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"All I Have" - Simon/Kaylee (A Firefly Fic)


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It took longer than she anticipated, but Kaylee managed to shoot down each and every one of Simon’s excuses. She was finally able to convince him that his sister was perfectly safe in the Shepherd’s care back on Serenity, and that the drink was cheap enough that a mug of that slop the locals called mudder’s milk would only cost them about two credits apiece, just a drop in the bucket compared to what they would make if this job went smooth. Nobody planned on getting into any trouble tonight that might warrant needing a doctor’s care, and even if Jayne did manage to get himself into a scuffle with any of the patrons there was a perfectly fine doctor just down the street who was willing to fix up the hero of Canton for free.

Kaylee smiled as she watched Simon struggle to come up with another excuse, but she could tell he was all out of viable reasons to not relax and have a few drinks with her. It was their first time stepping foot on solid ground in nearly three weeks, and she wanted to enjoy it, gorrammit. Not willing to wait any longer, she slapped some money down on the bar and whistled at the barkeep, who was chatting with some customers at the other end of the bar. The shrill sound seemed to startle the doctor, who just then noticed Kaylee’s credits lying on the counter, soaking up puddles of spilt drink. “What are you—?”

“Two milks, please,” Kaylee chirped, ignoring him.

Before the credits could be taken Simon fumbled with his own wallet, removed a few crisper, drier bills and handed them directly to the barkeep. Kaylee tilted her head and gave the doctor a half-smile as he repeated her request. He watched the barkeep prepare the drinks, then peeled Kaylee’s wet money off the counter, trying in vain to dry it off with a cocktail napkin. “If you insist on getting me drunk,” he said, carefully handing her the limp, damp bills one by one, “at least let me pay.”

“Only if you promise to get he dà le wasted and loosen up some.”

He started to give her what might have turned into a smile if Jayne hadn’t suddenly appeared and smacked him on the shoulder a little harder than Kaylee thought necessary. Kaylee braced herself, watching the doctor’s lips form the beginnings of a silent expletive, but he managed to bite back the curse that nearly left his mouth.

“Can you believe these gorramn morons?” he asked, referring, no doubt, to the throng of people who had taken to following him about the bar.

There was a sizeable crowd surrounding him right now, in fact, but they did not seem to take any offense to his comment, which was delivered without its usual biting malice. Kaylee could tell that Jayne was secretly pleased, but had no idea how else to react to his newfound fame than to insult them who were the cause of it.

“They keep giving me free drinks,” he continued, slamming his earthenware mug hard enough on the counter to put a crack in it and gesturing for a refill. “I guess they want to see this place go out of business before mornin'.”

“Just take it easy,” Simon said, just as two mugs of mudder’s milk were placed on the bar in front of them. “This isn’t the most sterile environment to be patching up injuries…”

He wrinkled his nose as the barkeep brushed a dirty rag across the bar and filled Jayne’s mug to the brim. Jayne grunted and grabbed the mug, then straightened up and released Simon’s shoulder, which Kaylee hadn’t even realized he was still gripping. The doctor rubbed it with a grimace and Jayne snorted.

“Sorry, doc, I didn’t realize you were such a fragile thing.”

Simon opened his mouth to retort but the mercenary was already halfway across the room, his faithful followers trailing behind. Smirking, Kaylee picked up her mug in what would be the first of many toasts to Jayne tonight and gestured for Simon to do the same. “To Jayne.”

He reluctantly obliged. “To the box-dropping, man-ape-gone-wrong thing,” he said, clinking his mug against Kaylee’s.

Some of the liquid sloshed over the edge and splattered onto the doctor’s shirt. Before he could reach for the napkins Kaylee leaned over and blotted the liquid with her own shirt sleeve. Simon stiffened at her touch, and Kaylee could feel his body grow warmer between the barrier of their clothing.

Clothing could be such a nuisance sometimes.


One hour and three mugs each of mudder’s milk later, the doctor and the mechanic found themselves sprawled in a couple of chairs, having been crowded out of the bar section by the mudders. Simon had slid down in his chair, propping his head against the back of it to keep it from lolling about, but despite being more intoxicated than Kaylee had ever seen him he still managed to maintain a small semblance of propriety. Kaylee, on the other hand, was all giggles. Drink made the doctor more talkative and she listened eagerly to all of his jokes and stories. Most of them were more dorky than genuinely funny, but she found his corny sense of humor charming.

