Shiny New Toys 2: And They're Off
Thursday, December 22, 2005

Simon and Kaylee take off on their date. With her brother and best friend gone, River has to entertain herself while our lovebirds paint the town red.


A/N: I know, I know. No one is drunk, no one gets shot, and everyone still has their pants on. In fact, the plot barely moves. How exciting can this be? Don't worry, we're getting there.


As was his custom, Simon arrived in the cargo bay precisely on time. As was also the custom, everyone else seemed to be late. The ship had touched down five minutes ago, so Simon busied himself with lowering the cargo ramp.

In this case, "everyone else" consisted of just Kaylee, but she appeared to be upholding the ship tradition of barely making it to a meeting. Simon groused to himself as he worked the controls, as punctuality was one of his pet peeves. He was still feeling a bit huffy when the sound of Inara's shuttle door drew his attention up to the catwalk. He promptly forgot what time it was. His mouth popped open and he stared.

Kaylee stood at the door, anxiously peering down at the floor where Simon was standing. Inara's loaned dress proved to be a deep green silk, with matching shoes. The Companion had clipped Kaylee's bangs up, but left the rest of her hair to fall down her back, contrasting nicely with the fabric. She was wearing the slightest of makeup, just enough to accentuate her features. Kaylee rocked forward slightly when Inara nudged her in the back, an obvious signal to "get moving." She took a few tentative steps forward, before finally stopping and giving Simon a timid wave.

Simon was wearing his usual: a button up blue shirt with no collar - he'd managed to find one that didn't have blood on the sleeves - and slacks, with a matching grey/black vest. His hair was as always immaculate, and even his shoes were shined. Kaylee thought he looked very handsome, although just a bit silly with his mouth hanging open like that.

"You don't like it, do you." It was a statement instead of a question, since there was no other reason Kaylee could fathom as to why he'd stand there looking so stunned.

With a withering glare from Inara, Simon realized that he was to required to speak. "No! No. You look quite lovely, Kaylee. Stunning." And she did. She was hands down the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen, including Inara, though Simon had enough good manners not to say so with Inara right there. He mounted the stairs to take her hand, and used his other to playfully dab at her nose. "And no grease, either." His brain caught up a moment later and realized he may have just insulted her - 'that didn't take long, did it?', he chided himself - but calmed down when she just blushed and let him lead her down the stairs.

At the bottom, he turned back around to address Inara. "I put some pills out on the counter for the captain and Jayne to take when they finally wake up. I have a comm unit in my pocket in case anything happens that requires us to return. There are also some sedatives in the infirmary if River needs them." He grinned self-consciously, feeling a bit guilty for foisting his sister off on the crew. "Although I hope that isn't the case."

"That's very thoughtful of you, Simon. And don't worry about the captain or Jayne, I'll keep them occupied, as well as keeping an eye on River. You just have a lovely time, and don't do anything I wouldn't do." She gave Simon a wink before calling to her friend. "Have fun, Kaylee, and don't abuse him too badly."

Kaylee was surprised at hearing her name, as she had found herself behind Simon and was openly staring at his backside, not really paying attention to the conversation. "Huh? Oh, you bet, 'Nara. Simon says he'll show me how a princess goes on a date." Kaylee glanced down at her dress and then snuck another look at her doctor, grinning happily. She certainly felt like a princess today.

"I said something about princesses?"

"Yeah, you was just mentionin' it. Tell me more." She grabbed for Simon's arm as soon as he offered it, and nearly dragged him off the ship and into town. Inara silently wished them luck and went to find the rest of Serenity's crew.


"Zoe? Please tell me there's a perfectly reasonable and totally manly explanation for this." Wash was suddenly not interested in getting some more coffee.

"Sorry, Wash. It does look like Mal and Jayne are cuddlin', don't it?"

River was standing on the table, dragging Jayne's arm into position over Mal's shoulder. She'd managed to hoist the captain back into his seat, and had arranged Jayne next to him. They were both out cold, heads on the table, facing each other at what could only be called 'kissing distance.' River fussed over Jayne's arm placement a bit more, before finally hopping down and putting Mal's inert left hand on Jayne's leg. "There. Now they are like Simon and Kaylee." River climbed back onto the table and assumed a cross-legged position, bringing her art supplies with her. With a dramatic flair, she began capturing the scene before her in an elegant charcoal rendering.

"Just like Simon and Kaylee, eh?" Wash looked confused and mirthful at the same time - which was a pretty common expression on him. "You mean Jayne has been obviously throwing himself at Mal for months, even going so far as sneaking into Mal's bunk stark naked? And that move has prompted Mal to finally throw caution to the wind, wake up, and make an honest man out of Jayne? With the promise of sexy antics in Mal's bunk?"

