Simon had hit the alarm the minute he crossed the threshold into the infirmary and now, as he saw Jayne die, he hoped and prayed that Mal or Zoe would get there first. But it was Kaylee that stuck her head in the door.
'Don't know what you were thinkin', but after you're done with Jayne, you're gonna have to wrap the burns you jus' gave me.' She looked over his shoulder at her husband and then pushed past Simon into the room, shaking her head.
'He pass out on you?'
He held his hand out after her in a futile gesture. 'Kaylee - '
'He didn't upchuck on you did he? I swear - ' her voice trailed off as she caught sight of the syringe lying broken on the floor.
'What's goin' -? Simon?' She looked up at him and he shook his head, unable to find the words. She turned back to Jayne.
'Baby?' She put her head on his chest and then jerked it up again. 'Baby?' she shook him slightly. 'Come on, baby. Wake on up.'
Simon put his hand against the door frame to steady himself as he tried to find something, anything to say. He never could find the right words for her. Why would he find them now? His eyes were stinging.
He had failed his sister. He had failed Jayne. And now, he was failing Kaylee. He wondered why he'd ever thought he should be a doctor. He couldn't fix anything.
Kaylee froze suddenly and rounded on him. 'What did you do? You knew. What did you do?' Her voice was stabbing ice.
'It..it was a play – Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. It's...it's about two lovers who, when circumstances keep them apart, they...they commit suicide. Romeo and Juliet. River and Jayne. Same initials.' He held his hands apart helplessly.
She looked confused, but she'd started to shake, just slightly. 'But how would he have even known about that? He ain't...wasn't...'
Simon swallowed hard. This was his fault. All of this was his fault. 'It was Sihnon, remember? Ri -' he choked on her name. She'd been buried two weeks and he hadn't mourned yet, trying too hard to take care of the living. But now that Jayne -. He took a breath and started again.
'River wanted to see the Merchant of Venice, remember? So I bought tickets for she and I. But when it came time, I had the flu. I was too sick. And you...you talked Jayne into taking her in my place. Remember?' River had glowed that night. Kaylee had done her hair and Inara had fixed her face and Zoe had found an appropriate dress from some place that had actually fit her. I look like a real girl , she'd whispered to Simon.
Kaylee slowly nodded, running her hands absently through Jayne's hair. She was trembling harder and something terrible was breaking across her face. Simon eased through the infirmary, never taking his eyes from hers as he approached the drawer of medicine vials. It was open and its contents strewn about from Jayne's plunder. He heard the sound of feet and knew Mal and Zoe had arrived, but his attention never strayed from Kaylee.
'The play, it's..it's by the same author. I thought he might understand it better if he read it first, might actually enjoy watching it, so I gave him my copy...it was part of a compilation of his works. Romeo and Juliet was in there too. But I didn't really think he'd read it, much less any of the other ones. But he must have.
'It was a little book? Red?'
Simon nodded and Kaylee wrapped her arms around herself. He heard whispering from the door and he held one hand out toward it in a stay back gesture.
'I seen him with it some. He'd read it sometimes. And sometimes River'd be leaning over his shoulder pointin' at things. I think she was explainin' it to him.'
Simon closed his eyes and bowed his head. 'I'm so sorry Kaylee. If I'd known, if I'd ever thought, I'd never- '
'How could you?!' she was yelling and he jerked his head up. But he quickly realized she wasn't speaking to him as a loud crack filled the room and he watched in horror as she slapped Jayne's face repeatedly as she screamed.
'How could you? I understood! I put up with the drinkin'! I didn't care 'bout the fightin'! I even accepted you worried more on her planetside than me cause I knew you loved me. We were good, you hun dan !'
She switched from slapping his face to pummeling his chest with both fists. 'But this? I hope you're in hell you ben tiansheng de yidui rou , cause I will never forgive you for this!'
She suddenly stiffened and collapsed, Mal catching her around the waist before she hit the ground and swinging her up into his arms. Simon stepped back, holding the empty smoother syringe.
Mal stared at him, shell shocked. 'Is he really -?
Simon nodded. There really wasn't anything to say. Zoe was still standing at the door, a haunted look in her eye.
'Where should I put her?' Mal asked him. 'I can't take her to their...'
Simon shook his head. 'No, not there. And not River's room. Not mine. Somewhere nobody's been. Just...just put her in one of the passenger dorms. But not the one Book was in.'
'Right. Doc,' Mal waited until he had Simon's full attention. 'I don't wanna lose anymore.'
'You won't. I swear.'
Mal carried Kaylee from the room and Simon slumped to the floor by the infirmary table. One of Jayne's arms had fallen from the bed and the fingers brushed the floor. There were things he should be doing. Arrangements that needed to be made.
Instead, Simon buried his head in his hands and wept.