Author: Jules saturnine_tears
Prompt: 066. Touch of the 100_women challenge.
Character: Kaylee Frye
Genre: General, Vignette
Word Count: 2113
Disclaimer: Firefly and all related aspects belong to Joss Whedon.
Summary: Kaylee’s thoughts on Simon and everything that’s happened in the pilot episode.
Spoilers: Major for the Firefly pilot episode, Serenity.
Beta: Dani sirius_starr
Table: Click here for my 100_women table.
Kaylee felt warm and fuzzy, her brain somewhat clouded, but her usual sunny disposition still thankfully intact. Her body was heavy and she quickly realized there wasn’t much that she could feel bellow her belly button. She moaned softly, slowly opening her eyes, shielding them against the brightness of the lights. She was in the infirmary, she realized, but it took her a little while to remember just how she’d found herself there.
Her hand immediately fluttered to the wound, resting weakly over it, feeling a dull pain when she touched the area. She allowed herself to relax once again, her hand falling back to her side, fingertips beginning to fiddle with the blanket that covered her. There was no one with her, she realized. She remembered snippets of coming around to consciousness earlier a few times and the Shepherd had been by her side, but this time there was no one.
Turning her head slowly, looking around the infirmary, Kaylee noticed a girl’s sleeping form on the counter to her left. Little bits of the past day came back to her and she remembered the young doctor, the box he’d come on board with. She remembered Dobson, the traitor, the one who’d been a fed, or so she’d been told. The Shepherd had explained it all to her, about the girl there, the doctor’s sister. He’d told her about what had happened, why the fed had wanted the brother and sister.
At just that moment, Kaylee was startled out of her reverie by a soft voice drifting through the room. She looked up in time to see the young doctor approaching her. Even through her drug-induced haze her mind immediately latched onto the fact that he was quite shuai.
“How are you feeling?” He asked softly.
“I’m shiny,” she replied, a small smile playing about her lips and a blush rising in her cheeks.
“Well, you’re doing better by the hour,” Simon said lightly. “You were very lucky.”
Kaylee couldn’t stop herself. She just had to flirt a little, she couldn’t help it.
“Luck had nothin’ to do with it,” she said warmly. “I just had a brilliant doctor is all.”
The faintest blush Kaylee had ever seen on anyone rose in the young doctor’s cheeks, making him look less like the straight laced man she’d thought him to be and more like just another person. It was quite endearing, really. She smiled lightly and tried to meet his gaze, but he seemed to be avoiding her eyes. She pursed her lips for a moment before smiling again, turning her head to look at the girl lying opposite her.
“So that’s your sister, huh?” Kaylee asked.
Simon nodded, glancing at River for a moment before turning back to Kaylee, his gaze going to the monitor she was attached to at the back of the infirmary. He couldn’t look at her, he wasn’t going to. He didn’t want her to see the guilt there, the overwhelming guilt for what happened to her that he felt. He didn’t want to be the reason for her smile slipping from her lips. He’d done enough damage.
“Yes, that’s River,” he replied.
Kaylee bit her lip a little. She stifled her natural curiosity as best she could, not wanting to seem nosy, but she couldn’t keep it in.
“What’s the story?” She asked quietly.
“It’s a long and complicated one,” Simon answered. “The only thing that matters is I have her now. She’s safe, as long as I can keep her away from the Alliance.”
“She’s safe here, the cap’n won’t let ‘em get ‘er,” Kaylee reassured.
“We can’t stay here forever,” Simon said distantly.
Kaylee watched him as a wistful look came over him. She wondered what he was thinking, what he was remembering. He looked completely lost and she wished that she had some kind of advice to offer, but there wasn’t anything she could say. She just didn’t know what to tell him. She knew she couldn’t promise him that everything would be okay, she couldn’t know that, not living like they did, out in the black day after day. She just wished she could reassure him somehow, repay him for saving her life, even if he was part of the reason for why she’d been shot in the first place. She was saved the trouble of replying somehow when the doctor spoke again a moment later.
“Enough talk about that,” he said firmly, looking like he just wanted to drop it. “Let’s check on that wound of yours.”
She watched him as he stepped closer, reaching out and slowly pulling the covers that were pulled up to her rib cage down. Her heart fluttered a little at the thought of his touch. In the preceding hours, her mind had been addled by whatever drugs he’d given her and she didn’t remember much of his checking on her, but she did remember his touch. It was so soft, so gentle. His hands were cool, she recalled, extremely soothing, relaxing. She shifted a little, lying back more comfortably.
Kaylee glanced down to her belly as the young doctor carefully pulled up her shirt a little, exposing her skin and the wound covered by a clean white bandage. She shivered a little as the cool infirmary air touched her newly uncovered skin and shivered again when Simon’s pleasantly cool fingertips ghosted over her flesh, making goose bumps rise on her arms and chest.
He really was shuai she decided. He was sweet, gentle and obviously fiercely protective, at least where his sister was concerned. He was just the kind of man that Kaylee had always dreamed of. She giggled lightly to herself as she thought about the fact that despite him matching almost every description of her ideal man, she always thought he’d be another mechanic, not a doctor like he was. It amused her, very likely thanks to the drugs that she’d been given for the pain.
