Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Her thoughts, her guilt ... one of the short episodes to follow BIRTHDAY. Please let me know what you think.


River watched Mal and Freya through the window of the infirmary, perched high on the catwalk, keeping still so they couldn’t see her.

She had almost destroyed it, killed two people with one stroke, for he would not have lived long after if she had died. Oh, his body might have continued to walk and talk, eventually laugh and play, but his spirit, his essence, his very Mal-ness, would not have survived.

Simon had said he didn’t hold it against her, but that wasn't the point. She held it against her. For being weak enough to let that man … she couldn’t even bear to think of his name … to let that man into her mind, to tear her fragile sanity into shreds and tatters, to make her hide from everything and everyone on this ship. From her family. The people who had borne her hadn’t loved her like these men and women did. Simon had to – he was her brother – but they loved her because they chose to.

Mal stroked an errant lock of hair from Freya’s forehead, and that simple gesture spoke of feelings so deep she didn’t have to reach for them. They hung in the air like a green summer mist, shot through with the bright scarlet of passion.

He hadn’t fired, hadn’t chosen to shoot the bullet that would pulverise her brain, turn her mind into squashed berries, dripping onto the stone tiles. Like blood from a blade. Freya’s blood.

She wanted to apologise, take it back, withdraw the edge until there was nothing but a spider’s web drawn across her belly, but turning time was not a gift she had. Instead Freya had lain on the cold floor, her hot blood making trailing patterns of death.

Still he hadn’t fired. For the rest of her life she would wonder why not. In the depths of nightmares she would wake, seeing his face, the reflection of another’s pain, and marvel at his control. She was willing to cut them all to pieces, but he wouldn’t kill if he didn’t have to. An honourable man.

He was smiling, laughing at something Freya had said. It didn’t matter what the words were, the meaning was clear. As he squeezed her hand the green mist was tinted with the gold of desire.

Their children would be strong. A wave of contentment spreading from the point of Serenity out into the ‘verse, lighting the dark and keeping the demons at bay.

She’d thought to step into the airlock, press the button and let the shadows take her. Make it something other than pain. But Freya had fought so hard against it, leaving rather than taking them with her, and she could do no less. And she needed to live to feel the guilt, to atone for what she had done, however unwillingly, to feel the agony of the stroke every time she looked into the other woman’s eyes …

Mal leaned down and kissed Freya, his lips soft and tender, hers warm and inviting, and she could watch no more. Sliding down the stairs she hurried to her room, but a small voice reached out and stopped her.

Such a little life. So small, so tenuous, so easily torn from this reality. Yet holding on with a grip much tighter than hers. She turned towards it.

Kaylee was sitting on the bed, her breast bare, her baby suckling. Madonna and child, the fulfilment of promise and youth, the great soother. She looked up, saw her standing there, and smiled. A beatific smile, a smile that warmed, a smile that … healed.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006 7:57 AM


Doesn't anyone have any comments?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 11:10 AM


I liked this story - that someone would attempt to use River as an assassin is very believable.

Very much like that it's Kaylee who both River and Simon find so much comfort from, but I don't think they have healed this quickly from their recent ordeal. They've turned a corner on their respective grief, but I imagine the nightmares will remain with them for some time.

Wanted to slap Mal and Zoe both upside the head - what on earth are both thinking when they threaten to kill Simon if he can't save Freya/Hank? If I was Simon I'd be the heck off the ship in his shoes - the first time someone dies in the infirmary, there's a good chance he'll be dead too? They've given him a powerful reason to leave, not stay, and I'd like to see this explored in another story.

Good job! I'd love to see more from you!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 5:41 PM


tkid's got a mighty interesting point in all this: Mal threatens Simon in the pilot episode that if he can't save Kaylee's live, he's basically screwed (either dead or abandonned on Whitefall). Now, Simon's been threatened by both Mal and Zoe (pretty much in the span of a few hours) that if he couldn't save Hank and/or Freya, he was dead. This is definitely something I think Joss would have explored had he been given the chance by Fox...and I think that it's something you could explore as part of Simon's remaining issues with his guilt, Jane0904. The knowledge that one slip-up will seemingly would provoke Mal or Zoe to take violent action really doesn't help Simon's psyche...

However...this is about River and her moent here. Really gotta give you mucho props for having River racked with guilt but unable to take her own life as punishment because Freya - one of her victims - manage to crawl back from the insanity Eric Lon unleashed in her to Mal's love. I am glad that Kaylee - even if only breastfeeding Bethany - managed to show River one reason to keep herself alive and penitent. Though I was hoping for some Jayne imput on the matter;)


Wednesday, November 15, 2006 4:26 AM


This was beautiful. A great slice of River's brain (pardon the pun), and her feelings following another violent moment that bad, bad men caused her to have.

You have to wonder if River might not eventually turn the tables and lose any shred of decency, acting as a mercenary or vigilante to hurt men who hurt innocents.

Thanks for this ... I can't wait to read the others.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 6:59 PM


Now ya see what happens? I go away, and everyone makes all the good comments!

I'll just say that I think you've got a great grasp of what a Post-BDM River would be like, and this little introspection following the savage attack on her already fragile psyche was very, very well done. It seems to me that River never seems to take comfort from within. So for her to find some form of solace in the presence of an other is perfect, and for it to be little Bethany...even better!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:33 AM


this one is quite good. I like River's thoughts.


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Now and Then - a Christmas story
“Then do you have a better suggestion? No, let me rephrase that. Do you have a more sensible suggestion that doesn’t involve us getting lost and freezing to death?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XV
“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]