Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A few of Simon's thoughts as he tends to River after the fight in the Maidenhead in the BDM. (PG13)


Disclaimer: Firefly and all related aspects belong to Joss Whedon.


Simon rushed into the room the second the captain had allowed it and was faced with the sight of River covered in blood spatters. He had a small wash basin filled with warm water and a cloth with him to clean her up. Kneeling before her he set everything on the ground and took her face in his hands, gently brushing her hair back. He furrowed his brows as he looked her over for any obvious signs of injury, relieved at finding none. Reaching aside to pick up the cloth, Simon gently began to brush the blood droplets off of River’s forehead first.

Her perfect, pale skin was stained with the crimson that spoke of the pure, unadulterated strength and agility he’d borne witness to such a short time prior. He was still finding it hard to believe that his innocent meimei had something like that in her. He’d known about the behavioral conditioning, he’d heard the horror stories, but until then he’d refused to believe any of it. He was still having trouble believing it, despite having witnessed it. He was finally being faced with coming to grips with the fact that his sister was a weapon.

He sighed softly as he cupped her cheek, trying to meet her gaze but seeing that her eyes were glazed, unfocused as she looked not at him, but almost through him. Simon ceased his ministrations for a moment, the hand with the cloth in it gently resting on her cheek, cooling her skin as he tried to take in something, anything that would tell him what was going on in her mind. He couldn’t even begin to guess the horrors that were contained there.

“They’re afraid of me,” River said evenly, breaking the silence.

Simon continued to gently clean away the droplets of blood that had dried on her forehead, leaning in close to her, to reassure her, to show her that he wasn’t afraid.

“I’m sorry,” he said softly.

“They should be,” River replied quickly. “But I’ll show them. Oh God…”

He could see the tears that welled up in her eyes as she trailed off and it hurt him to see them. He reached out as she rolled her head back, her gaze finally settling on his, and brushed a stray strand of hair out of her eyes, his fingertips delicately brushing her cheek.

“Sh, sh, sh,” Simon said quietly. “It’s okay. Hey, it’s okay.”

He looked at her, wanting her to see all of the apology in his eyes, wanting her to know that no matter what she did, or said, he would never fear her. That he would be there for her. He would never leave her, for any reason. He wanted to understand her and hoped that one day he could. He sighed softly, pulling back a little, a hand resting on her neck as her gaze became blank once again.

“Show me off like a dog,” River continued. “Old men covered in blood. It never touched them but they’re drowning in it. I don’t know what I’m saying, I never know what I’m saying...”

Simon could see that River was getting more and more worked up with every word. The tears welling in her eyes were dangerously close to falling as she tossed her head, her features becoming creased with the emotion that was threatening to burst from within her at any moment.

“In the maidenhead you said something,” Simon commented lightly. “When you were triggered. Do you remember?”

He brought a hand down to rest lightly on her shoulder, just enough of a touch to reassure her but not enough to make her feel trapped. He knew that was one of the things she felt, a residual caged feeling, like she was tied down that was left over from when she’d been at the Academy. He didn’t want to make that any worse, so he was always careful in the way he touched her, comforted her.

“The captain saw you say something on the feed,” Simon pressed on.

He glanced away for just a moment, the hand with the cloth coming down to gently begin to wash away blood stains on her shoulder. Simon’s attention snapped back to River when she spoke again, still not looking at him but off into the distance.

“Miranda,” she said almost distractedly.

“Miranda,” Simon repeated questioningly.

River’s gaze finally turned to his again, her features once more creasing with emotion as tears shone in her eyes. Her eyes were so expressive, they held so much, too much wisdom for her age, too much pain and sorrow. Simon wished that he had the power to take it from her and upon himself, to be able to free her from it. He promised that one day he would find a way to do so, to heal her, to fix what those monsters at the Academy had broken.

“Ask her...” River said, an undercurrent of almost urgency in her voice.

“Who is Miranda?” Simon asked, trying to meet River’s gaze as she fiddled lightly with her handcuffs. “Am I talking to Miranda now?”

The look that River gave him wasn’t difficult for even someone as terrible at reading emotions as he was to understand. It was a look that said, quite plainly, I’m not a multiple, dumbo. Simon furrowed his brow with a wry expression as he looked away for a moment to dip the cloth in the basin of water he had with him once more, wringing it out slowly.

“No,” he said, speaking like the thought was distasteful now that he’d given it a moment to sink in. “No. Right.”

Simon reached out slowly, gently taking one of River’s hands in his, supporting her wrist gently as he began to brush away the blood on her hands, hoping that with the ritual he could wash away and guilt she may have felt. He knew it hadn’t been her fault, not in the least, she’d been triggered after all, but he imagined she must still have felt some measure of remorse. He looked up at her again, speaking softly.

