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Longing - oneshot

 Title: Longing
Author: Billie
Disclaimer: I do own Serenity, on dvd... that doesn't count, does it?
Rating: G
Warnings: Spoilers for Serenity.
Summary: A small River-centric introspective on what River wants. Spans pre-series to post-movie. 

Never found anyone challenging enough to spark her interest. Not then, not ever. There was no one who could come close to understanding everything the girl said, no one who she could ever consider as anything more than an acquaintance. Never even a friend. She scared all the boys away with her intelligence. Any men that showed interest quickly retreated from the brunt of the sharp tongue. Never saw the girl behind the brain.

She had Simon, even though he was away at the time. Knew that she’d always have her brother’s support.

But the girl wasn’t content. Wanted more; wanted to know; wanted everything; wanted too much. She was blinded by the promises. That was before the blue.

She got everything. The blue gave it. But they took something away, made her pay a price she wasn’t willing to pay. They distorted the girl until she wasn’t a girl anymore. Ikaros; she was burned by the Sun.

They gave an ‘everything’ she didn’t want; the wrong kind of everything. They ripped open her mind. The voices destroyed her from the inside out, stabbed her with their viciousness, and smothered her with their indifference. Now nothing makes sense. The girl hears everything. She cannot cease from hearing. The noise is so deafening, it confuses her so. Doesn’t know where she begins or where she ends. Which thoughts are hers? Who is the girl; what is the girl? Everything hurts. The needles; the secrets, they make her scream.

She begged for so long; cried for her Simon. For so long he didn’t come that she started to believe that he never would. Then he was there. He was there, telling her she would be safe, his entire being singing its love and worry for her. He took her away from the blue, and they were safe. But the girl wasn’t the same anymore; broken and couldn’t be fixed.Found hope on the calm; found a family. Surrounded by the black it is easier. There are fewer thoughts, but it is still too loud. Too confusing and she doesn’t know what’s real; what’s made up.

Never touched it but they’re drowning in it. The girl had a secret; she didn’t know whose it was or what it was, or why she was keeping it. It hurts so much.

Then they triggered something within her; made her mind go blank; made the rabbit come out of its hole and expose itself to the harsh blue. A double edged blade; they cut themselves when they cut her. They found the girl, but the girl found something too.

Simon told her she had said it, the girl didn’t remember it. Miranda, he told her, and the obscure connections found each other within her muddled mind. Had to show them, had to force them to see because they wouldn’t listen.
They heard, then they listened and they saw.

For a while everything moves so fast. The girl stands apart from everyone watching, trying to catch up and join the flow but she can’t see a way in. There is happiness, hurt, anger, pain; a rush of emotion and she can’t help but get caught up. Then there is horror and grief, and then, calm and a clarity she had forgotten existed.

The secret is no longer secret, and she doesn’t get so confused anymore. She understands it now, so it can no longer torment her with its unknown horrors. The meds help too; help quiet the cacophony so she can focus. She can tell which emotions are hers now. If she keeps her distance she can avoid being swept away with someone else’s anger, their fear.
She’s starting to see where the girl stands; what she is. The sun warmed ground and melted away the snow, and the girl saw the path to where the others were.

After, when things made sense again she started to become the girl she had forgotten how to be. Before the girl had thought that intelligence was everything. No one would be good enough for her because no one could keep up with her speed. Knew better now. There was so much more to be had than intelligence; so much that was more important. The girl started wanting again. Longing.

She watches with new eyes how Zoë mourns for her husband. Will anyone miss her like that when she is gone, the way a widow misses their spouse?

Sees Simon drift further from her into Kaylee’s embrace. She isn’t jealous; Simon is not hers to keep. And she knows he will always watch her the way he always has; with love and worry. What would it be like to have someone all to yourself like that?

Captain daddy and Inara dance around each other, stepping forward tentatively then rushing back again. Flirting, squabbling. Then going too far and hurting each other. How does one still love the other after so many hurtful words have been said?

On the bad days she wonders how different it would be if someone were by her side telling her that she was theirs. She wishes for the kind of comforting presence they could offer. The girl needs someone to love her for the first time in her life.

