Disclaimer: Firefly and related terms and characters do not belong to me. Not for profit.

Notes: For Whedonland's Browncoat rewatch challenge fic, missing scene for "The Train Job", prompt "morals" and for 100_tales prompt "grey"

Summary: Simon realises he's no longer an innocent civilian on the side of good


"What are we doing?" Simon asked and Kaylee cheerfully told him, "Oh, crime."

Indignation leapt up but before he could express it, common sense squashed it out of him. He had no right to question them or their methods. He was a guest of sorts on this ship; sure, he'd paid his initial fare, but that money and the goodwill it brought was long gone. Mal had let him stay on account of his medical skills, or so the man said, but he didn't feel like one of the crew. In truth he'd been telling himself that this was temporary, that he wasn't like them, that one day it would all be over and he'd be back at his real job on a civilized planet.

The realization was dawning on him that this was increasingly unlikely a future he could look forward to.

He too, he had to accept, was a criminal. Wanted by the Alliance for something that was technically a crime, but would have been a morally worse act if he hadn't done it: to break his sister out of the Academy. He was called a kidnapper, when he had been her liberator, and she was considered vulnerable and unfit to make her own decisions, a state of affairs the government that sought her had brought about.

He thought about the casual violence Mal and Jayne demonstrated, and the loyalty Zoe showed her captain. He thought about Kaylee and how she wasn't any sort of evil, just smart and funny, and caring. He thought about Inara and wondered if the benefit she got from staying with the ship matched the one the crew gained from her respectability. He thought about Book and how the man of God had managed to make peace with his decision to stay onboard with this rabble of smugglers. He thought about Wash, who could surely have got a highly paid job flying Alliance cruisers but who preferred being here with Zoe, the love of his life.

He thought about River, damaged, but alive.

He wondered how long Mal would let them stay on board, and his real reasons for doing so.

Morals weren't set in stone, they were decided by society, and his current society was a different onr than that which he was used to. Simon knew he had to stop thinking in terms of black and white, right and wrong. Sometimes things were just morally grey, and he would have to accept that if he and River were to survive.