Title: Mei Mei
Rating: PG-13 (it has a bad word, meep)
Pairing: Simon/Kaylee and implied Rayne
Author's Notes: Post Serenity and centers around Simon and River. I guess these little drabbles are becoming a series of their own, this takes place after Xie Xie. So this means I need to come up with a Series title for them.
I recommend never writing a story when you are half awake, even if the Magic 8 Ball tells you too, you start to loose your train of thought. What can I say, for some odd reason being deeply depressed all the time helps me write drabbles shrugs such is life
And thanks to Mik109 'cause she's the bested damn beta that ever did live.
Something was going on. He wasn't quite sure what it was that was going on, but he knew that it was something, something he would probably not like.
Everyone had been acting strange lately. The Captain had taken to staring at almost everyone. It seemed as though only Inara and Zoe were privileged enough to not be stared at. Whether they were being stared at or not, Zoe and Inara were acting just as strange, sharing secret smiles and knowing glances.
River was smiling more, though that was probably because she wasn't constantly drugged. His mei mei was finally getting to really live for the first time since he had saved her from the Academy and it thrilled him to no end. He could, however, do with less of her and Kaylee's sneaking about and whispering to one another. The giggling he could handle.
Jayne, as odd as it was to think about, was becoming friendlier with everyone, especially River. Simon couldn't honestly recall the last time he had been outright crude or inconsiderate to her. The mercenary had even, of his own free will, helped clean the mess the other day.
Simon wasn't blind, and he wasn't dumb. There was something going on with the crew of Serenity, and he was determined to figure out what it was. So he marched determinedly towards the bridge. He learned a long time ago that the best way to figure out what was going on with River was to simply ask her.
"Hey, boa bei."
Simon couldn't help the grin that spread across his face as the sound of Kaylee's voice greeted him. He turned and smiled happily at the young mechanic as she stirred a pot, of what could easily be assumed was dinner. "Kaylee."
The pair stood staring at each other, seemingly oblivious to the fact that Jayne was in the room, which was all manners of uncomfortable for him. The pair of 'em goin' and making googley eyes at one another while he was truly tryin' to concentrate was more'n a little distracting.
Jayne looked up at the doctor then over to the girl in the kitchen and back again. With a disgusted shake of his head and a revolted groan, he looked back down to the gun he was trying to fix up. He had finally got the last part he needed to get Lux fully customized, an he'd been lookin' forward to makin' the adjustments to his biggest gun all gorram day. No way in hell were a pair of puppy love fools gonna get him ta leave. He was there first… well, before Simon was anyhow.
Kaylee smiled a little towards Jayne, who had the subtly of the Cap'n when it came to his attempts to get the pair to stop actin' all "lovey-dovey" as the Cap'n had more than once complained. "Whatchya doin' up here, now? Chow ain't for another ten."
"I was just going to go to ask River a few questions."
Jayne's hand froze above the piece he had been reaching for at the girl's name. He took a deep breath and shook his head at his own stupidity. He'd gone and done enough to draw attention to the way he felt about that girl, an' every day his ever growing suspicion that it weren't so much a secret as it were a well known fact amongst the crew seemed all but proved.
Kaylee nodded absently as she added something to the pot in front of her and began to stir again. "'Bout what?"
Simon sat on the edge of the table and shrugged simply, still ignoring Jayne's presence entirely. "How she's been lately."
Kaylee stared at Simon a look of slight panic setting in. "She ain't been good lately?"
Jayne began to nervously stroke the half-put together gun. He never once showed any carin' towards the Doc's crazy little sister before an' doin' so now was all manners of dumb. An' the last thing he needed was the Doc finally figurin' out the not-really-a-secret secret. A scuffle was bound to break out once he did, an' that'd be the end of that. He'd probably jus' slip him somethin' at dinner…or not fix 'im up right the next time somethin' went wrong. Nope, last thing Jayne needed ta be doin' is getting ornery over the fact that River may, or may not, be doin' well lately.
"Well, she hasn't had any medication for a long time now." Simon began to explain. "I'm probably just being paranoid checking up on her after all this time, but it's better to just make sure she hasn't had any negative reactions."
Kaylee bit her bottom lip nervously, pot of food completely forgotten in front of her. "What kinda reactions could she have?"
Jayne's knuckles whitened over the piece he now gripped too tightly. He'd thought the girl was doing okay. She seemed okay, never once mentioned anything bein' wrong. Then again the girl was all kinds of stubborn, probably wouldn'ta told him even if somethin' was wrong. He didn't want her to get hurt none, an' he thought they'd been doin' good an' getting' along, the girl ought to trust him enough to let him know these kinda things. Gorram girl was going to go and get herself into all kinds of trouble actin' that way.
Simon shook his head slowly and sighed. "There's no way to be sure. Most of the drugs I gave her have mild side effects, but I had to try so many different combinations and in such a short period of time."
"It could be anything?" Kaylee asked nervously.
Simon nodded again. "She would have told me if something wasn't right, so I'm not very worried."
"You ain't gonna have to run a buncha tests on her, right? Ya know how much she hates havin' to get poked and prodded."
Simon was about to answer the question when he was cut off by the sound of metal clattering to the floor. The pair both turned in unison to stare at Jayne who was glaring at the floor next to him. "Na er de yi gou."
"You okay, Jayne?" Kaylee asked as she finally got back to stirring the food in front of her.
Jayne growled as he leaned over to grab the piece that had fallen to the floor. "Yeah, fine. Just slipped is all." He muttered angrily.
Kaylee nodded slowly, still staring at Jayne. "Right," She turned back to Simon, who was also still staring at Jayne. "Well, you're still gonna be able ta help me set the table, right, Simon? It's your turn tonight an' River's gotta clear."
