Shiny New Toys 3: Smooth Operator
Monday, December 26, 2005

Simon is certainly in his element - food, wine, Alliance soldiers. Well, maybe not that last part.


A/N: Kinda short, but I couldn't resist the idea of moving the plot and having River give Mal a Wet Willie.




"What'ya doin' huggin' me like this, Jayne?"

"Was gonna ask ya the same 'bout your hand on my leg."

"We should move."



"You first, Jayne."

"Can't really move, Cap. Head hurts."

"Huh. Me, too. Go back to sleep and pretend it ain't happenin'?"




"Simon! There's too many forks on the table!" Kaylee knew her "princess" charade would end eventually. She'd been in familiar territory while out in the stores; fancy or not, shopping was a trait inborn to her, and she was able to smell a bargain from a mile away. But she was wholly unprepared for this. The restaraunt Simon brought her to had presented a place setting holding three different cups, two plates, and a wide variety of utesils. This was too much for Kaylee, seeing as her usual dish setup consisted of chopsticks and a chipped enamel plate. There was no way she could fake knowing what she was doing.

"You'll be fine. Start at the outside and work your way in. Use a different utensil for each course."

"That's too confusin'!"

"OK." Simon thought a moment. "Think of each course like a slightly different engine. Each engine needs the proper catalyzer - or utensil - to make it go. The parts are all laid out for you, all you have to do is install them in order."

"What the hell?" Kaylee's laughter overrode her panic. "You been drinkin'?"

Simon's feelings actually seemed hurt. "No. Just trying a mechanical analogy." He pouted a bit as he pulled back her chair, but cheered up when she gave him a playful whap on the shoulder once she was seated.

"I 'preciate the effort, though. Keep tryin', Dr. Tam, an' ya may sweet talk me yet."

"Indeed. I wouldn't want your interest in me to be based entirely on my dashing looks." Simon struck an exaggerated "man of action" pose.

"'Course not. But they don't hurt none."

Simon went around to his own chair and began to peruse the menu. "Hmmm. Should we be truly decadent and order some wine?"

Kaylee thought about it, but was hesitant to do anything that might reveal her as not belonging in this place. Getting loudly drunk probably fell into that category. "Maybe I shouldn't. Don't wanna make a scene."

Simon waved away her objection. "Ninety percent of high-class dinner parties result in ruined dresses, duels, or someone's wife being felt up in the billiards room. Just remember to say something derogatory about the wine's quality, and no one will blink." The familiar surroundings were certainly loosening him up. He was using complete sentences. Simon gave Kaylee a naughty smile. "Besides, I'll make sure you get home and into bed."

Kaylee nodded in mock gravity. "Well, OK then. If you think it's best. You're the doctor."

Simon waved the waiter over and - deciding that a whole bottle might be a little much considering last night's exploits - ordered a glass of the house red for each of them. The waiter left to fetch the drinks.

And came back with half a dozen armed Alliance soldiers.

"Simon Tam, you are bound by law!" The soldier in charge - Simon couldn't read rank insignia, so he gave up and thought of the man as Bob, for lack of a better name - was standing imperiously at their table. "Please stand up to be escorted out. You too, miss." Bob stood at attention with his hand on his pistol.

Later, Simon would tell himself it was the effect of a long day. Or the effect of being in a comfortable setting. Most likely, it was the effect of knowing that - like Jayne on Ariel - Kaylee was also about to be arrested and executed along with him for knowing too much - after they beat her for information, of course. Whatever the reason, it was time to put that top-three-percent brain to good use. So he decided to ignore Bob's orders and start blustering.

"What's this all about, officer? You dare to interrupt my evening? The ladie's services are not cheap. I require your name and superior's name at once! Do you know who I am?!" Simon fell back on the only role he knew: a powerful man fully aggrieved at an underling's failings, with the added bonus of implying Kaylee was just an escort and not personally known to him. No one noticed his left hand sneak into his pocket and grasp the comm unit he had there.

Bob consulted a small computer in his hand before answering. "My name is Lieutenant Smith, Dr. Tam. And you are being held for trespassing, extortion, kidnapping, destruction of Alliance property, and murder."

Simon managed to look derisive. "Is that all? I would expect a few more captial crimes before you come barging in at dinner time." Shielded by the tablecloth, he lightly tossed to comm unit into Kaylee's lap under the table. "Besides, I believe you missed a few. Please add smuggling, grand theft, conspiracy, and resisting arrest to your list. I'm sure your superiors wish to be thorough."

