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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Something happens, something changes and Jayne has a choice to make. One Tam is left behind on Ariel.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 861 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Warnings: Altered timeline from 'Ariel', angst, dark themes
Time period: Around ‘Trash’
Thanks to lvs2read for the great beta and thunder_nari for the great beta and spurring me on.
Simon can’t ever remember being this thirsty; so much so he can ignore the hunger pangs, ignore the cramps which keep catching at his belly. He’s not sure how long he’s been without food and water. They’re still messing with his body clock, he’s sure of it, though he’s unsure how much of the lethargy is from their experimenting or from his own reaction to a lack of water. And food.
Dehydration and starvation. Two terms Simon never liked to hear. He’s seen cases of one or the other working at the hospital, has treated a few more out on the Rim, but never were the two seen together--it was one or the other. At least he hadn’t seen the two together. He’d heard stories from some of the older consultants, from his Med Acad lecturers, those who had treated patients during the war. None giving a damn which side the patient was on when they treated them, though they’d made it clear to their students that the more severe cases hadn’t been Alliance. And some hadn’t been just the repercussions of war, but force, a form of interrogation much as Simon is experiencing now.
They never said what their other injuries were, makes me wonder…
But that is something Simon doesn’t want to wonder, feels annoyance at his own thought and its tone of clinical detachment. Because he feels anything but detached. Surrounded by water, trying to keep his mind from wandering lest he start talking about River, about Serenity, about anything really. It’s lonelier, more tiring, not being able to let his mind wander, but he’s glad for it. He hasn’t the energy to stop himself if he starts so it's easier to keep alert.
“Tibia, fibula, scapula.” He murmurs the words, focusing on bones for the moment. Nice neutral subject, he may sound insane to those listening but it keeps his mind active. Next he plans to enlighten them on the best ways to spot a stroke or heart attack and its treatments.
Hard as it is summoning the energy, it's harder to give voice to the words. His ears have become very sensitive, something the blue-handed men delight in exploiting, leaning up close and whispering one moment--shouting the next. And his throat, his mouth is so dry, it’s hard not to turn his head and sip at the water. He’s resisted so far, unsure if they’ve been changing it, knowing nothing pleasant has gone into it. But the temptation's stronger now.
He’s given up counting the days and nights, false as he knows the math is. Instead he’s committed to hoping River’s safe, to wishing her far from the corporation's reach. He’s wavering over who the men truly are-- part Alliance courtesy of the operative, part civilian as he saw from the doctor at Ariel and part something else. Something he can’t devote energy to guessing about and can’t get a straight answer on.
“Are you trying to bore me to death?” His words sound like a shout, echoing around the tank, but he wonders if his captors have heard him. “Or just starve me?” He aims for what he hopes is a glare, though his belly spasms midway, making him grimace slightly.
"This is completely immoral…” Simon mutters the words to himself, eyeing the water for a moment, floating on his back once more, not enough energy to tread water for long. Not expending the energy on doing so when he needs all that he can to resist letting his mind wander.
“Not to mention unsanitary.” But he’s thirsty, really dry-mouthed and Simon can feel a headache starting behind his eyes, so he closes them. It isn’t what he wants to do but what he has to do. To survive. To give the Captain a chance to come for him.
You’re on my crew. Though why Simon feels so sure Mal will come is beyond him, he just knows, just keeps repeating that small phrase in his mind. Wraps it up and holds it close, keeping him hoping, brandishing it like a weapon against his captors. Thinking about Mal, about any of the crew is dangerous now and much as Simon would love to take comfort in thinking of them, in imagining his sister safe with them, he can’t let himself, at least not for long.
I suppose Kaylee’s looking after River, she always did love spending time with her. [/]Simon isn’t sure Kaylee will have the patience, wouldn’t be uncertain and scared when River has one of her episodes; but the mechanic’s got a good heart, is the kind of person he’d want River close to, especially at a time like this. The kind of person he wishes he could get close to, but his own manner, problems and insecurities would never make for a good match and with River so fragile, his time so devoted to her… Simon shakes his head. He was ignoring the glaringly obvious, denying himself because he’s got so used to doing it. Here, now, before- he can’t use River as an excuse forever, especially when he hopes for a time when she’s well again, completely recovered.
