Speed of Choices, The

by dirty diana

The Speed of Choices (One)
by dirty diana
rated R
no warnings, spoilers for "Trash"
Disclaimer: I didn't invent these charcters. Obviously. Translations: chun=stupid
Notes: A series. I'm going to attempt to get Mal and Simon together, for once. If it seems like I might be going about it ass backwards, it's because I am. I make no promises. Love and good karma to sf fan for the beta.

So we move
We change by the speed of the choices that we make and the barriers are all self-made
~"Out of this World", Bush

"I wish, Simon whispers as his lover kisses his neck, "that you'd said something to me before you told the whole crew."

"I didn't," Mal answers quietly. "Zoe already knew. She's known me a long time." Pushing Simon against the wall of his bunk, leaning into him, he added, "I suppose she told Wash."

"And Wash told Jayne..."

Mal glances up sharply. "Jayne knows?"

"Yes. You should have seen the looks he was giving me this afternoon. Like I wasn't wearing any..."

"I'll kill him," Mal says simply.

"I'm perfectly capable of defending myself against Jayne. And he knows it." Simon brushes his lips against Mal's with a smile. "He won't try anything. Not uninvited."

"Uninvited?" Mal's ears catch onto the last word. "And what's a fella got to do to earn an invitation from you?"

Simon laughs, reaching down to gently squeeze the curve of Mal's ass. "Well, if anybody would know that, I should think that it would be you."

"I don't know about that. All I remember is waking up one morning with you in my bunk. Don't rightly remember how you got there."

Simon reaches a hand underneath Mal's shirt, running the palm of his hand across his chest and lightly over his left nipple. "I think you remember some of it."

Mal moans softly at the familiar sensation. "Well, I remember that none of it was my idea."

"Yes, I remember that too." Simon has begun to use both hands, the pressure against Mal's nipples coming harder and rougher. "You were playing hard to get."

Mal's gentle laugh comes from deep in his throat. "You ain't see me play hard to get yet, Simon. Trust me." Tugging gently at the waistband of Simon's pants, caressing his hips.

"Maybe. Mal...perhaps you could stop that a moment."

"Now who's playing hard to get?" Mal asks, as his tongue slipped wet across Simon's collarbone.

"I'm not. I simply need to talk to you for a second, and that's a little...distracting."

"Is it?"

"Yes. I..." Simon's fingers drop from underneath Mal's shirt, hands used as a barrier now to create a six inch space between them. Room to think. Hazel eyes locked on Mal with dead seriousness. "Would it bother you that much?"

"Would what..." Interrupted in his train of thought, it takes Mal a moment to catch up. "If you had sex with Jayne? Would that bother me? I reckon that would most certainly bother me."

"Ah." Simon drops his gaze, a deep pink blush creeping up from his open collar. "The thing is, Mal, I wasn't aware that we were in that type of relationship."

Mal finds himself fighting the urge to laugh, at a man too well-bred to be discussing open relationships, but not too well-bred to want to be in one. "What type of relationship? The type where you don't have sex with Jayne?"

"Essentially," and Simon is blushing hard now, "yes."

"Oh." Mal grins, and pulls Simon into his arms, pressing him against the wall. "Let me clear that up for you, then. Pay attention. I know you're top three percent and all, I think you'll catch on right quick."

"Mmmmnn," is Simon's only reply, as Mal's hands undo the buttons of his shirt.

Simon is keeping a chart for his sister, like he would at the hospital, detailed notes in illegible handwriting. He updates it everytime that he takes her temperature or gives her a new dose of medicine. He's waiting patiently for a pattern to show itself, a clue as to whether he's doing anything right. Whether she's getting better.

But he still can't tell.

It's two days later when he glances up from studying his notes to find Book standing in the doorway. "Is there something wrong?"

"Well now," Book's eyebrows are knotted together, in what seems to be a mix of worry and confusiuon. "I'm not rightly sure. I was wondering if there was any particular reason that Jayne was bleeding to death in the cargo bay."

Simon scoops up a few essential supplies, and follows Book.

Jayne isn't bleeding to death, exactly. But he has a four inch laceration down the length of his forearm, bleeding all over his shirt.

"Knife slipped," is Jayne's only mumbled explanation when Simon asks. "I don't need any doctorin'."

"Perhaps you could let a doctor be the judge of that," Simon answers. His tone is commanding, and Jayne sits still, while Simon's fingers explore the broken skin and finally declare, "it's not too deep. But you need stitches."

"I don't." Jayne shakes his head uncomfortably.

"Unless you want to risk infection and an ugly scar, you do."

"I ain't got no need to be pretty, doc. You just let it be."

"Jayne," Simon says quietly, "is this about what I said to you? After you got knocked unconscious?"

"No," Jayne's staring at his shoes, "it ain't."

"Are you sure? Because I meant what I said. While you're my patient, you're safe."

"It ain't being safe from you I'm worried about," Jayne mutters. "It's your chun boyfriend."

"My..." Simon can't fathom Jayne's meaning for a long moment. "You mean Mal?"

"Yes. He said somethin about stayin' away from you. So I'm stayin' away." And with only a small grimace of pain, Jayne eases him arm out from under Simon's grip. "If you don't mind, Doc, I was takin' care of my own injuries long before you came aboard."

"Jayne." The commanding tone is back in Simon's voice, along with a shadow of something else. Something new. Already, he's rolling up his sleeves. "I'm going to stitch you up. Just sit still."

Jayne sits still.

Simon stiches Jayne up neatly, and then he goes looking for Mal. He finds him in his bunk, scribbling in a book.

Simon hadn't known that the captain kept a log. "I need to talk to you."

"Sure." Mal gets up, and takes a step forward.

Simon, standing stiffly upright, takes a matching step back. Takes a deep breath, and gets right to the point. "Mal, why do you think that I'm here?"

"Here, where? On Serenity?"

Simon nods.

Mal stares at him, as if seeing him for the first time. He can see plainly that the new Simon, the Simon who laughs in his bed, is gone. The old Simon is back, and Mal is scared to touch him for fear that he'll break. "You're here cause the gorram feds messed up your sister. And cause of the warrant out for your arrest." Noticing when Simon's hazel eyes narrow, he adds, "ain't you?"

"I'm here because I want to be here, Mal." He takes a breath. "Why do you think I'm," he gestures around, at Mal's cramped bunk, "here?"

Mal shrugs. He's not falling into the same trap twice. "Ain't sure."

"I'm here because I want to be here."

"And you reckon I might be under some other impression?"

"You might believe that I believe that I have no other choice." Simon's eyes are bright and dangerous, making Mal want to duck for cover. "I always. Have choices."

Mal nods. "Choices. I got it."

"No." A wry smile appears on Simon's lips. "I don't think so. I think, actually, that there's been a misunderstanding. I think perhaps I should go."

Mal's mouth twists, and he makes a sweeping motion with his hand, gesturing a clear path to the door of his bunk. "Choices. I got it. Don't let me keep you."

"No." Simon shakes his head. "I mean that I think perhaps I should go. I've used up enough of your hospitality."

"It ain't hospitality," Mal says, but when the words come out of his mouth they're nearly invisible. He can see Simon's mind is made up.


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