|Hidden in the Dark
Author: Settiai PM
Sometimes secrets stay hidden in the dark. :: Mal/SimonRated: Fiction M - English - Simon & Mal - Words: 1,725 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 32 - Follows: 2 - Published: 01-27-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2772900
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Hidden in the Dark
Disclaimer: "Firefly" and other related characters are all properties of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and other related corporations. No infringement is intended. This story, such as it is, was written as a sign of respect and love for the characters, the show, and their creator. I claim no ownership of the aforementioned show and characters.
Summary: Sometimes secrets stay hidden in the dark.
Feedback: Comments and helpful criticisms are always appreciated.
Simon had always expected Mal to hate him, and he had prepared himself from the beginning to hate the captain. They were complete opposites, as different as night and day, and he knew they would clash on almost everything.
More than once, the captain had threatened to dump both Simon and his sister on the nearest moon… usually after a job had gone wrong, while the doctor patched Mal up and told him just how yúchûn the plan had been. No matter how many times the captain threatened to abandon them, though, he never went through with it.
Well, except for the one time on Ouroboros, but Mal had claimed to have only been proving that he would follow through on his threats. Of course, Simon personally thought that the only reason Serenity had come back for them was because the captain somehow managed to wrench his back less than an hour after leaving them. There was no doubt to either of them that they disliked each other.
But it wasn't hate.
Simon learned quickly to save that particular emotion for exactly one thing: the Alliance, for what they had done to his sister.
He had once thought that living on Serenity would fall under that category as well, but as time went by he learned that, even though living on the Rim was nothing like living in the Core, there were things to make life bearable. As he and River settled into their new lives, Simon began looking for the silver lining in the clouds of his life.
Whatever they shared, it wasn't love. They had both known from the beginning that they'd never love each other. It wasn't that they didn't know how… they just didn't have room to love anything else. Mal loved Serenity with all his heart, and Simon's entire life was dedicated to his love for River.
Besides, if they ever did find room for love, they both knew that Inara would be for Mal and Kaylee for Simon. Not that they'd ever admit it.
No, what they shared was purely physical. It was business. Mal allowed Simon and River to stay on his boat, and he kept them under his protection even though it was far from being to his advantage. In return, Simon helped the crew with some of their jobs and made sure to patch up most of their injuries.
Plus, ever now and then, he let the captain fuck him.
"You havin' sex with the captain?"
Simon blinked several times as he looked up from his plate, repeating Jayne's words in his head before coming to the conclusion that the other man had apparently lost the little bit of a mind that he had. "What?"
Beside him, Kaylee was shaking as she desperately tried to hold back her giggles, and out of the corner of his eye Simon saw Wash and Zoe giving Jayne worried looks as they stood in the doorway. Apparently he wasn't the only one who was worried about the man's mental status.
On the other side of the table, Shepherd Book studied the mercenary sitting beside him for a moment before quickly sliding into the next seat so that there was an empty chair separating the two of them. Sitting in the chair beside the Shepherd's new seat, River never even looked up from the small, multi-colored puzzle cube that she was solving. Simon could see her mouth twisted into a tiny smirk due to years of experience, though.
He noticed all of that in approximately five seconds, but it was all pushed to the deepest corners of his mind when Jayne put down his knife and the piece of wood he had been carving long enough to shoot the doctor a cocky grin. "Well?"
"Are you insane?" Simon managed to choke out, staring at Jayne as if he was some sort of alien life form.
"Do you even have to ask?" Wash asked incredulously, earning himself a sharp elbow in the stomach from his wife.
It was right then that Mal and Inara walked into the dining area.
They both paused when they saw the way everyone was staring at Jayne, and Mal let out a tired sigh. "What's he done now?" he asked Zoe, glancing over at her with a raised eyebrow when Jayne's face suddenly went pale.
Struggling to hide her amusement as Jayne slowly stood up and started slipping toward the door, she couldn't hold back at least a slight hint of mirth in her voice. "It seems, sir, that Jayne's gotten it into his head that you and the doc are sleeping together."
