Categories > TV > Firefly0 Reviews
Post-Serenity. Everyone hurts and wants to heal. Everyone remembers and wants to forget. Simon wants these things too, but Mal has done something that just adds to his troubles. Mal/Simon. Slashy-s...
Anyway, this is the first part of at least three stories featured around Mal and Simon, but don't hold me to that. It may seem like this ends rather abruptly, but if I follow up whatever seems unresolved here will be taken care of then. - Does that make sense? Oh whatever...
Disclaimer: I don't own Firefly/Serenity. I can't, couldn't, and never could've, because Joss Whedon does.
Simon cleaned when he needed to think, and lately he needed a lot of time to think.
Serenity was so much emptier, or at least it seemed that way. The remaining crew members that had formed his surrogate family were far too quiet and by extension so was the ship. Many nights Simon sat in his sick bay and listened to the thrum of ship as he meticulously polished and organized.
Miranda had taken so much from them, shown them sights that could never be forgotten, taken things that could never be replaced.
Shepherd Book, with his comforting words and interjected wisdom into a dark situation, was gone.
Wash was gone. Everyone felt his death and noted the absence of his constant presence in the cockpit and his at times annoying ability to defuse a situation with sarcasm and humor. Zoe noticed it most.
Simon snorted to himself at such a stupid thought.
Of course Zoe did, how could she not? Simon couldn't imagine losing someone you loved.
He didn't want to.
He scrubbed furiously at the scalpel in his hands, even though this was his fourth time cleaning it. Everything was clean already. It had been for hours. But Simon needed something to do. He needed to think, but he wanted to forget. He laid it down on the tray and picked up the next instrument.
Simon stopped for a minute and listened to the music, closing his eyes and listening to the beautiful and articulate language of France. It was a classic salvaged from Earth-that-was, remade by various singers who took that pains to remember that near-dead tongue. But the song failed to soothe him like it normally did, and he tossed the gleaming instrument on his tray and rolled over in his chair to search for something else to clean.
He shouldn't be worried anymore. His anxiety should have been lifted a long time ago, but the mood in Serenity was tense, and despite his blessings Simon couldn't relax. His River was fine, or as fine as she was ever going to get. For the first time she was genuinely happy and the only person to really get him to talk any more.
Then again, no one on Serenity talked much anymore.
Miranda. Everything about it, from the preceding events of its discovery to its aftermath, had all taken so much from them and they all felt empty and helpless. Out of everything they had been through together...Miranda had that was what changed them, gutted them and made them feel so utterly weak. They all wanted to heal and to get away from everything and everyone that reminded them of what was gone, but they all wouldn't - couldn't - leave each other and the ship they called home. They wanted to talk with each other and to hurt with one another, but at the same time they all ran from the hurt and pain.
Zoe spent a lot of time in her cabin or in the cockpit; places where she had been the closest to Wash. Simon sometimes wandered late at night when he couldn't sleep (which was often), and would see her sitting in the cockpit with one of Wash's stupid shirts around her shoulders, staring out into the black with tears in her eyes. But he left her alone, because Zoe wouldn't share those hurts with him.
She would with Mal. Simon grit his teeth and shook the thought of the captain away.
Kaylee stuck to the heart of Serenity, surrounded by the thrum of the engines and tinkering here and there to lose herself in the world of mechanics, where the reminders of what was gone couldn't reach her. Sometimes Mal visited her, coaxing her out to walk the ship and make sure she remembered to eat and sleep.
Jayne drank. Because that was apparently how Jayne dealt with his hurts and anger. He drank, cleaned his guns, and worked out. He also pressed Mal to get more jobs, preferably ones where he could shoot something. Because that's how Jayne was and more times than he could count the big beast of a man had been on the infirmary table for Simon to dig another bullet out of his flesh.
Simon looked over at the counter at the little glass bottle of bullets he had collect from Jayne and couldn't help smirking.
The latest count had been fifteen.
