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Firefly: Arrival (Fanfiction)

Arrival

Series: Arrival
Word Count: ~ 2.000
Summary: River tilted her head curiously, staring at Simon. "Broken," she said and her hand patted his head awkwardly. "Broken little bird."
Characters: Simon Tam, Jayne Cobb, River Tam, Kaylee Fry
Pairing: Simon/OMC (hinted), Simon/Kaylee (past), Simon/Jayne (hinted)
Rating: PG-13
Setting: some time after the movie Serenity
Warnings: Language
Contains: Talk about prostitution, slash
Author's Note: My first Firefly fic! I'm weirdly proud. Written for queer_fest and the prompt Firefly, Simon. After years of denying to everyone that he's gay, Simon realizes--after things with Kaylee fall apart--that he actually is.
Beta: larsinger29 for the English version. pechfeder for the German one. Thank you!
Disclaimer: I’m not making money with this fanfic. The tv-show Firefly and the characters appearing within it belong to their producers and creators. Any similarities to living or dead persons are purely coincidental and not intended.

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Arrival Masterlist

***
***


It felt strange, like his head was swimming.

He didn't know what exactly was going on. His whole body just felt incredibly heavy, as if he'd been drinking too much. He was unable to move, unable to do more than stare at the door to this tiny, pathetic little room. The door that had fallen shut when the guy drugging him had left with his money.

This was probably what he deserved, Simon thought.

He could practically hear his father scolding him and his mother crying in a corner – ashamed of him. If they knew, they would be embarrassed, first and foremost. Their son, gifted and so, so promising … lying helpless on this rocky little planet just at the very edge of the known 'verse in a seedy little room of a brothel. After being drugged and robbed by a prostitute. A male prostitute.

If he could have, he would have laughed hysterically about the irony that Jayne Cobb of all people had been right in the end. "That's why I never kiss 'em on the mouth."

'Stupid Simon,' he thought to himself in his sister's voice. 'Kissing him. Letting your guard down. And now it feels like he didn't just use something to make you fall asleep …' He became aware of his chest tightening, breaths becoming harder to draw … darkness started to encroach and rob him of his eyesight, ever so slowly dimming his line of vision until here was nothing but darkness and the sound of his own slowing heartbeat. 'He poisoned you. You'll die. The best trauma surgeon on Osiris … and you die a crook.'

There was a click.

The sound of steps and a curse in a rough deep voice.

Then nothing.

***

Waking up was a painful chore.

There was a steady hum, familiar and calming, around him.

Serenity.

He hurt all over, a strange, tingling ache. Breathing was easier, though. His eyelids felt heavy, but he managed to open them.

His blurred vision showed him his quarters before someone leaned in close enough for their noses to touch. River tilted her head curiously, staring at him. "Broken," she said and her hand patted his head awkwardly. "Broken little bird."

He tried to answer, to reassure her, but he only managed a groan. A shiver went through him even though he felt hot and he recognized the signs of a fever.

River's eyes suddenly went wide and – as if telling him a secret – she leaned in closer and whispered, ”Zoe got me new boots … and sweets.” She grinned widely, looking all of five years old and it was almost easy to forget that she'd survived a room packed with Reavers. Then she became serious, her blue eyes clouding over, a pout forming. "How can you fix me if you're broken yourself?"

Simon tried to answer, but darkness claimed him again.

***

"You're gonna be fine," Kaylee said when he woke up the next time, looking at him with the same sad, resigned expression she wore around him ever since he'd broken up with her. "Cap'n got a doctor from town in. Lucky for you she knew the poison and had an antidote." Her face gave away that she knew exactly how this had happened.

He felt ashamed, like a liar. Like he'd entered their relationship under false pretenses … and he had, really. ”I'm sorry," he said. His voice sounded hoarse. But all in all, he felt better.

”It's okay, I guess," Kaylee answered. "Just never woulda figured someone as proper as you'd go out and pay a woman to get some."

He frowned in confusion and opened his mouth to answer.

Kaylee, though, interrupted him, "Jayne told us."

Simon stared at her, for a moment lost for words. Finally, he asked, "He did?"

"Rescued you, so to say." Kaylee gave a small smile and Simon realized again how gorgeous she really was. "Damsel in distress, that's what you are."

Simon cracked a smile himself. "That would make Jayne my knight in shining armor and that's too scary to even consider."

