Title: Loud & Clear
Author: Nora [remember_nomore]
Prompt: 67 - Choices [Table 2]
Word Count: 1503
Big Damn Table: [here]
Beta: My wonderful Meg *mwah*
Kaylee Speak Check: Courtnay who’s my expert.
It was late and I couldn’t sleep; not that I haven’t tried or nothin. But every time I did I just saw his face lyin’ there in the crate, his mamma’s cryin’ echoed in my ears.
Slippin’ slowly outta bed, I pulled on a T-shirt and a pair of my comfy jeans; it was one of the things my mamma gave me before I took off on Serenity all that time ago. Not botherin’ with shoes I headed up towards the place I felt safest – the engine room. Don’t know what it is ‘bout me and machines but Serenity seems to know just how to soothe me, she’s gifted like that I reckon.
I climbed into my hammock and leaned my head back, closin’ my eyes and wishin’ that this entire day was nothin’ but a dream. But it wasn’t, it was hard reality and I should know by now that it always finds us, it always finds this ship.
Don’t know how long I was layin’ there and thinkin’ but I heard a noise that jolted me up and out of my place. “Who’s there?” Quickly I picked up a piece of pipe that was lyin’ on the floor, ready to attack anyone who was tryin’ to come in and sneak up on me. Ok, maybe I was still a might jumpy after everythin’ that happened today.
Runnin’ my fingers through my hair I looked and sighed when I saw it was just Simon. “Simon, why are you up here? Goin’ around scarin’ me nearly half to death.” I quickly tossed the pipe onto the hammock, feelin’ mighty guilty that I even had the pipe in my hand to hurt someone.
He shrugged and walked into the engine room, leaning against the doorframe, his hands dug deep into his pockets as he looked at me. He seemed quieter then usual; I mean he’s always quiet but this is very unlike him. “Simon? Somethin’ the matter? River ok?”
“Yes, oh, yes River is sleeping… I just um couldn’t sleep.” He shrugged and looked away again and I felt the corner of my lips turn up and smile. He was just so ruttin’ swai when he got sullen and thoughtful.
“Oh…but um, what’cha doin’ up here?” I questioned him, moving towards him a bit and taking his hand like I did when we were outside with Tracey’s folks. That sent a pang of sadness through me and I tried to push it outta the way but somethin’ like that is just so hard to go on forgettin’, ‘specially so soon after.
“Were you lookin’ for me?” I tried not to sound hopeful but I couldn’t help it, I just wished he’d get a gorram clue.
“Not sure, really.” He sighed heavily and I wondered what was troubling him. I do wish he’d talk to me and now just come down here and be all cryptic about it. “Kaylee…I just…” Kaylee what? Was he gonna go and say somethin’ mean about me again? Ok, mean in his ‘I’m tryin real hard to be sweet to ya’ kinda way?
“Simon?” He seemed so out of it. “Alright, I think it’s time we go down and get us somethin to eat. I don’t think none of us even thought ‘bout food all day.” I nodded and pulled his hand in mine, headin’ straight down to see what god-awful thing was made tonight.
I pushed him down into a chair and looked around, not really findin’ much in the way of food. I think we’re gonna have to stop somewhere planet side and get somethin’ before we all starve to death. Jayne won’t go a day without food and he’ll likely run on about people eatin’ each other.
My eyes bout popped outta my head when I remembered a small stash of goodness I had squirreled away, bought with the money from the job on Ariel. Before we gave what was left to Niska. Took a bit of creativity to keep them fresh this long, but I had to make ‘em last. Hurrying over to my hidin’ spot I pulled out a small tin and brought over the cider that was sitting on the counter, most likely the Captain’s, but I’m sure he won’t mind.
“Here we go.” I smiled, pouring two glasses and setting one in front of him before opening the container with my hidden stash. “Go on an’ eat.”
He sighed and sipped at the cider, not botherin’ to touch the strawberries I’d placed out for him. I really was starting to wonder about him and I wished I knew how to get inside his head and see how he ticked. See, machines I can fix and understand, but I couldn’t ever understand Simon, not for lack of tryin’.
“I-I um, I think I’m going to go check on River.” Ugh, alright, another lame ass excuse for him to run off and again not do a thing. A girl can only take so much of this gos se.
“Oh, leavin’ so soon?” I ain’t about to sound disappointed, I won’t be disappointed.
“It’s late…” He muttered, gettin’ up touchin’ my shoulder for a moment before turnin’ away to the door.
Watchin’ as he headed for the door I bit my lip and balled my hands into fists. “Simon!” I waited ‘til he turned around and I knew when he looked at me that I couldn’t go backin’ down now. “There’s somethin’ I’ve been wantin’ to tell you…” I stopped and walked over to him, wonderin’ if this was any way close to a good idea. Most likely not, but I’d never really been one t’ listen to my own advice.
“Kaylee?” He questioned me, runnin’ his fingers through his hair and shiftin’ on his heels. “Something wrong?” His eyes ran over me like I was a patient or somethin’. That’s Simon for ya, always thinkin’ like a doctor.
“Wrong…yeah, yeah there is. Ya’see, you’ve been on this ship for a while’s now and I was really startin’ t’a wonder if you were ever gonna get a gorram clue. I’ve tried and I’ve kept on tryin’ till I’m blue in the face and you still don’t get it.” I was nearly toe to toe with him and even as nervous as I was in my stomach I knew I couldn’t back down now. Kaylee Frye doesn’t back down.
“Now goin’ by the look on your face you don’t have a gorram clue what I’m talkin’ ‘bout. Can’t say I’m surprised, kinda expected that with you.” Alright, now I’m goin’ off what I was talkin’ ‘bout. “See, the thing is, today kinda felt like cold water was bein’ poured on me. Shocked me in’ta seein’ that life’s short n’ all, especially with lives like ours. I know I shoulda gone on and seen that when I got shot but I didn’t, thought everythin’ was gonna be ok, it’s not.”
Takin’ a deep breath I looked at him and smiled a might. “Just wanted ‘ta give you a message Simon. I wanna make sure that you know it if somethin’ happens…” To me, to him and River, anyone of us really.
“What’s that Kaylee?” He murmured quietly, his eyes meeting mine and his body was so ai ya close. I was a mite tempted to just pin him to the gorram wall, makin’ sure he was clear on the full message. But I had a feelin’ that it’d blow the top right off his petty ‘lil head and he wouldn’t know what to do with himself.
Without givin’ him so much as a chance to react I leaned up onto my toes and kissed him. I kissed him hard and knowin’ and tryin’ my hardest to get the message to him loud and clear. I like you Simon Tam, it’s about time I told you.
I felt his hands on my arms and I pulled back, lookin’ up at him, hopin’ that he wasn’t gonna go on and flip out on me or nothin’, not to mention if he didn’t feel the same way I’d be rightly embarrassed… “Simon…” Say somethin’, anythin’.
“Kaylee…I…” I’m really startin’ to wonder about him, he can’t ever seem to get words out in one sentence.
“Did’ya get my message?” I reached up and touched his cheek. “I like you Simon Tam, thought that with this life we lead life’s too short to go on dancin’ around each other and I should just come out and do somethin’. Dong ma?”
There was a moment – maybe five – of silence and it felt like forever, I was waitin’ to see what he was gonna go and say, tryin’ to get myself ready for another Simon Tam brush off.
His hand reached up and touched my cheek and I tried not to fall into it or get lost in the feel of his hand against mine. He murmured a moment before his lips were on mine again, this time by his own will. “Loud and clear.”
Swai – cute/hansome.
Gos se – crap.
Ai ya – damn.
Dong ma – understand.