Do You Know Who I Am?
Friday, February 2, 2007

Post BDM, Mal/River, after When I Said Go, I Never Meant Away.


Disclaimer: All rights to Joss and Mutant Enemy.

Thank you for the wonderful comments and suggestions! Per request, this new chapter may not be as fluffy as the others... I'm not sure if I like it as much as the others. Maybe I'm just a sucker for fluff.


The change was subtle. You didn't notice it right at once, but the more you saw her, the more you knew she was different. Different wasn't necessarily bad, but it left the mind to wonder what had brought this change into being.

You might notice that she spoke coherently more often than not, for example. Or you might pick up on the fact that she seemed generally happier and smiled a great deal. You might even delve so deeply into the study of her change to notice that she rarely, if ever, spoke to Inara anymore.

As her doctor, and her brother, it was his job to notice these things. It frustrated him to no end, however, that he couldn't figure out the cause of it. There had to be something he was missing, something that he hadn't seen yet.

She'd been like this for a few days now. Perhaps, she was merely healing on her own, or maybe she was just going through a more lucid period. All of her symptoms pointed to this except one. Why had she stopped talking to Inara, whom she'd never had a problem with before?

Simon sighed, wishing he knew the answer.


She felt warm and safe in his arms. It felt like she laid there forever, drifting in an out of sleep, with a feeling of extreme contentment.

His bare chest provided a wonderfully comfortable pillow, and she relished in the fact that she could feel and hear his heart beating beneath her cheek. The gentle motion of rising and falling provided an excellent lulling sensation.

Even when she was so full of sleep that she couldn't doze anymore, she lay there awake and happy, not wanting to wake him. One of his arms was wrapped gently around her back, the other was tucked beneath his pillow. He looked so handsome and peaceful while asleep.

At last, she reluctantly moved from her warm, comfortable place and out into the cool air of Serenity. The reason for her leaving the bed was simple: she was hungry. She had originally thought to wait for him to eat, but now she intended to bring the eating to him.

Very quietly, so as not to disturb him, she crept from his room and into the dining area. She knew at once that she was not alone. Her brother sat at the table, troubled.

Altering her course, she went to sit down next to him. "Simon?" she asked.

Simon watched her sit down, smiling at her. He responded to her question with, "I was just thinking, River."

He was worried about her, she could tell that he had noticed something was amiss. "Don't worry about me, Simon." she said, putting her hand on his shoulder, "I've been feeling more like a person lately."

"That's what's worrying me, mei-mei." he said. "I am worried that it won't last."

She sighed, "Nothing lasts forever and everyone is moony in the end. I am feeling well now and that's all that matters. Constant dancing can make anyone tired, even me."

"I just wish I knew the cause of your progression, so that I could make it work better." he said.

She didn't respond to this. Instead, she got up and made him a glass of orange juice. When she sat back down, it was on the other side of the table.

He accepted the orange juice with a look of thanks. "You should have some too." he told her.

She ignored him, looking down. "Simon..." she began, but paused, "Simon, are you glad that I'm feeling better, even if you don't know why?"

"Of course I am." he replied, looking concerned. She picked at her cuticles. "Why wouldn't I be? You're my sister, of course I am happy that you are becoming more sane," he paused, expecting to be kicked, when the kick didn't come, he continued, "I know that once you're feeling totally well, we can see about going home and explaining things to mom and dad. You'll want to see about getting reintegrated into civilized society, they should believe us, now that they saw the footage from Miranda. I know how you want to see them."

She looked down. "No, you don't." she looked back up at him, "Do you know who I am?" she asked him.

Simon looked confused, "You're... River... You're my sister." His mind said, You're my responsibility. I have to take care of you because I love you. I'm glad I'm you're brother and here to take care of you, because I don't know that anyone else would.

She sighed sadly, "Simon... I love you, but I can't tell you why I feel better until you realize who I am. 'Til you realize I'm a person and not just your responsibility. I'm sorry." she said, getting up and retrieving two apples from the basket on the counter and a knife from the drawer. Then she walked away, leaving him to sit at the table in confusion.