Inara...Simon wasn't sure what was happening with Inara. Inara acted like the most normal of them all. It was she who attempted to bring the rest of the crew together, gathering them together for meals when they all preferred to eat alone. She was the one who got them all laughing again, got them to remember those gone and remind them it was okay to remember. But it wasn't what they needed, Inara could only do so much and it shouldn't have been her to do those things in the first place.
It should be Mal.
Simon twisted up his face and took a deep breath at the sudden twist of anxiety and emotion that grabbed his chest. He hated feeling this way, and wished he could forget the whole matter that complicated his thoughts of Mal that went beyond what the captain should have been doing. River knew, but then again River knew everything. It was an annoying condition to her company and one of the reasons Simon had secluded himself to his room and the infirmary lately. The past week he had eaten in the sterile environment of the sick bay (when he remembered to eat) despite the urging of Inara to join them, and more often than not he slept there too.
He rolled across the floor to the pan of water he had and rug out the rag he had been using to clean, and began vigorously scrubbing the counters. After a few minutes sudden frustration and anger seize him and he threw the rag in the pan, and for the hell of it knocked the pan of water onto the floor. Gorram, cleaning wasn't helping. He dropped his head in his hands.
Simon looked up and his stomach dropped. Mal stood in the doorway with a tray of food in his hand. He pointed to the ceiling.
"I saw the lights on and I didn't recall seeing you at dinner and so I brought you some food and I figured we should talk," he said rapidly in one breath.
Simon just stared at him for a moment with eyebrows raised. The captain was nervous. Strange sight and considering what had happened, even more disconcerting. He considered refusing the food in hopes Mal would leave, but just as he opened his mouth his stomach gave a giant growl. Mal raised an eyebrow.
"No way you missed that is there?" asked Simon.
Mal shook his head and the doctor sighed, gesturing to the table. "Yeah, sure, thanks."
Mal walked in and set the tray on the table without a word. Simon looked at him for a moment before finally rolling over slowly to eat. Mal listened to the music that piped in from the wall.
"La Vie en Rose."
"La Vie en Rose," repeated Simon, poking at the plate of protein before taking another bite. "It means Life Through Rose-coloured Glasses. Well, not literally. It's a relic tune from Earth-that-was. It's one of my favourite songs."
Mal listened for a few moments longer before nodding. "It's nice," he said.
Simon glanced at the captain, anxious to have their conversation over with. "Why are you here, Captain?"
"I figured we should talk about what went on a couple of days ago," Mal said nervously scratching his head.
Simon looked at him and then back at the tray of food to pick at it with his fork. "Uh...no."
"No?" repeated Mal.
"I'd rather not. I think it would be best if we just forgot about it," said Simon, taking a large bite of food. He grimaced. If one could call it food.
Mal raised an eyebrow. "Ain't we both been trying that the past couple of days? We've been avoiding each other-"
"You avoid everyone, so it's not like there has been that big change," Simon snapped, his voice bitter.
Mal frowned. "The reasons are different."
Simon picked at his food before pushing it away and leaning back in his chair. He raised his arms up and laced his fingers behind his head. Just go away, Mal. Let me try to forget.
"The way you handle it is the same. Inara is probably the only reason we see each other – that and whenever you take a job and I have to pull another bullet out of Jayne. Other than that, I don't even know what you do. You only go see Kaylee, and I assume that's out of some feeling of obligation to make sure the only person who knows how to fix the ship doesn't die from malnutrition."
Mal gritted his teeth. "Thatain't fair! It's not all on me; everyone else can just as easily look in and take care of the one another-"
"WE'VE NEEDED YOU, MAL!"
Simon's yell surprised them both, but he didn't care. He finally found his voice and opportunity to voice his anger. Simon jumped up and jutted a finger at Mal.
"We've needed you! I don't know why, but we've needed you! We've need you to do what Inara has tried to do! We've needed you to bring us together and make us remember! We've needed you to show us it is okay to talk with each other, to tell us it is okay to hurt! We've needed you to talk with us! But you hide away like the rest of us and we're stuck drifting in anger and hurt and memories we want to forget!"
