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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Post-BDM. Holiday fluff. Simon and River share a memory. A small hint of S/K for good measure.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1066 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N: So, I've been trying to write a Christmas story for a while now and this one came to me this evening. It is completely unbeta'd and pretty much wrote itself, so if it stinks, I blame my muse!
Have a great Christmas!
Simon awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of Kaylee’s soft breathing. Smiling slightly at the comforting sound, he pressed a light kiss into her hair, and then stretched, reaching over his head to see what time it was.
Midnight … Why was he so wide awake? Simon situated himself back under the covers, moaning contentedly as Kaylee absentmindedly curled into him, her head resting on his chest, her arm across his abdomen. Ai ya if he didn’t love the feel of her beside him.
As the minutes passed, Simon felt the tug of something forgotten; there was a reason he’d awoken. Wishing he could figure it out and just drift back to sleep, he let his mind wander, trying to put the pieces together. He had made sure to clean and shut the infirmary before bed, and he was up-to-date on all his chores. Of course, tomorrow was Christmas, but he –
In an instant, realization dawned. Doing his best to ease himself out of bed and not wake Kaylee, Simon reached around for his sweatpants and t-shirt, before slipping out into the corridor. On silent, and slightly cold feet, Simon found himself moving towards the galley. It was a bit irrational to think she would be up there, to think that she would remember, but then again, River was not always rational.
As his eyes adjusted to the dim light, Simon ascended the stairs and rounded the corner into the common room. The white lights Kaylee had graciously donated for their Christmas decorations were still on, and Simon smiled at the sight. Not only did they remind him of his beautiful girlfriend, but of a time and place far removed from Serenity. A much simpler time and place, for him and his sister.
And of course, she was there; staring into an earthen mug quite intently. Moving to her side, Simon dropped a kiss into her hair and whispered, “If you don’t go to sleep Santa won’t come.”
Turning to look at him, River returned his smile, but Simon could see sadness behind it. Sitting beside her, he took her hand as she said, “Santa can’t come, not out here. He doesn’t have interstellar capabilities.”
Smiling wider at her joke, Simon squeezed her hand and then stared for a moment. She had come so very far in the last six months, since Miranda. At times, Simon was certain she wasn’t even the same girl he had rescued from the Academy. But then there were days, very long and trying days for them both, when her insanity was back with a vengeance, and he was reminded of how much his little sister had really changed.
As River’s expression turned a shade darker, no doubt picking up on his thoughts, Simon tried to hide his internal musings. Leaning forward he peered into her cup and asked, “What are you drinking?”
Sighing, she told him, “Nothing.” She fell silent again and Simon waited, guessing there was more. It wasn’t a coincidence that they were both here, at midnight on Christmas Eve. Sitting back in her seat with a sigh of defeat, she kept her eyes focused on the table as she added, “I tried, but I couldn’t get it right.”
With another smile, Simon murmured, “You did remember.”
“I remember everything,” she reminded him, turning those large brown eyes to him. “The good and the bad.”
There it was again, her melancholy, and while Simon was not unaccustomed to it, it seemed out of place in this moment. Hoping he could lighten her mood, he asked, “Do you remember the year mother and father took us skiing?”
A small giggle burst from her lips and River clamped a hand over her mouth to stifle it, not wanting to wake the ship. Her eyes now full of mirth, instead of the sadness from only seconds before, she smiled and told him, “You were covered, head to toe. Looked like a walking snowman.”
His cheeks coloring a bit at her retelling, Simon nodded once and said, “Yes, skiing and I did not quite agree.” Turning a knowing look on her, he added, “However, you took to it like a duck to water.”
Shrugging lightly at her own competence, River said, “It’s like dancing, just wear skis instead of slippers, snow instead of stage.”
A comfortable silence fell between them and Simon found his mind traveling back to that fun and near disastrous weekend. He’d almost broken half a dozen bones and had very nearly cracked his head on a few trees. But through all his tribulations, River had sailed by, effortlessly taking run after run down the mountain, each time venturing higher, each time putting him to shame.
“Do you remember how cold it was?” he asked quietly, knowing she would. Her lips had turned blue, her small hands and feet nearly frozen.
Shivering a bit in recollection, River told him, “Oh yes, it took five blankets and a very warm fire to unthaw us both.”
“And one other thing,” Simon reminded her, smiling wide as she pouted and shook her empty mug at him.
“I told you, I couldn’t get it right.” The look of pure frustration and disappointment on her features was enough to break his heart.
Rising, Simon tugged her to her feet and whispered, “Well, maybe I can.”
With a light step and a slightly smug look of satisfaction, Simon practically skipped to the galley, rummaging in his food cupboard. River watched him go, her confusion giving way to unmitigated delight. Rushing up to his side, she breathed, “You didn’t.”
Holding up two packets, one opaque, the other filled with small, white, fluffy squares, Simon pressed a kiss to her cheek and whispered, “Merry Christmas, mei mei.”
Squealing softly, River threw her arms around his neck and held him tight. Simon returned the embrace gladly; spending more than half of his credits on the cocoa mix and marshmallows was more than worth it if it brought his sister such joy. “I can’t believe you got marshmallows too,” she told him, pulling back and trailing her fingers over the small packages.
Smiling, he reminded her, “Well, of course. You can’t have hot chocolate without them.”
Bouncing lightly on the balls of her feet, River watched expectantly as Simon prepared two steaming mugs. Dropping the marshmallows on top, he handed a mug to his sister, watching with a bit of amusement as she cradled the cup to her chest as though it were fragile. Following her back to the table, they sat again and Simon could not stop smiling. It had been a long while since River had been quite so happy.
“Like old times,” she said softly, pulling her eyes away from the brown liquid to meet her brother’s gaze. “Tradition.”
Simon was pleased that River had made the connection; replicating a fond moment from their childhood had been his primary purpose in purchasing the mix. A reinstatement of their Christmas ritual – hot cocoa at midnight.
Reaching for her hand again and holding it firmly in his own, Simon waited until she was looking to him before saying, “Not everything has to change, mei mei. Some things can stay the same. And it’s all right if we want them to.”
Nodding once, River regarded her brother with wide, knowing eyes. He had grown so much in the short time they had been on board. He had learned and adapted to situations that would have petrified him just a year ago. She knew it had been hard for him; River knew how much Simon had sacrificed and she was painfully aware that he had sacrificed it for her. But he had never, not once, resented her because of it. And that only made River love him more.
Setting her mug down, River reached for him and Simon returned her embrace. As silence again enveloped them, he found his thoughts drifting back to those past Christmases; they had been wonderful, full of rich foods and lots of presents, but right now, in this moment, things were simple and Simon was reveling in the change.
“Thank you, Simon.” River’s whisper pulled his thoughts back to the present. Leaning away from her, Simon cupped her face in his hands and whispered, “I love you, mei mei.”
Hugging him again, she told him, “I know that, silly.” As she felt him chuckle softly at her words, River added, “Only a brother who loves me would have remembered the marshmallows.”
This time when Simon laughed, River joined him, and the sound filled the ship.
Monday, December 25, 2006 12:56 AM
Monday, December 25, 2006 2:20 AM
Monday, December 25, 2006 7:23 PM
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 8:03 AM
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 8:42 AM
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 11:35 AM
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 12:01 PM
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 5:14 PM
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 6:49 PM
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 8:34 PM
Thursday, December 28, 2006 8:15 PM
Friday, December 29, 2006 12:09 PM
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