Series: Slayers in Space
Disclaimer: Not mine
"Nice of you to join us in the land of the living, doc." Mal scowls from the counter.
Simon blinks past the bright lights above him. "What happened?"
"You fainted." Jayne laughs.
"Seems you took a little shock at seein' Kaylee and fainted." Mal grins at the memory. "You hit your head on the way down."
Simon sits up and rubs his temple for a few minutes, trying to get his bearings. Then he notices something. "We're flying?"
"Yep." Mal replies. "Now, fore we leave this room, Kaylee and River agreed to you stayin' but that don't give you any rights towards either of them till they say you do."
"Agreed." Simon says.
"And no pressurin' or upsettin' Kaylee seein' how's she's in the delicate way." Mal orders.
"Okay." Simon agrees.
"Good." Mal starts to turn around but suddenly stops. "Oh, and by the way doc."
"Yes?" Simon looks at the captain and then goes flying backwards, Mal's fist knocking him across the face.
"That'd be for the hell you put Kaylee and River through." Mal holds his hand out and helps the doctor up.
"Hey, I wanted to hit him." Jayne whines.
"Go ahead." Mal waves his hand at the doctor.
"You done ruined it for me." Jayne grumbles as he walks out of the infirmary. "She's my girl; I shoulda got to hit him."
"They're my crew." Mal argues. "I get to do the hittin'."
"I vote me and R to do the hitting." Faith says.
"Darlin' I just wanted to prove a point, not break his face." Mal replies.
"Oh, you're talking about hitting Simon." Faith realizes.
"Yeah, what'd you think I was talkin' bout?" Mal follows Faith to the mess, his arms wrapping around her waist.
"Just hitting in general." Faith leans back against his chest. "I like to hit."
"And that's why I love ya." Mal kisses the top of her head.
"Aww, the captain is so sweet it makes me want to cry." Wash gushes.
Mal glares at him.
"So, doc, what'd you do on your little journey?" Faith pushes Mal down onto his chair and then sits on his lap.
"Worked." Simon sits down between Zoe and Mal. "I worked every day from the time I woke up until I couldn't stay awake any longer."
"Did it give you want you needed?" Faith asks.
"No, not at all." Simon sneaks a look first at his sister and then at Kaylee. "While I was doing a surgery, yes, it worked but the second I stopped, it stopped working. So I worked as much a I could but then I became somebody I didn't want to be. Frankly, I was a bastard and a prick. I treated everyone, including my old boss, like….pretty much like Jayne treated River and myself when we first got here."
"I think I've more than made up for that." Jayne defends, his arms wrapped securely around River.
"Yes." River agrees.
"I'm not saying you haven't." Simon is quick to assure him. "I understand how much my sister means to you and I'm sorry for any grief I may have given either one of you because of it."
Jayne nods his head, completely shocked by the apology.
"And while I'm making apologies, I owe you a huge one, Faith." Simon says.
"Huh?" Faith turns to face Simon. "What was that?"
"From the moment you told us River was a slayer, I blamed you for it all." Simon explains. "It didn't matter that it wasn't your fault, I blamed you for it and I know I treated you like crap because of that blame. I was unable to accept what River is, not because I didn't believe you but because I didn't want that for River. I still don't nor do I want it for you but I now realize it could be so much worse."
"Whoa, doc, you sound like you've had an epiphany or something" Faith comments.
"Actually, I had a visitor." Simon replies. "A demon…."
"You were attacked?" Faith sits up, a worried look crossing her face.
"No, he was a balance demon." Simon says. "His name was Whistler and he showed me what it was like to be a slayer during your time."
"Huh?" Faith looks confused.
"He showed me slayer after slayer dieing." Simon explains. "Girls being tortured, raped, and killed, one right after another. Endless girls dying for a fight they shouldn't be fighting. You dieing."
Mal's arms tighten around Faith's waist.
"You saw me die?" Faith whispers.
Simon nods. "You fought a group of vampires and won but they did a lot of damage; frankly, how you were able to walk is beyond me. Then you were walking away and a vampire grabbed you before you could even fight back."
"Hmm, it's kinda sad after all the demons and vamps I survived, it only took one to take me down." Faith comments.
"It only takes one." River says.
"That it does." Faith agrees. "Not that I'm trying to change the subject…"
"You are." River interrupts.
"Okay, I am." Faith agrees. "But anyways, R, you gonna tell Jayne?"
"Tell Jayne what?" Jayne asks. "Baby doll, you got somethin' to tell me?"
"I bought new panties." River says. "They're pretty and you'll like them and the cashier boy asked me out. Do you want to see them?"
"Whoa, back up." Jayne growls. "A boy did what?"
"Asked me out." River turns on his lap and wraps her arms around his neck. "He wanted to buy me a drink."
"What'd you say?" Jayne grumbles.
"What do you think I said?" River looks a little hurt. "I can't believe you would think I would say anything other than no."
"I'm sorry baby, it's just…Mal, we gotta turn back." Jayne demands.
"Jayne, I ain't flyin' back to Persephone so you can kill some kid." Mal says.
