.
Waiting until the guard had admitted him into the cell as well, Gabriel finally asked, “Aren’t you going to introduce me?”
Simon’s grip on Kaylee’s hand tightened even as his eyes continued to bore holes into his father. Knowing that he would be unable to manage an introduction, Kaylee rose unsteadily, keeping her hand in Simon’s, and said a bit shakily, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mister Tam. I’m Kaylee.” She knew she should probably keep up the charade, use her alias, but in that moment the lie wouldn’t come.
Bowing slightly, Gabriel acknowledged her, his eyes sweeping up and down her body appraisingly. Kaylee was not a name one usually heard in the Core. As he glanced back to her hopeful face his eyes caught on a glint of metal around her neck and his momentary discomfort was replaced with anger. Moving towards her swiftly, he pointed at her and bit out, “Where did you get that?”
Instinctively closing her hand around Simon’s gift, as if to shield it from Gabriel’s sudden vitriol, she said quietly, “It was a present.”
Simon rose now, finding his legs a bit more wobbly than he would have liked. Fighting past the pain that shot through his bruised chest, he said, “Father, I gave it to her.”
With wide, incredulous eyes Gabriel Tam actually found himself at a loss for words. It was obvious to him now, as the seconds ticked by and Kaylee’s fearful eyes darted between father and son, that she did not deserve to receive such a precious gift.
“You gave it to her?” Gabriel’s voice was harsh as he took a step forward, not missing how Simon eased himself between him and the girl. “You gave away one of our family’s most treasured heirlooms to a whore?”
Kaylee’s shocked gasp was drowned out by the sound of Simon’s fist connecting with Gabriel’s jaw. The strike was so fast the elder Tam never saw it coming and he reeled, stumbling back against the wall of the cell. Rubbing at his aching cheek as Simon approached him menacingly, he yelled, “Guard!”
“Don’t ever call her that,” Simon ordered, chest heaving with anger, confusion and adrenaline. He never would have hit his father before today, but he’d felt the overwhelming urge to shut the man up and now he found he wanted to hit him again.
“Simon, don’t.” Kaylee tugged at his arm and he whirled on her fiercely, eyes ablaze, but at the sight of her pained expression the fight left him, his adrenaline receding as quickly as it had come.
Shoulders slumping forward, Simon found that his shaky legs would no longer hold his weight and he sank to the floor, head in his hands. Kaylee followed him down and held him tight, his head resting against her breast as her hands combed through his hair. Clutching at her tightly, he murmured, “Kaylee, I don’t know what to do anymore. I just … I feel so lost.”
Fighting to keep her tears at bay, Kaylee brought her lips to his ear and tried to reassure him. “It’s okay, sweetie. You’re gonna be okay. An’ you ain’t lost.” Pulling back so she could look in his tortured eyes, she forced a bright smile to her face and whispered, “I know exactly where you are an’ I ain’t gonna lose ya. Dong ma?”
Nodding weakly, he sagged against her again, feeling tired, cold and weak. Kaylee embraced him so tightly she feared she might leave a bruise against his skin. Even as the guards came rushing seconds later, listening to Gabriel’s account of his son’s violent outburst, Kaylee refused to leave him, her cheek resting against his hair, comforting words falling from her lips and washing over him like a gentle breeze.
Blinking back tears, Kaylee did not move, but asked hoarsely, “Yes?”
“You need to go now, Miss. We need to move the prisoner.”
Fear causing her heart to race, Kaylee turned to the young guard and asked, “Move him where?”
Sharing a look with his counterpart, the man frowned and explained. “We have very strict instructions. If the prisoner becomes violent, he is to be moved to solitary.”
With that, the other guard moved forward to pull Simon away and Kaylee rose hurriedly, trying desperately to keep a hold of her love. Simon allowed them to haul him to his feet; he’d lost the will to fight.
“But you can’t,” Kaylee exclaimed, her eyes begging the officers. “He can’t be alone. He’ll go crazy.”
“He already is, dear,” Gabriel told her softly. Surprised by the compassion in his tone, Kaylee turned to regard him, her eyes narrowing in seconds. She already did not like this man.
“He ain’t crazy,” she hissed, and then rushed forward, her hand still firmly attached to Simon’s.
“Miss, please let go.” The officer’s hand was around her wrist and he was starting to squeeze uncomfortably.
More tears pooling in her eyes, she whispered, “No, please. Please don’t take ‘im away.”
Refusing to offer any other words of comfort or warning, the guard pulled hard and broke her grip on Simon’s hand. “Simon,” Kaylee whimpered, a hand covering her mouth as he turned to look at her so full of sadness she felt her heart might cleave in two. “I love you,” she told him, doing her best to keep her voice from breaking. And then he was gone.
Kaylee buried her face in her hands the minute he was out of sight, silent sobs shaking her shoulders. He was so much worse than she could have ever expected and now he was all alone. Doing her best to collect herself, she straightened her shoulders and wiped at her eyes, even as her lower lip continued to tremble.
Moving to leave, she was stopped as Gabriel said quietly, “You’re in love with him.”
Freezing mid-stride, Kaylee took a deep breath and then turned, pulling herself up to her full height. Meeting the man’s gaze, she said as firmly as she could manage, “I am in love with him and I plan to love him for the rest of my life.” Eyeing Gabriel critically, she added harshly, “Simon is the finest, most honorable and respectful man I have ever met, which is more than I can say for you.”
Without another word and not giving Gabriel any time to form a retort Kaylee strode from the jail, heading back to the training house as fast as her feet could carry her. She was done waiting for the right moment; it was time for she and Inara to get Simon out of there.
Gabriel stood dumbfounded in the middle of the empty cell for quite a few moments after the girl had gone. Rubbing a hand over his tired eyes, when he finally did force himself to leave, he found his hand drifting to his personal comm. unit. Pulling it out and thumbing it on, he called Regan. “We need to talk, dear.”
“Why? Did something happen?”
Grimacing, Gabriel’s mind flashed with a collage of images each one almost more unbelievable than the last and told her, “More than we know.”
Monday, January 21, 2008 6:04 PM
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