Disclaimer: Joss is the creator of this wonderfull show and the amazing people on it and a selection of incredible actors gave them life. I am simply playing with them, seeing as a certain network we all know and hate decided 14 episodes was enough.

Title: Capt'n Meany

Rating: Teen, cause it's the safest.

Setting: Nowhere particular, but let's pretend the movie didn't happen. Not because I don't love the movie, I do, it's my absolute favorite movie, but for this story to work, I need it not to have happened, since I want Wash to live in this story.

AN: As with all my other Firefly fanfics I'm bringing over, I need to tell you this was written a while ago. If I remember correctly I posted this one around Valentine 2006. I seem to remember that being when I posted it. Anyways, early 2006 would be correct either way.

When it started they both had the fullest intentions to tell the crew, honest. But between Simon's fear of the captain throwing him out the airlock and Kaylee's intent on keeping him all to herself, having longed for this for many, many months, neither of them could see the harm of keeping this secret for a couple of weeks. Then Zoe and Wash had a spat, it wasn't that uncommon and it wasn't on a very big scale either as it was over in just a couple of days, but it threw Mal even more off approving the idea of shipboard romances, even put the dance he had going with Inara to a halt. Something that again resulted in frustrating the companion to hell. Bursting with wishes to tell her, Kaylee kept the news to herself. It wouldn't be right of her, to prance her good news to her best friend at a time like this.

When a routine check ended with Simon telling her she was pregnant, Kaylee's first instinct was on telling her best friend, but as she still hadn't even told her about the relationship in the first place, the mechanic let it slide. Telling the crew was out of the question until Simon could figure a way of letting them know that wouldn't end with blood boiling through his ears. Once more they didn't see the harm in waiting a couple of weeks, they still had time. By the time Kaylee reached her third month, it had become mere routine. Her coveralls were nice and baggy and covered up the barely curving belly nicely.

Now at five months, there wasn't a crewmember suspecting a thing. Well they both had a feeling River knew what was going on, without having confronted her about it, her being a reader and all. But the psychic still hadn't ratted them out. To those without the ability to read minds, Kaylee's changes seemed to go by unnoticed. She was on her back underneath the engine, switching out the couplings. Even though Simon worried about her working so far into her pregnancy, he had no say in the matter when Kaylee put her foot down. Instead he had made her promise two things. The first being if there ever was a need for any heavy work on the engine to be done, she'd settle on instruct him from the sideline. The second was that she was to rest in the middle of the day for an hour or two to gather her strength.

At first Kaylee hadn't really seen the need to it as she was still bursting with energy, though she had done as he'd asked. He wasn't a doctor for nothing. But as she now felt completely beat after only a couple of hours work, she crawled into her hammock, thinking that Simon was right after all...

After a rather shaky take-off, Mal was headed to the engine room, to have a talk with his mechanic. He clearly remembered her promise to change the entry couplings, and albeigh it, he had intended on taking off three hours later, he was under the impression she would've had the work done a great deal sooner. He didn't hear the familliar sounds of metal banging, or Kaylee's cheerfull hum. In fact the only sounds as he made his way down the corridor were the ones coming from Serenity herself. Despite his lacking ability to yell at the young girl, he felt himself becoming more and more irritated. Scanning the room, he finally spotted her back in the hammock.

Normally he would just let her sleep and have the talk later, but the mix of a job gone wrong, the take-off that should've been smooth and finding his mechanic asleep, had made his day bad enough as it was. Leaning over, intending to wake her, he saw something making it even worse.

Simon had noticed the quick and shaky take-off. This indicating a job gone wrong, he prepared himself for whatever injury needed to be treated. He waited minutes, almost concluding that there was no need for his services today, as the captain came in. Before Simon knew it he was on the floor sporting a fresh black eye.

- What was that for?

- I have a feelin' you know exactly what that was for. Jus' came back from the engine room.

Simon's lips formed a simple 'oh'.

- Now, I take it, this is your doin', or should I start poundin' on the mercenary's door?

The look of utter disgust on the doctor's face brought a smirk to Mal's lips for a second before he forced it away. He far from approved of the situation, although the idea of the alternative scenario disgusted him to no end. Putting the idea into Simons head, however and watch the reactions was all kinds of amusing. Plus the doc deserved it, first for getting his mechanic in the family way, second for keeping this from reaching him.

- We didn't mean to keep it secret, it just never seemed the right time to tell.

Mal looked the doc in the eyes.

- When somethin' ends with new mouth that needs feedin' you make time to tell.

He continued staring for a few seconds after delivering the last of the sentence and then calmly turned around. Before leaving he tilted his head around.

- Oh and doc, you just landed cook duty.

- Um, captain, I'm afraid I've never cooked in my life.

