"You know, I've saved lives," Simon said as he cradled his mug of Mudder's milk against his chest. "Dozens. Maybe hundreds. I reattached a girl's leg. Her whole leg. She named her hamster after me. I got a hamster. He drops a box of money, he gets a town."
Kaylee ran her fingers through her hair, drinking in the sight of the normally starched and proper Dr. Tam sprawled in a chair, head tilted back, exposing tantalising glimpses of his throat through the unbuttoned white shirt. "Hamsters is nice."
"To Jayne!" Simon raised his mug, manic gleam in his eye. "The box-dropping, man-ape-gone-wrong thing."
Kaylee laughed as they clicked heavy earthenware mugs ceremoniously. "You are pretty funny."
"And you're pretty..." Simon began, and then just smiled at her. "Pretty."
The sounds of the Mudder's bar faded away, and the whole world consisted of just the two of them. "What did you just say?" she asked, heart pounding wildly in her chest.
"I just said that you're pretty. Even when you're covered in engine grease, you're... No, especially—especially when you're covered in engine grease."
She blushed, leaning forward—when suddenly Mal was at her shoulder. "It's time to get out of this nuthouse. Got some planning to work out."
"Now, Captain?" she asked, dismayed. "Things are going so well."
"I suppose." Mal shrugged. "Jayne's certainly feeling better about life, but..."
"I said, things are going well." She tilted her head at the smiling doctor, who was polishing off his beer.
"Oh, well." Mal rolled his eyes. "Well, I tell you what. Jayne is stuck here with his adoring masses—why don't you and Simon hang around and keep an eye on him for me?"
Kaylee favoured him with a sunny smile, and patted his hand in thanks, while Simon lifted his now-empty mug in a silent toast.
The serving girl came by, and Kaylee lifted her mug for a refill—then watched as Simon had his topped up.
"Careful, Doc," Kaylee smiled at him. "We might be here all night."
"I drank more than this in Medacad," he confided in her in a conspiratorial tone that was spoiled somewhat by his flushed cheeks and slightly slurred speech.
"Did you, now?"
"I was wild."
"I bet you were," she said, unable to keep a straight face.
"I was! We all were. We did all sorts of wild things."
"Like what? What wild things?"
"When I was a first year, Ren dared me to steal a corpse from the morgue and dress it in scrubs and leave it sitting in the dean's office chair."
He nodded, dark hair falling across his forehead, and she reached over to smooth it back, letting her hand linger.
"I wouldn't have made much of a doctor—can't abide dead folks. Give me the willies."
"You get used to it—or you get out," he shrugged. "I wanted to be a doctor so bad, I think I could have gotten over anything."
"You're a good doctor. You re-attached a girl's whole leg!"
He frowned into the depths of his mug. "If I was such a good doctor, I'd have fixed—fixed my sister by now, don't you think?"
"Don't go getting all down. You'll fix River up—right as rain. I know you will. You'll see."
"Hamster-Simon pro'ly got eaten by someone's cat."
"Poor baby." Kaylee brushed the hair back from his forehead, and he caught her hand in his.
"You're so nice to me. Why are you so nice to me?"
"Because I like you," she said simply. She watched him, curious as a cat, as he carefully used both hands to set his mug on the table.
She let out a squeak of surprise when he reached over and pulled her over into his lap. Her beer sloshed over the side of her mug, dampening the cuff of her canvas coverall. She dropped it, but the mug didn't shatter—only rolled across the filthy barroom floor to rest against the wall, leaving a trail of beer as it went.
"I like you too," he said, arms wrapped loosely around her waist.
"Yeah?" she said softly, resting her forehead against his. He reached up and brushed her hair back from her face, tucking it behind her ear.
"Yeah." He grinned up at her, and she ran a fingertip along his lips.
"You're so shuài when you smile."
"Nî hâo mê," he said, chewing on his bottom lip, so serious as he studied her face, inches from his. She was shocked when his teeth graze her chin, hands trailing down her neck to the zipper of her coverall.
"Oh my," she said, breathless as his thumbs traced her collarbones, dipping inside the square neck of her favourite tank top. She slipped her arms out of her jump-suit and after a second or two of watching her struggle, he helped, looking like a little kid opening a shiny Christmas present.
She giggled as she let the top half of her coverall fall back, and felt the warm air of the bar wash over her bare arms and lower back. His hands were so soft—not rough or callused like hers. There was no engine grime beneath his fingernails—that wouldn't do, not for the sort of work he did.
He even still smelled clean, six hours on Canton. Everyone else stank of clay, but he smelled... nice. Like soap, and just a little bit of sweat. And under that, just all Simon-y. Her head swam a bit, and she wasn't sure if it was from the beer or the way he was running his hands up and down her back.
She leaned down and caught his earlobe gently between her teeth, and was rewarded by a gasp and his fingernails digging into her back.
"Oh my," she repeated, as he shifted his hips slightly beneath hers. "You really do like me, dontcha!"
As an experiment, she just... wriggled a little. He threw his head back, eyes squeezed tightly shut, mouth open and he almost cracked his skull on the wooden chair.
"Oh, honey!" She covered her mouth to keep from laughing as he sat up, rubbing the back of his head. She looked over, and spotted a bench not too far from where they were sitting—piled high with coats and such.
She took him by the hand, leading him over to it and swept the stuff to the floor. He laid down, and she straddled him, pressing kisses to his neck and jaw. Slowly, deliberately, she began to move. Not so's anyone would notice right off—most folks seemed too busy worshipping their newly returned hero to pay them any mind, anyway.
Simon arched his back, breath coming in laboured gasps as she quickened her pace. He buried his face in her neck, murmuring. His hands gripped her hips, grinding her against him. Her cry as she came was drowned out by the rousing chorus of the Mudders singing their Jayne song.
"You better hope you got laundry duty," she said sleepily as she rested her cheek on his heaving chest, and he laughed, kissing her temple and stroking her hair.
"Tall card was like a weight around my neck..." he said as her eyes drifted closed. The Mudders were still singing as she dropped off to sleep, his hands still tangled in her hair.
shuài handsome; snazzy
Nî hâo mê You're so beautiful