Keeping On: Part 3 - Let The Sunshine In
Sunday, February 22, 2009

A year after the Miranda broadcast, Mal and Zoe struggle to keep their family together and keep flying as situations begin to build on Serenity. Let The Sunshine In: Serenity lands on Persephone and the crew prepares to do business. Kaylee and Simon have a conversation in which Simon manages not to offend Kaylee.


Keeping On: Part 3 - Let The Sunshine In

Disclaimer: Firefly, Serenity, and all related characters are copyright 2002-2005 Mutant Enemy, Inc., Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. This is a work of fanfiction. No copyright infringement is intended.


Two days later

Kaylee hummed and sang softly as she tinkered around with the navigation panel in the co-pilot’s station. It’d been acting awfully fussy lately and Kaylee didn’t like it when her girl got fussy…usually meant that something much bigger was soon to go wrong. After finally convincing Mal that she needed time on-planet to fix it, she was taking advantage of the break Mal and Zoe were giving her. Kaylee had a few hours to sort out what was making Serenity fuss the way she was.

It used to be that Wash could have helped her. Wash, as much as he joked around, knew his ships. He could look at wiring and tell right away what the problem was and the best three ways to fix it. In terms of engines and their workings he wasn’t much help…but electrical stuff? He was a genius.

Kaylee could recall the times when she and Wash both would have been on rollers, underneath the stations fixing the wiring or stripping it to replace it. Kaylee could also recall the times when she and Wash would be looking over floor plans of a building or security system schematics, trying to find the weakness, trying to find the one spot that would let the crew in so that crime could be done. The whole time they would talk and tell stories and jokes and bond in a way that the rest of the crew probably didn’t even notice. It was kind of a novelty, being able to talk with someone who didn’t usually need things explained in “Captain-Dummy-Talk.”

Wash had been like Kaylee’s older brother. He had looked out for her and cheered her up when she was down. Wash had been the one who made her feel the most welcome when she first joined, and had talked her through her homesickness when she had her first few-week trip in the Black. And while he didn’t understand everything she said about engines and such, he generally knew most of what she talked about the other time.

She missed him. She knew that Serenity missed him too. Wash had understood her girl like she did. Like Mal did. And as strange as it may have seemed to anyone else (and she hadn’t told them on account that they wouldn’t have understood), Kaylee hadn’t just lost a crew member or a friend or a brother when Wash died. She’d lost a part of Serenity.

She sniffled and then shook her head and got back to work. She was still trying to figure out why nav panel was kicking up a fuss every time River or Mal went to lay in a course. She moved a few wires around and shined her little flashlight, scanning the inlays and connectors.

Ah! There it was. One of the connectors had come slightly loose. Without that little connector, the entire panel would go down and the pilot’s navigation panel would be working twice as hard to compensate and would eventually short out, requiring extensive work. Kaylee studied the connector, wanting to make sure that it was just a matter of tightening it rather than replacing it. Sure enough, it just needed tightened. Kaylee reached for one of her tools and tightened the stray connector. She really was going to have to scold Mal and Jayne for just propping their feet up on the console when they were on led to stuff like this.

She heard a knock and slid out from under the little cave that the console made.

“May I come in?” Simon stood there in the doorway, giving her that sheepish sort of helpless smile that she just loved to pieces.

“Sure! Don’t know what was stoppin’ ya!” She smiled at him, suddenly feeling cheered. Simon took a tentative step inside. “It’s just…this was something you did with Wash, something that was just the two of you, and I didn’t want to intrude or seem like…like I was…I don’t know. I wasn’t sure if you’d like company.” Simon said.

Kaylee was stunned. So someone had noticed. Apparently Simon noticed a lot more than she thought he did.

“You two were really close. I could tell.” Simon continued.