Simon was standing toe to toe with Mal now, emphasizing his points with a jut of his finger into Mal's chest. Mal stood silent and firm.
It pissed Simon off.
"Do you think Kaylee would have gone walking with anyone else? We all might have gotten her eat, but we couldn't have made her leave the engine for the world! But you go and visit her and talk and walk! But the rest of us are left to ourselves! We've ALL NEEDED YOU! But when I finally see you you're drunk off your ass with sake and stumbling in here and you..."
Simon trailed off and looked away. He looked back at Mal and glared at him with eyes glistening with half-formed tears.
"You kissed me, Mal. You kissed me. Why did you do that? Why couldn't you leave me alone? I had enough to think about what with the things I saw, things we all saw and try to forget, and then you do that."
Teeth gritted and jaw locked, Simon shoved Mal back as hard as he could. Mal stumbled back but made no other movement than to right himself.
"WHY did you do that, you huen dahn? I didn't need that! Now I'm trying to forget and you want to TALK about it!"
Mal stood there for a moment.
"I'm sorry, Simon," he said slowly. "I'm sorry. I didn't know...none of that. I didn't see what...what everyone needed. I've wanted to forget too - I can't tell you how many nights I go to sleep and wake up hoping that Wash will still be flying Serenity and Shepherd will be back on Haven alive with all those people. I wish I could forget about Miranda and what happened. I've wanted to, as much as the rest of you. But I didn't know you all needed me to..."
He trailed off and stared at Simon, who was turned away from him and hunched over the infirmary table on his forearms. Mal stepped forward cautiously and gripped the doctor's shoulder.
"I'm sorry, Simon," he said. "I didn't mean to...cause you more hurt."
Simon stiffened and looked over his shoulder at Mal. "Hurt? I hurt because of everything before. What you did...it just confuses the hell out of me. Why did you kiss me, Mal?"
"I don't know," said Mal, shaking his head.
Simon shrugged off Mal's hand angrily. "Chui niu. There HAS to be a reason, Mal," he said. "There has to be a reason that out of everyone on this gorram ship, you picked me! You kissed me!"
"I know what I did, quit telling me!" exclaimed Mal, holding his hands up. "I don't know why it was you! Maybe you're forgetting this, but I WAS DRUNK at the time! People do stupid things when they're drunk!"
"You're not the one who's stuck thinking about it all the time!" yelled Simon
"Like hell I'm not! I've been thinking about it every day since it happened!" yelled Mal back.
"Did you like it?"
They both got still and stared at each other for a minute. Mal turned his head to side a little and attempted to process what he just heard. Simon flushed with anger and embarrassment.
"That...I...forget that. I shouldn't-" Simon sputtered.
"Are you going sly on me?"
Simon pointed at him. "You kissed me!"
"I was drunk and you didn't answer my question," Mal said holding up a finger. "Are you sly?"
Simon looked affronted. "No! Well..." Now he looked confused, his brow furrowed in thought. "No...well maybe...I don't know! Are you?"
"NO! Well...no! At least...no."
"You don't sound so sure of yourself!"
"Well guess what, doc? Neither do YOU!"
They stared at each other for several minutes, both trying to figure out their own minds and feelings and how the hell the conversation had turned into a questioning of sexualities. Mal shrugged and held his hands out.
"Well, what now?"
Simon shoved his hands in his pockets. "I don't know. You wanted to tal-"
"Oh, fuck it. This is going nowhere," Mal said, striding across the floor in five large steps to Simon. He grabbed the doctor's head in both his hands and kissed him. Simon's eyes widened and he gave a grunt of shock. The kiss was moist and slow but with intent, and just as Simon was becoming wrapped up in the feel and taste of Mal he pulled away, gently dragging a little of the doctor's lip with him. Mal looked at him in the eyes.
"Well?" he asked softly.
Simon licked his lips and cleared his throat. "That was...that...I, uh, don't really have words for that," he stumbled. Mal still held the doctor's head in his hands and felt the younger man's skin grow hot.