Returning to Mal's room, she found him awake, getting dressed. "I was wonderin' where you'd gotten off to." he said when he saw her, he nodded to the apples, "One of them for me?" he asked, smiling his trademark smile.

She nodded, returning the smile half-heartedly, handing him an apple and the knife and sitting next to him on the bed. She looked down at her own apple, but she had lost her appetite.

"What's wrong, darlin'?" he asked, cupping her cheek.

She shook her head, giving him another small smile. "Just feeling a little down. Too much screaming in one room, but it won't break the walls." she replied, looking at him. When he still looked concerned, and more than a bit confused, she said, "I'll be fine."

He still seemed concerned but he let it drop. Thoughtfully, he ate his apple.


Everyone was lounging about in the dining room. It was one of those days. Mal kept glancing at River, who was sitting on the couch, her feet on the coffe table, pretending to read a book.

He knew she was pretending because no one could possibly accomplish any reading when their eyes never moved except to look at Simon or Mal. He was sure that if Inara hadn't been off working, she would've continually looked up at her as well.

As it was, Mal was only polishing his guns to keep busy. He was worried about River. Something had happened in between the time she had gone to sleep and the time she had returned with the apples to make her feel down. The way she kept looking at Simon, who was strangely avoiding her gaze told him that it had something to with Simon.

He was nearly positive that she hadn't told Simon about their relationship for two reasons. A: He hadn't been punched yet. 2: She would have told him.

Abruptly, Simon stood from the other end of the dining table where he had been playing cards with Kaylee. He whispered an excuse to Kaylee and then left the dining room.

Both Mal and River's eyes followed him out of the room. A few moments later, River closed her book, setting it on the coffee table. Then she too left, in the same direction as Simon.


She quietly walked down to the infirmary. She could hear him moving around inside, but he wasn't really doing much. His thoughts were on what she'd said to him this morning.

Leaning her head around the door, she tentatively said, "Simon?"

He started and turned to look at her. "River... you startled me."

"I'm sorry." she replied.

"I was thinking about what you said."

"I know." she responded.

"If you know the reason for your progression, you really ought to tell me." he said.

She shook her head and brought her full body into the doorway.

"Look, I'm sorry that I haven't really thought of you as anything but my responsibilty and my sister lately. I realize that you've grown up quite a bit since we've been on Serenity."

She nodded, but said nothing. She wanted to make sure he understood who she was.

He continued reluctantly, "You've become a woman, but I'll always think of you as my little sister." he said smiling. When she continued to watch him, he went on, "I know that I've treated you like a child, and I realize that I can't always dictate what you do anymore."

She nodded again, "Good." she said. "That's a good enough answer for me- for now."

He smiled at her, "Then will you tell me what I want to know?"

She sighed, casting about for the words. Finally she simply said, "I... I'm in love with someone."

Simon looked shocked, "In love... With who?"

She looked down, "Does it matter as long as they're making me feel better?."

"Of course it does!"

She laughed derisively, "You told me yourself that you were happy that I was feeling better, the reason didn't matter."

"That was when I thought you were replacing insanity with sanity, not more insanity. I don't think either of the men on this ship are good enough- or young enough- for you."

"Love can never be reasoned or measured. You proved that when you rescued me. Let me be happy and love whomever I choose." she replied.

"Who is it?" he said, choosing to ignore her last comment.

"Promise you won't hurt him and I'll tell you. Not that I think he's in any danger."

He huffed and gritted his teeth. "Fine. I promise."

"It.. It's Mal, Simon. I'm in love with Mal."

Simon's expression changed from anger to horror. "What? When? Why?"

"Makes me not so crazy and really crazy all at once. Makes the nightmares go away. Gives me butterflies."

"River, No, you can't!" he shouted, "That man is way too old for you. Not to mention the fact that he's a petty thief."

Her eyes flashed, "Not petty. Don't you ever say that again, you know better than to think he's petty. You're not so innocent yourself." she said, "And as you said, you can't dictate what I do. It's my decision, not yours." She turned on her heel and stalked off, leaving him with his mouth hanging open.


