Title: Waking Dream
Pairing/Rating: Kaylee/Simon, PG.
Summary: Being A Clinical Study of The Affects of Sleep Deprivation on Trauma Surgeons and Engineers, and the Subsequent Changes to Group Dynamics.

Notes: For Tara, who knows why.

She sees him in the lounge, facedown on the couch, sound asleep. His face is turned to the back of the couch and one arm hangs off the side, fingers trailing on the floor. When she walks by, he doesn't even move. **Poor Simon...seems like everyone on the ship but him and his sister needed patchin' up today. Cap'n, Jayne, Zoe, Wash, even Shepherd. And then River started screaming 'bout blue hands--wonder if I'll ever figure out what she means? Wonder if Simon will?**

"C'mon, Simon," she says softly. "Time to go to bed." She shakes him gently, trying to wake him up. "Can't sleep here."

He grumbles something and burrows deeper into the couch, clearly not realizing she's there. She takes a moment to smile at the way he looks--his hair's all messed up and his shirt's wrinkled, riding up a little in the back so she sees a small bit of his skin, pale against his clothes.

"Simon. C'mon, Simon," Kaylee says more insistently, shaking off her moment of appreciation.

"Not on call," Simon mutters, shaking off her hand. "Don't have to get up."

She snorts--apparently, some things you just don't forget. "Simon!" she says, right in his ear. "Wake up!"

"What? Is someone hurt?" Simon bolts upright, looking a little wild-eyed. "Who's been hurt?"

Kaylee hides a grin. "No one's hurt, Simon. You were sound asleep, is all. Figured you'd be more comfortable in your own bed."

"Oh." He relaxes a little at that, rubbing his eyes. "I guess I should go to bed."

"You gonna make it there okay?" Kaylee asks, looking at him doubtfully. Simon wobbles when he stands up, grabbing the back of the couch for balance. She'd like to put her arm around him to steady him, but he moves away from her before she can. He's been doing that a lot lately, and she's not sure why but she doesn't like it. It wasn't his fault about Early--Kaylee shakes her head mentally, cutting off that train of thought. She doesn't want to think about that.

"Yeah, I'll be fine." Simon smiles. "Thanks for waking me."

"Well...goodnight, I guess," she says, not really wanting him to go.

He nods. "Goodnight."

But neither of them goes anywhere and for a long minute they're just standing there, looking at each other. "Um--I should go," Simon says. "I should check on River." He looks like he doesn't want to go, like he's looking for an excuse to stay. But Kaylee can't think of one, gorramit.

"Yeah, I should go too. Um--see you at breakfast?" Kaylee asks. He nods. "Okay. Sleep--sleep well," he says, nearly tripping on his way out of the lounge.

Alone, Kaylee sighs, looking down at the couch. "That went well," she mutters to herself. Maybe one of these days they'll stop dancing around each other.

A girl can hope, right?

--------------------------------------------------

Simon's holding the wall up. Really. The wall looked in serious danger of falling down, and well, he couldn't have that, so he's braced against it, making sure it stays where it should.

God, he's humped if he's rationalizing leaning against the wall. Truth is, he's utterly exhausted and it was either fall against the wall or fall down on his way to the infirmary. It's not even an hour past lunch and he's ready to crawl back into bed and not come out. He's already had to sedate River, he's got five people in various states of **injured** all over the ship, none of whom want to stay put, and he got next to no sleep last night. After Kaylee woke him up he couldn't get back to sleep, no matter how he tried, and he would have doped himself if he didn't have patients.

**You should have kissed her. You should have just taken that step forward and kissed her, jackass.** But he can't. It's too dangerous--he's a fugitive, on the run, and a bounty hunter by the name of Jubel Early reminded him just why he can't get involved with anyone--even pretty girls who shine so brightly it's like talking to a star.

"Simon?"

**Speak of the devil...** Simon summons up a smile from somewhere, but doesn't move. He's pretty sure he'll fall over if he does. "Hey, Kaylee," he says.

"You okay?" she asks, looking at him dubiously.

"I'm fine. The wall and I are having a quiet moment of communion."

She eyes him warily, clearly wondering if he accidentally gave himself some drugs. "Right."

"I'm hiding," Simon admits, closing his eyes. "I doped Jayne but that'll wear off in about half an hour. So I figure I've got about thirty minutes before I have to stitch him up, because the **instant** he wakes up he'll try to walk on that leg and tear the wound open again."

Kaylee winces. "You couldn't keep him out longer?" she suggests.

"No, unfortunately." Simon sighs. "At least Shepherd and Wash only had bruises and mild contusions. And Zoe can move around, she just can't move her left arm for another couple days."

"What about the cap'n?" Kaylee asks.

"He'll be fine. Four stitches and a mild concussion--he'll be back to himself by tomorrow."

"Well, that's something, right?" Kaylee gives him a smile and he has to smile back.

"Yeah, it's something. Hopefully he'll be able to talk some sense into Jayne." Simon thinks about it for a moment and sighs. "Or I'll just sew him up again. And again. Maybe I could give him a neural inhibitor..." He trails off, contemplating the idea.

"Did you get any sleep last night?" Kaylee asks. "After I woke you up, I mean."

"Nope." Simon pushes away from the wall, staggering a little. "I used to be able to fall back asleep no matter what, but I guess I've lost the knack."

Kaylee steps closer to him and automatically, he steps away, not wanting her to get too close. "Simon--" Kaylee looks up at him, her eyes serious for once. "Why do you keep doing that?"

"Doing what?" he asks, even though he knows what she means. **Kaylee, haven't you figured it out yet? I'm too dangerous for you--it's my fault you almost got raped!**

"Simon..." Kaylee gives him an exasperated look. "I thought--I mean--" She stops, sighing.

He's pretty sure he should be wary of that look on her face, but he doesn't have the energy to run. And then the **last** thing he wants is to run, because she's pushed him up against the wall and her mouth is on his and good God, but she's warm and soft and where did she learn to **do** that with her tongue?

"I lost my patience," she says, when the kiss finally ends and he realizes he's got his arms around her.

"Oh," he manages. He shouldn't be doing this, he shouldn't get involved with her...he can't seem to drop his arms.

**Twenty-five minutes before I should check on Jayne.** Staying where he is for that time sounds like a perfectly good idea to him.

"You, um, gonna let me go?" Kaylee asks, sounding shy for the first time since he's met her.

"Do I have to?" **Did I just say that?**

She smiles, and it's like sunlight, warm and bright and nearly bringing him to his knees. "Not if you kiss me again."
 
   
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