- Well, being a well-schooled fella like yourself, I'm sure you can put those top three percents to good use.

- My education didn't include learning culinary skills.

- Ain't that a pity. Chow, no later than seven. I suggest you start right away.

Simon didn't see Mal's smirk as he walked away, but that didn't mean he couldn't imagine it.

- Inara, Mal called out, as he entered her shuttle.

Inara merely raised her brow at his entrance.

- What do you want?

- What? No reprimandin' on my bargin' in?

- I would, but I've long learned you can't teach a dog new tricks.

- Hey, you comparin' me to a mut?

- No, I would never think of insulting the species with that comparisson.

Mal momentarily forgot what he was supposed to be saying before the throwing of the witty banters and instead just stood in silence, trying to remember it.

- Was it something specific you wanted, Inara repeated.

- The doc jus' landed cook duty an' as I ain't lookin' to die of food poisoning anytime soon, I was hopin' you'd help him out.

- Basicly you want me to cook.

- No, I'm askin' you to save all our lives.

- And I'm your choice because...

- It's a dress up meal, an' you an' the doc's the only ones that don' need changin'.

She sighed.

- Allright, I'll do it, but only because I feel sorry for Simon.

- Shiny, chow's at seven, he's allready up there strivin'.

- I loathe you, she said, darkly.

- Nah, darlin', you love me, he grinned and left with a curteous bow.

- You're right about that, she sadly whispered to herself.

- What did you do, Inara exclaimed, seeing Simons fresh black eye.

- Why is it something I did, Simon asked.

- I've known Mal a long time and he doesn't hit someone unless he thinks he has a good reason for it.

- This is your captain speaking, chow's at seven. Dressing's non-casual, meanin' no coveralls, no jumpsuits, no bodyarmor. Try not be to be late.

- I have a feeling, you'll know why soon enough, Simon sighed.

- This is your captain speaking, chow's at seven. Dressing's non-casual, meanin' no coveralls, no jumpsuits, no bodyarmor. Try not be to be late.

Wash looked up from the control panel at his wife.

- Are we noticing how the word suspenders didn't make the list?

Zoe chuckled.

- I'm sure he'll put on his best suspenders for whatever it is. If he was to wear anything else, I'm afraid he'd have to pull an emperor's new clothes.

- Pull on a what?

- Never mind, dear.

- This is your captain speaking, chow's at seven. Dressing's non-casual, meanin' no coveralls, no jumpsuits, no bodyarmor. Try not be to be late.

The voice of Mal was what woke her right up... and set her straight into panic. There was no way to hide the bulge that was her belly in her floral dresses, which was most likely what the capt'n had in mind when saying non-casual. However she couldn't let herself loose her head as she still had a job that needed finishing. When she checked her watch, she found out the nap had taken most of three hours, longer than usual, which also meant less time to finish up the job she had started before getting tired. Kaylee'd rather be a bit late to the meal, than to postpone the job. The capt'n would be furious enough with her expecting, throw in her not even miding her job properly and it could only be worse.

She started worrying as Simon wasn't in the infirmary, nor his room. Thinking he had gone to look for River, she took the trip through the cargo bay, up the catwalk. Before she knew it, she was in the corridor outside her bunk and still hadn't found him.

That Kaylee still hadn't appeared as the clock rounded seven was no surprise. After all hers was the grimiest out of the crew jobs. What was new however was Mal initiating the meal before she had. With the casual meals they didn't usually wait for everyone, but when it was dress-up it was more a given that everyone waited for everyone.

- Shouldn't we wait for Kaylee, Inara asked.

- She'll come as soon as she's washed up, 'sides she allready know the news.

- And what news is that, sir, Zoe asked.

- We're getting a new crew member, Mal simply said, putting several spoonfulls of dinner on his plate.

- Sir, Zoe asked, raising her brow.

- Oh, we're getting that cook, you always were talking about, Wash asked. - Smart thinking Mal.

- We're gettin' a cook, Kaylee asked as she entered the room.

Zoe choked back on surprised laughter. Inara dropped her fork, it hitting her foot then the metal grid below. She didn't even notice it. Wash was mute, which was new for him and turned his questioning gaze towards Simon. River sported her well perfected 'knew all along' look. Jayne didn't even look up from his plate.

- Didn't figure ya for bein' the kitchen type, doc. But this ain't half bad.

Kaylee blushed at the rest of the crew's surprised stares and her hand instinctively found its way to her belly as if that would be enough to cover it. Simon got up to pull out the chair for her.

- Simon, she exclaimed as she saw the black eye, then pointed her gaze at Mal. - You really had to hit him, capt'n?

