Yeeep. It was only a matter of time before I had to write out the sexy engine room scene. Because I am a giant sucker for Simon/Kaylee. They and Firefly/Serenity aren't mine.

For all the horror they've wrought, that operative and his underlings fix things up nice. It remains to be seen how much things everywhere will play out, but at least in regards to Serenity, every breach and puncture, every wound in her crew gets mended. Bit by bit they start to mend themselves, too.

As is her wont, Kaylee's been watching the repairs, making sure they don't muck anything up. The others hear her gentle chiding and they can't help but smile, though some days that's the closest they get to her. If she's not fixing their fixes direct, she's in her hammock zoning out; if not that, often she's similarly occupied in her bunk. It's just her way to hide a bit when she's in a mood. No use putting it on the others.

Almost a week has passed, and they're still a day or more from hitting sky again. They've settled into a holding pattern, a pretense of routine. A fragile peace, but it'll do for now.

Kaylee doesn't come to dinner, rare enough of itself, and she isn't in her room cuddled in her blankets and bedclothes when Simon goes to look in on her. The others frown on this, but he shakes his head; the whole lot of them wouldn't do to see to whatever mood she's in, but he's determined he might alone. River keeps them from following.

At the engine room (really, he ought to have looked there first) he knocks and pokes his head through the door. Sure enough Kaylee's there, clearly lost in thought, and she gets up so quick she almost sets her hammock to spinning.

"Mornin' – ah, evenin' – that is, hi," she stammers, disoriented and flushing.

"Hi," Simon says, gently smiling. He gives her a handful of strawberries, bundled in a handkerchief. One of the treats Mal seems to have wrangled. "You weren't at dinner."

She shrugs. "Weren't hungry."

"You should eat something," he tells her.

"Doctor's orders?" she asks, a hint of a smile appearing.

"Doctor's orders," he confirms with a wry chuckle. Kaylee takes the berries, then, nibbling at one.

"Xièxiè," she murmurs, sitting with her back against the engine casing and nodding for him to join if he's so inclined. He is, and impulsively he sits close, pulling her against him. It's a bit of a surprise, but one she's pleased with.

"Looks nice in here," he comments, glancing round. "Wouldn't've let them do anything that wouldn't sit well with her," Kaylee giggles.

"I'm sure you put all of their engineers to shame," Simon says matter-of-factly.

"Ain't gonna brag, but," she grins. It's her first real smile tonight, and it's infectious; Simon matches it without even trying.

They're quiet a while, the only sounds Kaylee's dainty munching and the engine's hum. She finishes off all the berries, and there's a pause before she lays her head against his shoulder. The delicate weight of her feels right, like puzzle pieces almost, a child's set of bocks. Like it was designed to fit.

Tentatively, Kaylee breaks the silence. "River's doin' good."

"She is," Simon agrees. "She's – that is we're both – I'm grateful to all of you for what you've done for her, for us." He shifts, their eyes meet (wǒ de mā, that's a surefire way to knock them both off their feet, staring into each other's eyes like that). "More than I could say."

Kaylee shakes her head. "Crew's a family, you stand by 'em."

"It still means a lot," Simon murmurs. "And – and I'm glad that we – that you're all right."

"Glad you are, too," Kaylee says softly. Her hand goes to the healed-up punctures on her neck anxiously, already a habit she's formed, and her eyes dart to Simon's own mended wound, then back to his face. She knows that look on a man's face, she doesn't wanna hope too hard, but – he's giving her that look. What else could it mean?

What she's suspecting is cleared up in moments, though. He softly asks, "Can I kiss you, Kaylee?"

She has to giggle. "You don't gotta ask," she tells him, eyes bright. That he did is sort of adorable, though.

Simon leans into her, nervous for a second. He knows that he needn't be, and tells himself to stop panicking. Their lips meet; the kiss begins slow and gentle. They're still reminding themselves this isn't imaginary.

But the hesitance soon melts away. Kaylee takes Simon's head in her hands, Simon snakes an arm round Kaylee's waist, their tongues are dancing. They've sat up, on their knees and holding each other tight, and she moves to slip her hands under his shirt. She traces over his muscles and, emboldened, he whispers in her ear, "Off with it." Then a pause and, worried it was too forward, he rushes to add, "If you want."

She doesn't even bother saying anything to that. Her devious little smirk and that she pulls the shirt over his head lightning-quick say what needs said better. Their lips lock again, but Simon breaks the kiss to exclaim, short of breath already, "The door."

"Gorram door," Kaylee mutters, jumping up to close it. Possessed by lustful impulse, Simon is behind her the moment the door slides shut, and (carefully, of course) he pins her to it, grinning as her eyes widen excitedly.