It started out simply enough. The captain and he were having one of their usual arguments, but -- instead of ending it by stomping off to rant and rave about stuffy Alliance doctors -- Mal chose a different means.
He leaned in and kissed Simon.
When Mal pulled away, Simon had immediately decided that he was on a ship captained by a complete lunatic. Of course, he didn't have much room to talk. Instead of giving the man a dirty look and calmly leaving the infirmary like a sane man, Simon merely walked over to pull shut the curtains that Kaylee had hung up to give the room some privacy. Then, without saying a word, he made his way back over to where the captain was standing and kissed him right back.
After Zoe answered the captain's question, the room was silent for just a moment. Then Inara made an undignified sound that greatly resembled a snort, which prompted Mal to turn his attention back toward Jayne, who had almost made it out the door.
"You know that I hate to agree with the doc," he said, raising an eyebrow, "but I'm starting to worry about your sanity too. Where the hell did you get a fool idea like that?"
Jayne glanced around the room, but when he saw that he wasn't going to get help from anyone else there, he groaned. "It's just that you've let him stay this long without him doing a damn thing."
"What about all the times I've bandaged bullet wounds?" Simon asked incredulously.
Jayne shrugged, his eyes suddenly drawn to the floor.
"Knife wounds?" Simon continued. "Laser burns? Broken bones? Poison?"
"Ain't nobody on my crew been poisoned since you got here," Mal cut in.
River finally looked up from the now-finished puzzle cube. "Jayne was," she said helpfully. "That's why he was sick last month. One of his whores didn't want to sex him up so she gave him poison and stole his money."
Simon didn't say a word as he let Mal straddle him, though he did send up a few prayers to whichever deity might be listening that no one came to the infirmary for the next half hour or so. He had a strange feeling that this was the type of thing that needed to remain a secret. Something that stayed in the dark, because it wouldn't be the same if people knew about it.
"I'm not forcin' you," Mal said suddenly. "I'm not going to throw you off just for telling me 'no.'"
At that, Simon nodded. "I know."
Simon brought his hand up to massage his temple. "Please stop corrupting my sister," he muttered, not speaking to anyone in general.
River frowned a bit as everyone turned and gave her a surprised look. "It's not a secret," she said, puzzled. "There are lots of secrets on Serenity, but that's not one of them. Jayne only has one secret, but it's not real because people know."
Jayne took that chance to quickly slip toward the door, but he was again forced to stop as someone drew the crew's attention back toward him.
"Jayne, you've been here even longer than Simon," Kaylee piped up, grinning despite herself. "You don't see us accusing you of having a torrid affair with the captain."
Zoe couldn't hold back her chuckles anymore, and she quickly turned away as Mal shot her a dirty look. Beside her, Wash didn't even try to hide the way his body was shaking with silent laughter. Inara just shook her head, while Book looked as if he was trying to think of the best way to remove himself from the room without facing bodily injury.
Mal just looked as if he wanted to strangle someone. "I really did not want to hear that," he said, glaring at Kaylee. She merely smiled.
"River, we're leaving before this insanity starts spreading," Simon said firmly.
Neither man said a word as they pulled on their clothes. Bare skin flashed in their minds, mixed in with soft moans and silent commands. It wasn't love, but it wasn't hate. It just was.
When Mal turned up in the infirmary two weeks later, they didn't even bother with having an argument beforehand.
As Simon carefully led River down the corridor that lead to the infirmary, she let out a soft giggle. "What's so funny?" he asked, reaching down to brush his hand through her hair.
"You never answered Jayne's question," she replied, giving him a knowing wink before slipping out from under his grip and dashing down the empty corridor. She paused a few seconds later, long enough to glance back at him over her shoulder. "Since you didn't deny the charges, it proves that the ape man made a correct assumption. Especially since the captain never denied it either."
As her brother's face turned bright red, River smiled. "Besides," she said conspiratorially, "I saw you kissing each other."