Monday, September 22, 2003

Sometimes there’s a second chance to say things left unsaid.


Author: Rawles {rawles[dot]marie[at]gmail[dot]com} Type: Het Genre: Drama/Romance Characters: Original Character. Simon. Author’s Notes: This was my first Firefly fanfic. And I do believe like, my second fanfic ever. Ah, memories. Originally inspired by a song: "Taking Over Me" by Evanescence. So there. It was written as an experiment, basically using another character as a lense through which to characterize Simon.


She knew those eyes. She saw them when she closed her own. Piercing blue invaders, slicing through the tapestry of her dreams, taking over her subconscious. She'd thought that she'd never see them again. Actually, she'd desperately hoped that would be the case. Those eyes and their owner made things complicated in her life.

He didn't even know.

He'd looked up when she walked into his office and she was lost. She stared for what seemed like an eternity before she noticed that there was something different.

"May I help you?" he asked softly.

Of course, it had been over a year since she'd seen him. She'd changed too. Apparently, not enough.

She found her voice.

"Doctor Tam." No. Too softly. Like a whisper. Like a prayer. Try again. "Doctor Tam, I'm the new intern. I was told to report to the-"

"Senior resident, of course," he finished for her. "Please, forgive me. I've been distr- please sit down." He waved at the chair in front of his stark, gray desk, something flashing through his eyes that she could not identify. She still couldn't quite put her finger on what was different.

She tried to voice a response. A polite, charming "Thank you." as she had been taught since childhood. Everything she knew abandoned her when she was near him. She sat silently.

He moved a bundle of papers, neat handwriting in perfect rows, from his desk into a drawer. She heard the click of a lock. His eyes darted nervously for moment towards the drawer when he saw her watching, then calmed. They moved to a stack of files that he hadn't swept away into hiding. She could make out names on them from her vantage point. She recognized a few, including her own. He moved the stack in front of him and paused.

"Marissa Zhang," she offered and waited. He found the file quickly and opened it, gazing at it impassively. He betrayed no recognition.

"You don't remember me," she said as he studied her file. She tried not to make it sound like an accusation, but she was certain she had failed on that count.

Confusion passed over his face, tinged slightly with embarrassment... and annoyance. It had definitely been an accusation. His hand went absently to his ear for a moment before he spoke; his mouth slightly open, but expelling no sound. A nervous tendency of his. She remembered it clearly. God. What was wrong with her? Her wedding was in three months.

"I, uh, I'm sor- should I-," he hovered between responses, attempting to walk the delicate balance between deception and insult and find a suitable statement there.

"We went to medacad together," Marissa offered.


"Though, you obviously graduated a bit before me," she added with a small smile.

The corners of his mouth twitched upward slightly. His eyes were not smiling. The new thing. She had identified it. Weariness. He was haggard and harried... and sad. She wanted to take him into her arms, into her bed, into herself, and make it better. If only she knew what "it" was.

Murmurs from walking the hospital halls returned to her.

"Young Dr. Tam's going over the edge."

"Something about his sister..."

"Poor boy. Too much stress for him."

"They say he's starting to have paranoid delusions."

"I heard it's something criminal, that he's been conversing with di ji thugs."

"We had classes together?" he asked.

"A few," she said. "We shared some acquaintances, as well."

That was a stretch. She had known people. Everyone had known of Simon Tam. The Tams were among the most prominent families in the Core. Old money. Good genes. Two genius children. The little girl who they said could do just about everything and the older boy who had a special gift for medicine. The girl might do anything with her life but he was destined to be a brilliant doctor.

After the first class she'd ever been in with him, she'd believed it. Marissa had never seen such serious, focused dedication. He watched the instructor and took his notes as though lives already depended on it. He didn't speak much; didn't socialize. Marissa supposed being significantly younger and smarter than most of the other students made him feel awkward. It was what had first drawn her to him. Marissa was good at reading people and he had seemed a contradiction. Self-assurance and self-consciousness all rolled up into one. A dichotomy that called to her.

She initiated conversations and he would respond politely. They didn't speak every day and they never spoke for extensive amounts of time, really. All the same, she felt that she came to know him through those conversations.

