Monday, April 4, 2005

"Simon patches the Captain up yet again then contemplates him as he sleeps, silently acknowledging what he can and cannot have."



SUMMARY: "Simon patches the Captain up yet again then contemplates him as he sleeps, silently acknowledging what he can and cannot have." The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.


A "Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

* * * * *

I cannot stop watching you. Absorbing every sigh and tremor as you sleep so fitfully. Nightmares. I never knew they were this bad. That you suffered such prolonged agonies of the soul. Did you know you talk in your sleep? Call for those long dead, cry only for the living? Berate yourself constantly for those you could not save but do you mean the living or the dead? In your extremis only one thing is clear. Only my touch grounds you. Gives you respite however fleeting in the Here and Now. And in that stolen moment of peace I am redeemed.

You would think me foolish if you could hear my thoughts. Wonder what I have to atone for but I am not the man you think I am. The mannered confection of a privileged life is the gloss not the substance. I am not just River's brother or the ship's doctor. Not simply a good man pushed to extremes, living on the edge because it is the only place that will have me. Have us. I have demons too. Less surly than your own but they still haunt me. I have never raised myself up to stand against the darkness as you have done. Had I done so the darkness would have surely consumed me, twisted what stands before you out of all recognition.

A frown creases your sleeping brow. Unbidden my hand drifts down to wipe it away, the gentle touch easing a sigh from anguished, pained lips. I murmur something, any lie that will give you ease. The content does not matter, the tone is all that inveigels its' way into your subconscious and visibly you begin to relax. I smile, sit and watch you with rapt attention. Anyone passing will take it for professional care. A doctor's duty. They will not see the man as my eyes and touch drink you in a stolen moment at a time. They will not see the lost boy. The child who never was, grown old before his time and ravaged by a loss that has no name. A man defined by what he does not who he is. Yet you see me. I noticed the first time our eyes met when I came aboard your ship. No artifice or subterfuge. A keen piercing glimpse into the soul of me.

It was why I kept my brittle facade intact, my haughty manner, the chill perfection of a remote demeanour. The only armour I had. Anything to keep myself from thinking of what could never be. I must ensure you do not consider me a friend. Someone to be at your ease with. To confide and be confided in. Familiarity is dangerous in this game I play and I will do nothing to risk my sister. Not for that fleeting bird of happiness nor that soaring eagle of hope. Rather I would crawl upon the sullen ground beneath, the better to remain unnoticed even if it means passing by unloved and unremarked. For in that camoflage both will survive. Yet watching over you gives me peace. Eases the hollowness of a world devoid of all but the most bland of treasures. To pass unnoticed is to be free. To draw attention is danger. Too many sharp eyes that can cut a man's hope to pieces seconds before destroying both body and soul. Yet you see me. Through the part I am forced to play there is a keen certitude that is not fooled for one minute nor flattered for a second. At first I think the deceit angers you then realise your bleak regard is because you understand and it is that which touches me deepest of all.

Softly my voice falls like cotton wool upon your restless slumber until you grow quiet again and I stare captivated and entranced. Wishing I could entrust you with my friendship but the risk is too great. You would know me too well and this house of cards that is the entirety of my life and River's would collapse at your feet. Not for any gift will I allow my efforts to be undone. Better to hide in plain sight and keep you safe in my regard. Allowing these stolen moments of unspoken passion as I watch over you while you sleep. Better to let you think I hate you, to keep you at arm's length because if I should let you in, let you see the messy tangle of emotional debris that is my life your concern and need to help would see me unravel when I must be strong. I cannot unburden myself to you or any other. River's brother must be whole even if it is but a facade to hide all that is forever broken.

You see too much already, even not knowing what lies behind my ascerbic words or edgy manner. How much more would you see if I let down the barriers that have kept me sane? And how would I ever put myself back together again afterwards? No. It is easier this way. Casual friendships I can do with ease but there would be nothing casual between us and that I cannot risk. You would know me too well and the knowing would shatter that which is most fragile in me. My sister River trusts you, loves you even, and I? I shall be content to live vicariously through her. It is the only way I can do what I must do to survive. Everyone sees River and knows she has been shattered. They look at me and see someone who has the focus and calm of a whole man but it is a fallacy. A lie more fabulous than anything the Alliance have done to River. For this destruction I did to myself. For this reason I am wary. Tread as lightly as a cat on a hot tin roof around the one man who could see me as I truly am. I may never find the words to thank you but in your extremis I tend you with more than professional care and feel a flush of guilt at how much it eases the pain in my soul. The fleeting pleasure I find in the only gift I am free to give.

* * * * *


Monday, April 4, 2005 4:42 AM


I am well aware that there will be some people who will jump to the conclusion that this is slash or pre-slash, it is not. As the little series evolves deeper truths will emerge and hopefully understanding will remove any scales from the eyes. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, April 4, 2005 7:27 AM


This is definitely deep. You developed Simon's thoughts very well. I'm intrigued to see where this story is going.

Monday, April 4, 2005 9:21 AM


I trust you Ali, but if you are the one writing it, I would still read the slash. You're just that good. I have to agree with KaySky. I too am very intrigued.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005 12:48 AM


Nice. Creepy and thought-provoking.


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The vessel was shiny, sleek and black with nowhere near the bulk of an Alliance ship. Something about the way it moved through the Black was more than a little creepifying.

Personally she didn't care if Serenity was towed off to a junk yard and stripped into spare parts. She had promised the ship to Jer and his crew as a bonus but it looked like scavengers had beaten them to it.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 2. "Counting Chickens"
The fact that her eyes were hard and sharp with intelligence kind of chilled him. Smart women always made him uneasy, it just weren't natural.

What in the nine hells were they so afraid of? Then he remembered Tracy. The body mailed to them by their old war buddy and all the trouble that had brought down on them.

If it was too gorram wet to hunt for rabbits what in the nine hells was his son really hunting? And was it something on four legs or two?

The man was in a terrible condition, his pulse weak, and for some reason he was soaking wet which did nothing to staunch the blood soaking through his clothing and seeping from the poorly tended wound where he had been shot.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 9. "All The King's Men"
The man sighed like the weight of the of the 'Verse was on his shoulders but unlike anyone else he looked like he could carry the weight.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 8. "All The King's Horses"
Without warning something came through the opening and rolled with a metallic clang across the ground before exploding.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 7. "Friend or Foe"
Then he found himself falling, the whole world silent as in slow motion the hordes of *diyu* came to swallow him up and everything disintegrated in fire, blood and pain.

THE DICHOTOMY SERIES: 6. "Friends You Choose"
It was a sound he recognised from the War, didn't forget the sound of a man drowning on his own blood.