“You are pretty funny,” she said, giving his legs, which were resting across her lap, a small pat.

“And you’re pretty…” He stopped, biting his bottom lip and then releasing it to let the hesitant smile bloom. “… pretty.”

He’d spoken so softly that Kaylee wasn’t sure if she’d heard him correctly. “What did you just say?” she asked just as softly, hoping she had.

“I just said that you're pretty. Even when you're covered in engine grease, you're... no... especially... especially when you're covered in engine grease.”

This confession sent Kaylee’s heart racing, and she found herself leaning forward, eyes closing, when a large hand settled itself on her back. Twisting, she looked up into Mal’s face, her own red as a tomato. He appeared to be oblivious to what had almost just happened, or at least completely unapologetic for interrupting it. “It’s time to get out of this nuthouse,” he said, keeping his voice low as his eyes swept the bar. “Got some planning to work out.”

“Now, captain?” she asked, hardly daring to look back at Simon. “Things are going so well…”

“I suppose. Jayne’s certainly feeling better about life, but—"

“I said, things are going well,” Kaylee repeated, tilting her head subtly in the oblivious doctor’s direction.

“Oh,” he said, suddenly understanding, but not quite — he'd never understand what exactly Kaylee saw in the boy. “Well... I tell you what. Jayne is stuck here with his adoring masses… why don't you and Simon hang around and keep an eye on him for me?”

“Sure thing, cap,” Kaylee said quickly, trying her hardest not to sound like she was shooing Mal away, though it was essentially what she was trying to do.

Mal gave her a small smile, then patted Simon on the shoulder before taking his leave. The doctor crinkled his nose, then sat up a bit straighter, his brow furrowing slightly. “Somethin’ wrong?” Kaylee asked, frowning as he set his mug down carefully.

She was sort of hoping they could pick up where they left off, but judging from the look on Simon’s face there was a possibility that that wouldn’t be happening. He shook his head, his gaze going a bit distant as he patted his pockets. He drew his legs off her lap and for a moment she thought he was going to stand up and leave. Perhaps it was Mal’s interruption, or maybe he was coming to his senses, but something had changed in the last minute or two. Panicking, she reached out and grabbed his hand. “Simon, wait—”

And then he turned away from her and sneezed against his shoulder, a soft, muffled sound that sent a jolt through his body. Kaylee blinked, both surprised and relieved. “Yi bai sui… I think.”

The sheepish “Excuse me…” that followed was confirmation enough that that strangled little sound was, in fact, a sneeze. He stayed twisted away a moment longer, tense with anticipation, then sighed heavily and relaxed again, turning back to the mechanic. “Sorry…”

“What for?” Kaylee asked, realizing that she was still holding his hand.

He wasn’t pulling away, so she kept her hand over his, squeezing it gently. With his free hand he patted his pockets again, flushed and frowning. “I don’t got—” He cleared his throat sharply, willing the slur out of his voice. “I haven’t brought any handkerchiefs…”

“Don’t need none,” Kaylee said, leaning forward to snatch a few napkins off the table closest to them. “Or a sleeve would do just as well, if you’d prefer.”

Simon looked at her with a mixture of amusement and disgust, and Kaylee wondered if she’d gone too far. It was more of a joke than anything – she didn’t make a habit of wiping her nose on her sleeve, but she got joy out of seeing the doctor squirm at the suggestion. He looked unsure about the napkins even, though Kaylee couldn’t imagine why. Weren’t handkerchiefs just napkins you could wash without them dissolving? But his expression flickered, his eyes taking on that unique I’m-going-to-sneeze look, and he had no choice but to accept them. Grabbing the napkins, he pinched his nose shut and doubled forward with another completely stifled sneeze that made Kaylee’s own head throb at the sound of it.

“Can’t you give yourself a brain aneurysm holdin’ your sneezes back like that?” Kaylee asked. “I figure you of all people would know.”

