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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
"It's just a box." [River, Mal, M/S]
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1111 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Author: Kari (meinterrupted AT livejournal DOT com)
Word count: 852
Characters: River, Mal, vaguely Mal/Simon
Prompt: 030. Coffin [joss100 table]
Spoilers/Timeline: Post-movie, no spoilers
Disclaimer: Not mine, don’t sue.
Summary: "It's just a box."
Author's Note: Written for my personal joss100 table. This was supposed to be vaguely Simon/Jayne/River, but Jayne decided he didn't want to play today. (Jerk.) Unbeta'd, because I'm impatient, so if you see anything glaring, please let me know.
It's just a box. It's just a box, like any other, for storing things until they're needed again. Storage for the corporeal parts, waiting for when the intangible parts return. Then the box will come out of storage, and everything will be fine.
River repeated these words over and over in her head as she watched the dirt cascading over the coffin. It piled on the top until it was too high, then skittered down the sides, filling up the sides of the grave. The rest of the crew was long gone, but River still sat and watched the soil cover the wooden box, silent as a tomb herself, her spine straight and rigid. The gravediggers paid her no mind, continuing to cover the casket, with only a few stolen glances to make sure she didn't try to bury herself with it.
She didn't want to be buried with him. She wanted him back with her, alive. She wanted to hug him, to kiss him, to hold him close and never let him go. The tears had dried on her cheeks, and she felt hollow and parched, a dead riverbed deserted by tears. She was a shriveled up husk, and she didn't know how to fix herself if he wasn't here to help her. "Simonsimonsimon," she whispered into the darkening hole. "You'll come back, I know you will. I'll keep you safe, until it's my turn, my turn. I'm so sorry. So sorry, Simon, so sorry."
River slumped forward at the feel of a large hand on her shoulder. "You got nothing to apologize for, little albatross."
"He's dead. I was supposed to keep him safe. I failed him."
Mal sighed and squatted beside her, balancing on the balls of his feet. "If you failed him, then I did too." She didn't say anything, her body motionless, curled in on itself. "Sometimes love ain't enough in this 'Verse. It's a big bad place, and feelings don't keep people from dyin', even if they are strong. More often, they get people killed."
She felt tears stinging the back of her eyes at the pain in his voice. For a moment she couldn't speak, couldn't figure out how to make her mouth work the way she wanted it to. Finally, she could hear her voice, but it was as if she was far away, and she was sure they weren't her words. "He loved you too, you know. Didn't know how to say it, but I knew. He wanted you to know." Her voice cracked, and she couldn't say anymore, couldn't be Simon's voice from beyond the grave.
When he spoke again, Mal's voice was low and rough. "I knew. He's a damn sight easier to read than you are." He lowered himself to his knees and wrapped his arms around River's small shoulders. She leaned back against him, drawing strength from his body. "Just 'cause you lose someone you love doesn't mean you don't go on."
His heart was beating faster in his chest, and she could feel it through her skin. Her own was sluggish, barely able to push the blood around her body. "Did our love get him killed?" She sounded like a child, she knew, begging for affirmation from a parent, but she couldn't help herself.
He stroked her hair, one arm still wrapped around her chest, holding her close to him. "No, mei mei. Kept him alive, most like. People do a lot of things for love, and Simon--" His voice broke, and he had to suck in a deep breath to go on. "And Simon weren't no different. Look what he did for you, all 'cause of love."
"And now he's dead." Her words fell flat from her mouth, dropping like the dirt still being piled on her brother's grave. "Wouldn't have been there if it weren't for me."
Mal sighed, pulling her tighter against his chest. "He didn't think it was no hardship to be out here, not if it would keep you happy. At least, not after he got over himself," he added with a gentle smile.
River couldn't help but join his smile. A memory of Simon in his vests, prim and proper, came unbidden to the forefront of her mind, pushing her sorrow aside for a moment. She relaxed slightly, molding her body to Mal's. Her voice was barely audible over the dull thud of the gravedigger's shovels when she spoke again. "It wasn't just about my happiness. He didn't stay just for me."
She knew his eyes were closed when he spoke next. "No. Not just you. But no matter how much he loved anyone else, if you decided to leave, he'd have gone with you. No questions asked, and left us here."
"I didn't want to leave. I didn't want him to leave." She could feel the sob starting deep in her stomach, shaking her body all the way to her chest. Tears she didn't know she still had slid down her face, and she turned around to bury her face in Mal's chest. "I want him back."
"I know. I know."
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 12:59 AM
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 2:13 AM
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 5:32 AM
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 1:40 PM
Thursday, May 04, 2006 9:24 PM
Friday, May 05, 2006 4:24 AM
Saturday, July 08, 2006 6:42 AM
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