Someone to Watch Over You
Friday, October 28, 2011

This is the sequel to "His Something." River keeps her promise.


Disclaimer: Joss the Boss, Mutant Enemy, Universal, etc, etc pwn. Bow down.

This story is the sequel to a story back in January of 2007. You can find the story in my firefly fics list under “His Something.” Originally, “His Something” was called “Someone to Watch Over You.” The more the story sat there, the more I felt it needed a sequel, and the more I felt that I had misnamed it. So I renamed the first story and decided to name the second story what the first one was originally. It feels right to me now. I hope you enjoy (:


The ringing silence that followed the shepherd’s passing was deafening to River. Things seemed to be moving slowly, in fragmented little bursts of time. Mal was angry, the others were talking, and now she stood there alone, mere feet away from the body of the only person that had ever known what was truly inside of her. This was all her fault, and she knew it.

“River,” it was soft, almost as if the wind had spoken her name as it lifted her hair from her shoulders to dance around her face, “River,” This time, the voice was smooth and clear. It was a voice she recognized, a voice she knew very well. Her gaze turned to the dead man at her feet but, unsurprisingly, he did not seem to have moved or miraculously come back to life. “River,” the sound came from behind her.

Whirling around, her mahogany eyes met his wise chocolate colored ones. Her heart lurched at the sight of him standing there. It hurt to know that he was not really there. It hurt to know that he had died for her. Yet still, he was there, whether he be imaginary or not, it was all the same to River. She knew the dead still had things to say long after their bodies had decayed into nothing.

It was different with him, however. She knew exactly what he was going to say to her. Once, she had made him a promise. It was high time to make good on it. “I let you fall. Fell for me.” she whispered, her voice too choked to emerge from her throat.

“I didn’t fall, River. I went down protecting someone very dear to me. I would do it again. You didn’t let me fall. I chose to fight.” Shepherd Book replied, his feet beginning to move. Hers followed suit.

“You used it. Used your something. More than kneecaps, too.”

“Not very Christian of me, was it?” Book asked, his voice hinting at satire.

“Ought to have burned the box. Ought to have burned it when he took his vows.” she said softly, repeating the words she had said that day.

“The time never seemed right. I was unable to forget the past. Unable to forgive. Seems I‘ve earned it now.”

“Here when you need her. She’ll help you burn it. She’s someone to watch over you.”

“She won’t let me fall.” Book stopped, turning to her with a smile.

River blinked, hardly aware that they had moved away from Serenity, away from his body. They stood beside a tent, Book’s tent. He motioned her inside. Entering the tent, she inhaled the familiar scent of her friend for the last time, before following him to the box. While he had not burned the ornate box, he had not seen fit to hide it anymore. It lay on his desk, waiting patiently for River’s hands to find it. Lifting it gently, she cradled it in her arms, leaving the tent once again. The two of them began walking again, out into the desert a ways.

“I always knew it would be you. It could never have been me. I ought to have burned it when I took my vows, but instead I left it to more capable hands. You don’t need me anymore, River. You can go this without me. But you will never go it alone. I don’t need to burn the box, you do. Let me go, River. Don’t carry me around, don’t carry the guilt. Let me go, River, let me go.”

“She’ll be your someone to watch over you. She won’t let you fall…” River said, laying the box upon the sand. With a moment‘s hesitation, she set it ablaze. “She will miss you, though.”

A single tear slid down her face as she stood in the desert alone, watching as her guilt burned away to nothing.


Saturday, October 29, 2011 5:34 AM


I am very surprised you posted this sequel but not the first story it follows on from. It would have made a neat little addition to the site and been a courtesy. I liked how this is written and River was very in character. Hope your future postings will be in full. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Saturday, October 29, 2011 6:01 AM


Oh, I did! :) I just posted it in 2007 is all. Its under my fics list. Here is the direct link

Saturday, October 29, 2011 9:34 AM


Thanks Azlenna, off to read it now! Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Saturday, October 29, 2011 4:52 PM


Nice story! I read it after looking up "His Something." Still intriguingly mysterious as to just what the connection between Book and River is--your line "the only person that had ever known what was truly inside of her" still doesn't really resolve this, does it? I like how you have the Shepherd make the point that he chose to fight, as well, as this is an idea that's not really explored in the movie. In the movie Book seems to take the fall for Mal--with their exchange where Mal says it should have been him and Book concurs. This fic puts the volition back in Book's hands, and I like that idea.


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