Friday, January 6, 2006

"Kaylee cannot come to terms with Simon and River leaving Serenity. Meanwhile the siblings are taking a very different journey."



SUMMARY: "Kaylee cannot come to terms with Simon and River leaving Serenity. Meanwhile the siblings are taking a very different journey." 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.


"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

Kaylee was so upset she couldn't put into words how she was feeling. Seeing Simon walk away like that was more than she could bear. And saying goodbye to River, her best friend, had torn another great chunk out of a heart already grieving. Everyone had tried to talk the siblings out of leaving. At least everyone except the Captain. Her eyes narrowed. 'Course she knew him and Simon had some private talk before the final decision was made. Figured it had been one push too many and that just raised her dander to a whole new level of not happy.

The ship was quieter these days as if it too was in mourning although nobody had died. That might change if her temper grew any worse. Everyone steered clear of the mechanic's fuge, the rarity of it not lost on them. The only one who seemed happy was Jayne though even that was muted some. Meal times were strained affairs with folk eating by rote, pretty much all of them annoyed with the Captain figuring that somehow this had to be his fault. As for the Captain he ate without speaking, took his leave and let the empty silence hang behind him like a silent accusation.

When Kaylee could stand it no more she sought him out. Found the Captain in his bunk sitting at that desk of his with paperwork in front of him. Stomping down his ladder Kaylee announced her less than happy presence. Annoyed when he didn't sit straight up and ask her what was wrong. So she went right up to the table and with a sweep of her hand knocked all the papers off the desk. Mal looked up kind'a shocked but otherwise said not one word. If Kaylee had been thinking straight that alone would have given her pause but she was a volcano about to blow and having located her target nothing was going to keep her from speaking her mind.

"What did you say to him?"

He looked stunned. "*Shenme*?"

Kaylee glared at him, hands knotted into tight fists at her sides. "Simon. I know you said somethin', he wouldn't'a just upped an' left like that. Serenity's his home, his an' River's."

The Captain sighed and put his pen down. "Not nothin' I could do about it, Kaylee. Simon wanted to go an' I got no hold over him, you know that."

"An' River? You push her into leavin' too?"

A flicker of pain crossed his face, quickly masked. "I didn't push no one. Fact is I tried to convince 'em to stay. Ship needs a medic an' little sis was gettin' better but Simon'd made up his mind."

"You mean you made it up for him."

Malcolm Reynolds stared at her. Not blinking. Thinking back on the day he had met her, saw that genius mechanicking skill she had that no one else could come close to. The sunny bright disposition radiating so much happy that even the cold empty maw eating him up inside was held back. A moment of sunshine to light the Black. A sunshine he had been so sorely lacking that every day she was on his boat he felt blessed. Not so now. She clearly thought this was his fault when it wasn't. *Wode ma*, done a lot of crazy mean stuff in his life but not this. "I didn't, Kaylee."

"I don't believe you! Simon wouldn't'a left Serenity, left us..." *Left me* she almost added, voice choking.

The Captain knew what she had been about to say. Had seen this coming from the day Simon Tam first stepped aboard his boat. Had even warned Kaylee not to work so hard on that crush she was forming. Not that his mechanic had listened to him. Fact was the longer Simon and River were on his boat the less and less Kaylee listened to Mal. Whatever the doc said was carved in gorram stone. Word of God. He was only the Captain, what in the *diyu* did he know about anything? But he knew plenty and Kaylee would never see that her and Simon were from two different worlds. Liking each other wasn't the problem, never had been. Boy was shy but he was also smart. The kind of folk he grew up with had nothing in common with the rest of Serenity's crew. Even if he relaxed enough to let his heart fall in love his head would talk him out of it. Kaylee didn't know that yet and Mal had hoped she would never need to find out.

In fact the only one Simon was on a par with was Inara. They understood each other because of their backgrounds. The circles in which they moved. Circles which Kaylee had never touched upon and would find no common ground with even if she did. But being light years apart meant nothing to the heart and Kaylee was a romantic through and through. It hurt Mal to see her crushed like that but it was none of his doing. He'd always said that shipboard romances were a gorram mistake. Divided loyalties. Caused all kinds of problems when they ended or went wrong. He closed his eyes a moment. When he opened them again Kaylee had spun round and was clambering up the ladder. He wanted to say something to soothe her, to take away the pain, but the words wouldn't come. Sighing he hung his head. He wasn't good with words and talking about emotional stuff just tangled him up all inside.

* * * * *

Portree was a middle sized planet just on the edge of the Alliance trade routes from the Outer Rim to the Core Worlds. In accordance with the Anglo-Sino Unification of Planets it was one of the monitored worlds. Not many came here that weren't by invitation. Not many stayed that were. Some limited on and off world trading but mostly it was a stop off point, a halfway house for the comings and goings of them that didn't want to be noticed outside of certain corridors of power. It also had one other less pleasant distinction.

Simon had been careful. Schooling his mind and his chosen approach had been easy. Convincing his sister hadn't. "Want to go."

"We can't, River, you know that."


"That's the past River, this is the future."


