Bring Me To Life - Chapter 2
Thursday, May 21, 2009

First of all, yes, this is Mal/River so if the notion of that upsets you, don't bother clicking. River has a nightmare and Mal is there to comfort her. Post BDM, M/R, PG for now.


Even though she was a mind-reading genius, not even River could have seen where life was going to take her in the past year. In the span of twelve months, she had gone from being experimented on and tortured on a daily basis to becoming pilot of a smuggling ship. And in-between that time she had traveled all over the galaxy, met some wonderful new people, seen many people die (a few by her own hands) and helped expose a major government conspiracy. But the most unusual thing was her developing feelings for a man she’d have wished death upon five years ago.

River could remember when she was growing up how she’d long for any updates over the Cortex on the Unification War between the beloved Alliance and the savage Independents. She could remember cheering happily and dancing about the room with Simon any time the Alliance won a battle and would sob painfully anytime one of the high-ranking officers was gunned down in battle. After the war ended, she had joined her family at the spaceport in Capital City to greet the returning heroes and to thank them for the courage they had displayed. She was so proud as she watched these dashing young men greet their families they had been separated so long from. And now, six years later, she was on a ship captained by a man who had no doubt tried to kill those dashing young men at some point. A man who was now the most important man in her life.

For whatever reason, since the moment she was wheeled onto Serenity in a cryogenic box, Mal Reynolds had been there to protect her. When she first appeared, he had repeatedly visited her in the infirmary, watching her sleep. He always maintained that he was there to check on Kaylee after she had been shot in the abdomen but River could frequently feel his eyes straying to her, studying this mysterious young woman. And when that fed, Dobson, had taken her hostage while the captain was on Whitefall, her brother fought valiantly against him but it was the captain who coolly strode onto his ship and shot Dobson in the face without even breaking stride. A few weeks later on Jiangyin, Mal had saved her and Simon from a fiery death and brought them back on his ship, saying she was their witch.

As the days and weeks passed onboard Serenity passed, River could feel her affection for Mal growing steadily. Her heart cried for him when that psychopath, Niska, abducted Mal and tortured him and also when he said he wasn’t coming with them and would risk suffocating on Serenity to stay with his ship. But she knew he didn’t feel the same; the man was too in love with his ship. The only human he felt any attraction to was Inara but she knew he’d never work up the guts to seek anything meaningful with her. Eventually, Inara realized it too and she left the ship to return home. In her own mind, River had to wonder if she too was holding a torch for a man too far swallowed in the dark.

It was no secret what Mal Reynolds had been through in his life had left some deep psychological scars, some of them still not fully healed. And occasionally River had the burden of having to relive them through Mal’s nightmares. His dreams were so vivid that River could hear every gunshot, smell every rotting corpse and feel the intense rush of heat from every explosion. If this was what her captain had to experience, River could completely understand why Mal was as damaged as he was. But tonight, River’s dreams weren’t an extension of Mal’s, but her own. She found herself in Serenity Valley, experiencing it just like he had. And she was fighting right alongside the man himself as he tried to keep the hope up of his troops. Just then, the Alliance started their air strike and River could see the horror etched in perfect relief on Mal’s face. When suddenly, an Alliance soldier fired and pumped three shots into Mal, causing him to keel over and fall dead at River’s feet. River could hear herself scream as Mal lay dead before her, look of shock and horror still on his face.

“River! River wake up!”

River’s eyelids flew open and she gasped for breath as her heart hammered in her chest. She quickly sat up to find Mal standing over her looking concerned. Once she saw his face, she burst into tears and threw her arms around his neck. Mal put his arms around her and held her tight, letting her sob into his shoulder as he softly cooed to her, letting her know it was all okay and she was just having a nightmare. Once she had a chance to calm down, she sat back down in her chair and wiped the tears away from her eyes.

“You gonna be okay little one?”

River sniffled and nodded, pushing a stray strand of hair behind her ear.

“What happened? Anything you wanna talk about?”

River gulped a bit but fixed her dark, penetrating eyes on Mal and clearing her throat.

“Was at Serenity Valley. Saw it all. You died and Bendis lives. He wasn’t really that pretty.”

Mal chuckled a bit at that last part but kneeled down next to her and wrapped his comforting arms around her again.

“I’m awful sorry you had to see that little Albatross. You’ve been through enough horrors and trauma in your life without having to see what I’ve been through as well. You don’t deserve that. You deserve happy dreams of good times you’ve had or may have.” Mal said softly.

River snuggled her head up against Mal’s chest, slightly damp from her tears and listened to the his faint heartbeat. Mal held her there and gently stroked her hair, trying to keep his mind on anything but how nice she felt in his arms so that she wouldn’t find him out. Thankfully, he didn’t have to work too hard on it because a few moments later, Kaylee came bouncing up onto the bridge but stopped when she saw Mal and River locked in a tender embrace.

“Um, you guys want me to come back later?” Kaylee asked cheekily.

“Ha ha, funny Kaylee,” Mal replied sarcastically. “What do you need?”

“Just wanted to let the two of you know that breakfast is all ready.”

“Ooh, yum! I’m starving,” River piped up and followed Kaylee to the dining room. Mal picked up the army blanket he had put over River and went to put it back in the footlocker. But before he stored it away, he took a moment to clutch the blanket to his heart and think about River, hoping that her presence on the blanket could somehow bring some warmth to his heart. Not really getting the effect he desired, Mal sighed and stored the blanket away before heading to the dining room to fuel up for a day of new, exciting crime.


Friday, May 22, 2009 2:27 AM


Interesting start, so far my biggest critic is the chapters are a bit small. This is more personal but it really helps me personally get into them when they are longer, gives you time to really get into whats going on.

Anyways look forward to what you have planned next.

Monday, August 10, 2009 5:00 PM


Love how River's perspective on the Independents changed based on just knowning Mal.

Very sweet chapter.


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