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Disclaimer: Firefly and all related elements, characters and indicia © Mutant Enemy Productions and 20th Century Fox Television, 2003. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situationssave those created by the authors for use solely on this websiteare copyright Mutant Enemy Productions and 20th Century Fox Television.
Author's Note: If you haven't read part one which is Mal POV this story may confuse you. Thanks to the fabulous Maystone for the superfast beta.
Reflection Deep, pt. 2
Seven days had passed since Simon and the Captain talked. A week and Simon remembers everything that was said. He also remembers with clarity, the tone of voice that was used and the way Mal looked. Sometimes he whispered, sometimes he looked Simon in the eye, or looked at his bruised cheek. Sometimes he looked at the wall behind Simon. He'd listened; heart pounding as Mal had told him why he was sometimes abusive to him, why he felt the need to possess Simon so completely. Even now it makes shivers run down his spine as he remembers the tone of voice Mal used when he'd looked at him with single -minded intent. He'd said if he could; he'd keep the doctor in this room and never let him out. He objected strongly to that but didn't say anything wanting to let the Captain speak his peace.
The first time he's seen the Captain, Simon had dismissed him as some ragged smuggler who wouldn't ask too many questions. He'd been proven wrong pretty quick but in the following weeks he was to be proven wrong about a lot of things. Not wanting to believe what he had observed Simon began to study the Captain, almost like a medical project. He could not believe that the way he operated he hadn't been killed numerous times. Then he started to see that the Captain got things done through the sheer force of his will. He was unyielding when he needed something or believed in something. He would not find out until later that Mal didn't believe in much and his trait for being unyielding didn't end with his ship or the jobs that they performed. It now covered Simon. It had taken everything in him to seduce the Captain and he'd been so happy when he succeeded. Mal had strong passions and he'd enveloped Simon in those passions. He made him feel safe and warm and even before they became intimately involved he'd known the Captain kept every member of his crew protected.
Simon realized quickly that by using different aspects of his personality the Captain made sure things were done the way he wanted them done. He was a big brother to Kaylee, a soldier with Zoe, friend to Wash and a commander to Jayne. To Inara… Simon hadn't quite figured that out and he thinks Mal tolerates Book and is amused by him. He treats River carefully but with occasional affection. He knew the Captain had a small amount of respect for his abilities as a medic, but didn't seem to like him on occasion. He also knew the Captain had kept his eye on him until he could trust him a little more. Simon wasn't a complete fool, he knew the Captain was a complex man but up until they had argued about Jayne, he never dreamed he could be so calculating and cruel as to use his body against him. The Captain had played and teased his body until he begged for release. He'd been shocked at the near cruel like smile the Captain had given him, as he'd let him come. Then that shock had turned to dismay and pain as the Captain had ruthlessly dragged a promise from him that he was not to encourage Jayne in any way. He'd promised as his body was taken again quickly to arousal and release. With confusion and exhaustion he'd cried and felt the Captain hold him within the circle of his arms throughout the night.
In the following days Simon debated with himself over what to do. If he did nothing was he allowing Mal domination over him? He suspected it would get worse since the Captain was not a man to do things half way. He still had feelings for Mal, they couldn't just be instantly turned on and off like a laser saw. In the following days they didn't argue much until Mal escorted Jayne into the infirmary with a bloody nose. With his heart pounding Simon had patched Jayne up and given him something for the pain. When he and the Captain were alone they'd talked and he saw it, a change come over Mals' face when he started to talk about making his own decisions. He stopped when Mals' eyes narrowed and realized he had not been this nervous since the Alliance had searched the ship. His lover had said nothing just led Simon to his room. Once they were in the Captains' room they had talked some more and Simon thought he read how the situation would turn out when Mal had hit him. Hard. The pain exploded in his eye then on his jaw as he hit a chair. He lay there wondering what the hell had just happened. He let Mal help him up but then pushed his hands away.
He was fully prepared to end their relationship right there. But Mal beat him to it. He apologized and told Simon he guessed he wanted to end it but that was no longer an option. While he tried to figure out what that meant Mal told Simon to stay and went and got some pain pills. After he took them he wanted to go back to his room but instead undressed and lay down in the Captains bed as he'd suggested. He didn't know what to do and he didn't need this added complication. Did he love the Captain? Enough to stay with him, waiting for the next hit or punishment? He could go on like that for awhile but he didn't have just himself to consider. He had to think what would be best for River. Seeing him in a relationship where he was getting abused would only increase her anxiety. No matter if he tried to hide it, she'd find out. If the time ever came and he had to leave Serenity for his sisters' sake he couldn't do that if he became a person that let someone control them. Just because he was gifted didn't mean he could have seen where all this would lead. He fell asleep, heartbroken and with no answers.