Kaylee laughed and Simon felt sad, all of a sudden, that things had ended. Kaylee hadn't been perfect for him, not at first glance, that was for sure but she'd been the most real relationship he'd ever had. Problem was ... it was platonic for him and not for her. He'd had to end it. It had been the sensible thing to do.

Kaylee deserved better.

***

Simon stood before the door for a long time, undecided. He wasn't sure if he should knock. Not sure at all. But he also felt silly for just standing here.

In the end, he didn't have the courage to knock.

Promising himself to do this tomorrow, he was just turning back to head for his quarters, when the door opened and Jayne climbed up the ladder. When he saw Simon on the walkway above him, though, he paused and frowned mistrustfully. ”What'cha want?”

”I ...” He paused, uncertain, and then asked, ”Could we talk for a minute?”

”Talk?”

”Inside,” Simon added, nodding vaguely towards Jayne's quarters.

”Don't want'cha down there.”

Simon licked his lips and swallowed, rubbing the sweaty palms of his hands on his trousers. Even though he tried never to admit it, Jayne scared him on some level. When he wasn't in in control of the situation, like he could be in his infirmary, but wholly on Jayne's terrain, he became insecure. And why wouldn't he? Jayne was huge, brutish and unpredictable. He took a deep breath, calming his nerves a bit. ”Please?”

Jayne rolled his eyes. ”Fine.” He climbed back down and Simon nodded to himself before he followed him.

Simon had never really been in Jayne's quarters before. He doubted anyone had ever been, aside from Mal maybe. He crossed his arms when he reached the foot of the ladder, feeling entirely out of his depth now that he was alone in this tiny room with Jayne. Not offering Simon a seat, Jayne dropped on his bunk. ”So?”

”I wanted to thank you,” Simon answered. ”For not telling them.”

”What?”

Simon swallowed. ”Where you found me.”

”I told 'em. In a brothel. 's not my fault they assumed it was with a girl.”

”Then I need to thank you for not correcting them.”

Jayne avoided his eyes and started to flex his fingers, watching them move.

”And ...,” Simon continued. ”I need to thank you for … rescuing me in the first place.”

Gruffly, Jayne answered, ”Your crazy sister woulda had my head if I hadn't.”

Simon couldn't suppress a slight smile. There weren't many things Jayne was afraid of. River was certainly top of the list. But he wasn't done yet, no matter how uncomfortable Jayne seemed to be right this moment. No matter how uncomfortable Simon felt. ”You could have lied. Told them you didn't know where I was and left me there.”

”She can read minds, you know?" Jayne answered. Simon's smile brightened. Jayne cleared his throat and sniffed. ”Anything else?”

”No. I guess … I guess that's it.” Relief caused him to relax a bit.

”Then get outta here.”

Simon nodded hastily and turned to the ladder.

Suddenly, though, Jayne said, ”It's interesting. How you first thank me for not telling anyone and then for getting your sorry ass outta there.”

Simon paused with his hands on the ladder, staring at the wall. He turned back and gave an embarrassed smile. ”I guess I need to straighten out my priorities.”

”You're so gorram straightened out you'd snap if you got any straighter. I knew from day one that you're queer, too obvious. And yet you go on and start things up with a girl as shiny as Kaylee who's too blind to see that you've been looking at the Cap'n all the while.”

Simon stared at Jayne, amazed because he had probably never heard Jayne say that much at once. Especially to him. And even more awestruck at what Jayne had said. ”That's … amazing perceptive talent you're showing there.”

”The question is why someone like you - rich and successful and pretty – would just live like that. I bet your daddy never knew, did he?”

”It's not that easy.”

”Is it ever with you core-bred idiots?”

”It's not … considered as proper.” Even to his own ears, that sounded weak.

Jayne laughed and got up. ”Proper?” he echoed mockingly.

Simon ducked his head.

”Yes, you're so proper, doc. And I bet'cha don't even know why you bother anymore. Even your sister fits in better around here than you do and she's crazy.”

Simon couldn't help but think that that was true. And it hurt that, even after all this time, he still stuck out like a sore thumb among the crew.

”I think it's time you start losing that attitude of yours and live like a man and not like the whimp of a son your father wants you to be. 'Cause we both know that there's no way you're going back home anytime soon.”

