Jules (saturnine_tears) wrote in lost_browncoats,
Jules
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Cruel Summer

Title: Cruel Summer
Author: Jules saturnine_tears
Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Prompt: 058. Summer of table 1 of the 100_situations Challenge.
Rating: PG13
Pairing: Simon/Kaylee
Word Count: 4635
Disclaimer: Firefly and all related elements belong to Joss Whedon.
Summary: After the BDM, the crew decides they need some quiet time and goes to visit Kaylee’s family on Harvest. Kaylee shows Simon that there’s more to life outside Serenity’s walls than he could ever have thought.
Spoilers: Plenty for the BDM.
Progress: 4/13
Beta: Dani sirius_starr
Table: Click here for my 100_situations tables.
Notes: Translations in mouseover and at the bottom of the page for those whose browsers refuse to cooperate. Despite the title, there’s only fluff ahead! Well, maybe a tiny bit of suspense/drama, but that’s it. For once, a story coming from me that isn’t smutty! All innocence in the future, save for maybe one chapter near the end! I hope you guys like it anyway!






Chapter 4: Hodgeberries





Kaylee smiled brightly as she bustled around the kitchen with her mom, the two of them making sandwiches and a few other things for the picnic Kaylee had planned to take Simon on. She’d had to force her brothers and Jayne to take the boy out back for some manly bonding so she could prepare uninterrupted for the surprise. The last thing she wanted was to ruin it before it was time to head out.

Looking over at her mother, Kaylee realized just how much she’d missed home. She loved Serenity, even more so now that she had Simon, but at the same time it didn’t always have that perfect, familiar, familial feeling to it. It was home, but not in the strictest sense. Not in the sense she’d grown up knowing. To Simon, however, she knew it was more home than any place he’d ever known. For River, too, it was like that. Knowing their feelings helped her own sense of being at home.

Snapping out of her reverie, Kaylee glanced over at the sound of her mother’s voice.

“Now you prob’ly know we’ve already heard Simon’s side o’ the story,” Delia said softly. “But I wanna hear yours, Kaylee girl. You seem like ya love ‘im plenty and he seems like he loves ya even more.”

“Oh ma, I do love ‘im, he’s the best man I ever met,” Kaylee said dreamily. “And he’s sweet, an’ gentle, an’ it seems like he knows me more’n I know myself sometimes. Not ta mention he’s a doctor so he knows just where and how ta touch me…”

“That’s my girl,” Delia said with a chuckle. “As long as you’re happy, that’s good enough for me. Your pa, on the other hand… Well don’t worry about him, I’ll make sure he doesn’t give ya a hard time.”

“Oh, wouldja?” Kaylee asked hopefully. “Simon’s kinda easily embarrassed an’ I don’t want daddy scarin’ him off. He was nervous enough ta be meetin’ you an’ daddy in the first place.”

“If he really loves ya like ya say he does, then even your pa won’t scare ‘im off,” Delia said warmly.

“You’re prob’ly right,” Kaylee said with a small smile. “You always know how ta make things better.”

“Well o’course I do! I’m your ma, after all, it’s my duty!” Delia said brightly. “Now come on, snap outta that rut o’ yours and let’s finish makin’ lunch so’s you and that man o’ yours can get away from us all for the afternoon.”

Kaylee laughed lightly and playfully tossed a piece of lettuce at her mom, both women feeling much lighter after the exchange. They continued working in the kitchen for a while longer, readying a nice picnic lunch for the couple.




Simon looked back and forth between James and Jared, unsure of what to do. On top of everything, Jayne was standing in front of him, one of the biggest guns Simon had ever seen held up in a perfect shooting stance. The young doctor jumped as the mercenary fired yet another shot toward the target across the expanse of the shooting range set up before them, much to the amusement of Kaylee’s twin brothers.