“I um, I think when they triggered you it somehow brought this up, this memory-,” he was abruptly cut off as River spoke up.

“It isn’t mine!” She nearly cried. “The memory, it isn’t mine, and I shouldn’t have to carry it, it isn’t mine!”

Simon leaned in towards her as the tears which had undoubtedly been building sprang from her eyes and began to trail down her cheeks, leaving glistening streaks in their wake. He took her face in his hands, lightly brushing the tears away with his thumbs, soothing her quietly, shushing her as she wept.

“Don’t make me sleep again,” she pleaded.

“I won’t,” Simon promised.

“Put a bullet to me,” River sobbed. “Bullet in the brainpan, squish!”

She was torn between laughing and crying, sobbing lightly as Simon reached to gently grasp her chin. He turned her to face him, putting a finger to her lips lightly, shaking his head as he forced her to look at him. He wasn’t going to let her think like that, he wasn’t going to lose her to those thoughts. He couldn’t lose her, she was all he had left. Simon held her gaze, searching her deep, brown eyes for anything that would help him understand what it was she was going through, that would help him fix her.

“Don’t say that,” Simon said firmly albeit softly. “Not ever. We’ll get through this.”

He stroked her hair softly, feeling tangled, roughened knots where there were droplets of blood in the strands. He didn’t know what she’d been talking about, she’d been speaking cryptically in metaphors again and he couldn’t even begin to understand her. It made him feel guilty, inadequate, like perhaps he couldn’t do enough because he wasn’t working hard enough to truly comprehend her. He swallowed thickly as he gently cupped her face in his hands, his eyes still holding hers.

“Things are gonna get much, much worse,” River said shakily.

Simon couldn’t find it in himself to reply. He could only nod lightly, briefly. It was so complicated. He was top three percent and he felt like nothing in comparison to River, with her knowledge and experience, all of which had come in such a short time. He wasn’t enough to understand her and it was a daunting feeling. He tried to push it away as he lightly touched the backs of his fingers to her lips, brushing away the tears which had strayed there. He could see that there were many more tears to come where those had fallen from and he wouldn’t leave her side until she’d cried them all, wanting to take some of the burden from her, however little that might have been.

He looked back down to her hands, taking her other wrist gently then, cleaning off the blood spilled from the innocent there. He didn’t know what those tyrants at the Academy hoped to accomplish by making a girl so young and innocent as River take the lives and livelihoods of the people like the ones in the Maidenhead. No, that was a lie. He did know what it was about, what they were trying to prove, to gain. Simon just didn’t want to admit it.

She was a weapon. What had happened in the Maidenhead was just a precursor to something much bigger, much, much worse, as River had put it. It was just a test to see if she was still as well conditioned as she had been before Simon had broken her out of the Academy. From what he’d seen she was.

Simon sighed softly and finished washing all of the blood off of River’s skin, thankful that none of it was hers. He set the cloth down in the basin of water and came to sit at River’s side, stretching his legs out before him. Wrapping one arm around her waist, Simon pulled his sister to him, pressing a gentle kiss to the top of her head as he held her. He could feel her relax the tiniest bit against him and was glad he could provide what little comfort he did.

I’ll fix you, River, Simon thought, I promise you that.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006 3:41 PM


I love Simon's tenderness and determination to fix River here. Very sad, but with a glimmer of hope.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 3:47 PM


This was such a nice insight into Simon's thoughts during that scene, his personal heart break in such a gut wrenching moment in the movie. He is such a closed off character, emtionally, this piece gives us a glimpse of the true capacity of his feelings. I love it! Great Job!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 12:59 AM


Beautifully written insight into what Simon was thinking during this scene and absolutely spot-on. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 6:59 AM


This is one of the best scenes in the BDM for a variety of reasons (not least of which is the tenderness and execution of the lines by Sean and Summer) but this insight also ends a level to the interaction that very easily breaks the heart. Simon's devotion is so easy to read here. And River's pain and fear at being unable to control herself or her feelings, causes anyone to instantly feel for her. (As I read this I could just keep seeing the moment from the film where River pleads with Simon not to make her sleep again - the pain in her face and eyes is heartwrenching.)

Thanks for adding depth to one of my favorite scenes!

Thursday, May 18, 2006 6:52 PM


Excellent work expanding on a key scene from the BDM, Wanmei! Loved it to pieecs:)


Wednesday, July 5, 2006 3:16 AM


*It was a look that said, quite plainly, I’m not a multiple, dumbo.*

Excellent description of that look.

*“Bullet in the brainpan, squish!”*

I love her little almost laughing voice when she says that in the movie.

I really liked this little description of that scene. :)


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