baobei = sweetheart
dong ma - understand
hoo-tsuh = shut up
nyen ching-duh = young one
shi = affirmative
tzao-gao = damnit
Alden was known for its pharmaceuticals, something which made Mal Reynolds more than a might twitchy. He had his standards, even if they were low compared to those of more civilized folks. Still, his crew needed to eat and his ship needed to fly, so Mal accepted a job to ferry a less-than-legal cargo to Alden. He wasn't happy about it, though, even after taking care to make sure that the cargo itself wasn't drugs.
"I need a drink," Mal snarled as they walked away from their contact.
"Shi," Zoe agreed.
For once, they hadn't even had a client try to weasel out of paying them. That had really been too bad; Mal was in the mood to shoot someone.
"Now that's what I'm talkin' about," Jayne crowed with delight.
Zoe, not too surprisingly, didn't say anything else. From her stony expression, though, Mal had a feeling he knew she wasn't any happier over their last job than he was. Maybe a drink would take the edge of both of them.
The bar they chose was one that catered to the commercial crowd. It was a setting that was often used by those looking to barter goods and services. As such, Mal always frequented it when business brought him to Alden. With any luck, he'd not only find a drink, but come across another paying job.
It was just his luck that Mal came across Simon Tam instead and not in any sort of situation that he would have expected to find his ship's doctor in.
Simon was seated on the lap of a man who looked old enough to be his father. The young man was uncharacteristically mussed up, with his vest open and his shirt untucked. His state of dress obviously wasn't Simon's idea, though, if the beefy hand his companion had thrust underneath his shirt was any clue. Simon's cheeks were red and his head was down, but he made no attempt to discourage the idiot pawing him.
"Oooohweee," Jayne exclaimed. "I guess the doc's not as prissy as I thought he was." He scratched his chin. "I wonder if I can get me some of that when we're back on the ship."
Mal grabbed Jayne's shirt and yanked the big man closer. "Walk away." He shoved Jayne towards the door.
"Aw, c'mon, Mal," Jayne whined. "You always say that jest when things are getting' interestin'."
"Jayne. . . ." Mal glared at the other man pointedly. "Get back to the boat now; tell Wash to have the engine warm."
"Tzao-gao!" Jayne took a good look at Mal and opted not to complain any more. Instead, he clomped towards the door. "Not only is that boy and his sister useless, but they suck all the fun out of things when I should be having fun getting sucked."
With Jayne on his way out, Mal headed towards the table where Simon was. He briefly considered ordering Zoe out too, but one look at her face and he reconsidered.
"Good choice, Sir," Zoe clearly knew what Mal had been thinking. "Try not to shoot anybody."
Mal moved through the room easily, despite the fact that it was crowded. The other patrons took one look at his thunderous face and quickly got out of his way. It didn't take long for Mal to reach Simon and Simon's new 'friend.'
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Mal demanded.
Simon visibly started and, if anything, the blush on his face deepened. "C-Captain, I wasn't expecting you."
The man holding Simon tightened his grasp. "Go away, this little darling's all mine tonight. We have an agreement."
"Well, ain't that shiny," Mal's smile was predatory. "Too bad I'm feelin' a might disagreeable."
"Captain," Simon recovered enough to protest. "This is a private matter. It doesn't concern you."
Mal grabbed Simon's arm and gave a good yank. He managed to half pull Simon off the other man's lap. "I decide what concerns me."
"Hey!" The stranger grabbed Simon's other arm. "I had a deal with the boy."
"If that's right, then boy was dealing with merchandise that wasn't his to barter with," Mal retorted.
"That's between you and him," the man refused to release his grip on Simon. "I intend on making good on this deal."
"Think again," Mal brought his other hand up and aimed his gun right in the man's face. "You feel like complaining?"
Simon's new friend dropped the young man's arm as though it burned him. "No, no complaints."
"You're smarter than you look," Mal pulled Simon to his feet, ignoring the stares around him from the other patrons.
"Captain Reynolds," Simon sputtered a protest as Mal shoved him through the door and out into the street. "You had no right -. . . ."
Mal grabbed the young man by the back of the neck and roughly pulled him forward until they were nose to nose. "You do not want to be havin' this conversation in public, doctor, trust me. Hoo-tsuh."
Simon opened his mouth to protest again, but a voice stopped him.
"I'd listen if I were you," Zoe's voice was calm. She'd been so quiet that Mal had almost forgotten that she was there.
Mal was both pleased and frustrated when Simon took her advice and quit protesting. He was glad that the younger man quit flapping his jaw, but wasn't entirely pleased that it was Zoe who'd managed that minor miracle. Of course, Simon had taken another look at Mal's face and closed his mouth with an audible snap, so mayhap it wasn't all Zoe's doing after all.
Aldan was the kind of place where Mal could half-drag Simon through the streets and no one would comment. That fact was why only Zoe and Jayne had accompanied Mal off the ship.
Once they got to Serenity, Kaylee was waiting. He wasn't sure what Jayne had told her, but Kaylee was almost wringing her hands with worry. "Simon, are you okay?"
"Oh, he's just fine," Mal answered for the young man. "Leastways until I get done with him."
Mal propelled Simon passed Kaylee, to find Inara and Shepherd Book just beyond. The other two had equally concerned looks on their faces.
"Not a word," Mal cut off any protests they may have had. "Not a damn word out of any of ya."
Wash leaned against a bulkhead just beyond and addressed his wife rather than the captain. "Honey, do we need to take off real quick-like?"
"No, sweetie" Zoe answered. "He didn't shoot anybody."
"Yet," Mal ground out.
"Captain Reynolds," Simon protested, "I demand that you let go of me. . . ."
Mal tightened his grip. "Like I said, doc, you do not want to be havin' this conversation in public."
Simon gulped, but fell silent. Mal considered where he should have it out with the young man. The kitchen was out; there would be all too an eager of an audience. He briefly considered the infirmary, but just as quickly nixed that idea. The infirmary was Simon's territory and confronting him there would give Simon an edge. Mal didn't plan on Simon having any edge at all.
The idea of territory and power made the captain realize that there was really only one place on the ship where he could let Simon know, specifically and at great length, just what he'd done wrong.
"Wash, get us off this rock," Mal instructed the pilot. He shoved Simon towards the crew quarters. "The rest of you, mind your own business."
To Mal's relief, none of the others protested, although he did see worried looks exchanged. He didn't wonder about that - until he reached the crew quarters section of the ship and ran right into River Tam. She stared at him with those big eyes of hers and Mal felt some of his anger leech away. Of all the crew, River was the one with the most legitimate reason to protest the treatment of her brother. He steeled himself for a confrontation.
She giggled "Daddy's mad."
Mal gaped at her. "Huh."
"Don't worry, Daddy," River patted Mal's arm as she walked by them. "Simon always did need a firm hand. Didn't get it, but needed it."
"River!" Simon objected.
She just reached up to cup his cheek for a moment and then left without a backward glance.
The encounter cooled Mal's temper just a little. Enough so that when he opened the door to his own quarters, he shoved Simon down the steps instead of throwing him inside.
"Okay, you want to tell me what the hell you thought you were doing back there," Mal demanded once he'd followed. "We got one whore on board already, but at least she's a sanctioned one."
The doctor turned around to face Mal. "What choice did you leave me?"
"Me?" Mal laughed bitterly. "I'm the reason you were in a bar peddling your ass?"
Simon drew himself up to his full height and managed to look down his nose at Mal, despite being several inches shorter. "We're not part of your crew, so we don't get any payout from the dubious activities you call jobs."
Mal threw up his hands. "I'm hiding you from all sorts of folks looking to find your sister and cut up her brain. That's payment enough."
"River needs medication," Simon was dangerously close to yelling at Mal. "How else am I supposed to get it? It's not like I have anything but my ass to peddle."
After the Tams' kidnapping on Jiangyin, Mal had strictly prohibited Simon from revealing his status as a physician. It wasn't just that Mal thought it likely that Simon would be kidnapped again, but that the Alliance was looking for a doctor on the lam.
"Oh right," Mal retorted. "You go straight from doctoring to whoring."
"And what do you call what you do?" Simon bit off each word with his characteristic pristine enunciation. "You sell your services to the highest bidder-. . . ."
Mal's temper flared. He grabbed Simon by the shoulders and shook him. "That's enough out of you."
"So it's okay for you, but not me," Simon wasn't deterred by Mal's anger. "You can add hypocrisy to your list of accomplishments."
The room turned red. To say that Mal did not take kindly to being called a whore by a pampered brat like Simon Tam was an understatement. To be accused of being two-faced on top of it was more than he could take.
Mal changed his grip on Simon, dragging the younger man over to his bed. Simon, not surprisingly, did not go willingly or quietly.
"What are you doing?" Simon demanded. He attempted to dig his heels in, but Mal's anger gave him extra strength.
"That's enough." Mal ground out between gritted teeth.
Ignoring Simon's sputtered protests, Mal sat on the edge of his bed. He made short work of Simon's pants. Mal didn't let himself get distracted by the sight of Simon's uncovered ass. Instead, he forced Simon over his lap.
"You're real good at talking," Mal warned the squirming young man draped across his knees. "Seems to me that the time for talking might be done."
Mal brought his hand down for a sharp swat against Simon's ass. Simon yelped and his attempts to get free doubled.
"Are you insane?" Simon demanded.
"Act like a brat, get treated like a brat," Mal easily held Simon down with one hand planted firmly in the center of Simon's back. He brought his other hand down for two more sharp swats. "I'd say that this is gonna hurt me more than it is you, but I don't want to add lying to hypocrisy."
Simon struggled. "You can't do this."
"Hate to tell you this, doc," Mal told him. "But I am doing this."
He kept up a steady pace, the sound of his hand slapping down on Simon's ass taking on a rhythmic quality. Simon struggled at first and then stilled. Mal grinned, figuring that the young man probably was hoping that Mal would be assuaged by his feigned acquiescence. Unfortunately for Simon, Mal wasn't quite the stupid hick that he sometimes pretended to be.
"You. Do. Not. Peddle. Your. Ass." Mal swatted Simon particularly hard on each word. "Maybe after this your ass will remember even if the rest of you don't."
Simon started struggling again. "I had to get medicine for River."
"You need something for your sister, you ask me," Mal countered. Although his arm was getting tired, he didn't stop.
"Like that would do any good," Simon cried out. "You don't care about us."
"Little boy, if I didn't care, I wouldn't be blistering your ass," Mal replied.
"I have to take care of her," Simon's voice was hoarse. "I'm the only one who cares about River and I'm failing her."
Simon stopped struggling against Mal again and lay limply across Mal's knees. The young man's shoulders shook and his breathing was hitched. Mal had a feeling that if he turned Simon to face him, he would find the younger man crying.
So Mal did just that.
Far more gently than he'd been handling Simon before, Mal raised the younger man so that he was sitting on Mal's lap. Tears were running down Simon's face and, acting upon instinct, Mal drew him closer. Simon no longer fought him. Instead, he clung to Mal.
"I'm failing her," Simon whispered.
"The only way you're failing that girl is by doing stupid things like trying to sell yourself to a drug dealer, dong ma?" Mal replied. "That's all kind of stupid, nyen ching-duh."
All of Mal's anger drained away at Simon's obvious distress. If there was one thing that Mal Reynolds understood, it was the need to look after his own. Granted, Mal's definition of family was a little warped in that his was made up of a ragtag group of misfits, but Mal respected Simon's devotion to his sister.
Nothing new was said and Mal enjoyed the silence, not to mention the warmth of another body pressed close to his. With Simon in his arms, Mal could admit to himself that part of the reason he enjoyed deviling the boy was that he was attracted to him. Protecting Simon and his sister was more to Mal than just a chance to spit in the Alliance's eye. Up until now, there'd been no need to reveal that little fact, but the incident on Aldan was proof that circumstances had to change. If Simon was desperate enough to trade his body for medicine, then there was no telling what the young man would do.
"Simon, I meant it," Mal said softly. He started rubbing slow circles on Simon's back. "You need something for that sister of yours, you tell me. I'll see to getting it, best that I can."
"We're not crew," Simon stated, as if that said everything. Mal winced. The boy had reason to believe that.
"Yes, you are," Mal admitted. They probably had been since the beginning. Coming back for them on Jiangyin had proven that, even if Mal had been unwilling to admit it. "And I take care of my crew."
"Thank you, Captain, but I'm fully capable of taking care of River."
Simon sat upright and attempted to get off Mal's lap. Mal kept a firm grip on his hips, refusing to let the young man up. Instead of fighting Mal further, Simon started straightening his shirt. The movement reminded Mal that he had a half-naked man on his lap and Simon's state of undress made certain things obvious.
"No, you ain't," Mal told him, but gently. "Not out here. In the Core, sure, but out here's a whole different kettle of fish."
Simon's lips thinned, but he didn't argue the point. "So what do you think I should do?"
"Is your sister right?" Mal asked. "Do you need a firm hand?"
The young man gaped at him. "What?"
Mal moved one hand until it was in between Simon's legs. The doctor wasn't completely hard, but was beginning to stiffen. Simon gasped but didn't protest.
"Your daddy, he never laid a hand on you, did he?" Mal guessed.
"I never had a daddy," Simon closed his eyes. "I had a father, one that was pleased with me when I did something he could brag of, but dropped both River and I when we didn't comply with Core standards for behavior."
"That's a shame," Mal started a slow stroke, pleased when Simon didn't complain. "Everyone needs a daddy. Someone who'll look out for them and do what's needed to keep them safe."
On the word 'safe,' Mal noticed that Simon pressed a little closer. He'd figured that was what Simon was getting off on, more so than the spanking itself. Mal had admired Simon's courage and determination to take care of his sister, never realizing that maybe Simon needed some of the same treatment himself.
"You need a daddy?" Mal asked quietly.
Simon's eyes popped open. "So I can peddle my ass to you instead of strangers?"
Mal hissed, but was careful not to squeeze. "You and River are crew, no matter how you answer that question." He removed his hand from Simon's groin, pleased when Simon wiggled at the loss of sensation. "But be careful how you answer."
"How so?" Simon's eyes were dilated and Mal crowed to himself.
"If you're mine, you're mine," Mal stated firmly. "This daddy don't share his boy."
"And River?" Simon frowned.
"Not like that," Mal was quick to reassure. "You take care of your sister, same as you always do. It's just that I take care of you."
Mal bent forward and kissed Simon for the first time. In spite of the surprise nature of the move, Simon's mouth opened eagerly and Mal's tongue slipped inside. There were several moments of heat before Mal figured he better end things lest they get out of hand.
When he withdrew, Mal nipped slightly at Simon's lips. "I take care of you, dong ma?"
"Shi, Mal," Simon leaned into the older man. "You take care of me."
Mal forced himself to clarify. "Just so we're clear, that means if you need something for your crazy-ass sister, you ask me."
"Yes, Mal," Simon answered.
"It also means that I'll see to it that you're both safe and I'll blister your ass if I found out you're doing anything stupid," Mal warned. He slipped a hand around the still-warm flesh of Simon's ass. "And I'll have other uses for that ass too."
"Shi," Simon licked his lips. "I, I mean, yes, I understand."
Mal had one last point that he needed to make. "I don't let go of what's mine, dong ma?"
Simon took Mal's other hand and returned it to his groin. "Yes, I understand. . . Daddy."
It was Mal's turn to groan. He very gently took Simon's cock back in hand. By this time, it was completely hard. Mal was very aware that he had a half-naked Simon on his lap, eager to be his boy. Mal was inclined to go slow, however. He took his time with his strokes, making them long and slow.
"You're mine now, Simon," Mal said, keeping his words a soft drawl in time with the movements he was doing with Simon's cock. "I'll take care of you, keep you safe."
Simon spread his legs, although he was careful to stay on Mal's lap. "Yesss. . . ."
"My Simon," Mal crooned, increasing speed and pressure. "My boy." Mal added a little twist to his strokes, culminating by palming the head of Simon's cock. "Come for me now, baobei, give it to me."
Simon cried out and his hips lifted off of Mal's lap, clutching at Mal's shoulders as he spilled into the older man's hand. "Daddy!"
"That's it, that's it," Mal milked Simon's cock, figuring it had been a while since the boy'd had any other hand on it but his. "Give me everything."
When Simon was finished, he collapsed against Mal, shuddering and breathing hard. Mal kept up a reassuring patter of words as he carefully shuffled them until he was leaning against the head of the bed, Simon draped across him.
"Daddy's got you," Mal whispered, kissing Simon's temple. "You're safe, River's safe. You're not alone no more, Simon. Gonna take real good care of you."
Simon's breathing slowly deepened and his body became languid with sleep. Mal kept petting him, although he allowed his words to stop. His mind raced a thousand miles a minute. It wasn't always going to be this easy. At that thought, Mal slowly grinned.
Easy? God, he hoped not.
~ the end ~
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