He wished that Kaylee would have trusted him when he’d said he would stay in the bedroom while she prepared whatever it was she was planning on preparing. At least then he wouldn’t have felt so completely out of place. He felt trapped, cornered and compelled to run for his life. He had never been too good with guns and he didn’t plan on getting any better any time soon, at least not if he had anything to say in the matter.

Simon was startled out of his reverie by a deep, loud voice at his side.

“Your turn, doc!” James said with a grin. “Let’s see whatcha got, pretty boy.”

Stepping back and holding his hands up in a gesture of surrender, Simon shook his head.

“No, let’s not,” he replied. “I’m supposed to extract bullets from inside people, not put them there. It’s not right.”

“Screw what’s right, doc, ya gotta loosen up,” Jayne barked.

“So I can be just like you? I think not,” Simon said coolly.

“What’s wrong with bein’ like me?” Jayne asked, narrowing his eyes.

“I think the answer to what’s not wrong with being like you would be a much simpler one to give,” Simon muttered.

Jayne stepped up to Simon, reaching out and shoving the gun he held at the young doctor. Simon grasped it in self defense and was left with nothing to do but hold the damn thing when Jayne relinquished his grip on the barrel. He sighed and held the gun gingerly, afraid it would go off at any second. He met the mercenary’s glare and swallowed thickly. He could either drop the gun and run or he could shoot. Deciding that between Jayne, Jared and James he’d be caught within seconds of taking off, Simon opted for the latter.

Sighing deeply, Simon stepped up to the fence and held up the shotgun, aiming at the target and closing his eyes, praying for the best.

At just that moment, Kaylee marched out of the house and toward the shooting range, picnic basket in hand and a blanket draped over her arm. At the sight of Simon being armed and flanked by her brothers and Jayne, her eyes widened and she gasped, rushing forward. She jumped as the crack of a gunshot being fired rang through the air and Simon stumbled back from the recoil. She finally came within shouting distance of the firing range and called out to the men.

“You three!” She cried. “Are a bad influence! Makin’ a boy as innocent as him play your games. You should be ashamed of yourselves! Simon’s got better things ta be doin’ than playin’ rough with you three.”

Simon nearly took a running start at Kaylee to hug her when he heard her voice and spun around to face her as she approached. He quickly shoved the shotgun he held into Jared’s arms and marched forward, gently wrapping his arms around her. He could see that she wasn’t at all pleased with the situation they’d put him in but he didn’t want her getting her feathers ruffled. Pulling away just a little, he pressed a gentle kiss to her lips, hoping to quiet her. Well, it was easier said than done. Kaylee looked at him, smiled briefly and pulled away, advancing on the other men.

“I don’t want ya corruptin’ my man,” she growled. “You three can bond manly like all ya want but you stay away from my Simon. Wo de ma I can’t leave you alone for two minutes! When I asked ya to keep him busy for a while I meant take him out ta the creek or somethin’, I didn’t mean for ya to try and turn him into one of your cronies!”

All four men were stunned by her outburst. Kaylee, however, having gotten the anger out of her system, managed to smile sweetly all around at them. Stepping back she reached for Simon, threading her free arm through his and tugging him along toward the far end of the field with her, leaving the other three men standing there, watching her with wide eyes and slack jaws.

As they walked, Simon pulled Kaylee closer, pressing her up against his side and reaching around her to take the picnic basket from her. He had no idea where they were headed, but he was sure they would have fun. Kaylee’s spirit of fun and adventure dictated their days and that always had promising results. Smiling softly, a delicate blush on his cheeks, Simon looked over at her as they continued onto a path in the woods at the end of the field.

“You didn’t have to do that,” he said softly. “Stand up for me, I mean.”

“I know, honey,” Kaylee replied. “I just didn’t wanna have ta stand around and watch ya do it yourself. It woulda taken ya twice as long and we got places to go! We can’t be wastin’ time on the little things.”

