Rating: Hard R/NC17

Pairing: Mal/Simon

Disclaimer: Joss owns all. He is God after all. I'm just playing, and I'll give them back as I found them when I'm done.

Feedback: Would be shiny. Con-crit is much appreciated.

Word Prompt: Storm

It was cold. Far too cold for Mal's liking as he stood on the edge of the walk way to his ship. The crew had gone planet-side early on in the day, and he'd stayed behind to finish his paper work, which he hated, and to think a little while on the way things were on his boat since the doctor and his sister had come aboard at Persephone all those months ago.

He thought about the way the doc ground his nerves at first, with his bossy, to-do and downright uppity attitude after that first incident where little Kaylee had been shot. Weeks after that still, when the younger man would strut through Mal's boat with utter nonchalance. Months after that when the struts had become more of a bouncy step, and the uppity attitude seemed only a resolve to be as perfect as he could be and to do his job. To be professional. Truth told, the pet peeves that had gotten to Mal so much in the past all seemed trivial on reflection. in fact, Mal kind of liked the quirks that the young man had; it gave him more substance, made him more of a character, and Mal found himself liking the doc more and more as months had passed by. So much so that he'd found himself indulging in a fantasy or few about the man; fantasies that he was working up to playing out in reality. Eventually.

It was because of that that the Captain was standing on the edge of the walk way, looking out into the cold dark of night, worry riddled on his features, desperately hoping that Simon would walk up to the ship any moment now. The fact that the rest of the crew had been happily back on board and none of them, even River, knew where the young doctor was, just made the fact that Simon was missing that more disconcerting.

It was cold. Far too cold and Simon was lost. He had no idea where he was or how he'd ended up there. All he knew was how stupid he felt for running when he'd seen the Alliance in the town, how he'd over-reacted to their presence and how he was now regretting it. Really regretting it. He pulled his coat further in to himself trying to gain some shelter from the attacking wind, and he shuddered as he thought about his now home, Serenity. About how he may never see it again, may never get the chance to make a life there with River, and the rest of the crew. Even Jayne. But especially Mal.

He'd not taken too well to the Captain when he'd first taken passage on the ship. He guessed that the fact he'd been the cause of Kaylee's bullet wound, as well as threatening to let her die, the death of a Federal Agent and also that he and his sister had been wanted by the law hadn't helped much to make him liked by the Captain either. But maybe they'd both been misled by first impressions. Simon realised he had, at least. At first he'd thought that Mal had been in league with Alliance forces, until he'd been punched in the face that was. Then, over the weeks that followed he'd seen Mal's devotion and loyalty to his crew, and it shocked him somewhat to realise that Mal just seemed harsh and distant because that was how he was. Months later, when the verbal abuse became verbal banter, when smiles became laughter and when Mal's demeanour was recognised as simply Mal's resolve to run his ship well and keep everybody alive, Simon realised he actually liked the man. If he was perfectly honest, he more than liked the man, and was on a slippery slope to somewhere that he didn't want to put a name to, because it was all just fantasy. And damn had he fantasised. Fantasised enough that he'd even considered trying out the reality. Eventually.

Simon was so lost in thought, that he hadn't noticed the rain pelting down and drenching him until a flash streaked across the sky, lighting up the black. The crack of thunder that followed made him jump, and he walked faster in an attempt to find anywhere that looked familiar. There wasn't much light, but he spotted an empty door way in what looked like a run down shop and ran into it, leaning against the frame, watching the Storm as it began it's war against the peace of the sky, hoping that it would die down sooner rather than later so he could keep trying to find his way home. Home to Serenity. Home to River. And Mal.

Zoe watched from the balcony as Mal charged up the walk way, through the cargo bay and took the steel steps two at a time. She looked on as he pocketed some ammo, hauled his coat up and on, and checked his gun, then with a snap of his wrist placed it neatly in his holster.

"Sir?"

He met her questioning glare with a steady one. "Zoe." He nodded.

"Beggin' your pardon, Captain. But where is it you're goin'?"

Mal headed back down to the walk way briskly, and didn't turn around when he answered.

"I'm gonna go find me a doctor."