- Felt it had it's justification, Mal stated calmly. - Knockin' you up an' then not finding the time to let me know 'bout it. When were the two of you thinkin' of lettin' us know? When the kid popped out?

- We was tryin' to find a way that wouldn't make you angry.

- Why should I be angry? Besides the fact that not only did my medic an' mechanic get into a shipboard romance, somethin' I don't stand for. But you obviously couldn't keep your hormones 'nuff in check to make precautions.

- Come on, Mal, Wash said calmly. - Shipboard romances isn't that bad, I mean... look at me and Zoe.

Mal shot him a look.

- Don' even get me started on you two. Need I remind you 'bout the spat you had not long ago? An' the one 'fore that, Mal spat out before turning back to Kaylee - An' on top of it, you don' even find time to tell me?

- You ain't my daddy, capt'n, Kaylee exclaimed. - It really ain't your business.

- I'm the one who pays your wage, so another addition makes one more mouth to feed, an' that makes it my business.

- Enough, River exclaimed. - Happy news...

- Maybe if you stopped dancin' round, you'd know what you were missin, capt'n, Kaylee said, eyes glistening from the tears she was trying her best to keep back, but failed to do.

Simon tried to comfort her, but she turned before he reached her and left for her room. He shot Mal a 'look what you've done' look and quickly followed her. He politely knocked on the hatch, wanting her permission before he entered.

- Go away, she called out.

- It's Simon.

There was no reply. He took this as a good sign.

- Can I come down?

Again the answer was silence. Following the wisdom of the one who's silent agrees, he took this to be his cue to come down. Kaylee was sitting on her bed, her cheeks had traces of salty tears down each side.

- Hey, he murmured, seating himself next to her, gently whiping away the wetness from her face.

She answered by burying her face in his neck and let him hold her.

- Don't mind him, Kaylee, he whispered, putting his hand over her belly. - He's just being captain meany, right now. He'll get over it soon. But whatever he thinks doesn't matter. As long as we do our jobs well he has no reason to mind anything about our relationship. Plus I have a feeling the minute he sees the baby he'll be as head over heals with it as I was when I found out.

A smile emerged from her tears. When Simon wasn't nervous he really had a way of saying the right things. He kissed her tears away, even bent down and placed one on her belly. She laughed.

- Feel better, he asked.

She nodded.

- Then lets get back up, I'm sure Inara wants to talk.

- Not so fast, Mal said, coming down the ladder. - I need to talk to lil' Kaylee alone first.

Simon gave Mal a cold stare, but Kaylee put her hand on his shoulder, as if to tell him to just go and leave her with him. Simon left, but not before giving her a kiss. Mal raised his brows and for a few seconds looked up towards the hatch where the doc had vanished. True he had pretty much figured out him and Kaylee were having a relationship, what with the swelling belly of hers, but it was still weird to see the first ever display of affection between the two.

- What you want, Kaylee asked, monotoned.

- Not you too, Mal groaned.

- What?

- Never mind. Look Kaylee, I'm sorry for everythin'. But I tried tellin' you over an' over again, I ain't no nice fella, like your doc, I'm a mean old man.

- Wouldn't be so mean if you jus' stopped bein' so darn stubborn.

He wasn't looking to talk about that. This dance he seemed to be having with Inara was confusing at its best and it would probably take a while until that was solved.

- Maybe I'm stubborn 'cause I'm mean, he suggested, bringing out a smile from her face.

- You can be a nice man, when you want, capt'n.

It wasn't quite the 'you are a nice man' speech she had given him earlier, but then again it hadn't been him who had caused her the pain back then. So concidering the ciscumstances he'd gotten far allready.

- In my defence I was only lookin' at yellin' at ya for not changin' the couplin's on time.

- Sorry 'bout that, capt'n, I was jus' beat.. wait, why's I apologizin'? You're the meanie...

- Capt'n meanie, at your service.

- No, you're not supposed to say that, I'm supposed to stay mad at ya.

- So I'm forgiven?

Kaylee rolled her eyes and sighed.

- So's that a niece or nephew in there?

- Dunno, capt'n. We haven't gotten 'round to checkin'. I think it's a boy, Simon thinks it's a girl. Not that it matters, 'course.

- So, is the baby kickin', he asked, reaching to place his hand on the belly.

She quickly smacked it away.

- Oh no you don't. You can't play the capt'n meanie card an' just think everythin's allright.

- B-but you just.., he objected and sighed. - What's the catch.

- You put Simon through cook duty, so you're doin' the dishes.

His eyes widened, the dishes had been building up the last couple of days and he had originally planned on putting the doc at it. Seeing the look on his face, Kaylee giggled.

- No dishes, no feelin' the baby kick.

- Meanie, Mal pouted.

The End