Deeper Than Bone
Sunday, November 19, 2006

Zoe reacts to the visit that Mal most did not want to make. Continuation of "Sunday's Child".


Disclaimer: all things Firefly/Serenity are the property of Whedon et al. I'm not making any money off this, just playing with the toys.

For the lj prompt "bones". I recommend reading "Sunday's Child" first.

Many thanks to hisgoodgirl for the fantastic beta job.

Your name is still above the hatch and it hurts me every time I look at it. Too many memories assault me whenever I see that flower or butterfly. I want to tear it down and toss it out the airlock along with all the other emotions in a giant scream.

Sometimes I want to join the sign and just let myself be nothing.

But you wouldn’t like that very much. You’d say some such about life being for living and making the best of a bad situation. Didn’t matter how bad, there was always some good come of it.

Like when Tracey had taken you hostage. I saw the fear in your eyes as I climbed those steps, quiet and smooth. Jayne and the Captain had seen it, too. But when we landed and you walked sure as could be to his folks and passed them that recording, then grasped Simon’s hand, you’d found the good. Tracey’d brought you two together.

I remember watching you both those early weeks after Miranda, my heart aching with each shared glance and whisper. The quiet touches when you thought no one was watching were so different from how things were with Wash and me. He was never one for stealth and I suppose that was something I loved about him.

He had been loud, boisterous and more than ready to display affection. Kind of like you, just a little.

But he never painted little flowers over the hatch to our bunk. Never jerry-rigged a hammock in the cockpit. Never had time to register the wood that had taken his life.

I did. Felt it beyond my bones, deep into my being. And it paralysed me.

“Zoe?” I heard Simon’s voice.

With a blink and turn, I faced the doctor.

“I need...” He hesitated then pointed an unsteady finger towards the hatch. “Her things.” He clenched his lips between his teeth.

I nodded. Your family wanted your effects. Wanted whatever they could have of you, though I doubt they had in mind that frou-frou dress. I would have smiled, but Simon’s wounded expression held me back.

Stepping away, I watched him make the careful descent into your bunk. I didn’t know why, but I followed him. It was then that I realised that I hadn’t ever been in there before.

It was completely you. Fun, colourful and full of little bits that made such a unique whole. I couldn’t have imagined your bunk any other way.

Simon looked to me for a moment, unsure why I was with him, but he had the sense to remain quiet. Going to where he needed, he found the captures you had of your family and the spare set of tools you kept under your cot. I heard his hitched breath as he looked at those instruments, heavier and bulkier than his own, but accomplishing the same thing.

You both fixed what needed fixing and were very good at it.

He strode past me quickly and I could see his eyes glazing over. Being here was painful to him. You understand that, don’t you? You know that he loved - loves - you, in his way. Being in this place, still able to smell the engine grease and strawberry shampoo, was torture for the Doctor. But because he loves you, he came here. He’ll do what needs doing because that’s the kind of man he is. He’ll give his respects to your family because he thinks of them as his own.

I didn’t know how to say good-bye properly to you. You weren’t a fellow soldier, nor a spouse. For them, I know how to mourn. But friends? It has been so long since I’d had one that I don’t know quite what to do. So forgive me if I make a mistake along the way.

When I felt ready to leave, I gripped the rungs and slowly climbed out, letting the image of your warm and coloured space linger into my head. Standing at the entrance once again, I was aware of Simon. He held your sign.

“I don’t know what she’d wanted you to have…” He blinked a few times. “It’s just that, you seem to like this. I thought perhaps...” He looked at it before handing it over.

Taking a step to him, I grasped the marker then carefully replaced it above your hatch. “Don’t seem right anywhere else,” I said, moving back.

Simon stood next to me then and I knew he was watching me, looking for some indication that I was going to break down at any moment. I smiled and turned. And he knew, your man did, what my eyes were telling him.

Draping my arm around his shoulders, we began the walk to the little house with the shingled siding, to give your family their daughter back.

You may not be with us anymore, but you would never leave us.


Monday, November 20, 2006 12:28 AM


Wow! Heartbreakingly wonderful insight into Zoe's thought and she sounded so true. That is a great accomplishment. And Zoe is right. That sign stays above her door because it is where Kaylee belongs. I still can't believe you killed her. And poor Simon, even more lost now than he was before but such a decent man he'll do right by her with the family. Ali D :|)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, November 20, 2006 4:10 AM


Just as Kaylee and the crew of Serenity carried Tracey's body home to his folks, so Kaylee's chosen family - her friends and fellow crewmembers - have returned her to the family of her birth.

Did Joss kill Wash or did the Reavers? The same question applies here - Is the writer responsible for taking a character's life or does the blaim lie with whomever Kaylee inadvertantly encountered.

Regardless of the answer, you're doing a powerful job of exploring the emotions experienced by those who lost one they dearly loved.

Monday, November 20, 2006 5:35 AM


Oh, very sad. Nice little snippit of emotion from both Zoe and Simon. Would love to see a longer version that takes place both before and after this to see what happens/happened.

Monday, November 20, 2006 2:57 PM


Ya know...when I advocated for a sequel, I was kinda hoping for an explanation for Kaylee's death. Engine malfunction? Bounty hunter? Parliamentary Operative? Hidden illness?


Still...this was some Joss-quality heartbreak here, AP! Especially Zoe's controlled distress about not knowing how to properly mourn someone who wasn't a spouse or fellow if there is a perfect way to mourn:(



You must log in to post comments.



The Storm IV
Serenity has survived the blizzard and help has come in an interesting form. Set post-BDM.

The Storm - III
Serenity experienced a blizzard and now the crew is experiencing the after-effects. Set post-BDM.

The Storm - Chapter Two
Mal assesses the damage done to his ship and crew after the blizzard crash.

The Storm
Serenity hits a snowstorm. Set post-BDM

Hearts Missing You
Mal has an interesting way of remembering dates. Jayne noticed. Not a slash fic.

Carrying the Burden
Mal does a little introspection and gets a little shock.

Bones break, words crush - part two
The immediate after-effects of the Big Blunder by Simon. The first part can be found <a href=""here</a>.

Beware the Bored Teen
Mal and Jayne experience something together (not what you're thinking). Set post-BDM. Warning for some harsh-ish language.

Sailor Boy
Simon takes a meal at a skyplex and does a little thinking. Set post-BDM.

Cold Understanding II
It's the day after and Simon thinks upon his relationship with Kaylee and what his new life is about.