She was joking of course, but Simon couldn’t shake the feeling that her words were brutally honest, even if that hadn’t been her intention. He tried to repress the feeling as they continued on toward Kaylee’s picnic area. As he looked around at the vegetation growing wild along the sides of the path, Simon noticed something familiar. With a soft smile he stopped, pulling Kaylee to the side of the road, setting down the picnic basket and bending down, plucking one of the ripe, juicy berries off of the bush. He stood once again and turned to Kaylee, holding it up to her lips, touching the cool skin of the fruit to them, teasing her into taking the berry from his fingers.

“Hodgeberries,” he said fondly. “I haven’t had these in so long.”

Kaylee smiled as she finished chewing the berry, leaning in to press a gentle kiss to Simon’s lips. Pulling back she gestured to the bush.

“Well why don’t we stop and pick some? I got a spare dish in that basket we can put ‘em in,” Kaylee said brightly. “We can have ‘em with the rest of our dessert.”

Nodding, Simon knelt by the side of the path and opened the picnic basket, finding a bowl right at the top. Pulling it out he set it down and began picking some of the hodgeberries, noticing some interesting looking leaves and grasses below the hodgeberry bushes.

The bowl filled up quickly enough and Simon packed it away again, putting it inside the picnic basket and picking it up as he stood. Kaylee watched him and smiled softly, looping her arm through his as they continued on down the path. They both took in the scenery as they walked, Simon absent mindedly rubbing his palms together, feeling a belated tickle there from brushing the flora away from around the hodgeberry bushes to get to the fruit.

A moment later, Simon was snapped out of his reverie as Kaylee made an abrupt stop. He looked ahead and noticed a small clearing bedded with lush grass and surrounded by thick trees. A space in the canopy allowed sunlight to be cast onto the ground, making it the perfect little spot. He glanced over at Kaylee as she smiled and slipped away from him, taking the blanket from over her arm and draping it onto the grass beneath them. She kicked off her sandals and sat down, gesturing for Simon to join her.

“Come on, Simon!” She said warmly. “Pull up some blanket!”

He smiled in return and nodded, setting the picnic basket down in the middle of the blanket as he kicked off his shoes, joining Kaylee there on the ground. He sat back comfortably and regarded the picnic basket in front of them, glancing over to Kaylee.

“So what, may I ask, is in there that took you the better part of the day to prepare?” He asked with a chuckle.

“Well, why don’tcha open the basket an’ see?” Kaylee suggested.

His curiosity getting the better of him, Simon leaned forward and pulled the basket closer. Opening one of the sides he reached in and picked up the bowl of hodgeberries, setting those aside first. After that he pulled out the rest of their picnic, sandwiches, a thermos of soup, slices of pie with whipped cream for dessert as well as a number of other things. He smiled and looked up at Kaylee, reaching out to motion her closer. Returning his smile Kaylee crawled closer and settled herself in his lap, leaning back against his chest happily.

Paying no attention to the fact that his palms itched, Simon wrapped his arms around Kaylee and gently massaged her sides through the fabric of her shirt. She was warm and soft under his touch. He stroked delicately like that for a spell before the temptation of feeling her flesh against his palms became too much and he slipped his hands under her top, rubbing over her ribcage. His hands reached her breasts and he realized with a gasp that she wasn’t wearing a bra beneath her light shirt. Leaning over her shoulder, his chin resting there, he watched as she perked up under his touch.

Smiling, Simon gently rubbed Kaylee’s breasts, teasing her. He watched her as her head dropped back against his shoulder and her eyes closed. Her jaw was just barely slack and soft, contented gasps emanated from her parted lips. God, he loved touching her, just like he knew she loved being touched like that by him. He nuzzled into her neck as he continued to massage her with exquisite thoroughness, making her shiver from the sensations.