Kaylee was completely smitten and amazed when her giggle fit finally got Simon to look at her, to meet her gaze. He looked quizzical but she knew he wouldn’t ask. She figured he was used to girls giggling over him, especially under the influence of anesthetics. Of course she’d been right and he’d looked at her with those intense blue eyes for only a moment before going back to examining her wound and cleaning it out with a betadine swab.
When he finally finished, Kaylee let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. She smiled happily and watched him as he cleaned up a little before coming back to her side to gently pull her shirt back down and pull the blanket up.
“So how am I healin’ doc?” She asked happily.
“The wound looks good,” he replied. “There should only be minimal scarring, if any. Now I’m just going to check a few more things. Try to stay relaxed.”
Kaylee nodded, still feeling pleasantly warm and airy. She let her eyelids flutter half closed, watching Simon from beneath her full, downy eyelashes as he went about checking things she couldn’t be bothered to understand just then. She was too busy enjoying his touch, his presence, the touch that was so professional and precise but at the same time so tender. After a few minutes had passed she felt his hands lift from where they’d been examining her and she pouted inwardly, not wanting him to be finished yet.
“Well that’s it,” he said softly. “You’re doing very well.”
“Well o’ course I am!” Kaylee said brightly. “You’re takin’ such good care o’ me!”
"I've got nothing to do with it," Simon argued lightly. "You're strong, you're fighting. It's all about you."
Kaylee looked up at him, feeling too weak to argue. Instead she reached out, blindly searching for his hand, grasping onto the first thing she found, which happened to be his sleeve. She grasped it as firmly as she could, which wasn't too well, holding onto it.
"Quit bein' so modest," she said brightly.
She knew her words wouldn't do much. She couldn't comfort him nearly as well as he could reassure her by just being there, although she was positive that he didn't feel like he was doing much for her either. She could tell he was uncomfortable by the way that he shifted his weight from one foot to the other before getting her hint at long last and taking her hand. His grip on her hand was as light and gentle as his fluttering touches had been and she squeezed his hand, telling him wordlessly that he could squeeze back.
It was silent between them for a while, awkward, though there wasn't much Kaylee could do about that. She looked up at Simon occasionally, at other times looking away, around the infirmary or over at River lying asleep on the counter. Despite the awkward silence, Kaylee felt comfortable. She didn’t think she could ever feel comfortable in the infirmary, especially considering her injury, but with Simon there watching over her, being so gentle with her, she felt right at home. She smiled softly at the thought, tilting her head whimsically a little bit on her pillow while her gaze drifted back to Simon once again.
Simon had been lost in some thoughts of guilt as he held Kaylee’s hand, gently beginning to stroke the back of it almost absent mindedly. He sighed softly and refocused his attention on the young mechanic once more, looking down at her as she lay relaxed back on the diagnostic bed. He squeezed her hand tenderly once more before laying it down at her side and pulling the blanket up over it, making sure she was warm.
“You need rest,” Simon said softly. “If you’re in any pain I can give you something to dull it and help you sleep.”
Kaylee shook her head slowly.
“Naw, I’m fine doctor,” she replied brightly albeit tiredly.
“Please, just call me Simon,” he said lightly.
She giggled softly and rolled her eyes playfully.
“Alright then,” Kaylee said warmly. “Naw, I’m fine Simon.”
For the first time in a long time, longer than Simon cared to admit, he smiled sincerely. He paused a moment at Kaylee’s side, looking down at her, reaching out to brush a stray strand of hair away from her expressive hazel eyes. He felt her shiver a little bit as he did so and he pulled his hand away, both of his hands coming to rest at his sides.
“I’ll leave you to get some sleep,” Simon said lightly. “I’ll be back to check on you in a little bit.”
Kaylee was enjoying the young doctor’s company. As he turned slowly on his heel to leave, she propped herself up on her elbows a little bit, looking at him from under downy eyelashes. She cleared her throat somewhat awkwardly, a soft blush creeping into her cheeks.
“Would ya mind stayin’ with me until I fall asleep?” She asked earnestly.
Simon stopped and turned back to look at her. It only took him a moment to decide that he couldn’t resist her, with those bright eyes and that adorable pout. He nodded softly and stepped back towards the examination table, reaching out to rest a hand on her shoulder, pushing her gently back against the back of it. She complied, lying back and settling herself comfortably. As she did so, Simon reached back behind him and pulled a high stool closer to the diagnostic bed, sitting himself comfortably on it. He reached out to rest a hand gently on Kaylee’s arm, which was laid delicately at her side under the blanket that covered her.
Kaylee smiled brightly as Simon settled a hand on her arm. His touch was warm, gentle and reassuring. She closed her eyes, relaxing thanks to his presence and the sensations that his hand was causing to run through her body. She felt herself drifting off to sleep almost immediately upon closing her eyes, feeling strangely disconnected from her physical body save for the joining of her and Simon’s bodies where he was touching her arm. Before she could say another word, thank him for staying with her, Kaylee had fallen into a deep slumber, her breathing slowing and her body becoming completely free of tension. Even as she began to dream, Kaylee could feel Simon’s gentle touch, anchoring her to reality, a sliver of perfection in the chaos that was life out in the black. She smiled unconsciously in her sleep, wondering whether the touch that comforted her so had any sorts of implications for the future.
She was hopeful, in any case.
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