The passion with which he spoke of becoming a surgeon warmed her. She admired his selflessness and desire to help people, when he could just as easily have lived the perfect life without giving a good gorram about anyone but himself. The way he spoke of his sister with nothing but adoration in his voice charmed her. She couldn't imagine not resenting a little sister who made her own admirable intelligence look like nothing. When he spoke of River, Marissa knew that they were best friends as well as siblings. And yet, though his attitudes were unique and admirable he acted as though there was no other way a person could feel or be. Like there was no other choice. There was a magic about him; only made stronger by the fact that he was entirely unaware of it.

She had never called it love. What use did she have for love? She was betrothed. At sixteen she'd known with whom she would spend the rest of her life. It was a political and social machination. Her own desire could not save her. Her studies could not save her. Her career could not save her. She knew this.

But when she looked at Simon Tam and saw his kindness and nobility, his intelligence and selflessness, her mind imagined him her hero. Her traitorous subconscious saw him somehow knowing her pain and taking her and making it go away. He’s going to be a brilliant doctor, the seductive voice whispered, it would be quite poetic for him to save your life.

"We worked on a project together didn't we?" he asked, somewhat hesitantly.

"For microbiology." She fought for control over her facial muscles. Smiling too widely was unseemly.

A full smile graced his face then. It disappeared quickly, as though it had been a slip, something he wasn't allowed.

"Is there something wrong?" she asked him, knowing full well that she shouldn't have. He was making a noble effort to hide whatever was bothering him. He had been since she'd entered the room. It was rude to ignore those efforts.

A dozen emotions played over his face and a story flashed behind his eyes.

"No. Not at all," he lied.

She wanted to tell him that he could tell her. He could tell her this and anything else. She wanted to tell him that she wished desperately to be a part of his life, that she wanted to help him and to fill whatever void existed within him. When she looked at him now, so alone, it barely mattered that it would spare her from her own unwelcome fate, as well.

Marissa searched for the words but they would not come.

Instead the cortex screen on the wall just to the right of his desk beeped. A static-filled image of a rather grungy looking man flickered there. Marissa tried not to stare.

"I, uh, need to take this. It-it's urgent. We can reschedule this for later," he said distractedly.

"Of course."

He rose and showed her to the door.

"It's been nice seeing you again." She would have believed him if every muscle in his body hadn't screamed that he wanted to be at that screen, talking with that disreputable looking person, more than he wished to be bidding her farewell.

"Yes," she said as she walked slowly out of the door. He had already returned to the cortex screen. He whispered urgently at the screen. Something about contacting him at work. The man on the screen seemed nonplussed. A meeting was mentioned. And a blackout zone.

He didn't notice that she was still there. She wanted to go back and tell him that this was wrong. That whatever he was doing, whatever he was becoming involved in, was not worth all this anguish. He was destroying himself over it. Marissa couldn't save herself but she wanted to save him. She would have done almost anything, given up everything, to make him better.

Only she couldn't.

He didn't know her. Barely remembered her. Didn't trust her. She was bound by family and by duty. There was nothing she could do for him or herself. She hadn’t the strength. It killed her inside. She loved him.

He'd never even know.

She closed the door behind her without making a sound.


Tuesday, September 23, 2003 4:27 AM


Did you post this at already? I’ve read this somewhere awhile back. It’s good. Nice little peak into what Simons life was like when he was trying to balance being a doctor and saving his sister.

And I can relate to Marissa, “But when she looked at Simon Tam and saw his kindness and nobility, his intelligence and selflessness, her mind imagined him her hero.” Ohhhhh yeah.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003 1:47 PM


I really liked it.
Its fascinating to see what he was like before his complete break with "society". Everyone sees it as a great sacrifice, but maybe he was truly unhappy and getting River back was his entire life.
So maybe it wasn't the noble sacrifice that everyone assumes it was. Your story really made me think.


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!WARNING! !MOVIE SPOILERS! There are so many movie spoilers, in fact, that I cannot even tell you what this is about without spoiling you.

Everything He Has
Simon wants it all.

Shall We?
Kaylee danced just like she smiled.

Sweet Reality
Who needs dreams?

Without Rest, Without Peace
River has trouble sleeping.

Sometimes it’s hard to know when to let go and when to hold on.

A promise kept.

Exhausted Resistance
Simon has some things on his mind. AU.

Thwarted Union
Mal doesn’t believe in most myths, but he chooses to believe in this one.

Sometimes there’s a second chance to say things left unsaid.