BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

CHRISPV

Words of Wisdom-Kaylee’s Tale
Monday, February 6, 2006

Kaylee learns the most important lesson when seeking out romantic advice: always pick your best friend, because she'll give it to you straight every time.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 3131    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Spoiler warning: This story takes place a few months after Serenity, the film. As such, it discusses some fairly major spoilers. This is the fourth story in the Tales series. The rest can be found here: River, Wash, Mal, Zoë, Simon, Inara, Jayne, Book Rated PG for some mild language and sexuality. Thanks go out to my much appreciated beta-ers. Thanks ladies. Sheh Sheh=Thanks Mei Wen Ti=No problem Saw Gwa=Fool Fah Shiang Jin=Going nuts ***** Kaywinnit Lee Frye was in a right foul temper. Didn’t help her much that there were carnival barkers everywhere. It was near eight o’clock local time, and the carnivals were starting to move into full speed. She hadn’t been on Paquin for a pace, and she’d forgotten just how many folks out here were keen on selling her something. They’d probably keep trying to sell her on their wares until a good spot after midnight. She hadn’t gave much thought to where she’d go when she’d stormed off Serenity. All she wanted was to put some distance between her and him. Right now, magic shows didn’t much appeal to her. Normally she’d be in the front row, watching close. Some people tried to figure just what the fella on stage was up to. Simon always did, and sometimes he was right. Kaylee never wanted to know. Magic was magic, as far as she was concerned. What was the point of living if you couldn’t enjoy a little magic? She knew it was a trick. Didn’t mean that somebody had to come up and ruin it for everybody by explaining it. There was fun to be had by just sitting back and having a piece of it at a show. There was a vendor to her left selling ice planets. Didn’t matter how bad a body’s mood was, an ice planet always made it better. She fished through her pockets, hoping to find a few credits to buy one. Looked like when she ran off the ship, she’d flat forgot to check for any money. Oh, well. Looked like there wouldn’t be any tasties today. “Y’know, if you ask me real nice-like, I might be able to cough up some coin to buy you one.” Kaylee knew the voice right away. She felt better, having somebody around to talk to that she knew. She turned around and smiled at the big man in the brown coat standing in front of her. “Monty!” Suddenly, Kaylee found herself swept up in a giant bear hug. She felt a bristly chin against her forehead as Monty picked her up off the ground and swung her around in a circle before he sat her back down on the ground. He was laughing all the time, but then, that was just how Monty was. Kaylee always thought of Monty like the uncle that she didn’t have. Every time Monty and the cap’n got together, Monty’d always made it a point to say “hey” at her. They’d run a few crimes together, Monty’s crew and Serenity’s, and Monty usually spent a bit of his share of the booty to get Kaylee just a little something. Sometimes it was some piece of pretty for her, other times it was some tool or part for keeping Serenity in the air. To Kaylee, Monty was one of the shiniest folks in the whole ‘verse. ‘Course, there weren’t many folks in the ‘verse that Kaylee didn’t think were pretty shiny, in their own way. Monty sat Kaylee back down on the ground and reached over to tousle her hair. His beard was finally starting to grow back after he’d shaved it off. Kaylee thought it’d take at least another year ‘fore it’d be back to what it used to be. And it used to reach down to Monty’s chest. The soupcatcher was practically a living person all on its own, and Kaylee missed it. Monty looked lonely without it there. They walked over and Monty bought them a couple of ice planets. They strolled up the bazaar for a bit, just eating, before they started talking. “What are you doing here, Monty? You in the middle of some secret dealings to smuggle ancient treasure through Alliance lines?” She was only half kidding. It wasn’t likely that Monty had any ancient treasure in his hold. Truth told, there wasn’t much by way of ancient treasure left to be had. Still, maybe he had come across some. It couldn’t hurt for a girl to ask, after all. If he had some wonderful adventure going for him, maybe Monty needed some help and she could convince him to partner up with the cap’n. There were all kinds of stuff out there to see, and all manner of folks to meet. Kaylee wanted to see and meet them all, and a big adventure would definitely move that plan up a bit. Monty laughed at the notion. “Nah, nothing so big ‘n important. We just got done with a cargo haul and the crew wanted to spend