“That’s a myth, actually,” he said, sounding a bit stuffy. “The worst that could… h-happen...”

He trailed off with a soft inhale, then bobbed forward, his eyes scrunching shut. The sneeze was muffled against the tissues, but at least it didn’t sound like he’d pinched it off like last time. Kaylee smiled in approval, relieved that the doctor's pretty head was still intact. “See, don’t that feel much better?”

Simon merely sniffled in response, pressing the crumpled tissues against his nostrils before lowering them slowly. He seemed to be at a loss for what to do with them next, so Kaylee plucked the wad from his curled fingers and tossed them towards the nearest garbage can. She missed.

“Kaylee...” he began, cringing.

“What? We’re in a bar, ‘n you said it yourself, it’s filthy. A couple of barely-used tissues ain’t gonna make much difference.”

Simon surveyed the floor, taking in the sticky residue of spilt drinks, peanut shells, muddy footprints, and a rodent that seemed to be making its home under one of the bar stools. Were he sober Simon probably would have said something to the owner of the establishment, but in his tipsy state he couldn’t help but smile at the rat. It had just as much a right to be here as anyone else, and frankly it was probably cleaner than most of the people that patronized this place. “I s’pose you’re right.”

Kaylee smiled, then scooted closer to Simon, taking his hand and placing it against the curve of her hip. She could see his face reddening again in the low light and felt his fingers press timidly, then, after his eyes flickered across the mostly empty bar, more firmly into her flesh. Most of the mudders had retreated outside to smash bottles and wake up the rest of the town with their singing and reveling, and those who remained were passed out cold, their bodies sprawled across various surfaces. As far as Kaylee was concerned it was just the two of them. No third wheels or clueless captains blundering in to ruin things. No interruptions.

She leaned in slowly until she could feel the warmth of his skin, so close to hers but not yet touching. He was leaning too, his lips mere centimeters away, the tips of their noses brushing. Kaylee closed her eyes and tipped forward just enough to close the gap, but her lips met only air. Opening her eyes, she saw Simon twisting away, and again she couldn't help but jump to the conclusion that it was her, that he was making a mistake, that he didn’t want anything to do with her.

And then he sneezed. Quite loudly, in fact, despite burying most of his face against the crook of his arm. Loudly enough that one of the men passed out on the floor by the bar entrance snorted and woke up momentarily, muttering something unintelligible before falling back into a stupor.

Kaylee blinked, then broke out into surprised laughter, too inebriated to try and make sense of why she found the situation so funny. “Oh, bao bèi,” she crooned, and Simon gave her a perplexed half-smile, his nose as red as his cheeks now. “I’m starting to wonder if you’re allergic to me.”

“I think it’s the cheap alcohol.”

“Well, just to be safe, maybe we should keep some distance ‘tween us,” she said, standing up a bit shakily and making her way over to a bench in the corner of the room.

But he followed her. She told him it was his funeral, but there was no more sneezing, unless she just didn’t remember it. But she did remember somehow falling asleep on top of him, his chest warm against her cheek and his heartbeat in her ear.


And it was there that she woke up the next morning, though he was back to his stupid, proper self. She had fun storming off in a huff when he bungled his words and thus his meaning, all that stuttered “W-we certainly didn’t… I would never… not with Kaylee…” Deep down she knew it was just his awkward way of being proper, showing his respect, but she needed to hear it from him before she could accept it as fact.

He did work up the nerve to tell her later. That he might not always get the wording right, but everything he said and did was out of respect for her. While Mal and Wash treated her like a little sister who needed protection, and Jayne like an annoyance or even at times a piece of meat, Simon respected her.

And because of that, he would have more out here than just his propriety. He would have her.


he dà le - shitfaced

yi bai sui - bless you

bao bèi - treasure, darling

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This is PERFECT! Ahh! There should be more Firefly fic around these parts! :-D I adore this paring and the way you write it. Kudos!

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This is PERFECT! Ahh! There should be more Firefly fic around these parts! :-D I adore this paring and the way you write it. Kudos!

Oh, I'll see to it that there is. ;) I'm on a Firefly rampage right now. Just got the graphic novels in the mail too so I've got some inspiration for possible drawings as well.

Thanks guys! :D

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