“Yeah, we was.” Kaylee said, looking sadly over at Wash’s chair and the plastic dinosaurs on the console around it. “Weren’t nothing romantical about it, but-”

“Oh, I know.” Simon said quickly. “Wash would have never…with you.” He gave a horrified look, realizing what he had just said, and rapidly continued, “Not that he didn’t find you worth…you know, you’re a very pretty girl and very sweet…he was just…” He was trying so hard to find the right words, she could tell. “He was in love Zoe and would have never done anything to hurt her.”

“Yeah, I get what you mean.” Kaylee smiled, this time amused by Simon’s chronic ineptitude at saying the right thing. While his blundering certainly could be very hurtful, sometimes it was just downright adorable. “He was a good man like that.”

“He was one of the best.” Simon agreed. He looked around at the wiring and various tools lying around her. “So…what have you been doing?”

“Fixing things.” Kaylee held up a stray piece of wiring. “Sometimes the connector cables come loose and make the navigation panels go all fritzy-like. And when one goes down, it makes the other work harder which makes it overload and shut down.” Kaylee smiled; Simon really was interested in what she was doing and was trying to understand.

“And things shutting down usually leads to Mal turning cross.” Simon finished for her, smiling as well.

“I’m almost finished. I’m just going to put all this back together and then check the main panel over there to make sure that it’s all safe as houses.”

Ni ke ma? If you want, I could bring you a drink while you finish.” Simon suggested.

“That’d be real shiny of you, Simon!” Kaylee beamed.

“I’ll be right back.”

“And I’ll be right here!”

A few minutes later she heard footsteps and saw that Simon was back, drink in hand. She took it gratefully and she and Simon talked for about an hour on various things while she finished up the co-pilot’s console and started to double-check the main pilot’s console. Finally Simon had to bid her farewell as he had supplies to inventory before going off-ship. Kaylee smiled and told him that she would see him later.

“Oh, Kaylee?” Simon said as he paused at the door.


“You look very pretty today.” He left.

Kaylee slid back under the console and got back to work, still smiling.

Simon seemed so…different lately. But it was good different. He was relaxed and had even been able to joke around with the crew. He still had some trouble when it came to saying the right thing, but he was doing so much…better. He seemed to be mastering the art of not-offending-women.

She placed the panel back on and paused when she saw her reflection. Grease was all over her face and hands and clothes.

And Simon…he’d still thought her pretty, grease and all. Kaylee smiled…Simon really did love her. Now, if only he would propose already.


Later, that same day

“This is the Captain speaking. For those of you going planet-side today, we’ll be meeting in the cargo bay in fifteen minutes, so hurry it up already, Doc!”


Upon hearing Mal’s dulcet tones, Simon chuckled lightly as he moved around in the infirmary, compiling a list of supplies to acquire while on Persephone. Thankfully life on Serenity had been more or less subdued, at least in the way of jobs. However, fewer bullets to remove and cuts and gashes to sew up and painkillers to administer generally meant less money.

Simon had long since stopped caring about the material items he had once prized. He thought of the spacious and luxurious apartment that he had once owned, even though he rarely spent time there due to his hectic schedule at St. Jude’s hospital in Capital City. He snorted…that money could have gone into much worthier causes. The money he had spent purchasing it and furbishing it with the most stylish and comfortable furniture and amenities….it would have kept Serenity in repair with the finest parts and doubled the crew’s normal pay for at least three years.

Thrust out into a hard life in the Black, Simon had come to realize that everything he had once thought was important really meant nothing at all, with the exception of River. The important things, he realized, were loyalty and belief and family – especially the family that he had made. Wealth, power, prestige…none of that compared to sitting down with family, doing something good for someone else, or seeing a smile light up the face of the woman he loved…

As much as Simon tried not to care, however, he knew that if he was going to have anything to offer Kaylee, he was going to have to have some money. His only regret in the Alliance crashing his accounts was that he had almost nothing to help start a life with Kaylee. And unless Mal came up with a brilliant job with a nice payout…Simon would have to wait even longer, he supposed.