"I'll do it."
The two slowly turned to stare at Jayne as though he'd gone and sprouted another head.
"What? Got my stuff all over the table any how, might as well set it while I'm cleanin' everythin' up." The mercenary said defensively, secretly yelling at himself for getting caught doing something else that was just beggin' to be noticed by the crew. If'n they didn't know how he felt yet, they sure as hell would soon. "Doc can just set tomorrow."
Simon stared at him in confusion for another moment before shaking his head, as though it was all some strange illusion he had come up with on his own. He opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by Jayne again. "Jus' go make sure she's okay."
Simon stared at Jayne with a completely blank face, as though he was really seeing the man for the first time. Yup, that was it. Jayne'd gone an gotten himself caught. Woo duh ma he was the dumbest dumb person in the whole gorram verse.
Jayne turned away from the other two and rolled his eyes at himself. What the hell was he thinkin'?
"Don't much like the idea of that sister of yours goin' all wonky on us again. Don't wanna get attacked… again." Yeah, that's it Cobb, make 'em think you're only worried about yourself, 'cause that'll still work. He began to angrily clean the area he'd been working at, back turned to the other two people in the room.
Kaylee shot Jayne a glare and shook her head angrily. "Jayne, she only ever did that to you once."
"She did it more'n once."
"The Maidenhead don't count. You grabbed her first that time." Kaylee pointed out, using the spoon she'd been stirring with to emphasize her point.
Jayne shrugged and kept cleaning up all the pieces to his gun. "Still attacked me."
Simon shook his head and began to make his way back towards the bridge. It was too much to think that Jayne had changed all that much since Miranda. Granted everyone else had changed since Miranda, but Jayne was not everyone. He was, and would always be, just Jayne.
Jayne stared after Simon for a long moment, nervously fiddling with a piece from his gun.
"River?" Simon asked quietly as he stood in the doorway to the bridge.
She looked over her shoulder at her brother and gave him a brilliant smile. "Simon."
"What are you doing, mei mei?"
River turned back to the control panel in front of her. "Plotting our course." She said with a gentle smile.
Simon grinned down at his sister as she punched in co-ordinates and entered numbers from equations she had solved quicker then any other pilot could. "You're getting good at this."
"I like this." She said quietly, not paying complete attention to him. She finished punching in numbers and turned back towards Simon. "What did you want?"
Simon grinned at her for a long moment before finally answering her. "How are you?"
River cocked her head to the side "Fine." She answered slowly.
"You've been feeling okay?" He asked cautiously.
River smiled and shook her head. "That's not what you want to ask."
Simon smiled down at River, slightly confused for a moment before shaking his head in disbelief. "Are you…" He gestured towards his head vaguely. River's eyebrows rose, and she smiled sweetly at him. "You brat."
"Sticks and stone Simon." River singsonged. "Say what you mean."
"What are you hiding?"
River stood up and shook her head, turning to leave the bridge.
"River… River." Simon jumped up from the co-pilot's chair and followed after her. "You are hiding something, and I want to know what it is."
River shook her head again and turned back towards her brother. "Everyone else figured it out on their own. It's only fair that you figure it out, too."
"Okay, fine. Keep your secret. I'll figure it out." Simon said surely as he walked down the hallway, River a step ahead of him.
"Do you know what's going on with Jayne?" Simon asked offhandedly just before the two made it to the mess.
"He's been acting… odd lately. He hasn't been rude to you lately; come to think of it he hasn't even been that boorish to me either."
River shook her head and stopped walking, taking a moment to really think about the question. "Man who loves to love and hate. Lives in a world of black and white, heavy contrasts." She explained as simply as she could. "He doesn't over think things. It makes everything easier."
Simon nodded confusedly for a moment. "That's why he's been acting odd lately?"
River smiled up at her big brother. "Things aren't that simple any more. Not all black and white now, and it confuses him."
Simon nodded, staring into the mess to watch Jayne as he carried on a conversation with Kaylee.
River turned to look at him with bright wide eyes. "Where are you now?" River blinked at him for a moment, brow furrowing in confusion. "Black or white?" he asked nodding towards Jayne in the other room without ever looking away from his sister.
River gave the wall just over Simon's left shoulder a confused look for a moment. "I'm grey." She finally said with a small smile as Simon looked at her in utter confusion. "He doesn't want me to be black, but he's afraid to let me be white. So I'm grey."
"Jayne's afraid, of something other than Reavers?" Simon asked in disbelief before turning to stare at the big man who was grinning deviously at Kaylee, obviously sharing a joke with her. He wasn't entirely sure he'd like the joke, or even want to know what it was about. "Now why do I find that hard to believe?"
River shook her head and bit her bottom lip slightly. "Everyone's afraid of something Simon, and you'd be surprised why he's afraid of me." She explained quietly, staring at the man in question. "Doesn't matter now, too late to go back and change things."
Simon turned back to his sister, who was still looking into the mess. "Now that had an awful sense of foreboding around it. Is something going to happen, River?"
River rolled her eyes a little and gave Simon her "you're being a cute idiot" look. "I read minds Simon. I can't see the future." She said with a small smile.
River gave her brother a kiss on the cheek before walking into the mess, leaving him alone with his thoughts for a moment. She smiled brightly at Kaylee and went about helping Jayne set the table.
Simon sighed slightly and leaned against the doorframe in contemplation. He watched Jayne grumble about River's dancin' about getting underfoot and as Kaylee laughed at the pair. As Jayne glared down at River, and she smirked back up at him, something clicked into place in Simon's head.
"Son of a bitch."