"What the hell you talkin' about, Wash?" Zoe began checking Wash for the other tragic signs of Space Dementia. He seemed to have "crazy talk" going already.

"Exactly what I said, except replace 'Mal' with 'Simon', 'Jayne' with 'Kaylee', and 'Mal's bunk' with 'engine room'."

"None of that happened with the doc and Kaylee, baby." Zoe hated to burst Wash's bubble, but the man had some odd notions sometimes.

"That's not how I hear it." Wash gave Zoe a suggestive eye roll.

"You tellin' me little Kaylee is in the Doc's bunk without her clothin'?" Zoe was partially amused at the concept, but also partially ready to go blow the Doc's head off if he so much as tried to touch her wrong. Nobody screwed with Serenity's mechanic without being confronted by a whole shipful of guns. "How come no one told me? With the Captain....indisposed....I am in charge, ya know."

"You mad, lambey-toes?"

"No. But I coulda gone an' banged on the door a bit, just to stir 'em up. How'd you know about it, husband?"

"I had the late watch on the bridge and overheard a rather heated card game. It seems our little River here set her brother up for a night he won't forget." He said the last with a goofy grin to River, obviously pleased with her manipulation skills. "Kaylee's probably worn him out by now."

In return, River gave Wash one of her patented "you moron" looks that she usually reserved for Simon. "Simon treated her properly, and Kaylee is quite pleased this morning. Simon tells her the things she always wanted to hear, in his own way." River considered the stories Kaylee had told her about her previous men, along with what she knew of her brother thought processes. "And he actually means them."

"Really? River, honey, Simon isn't exactly smooth with the ladies - in fact, I doubt he could find her ass with both hands and a star map." Wash really did feel sympathy for the doctor. As the class clown in flight school, Wash also had trouble interesting females long enough for his true nature to assert itself. Thank God for the close confines of Serenity that had kept Zoe from backing completely away when he first met her - it gave her time to warm up to him. Wash suspected the same influence was helping their mechanic in her hot pursuit of their medic - there was literally nowhere for the boy to run. But that didn't mean he couldn't enjoy teasing Simon merceilessly when he got the chance. "The doc is just not cut out for wowing the girls. He can't even ask her out without breaking into a sweat and running for the infirmary."

"Actually, Wash, it seems Simon has grown as a person." Inara entered the kitchen from behind Zoe's position on the fore steps, stopping briefly to hand the XO a set of pills. "He sends these along for our two inebriated lovebirds." She turned back to Wash. "But as for our other two lovebirds, they just left ship for a proper day on the town." She smiled lightly. "And speaking of asses, judging by the stares Kaylee was giving, Simon's will be well looked after. So to speak."

"Simon an' Kaylee left the ship on a date?" Zoe's eyes were wide. "Did anyone tell the captain? He'd be sorely vexed if he wasn't able to meet the doc with a shotgun when he gets back. As it is, we'll have to wake him up for the meet up this afternoon."

Inara looked over at the still unconscious captain, who had shifted in his sleep and was clutching Jayne just a little bit tighter. "Well, I did ask Mal about allowing Simon to show Kaylee a good time earlier this morning, and he didn't seem to object. Or move, for that matter. Don't worry, Simon took a comm unit with them. I'm sure they'll be fine."


If the pretties on Persephone were dangerously elegant, Kaylee decided, then this place was downright illegal in its glamour. She and Simon had been wandering the shopping district, browsing and talking. Once you got him rolling, Simon was actually pretty good company: smart, funny, and an excellent observer of people, all of which he was using to keep up a hilarious running commentary on the rest of the crowd. Kaylee knew he was covering his nerves, but she didn't care a bit. He was escorting her around the mall like a lady: opening doors for her, resting when the shoes started to pinch her feet, keeping his hand in the small of her back when they stood to admire something. He was really, really good at this "princess" thing, and she loved every minute of it.

Simon was having fun, too. It had been ages since he'd had an honestly good time in public, and Kaylee had assured him that Greenleaf was made up mostly of former Independents and the Alliance treaded lightly on the planet. He found he felt a small twinge of pride whenever he caught another man - and not a few women - quietly taking envious glances at his date. He couldn't blame them at all, as Kaylee was easiest the lovliest woman in the area, and most likely on the planet. It wasn't just looks, either: Kaylee was much more fun to be around than any previous experiences with Core women. Where they would turn there noses at the slightest hint of "common", Kaylee was honestly delighted with each new item they came across. She was so joyful with everything around her - even cold, awkward, nothing-to-offer Dr. Tam, as he thought of himself most times - that he couldn't help but warm up and give all his attention to her.