Simon swallowed. ”I don't want to,” he admitted before he realized who he was talking to. Making himself vulnerable to Jayne certainly wasn't a good idea, but it was too late, anyway. ”Go home, I mean. Not anymore.” It was the first time he'd said it out loud, the first time he'd admitted to anyone that Serenity was more than a temporal solution. He looked straight into Jayne's eyes. ”I want to stay.”

”Then act like it.”

Simon stared at Jayne for a long moment, then he narrowed his eyes. ”Why were you there, in the brothel? How did you find me?”

Jayne shrugged. ”Got a guy there I see whenever we're around. He's a bit expensive but worth it. And we were watching you when you walked in.”

Simon blushed. He must have looked like an idiot, nervous and insecure and grateful when he was approached by one of the prostitutes instead of choosing one himself.

”You kissed him,” Jayne said with a grin bordering on a sneer. ”On the mouth. You weren't even in his room yet and already, you were screwing it up.”

”I can't do it without ...” Simon hesitated, feeling silly to say this to Jayne of all people. ”I can't do it like it's just …”

”Then you need a boyfriend, not a prostitute. Can't trust them.”

”Do you kiss him? The guy you're seeing?”

”No.”

”Even though you know him ...”

”He's a hustler. You want them to pretend they love you? Look for a companion.”

Simon nodded slowly. ”Anyway ... thank you.” He was almost sad to realize that he would probably never have this honest a talk with Jayne again. He was surprisingly ... normal, really. He wondered why he'd never realized before.

Jayne rolled his eyes and stretched out on his bunk. Simon was almost up the ladder when Jayne said, ”By the way, I wouldn't say no.”

Simon paused on the ladder and turned back to him. He frowned in confusion. Jayne shifted his hips and Simon blushed, his fingers tightening around the rungs. ”You don't even like me.”

”Won't buy ya flowers anytime soon,” Jayne replied with a leer. ”But at least you could kiss me.”

"I … don't think so.” The idea was absurd. Quickly, he climbed up the rest of the ladder and left the quarters and a laughing Jayne behind.

He startled when he saw River already waiting for him in the corridor. She was smiling. ”I think we can fix you,” she said, rocking on the balls of her feet.

Simon looked at her for a long moment, then he returned her smile hesitantly. ”Maybe.”

”So you can fix me.”

The words hurt, somewhere deep within and it took all his strength to keep the smile on his face. He embraced her gently. ”There's no need to fix you, mei-mei.” He brushed her hair out of her forehead and looked into her eyes. ”You're perfect.”

She grinned. "You, too, stupid."


END
06/13


To Make Him Stop
Arrival Masterlist


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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
mcparrot
Jun. 16th, 2013 12:22 pm (UTC)
That was fabulous. Oh please write more Firefly. You had the characterisation just perfect. I could hear Simon's voice and then Jayne in my head.

And hmmmm, not a pairing I'd considered in the past, but if you wanted to write it, I'd definitely read it. In fact, I'm really hoping you will.

And haaa, wondering just who that prostitute was, seeing as I recognised his methods.
jolinarjackson
Jun. 18th, 2013 05:19 am (UTC)
Thank you. I don't know if I'll write more, but it's definitely an interesting pairing.

I didn't make that prostitute connection! I was thinking about Mal's wife and her methods, but you're right. :D
larsinger29
Jun. 17th, 2013 03:16 am (UTC)
I didn't even pick up on that connection until the comment from Mcparrot, but ohmygod do I love you for that! Ha! Hart would soooooooo do that, the bastard. ::grins evilly::

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading this (again), even if I wasn't overly familiar with the characters! The storyline in this was very engaging and easy to follow, yet still laced with plenty of complexities that gave the reader something to think about and mull over. And I love how you had such a gruff person as Jayne being the voice of reason and encouragement (in his own way) to someone as reluctant and scared as Simon. It really was a fascinating exchange between the two of them, and so full of honesty and what it can reward you with.

Wonderful job on this! I really, really enjoyed reading it.
jolinarjackson
Jun. 18th, 2013 05:21 am (UTC)
Thank you. :)
katwillow
Jun. 24th, 2013 03:35 am (UTC)
Oh, well done. Looking forward to more.
jolinarjackson
Jun. 24th, 2013 07:06 am (UTC)
Thanks. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )