Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Firefly, but if I did I wouldn't have let it get cancelled.

Personal Disclaimer: I have never written a Firefly fanfic before forgive me for terrible-ness.

The Black Box

Simon's fingers followed that edges and curves of the small black box in his hand. He was amazed something that small could hold some much memory. Memories of things that had happened long before the ordeal on Miranda, before boarding Serenity, even before rescuing River.

His father had just turned him away after he had decided to rescue his sister. He had no place to go. Guillermo Garcia and the people helping him figure out how to get River out of the academy had been able to find him a place to stay but of course it cost him. It was just a small boarding house run by the people helping him, but to him it was paradise because there he met her.

The "her" was a woman named Rebecca. She was a psychologist from Ariel with long wavy chocolate-colored hair and brown eyes full of life.

She too had someone at the Academy. Her eleven-year-old cousin named Joseph. Like River, he had been sending Rebecca cryptic messages telling how it really was there. Also like Simon's story, no one believed Rebecca when she showed her family her evidence.

Simon and Rebecca were there for each other. They knew what the other was going through. Sometimes they even were able to make the other forget about the terrible situation that had caused them to meet.

They were head over heels for each other. Neither of them would come out and say it though. They didn't need to.

Simon had been living in that boarding house for five months waiting to get River out of the Academy. Simon was starting to have doubts if he could really even help her.

I can't spend my whole life waiting for Guillermo and the others try to help me get River out of one of the most secure places in the universe.

After those five months he did the most brash thing he could even have done. With his dramatically shrinking bank account he went to a pawnshop. To his surprise he actually found something. It was a small, but elegant ring in a black box. Simon wished he could have found something better, but Rebecca was never one for anything flashy.

He was only able to take her to a small restaurant, but it was clean and the food was great. The cheap low lighting helped create a slight romantic mood. But Simon hadn't found the courage to ask to dinner. His stomach churned and his temperature soared.

Before Simon knew it he had paid the bill and they were walking back to the boarding house. He felt like a coward.

I love her. She loves me. Why am I taking so long? I have to ask her.

"Rebecca," Simon said quietly. So quietly he wasn't sure if Rebecca could hear him.

But she had heard him. She turned towards him. Her beautiful, vibrant brown eyes made Simon almost choke up.

'Now or never.'

"Rebecca," Simon repeated and with that he sank down to one knee and fiddled in his pocket until he found the black box.

In that time Rebecca had figured out what he was doing.

"Wuh de tyen, ah," Rebecca breathed not believing what she was seeing Simon do.

Simon opened the lid of the tiny box to reveal the small diamond.

"Rebecca, I know it has only been a couple months since we met but will you marry me?"

Rebecca was left breathless. Her mouth moved, trying to say something but couldn't. It took her a few moments before she found her voice.

"Simon, I . . . I . . . No."

Her answer caught Simon completely by surprise. Then it crushed him. It had always seemed so much easier in the movies Simon had seen where the girl would always say yes and then fling herself into the arms of the proposer for a long kiss. Simon had always been more practical then this but he had really wanted this. He loved her more anything. Her saying no hurt him more than the night his father had turned him away.

"Simon, I really sorry but no. You should know more than anyone that my first priority is to get Joseph out of that academy before I worry about my personally feelings."

Simon didn't answer her. He knew she was right. The people at the academy were hurting River. He had to get her out first and fore most. He simply nodded to her. He had given up so much already, he could give up this woman, too. Still, they didn't speak for the rest of the night.

The next day Simon had been given all the resources he would have ever needed to get River out of the academy and some he didn't. Simon left giving only a brief good-bye to Rebecca. He couldn't give her anything else. The previous night's rejection had left too much of a boundary in their relationship. Simon put all thoughts of love out of his mind. He only cared for his sister.

With everything that had happened in his life after that Simon had never been able to give her much thought. They had lost contact and Simon never expected to hear from her again.

But she had some how found him. Simon's eyes shifted to the video message he had received today. The picture was frozen at the moment to simply show a beautiful brunette woman with her arms wrapped around a black-haired twelve years old boy standing in front of her. On the boys face was the same blank stare River always wears.

In the message she apologized that their last conversation was so heartbreaking for both of them and she wanted to see him again and to meet the sister he had always talked so much about.

Simon wouldn't be returning the message. This woman had been the reason he had always denied his feelings toward Kaylee. A part of him still loved Rebecca, but so many things had changed for him. River was doing so much better since Miranda, not to mention he—

"Simon?"

Simon was snapped out of his reverie by the woman in the doorway. Kaylee was leaning into the room wearing a dress for a change instead of an oil-stained jumpsuit. Simon smiled as she stepped in to his room.

"Ready to go to dinner?" Kaylee asked.

"Yeah, coming." Simon said. As he got up he inconspicuously slipped the box into his pocket. He hoped that this time things would be different.