Mal found River on the catwalk of the cargo bay. She looked really upset. He rushed over to her, "River, sweetheart, what's wrong?"

She laughed sadly at him. "He knows." she whispered, "He knows. I told him."

"Had to be done sometime." Mal replied. "At least you told him instead of him finding out some other way."

She nodded and looked up at him, "He didn't understand. I knew he wouldn't understand." she looked out at the cargo bay, her hands gripping the railing until her knuckles were white. "There's so much screaming in the room now, it's so loud. All the windows are broken, shattered glass... everywhere." A single tear rolled down her cheek.

Mal put his arm around her shoulder and joined her on leaning over the railing. "Windows can be fixed love. Most things right themselves in time, as long as they're tended to with love and care. Like ships."

She smiled and leaned into his embrace. "I hope so. For Simon... and for me..."


Friday, February 2, 2007 7:19 PM


Oh, poor River and of course, Simon the boob. I liked Mal's reaction to the fact that she had told Simon, but as the captain and a stand-up guy, I think he should confront Simon himself. He needs to admit to this and give Simon the opportunity to take a swing.

Friday, February 2, 2007 8:01 PM


that's next chapter :)

Friday, February 2, 2007 8:46 PM


Yep...Simon needs some mano-a-mano time with Mal to purge his brotherly rage before having a nice long chat with Mal about River. Cuz he really needs to see Mal truly cares for River :(


Saturday, February 3, 2007 12:15 AM


Sorry I didn't comment any of the others, I only just got done reading them all. I'm not usually a massive Mal/River fan, but I'm in love with what you're doing here. Their relationship makes sense, and it's a mighty enjoyable read. Can't wait for the next one :-)

Saturday, February 3, 2007 12:22 AM


I am glad that River has finally told Simon but wished she had done it earlier on rather than sneaking behind his back to see Mal. Also, the Captain cannot have been very happy doing that, as if their feelings for each other were something to be ashamed of. Had they told him earlier Simon would have slowly been able to adjust and accept it even if he didn't like of approve. Now reason and common sense may not be able to calm what he will see as his righteous rage and indignation. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, February 4, 2007 11:37 PM


Im really enjoying this, and im not much of a Mal/River fan generally, but you are writing it very well. I look forward to the next installment. I think you have the voices down quite well...


You must log in to post comments.



Chinese Phrases
I always have difficulty finding the Chinese phrase I'm looking for, so I've compiled a list. I thought it might be helpful to everyone else too, so I wanted to share it :) I'll update it every time I find a new phrase, feel free to add your own in the comments.

War Stories: Assembly
This is the seventh of a series about the Unification War. (As if it needed to be said) Pre-BDS. Our Big Damn Heroes get ready for a fight. Motivations are revealed, certain words are exchanged, certain fists, new feelings emerge.

Someone to Watch Over You
This is the sequel to "His Something." River keeps her promise.

The end of a Silee romance and the beginning of a Jaylee. Post-BDM.

Memoirs of a Companion: Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Post-BDM. Our companion takes time getting to know Dylan, a promise is made. Part 2:

Memoirs of a Companion: No Yume-Dochu
In Japanese, "no yume-dochu" translates to "the dream parade," which was a costumed parade that the oiran of 19th century Japan once performed. For a time reference, this is post-BDM, in the aftermath of the Miranda broadcast. Part 1:

War Stories: Reinforcements
This is the sixth of a series about the Unification War. (As if it needed to be said) Pre-BDS. Our Big Damn Heroes find strength in numbers. War racketeering is attempted, insights and options are explored, (someday) lifelong friends meet for the first time.

If I Kiss You Where It's Sore
Post-BDM. Slash. Inspired by "Better" by Regina Spektor. Some wounds need more help than others, and some secrets just can't be kept.

A Slinky Dress
Just another standalone, post BDM. Zoe finds something unexpected.

Something I Should Have Done
NC-17, just something random to tickle your... fancy... right... er... fancy. Yes. M/I. Set at the end of Heart of Gold, something Mal should have done...