BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

JACQUI

Hybrid Lives 6: River.
Saturday, October 15, 2005

Explores each of the crew after "Serenity", no non canon pairing and not particularly angsty either.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2581    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

All comments and disclaimers in full in Ch 1 (Simon), it's the usual fare: not mine. Comment or send feedback, wily_one24@yahoo.com.au

***

"That's the way it's always been. It all comes down to creating time. We don't always have to make it right. We'll all drive by in our hybrid lives. Chances are... chances are... We'll make it back." - Sheryl Crow.

***

It was like living underwater, drifting through the throbbing pulse and eddy of it, she let herself bend with the flow and didn't question it, didn't explain it to anyone, even if they asked, because some things weren't meant to be told.

Her feet held the weight of her body, River pressed them into the metal of the ship, letting the steel grating force lines into her flesh as she walked. The balance of her body was held somewhere deep in her belly, the center of her, the midpoint of her hips, the place where she could breathe in and tighten everything to a point. Make it all so small she couldn't be seen.

Her brain, everyone had said it in one way or another, even if it wasn't out loud, held the horror of her.

She knew different, but she didn’t elaborate, her brain held the horror of everyone else. She didn’t tell them this, because she didn’t want them to know, to ask about it, to crave answers she couldn’t give them.

They all tried, even if they didn’t want to, she could feel it trickle over her like eggs cracked over her skull, slimy and slick. A small hint, or a glance, a hidden look, they wanted to know what she saw, what she has seen, what has seen her.

And maybe, if she closed her eyes and wished real hard, maybe the one person who deserved and needed it most of all wouldn't ask her. She'd never been that lucky.

Zoe sat in the pilot’s chair, already eaten up by her memories, torturing and soothing herself all at once by touching the plastic toys. River understood it, knew the feeling well, like pressing a wound that's trying to heal, wanting it to ache that little bit more.

Sometimes she couldn’t let go of it, the memory of struggling to breathe, to fight through the light and sound and color and those voices, the Universe pressing into her, stealing every bit of her that she could spare and some she couldn't. Pain that made her want to scream until she wished she could stop screaming.

Sometimes it was like a dream, like it happened to someone else, someone else whose throat bled from the very agony of it.

She almost wanted Zoe to look at her, pierce her through with those dark eyes, and demand to know whether she knew it would happen, if she saw it happen before it really did, because it was a question she could answer. No, she doesn’t see the will happen of things, she sees the has happened and the is happening, she sees what other people see. This is something she could have said. It’s the question that Zoe does ask, so often inside her head and this time out loud, that River dreaded.

“Did you hear him when it happened, what was going through his head?”

River didn’t know how to answer this, not then and not now, how to say the words so they won’t hurt. No and yes all at the same time. She heard everything, it’s not like she can filter anything when it’s loud and vibrant, when peoples’ emotions and thoughts are running so rampant they can’t control it themselves.

She felt the elation of his flying, the fear of Jayne being thrown about the ship, the triumph of Mal getting through the Alliance, Kaylee crying out loud with the crash and screech of metal, the sudden scream of Zoe’s head when she saw what had happened, a blankness that might have been Wash’s last coherent thought or just the space it left behind, Mal’s horror. It was all a jumble and none of it the pretty images Zoe wanted.

Zoe didn’t want to hear about the hole River saw spreading through her chest, at the same height that killed Wash, malignant and oozing. Or the red that splashed through the name of her husband when it came from her own lips.

“No.”

The sad way that Zoe smiled was enough for River to know she hadn’t quite fallen for the answer, even without the waves that came from her.

A plastic tree tumbled end over end in Zoe’s hands. River watched it, let herself fall into the movement of it and tried to close her ears to the question that followed. It was unavoidable, she knew Zoe was going to ask and she knew a million ways to answer her to make her happy, most of them the truth, but that wasn’t how it worked.

It never was.

“Can you feel it now? Will everything be okay?”

She felt the plea in Zoe’s voice before she heard it, the desperate need to know, to stop the hope that had already begun to sprout if there was no need for it, the hope that would close the gaping invisible hole. Zoe’s hands stopped twirling the tree and sat it on the curve of her abdomen, planted it there and trembled.

It was like living underwater, drifting through the throbbing pulse and eddy of it, River let herself bend with the flow and didn't question it, didn't explain it to anyone, even if they asked, because some things weren't meant to be told.

COMMENTS

Saturday, October 15, 2005 9:48 AM

REALLYKAYLEE


you have such a gift with words. i can't even pinpoint what i like so much, but i know it's more than the characters. its what you do with them.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 5:57 AM

BELLONA


i'm with reallykaylee: you got the gift, girl

b

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:17 AM

BIZZRAT


only words i have, Damn!


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