He held his frustration well. Years of practice, a lifetime of training. He could do this blindfold.

"No, you can't."

Simon blinked and looked her in the eye. Less crazy today. Oh, that was so not good. "River, your medication..."

She shook her head. "No more needles."

He smiled. "We won't be here long but you need something to calm you down."

"You want me silent. Biddable."

A gentle look softened the angular planes of his face. The way the light fell obeyed the contours and lulled River into memories of the past. "I just want you safe, *mei mei*."

"We were safe on Serenity."

"No, *bao bei*," He hushed, filling the syringe as if in an act of kindness. A gesture of love. She saw it in his mind and lowered her defences. Simon loved her. Always had, always would. She was safe. "That was an illusion, River. We could never have fit in, you know that don't you?"

River was only half aware of the needle slipping in. "It won't work."

He tried to inject brightness, a positive outlook into his voice. "Then we'll keep trying until we find a combination that will."

Getting drowsy River shook her head, it was a slow lolling motion meant to clear her mind but it only fragmented the images so that they moved with a time delay like stop motion photography behind her eyes. "He's not like the others."

"Yes, he is."

For a moment a spark of lucidity allowed her to focus on Simon's face. "No. The conundrum isn't his but he'll work it out."

Simon pretended not to know who she was talking about. His smile a touch too brittle until the meds kicked in then in the softened aspect of her eyes she saw him as he had always been. "Simon," Her smile a big sloppy arc of love. Face aglow with its' reflection. "You gave up everything you had, you found me broken."

"And now I'm going to put you back together again."

Fading fast now. Eyes closing like heavy shutters but all in slow motion. His last words not connecting with her brain. Signals lost in transmission. Memories smudged and indistinct. Simon leaned close and laid a gentle kiss upon his sister's forehead. The mirror of his devotion a dazzling array of broken pieces that would only fit the puzzle one way.

* * * * *

Things on board Serenity stayed tense. The crew were out of sorts and the Captain wasn't talking. Kaylee wouldn't speak to him at all just kept sending Mal a glare then turning her back on him. Zoe frowned and after the third day of the silent treatment cornered the Captain in his bunk. "Sir, this has to stop."

He blinked and put down the slim book he had been reading. "*Shenme shi*?"

"You have to talk to her, sir."

"Talk to who?"


He gave a small forced laugh. "Case you hadn't noticed she ain't talkin' to me."

"That's the point."

The Captain sighed and stood up. He really had not wanted to have this conversation, not now, not ever. But looking into his first mate's eyes he could see this was one complication that simply wouldn't go away by wishing. He had hoped given a day or two folks would calm down and they could ease back into some kind of routine. It wasn't happening and wouldn't all the time Kaylee made it abundantly clear where the blame lay and then there was the question of crew taking sides. Not that it was said in so many words but the disapproving looks and such told him they weren't siding with him.

"Sir, if this isn't nipped in the bud it could break the crew apart."

Mal rubbed a hand over his face. He was weary, worried but also a mite baffled. Something was nagging at his back brain but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. Until he did he had a notion nothing in the 'verse would make much sense but Zoe had a point. This could not be allowed to go on. He was the Captain, had a ship to run, couldn't do either without the confidence of his crew. "I'll talk to her."

"That's all I ask."

"Not sayin' she'll listen."

"Say the right words sir an' she just might."

He blinked as he watched Zoe walk over to his ladder and start to ascend.

"An' just what might those words be?" He yelled up the ladder as she disappeared. True to his expectations, only silence echoed back at him. "Huh, how come everythin' on this gorram boat's my fault?"

* * * * *

CHINESE GLOSSARY: (Mandarin - Pinyin)

*shenme* = what *wode ma* = mother of God *mei mei* = little sister *bao bei* = precious/treasure *shenme shi* = what's the matter? *diyu* = hell


Friday, January 6, 2006 4:36 PM


Uh oh. I just had a few thoughts on where this might be going, and none of them happy-making.

Keep it rolling, this two-a-day thing is always good.

Friday, January 6, 2006 6:45 PM


Very well done. You have a great gift for writing; I espicially like the way you bring the character's ethos from the show/movie, to the fan-fic. I have a problem with putting new personalitites into fav-character's; you keep it real. btw, thanks again for your advice on my last Fan-Fic. -Roy Fokker-

Saturday, January 7, 2006 2:06 AM


Hey good going. Things are getting a bit tense with the crew...wonder how that will end.

Sunday, January 22, 2006 4:48 AM


Huh - a planet called Portree!
I know a place, well town.. well, small port called that up on the Island of Skye in the North of Scotland!

Ok - off topic, but I thought it was interesting.

Good, job - I can't wait to read the next one!

Sunday, January 22, 2006 11:34 AM


Hi Cryptic, I spent three years in the Outer Hebrides on Benbecula which is between North and South Uist as you may know. Love Scotland and all the places and planets in Firefly are named after places from Earth-that-was so it seemed apt. Glad you're enjoying the story. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, January 30, 2006 5:55 AM


I am so glad to see yet another one of your lovely stories posted. You're writing and characterization continue to amaze me. Can't wait to read the rest.


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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.

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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.