"The Silent Hours"
Friday, August 15, 2003

"Simon contemplates his time on Serenity and the slow but inevitable lure of a certain delectable Captain."


TITLE: "THE SILENT HOURS" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: Simon/Mal RATING: R for *slash* but not graphic. STATUS: New. A Standalone piece. ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: WEBSITE:

SUMMARY: "Simon contemplates his time on Serenity and the slow but inevitable lure of a certain delectable Captain." 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.


A "Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

He leaned against the railing on the catwalk. Bone weary but unable to speak. Letting the cool darkness numb the shadows of his mind. River was at last sleeping. Wash no longer in physical pain but the scars he carried inside him were something Simon could not heal. He was not sure that anyone could except perhaps one man. The man he had left behind. A man who's strength had enabled him to survive. Simon knew the guilt of that would eat into his soul. Even in Zoe's loving arms there would be nightmares. Simon hung his head and recalled his reaction when Zoe had brought him back. The stunned look on everyone's faces at the news that Niska had released Wash but would not let the Captain go. The way his heart had faltered when he opened the small package wrapped in cloth placed silently into his hands. As Zoe helped Wash along the catwalk he had looked down and unfolded it. Stared with horror at the severed ear of their Captain.

He was not sure when his feelings for the Captain began to change. When he had first met him on the ramp of Serenity he thought him an arrogant, spiteful, and violent man. A criminal who could not be trusted let alone liked. He saw no redeeming features in that cold hard face only danger. Yet he had already booked passage, his choice made, and he had to follow it through for River's sake. He had been enchanted by the ship's engineer. Kaylee's warm and happy smile so full of goodness and the simple joy of living that he could not imagine the ship would not also be good, her Captain and crew as wholesome and accommodating as she was. It was a rude shock to the system to realise that the Captain struck fear in him not awe. A sinking feeling forming in the pit of his stomach that he had just made a terrible mistake. His panic intensified when the Captain got suspicious and opened River's container. Not realising when Mal turned and landed a furious punch in his face that he had taken him for a slaver. Once he explained that River was his sister and he had rescued her from an Alliance facility something in the Captain shifted. Not so much a softening of his stance as an understanding.

It was a wary truce at best. The Captain unsettled Simon. Made him jumpy, nervous. There was an emptiness in the Captain's eyes that chilled Simon to the soul. Made him edgy. Afraid. It was only as he began to see the Captain through the eyes of the others that he gradually came to see that the picture he had of him in his head was a fictitious beast. He remembered when he had asked the Captain if he was going to kill him and Mal had explained in a serious tone, equal to equal, looking him straight in the eye, that if he ever did kill him they would be face to face and he would be armed as well. He had asked him if he was always this sentimental not realising how the mild question would find its' target so effortlessly. He had told Inara that he thought the name Serenity was morbid, had a funereal sound to it. Not realising until later that Mal had fought on the side of the Independents and been at the Battle of Serenity when the war was finally lost. The naming of the ship a symbollic way to carry his dead with him. As surely as in battle he would leave no man behind. It was a code Simon would come to know well. A window into the man's soul that would give a heart breakingly noble glimpse of a good man who had been to hell and back more times than a mere mortal should have to endure.

A man of strong convictions it had hardened him but he had never lost his core values. The inherent goodness that motivated his personal code of honour. However harsh he had to become to survive the man had many layers to him. And buried deep beneath them all was the boy he had once been. In some ways Simon did not think Mal had survived Serenity. He carried the burden of it with him still. The ghosts of the dead haunting his dreams, second guessing every step he walked. It made him bitter. Cranky. And sometimes more than a little crazy. He learnt more about him through observing his interaction with the others. Amused by his open affection towards Kaylee, his quiet and careful handling of River - always speaking soft to her and treating her with respect, even when it was clear he did not have a gorram clue what she was on about. Zoe was another soldier to him but also something else, something more. A friend. Someone who had walked where he had walked, shared his values and had been willing to stand up and fight for them too. He trusted her and her faith in the Captain was absolute.

