Title: Too Stupid to Live

Rating: PG

Synopsis: Simon and Kaylee continue to do their little dance and River call's them on it.

Author's Notes: Takes place immediately after the episode 'Trash'.

Disclaimer: This story is not meant to infringe on the copyright of any person or company related to the trademarked characters and situations depicted in the Serenity movie or Firefly series. I make no money from this. Only done for fun – and a desperate craving to have more stories told about this wonderful 'verse Joss Whedon created.

Too Stupid to Live

Don't look down. Don't look down. Kaylee thought as she smiled sweetly at the Captain and then turned away as quickly as she could.

Distracted as she was, she ran right into Simon, who had just stepped into the cargo bay from the passenger dorms after feeing the ship begin its launch sequence.

Kaylee swayed a bit on her feet when her face slammed into Simon's chest and smiled stupidly at him when he held her arms and glanced down at her, concerned.

"Are you okay?"

"Sure, Simon." She blinked, unable to get the image of a naked Captain out of her mind. Why, couldn't it have been Simon? She had the worst luck. Maybe she would have to stalk the passenger dorms at night to catch him coming out of the showers. "Just a bit – uh –"

Just then the-completely-comfortable-in-his-naked-skin Captain passed by them and Simon's eyes widened to saucer-like proportions. "I – see." Simon swallowed thickly and quickly averted his eyes, locking them with Kaylee's. He'd much rather look at her in any state of dress or undress. And that thought caused a flush to creep up his neck.

"Yeah, thinkin' we all did." Kaylee shook her head, trying to get the image out of her mind. The Captain was like a big brother to her. She didn't want to see him in his birthday suit. She glanced at Simon's handsome face, so close to hers. Now, him on the other hand –

Kaylee licked her lips and inhaled deeply, the close proximity to Simon causing her head to spin. He always smelled so clean and she had many a time imagined what that smooth, pale skin would feel like beneath her calloused hands.

"You sure you're okay?" Simon asked again, as he felt her redistribute her weight from one foot to another.

Clearly disoriented from her view of the Captain and standing so close to Simon, she didn't care if he held her in his arms for the rest of the day.

River suddenly appeared beside them, giving them one of her patented, I know it all looks. "The average heart rate is 72-80 beats per minute." She turned to her brother a smug smile on her face. "Yours is hovering around 100."

Simon immediately dropped his hands, causing Kaylee to stumble a moment before catching herself.

River touched Kaylee's flushed cheek. "Yours is a higher." She turned to her brother. "Better stay close. She could faint."

Simon blinked at her and then narrowed his eyes clearly indicating she not pursue this any further. "River –"

"I'm going." River skipped away.

Simon rolled his eyes and then glanced uncertainly back at Kaylee again. "Well – I – uh, need to get back to Jayne. He'll be able to move soon and I – uh – yeah."

"You're the best. He'll be okay."

Simon smiled at her praise and fought the blush that threatened to further color his pale features.

Kaylee's bright smile made his heart flip over itself and he wished he could just stand there and look at it for the rest of the day. But he had work to do, and truth be told, so did she.

"Ok, I'll see ya then." She turned on her heel and walked out of the room, casting a smile over her shoulder when she could feel him staring at her departing back.


Simon jumped when River appeared at his shoulder again. "You are such a boob."

Simon scowled at her and went back to the infirmary, wondering why it was that he could rattle off pages of medical text in any trauma situation but was unable to speak in full, coherent sentences to a pretty girl.

River watched him go and simply shook her head. Talking to her brother about Kaylee was like trying to impart wisdom to a rock. So – she decided to go to Kaylee instead. The girl had been trying to get Simon to notice her for months.

She skipped off to the engine room, Kaylee's rather disturbing thoughts about Simon drawing her like a moth to a flame. River didn't ever want to picture her brother in any of the situations going through Kaylee's mind at the moment.

"Hi sweetie!" Kaylee noticed River immediately, that sixth sense tugging at the back of her mind whenever someone else was standing in her engine room. "Need something?"

River shook her head and simply danced over to Kaylee, a small smile on her face. "You're easier to talk to than Simon."

Kaylee giggled and set the tool she had in her hand onto the table behind her, knowing River had come to her for a reason.

River frowned as she stared into Kaylee's happy, angelic face. Her dumb brother couldn't do any better. "He's too stupid to live sometimes."

Kaylee's eyes widened. "Simon?"

River nodded.

"Oh, sweetie, why do you say that?" Something was bothering River and Kaylee wanted to help her if she could.

"Likes you. Just won't admit it."

Kaylee thought she'd gotten used to River's blunt comments but this one took her by surprise. Her heart skipped a beat knowing that River would know her brother's feelings better than anyone else. "Well – I like him too."

River gripped her friend's dirty hands and squeezed them urgently. Things were going much too slowly for her tastes. Stupid brother. "Then tell him."

The response sat on the tip of Kaylee's tongue for what seemed like minutes, when it was only a fraction of a second. "It's – real hard. He's usually so stiff– real quiet an –"

"And he likes you. You like him." River released Kaylee's hands and moved to the door, giving the mechanic a knowing smile. This really shouldn't take a genius to figure out. "Not difficult." As she turned away, she muttered, "This is all so childish. I thought I was the kid here."

Perhaps Simon wasn't the only one too stupid enough to live.


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