I wonder if she feels as lost as I do right now? Or if the crew are helping her through it. He knows they won’t leave her, trusts each and every one in his own way--even Jayne, who’d proven himself, to Simon’s chagrin, on Ariel by taking River out of Alliance reach. That had been a surprise. Simon vows to profusely thank the man when he sees Jayne, and actually treat him as crew--and act that way himself. Act that way towards all of them, rather than keep himself that little bit apart. Partly brought on by Mal, keeping them all at arms length, and part by his own discomfort, relying on people when he thought they couldn’t be relied upon. Couldn’t be trusted.
“Parental issues transferred…”
Simon starts hearing River’s voice echoing around him and forces his eyes open to dispel the image which threatens, his sister once more floating next to him. It’s harder to resist letting his mind wander when his head’s now aching furiously, when his mouth’s so dry and limbs so heavy.
“Maybe just a mouthful.”
He really doesn’t want to, isn’t keen on making himself sick by drinking fouled water--however little an amount it is. Sickness and diarrhoea, both of which only increase dehydration--Simon bites down on his lip, forces his mind back into behaving, focuses once more on anything but his own thirst. He’s thinking on the rest of the crew now, feeling annoyed at himself for not giving them a chance. Some of them weren’t all that friendly when he first came on board, making it clear their loyalty lay to Mal; Zoe even making it clear if Mal gave the order to be rid of them she wouldn’t hesitate to follow it, something which had disquieted Simon at the time, but upon later reflection, it had reassured him.
Her husband had been more welcoming, Wash had made it clear he wasn’t pleased with Simon’s original tactics using Kaylee’s injury to suit his own purposes, but he at least seemed to understand Simon. Had tried to draw the doctor into many conversations and even admitted to worrying for him at one point. If Simon could have gone back and done those days over, he would have engaged Wash more in conversation, not drawn back to the pilot’s obvious disappointment. Would have even asked about the toys Wash had everywhere. He’d wanted to, the small dinosaurs reminiscent of his own childhood and fascination with Earth-that-was, but he’d always held back.
Now I can’t see why…
The water laps as he rubs his eyes, making them sting slightly, tempting him anew. “Just a mouthful.” It couldn’t hurt, just to rinse out his mouth even, and maybe he should rub his body a little, try to wash away the grease and grime he can feel built onto his skin. Surrounded by water or not, it didn’t compensate for a shower, didn’t stop himself smelling a touch fragrant.
Rolling over, Simon lightly treads water, muscles tensing as his limbs ache, stomach growling and cramping. It’s more painful than Simon has expected, and it takes a minute for him to dip himself down, mouth just above the waterline and take in a large mouthful. He swallows the moment the water is in his mouth, not by choice but by instinct. He’d aimed to taste first, rinse his mouth, then maybe drink before he washed. But he swallows.
And retches, violently, cursing himself for not having suspected, this. The water is salty, not so much he would have smelt it or noticed, but enough for his sensitive stomach to react. He heaves again, tears coming to his eyes--more precious water wasted--bile burning his throat, spilling from his lips, contaminating the water further. He back peddles, finds himself pushed against the side of the tank, kicking frantically even though the motions are hurting now.
Then there’s brightness, no warning as usual and he’s panting, screwing his eyes shut and trying to grasp for the edge as he feels the water rising.
“Sick kai zi mind games!” Surrounded by water I can’t drink, keeping me thirsty.
Simon winces as he feels gloved hands grasping him, pulling him from the hole and dumping him on the top of the tank. He still curls in on himself, humiliated by their eyes on his naked body, though this time the cramps only worsen as he does and he keeps coughing as they grasp an arm each and drag him away for interrogation.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008 2:52 PM
Wednesday, November 5, 2008 3:07 PM
Thursday, November 6, 2008 1:05 AM
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