"Why not?" Jayne asks. "We could kill Badger while we're there."
Mal stops to think about it.
"Sir, we're not killing Badger." Zoe says. "I'll have a child to feed soon and we need his jobs."
"I know." Mal rests his chin on Faiths' head. "Sorry, Jayne."
"How old was he?" Jayne demands.
"My age." River replies.
"I bet he was thinkin' all kinds of inappropriate things bout you." Jayne grumbles. "And that he was lookin' at places he had no need to look at."
"Yes." River agrees.
Jayne's arms wrap around her with a pout.
"Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm awful tired; let's go to bed." Faith says after a few minutes of silence.
"I'm not tire…" Jayne grunts when River's elbow connects with his stomach.
"Yes, you are." River jumps off his lap and tugs him to his feet. "Or you will be in a while."
"Hell, yeah." Jayne picks River up and plants a big kiss on her cheek. "You gonna show me these new panties?"
"If you're bad." River squeals as she's flung over his shoulder.
Jayne smacks her ass. "Oh, baby, you know I'm always bad."
"Well, wifey, you can't carry me anymore so I guess I'll just have to hold your hand." Wash helps his pregnant wife stand up. "Night."
"C'mon, Mal, I'm in the mood for a bit of rough and tumble." Faith pulls Mal to his feet and practically drags him out of the room.
"If that wasn't oblivious." Simon comments quietly.
Kaylee stands up and leaves without a word.
Simon jumps to his feet and chases after Kaylee, completely surprised to see her going into River and Faith's room and not her bunk. Taking a few, deep breaths, he knocks on the door.
"What do you want, Simon?"
Simon's stomach churns at the anger in her voice. "Can I come in?"
Simon takes that to mean yes and opens the door. Kaylee is sitting on what he knows to be Faith's old bed. He sits down across from her, his hands folded in his lap. "I'm sorry."
"For what?" Kaylee clenches her hands around the blanket under her. "For wallkin' away from me like I didn't mean a gorram thing to you? For not wavin' at least once to check on us and to let us know you were okay? For makin' me think I wasn't important to you?"
"All of the above." Simon admits. "I treated you in a way you should never had been treated and I just hope someday, you can forgive me."
"I never thought you'd hurt me the way you did." Kaylee whispers. "I thought you cared about me."
"I do, Kaylee." Simon drops to his knees beside her. "I love you Kaylee; I loved you then and I love you know. This was never about you. This was something I had to do. I had to leave because it was something I always planned on doing. I always thought I was stuck here but now I know I'm not. This is my home as much as it is yours. This is where I want to be and you are who I want to be with."
"And I'm just supposed to believe this ain't got nothin' to do with that?" Kaylee gestures to her belly.
"Kaylee, I didn't know about that until I saw you." Simon gently touches her belly. "My decision to come back had nothing to do with this and everything to do with you. I missed you so much. Everyday, I woke up thinking about you and every night, I went to sleep thinking about you. The only time I could escape you was when I was working and the moment I stopped doing that, you were there."
"I missed you too, Simon, and I do love you." Kaylee says. "But I don't trust you."
Simon can't help the hurt that shoots through his body. "That's fair."
"I am tired so I'm gonna go to sleep." Kaylee says.
"Why are you sleeping in here?" Simon asks.
"Cause I couldn't sleep in my bunk without you." Kaylee replies honestly. "It hurt too much."
Simon leaves the room, casting one last look at Kaylee on his way. He returns about an hour later, slipping in quietly and leaving something next to Kaylee.
Kaylee rolls over onto her side, one hand resting on the slight bulge of her belly, when she feels something hard under her. Climbing out of bed, she flips on the light before sitting back down. Then she fumbles around until she finds a small box and a piece of paper and then unfolds the letter with shaking hands.
I'm not good with words, you know that better than anyone. And I don't expect you to just accept me back like nothing happened but I need you to know how much you mean to me.
Since the second River was born, she was the most important person in my life and remained that way until you. I love River but I don't need her, not the way I need you and not the way I know River needs Jayne.
I've done everything I can for River and now I know it's time to let her led her life the way she chooses. And that it's time for me to live my life for myself and not for River.
Which brings me to the box. Now, I don't expect an answer right now, I just want you to know I bought this a month ago when I saw it on my way to work. I took one look at it and knew it was you. When you put it under lights, it casts rainbows everywhere.
I hope someday you'll learn to trust me again and I want you to know I'm not leaving again. And I although it is a shock, I am excited about the baby.
Kaylee puts the letter down and picks up the box with shaking hands. She opens it and gasps. Inside is the most beautiful ring she's ever seen. It has an onyx center and little diamonds on the sides. She slips it on her right ring finger and watches as it casts rainbows on the wall with a smile.
"Whoa, where'd the rock come from?" Faith asks with a whistle.
"Simon." Kaylee takes the peanut butter and protein that Faith hands her with a small smile.
"You're wearing it on the wrong finger." River comments.
"I know." Kaylee replies. "But I'm not ready to wear it on the other finger yet."
"You're going to forgive him, aren't you?' Faith asks.