a little time relaxin’. Everybody’s out and about, buying what they want. So long as it’ll fit on the boat, ‘course.” Serenity wasn’t here to relax. They’d just come off a supply run for one of the performers on the bazaar. There were plenty of folks out here that made an honest living by putting on an act, and Kaylee was a might envious of them. All that acting and pretending was real exciting to her. The crew’s job, however, weren’t anything terrible exciting, just delivering some foodstuffs and supplies for the show. Wasn’t even any crime involved. Kaylee’d gotten a ticket for free to see the show, and another one for Simon, but now she didn’t think that she’d be going. It was supposed to be a big, romantical evening. That didn’t much appeal to her anymore. “So, Kaylee, what finds you out here, all by your lonesome, on a night like this?” “Oh, I just needed to put a little space between me and a fella.” Monty looked shocked. “Are you telling me that our little Kaywinnit has found herself a steady man?” “Don’t you look so surprised, Monty. I’ve had a couple men tell me I’m plenty pretty. Wash even said….” She didn’t finish. Wash had said she was pretty, but now he was gone. Kaylee thought of everyone on Serenity as a friend, and Wash hadn’t been any different. ‘Course, she wasn’t as close to him as she was with Inara or River, but he was still somebody special. Wash was always the one to smile for them, when they needed it. He was the one to pick them all up. She’d had nightmares ‘bout what Niska had done to him and the cap’n. But Wash was able to make fun of the thing, after awhile. It’d helped her calm some to know that he was better. Kaylee was scared for Zoë, but Zoë was stronger than any of them, in her own way. Ever since she’d been back from Beaumonde to see Wash’s ma, she seemed to be better off. Family was always good for helping people get up when they took a tumble. Now Shepherd Book, he was something else all together. He hadn’t ever been the type to come out with a joke, but he’d been a boon to the crew in his own way. He’d stayed up with her when she’d been shot, and she’d done the same for him. Anytime anyone on the boat was in trouble, the Shepherd always seemed to be there to help them out. Kaylee’s pa hadn’t ever been much for religion; he didn’t see any point in spending time praying to a God who might not be there when there was work to be done. She hadn’t ever really asked the Shepherd for any type of sermonizing on account of that attitude. The way Kaylee figured it, it didn’t matter if he was right for praying or not. She didn’t see any point in not befriending folks just ‘cause they believed something different. That way of thinking only kept you from meeting folks and making friends. “I heard about Wash. Good man, he was.” “One of the best.” “Send my best wishes to Zoë, would ya?” “Of course, Monty. She’s doing real well, but I’m sure she’ll appreciate the thought.” There was a pause between them. Monty always got a little cinched off when it came to talking about dying. He didn’t like to talk about it, but the cap’n had explained it to her when the she’d asked. Monty’d lost friends in the war, just like he and Zoë had. But Monty’d lost his best friend in the whole ‘verse. His brother. Alfred “Alf” Montaine had served on one of the big Independent ships. He’d died in the Battle of Sturges, and Monty’d never really gotten over losing him. Then, since the war had ended, four different people had died on Monty’s crew. The way the cap’n had described it, Monty just wouldn’t think about dying. He knew it was there, and he knew he couldn’t change it, but he didn’t want to think about it any. He covered it up by being as alive as he could, and when he heard tell of someone dying, he tried to move on to another subject real fast. Kaylee could understand that. After Wash and the Shepherd had died, she’d been prone to fits of crying whenever she got to thinking about them. She’d see something that reminded her of them, and most everything on Serenity reminded her of somebody, and she’d go down weeping. After awhile, Simon or the cap’n would come by and talk to her to try and make her feel better. Simon’d hold her and tell her that he loved her, and that she could count on him to be there. It’d work, after awhile. The cap’n took a different method. He’d come up and quietly tell her that he needed her to keep his boat running. Serenity depended on her, and sometimes she right needed the cap’n to remind her of that. After awhile, she’d gotten to the point where she was used to River sitting in the pilot’s seat instead of Wash. It still hurt her something fierce to think about them much, but she knew that she couldn’t well just sit down and cry all of the time. Serenity needed her, and so did the folks in the crew. Neither the Shepherd nor Wash would want