Deciding that if he let what he was doing go much further neither of them would have enough self control to say no, Simon stopped what he was doing, slipping his hands out from under Kaylee’s shirt. She groaned her dissent and opened her eyes, looking at him as he smiled that sweet, sorrowful smile at her. She knew he was only doing what was in the best interests of their relationship and so she let him stop his touching. Once they’d gotten past the beginning stages they were in, Kaylee knew there would be plenty of touching and she held out for that day. In the meantime, she’d make do with what she got.

Smiling she reached for a few of the sandwiches in the picnic basket, setting them on a plate and unwrapping one. Holding it up over her shoulder she giggled as Simon nibbled the bite from her fingers. He playfully licked at her fingertips for a moment, causing Kaylee to shiver from the delicious little sensations the ministration sent through her body.

Simon reached around Kaylee, tearing a small piece of the sandwich off of it and slowly bringing it up to her mouth, feeding it to her and letting his hand slip up to her cheek as she ate it with a smile. He caressed the skin there softly, leaning in to kiss her gently, missing her lips and causing her to giggle as he kissed just the corner of her mouth.

They sat like that for an hour, laughing, talking and kissing over lunch, both glad to be away from the chaos around the house for a while. It was nice being alone without a crew to argue with, without family to be bothered by, without the constant background noise. Silence was what they needed, a soundless time to get to know each other.

With lunch finished, hodgeberries inclusive, the dishes were put away and Simon sat, wrapped in an embrace, completely content. They reluctantly separated and stood, finding their previously discarded shoes and slipping into them. Kaylee draped the folded blanket over her arm once more, threading her free arm with Simon’s as he picked up the picnic basket.

The two of them took their time as they headed along the path back toward home. They both wanted to stay there, stay longer, but the mosquitoes were getting to be a nuisance. The last thing they needed was to itch for the rest of the week. As they walked, Kaylee reached up with the arm she’d draped the blanket over, plucking absent mindedly at her shirt, not liking the way the fabric tickled her skin, making it itchy. As she did so, Simon rubbed his palms together, furrowing his brows. He shrugged the feeling off, trying to ignore it though it only seemed to get worse.

By the time they reached the house, Simon noticed that his hands were covered in a splotchy pink rash. The itch by then was impossible to ignore, and he continued rubbing his hands over his pants. Kaylee was, at that point, furiously scratching at her chest, her breasts itching akin to Simon’s hands. They left the blanket and the basket in the kitchen, both hurrying to the bedroom. Once there, Simon rushed into the bathroom, swiftly going to the sink, trying to wash away the itch but to no avail. Grabbing a towel he rubbed furiously at the rash, completely unable to guess what was going on. He’d never seen anything like it. He walked into the bedroom where Kaylee sat on the bed, now shirtless, rubbing at her breasts equally fervently. She looked up at Simon helplessly as he hurried over, sitting next to her and stilling his hands so he could concentrate on her.

Simon leaned in, examining the rash covering Kaylee’s breasts and abdomen in the dim lighting of the room. There wasn’t anything he could ascertain from it and it frustrated him. He was supposed to be a brilliant physician and he couldn’t even diagnose a rash. Maybe people were giving him too much credit. Looking up at her he met her worried gaze.

“You gave me somethin’,” Kaylee deadpanned. “What is it?!”

Simon opened and closed his mouth, completely baffled.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Kaylee, I am so incredibly sorry, baobei.”

“Can ya do anything?!” She cried.

“I’m afraid to give you anything until I know what this is,” Simon said apologetically. “I need to find an encyclopedia.”

Kaylee shook her head.

“When I was a little girl Jared an’ James always got this when they went out in the bush ta play,” she said lightly. “Ma’d always give ‘em baking soda an’ water ta put on it ta make the itch go away. She prob’ly knows what it is, ask her first. I don’t remember what it’s called.”

Simon nodded.

“You stay here, try washing it off before you scratch anymore so you don’t get an infection,” Simon instructed. “I’ll be right back.”