"What do you think?" asked Mal.
"You can't blame that on the sake."
"I meant what did you feel?"
Simon blinked his eyes for a moment, clearing his head. He pushed Mal's hands away and sat down on his chair. Mal crossed his arms and leaned against the infirmary bed.
"I'm trying to get some gorram answers out of you."
Simon laughed in disbelief. "What do you want, Mal? You want me to say I dream about you, hoping that you would for just one minute look at me other than some gaisi pain in your ass? What, do you just want someone to warm the bed when you get lonely?"
"Don't paint me like that, and don't presume to know how I think," said Mal.
Simon leaned back and crossed his arms. "I kind of have to, Mal."
Mal gritted his teeth and stood up to leave. "Forget it. This is going nowhere."
"Fine, go. Just leave me to myself like you do everyone else. For all your talk of how important your crew is, you seem more than capable to let us all silently suffer." He swiveled around in his chair only to feel a strong hand grab him by the back of the shirt and jerk him up. Mal twisted Simon around and made the younger man face him. Now it was Mal's turn to be pissed.
"Don't you ever question how I care about this crew," growled Mal fiercely. "They are my family, dong ma? I would kill to keep any of you safe if I had to. So don't you try and cover what's happening between us with that sorry excuse."
"Now, what do you want me to do, Simon?" asked Mal, frustrated. "You want me to wine and dine you like some fancy sly from the Core? Because I really don't have that option!"
"Would you..."wine and dine" me? If you had the option?"
Mal blinked. "This is starting to get tedious. Do you want something from this whole mess?"
Mal shook Simon. "Give me a straight gorram answer, Simon!"
"I need to know, Mal."
Simon's words were soft and vulnerabable. Simon looked away from the older man, embarrassed and confused, unsure of what he was going to say next. Mal let of Simon's shirt and smoothed out the wrinkles, clearing his throat. Feeling terribly awkward, spoke up first.
"Okay, letsee...well, this ain't exactly a predicament I could have foreseen, you know," said Mal, smiling nervously. "Or imagined, really. I never planned on kissing a man. Twice. But...I gotta admit...as weird and confusing as it is...it ain't horribly unpleasant."
Simon felt strangely giddy at Mal's words. "So..." he said cautiously, unsure what was happening but very optimistic. Mal looked at him like he was an idiot.
"So? I spoke my piece. Now your turn."
Simon wringed his hands for a minute and paced, then when it seemed he had collected his wits he stopped in front of Mal.
"All right then," he said with a slight waver in his voice. "At first...at first I needed you like everyone else. I needed you to take an interest, to...show me everything was going to be okay. That what we did...that losing Wash and Shepherd...it wasn't pointless. That what happened and what we got out of everything...whatever. But, then you kissed me."
Simon didn't quite meet Mal's gaze. "You changed everything. I need you...differently. I want you differently. You changed everything, you gorram pigu. I think about that night you stumbled in here drunk off your ass and how you grabbed me and just..."
Mal grabbed the front of Simon's shirt and pulled him into another sudden kiss. The same intent, the same softness and wonderful taste. Simon gave a soft, quick moan and Mal smiled, pulling away for a moment.
"So...let's just see where this confusing predicament born out my drunken stupidity goes."
Simon opened his mouth to say something and Mal kissed him quickly. He pulled the younger man into an embrace, the awkwardness of the experience lessening little by little as they became more focused on each other. In their ears La Vie En Rose rang sweetly, and mumbled against Simon's lips
"I love this song."
Simon smiled as he listened to the words only he understood, and realized how appropriate they were to him at this moment:
"Et des que je l'apercois
Alors je sens en moi
Mon coeur qui bat…"
(And I see him
Then I feel in me
My heart beat)
A/N: Review, if you would be so kind. Oh, I should have mentioned above, but I don't own La Vie En Rose, either. I've been listening to a lot of Edith Piaf lately and she kinda pushed herself in her with her womanly wiles.