her to stop taking care of the folks she cared for on account of them. It was her way of honoring their memory, keeping the ship going for them. She knew that neither of them would want Serenity to stop flying any more than she did. Monty decided to speak up, trying to perk Kaylee’s spirits some. He half-smiled at her. “Now, I do believe that we were discussin’ this manfriend of yours. I wasn’t trying to call into question your prettiness, Kaylee. I just never figured you’d find a fella that’d be more interesting to you than a grav boot!” Kaylee was glad of the chance to talk ‘bout something else, even if it was Simon. She didn’t feel much like talking about him at all right now, but it was better than dwelling on passed friends. “He’s right interesting, that’s for sure. He’s a doctor. Got himself a fancy med-academy certificate and everything!” Monty had started raising his ice planet to his mouth, but stopped dead at that, letting it hang just below his chin. “Did I hear correct? Kaylee, have you landed some high falutin’ fancypants from the core? Never figured that any power in the ‘verse could get you in with that sort of fella!” “Simon’s different. He’s not soft like most folks from that part of the ‘verse. He’s done all sorts of doctorin’ for us on Serenity. He’s patched me up twice now, and let me tell you, he’s real good at it.” “A smart fella, huh?” She smiled at the chance to talk up her fella. “Oh, he’s real smart. He was one of the best doctors at his old hospital. Lots of folks wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for him. He told me about one time, he sewed a little girl’s leg back on!” “Kaylee, you tell me something. If he’s so all-fired wonderful, how come you’re out here, by yourself, on Paquin?” She felt one of her pouts coming on. “Well, he’s a little dumb sometimes too. See, I was down in my bunk, looking at a capture of the new tractor that my pa got for the farm. He’s so proud of it; he had to send it to me on Serenity. He’d gotten it cheap from one of the locals, and it runs like a dream. He figures that it’ll do wonders for the harvest this year, and they’ll be able to plant a lot more next. It ain’t top of the line or nothin’ but it’s better than we’ve ever had before.” Kaylee had spent a good chunk of her time on the farm trying to keep the old tractor working. The thing never did run smooth. Half the time it sat in the shed, taking up space and rusting. It took more work to run than it was worth, her pa had always said. “So what happened?” “Simon came in and I showed it to him. All I said was ‘Well, what do you think?’ He looked me square in the eye and said ‘I think that the reclamation people should arrive shortly.’ “After that, we just kinda went at each other.” Kaylee explained to Monty the whole of the conversation from that point. Kaylee figured that Simon had just insulted her pa and all the hard work that he did to keep the farm going. Simon didn’t understand what she meant by that. He didn’t even know what it was he was insulting. Kaylee didn’t figure that made much difference. The way she saw it, Simon had just told her all she needed to know. He’d looked down on what she thought was the best thing to happen to her family in ages, because it wasn’t good enough for him. If it wasn’t some fancy something-or-other straight from the core then it wasn’t anything more than just junk to him. He could have at least asked what it was ‘fore he said anything. But he’d decided to be sarcastical, and now he’d gone and insulted all of her pa’s work. “And then he said, ‘How am I supposed to know what passes for farm equipment on backwater planets like these?’ I got so mad that I just walked away from him and left the ship. And now here we are.” “Kaylee, I could’ve told you that them core folks weren’t no good. He worked in an Alliance hospital, didn’t he?” “Yeah, he did.” “See? He ain’t any better than they are. He probably thought that the Unification was the best thing to ever happen to the border worlds, didn’t he? Hell, I bet he’s only out here with you because he done something criminal. Am I right?” No matter what a body might say about Monty, you couldn’t say that he was stupid. “Yeah, he done something criminal.” “And what might that be? Steal a pile of cashy money from the hospital on the nightshift?” “The cap’n don’t want me sayin’ nothin’ about him, Monty. Simon don’t want me sayin’ nothin’ neither.” The cap’n had told her that the Parliament’s man had reported in that Simon and River weren’t a threat to the Alliance anymore. And Kaylee’d been checking the cortex every day to make sure that the warrants had been taken off. She couldn’t find any more stuff on them in the public record, but that didn’t mean that there weren’t still warrants being sent out off the record. After all that everybody had gone through to save Simon