Just a Touch - Part 1 (Repost)
Friday, November 9, 2007

Mal's view of crew post BDM.


A/N: Hi. This is my first fic, any feedback will be appreciated. Hope you all enjoy it. Also, a big THANKS to my beta, Chazzer.

Disclaimer: All things belong to Joss.

Just a Touch

By abbeygirl

Part One

Just a touch. That’s all it is. A shoulder to lean on when no one else is around. A single touch and it means so much. It helps us to remember what it is to be alive. It grounds a person. Makes things not so lonely. And it doesn’t demand anything in return.

Mal is well aware that everyone on the ship has been healing since Miranda. The pain from the loss of Book and Wash will never be far away for any of them. The ship’s crew has changed a bit. Jayne works out more than he ever did before. He always needs to be doing stuff when things are bothering him.

Inara is gone for good. She is a Companion; it is all that she has ever known. She can never change that without completely losing herself, not even for him. So he let her go, rather than adding more tension to the situation on board the ship.

Zoe has become very introspective since Wash’s death. She’s been putting to paper everything she loved about Wash like his quirks, some of his best jokes, funny stories or whatever came to mind. A couple of the other crewmembers have even jotted down some of their favorite memories of Wash in her book as well. Hell, even Mal has contributed to the collection. She also writes about how Wash’s life affected hers and how his death has as well. It has been therapeutic for her and without it everyone on the ship is sure that she would have withered away to nothing.

The only truly positive thing that happened from the experience is Kaylee and Simon’s blossoming relationship. They try to be very discreet about it all. They don’t want to flaunt their newfound happiness in the wake of so much pain. Whether they know it or not, it has been helpful for the rest of the crew to see the tenderness of them simply cuddling in the common area and hearing the giggles from kisses received in the hallway. Jayne revels in the way he can cause Simon to blush and get flustered when he catches him leaving Kaylee’s bunk in the morning. Jayne makes sure that everyone on the boat knows that he caught Simon again and it elicits snickers from the other members of the crew too. It brightens morale just knowing that something is right in the world.

As for River, Mal hasn’t missed how Miranda changed her for the better on some fronts while leaving others unchanged. For the most part, she has been very lucid – a big change for her. Unfortunately, she still has her moments of complete madness. She still has nightmares about things no one but her could ever imagine. The Alliance surgically manipulated her brain, changing how she feels and perceives things around her. Some things can never go back to the way they should be. Nothing will ever heal her the way that she deserves.

He has observed her interacting better with the crew. She still has difficulty expressing herself, but her communication has come far since when she first boarded the ship. Yet you can tell that there is an unintentional distance between her and the crew. They have seen the things that she can do and it can be a bit frightening. No one likes to have their thoughts known by someone else, although River is working on a way to filter what she sees and hears. It is also a bit unnerving to know that one of the deadliest weapons in the ‘verse sleeps in the bunk next to yours. She was subliminally triggered at the Maidenhead and that could plausibly happen again. There is no way to know what could trigger her again or how many secrets she could have locked up in her head.

River is trying to find out who she is, and that’s hard. There is no one else like her. She is struggling with finding what her role on Serenity is. Who she should be in the scheme of things. She definitely knows how to fight – they’ve all seen that up close and personal. She has shown an aptitude with piloting the ship and she has done so on occasion. But because of her random bouts of insanity, she could never take on either of those roles full-time. He doesn’t need someone who may or may not be able to do their job at any given time. Therefore, she is lost in the woods.

That’s what the touch is for. Words are never needed. It is the way that she knows that she will always have a place on Serenity and sooner or later she will know what her role will be too. The touch lets him become the bridge in the gap between her and the crew. It shows that he isn’t afraid of her and is willing to protect her if she needs it. It lets her know that someone is watching over her. It is that simple touch of skin that emphasizes that she is still a girl and not a weapon. It is the touch you would see if you happen to look in the right place by the dim light. Mal and River sitting on one of the catwalks, overlooking the rest of the cargo bay, silently leaning together, her head on his shoulder when no one else is awake.

Thanks for reading, please comment.


Saturday, January 5, 2008 10:29 AM


Veyr realistic for a post-BDM time. I'm sure that this could help a lot of fic writers writing within this time period .

Friday, May 23, 2008 11:39 AM


Lol... already posted a comment. It's still true, and I like this alot ^_^


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