"Yeah." Kaylee agrees. "I love him and you know I can't stay mad for long."
"We know." Faith says. "But you're going to make him suffer a little bit, right?"
"Of course." Kaylee grins back. "So, are you two going to spar?"
"Yep." Faith puts her dishes into the sink. "But R's on dish duty."
River sticks her tongue out at Faith.
"Where's Jayne and Mal?" Kaylee is a little shocked that the two men aren't here. They never miss one of the slayer's 'sparring'.
"On the bridge talking to some old army buddy of Zoe and Mal's." Simon says as he steps into the room. "I think it was Monty but I'm not positive."
"We love Monty." Kaylee says to Faith.
"Yeah, Mal's told me about Monty." Faith pats Simon on the back as she passes him. "Good to have you back, doc."
Faith runs her hands down the walls as she walks through the ship towards the bay. In the months that she's been her, she can't believe how much of a home this boat has become. She steps into the bay and does a few stretches to loosen up before R comes in and they spar. As she's bent over with her hands wrapped around her ankles, she feels somebody behind her. With a grin, she spins around, her foot pressing against a redheaded girl and holding her back against a crate. "Who the hell are you?"
"My name's Saffron." The redhead practically purrs. "Malcolm Reynolds' wife."
"Huh." Faith cocks her head to the side. "I guess that makes me his mistress."
Saffron's mouth opens and then closes as she falls backwards against the crate.
Faith pulls her head back and glares down at the wholesome looking girl. "Bitch." Then she throws the unconscious woman over her shoulder and leaves the bay.
"Faith, I thought you and…." Kaylee's sentence trails off when she finally notices the girl over Faith's shoulder. "Saffron?"
"The bitch wasn't lying?" Faith practically growls. "Excuse me, I have a man to castrate."
River and Simon look at each other and then run after the slayer, Kaylee waddling behind them.
Faith storms through the boat, anger and hurt battling for control through her body. She lets the anger win because it's so much easier to deal with than the hurt. "See if I let that bastard touch my nipple ring again."
"You'll love her, Monty." Mal says. "She's a pistol, that's for sure."
"I can't wait to meet her." Monty replies. "See ya in a bit."
"Bye." Mal ends the wave and looks towards Wash.
"Already changed the course." Wash replies. "You aren't worried Badger's gonna be pissed that we're takin' a detour?"
"Nope." Mal says. "Know all I gotta do is take Faith and River with us and he ain't gonna say a word."
"Hey, you can't use my girl to scare people." Jayne protests.
"You've used me to scare people." Zoe points out.
"True." Jayne agrees.
"Aw, c'mon, you're the one that likes your girl bein' all kinds of scary." Mal says.
"Yeah." Jayne agrees.
"Speaking of scary." Wash says, pointing at the door.
Mal nervously turns around and almost falls over at the sight in front of him.
"Did you forget to tell me something?" Faith drops the girl onto Mal's lap. "Maybe something to do with a wife?"
"I ain't gotta wife." Mal pushes Saffron off his lap and steps over her body. "Okay, technically, we was married but I didn't know about it."
"How can you not know?" Faith demands. "Getting married is something you remember."
"We were on some backwater moon, helpin' out, and they had a shindig." Mal wraps his arms around Faith and pulls him against his chest, holding onto her tightly. Now, he knows if she wants out, she'll get out, so the fact that she's lettin' him fills him with a sense of ease. "And we had a bit of drink and then Saffron comes over and puts a wreath of flowers on my head, drinks from my wine and pulls me to the dance circle."
"And then what, you found a preacher and got hitched?" Faith says angrily.
"No, that was the marriage ceremony." Mal replies. "I didn't know and even after I found her, I had no intentions of keepin' her. I was gonna drop her off someplace she could find work only it turns out she's crazy and deadly on top of it. She tried to kill all of us and then stole a shuttle. And the next time we met, she stole my gorram clothes and my shuttle and left me on some moon."
"Did you fuck her?" Faith asks.
"Hell, no." Mal cups Faith's face. "We kissed but that was it."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Faith asks.
"Cause it honestly wasn't important." Mal replies. "She's not really my wife and she's married to two other men that I know about."
Wash nudges Saffron's body with his foot. "What'd you do to her?"
"Head butted her." Faith says. "She pissed me off."
Wash runs over and hugs Faith.
"Um, what was that?" Faith turns to look at Zoe.
"She kicked him in the head once." Zoe explains, smiling down at Saffron's unconscious body.
"Darlin', I'm sorry bout not telling you." Mal nudges Faith's mouth with his. "Forgive me?"
"I guess." Faith nips his bottom lip. "But you so owe me…" Faith runs her mouth up his cheek and whispers the rest of her sentence in his ear.
"Oh, I think I can do that." Mal grins down at her. "Hell, if I can't, I'll die tryin'."
"What are we going to do with her?" Simon questions curiously.
"Oh, I vote to use her as my punching bag." Faith says.
"Shouldn't we see what she wants before you pummel her into a non-speaking pulp?" Simon asks.
Faith turns around and leans back against Mal's chest, glaring at Simon. "Way to ruin my fun."