More than anything, Simon wanted to marry Kaylee. He remembered the girls that he used to be interested in…vain, shallow, unable to cope with even the barest unpleasantness in the world, never lifting a finger to do work for themselves or someone else. Simon was deeply thankful for Kaylee.

He loved Kaylee’s perpetual cheeriness and optimism and loved that it gave him hope. He loved how Kaylee enjoyed life and lived each day – teaching him to do to same and not simply follow a droll routine day after day. He loved how Kaylee could ignite a fever within him that he had never felt before meeting her. He loved Kaylee, without reservation or condition.

Simon had spent so long focusing on River that he had trouble focusing on the young woman who had been there for him since he boarded Serenity. Simon thought back to that first day, when he had threatened not to treat her and cringed. It had gone against everything he stood for, everything he believed in. He was a doctor; he helped people. He had sworn an oath, and apart from the stun wave he had used at the Academy while he was rescuing River, his ultimatum to Mal was the first time he had ever gone against the oath he had sworn to uphold. It had killed him to go against it, but he had been so desperate.

And Kaylee had somehow managed to forgive him.

He had been somewhat amazed that Kaylee bore him no grudge; she had pulled him aside a few days later and told him that she understood why he had done it. He had told her sincerely that he was sorry for his actions, and she had just smiled that amazing smile of hers and told him that everything was shiny.

Kaylee had become the bright spot in Simon’s life. Looking back, Simon realized that his fate had been signed ever since he’d seen her sitting on that lawn chair with that paper parasol as she smiled brightly at him and asked if he’d ever sailed in a Firefly. Simon found he didn’t mind so much.

Smiling as he finished his list of necessary supplies, along with helpful extras if there was enough money left, Simon looked around to make sure no one was outside watching him. He pulled out a hidden area in a drawer that he had found his first week on ship – an area he was sure even Mal didn’t know about, and counted the money he’d been putting away from every cut of the take he’d gotten – it had grown substantially over the past year, despite the rough patches. He smiled as he realized that he had just about enough to buy Kaylee a ring, as well as have money put away for the two of them – provided he didn’t screw up and she said yes.

He joined the rest of the crew down in the bay after making sure that all of his savings were accounted for and hidden away again. Mal gave them the usual planet-side spiel and they went their separate ways after locking Serenity up for day.

Simon visited the shops and clinics where medical supplies were sold, and managed to get nearly everything on his list, plus a few of the extras he had hoped for. It was much simpler, he thought, now that River didn’t need anything other than the occasional pain-killer or the even rarer anti-depressant. The pain-killers and anti-depressants were so much cheaper than the medication he had been treating her with before Miranda. It also helped that he knew how to get good prices for things.

Simon, as a doctor, was good at arguing. He had to be, to be able to deal some of the more…unruly patients and their families – and some other doctors, too. He remembered more than a few times back in Capital City when he and the head of the cardiac ward had gone head to head, arguing furiously…the other doctor raising his voice while Simon’s simply became quieter and more steady. Simon had always won, which he knew would surprise the crew on Serenity to no end.

His skill at arguing actually was useful on planets like these, where haggling over goods was common-place. Because he could argue, Simon knew how to haggle, and he, like Jayne, always had money left over afterwards.

Simon smiled slightly, carrying his packages back to the ship. It was looking to be a bright time, indeed.


I hope you enjoy! Questions, comments, and constructive criticism are greatly appreciated!



Sunday, February 22, 2009 1:16 PM


I am just loving this series. I'm looking forward to more.


Sunday, February 22, 2009 1:25 PM


Nicely done, with a lot of good character insights. Looking forward to more.

Sunday, February 22, 2009 5:16 PM


Better, i liked the length better and just thought this one was better. Hurry up on the rest.

Monday, February 23, 2009 1:32 AM


A nice little slice of what life aboard Serenity is like when they aren't running for their lives or trying to patch up holes in each other and keep the ship from crashing so they all burn and die. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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