and River from the Alliance, it wouldn’t do for someone to catch wind of where they were and what they’d done. The whole crew decided that, even though Simon and River might not be posted as wanted fugitives anymore, it was still better to treat it like they were. Didn’t matter if she was talking to Monty or a Fed agent, she was to have no idea why the Tams were running from the Alliance. “I ‘spose I can let it go at that. A man has a right to try and make his own way in the ‘verse, even an ex-Alliance doctor. You just remember, Kaylee; he’ll always be a core boy at heart. He’ll always look down on the way we folks live out here. It’s like speakin’ a foreign tongue to him.” “He cares for me, Monty. Even if he’s a core boy, I know that for a fact.” “‘Cares for’ don’t carry much weight with me, Kaylee.” Monty stopped walking and threw the stick from his ice planet into a trash bin. Kaylee did the same. She made to start ambling herself, but Monty stopped her. He looked her in the eye with the most serious face she’d ever seen on him. “Kaylee, love ain’t enough to keep things goin’. You can’t trust it. Just because this man says sweet things to you, that don’t mean that he loves you. Hell, it don’t even sound like he says a whole gorram lot of sweet things to you in the first place! He’s a core boy, an Alliance boy, and you’re willing to take his word for how he feels? You think that maybe he ain’t just using you to satisfy his own needs? Maybe he just needs to grapple with somebody, and you’re the one that happens to be there. Mark my words, Kaylee, that man will leave you in his exhaust if it gets convenient for him.” Kaylee wanted to defend Simon. He’d given up everything to help River, and that meant all of the things that Monty figured Simon found so important. He didn’t care about money, and he’d turned down sex when she’d been more than willing to give it to him. He’d said it wasn’t appropriate. What he meant was he didn’t want to hurt her feelings any. He was strong and loyal, to her and to River. Those were surely boons to his character, weren’t they? The only time he’d tried to leave her behind was when the cap’n had started putting River in danger for jobs. It wasn’t because he didn’t care about her; it was because he didn’t want River getting hurt. Nope. Simon was a good man. Kaylee couldn’t doubt that for a second. Too bad she couldn’t tell that to Monty. He’d respect a man who’d give up all for a sister. It was the sort of thing that Monty’d do himself, without blinking. As it stood, she’d just have to live with Monty thinking her man weren’t good enough for her. Looked like she’d have to live with most folks thinking her man weren’t good enough for her. Didn’t mean she had to like it, though. “You’re wrong, Monty. You don’t know Simon the way I do.” Monty looked sad for a second, like he knew Kaylee was wrong but she wouldn’t admit it. Finally, he smiled again. “Kids. Maybe you’re right, little Kaylee. Maybe you’re wrong. But I’ve said my piece, and I just hope that you come out okay in the end, however things land.” He looked to his right. They’d made it to the bay where Monty’s ship was docked. “Well, Kaywinnit, looks like this is the bit where we part ways. You tell that fool captain of yours not to fall out of the sky on me?” Kaylee smiled and nodded at him, and then reached over and jumped into his arms. She figured a good hug around his neck would tell him good bye better than words could. He spun her around again, and then sat her down. Kaylee leaned up on her tip-toes and kissed Monty on the cheek. It looked like the act pleased Monty to no end. “Sheh sheh, Monty.” “Mei wen ti, Kaylee.” He reached over and tousled her hair again, then smiled and turned around to go back into his ship. Kaylee left the mooring bay and headed back for Serenity. ***** It was a bit past two in the morning when Kaylee got home. None of the inside lights were on; didn’t look like a soul was up and about. She moved through the ship quiet-like, heading back to the engine room. Everything was always loads clearer in the engine room than it did anywhere else. Daddy’d been right about her -- she was gifted when it came to machines and their workings. Being surrounded by stuff that just made sense always helped a girl get her bearings on the ‘verse. She turned on the lights and walked up to the engine proper. It wasn’t spinning now, on account of the ship’s being docked and powered down. She ran her hand along it and looked around the room. The place was in better shape than usual. The cap’n hadn’t gotten them shot at in a while now. She didn’t want to say anything to mess up their streak, but it looked like maybe things were starting to go smooth for them. She didn’t expect it’d last long, though. She walked over to the corner of the room and plopped down into her hammock, then