He was not quite sure of the relationship between Wash and Mal. Sometimes he thought the Captain merely tolerated him. For Zoe's sake more than anything else. But there had been odd moments when the two men seemed to share a deeper understanding. Not a truce exactly more a sense of the way things were. An acceptance of their differences and appreciation of their separate strengths. Wash had been a little wary of Mal not least because of the Captain's past history with his wife. Then had come Niska and a whole new dawn of knowledge had hit the pilot and hit him hard. Relieved, they had welcomed Wash back when Zoe went to get them back from Niska. But the relief was short lived. Wash was traumatised by the experience but haunted with grief and guilt because while Niska had let him go he refused to release Mal. Simon had seen how much that hurt the man, far more than any torture he had endured on Niska's skyplex. He said that Mal had saved him, whether he meant physically or his sanity Simon could not be sure but he knew that sacrifice weighed heavily on him. So he was not surprised when Wash said he was going back to get the Captain out. Naturally Zoe was going with him. What surprised Simon as much as them was his assertion that he would go too. Him. A man who abhored violence. A man who couldn't shoot a hole in a tin can from five paces.

But he had so many memories now. Times recalled when the Captain had saved his life and Rivers'. When the man had physically put himself in harm's way to save his crew. Didn't matter who it was who needed him he was there. He had never seen someone so self sacrificing and so damn unaffected by the price he had to pay. As if it was as normal and natural to him as taking a drink of water. Maybe it was. Maybe that was the difference between real heroes and those who just thought they were. Mal was the real deal. An image of him and Zoe walking in brandishing guns to get them away from the hill folk brought a smile to his shadowed lips. What was it the Patron had shouted at Mal? *Girl's a witch*. And Mal in true heroic style had yelled back, *Yeah but she's OUR witch, now cut her the hell down!* He had never been more proud of anybody than he had been of Mal at that moment. He had about given up on any likelihood of the Captain coming for him. His heart sinking when he saw Serenity take off and fly over their heads. The thought of being burnt alive with his sister was less painful though at the time he did not know why. Thought it was disappointment. River had kept her faith in the Captain but he had lost his. So when they were rescued he was stunned. Not comprehending. Even when Mal spelt it out for him it took time to sink it. *You're on my crew. Why are we still talking about this?*

So many memories of what was essentially a very private man. Whatever gloss he put on it Malcolm Reynolds was not the hard-assed unfeeling son of a bitch he sometimes projected. But survival had taught him that sometimes he had to be and that bedrock of steel had saved them all more times than he cared to count. Simon rubbed a hand over his face, trying to wipe out the image of the Captain when they brought him back. Blood running down his face, his chest covered in scars and burns and a look in his eyes that tore Simon to pieces just looking at him. His soul weeping at what he had suffered. What that *wangba dan* Niska had put him through. Then they were back, the skyplex blown to smithereens and good riddance behind them. He had started the task of putting Mal back together again, his body trembling with reaction, his heart thundering and calming with difficulty. Yet his hands were steady. Gently working to reattach his ear. Cleaning and dressing his wounds with a deft touch while inside he quietly raged.

He could not sleep. Even knowing River was now quiet and resting. That Mal was recovering and Wash no longer needed monitoring. Too many thoughts were racing around inside his head, chief of which was the knowledge of just how close he had come to losing Mal. It was nearly 3am. He loved the quiet hours. The steady thrum and murmer of Serenity's heartbeat helping to calm his own. It was when he did his best thinking. When he tried to block out memories of Niska and Jubal Early. Of a ship without air. So many memories any one of which could have proved fatal. He shivered and closed his eyes. Sensing rather than feeling a shift in the air around him. A displacement of the atoms just before familiar arms folded gently around him. He sighed with a deep abiding joy and relaxed back into the arms that held him, gently stealing the warmth from his benefactor. A pair of gentle lips brushed against his ear making him shiver.

"Come on back to bed."

He smiled even though Mal could not see his face. "I'm okay. Just thinking."

Soft lips dropped gentle kisses around the shell of his ear. Simon shivered. "You can think in bed."

Simon chuckled and turned in Mal's arms, wanted to face him, to see him. "Now how can I do that with you there?"

Mal tried not to smirk. "I think I'm crushed."

Simon leaned in and stole a kiss. "Don't be, it was a compliment."

"Come on then."

