Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact


Notes: Inspired by the events of Heart of Gold. For puffgirl_two. Sorry it took me so long...and that there's no porn...maybe next time. Okay...this one zigged when I was trying to make it zag. Hmmm. Funny how they sort of take on a life of their own sometimes. Thanks to mays for the quickie beta. Who knows, maybe there will be more someday. Also a big thanks to jynk for the series title

Spoilers for Heart of Gold.

Series: Complications

"Hey Doc, you got that list of supplies for me yet? We're going to be making landfall pretty soon," Mal drawls as he enters the infirmary.

"Here," Simon says abruptly and hands him a list before turning back to the display in front of him.

Mal frowns slightly at Simon's impoliteness, and then shrugs, leaving the room. He walks into the galley and finds Jayne cleaning his guns at the table. "Hey."

Jayne nods in acknowledgement and Mal continues. "Any idea what's up the Doc's ass? He's been acting really weird ever since we got back from the last ...job."

Not noticing the slight hesitation, Jayne snorts and mumbles, "More like what's not up the Doc's ass."

"Excuse me?" Mal says, not quite believing his ears.

Jayne puts down the gun he's breaking down and turns to look at Mal. "You're kiddin' me right? Yehsoo, people say I'm dumb. Anyone with eyes can see that boy's been crushin' hard on you ever since him and his crazy sister got on this boat. He's jealous, plain as day. You went off and got some play with that who..." Jayne sees Mal start to frown and decides quickly that he'd better change his choice of words. " and he's had his vest in a twist ever since."

Mal frowns and then summons up a phony laugh, "Ha ha. Good one, Jayne. Nearly fooled me there."

"I ain't jokin', Mal. The boy's got it bad. And he's got it for you." Unable to contain himself any longer, Jayne starts to laugh at Mal's discomfort. "He ain't so bad, Mal. Kinda pretty even, in the right light. Betcha he's right fine in the sack."

"Jayne," Mal says warningly. "Drop it. And not a word to the boy. You hear me? I don't want you giving him a hard time, dong ma?"

"Whatever you say, Mal," Jayne says turning back to his guns.

Mal leaves the galley and heads back to the infirmary, pensive, going over the events of the last several months in his mind, seeing them in a whole new light.

Arriving back at the infirmary, Mal sees that Simon is still hunched over the same display. "Uh, Doc?" Mal asks as he approaches Simon. "Can I have a few words?"

"I'm busy right now, Captain. Can't it wait until later?" Simon says turning towards Mal.

"Don't think that it can," Mal replies looking a bit uncomfortable.

As soon as Simon looks into Mal's eyes he sees it. Mal knows. Somehow he's figured it out. Simon wants the deckplating to open up and swallow him.

"There's nothing to talk about, Captain, really," Simon says stiffly. "It's my problem, I'll deal with it."

"Simon," Mal says reaching out to put a hand on Simon's shoulder.

Simon pulls away before the hand touches him and turns away from Mal and starts fiddling with the contents of a medical tray. "Mal, please. Don't, I...just go, please," he whispers.

Mal's hand hangs in the air for a few moments and then he drops it and quietly leaves the infirmary.

Frustration and anger well up inside Simon and he slams down the tray he's holding.

"Fuck!" he exclaims.

"Huh," Kaylee's voice comes from behind him. "Guess you do know how to swear."

She smiles at him and walks towards him. "What's got you so pissed off?" She asks kindly, placing a hand on his arm, her eyes bright and inquisitive.

He's not sure why he does it, maybe out of some twisted need to make someone else feel as miserable as he does, but Simon pulls his arm out from under her hand, looks her in the eye and says harshly, "Kaylee, I'm sly. Do you understand? I. AM. SLY. And what I need right now, more than anything is for you to leave me the hell alone."

Kaylee's eyes go from bright to shocked to hurt at his cruel words. In a tight, quiet voice she says, "Oh, I didn't know. Sorry. I'll go now." She leaves the infirmary quickly, tears welling in her eyes.

Feeling like a complete monster, Simon says, " Fuck," again and flings the tray across the room.

About half an hour later River comes into the infirmary, walks right up to her brother and slaps him hard across the face. Stunned, all Simon can do is hold his hand to his burning cheek and gape at her.