Leaving the bedroom, Simon walked swiftly downstairs, searching the house for Delia. Not finding her inside he rushed out to the back yard, finding her in the vegetable garden tending to the plants. He headed over and stepped up behind her, his hands held up in a gesture of surrender. He stared at her helplessly until she turned to him and met his gaze.

“What can I do ya for?” She asked.

“Kaylee said you might know what caused this,” Simon said, indicating his itching palms.

Delia took one look and chuckled softly.

“You been out in the bush lately, son?” She asked. “It looks like you’ve got the ivy.”

“Ivy?” Simon asked. “As in poison ivy?!”

“One and the same,” Delia replied. “I can make ya up some soda water for that.”

Simon shook his head.

“No, thank you,” he said wryly. “I’ve got something that’ll take care of it back on the ship.”

With that he turned and ran off toward Serenity across the field. The cargo bay doors were open and the crew milled about. A few heads turned to watch as he dashed up the stairs and headed for the infirmary. Shrugging it off, the crew went back to their duties while Simon searched frantically for a few vials of hydrocortisone serum and a tube of a cream with a similar component. Finally finding them he almost cheered for joy as he headed back outside and toward the house with the vials in hand.

As he made it up the stairs and reached the bedroom door, Simon discovered Kaylee lying back on the bed, her shirt abandoned at her side and her hands kneading at her breasts. Her eyes shone with tears, which Simon noticed as he shut the door and approached her. Setting everything he’d brought up down on the bedside table, Simon sat at her side and reached out, grasping her hands to keep her from scratching anymore at the rash.

“You’re only going to make it worse like that, baobei,” Simon said softly. “Why don’t you turn over? I brought something to help with the itching.”

Kaylee looked up at him quizzically and Simon chuckled, reaching out to pick up one of the vials of cortisone and a syringe to show her.

“It’s a shot that is most effective given in a large muscle group,” Simon replied. “And the gluteal muscles are the largest muscle group in the body. Go on, turn over. I promise it won’t hurt a bit.”

The young mechanic groaned. She hated shots, but at that moment she hated how much her breasts itched even more. They itched so much it was starting to get painful. She nodded lightly and obliged Simon, turning over to lie on her stomach, her arms above her head, gripping the covers to keep her from tearing at her inflamed skin in frustration. It was just her luck, or Simon’s luck really, that she had to come down with ivy just when they were in the middle of their shore leave.

Simon watched Kaylee, wondering just who he’d annoyed in a past life to have the kind of luck he did in his present existence. He felt almost sickeningly guilty at the fact that he’d been the one to give Kaylee the rash. Of course he couldn’t have known, but being as haunted as he was by all the times he’d said and done wrong, he couldn’t help feeling that guilt. He sighed softly and quickly prepared a syringe full of the hydrocortisone for Kaylee.

Sitting on the bed next to her he reached for an alcohol soaked swab and lightly tugged her bottoms down to expose an area of skin for the injection. He swabbed the area off and swiftly jabbed the needle into her skin, injecting the medication and removing the needle. He set it aside to dispose of later and tugged Kaylee’s pajama top back up, retrieving the shirt he’d noticed that she’d tossed aside. As she slowly turned over and sat up, still pawing at her breasts, she took the shirt from Simon and slipped into it once more.

“That should help within a few minutes,” Simon explained.

Xiexie, Simon,” Kaylee replied. “Are you gonna take a shot o’ that stuff?”

Simon shook his head.

“I can’t do it myself,” he said lightly. “What I mean to say is that I can reach, but I’d rather not do it myself because at such an awkward angle the chances of the needle breaking off of the syringe and becoming embedded in my skin are too high. I’d rather itch for a few days than have to have Zoe or anyone else skilled enough in medical procedures have to cut into my backside and remove the needle.”

“Ah,” Kaylee said with a giggle. “Well ya can ask my ma if she’ll do it for ya. When we was little and we got sick she used to have ta give us all penicillin shots so she knows what ta do.”

Well, Simon managed to look absolutely mortified at the mere thought. He quickly shook his head.