He resisted. Leaning back on the railing. Wanting to be persuaded, seduced. His body language screamed for it. Being a subtle man himself Mal leaned in and began to kiss him in ernest, hands slowly divesting him of clothes. His warm wet tongue adding heat and friction to the mix of erotically aroused sensations. Then Mal broke the kiss, nipped his ear lobe and whispered "We can take this back to our bunk or I'll fold you over the railing and fuck you for anyone to see as they pass. Your choice."

Dr Simon Tam groaned, a thick and husky sound in the back of his throat. He reminded himself of just why it was always a bad idea to provoke Mal.

"I love you in your silent hours Adore your captured grace That look, like fleeing smiles that haunt me How can I stand to wait? Yet passing, trying, walk don't run Won't let me go with you so near A look, an almost fleeting touch I am yours but you don't hear.

How can you move so unaware Of this fire burning full of need? This ache within my heart that's yearning Wanting you to so want me. A breath I steel to walk beside you Filling the void of muttered breath Like a shadow close beside you A rumour just a pause from death.

I take that scent of you in passing Take that breath that you exhale Savour it like sweetened ashes Would follow willingly through hell. Your silence is my own destruction Beauty more than flesh adorned What I glimpse in you so bleakly Ties my words in knots and thorns.

To bed I go and do not slumber Toss and turn and slowly break The care I have to mend others Cannot touch my own heartache. You look but do not see my yearning Accomplished liar I've become Holding the truth behind sharp fiction Filled with scathing wit I run.

Bleeding where no eyes can see me Halting breath holds back the tears, Professional while in your keeping I cannot stop my foolish fears. The terror when I found you taken Tortured, bleeding, dying, dead; Anger, sorrow, love not fleeting Passion muted in your bed. Tended, soothed, brought back to living Cruel the fashion of that tide, The mocking man is gone, forgotten For just a moment of your time. Gently, slowly, let me mend you Take your body to my own, Let my lips with no words spoken Love you as I bring you home.

Unyielding, firm, still in deniel Hazy eyes at last awake, See me, need me, for a moment Weakness stirs and hard walls break. I am shamed that in your torment Loving you made my heart soar, Tending as I cursed what ailed you Left me bleeding, wanting more.

Now the slur of sleep and torture Clear your mind, your eyes are clear I can hardly bear to see you Trembling just to stand so near. Fearful you will find me wanting Terrified that you will see Someone you do not want beside you A shopworn angel, that is me.

Tentative, the hand that travels The vast distance to my face, So gentle that it steals my sorrow Turns me to your inward grace. A soft smile, eyes so knowing Tenderly they lecture me; All love acknowledged though unspoken The pieces you now give to me.

Tears bedeck pale cheeks in wonder Beyond the glitter is your touch, Then your lips on mine engulf me Paradise can do so much. The patter of my racing heartbeat The way my body cleaves to feel The way you silently embrace me Only this for now is real.

You hold me as I cry forever Frightened you would surely die That Niska in his mad delusion Would take from me a love denied. But you have freed me in a moment Silently I see the truth, Begging as my hands adore you Love revealed you love me too.

I love you in your silent hours Adore you in that captured grace Still my body to your passion Joined with mine we mould this space. To curve the arc of your smile To the mirror of your eyes I'm in love but I can't shatter All my pieces you describe.

Beauty is not the fashion Of your body or your mind It is reality inside you Something others can't define. My eyes caress your inward spirit My breath in you completes a need To join and merge so completely There is no longer you or me.

I raise my hand to touch your shadows You bring your sweet lips close to mine Dazzled by your sudden brightness Drunk and dizzy from your wine. We love slow but deep and often Flowing ceaseless without haste I love you in your silent hours Adore you in your captured grace."

Feeling his legs weaken he produced a ragged cry. A white flag of surrender to the gentle but greedy lips sucking on him with such tender abandon. Mal lifted his head. Eyes shining in the dimness of the catwalk. Love blinding Simon. He knew not how he got to their bunk. Hands flying from one to the other until both were standing naked and glorious before the other. Simon felt his breathing puncture his lungs. He loved this man so much. *How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...* Oh *tianna* this man reduced him to poetry. It was in his look, his touch, the feel of him, the taste of him, the glory of his arms encompassing him, keeping him safe, loving him beyond anything he had ever felt or strived for in his life. Mal was not his lover. Mal was his life. He reached a trembling hand to grace that firm jaw, shivering when Mal kissed his fingers so tenderly. Almost crying at the look in his eyes.