reached over and patted the bulkhead. “Well, girl, it’s been another of those days, hasn’t it? That sah gwa doctor’s done said something hurtful again. “Monty thinks that he’s just a ‘high falutin’ fancypants,’ and I should just let him go so he don’t have a chance to hurt me any. “What do you think, girl? Should I forgive him?” As usual, Serenity wasn’t much by way of conversation. Kaylee stopped and thought about all that they’d gone through together. Serenity had always been there for her. Every time Kaylee’d needed something from her, Serenity had given it. They’d been chased by Reavers, Feds, and all manner of criminal folks that took a dislike to them. It didn’t matter what she’d asked Serenity for, it always came. In most ways, Serenity was Kaylee’s best friend. They spent all of their time together, and they liked it like that. They had fun together. Kaylee would go out and find some new part to install, and then Serenity would hum ‘cause of how happy it made her. Some girls did each other’s hair; Kaylee re-did Serenity’s drive coupler matrix. Kaylee didn’t see much by way of difference. Kaylee spent as much time sleeping in her hammock here as she did in her bunk. It was like the ‘verse’s best sleepover to them. And really, Serenity was a might sight more than just a friend. Kaylee loved Serenity. Not in the same way that the cap’n did, though. Kaylee was sure that the cap’n loved his boat, but to him Serenity was a thing to keep him in the black and away from the Alliance. Serenity was a tool to him. He loved and respected that tool, but he only thought of the ship in that light. Kaylee couldn’t really think of Serenity as a thing. A woman puts that much of herself into something, no matter what that something is, it becomes a part of her. She couldn’t see a ‘verse without Serenity any more than she could see a ‘verse where she didn’t need to breathe. For her, loving Serenity was about more than just feeling a ship moving through the black. Kaylee had sweated and bled to keep this ship in the sky. She had to get down into Serenity’s guts and play with them. She had to show the ship as much love as she could, all the time. That meant she had to know when Serenity needed a good push, and when the ship needed to be sweet-talked a piece. If she was too rough, then the ship could come apart. If she wasn’t rough enough, then Serenity might not do much of anything out of sheer orneriness. That’s part of what Kaylee loved about the ship. Serenity had character. Every once in a while, she’d do something unexpected. Sometimes she’d up and jump faster than any ship her age had a right to. That could mean escaping all manner of dangerous folks out in the black. Other times she’d hiccup and the whole ship’d jump a bit. The cap’n always started fah shiang jin about how they were finally going to die. Kaylee knew better, though. Serenity was just being herself, and sometimes that meant she needed to be just a little confounding. She’d let her mechanic know if there was anything really wrong with her, and if there was, then you’d better believe that it’d get fixed right quick. “That’s my good girl. You and me got a relationship, don’t we? I help you out, you help me out. It’s what folks who care for each other do, ain’t it?” ‘Course, Kaylee hadn’t always been the kindest of souls to Serenity. She tried, she tried mighty hard in fact, but that wasn’t enough all of the time. It was always her job to protect Serenity from whatever the cap’n wanted from the ship. Sometimes he wanted more than Serenity could give. Serenity would pull all she could, but Kaylee still had to help her sometimes. But sometimes it just wasn’t help enough. Sometimes the cap’n just needed what he needed, and Serenity had to try harder. If Kaylee fouled up, or let the cap’n foul Serenity up, then whatever happened was Kaylee’s fault. Everybody knew it was the mechanic that crashes the ship when she goes down. There was that time when the coil had blown. She’d tried to tell the cap’n, over and over, that it needed to be replaced. She thought that she’d paid attention to Serenity then. She was wrong, and Serenity’d hurt real badly after that. What kind of person didn’t listen to her best friend that needs help that bad? Kaylee didn’t know if she’d not heard Serenity because she’d just not listened hard enough, or if she heard the ship wrong. Point was, she’d let Serenity down and the whole crew’d almost died because of it. She hadn’t done near enough to help her best friend in the whole ‘verse, and the ship had almost gone dead in the black ‘cause of it. The trip to Miranda was worse. Kaylee’d had to tear into Serenity’s engines for that one. It nearly broke her heart to do it. All of the work that she’d put into keeping the engines running smooth she’d had to rip up. There’d been all kinds of radiation