Kaylee's eyes had been widening in horror as Simon was speaking, but it all made more sense when she felt the small radio land in her lap. He was buying her time. Working completely by feel and hiding her hands under her napkin, she popped the back off the unit and rearranged a few of the jumpers inside. The comm had just gone from a two-way radio to a constantly broadcasting homing beacon that should immediately alert anyone on the bridge of Serenity that the cavalry was needed. Her job accomplished, Kaylee elected to help Simon out. No time like the present to test her acting skills. "Samuel, dear. What's going on?"

"These men," Simon waved to the solders, "seem to think that a few small indescretions warrant disrupting our meal. Can you imagine the nerve?"

"Dr. Tam, you will comply with our orders. Please come with us now." Smith drew his pistol and pointed it at Simon, while another soldier pointed one at Kaylee.

Simon huffed a bit more, but with guns out, he had no choice. He considered daring Smith to shoot him to buy more time - it had worked to rile Agent McGinnis on Ariel - but the soldiers might well decide that shooting Kaylee would better motivate him. They'd be right. "Very well. But you will hear from my lawyer!" He stood up, hands held high. Kaylee dropped the comm on the floor behind her chair before likewise standing up. Both of them were quickly searched, then marched out of the fromt door into a waiting hover.


"Zoe! Zoe!" Wash fairly flew down the hallway from the bridge to the galley, yelling his wife's name. "Zoe! We're getting an emergency comm broadcast from town!"

Mal and Jayne were still laying on the table, although they appeared to be resuming life-like behavior. "Wash," Mal groaned, "shut the hell up an' let a body die in peace!" Wash ignored him.

Zoe, on the other hand, was much more awake and came running in from the cargo bay, Inara, River and Book right behind them. "What? From who?"

"The only people not here are Simon and Kaylee," Inara reminded her. She looked very worried. "They're not exactly prepared for trouble."

Zoe nodded once, all business with no time to lose. Lord knew that a signal from any of Srenity's crew meant the worst had occured. Again. "Right. Wash, get back up to the bridge and narrow down where that signal is. Inara, I know you ain't the doc, but go down to the infirmary an' prep it for wounded. Book, you're with me. River, get Jayne an' the captain up however you can - slap 'em, kiss 'em, whatever - I don't care how, but get them the gorram hell up." She walked to the crew quarters in time to meet Wash, who came popping out of their bunk with her pistols and holster. He handed them over and ran back to the bridge.

"Everything runnin' smooth, Zoe?" Mal's voice sounded plaintive from his position on the table as River sucked on her index finger next to him.

"As smooth as always, sir."

Mal sighed, his head pounding. "Gorramit. Someone best fetch me my gun." He yelped as River administered a wet finger to the ear, and winced. "An' some o' the Doc's fancy pills." He reached up to feel the side of his head. "An' a towel."


Tuesday, December 27, 2005 12:41 AM


Oh no, Simon and Kaylee in purplebelly hands? And they didn't even get to finish their very fine meal. Figures that something would happen just as they were beginning to get everything right. And Mal and Jayne waking the worst for drink, very funny! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 6:04 AM


Haha, the wet willy was classic! More please!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 11:13 AM


Well MG I guess we're just gonna be trading cliffhangers back and forth huh? I loved the wet willy, but I think it would have been twice as funny if you just took out the bit about Zoe "stick your fingers in their ears". If it were completely River's idea I think it would be in her nature. Very good job....and tick tock tick tock...waiting impatiently.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005 1:59 PM


OK, gypsylife convinced me. I reworded the last few lines to make River the creative one, and also to make Mal more pathetic.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 2:20 PM


what's this? i feel...strange. i think!! could it be? my dirty-joke urges are taking over!!! must...keep...control...


Thursday, December 29, 2005 6:37 PM


Ok, now how's she gonna wake Jayne?

Tuesday, January 3, 2006 9:41 PM


"Ninety percent of high-class dinner parties result in ruined dresses, duels, or someone's wife being felt up in the billiards room. Just remember to say something derogatory about the wine's quality, and no one will blink." - words to live by.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006 12:14 PM


Of course something has to interrupt their meal! Nicely done once again!


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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.