"Si, are you alright? *Shenme shi*?"


Mal did not look convinced. Little worry lines starting to appear on his face. "*Zhen de*?"

He smiled. "*Duibuqi*, Mal. I didn't mean to worry you it's just you're so *wanmei*."

His words amused Mal but in a wonderful, heart warming way. "No one's ever called me perfect before," He murmured, his hands ghosting over Simon's flesh. Bodies in motion coming slowly together. "I think you're pretty *bang ji le* yourself, Si."

Simon smiled. Liked the way Mal shortened his name when he began to lose control. It turned him on to see his eyes darken with lust, his body straining with need, the longing to touch him, to excite him and love him so deeply that for a few precious hours the 'verse would cease to exist for them. Simon opened his mouth to say something but Mal placed his fingers over his lips, hushing him as he led him over to the bed. "Hush now, Si. Too much talkin' not enough lovin'."

He bent his head and kissed him so tenderly. Simon's toes curling as his stomach flipped over, the joy in his heart reaching out to the man loving him so deeply inside and out. He hardly felt the bed beneath him, lost in the arms of the one he loved. Hours passing in a silence so beautiful as they loved each other again and again in slow langrous movements that flowed from one touch to another like a symphony. He thought his heart would break for the perfection of it all. When he tasted Mal's tears of joy on his cheeks as he came he knew this was his home. Not his parents' estate. Not Serenity. Not even River. Here. In Mal's arms. Cradling his heart in the silent hours when passion ruled. Gently he settled in his arms. Happy and sated. A boneless sprawl. Almost asleep he echoed something he had heard Kaylee say. "I love my Captain..." The murmur was swallowed in the sweetest kiss. "Much as I like the sentiment, *bao bei*," Murmured Mal, his tongue sliding gently in and out of the warm cavern of Simon's mouth before they drifted off to sleep. "Still too much talkin'..."

"...I love you in your silent hours Adore you in your captured grace..."

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*wangba dan* = bastard *shenme shi* = what's the matter? *yiwusuoyou* = nothing *zhen de*? = really? duibuqi = sorry *wanmei* = perfect *bang ji le* wonderful *bao bei* = baby/darling *tianna* = oh God


Friday, September 23, 2005 9:33 AM


ooh!!! i would say shiny, but that's not the right word, and i would say kinky, but that's not quite right's shinky!!! half shiny, half kinky...wanmei!


Monday, February 13, 2006 8:45 AM


Awww. I love a good Simon/Mal.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 2:44 PM


*le sigh* One of my all-time favorites. Thanks for helping me find my OTP. *g*

"I love my captain."


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His head still ached from the rutting probe but after the men had satisfied themselves that his story was true a thousand questions peppered the air like machine gun fire.

The vessel was shiny, sleek and black with nowhere near the bulk of an Alliance ship. Something about the way it moved through the Black was more than a little creepifying.

Personally she didn't care if Serenity was towed off to a junk yard and stripped into spare parts. She had promised the ship to Jer and his crew as a bonus but it looked like scavengers had beaten them to it.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 2. "Counting Chickens"
The fact that her eyes were hard and sharp with intelligence kind of chilled him. Smart women always made him uneasy, it just weren't natural.

What in the nine hells were they so afraid of? Then he remembered Tracy. The body mailed to them by their old war buddy and all the trouble that had brought down on them.

If it was too gorram wet to hunt for rabbits what in the nine hells was his son really hunting? And was it something on four legs or two?

The man was in a terrible condition, his pulse weak, and for some reason he was soaking wet which did nothing to staunch the blood soaking through his clothing and seeping from the poorly tended wound where he had been shot.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 9. "All The King's Men"
The man sighed like the weight of the of the 'Verse was on his shoulders but unlike anyone else he looked like he could carry the weight.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 8. "All The King's Horses"
Without warning something came through the opening and rolled with a metallic clang across the ground before exploding.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 7. "Friend or Foe"
Then he found himself falling, the whole world silent as in slow motion the hordes of *diyu* came to swallow him up and everything disintegrated in fire, blood and pain.