The Lonely Nights

By Andie O'Neill

Fandom: Firefly/Serenity

Rating: PG/K+

Genre: Romance

Pairing: Malcolm/Simon, (Mention) Malcolm/Inara, (Mention) Simon/Kaylee, (One-sided) Kaylee/Inara

Warning: Slash

Summary: Malcolm and Simon don't want to be alone anymore.

A/N: I've never written for Firefly before, but I thought I'd give it a shot just for fun. I've always loved the show and movie (watched it from the very beginning) and somehow the plot bunnies decided they wanted Firefly fic. :shrugs: It's a pretty short fic. Hope you guys like it!

Disclaimer: I don't own a thing.

Simon Tam liked the quiet. He liked the peace that surrounded him at night when everyone else was asleep and he could simply relax and think without being caged in his quarters. So much had happened in the past month between the people now gone… friends killed off by the Alliance, and their close call with the Reavers. He wasn't quite sure what to make of it all, even after so much time had gone by. They were back to business as usual on the Serenity, but Simon didn't feel the same. His sister River was doing better, off on her own. They'd lost Wash, but the ache was slowly dulling as time went by. Inara was still on board, but Simon wasn't sure for how much longer, and out of everyone it seemed Jayne was the only one who seemed unaffected. They did their odd jobs, got paid, kept on flying. Some things had changed, but others stayed the same.

"Kinda late… didn't figure you for a night owl."

Simon turned to see their captain, Malcolm Reynolds walk down the catwalk and come to a stop beside him. He copied Simon's stance, leaning against the railing to look down at their cargo. It was just a few boxes… not much to look at. "Got a lot on my mind I guess."

Malcolm cocked his head, looking at Simon as if he were a puzzle to figure out. Since their face off with the Alliance the Captain had changed… was more open with the crew than ever before. He also seemed just a bit more protective. Simon guessed he was just trying to keep alive the friends he had left. They'd lost a lot in that fight and they were still licking their wounds. Death changed things. Hell, Mal was even starting to bond with River. He'd been teaching her how to fly. "Don't tell me you're thinkin' of leavin' too now that you're a free man. Kaylee will be awfully square to see you run off."

Simon smiled. "I doubt it," he muttered. He had no plans of leaving the ship. River was happy, and frankly, so was he. Serenity felt like home somehow.

"Thought you two were joined at the hip these days."

Simon shook his head sadly. "She's an amazing girl, but we were never really meant to be. All that tension… fizzled I guess. Or maybe we just weren't compatible to begin with. I'm not really sure what happened. We decided to stay friends. It's better that way. What about you and Inara? Is she still leaving?" he asked. He couldn't help but feel curious about the Captain and Inara. Their relationship seemed so complicated, more than it had to be, but on some level Simon couldn't help hoping nothing had changed. His relationship with Kaylee had faded around the same time he realized how he felt about Captain Reynolds. Kaylee had been nothing but supportive, admitting to having a bit of a crush herself, though she hadn't mentioned a name. With all the time Kaylee spent with Inara he hadn't needed one.

Mal took a deep breath, looking out at the cargo for a moment, his gaze distant as if he were daydreaming. "She's got her own life to lead, and it don't include me. She's a companion. I'm a captain. We're from two different worlds… the kind that just don't mix."

For a moment both men were silent and suddenly Simon had never felt so alone. Was this what his life was reduced to? He'd spent so much of his time focused on River; he hadn't had time for anything else. She was doing better now, and for once Simon could think about himself… about what he wanted, and he'd been surprised to realize he was drawing a blank. He'd always had a bit of a one track mind. He'd wanted to be a Doctor, and that was all he'd thought about. When River had gone missing he'd been so focused on finding her, protecting her that nothing else had mattered. He was a Doctor on a ship, and his sister was safe. So what the hell was he supposed to do now? It wasn't until after he and Kaylee had decided to 'just be friends' that he realized how lonely his bed was without someone to share it with. It got so bad sometimes he often couldn't sleep… just tossed and turned. "It must get lonely," he found himself whispering. "You lead this crew, and we follow, but there's no one to stand beside you… keep your bed warm at night."

Simon had expected Malcolm to be angry somehow, offended by his words. He certainly wasn't expecting him to let out a small laugh. "Don't see you enjoyin' the pleasant company of a bed fellow either. What's your excuse? At least Jayne and the others can get their jollies between jobs… go out for some drinks and a little more each time we land."

Simon smiled. "I've never really had any one night stands."

"Now why doesn't that surprise me any?"

The Doctor rolled his eyes. "Well we can't all be masters of seduction like you so obviously are," he said, resisting the urge to huff.

Mal turned to face Simon, his eyes growing darker somehow and the Doctor could feel his gaze as if it were burning a hole in the side of his head. "It's all in the eyes," he whispered, and Simon felt a shiver run down his spin.

He felt almost breathless as he turned, realizing for the first time just how close the Captain was. "I'll… keep that in mind." Tonight was as good a time as any to practice, and he stared back at the Captain, meeting Malcolm's gaze. He wasn't sure who kissed who, but it hadn't much mattered when Simon felt Mal's lips against his, hard and passionate the way he'd always guessed they would be. It deepened almost immediately and Simon moaned as he opened his mouth, tongues moving together in a dance as old as time. Neither seemed willing to end the kiss, but it soon became apparent that air was more important.

"You're a quick study," Malcolm told him in amusement when he finally pulled away, his lips grazing Simon's as he spoke.

Simon let his forehead rest against Mal's, taking a moment to catch his breath. "Always have been. You'd be surprised the things I've learned over the years. Wonderful things."

Malcolm kissed him once more, briefly. "Well, seein' as how we appear to be two men without any bed fellows in which to warm our beds… I say you give me a demonstration." Malcolm pulled away from Simon, walking backwards for a moment before he headed towards his quarters. Simon needed no further encouragement to follow. He was getting mighty tired of lonely nights. Besides… he was a member of Mal's crew, and what else did a crew do but follow it's Captain?

The End