BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

NESS

Passing
Monday, April 23, 2007

Post BDM; Simon attempts a conversation with Zoe about Wash.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1350    RATING: 8    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: Joss is boss.

A/N: Inspired by an LJ prompt about Wash. Also, thank you to my beta 2x2. The poor woman has to put up with my crap, uh, I mean, fics.

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The plastic dinosaur was clutched in River’s left hand. Combined with her slumbering form, she reminded Simon of a small child resting peacefully with a plush animal tucked under one arm. Had River woken at that moment, she would have found her brother staring at her, a far-off look in his eyes.

The back of the pilot’s chair was reclined to a forty-five degree angle. River’s head rested on the headrest, but she had turned slightly in her slumber so that the left side of her face was nestled against the cushion. The hand holding the dinosaur dangled off the edge of the armrest.

Standing there, watching, Simon was struck with how peaceful his sister looked. Had it only been weeks ago that she would wake up, screaming in her sleep?

River looked so comfortable in the pilot’s chair. It seemed to Simon that his sister could fall asleep anywhere, in any position. Even now, she had her left leg tucked underneath her while her right leg was stretched out. She looked right at home.

It was almost easy to forget that the pilot’s chair used to be the domain of someone else.

Simon looked to the other dinosaurs lining the console. An unsuspecting person would have mistaken them for a child’s playthings. Now they were a monument, the lasting impression of a man long gone.

He hadn’t thought about Wash’s passing too much. Somewhat guiltily, during the period of mourning, he had been exploring a new relationship with Kaylee. The high of expressing his passion to the young woman who had stolen his heart had kept him occupied for days. When the time had come for Serenity to take back to the skies, it had finally hit Simon. Wash no longer sat at the controls.

As a doctor back on Osiris, he’d been exposed to death all the time, but for the first time, Simon was experiencing the passing of someone he had known. Someone he had talked with while Mal and the others were out on a job. Someone who had also known that life aboard Serenity was far from safe but had stayed anyway.

Reaching down, Simon carefully slipped the dinosaur out from River’s hand. She stirred for a moment but quickly settled, her empty hand closing into a fist.

In his own hands, the dinosaur looked out of place. The toy stared up at Simon, its plastic arms stretched out, its snarl exposing a mouth full of fangs. He had learned about the ancient beasts that had once roamed Earth-that-Was back in school, but he couldn’t recall the proper name that matched this toy replica.

“Doc.”

Simon was pulled from his reverie. He looked up and found Zoe standing in the doorway to the bridge. Her hands were on either side of the frame but her feet were just behind the threshold. He couldn’t tell if she had been standing there long.

“Zoe. I…” Simon began to explain his presence but became aware that he was still holding onto the dinosaur. Wash’s dinosaur.

“River fell asleep up here again?”

Simon quickly placed the dinosaur back on the console but it was far from its original spot. “Yes, but I didn’t want to wake her. Will she be in the way?”

“We won’t hit Persephone for another coupla hours.”

A pause came in the conversation. Simon put his right hand to his chest, letting the sweat that had accumulated on his palm to soak into his shirt. He was also vaguely aware of how fast his heart was beating.

“I didn’t mean to–” he started, but Zoe interrupted.

“You don’t have to say anything.” It was a plain statement.

He let his hand fall to his side. Beside him, River continued to sleep, for once unaware of what was occurring around her. Zoe turned to leave.

“Zoe.” Simon hesitated as the woman stopped and looked over her shoulder. “I… I never thanked Wash for all he did.”

Zoe turned so she was facing Simon. Lifting her right foot, she stepped onto the bridge. “He did what needed to be done.”

“But I don’t just mean getting us to Mr. Universe’s complex.” Casting a glance at River, Simon moved away from the pilot’s chair. “He flew us out of danger. If the Alliance got too close, he found an escape. We owe him our lives.”

Zoe didn’t reply nor did her expression change, but she walked past Simon and picked up the dinosaur he had been holding. He watched as she held it in her hand, the toy reaching out with its arms and grinning with a mouth full of bright white teeth.

“He won’t be forgotten,” Simon added quietly.

“You don't have to worry about me,” said Zoe.

River turned in her sleep, muttering softly, “Zoe's out on a deal, I always worry.”

Simon looked to his sister. Her eyes were still closed and her expression was serene. It didn’t seem possible that she would have picked up on that sentiment, told to him such a long time ago, not while she was asleep.

He turned his gaze to Zoe. The woman was staring at River, a far-off expression in her eyes, as if lost in a memory. Her hand was clutched around the dinosaur.

Then Zoe reached out and returned the dinosaur to its rightful place. Her fingers lingered on the toy’s head for a moment. "Biě wàng le," she whispered. She turned to leave but met Simon’s gaze before she left. “Doctor.”

Simon stood in the silence of the bridge. He watched River sleep for a moment more before he too took his leave.

COMMENTS

Monday, April 23, 2007 9:30 PM

TAMSIBLING


Really nice. I like the understated emotion you've captured and how Simon is struggling to understand both the change in his sister and the change in himself, while coming to terms with the fact that things have changed for good on the boat with Wash's passing.

Monday, April 23, 2007 11:12 PM

AMDOBELL


I was really pleased that Simon told Zoe how much he and River owed Wash. All that he had done being for once openly acknowledged. Creepy River mumbling that phrase of Wash's at the end but oddly appropriate. I liked this. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 12:29 AM

CHAZZER


Very enjoyable, and well done. I liked it :D:D

Especially River's line. I was half expecting Simon to add 'It's not out of my way.'

Lovely xxxx

Tuesday, April 24, 2007 7:36 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh...this is far from "crap," Ness! Between Simon's musings on the positive changes in both himself and River, and the negative ones with the loss of someone who cared about the welfare of two strangers...even when he didn't know them...I was definitely moved:)

BEB


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