Summery: Ariel AU. Simon gets left behind.
This is, in fact, sort of a Rayne story. But not exactly. *innocent smile*
Massive thanks to michmak for the beta. She who keeps me from comma abuse.
Dedicated to literarylemming, without whom this would not exist. She is responsible for feeding the bunny. All credit (and blame for the crack) goes to her. Im just the messenger.
All parts found here: Wingtip Round Up Post
“Mal, you have to do something.” Simon’s voice was intent as Kaylee gently dabbed antiseptic on his bleeding lip. “He is holding her prisoner somehow. He’s..he’s..brainwashed her!” he spluttered, knocking Kaylee’s hand away.
“We don’t know that, Simon,” she sighed, turning him back to face her and squinting in concentration as she carefully applied a bandage. “We don’t know what happened.”
“I know what happened,” Simon snarled and jerked away from Kaylee. “He brainwashed her and he is taking advantage of her. She thinks she is married to him. Like River would ever marry a man like that.”
“You never know, Simon, people change.” Kaylee attempted to wipe the blood off his forehead, but he ducked her again, brushing her hand away. “Will you stand still?” she asked in frustration.
Simon didn’t even blink, just turned to demand answers from Mal. “What are you going to do, Captain?”
Mal stood up from where he leaned against the wall. “I’m not going to do anything, Doc.”
“WHAT?” Rage rose in Simon’s face as he clenched his fists.
Mal shouted over him, “Nothing tonight. It’s late, and we’re all tired.” He stared down the furious doctor. “I expect we’ll get some answers tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow is too long,” Simon said, desperation leaking into his voice. “Who knows what he will have her thinking tomorrow? She definitely shouldn’t be sleeping in the same room with him.” The doctor’s face contorted into a snarl. “She thinks she’s married to him!”
“It’ll keep,” Mal said sternly. “Jayne ain’t gonna do nothing in the next twelve hours that he didn’t already have two years to do, dong ma?” He turned away, speaking over his shoulder, “I expect you to stay away ‘til then. Leave both of ‘em alone ‘til breakfast.”
Mal disappeared into the cargo bay, his shoulders set stubbornly.
Simon stared after him, his jaw tight.
“Simon,” Kaylee tried to put her hand on his arm, but he jerked away.
Whirling, he slammed his fist into a cabinet. “Ha wo deh bang.”
Kaylee flinched. “It’ll be alright, Simon.” She rubbed his back soothingly. “You’ll see, just give the Cap’n some time to find out what’s goin’ on.”
“I don’t know what to do, Kaylee.” Simon slid down the wall to the floor and gave a sharp bark of laughter. “I thought I had lost her, but now she’s back. Of course, she thinks she’s dead, but she’s back.”
“She’s home now, Simon.” Kaylee leaned her head on his shoulder for a moment. “Just give it some time.”
He threw her a strained smile. “I’m not going to be very good company tonight, Kaylee.”
“I don’t mind,” she promised.
Simon looked down at his hands. “I do.” He licked his lips, dropping his head back against the wall. “I think I need some time to think about all this. Alone.”
Kaylee blinked, a little hurt, but smiled, trying not to show it. “That’s alright, I understand.” She climbed to her feet, brushing off her coveralls. “You better get some sleep, Doctor. You got a busy day tomorrow.” She leaned down and brushed a kiss over his forehead. “I’ll see you later, alright?”
Simon caught her hand. “Thank you, Kaylee.”
She smiled at him, reaching out to touch his cheek. “Sure, Simon.”
Kaylee ended up wandering back to the mess hall.
It was empty, the crew having scattered after the disaster that was dinner. The plates were still on the table, and the plant that River had brought was in ruins. Dirt was scattered clear across the room, and clay shards and oozing plant matter were mixed in with a few fallen leaves.
It was a pretty sad mess.
Kaylee shivered as she remembered River’s cry of pain when Simon had stepped down on the poor little plant.
Or..not River. Birdy. Kaylee wrinkled her nose in confusion. It was all very complicated.
She sighed as she kneeled beside the smashed container. The plant looked in pretty bad shape, but she tried to scrape it up without hurting it anymore than it already was. The bud had been well and truly squashed, but some of the roots still looked alright.
She placed what was left of the poor thing on a towel, and swept up the rest of the mess. Her customary smile was missing as she tried to puzzle through what had happened with Jayne and River.
They sure were different. Jayne was real different, but he still knew who he was. But the way River was acting, calling herself “Birdy” and looking like she had never met any of the crew before, it was downright strange.
But Jayne sure seemed to love her, though. He had been beside himself trying to comfort her when she got upset, and standing up for her against all the rest, even Simon. That was something she wouldn’t have seen coming, even if she hadn’t thought the both of them were dead for the past two years. It was kind of an odd match.
Then again, so were she and Simon, if you thought about it. So she didn’t really have anything to say about that -- but Simon would. She signed as she got the last of the dirt out from under the table. He wasn’t going to take this easily.
Simon couldn’t just let things work themselves out in their own time. He was gonna push it. She shook her head sadly. She couldn’t help but think it was all gonna end bad when he did; it couldn’t help but end bad if it didn’t let River figure it out her ownself.
‘Sides, if Simon butted in too much, Jayne were liabel to throw him right into the nearest black hole.
END PART EIGHT