I’ve been longing to be held; to be crushed against a strong body. A warm firm hold that holds me together and reassures me that I’m real, that’s what I have needed. Big strong arms that cradle my body and keep me safe; I’ve longed for a place where I can find myself and know that I am River.

Somehow it wasn’t until he pulled me into an alley and embraced me to hide me from the wrong eyes that I realised just how much I’d needed him. While my heart sped up till I thought it was going to stop at any moment I saw that it wasn’t just anyone’s arms I’d needed. They were his.

Then he pulled away and tugged me out of the alley and the chaos rushed back to greet me. But that moment of being held told me all I needed to know. As we rushed back to Serenity I stared at his back, seeing him for the first time.

No force in the ‘verse can stop me. I will have you, my man-called-Jayne.


A/N: Just something that came about due to my insomnia and creativity. Besides, as a new member I wanted to make a contribution, however shoddy it may be.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
Shoddy? I think not. Very well written I greatly enjoyed it.

May. 5th, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
Thank you.
I was worried that it'd be incomprehensible due to my lack of sleep, but I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it.
May. 5th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
Wow, thanks for sharing. This was wonderful. I wish you'd continue it. It's just tremendous. I'd love to see how River goes about "obtaining" Jayne.

Welcome aboard! Hope to see more from you. :)Ali
May. 5th, 2009 04:24 am (UTC)
Thank you. Glad you liked it.
While writing this I actually got a little curious about what was going on in their lives. Probably won't be writing an epic, but I just know this River isn't gonna let me reach shore before I explore.
May. 5th, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)
Great writing. I love the fourth to last paragraph, it is a great expression of thoughts that River would be thinking. I hope to read more from you, and also hope sleep finds you soon. Thanks for sharing.
May. 5th, 2009 08:53 am (UTC)
Many Thanks.
What I tried to do was basically an extreme case of 'everyone-needs-a-hug-sometimes', and I tried to signify how at home she is in Jayne's arms by having her speak of herself in first person (while the entire piece is actually in first person anyway) when, and directly after being held. Not sure how well that one came out..

As for sleep, if I'm lucky I won't pass out until I get back to bed in the evening, if I'm not I'll either fall asleep somewhere awkward or I won't sleep at all. Again...
May. 5th, 2009 05:34 am (UTC)
I really like this a lot. Nice work. I loved the moment where River falls in love so to speak. When Jayne grabs her. : D
May. 5th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC)
Thank you.
I actually started with the idea that River hugs Jayne, but somehow the text demanded that Jayne do it instead. And I think I prefer it this way. :D

May. 5th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
YES! Brilliant writing I must say. I love how she was fixed on his arms cause Adam Baldwin has got nice arms!!! Wicked story. Definitely would love to see more of this and more from you in the future. Welcome! ^___^
May. 6th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
Ah yes, the arms. Adam's body definitely deserves any worship we can dish out. And had this not been an introspective piece I would have done a lot more of that. (I think you may have inadvertently inspired something.)
Thank you.
May. 6th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
YES! *feeds carrots to plot bunny*
May. 6th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Oh God. As if they needed the encouragement. They're rabid enough as they are.
May. 5th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Shoddy? Don't go fishing ;-D Seriously, I liked the progression of this fic. Starting with River's casual arrogance from before the Academy, through the confusion during the Academy & before the BDM, & finally getting her feet back under her with a better perspective of what is actually important towards the end of the fic. And some more arrogance, although of a different sort, at the end to round it out! Nice sense of emotional growth throughout, well done. And I liked River's voice in the narrative through the twists & turns of her life. Nice fic.
May. 6th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC)
Imagining River as a cocky little preteen just comes so naturally. Besides, Simon does say that she could be a real brat about her intelligence. :D This was actually surprisingly challenging for me to write, yet the words came out incredibly easily. Throughout the process I had to keep second guessing my tenses. Is it better in past tense, should this be in present? So it makes makes me happy to hear that you liked the voice I gave River. Thank you.

P.S. Yes I mind terribly that you've friended me. Therefore I have friended you too :D
May. 5th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
P.S. Hope you don't mind that I friended you :-)
Jul. 28th, 2010 09:50 am (UTC)
It's a great story! I love how you've written River.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )