Title: Touching Stars
Author: tafkar
Summary: Mal and Simon, on snowshoes.
Category: Romance, fluff.
Spoilers: No.
Rating: G. Yes. I write G-rated slash. Aren't I pathetic?
Archiving: Always welcome; just let me know you have done so.
Notes: Written for Skripka.



"Mal, it's freezing," Simon said, his snowshoes barely visible before him in the shadow the trees cast under the moon.

"I don't see what you got to complain about," Mal replied. "I do seem to recall that you got yourself some long underwear before leaving town."

"I did," Simon said, his voice muffled by his scarf. "But it's been several hours, and we've yet to see this cabin you've spoken so highly of."

"It's just around the bend," Mal said. He gave Simon a slap on the back, one that almost sent the younger man falling. "See? Almost there. You just gotta stick it out a little longer."

They trudged a little further in silence. Simon stomped a little more emphatically than was necessary under the circumstances. As they rounded the bend, they saw a clearing, and in the middle, at the bottom of a small hill, a log cabin. The sky looked as big as anything, and the snow was bright with the reflection of the stars.

"Ain't that a sight?" Mal said, putting an arm around Simon. "You'd've missed all this if you'd stayed back on that shuttle with Jayne and let Zoe come with me."

Only Simon's eyes were visible between the knit wool hat and the scarf, but Mal could tell the doctor was scowling. "At the time, I thought trudging several kilometers through the snow was preferable to an evening in Jayne's company." He sounded slightly winded.

"Shhh," Mal said. "My momma used to tell me that, if you were really quiet on a winter night, you could hear the stars talking to each other."

They stood there silently for a minute, listening to the hoot of an owl in the distance. Simon began turning his head toward Mal, obviously about to say something ironical that would ruin the moment. Mal reached up one hand, tugged Simon's scarf below his chin, and pulled Simon's mouth toward his.

Simon's nose felt astoundingly warm against Mal's cheek, and his mouth was hot and wet. The scratchy wool scarf caught under Mal's chin as he began to pull away.

"Well, that was..." Simon said.

"Charming? Romantic?" Mal asked.

"I was going to say unexpected. And awkward," Simon replied.

"Oh! Uh, oh." It hadn't occured to Mal that the doc might not be interested. "Well, we can pretend this never happened, and..."

Simon pulled Mal's mouth down to his. Anything else Mal was about to say was lost. He could feel, distantly, Simon's mittened hands sliding down the back of his jacket, and in the distance, he thought he could hear the stars.

Simon pulled back and shook his head. "No. This isn't working. All these layers just make it far too awkward."

"Oh!" Mal said. "The layers. When you said awkward, I thought you meant me."

Simon smiled. "Surely you don't believe that." He kissed Mal again, and Mal swore he could feel the snow melting under his feet. "Let's get inside. I've been told this is more effective if we remove all our clothes first."

Who was Mal to argue? Simon was the doctor.

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