A gentle hand caressing his spine had awakened him. He loved that and his first thought was that Mal would try and seduce him to apologize for his black eye. He didn't and Simon was relieved. He listened as the Captain had talked a little about his life before the war and how the war itself had effected him. He mentioned that his belief in anything good in life was not something he expected and for a long time all he needed was the feelings that having the ship and a crew gave him. He told Simon about how much he feared that one day Simon would leave without a glance back. That what they had here was not enough for the doctor and when that happened the ship would no longer be enough to hold him together. He looked into Simons' eyes and confessed that he had gotten inside him, past his heart and somewhere deeper. But that part was broken and even though Simon made that little part of his soul left feel better he also brought out a possessive and dark part that wanted to bend Simon to his way. He'd added with a sad smile that he wasn't saying it was Simons' fault, never that, but sometimes he got scared and that made him angry.
Simon talked too. He told this man whom he admired that he loved him and that though neither could see what tomorrow would send them he was not just going to disappear. He also mentioned that the Captain could not let this part of him take over, that the abuse would not keep him closer, it would only push him away. He knew it sounded trite but the old saying ‘one day at a time' was what they had to remember. Eyes wet, left eye starting to ache again he swallowed and told the Captain he could not just hit him when Simon said something he didn't like or did something the Captain perceived as a threat to their relationship. Just talk to me he told him quietly. I know you can control these urges you get. You can tell me any and everything you want and even if I can't make it better at least you know there is someone here to talk things over with, that might not be an easy thing but at least we can try. They had talked for another hour and then the Captain had asked him to stay.
"I know I ain't got no right to ask but I like holding you when I sleep and seeing you when I wake up."
So he'd stayed the night held by his lover, a man that had more demons than Simon had realized. He made a promise to fight those demons and if Mal hit him again he'd hit back. There would be no more bruises on just him. He was the doctor, he could fix them if they did get into a knock down drag out fight, but he hoped that would not happen.
The next few days were stressful but Simon saw Mal was willing to try and build an honest relationship with him. When the others asked about his black eye and bruised cheek, he considered lying but Mal stepped in and told them the truth. They'd had a fight and it was no one's business. Out of everyone in the kitchen when Mal made the announcement only Zoe had looked overly concerned. Simon understood that since she'd known the Captain the longest. Book had looked strange too, like he wanted to say something but Zoe had shaken her head at him. Later they cornered him in the infirmary and asked if he was OK. He told them he was going to be fine. He didn't face them while talking not wanting to see any pity on their faces. Zoe disabused him of that quickly by jerking him around. She'd just looked him in the eye and offered an ear if he ever needed to talk. Book had been quiet but had offered the same.
3 Weeks Later
They landed on the planet just as night was falling. The crew had wandered off looking for some fun. Book had offered to look after River if he wanted to do the same. He accepted the offer and found the Captain waiting for him outside the ship. He paused and looked at the light from the moon shining down on him and said a quiet prayer that things would work out between them. There had been a few instances where he had seen the Captain stifling his urge to control him through violence. One time had been on the last planet they'd visited. He'd been walking through a bookstore talking to a nice woman, a doctor about some new equipment. When he'd looked up he'd seen Mal watching him, with a jealous expression on his face. He'd thanked the doctor for her advice and bought his books. Outside he had walked up to the Captain and kissed him softly not caring who saw them. Grabbing his hand he led him away to a restaurant where after a few tries Mal had lost that look and relaxed. Later that night he waited to see if Mal would start a fight but he didn't. They had made love then talked about books and food. Before they left the planet Mal had bought him some grapes. The only explanation he gave was a brief kiss to the forehead and a whispered, "I love you Dr. Tam." River had enjoyed the grapes as much as he had.
They still had an occasional fight but Simon didn't get as nervous as he had in the past. One fight had been about some story he had told at dinner about an old school mate. The story had elicited some laughs. Even Mal had laughed but later had tried to interrogate Simon about this "friend." When he refused to positively answer whether the friend had been a lover or not Mal had become very quiet.
"It's not like I can go back Mal. And none of my old friends are going to be visiting us. I'm probably just old gossip by now."
He'd refused to look away from Mal or be cowed by the anger and frustration pouring off him. When he suggested they go to bed, Simon had refused knowing that Mal wouldn't mean to hurt him but might want to remind him whom he belonged to. If he thought Mal had been angry before he had been mistaken. But he didn't do anything and that gave Simon hope. He'd just nodded and told Simon to come to him when he was ready. Again he had just kissed him briefly then left. Two hours later he'd climbed down to the Captains' room, undressed and lay down next to him. He didn't worry when one of Mals' arms pulled him closer. A sleepy "I'm sorry" was the only thing the Captain said and Simon went to sleep with a smile on his face. As long as they continued to talk he had hope and faith that any demons he or the Captain had would not tear them apart.