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14 February 2006 @ 10:15 pm
for ninamazing  
Title: Memories
Author: lostdreamer56
Rating: PG
Pairing: Simon/Kaylee
Inspiration: An Affair to Remember
Chinese: Wu de ma - "mother of god"

Wuh de ma,” Kaylee whispered. She could not believe the sight in front of her. This, this man could not be Simon Tam; it just could not be him.

“Kaylee?” he asked, his voice an impossible mixture of pain and hope. “Is it really you?”

Kaylee blinked back a few tears; this crumpled man in the seat by the window was hardly the man she remembered leaving on Ariel so many years before. “Simon, what happened to you?” she asked, her voice shaking.

Simon chuckled bitterly; Kaylee heard the ache in his voice, and she wanted nothing more than to soothe it all away. “Remember that day we were to meet on Ariel, in the park?” he asked slowly, turning from the window to look at her.

We almost there, Cap?” Kaylee asked Mal for the tenth time that morning. She saw the pinched look in Mal’s eyes, but she could not bring herself to stop asking. She was going to see Simon for the first time in months!

“Yes, little Kaylee, we’re almost there,” Mal replied, humoring her with a twisted scowl that Kaylee knew masked a tiny smile.

Kaylee skipped off to check her hair and make-up one last time. She wanted to be as pretty as the fancy ladies Simon must see every day on Ariel. She cornered Zoe and asked, “Do you he’ll like it?” she asked nervously, chewing at her bottom lip as Zoe surveyed her fluffy pink dress.

“He’ll love it, Kaylee,” Zoe assured her with a serene smile and wink. “Now, go out there and find your man.” Kaylee hugged Zoe tight before going to check with the Captain it was okay for her to depart.

With Mal’s permission (and a “tell the doc hello from us”), Kaylee went on her merry way. She danced across the crowded streets of the central plaza of Ariel; on most days, the shiny trinkets lining the parkway would catch Kaylee’s eye. Not that day, however, all she saw of the shops was a blur of color. With one thing in mind, Kaylee saw nothing else other than the promise of Simon’s face.

The park was exactly where Simon promised it would be, and Kaylee quickly navigated the winding paths to the special nook Simon had described to her. “It’s beautiful there, Kaylee,” he had said. “It’s a private piece of a large public garden; like a little slice of afterworld right here on a Central Planet.”

Kaylee sighed contentedly, sitting down the marble bench and smiled up at the sky. The sound of birds, water and happy people filled Kaylee with joy she rarely felt. Kaylee loved the sky, and Serenity, but part of her heart yearned for a small place in the ‘verse to call home. Maybe it could be here on Ariel, with Simon.

Hours past and Kaylee became worried; it was not at all like Simon for him to be late. She often teased him that she thought he might be allergic to late or fun since it took so much to convince him to loosen up sometimes.

Night fell before Kaylee finally gave up hope. The bright lights that lit the paths back out of the garden did not sparkle and shine like Kaylee expected they were meant to; instead, they caught things in harsh light and dark shadow. Nothing seemed bright and bubbly now that Simon did not show.

Kaylee wondered if he had met a bright, funny nurse that stole his heart away. The smart, independent girl that she was sure he wanted more than he could ever possibly want some kooky ship mechanic. Tears suddenly formed in her eyes when she was struck with the thought that he had been pretending the whole time, leading her along like a starving puppy, and now she was the source of jokes and amusement for all his sophisticated friends.

Kaylee returned to Serenity that nigh, face streaked with tears and make-up. She made it three steps into the cargo bay before she caught sight of the infirmary and sped off to her room to cry herself to sleep. No one asked what happened that day for a long time, and when Zoe finally did ask, Kaylee cried again as she recounted what had (not) transpired.

Kaylee closed off her heart, held everyone that she did not love before out. She left her heart back on Ariel, she was sure; with the foolish hope that Simon Tam might find it and nurture it back to health.

Kaylee nodded pulling herself away from the heart breaking memory of that day. “Of course! We were gonna go and visit the flower garden. I was so excited since I hadn’t see ya since you left Serenity a few months before, and then you didn’t show…” Kaylee broke off her thought; the rest of it was too painful to contemplate.

“I know I didn’t show,” Simon whispered from the window where he sat perched the entire time. “I’m so sorry, Kaylee. So, sorry.” Tears slipped down his face, and Kaylee closed the distance between them, ignoring the rational thoughts of you’ll only be hurt again, in favor of the romantic notion of maybe he does love me.

“Simon, what’s wrong?” she asked, kneeling before him, taking his hands in hers. “Why did you not come that day?”

Simon looked away. “It doesn’t matter now,” Simon argued, a painful ache coloring his voice. “Doesn’t matter now,” he muttered so softly Kaylee hardly caught it.

“Yes, it does!” she insisted. “There must have been a reason. I know you, Simon; you don’t just duck out on your responsibilities; not a prim and proper gentleman like you, no sirree.”

He turned back to face her, and she saw so many emotions conflict across his furrowed brow. “There was an accident on my way,” he finally admitted. “I was hit, a hover craft ran right into my legs. There was nothing I could do; they were damaged beyond repair.” Hot tears fell onto their interlocked hands, and Kaylee realized for the first time she was crying. Simon directly her to his leg, pressing her hand to the firm steel beneath the clothing and blanket. “I couldn’t get word to you,” Simon said despondently. “I tried to find someone, anyone to listen to me, but they wouldn’t! They thought I was crazy, making it all up. I never tried to find you because I knew you must hate me for what I did to you. I never thought I’d have the chance to explain to you that I intended to propose that day. That the only person I’ve ever loved is you.”

Kaylee looked into the eyes of the man she had always wanted to hate, despise, blame, but she had never been able to do so because he always held her heart. “You have no idea how much I wanted to hate you,” Kaylee confessed in the same hushed tones. “But I couldn’t; I just couldn’t. Now that I know, I’m so happy I wasn’t. I just couldn’t believe that you’d do that to anyone.”

Simon laughed wetly and leaned forward, pressing a gentle kiss on her lips. “I could never hurt you, never,” he whispered, gently holding her face in his hand. “If you’ll still have me, I’d like to marry you, Kaylee.”

For a long moment, she sat in shock; then Kaylee squealed in delight and hugged Simon real tight. “Of course, I’ll marry you, Simon! Now, let’s get on with the kissing.”

Simon laughed, and she grinned sheepishly, but leaned across to kiss him properly this time, none of this gentle stuff; she wanted some real lovin’ to start the rest of their life together.
ninamazing on February 15th, 2006 06:51 am (UTC)
SO SO CUTE. And angsty. I so enjoy the angst. And so cool and original and unexpected.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lostdreamer56 on February 24th, 2006 12:47 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you liked it! I was worried that it would be too angsty and I've never really written a strictly Kaylee/Simon fic before, so I'm glad you enjoyed it.