“No, its fine,” he denied. “I’ll make do with the cream I have here instead. I gave the rash to you, I’ll suffer for it.”

Kaylee pursed her lips at his words but didn’t argue. She figured he didn’t actually mean what he’d said about suffering. It was his choice, anyway. She leaned in and pressed her lips to his lightly for a moment before pulling back again. She watched as he uncapped the small tube of hydrocortisone cream he’d brought back as well. She wrinkled her nose a little at the smell but figured it didn’t matter as long as it helped. Once Simon finished applying a layer of the cream, he recapped the tube and set it aside in one of the bedside table drawers. Turning to Kaylee with a wry smile he moved closer, leaning in to nuzzle gently at her neck.

“I keep finding new ways to ruin things, don’t I?” Simon asked. “If it’s not my mouth getting away with me, it’s my hands, or –“

Kaylee cut him off, placing a finger against his lips and leaning in to press a soft kiss to them before speaking.

“Who said ya ruined anything?” Kaylee said with a playful pouty look. “We can still have fun!”

“How?” Simon asked.

“There’s plenty we can do without ya needin’ to use your hands,” Kaylee replied.

“Like what?” Simon inquired doubtfully.

Kaylee paused a moment to think. Simon watched as a smile quickly crept back onto her lips and she reached out to take him by the wrist, standing and pulling him up along with her. She led him out of the bedroom and into the bathroom, pointing at the large, comfortable and utterly relaxing looking claw foot bathtub standing there. He looked at it and then at Kaylee quizzically. She only giggled and reached for the buttons on his shirt, slowly starting to undo them.

“This time I’m takin’ care of you,” Kaylee said coyly. “You’re gonna get in the bath and soak while I rub your shoulders and make ya forget all about the ivy.”

Simon looked at her somewhat unsurely for a moment but did nothing to stop her as she unbuttoned the last button of his shirt, slipping it off his shoulders and letting it fall to the floor. As much as he was used to caring for Kaylee, to being in control, to touching as opposed to being touched, he relinquished that and gave in to Kaylee’s ministrations, simply watching as she unbuckled his pants and watched them flutter down to around his ankles.

Before Simon could say another word, Kaylee had managed to completely divest him. He watched her as she kicked his clothes aside and leaned in over the bathtub, pouring in some of her strawberry scented bath gel and turning on the water, stirring it as the level rose and bubbles formed on the surface. When she stepped back a moment later and gestured Simon toward the tub, he obeyed readily and climbed into the pleasantly hot water, inhaling the scent of the strawberries as he leaned back and relaxed against the tub, the water level rising up to his chest.

“How’s that, honey?” Kaylee asked brightly.

“Mmm, wonderful,” Simon replied. “Thank you.”

Stepping closer to the tub, Kaylee settled herself at Simon’s side, kneeling comfortably. She was glad to see that her itching had pretty well abated. She smiled softly at the thought that if she didn’t have to focus on the itching, she’d be able to focus better on getting Simon to relax. It was her turn to take care of him for once, rather than letting him take care of her. It was going to be fun.

Reaching out, Kaylee picked up the loofah she’d tossed into the tub and let some of the water drain out of it. She gently rubbed it over Simon’s neck and shoulders, coaxing him to tip his head back so that she could reach more. She loved being able to relax him, to take away some of the stresses of life. She knew that he carried a bigger burden than most people and it made her feel capable, powerful to be able to take that away, even if it was for just a little while. Seeing and feeling his body relax made it all worthwhile.

Continuing on gently washing away the stresses of life for him, Kaylee decided she didn’t want to do much of anything else that day. The excitement of the morning had been quite enough for her and she was sure Simon felt the same way. With that thought in mind, Kaylee set the loofah aside and suggested the two of them curl up in bed without a worry or a care.

Tomorrow would be another day.




Translations

Wo de ma: Mother of God
Baobei: Precious
Xiexie: Thank you






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