seeping through the shielding, made it look like nobody cared what happened to Serenity at all. It’d all been done to try and figure out what in the ‘verse was floating about in River’s head, and Kaylee knew that there wasn’t any other way to do it. But still, she’d had to hurt Serenity, and that didn’t sit right with her even now. “I’m sorry, girl. I know I’ve said that before, but I gotta say it again.” Kaylee wasn’t sure why she asked to be forgiven occasionally. Serenity kept giving what she asked for, so she figured that they were square. Serenity didn’t hold any grudges. Kaylee still loved this ship, and that seemed to be enough. There were times when the ship tested her patience, though. Those little hiccups were part of Serenity’s charm, but there were times when charm wasn’t called for. That primary buffer panel, for one. When it looked like there might be a problem, the cap’n had asked her to check it out. Kaylee’d been sure that it’d stay just where it was supposed to be. Everything that Serenity’d told her said that everything was shiny. The cap’n kept putting off buying the new parts she needed, but Serenity still said everything would be fine. Then the panel fell off, and the whole ship almost fell right out of the sky. She’d finally gotten the gorram thing fixed again, and it still fell off yet again. How could she help Serenity if Serenity wouldn’t tell her where it hurt? Sometimes you just had to shrug and accept that the ship a mechanic was working with just wouldn’t always say what she really meant. Maybe there was something to that, regarding her and Simon. Really, Kaylee had done worse to Serenity than Simon had ever done to her. All Simon had done was to speak his mind about the way things were out here, away from the core. He didn’t mean anything hurtful by it, not really. She’d taken it that way, but then again Kaylee had always been a might sensitive. He hadn’t been out here too terrible long. She shouldn’t expect him to recognize what was good equipment for a farm like her pa’s. He’d probably never even seen a tractor before. Maybe once he got used to it out in the black, he might learn to like it. ‘Specially since River looked to be on the mend, and he could finally relax a bit. And even if he never did learn to like it, he definitely liked her. Maybe she could learn to fit in with his world, if it came to that. As long as they could keep some ships somewhere for her to monkey with, she’d be fine. After all, it weren’t like she’d never been to a fancy ball before. Didn’t rightly matter, ‘cause they’d find a way to work it out. They loved each other, and that had to mean something, didn’t it? They’d make it work somehow. Hell, if Kaylee could keep Serenity going through some of the damn fool stunts that the cap’n put her through, she could make anything work. Kaylee had to stop expecting things to always go smooth. They wouldn’t. Her and Simon were a lot like her and Serenity. Sometimes she had to expect more than he was giving, and other times she needed to give a little more her own self. Sometimes one of them would make a mistake and the other would just have to ride out the turbulence. That was how folks acted when they loved each other. Unless something happened that couldn’t be fixed, and that didn’t happen often, then they’d keep on going. If she could keep loving Serenity after they’d both done things that upset the other, then she could keep loving Simon too. “Y’know girl, if you and me keep givin’ each other second chances, then I suppose that I can do the same kindness for that fool doctor of mine.” “You always give the best advice, Serenity.” “Kaylee?” Kaylee turned towards the door. Simon was standing there, looking all manner of confused. She got up out of the hammock and faced him. “Kaylee, I’m sorry. I didn’t intend to offend you when I….” Kaylee made her voice as pompousy sounding as possible. “Now you just shush your mouth, Doctor Tam. You’re apt to say something stupid and spoil the moment. You’re forgiven.” She pulled him in for a hug and drug him down towards her hammock. The cap’n looked mighty embarrassed when he found them there in the morning. For some reason, the look struck Kaylee as a bit familiar.

COMMENTS

Monday, February 6, 2006 6:48 AM

VIZZSAGE


good

Monday, February 6, 2006 8:44 AM

AMDOBELL


This is so very Kaylee and I loved her meeting up with Monty like that. It was also shiny how quickly she forgave Simon even before he could ruin it by hashing up an apology. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, February 7, 2006 11:44 AM

REALLYKAYLEE


excellent! esp. the end. i love ff allusions!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 1:43 AM

BELLONA


aww, yay!!! monty's back!!!

b

Sunday, May 22, 2011 4:36 PM

RIVERTAM1


Loved it!


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