"You made her cry. Still crying. Won't listen to me. Fix it. NOW." Each word is punctuated with a sharp jab to Simon's chest. He reaches out and grabs River's hand. "Stop it, River. I don't think I should bother Kaylee right now. She's not likely to listen and I'm not really sure what I should say anyway."

"Don't care. You broke her, you fix her," River says fiercely.

"River," Simon says with exasperation.

"Simon," River mimics back and points to the doorway of the infirmary.

Sighing, knowing that he's not going to win this argument with his sister, Simon heads towards the door.

"Don't think you can fool me, Simon. I'll know if you don't go talk to her."

Simon suppresses a shudder at River's words. He had been planning on slipping back to his room without going to see Kaylee, but he hears the truth in River's words and resigns himself to finding the mechanic.

"She's in her bunk," River calls out to him as he leaves the infirmary.

Simon walks slowly to Kaylee's bunk trying to figure out what to say that will make up for his horrible behaviour and harsh words, but he can't. He knocks quietly at Kaylee's door and waits for her to answer. He hears muffled sniffles through the door, but nothing else.

"Kaylee, it's me," Simon says leaning up against the door. "I know you have no reason to talk to me right now, but please, open the door, let me in. The door flings open so quickly that Simon nearly falls down the ladder and has to pinwheel his arms to maintain his balance.

"Why? So you can humiliate me some more? Tell me how stupid I am?" Kaylee says angrily, crossing her arms over her chest.

"No," Simon replies quietly. "So that I can apologize for being such an ass. Please Kaylee, can I come down?"

She squints up at him suspiciously and then walks the few steps to her bunk and sits down. "Suit yourself."

Simon comes down the ladder and closes the door behind him. Not wanting to look down at Kaylee, he kneels on the floor by her feet. He tries to take her hand, but she pulls it away from him and crosses her arms again.

"I am sorry Kaylee," Simon says contritely. "I was horribly rude and cruel. It was unforgivable of me to tell you in that manner. I know I should have said something a long time ago...and I really have no excuse for it other than I didn't want to hurt your feelings."

Kaylee lets out a sharp laugh, "Good going, genius, way to not hurt my feelings."

Simon looks away from Kaylee's angry glare and says, "I know you probably can't forgive me right now, but I hope you'll be able to someday. I could really use a friend right now."

The sadness in Simon's voice cuts through the bulk of Kaylee's anger and she relaxes slightly. "Why? What's wrong? It's not River is it?" she asks worriedly.

"No, River's fine," Simon says, "Or, at least as fine as she gets. No, the problem is me." Simon looks down at his hands, which are now clasped in his lap, his shoulders slumping. "It's sort of why I snapped at you. Not that I'm excusing my behaviour. But I'm kind of a mess right now and I was feeling mean and I guess I took it out on you. I'm so..."

"Simon, stop apologizing and tell me what's bothering you so much that you'd forget all your proper ways and hurt my feelings," Kaylee says as she reaches out to stroke his hair. Simon drags in a shuddering breath. "I, I think I'm in love," he whispers. "As long as he was chasing Inara, I was fine. I've been attracted to men that weren't interested in me before, I'm a grown up, I could deal with it. But then, when I found out what happened with Nandi, I was so jealous I could barely see straight and I realized that I was fooling myself. The reason why I was okay with him and Inara was because I knew deep down nothing would ever happen between them. She wouldn't let it. And then I felt so terrible because even though I could see how much Nandi's death affected him, a part of me was glad she was gone."

"Oh, Simon. The Captain? You've fallen in love with the Captain?" Kaylee says with sympathy.

"That's not the worst part," Simon says dejectedly. Simon sits and pulls his knees up to his chest, and hides his face against them. He can feel the embarrassment burning across his skin as he continues. "He knows, Kaylee, he knows I'm attracted to him. I thought I'd been hiding it, but somehow he figured it out. He had just left the infirmary when you came by."

Kaylee lies down on the bed and strokes Simon's hair. She decides she can be annoyed with him later, what he really needs right now is a friend. Friends she can do. It's not what she wanted from him, but she would just have to learn to live with it.