He'd stopped by one of the nicer restaraunts on Greenleaf - defined as "having untesils, a menu, and a floor not made of dirt" - and made a reservation for an early dinner later that afternoon. Since it was barely midday and neither of them had breakfast - the looming date had consumed their thoughts and they both flat-out forgot - Simon was leading Kaylee towards the food vendors, intent on finding something to hold them over. A hungry Kaylee was a grumpy Kaylee, and Simon was willing to do anything to keep in her in good spirits.

"What do y'all usually eat for lunch on Osiris? Gotta be better than protein bars." Kaylee loved hearing about the day-to-day habits of the upper class. She considered even the smallest detail to be incredibly opulent.

"Well, on off days it was brunch at mother's country club. We'd play a round of golf - where I learned that the chief of surgery should always win - then settle down for wine and sandwiches." He laughed. "Of course, if I was working at the hospital, lunch was usually a cup of instant soup between surgeries."

"Oh! We had sandwiches an' soup, too. Mama would make a big pitcher of lemonade and call all us cousins in to lunch. Ya had to be fast, 'cause cousin Jimmy'd always try an' eat it all 'fore the rest of us got there. What kinda sandwiches?"

"The most popular choice was a shrimp sandwich, but I always preferred tuna salad."

"What's a tuna? Or a shrimp?"

"They're both types of seafood. What was your favorite kind?"

"PB&J. With strawberry jelly an' extra crunchy peanut butter. My mamma made it fresh, with just a dollop of honey in it."

Simon could hear Kaylee's absolute devotion to her mother's cooking and was surprised to find himself wishing for that sandwich. His mouth was watering. "My God. I have never wanted something as badly as I want peanut butter right now. You made that sound like the best meal in the 'verse."

"'Cause it is, silly."

"Sadly, I doubt they have either tuna or peanut butter here. How about the ever popular meat on a stick? Or maybe fresh fruit?"

"Ooooh! They got cherries?"

"Maybe. But why cherries? I thought you were a devoted strawberry girl?"

"Oh, I am, but today is special, an' if ya behave I'll show ya how I can tie the stems in a knot with my tongue."


Thursday, December 22, 2005 5:52 PM


Oh, that was so cute! Simon is actually doing good, yay! My favorite part though has be River positioning Mal and Jayne in a cuddly embrace so that she can sketch them, lol. Good work, please keep them coming :)

Thursday, December 22, 2005 6:32 PM


Hilarious! I can't wait to find out what happens next! Mal and had me laughing out loud on that one! Great writing, too!

Thursday, December 22, 2005 9:21 PM


The date is so sweet! I love Wash making fun of Simon, he's just an easy target. Can't wait to see how the date ends!:):):)

Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:26 PM


Again, 'poor Simon'?
More like luckiest man ALIVE!

Saturday, December 24, 2005 9:52 AM


naughty river, picking on those poor drunken boys...but it does explain a lot...*grin wink*


Tuesday, December 27, 2005 7:03 AM


I love that River did that so she could draw them! And slow plot progression is sometimes neccessary, so you pound away at that keyboard and I'll do the same.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006 9:36 PM


Nothing wrong with taking your time when it's quality - loved the last line

Tuesday, October 3, 2006 12:10 PM


I'm sure Simon really wants to see her talent with the cherry stem. . .


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In The Ether 13: Secret Agent Man
Simon takes a turn at super spy as the crew tracks him down.

In The Ether 12: Motivations
A brief history of Simon Tam

In The Ether 11: Telling
Simon and Regan tell each other off, Jayne tells Kaylee a little story, and Wash tells everybody about basic chemistry. Bonus: Jayne actually quotes Shakespeare! Kind of.

In The Ether 10: Technical Difficulties
Jayne goes trophy hunting, Kaylee and Wash attempt to explain technical things to Mal, and eventually everyone realizes that they left something at the last stop.

Generic S/K Plot Outline
Inspired by a story posted at, I present the outline of pretty much every S/K fic out there (including my own, so no one take it personal-like).

Dino Tales: Loss
The dino army mourns the loss of one of their own.

The Old Switcheroo
Jayne and Simon wake up with unique perspectives on life.

In The Ether 9: Minor Complications
Jake and Jasper check out Serenity, River secures some backup, Jayne discovers his protective side, Simon gets physical, and Kaylee meets an old flame.

In The Ether 8: Lady's Choice
Zoe fixes the plan. Kaylee shows Simon how to turn up the heat.

In The Ether 7: Shore Leave
Mal gives everyone a day on Belix to calm the nerves. Wash gets suspicious. A plan is hatched.