They're a mess of tangled limbs, then, hands everywhere on each other's bodies, legs entwining. She can feel his stiffness pressing into her thigh and, not content to let himself have all the fun rubbing against her, he moves to let his knee travel up her leg and push against her hard enough to make her moan. In response, she grinds against his knee as it rests there, as much to get her own self going as giving him a preview.

"I'm so stupid," Simon murmurs.

"Why's that?" Kaylee asks, a hint of worry in her voice.

"I've waited all this time," he laughs. "I've – I've taken far too long to have you."

To that, she just smiles and leans in for another kiss. "Shush," she tells him. "We're havin' each other now."

Simon laughs again, pulling her to another spot and looping his arm through the adjacent ladder's rungs to ground himself. Kaylee shrugs her top off, leaving just her flimsy camisole between them, and Simon's reaction is to run his hands over the freshly exposed skin, admiring the way she seems to glow. He plants kisses along her throat and collarbone in a soft, precise line. Her hands slip down to his near-perfect ass and around his hips to the front. He's throbbing against her, letting out a shuddery sigh, and off his look Kaylee unzips his trousers, pulling them partway down purposefully.

It makes him sink to the ground again; she follows, and before he lays her back he very slowly pulls off her camisole. Her nipples have pebbled, and almost experimentally he tweaks one. Sure enough, she gives a low, contented whine, congratulating herself on not bothering to wear a bra this morning. After all, every second counts. She helps him ease his pants the rest of the way off and leans back, lips parted. He yanks her pants off, too, planting kisses down her now-bare thigh. Their clothes are all but an indistinguishable mess on the floor.

"Mmm," Simon moans, kneading Kaylee's breast. In true Simon fashion, he breaks away and hurriedly roots around in the pocket of his discarded trousers, finding a rubber and rolling it on. (It will dawn on her later that this meant he planned for this to happen, that it wasn't just a moment of impulse.)

They hold tight to each other, and Simon enters her, slow and steady. It takes them a minute to find a rhythm, being unused to each other's bodies and both varyingly out of practice, but when they do find it, it's almost perfect.

"You're – you're amazing, Kaylee," he pants, kissing her deeply. She grins as they all but devour each other.

They lace their fingers together just as a jolt of pleasure runs through her body. "Wǒ de tiān a," she breathes. "Simon."

"Kaylee," he sighs. "My Kaylee."

A bold declaration. But a welcome, wonderful one.

They move together, hips thrusting. They've fallen in time with the engine, hearts beating as one, bodies tuned to the thrumming, and they moan and murmur together. As they go, they instinctively pick up speed, their kisses, the way they touch ranging from simple and sweet to ferocious. Simon brushes a hand down her body and finds her clit; she moans as he teases it, exactly the throaty, delighted sound he'd hoped for. (He actually takes the time to tend to her needs, not entirely unheard of in her experience but rare enough to warrant notice and praises.)

Getting another sound that thrills becomes a goal, and he shifts, stroking her, sucking at her nipples, everything she's seemed to like. "Jīngcǎi," she exclaims breathlessly, a voracious "ohh" punctuating.

Such things make Simon grin almost devilishly and put him close to the edge, to completion. It helps, too, when Kaylee presses him to her and kisses him hungrily, jaw and throat and mouth. Her breath is warm and sweet on his skin.

They're both trying to make it last, and when he does release he lets out a moan of his own. To say nothing of the, well, the tension he had surely needed tended to, he's fairly certain he can't remember the last time he felt so plainly happy. Kaylee is right along, too, clutching Simon's hand as she comes with a downright squeal.

Simon rolls off to one side, their fingers still twined together as they lay there panting. He gives her a squeeze as he murmurs, "Jīngcǎi is an understatement."

She giggles, her breath slowly returning to its normal rate. "Greatly agree," she says. Their hearts have sowed a bit but the engine still seems to keep time. When Kaylee turns her head and smiles drowsily at him, she's got an almost faraway look about her. He asks, "What are you thinking about?"

"Luckiness," she answers honestly. "That amongst it all, we got – well, more'n most can hope for."

"Oh, Kaylee," Simon says, almost a whisper. "We do. And I don't plan on getting in the way of it again."

"So you ain't gonna get proper an' shy on me tomorrow?" she teases, nudging him playfully.

He can sort of laugh at himself, and he's glad of it. (Next to nothing could ruin this moment, and he did sort of deserve that.) "Never," he assures her. "I'm as much yours as you want me."

"And I you," Kaylee returns, snuggling close to him. "S'pose good things do come t'those who wait, huh?"

"The best things."

xièxiè; "thank you"
wǒ de mā; "mother of god"
wǒ de tiān a
;more or less "oh my god"
jīngcǎi; "wonderful"