Pretty much post-BDM. Pre-their sexy sex scene, though. Joss is boss, ergo this is not mine.
It's with a timid knock that Simon comes into her room, scaling the ladder and hovering in the doorway as he announces his presence. "K-Kaylee? Ah… promised I'd check back, see how you're healing up."
She's sitting on her bed, a tiny box of chocolates in hand, tinny music piping faintly through her speaker, and she turns and gives him a smile. "Right, 'course," she nods, pulling her hair back. The small wounds from those poison darts are all but pinpricks, hardly noticeable to anyone who wasn't looking for them. "Your diagnosis?" It's said playfully; somewhat teasing him that he was forever using medical reasons to initiate any sort of contact.
"It's doing very well," he assures her. "You aren't feeling any side effects…?" He'd given her the list of possible ones when first she was treated, and she'd been over it with him multiple times since then. It's that sort of over-attentiveness that endears him to her, even if she wishes it would take other forms sometimes.
"Huh-uh," she shakes her head. "Not a one." She looks down at the box she's holding, then looks back at him, flushing. "Aw, where's my manners?" she asks, almost parodying. "You want any sweets, Simon?"
Instead of telling her what he really wants (to eat those sweets from off parts of her naked body) he simply nods, letting out a choked-sounding "Yes" and making her grin. He's glad at least one of them can find his awkwardness occasionally charming.
She hands him a chocolate, gazing up at him from under her eyelashes. (It's one of Inara's flirtation tricks; she can't help but plagiarize it.) He bites into it. "Gotta treat myself sometimes, y'know," she shrugs by way of explanation, indicating the box.
He wants to treat her to something, though exactly what escapes his mind. Likely because he's not in much a position to. "There's nothing wrong with candies and sweets, in moderation, of course," he says, involuntarily sounding like he's reciting from the nutrition textbook he once studied in MedAcad.
"S'my only real weakness," Kaylee shoots back, finding being on the defensive is her first reaction when he gets this way. "Like y'don't gotta weakness what ain't good for ya?"
She's his weakness, but he feels it would be – well, not only a bit forward, but sappy to say so. He shrugs his shoulders weakly. "Suppose that everyone does," he says.
He's still standing uncomfortably in the entrance, and Kaylee pats the spot beside her on the bed, her smile designed to show him that it's meant in a purely friendly way (unless he should want it another way, of course). "C'mere, promise I ain't gonna bite or nothin'."
They haven't yet worked up the nerve to acknowledge Simon's heat-of-battle confession, though it's been weighing on both of their minds heavily. It's been a few days, and they've both been so wrapped up in fixing Serenity and her crew that this is the first moment they've really had. And Simon means to make it count.
Sitting at the end of her bed, he leans back against it, affecting a casual posture (he figures it's likely a bad sign that he has to calculate just being casual) and glancing around Kaylee's small bunk. He sees that ruffly pink dress hanging on her wall and suddenly he has a plan. "You know – it wasn't the time to tell you, really, considering the imminent danger at hand, but – but I thought that dress was beautiful on you," he murmurs.
The compliment makes her turn almost as pink as the dress itself. "Yeah?" She lowers her voice before admitting, "Was sorta hopin' you might," smiling sheepishly. It oughtn't come as a surprise, she thinks.
"I wish I could have danced with you that night," he confesses, locking eyes with her. She finds this refreshing, compared to his usual way of looking away any time the conversation begins to have the potential to be intimate.
She just beams at him, the chocolates all but forgotten. Her speaker is still playing a nondescript waltz, and impulsively he turns it up, rising from the bed and offering her a hand. "Allow me to make it up?"
Kaylee takes his hand, feeling her heartbeat speed up predictably. He bows to her – ever proper – and she fakes a curtsy, tugging on her coveralls awkwardly and wishing she had a chance to put on the dress in question; if nothing else, it makes her feel pretty.
He arranges them into the proper position for a waltz, then blushingly admits, "I'm not actually very skilled with dancing."
"Naw, I'm shocked," she teases, bumping his shoulder with hers so he knows it's meant in fun.
"Whatever prowess with it there was to go around must have ended up all with River," he shrugs, still a bit red.
"I don't know much 'bout it either, promise I ain't gonna judge ya," Kaylee assures him, smiling encouragingly.
With that, Simon places one hand on her waist and the other wrapped around one of hers, and she loops her arm around him, her skin feeling altogether warm. He begins to spin her around the small rectangle of available floor, hesitantly at first, then more confident as they continue.
"Can't say I much danced that night, anyway," Kaylee tells him, finding light conversation somehow easier to handle than the slightly tense wordlessness that surrounded them as they began dancing. "Weren't asked, really – got too busy talkin' engines an' the like, too."
Simon shakes his head, chuckling. "All of them who didn't ask are fools, I'd say," he tells her, his tone then turning more serious as he adds, "But that's part of why you're lovely, Kaylee."
She looks up at him, eager to soak up any compliments he may offer. "What ya mean?"
"You can outshine most any girl when it comes to beauty, and unlike many of those other girls your personality still comes through clear as day," he tells her, instinctively drawing her a bit closer to him. She adjusts accordingly, brushing her fingertips along his back as she shifts – such a simple movement, and it makes him shiver.
"Oh, plenty of 'em let their true colors show," Kaylee remarks, a very uncharacteristic caustic tone sneaking into her voice. "Made it very clear what sorta person they were."
Simon frowns, now, canting his head to the side for a moment as he twirls her. "What do you mean?"
"All sortsa snooty, beautiful Core girls, all talkin' down to ev'ryone 'round 'em," she clarifies. Her voice drops, bashful all of a sudden. "S'pose like them I get 'fraid you've been with," she says, almost in a whisper, rushing her words. It's an embarrassing confession to make, but she can't help herself.
"You don't need to worry about that," he replies, bringing her a bit closer. She lays her head against his shoulder, and he tries to resist the urge to stroke her hair. He settles instead for giving her hand a gentle squeeze. "I've never liked those sorts of girls. They're – well, they're disingenuous."
"—So, it don't bother you I don't exac'ly belong with all them society folk," Kaylee halfway asks, chewing her lip; for once, she's avoiding his eyes, instead of the other way around. "Can't help but wonder 'bout such things, I guess."
Simon executes what's likely the most intricate spin he's capable of, making Kaylee beam. "That doesn't worry me, no," he murmurs. "I like you for who you are, exactly who you are. Putting on airs wouldn't suit you."
Kaylee cuddles up against him as they continue to dance, slowing their pace considerably as the song changes. It's fitting, though. "Awful sweet of ya, Doctor Tam," she replies, still grinning like an idiot. It comes out almost a purr.
"The fact is – I should have said it long ago, Kaylee, but – you're the best thing about this life I stumbled into," he says into her ear, their feet still moving in sync. "I'd be a fool not to make sure you knew, after everything that's gone on."
Kaylee's even more flushed, now, and she tips her head towards his expectantly. Everything she's fantasized about is finally about to come true, and she's altogether too giddy about it. Obligingly, Simon pauses their dance, taking her face in his hands and kissing her, sweetly. She parts his lips with her tongue, deepening the kiss instinctually.
"Stop me if I'm goin' too quick," she forces herself to say.
"Aren't we making up for lost time?" he asks, with a little smirk. "It's going just fine. More than fine, really." It's a cue for him to kiss her again, and she sighs happily.
It's better than a fairytale, she thinks. It's real. After all this time.