Title: No Power in the Verse
Summary: Written about River's involvement in War Stories
Author's Note: Unbeta'd. All mistakes my own. Also, I don't own.
“Yep, definitely my sister.” River smiled slightly, feeling the panic-push of tears behind her eyes relax a little. She’d been feeling so well, could see the pride in Simon’s eyes, the laughing fondness in Wash-the-pilot, the paternal annoyance in the Captain. She was a normal girl, feet on the ground, eyes on the skies, without the overwhelming pressing in of the voices, the secrets, the strong emotions. She knew they were still there, but they were like gentle summer breezes at meadowlands on Osiris. Gentle and loving, saying nothing, you only knew they were there.
But then the skies darkened and the breezes became voices again and the bits of apple came back up. The fearful memories and anger lacing Zoe’s body grew stronger with the gathering clouds, the bits trying to come back when they were supposed to stay down. She’d slipped away from the clouds of pain, stumbled into her brother’s room and curled into his bed, trying to feel the remnants of happy in his blanket, of his hopes for her that hurt as much as healed. After all, she could never fulfill those hopes now, the darkness coming back .
“Let me give you something to sleep, River.” This time, this time, she let him. She wanted to get away from the sadness, the sadness she always saw in her brother’s eyes, she wanted to just not think, not feel for a little while. She saw the world slipping away as she floated away, away on a cloud of cotton and wool.
When she woke again, it was to anger and pain and-fear. Kaylee was broadcasting her fear so strongly that something in River responded. She slipped to her feet, following the trail of yellow fear leading her into the cargo bay. It was then she noticed, Serenity, firefly class, was docked on another ship. The mule was gone and she felt something awaken in her. Something she’d been waiting for, something she’d hidden from because it was from there. The place with the blue hands. It could be hers someday, when the voices stopped pushing at her, when the secrets tumbled past her lips and they stopped stabbing her brain. For now, though, she could only use it as she’d been taught. But it wouldn’t be at their orders, it would be for the kaylee-girl who had played with her, it would be to take away that yellow fear of dying alone, of failing the captain she loved like a second Pa.
She floated-no-ran through the cargo hold, the three men didn’t see her, focused on the woman with the gun. She knelt next to Kaylee, put calming hands on her, she felt the panic start to transfer to her, but shoved it down again, much as she could now after the operation whens he woke up seeing everything, feeling everything. She peeked around the side of the door. Three men, forming a triangle, one with an 80 degree angle with two 50 degree angles. Easy math, drawing the triangle from head to head. She felt the pain, the fear of Kaylee, and muttered “Can’t look can’t look” to remind herself before whirling out, a dervish on the move. Three moves, three times pulling the trigger and all that remained was the confusion, the fear of Kaylee, the silence resting heavily on them. She turned her head, looking past her hair, fingers trembling and saw that all three were no longer there, lumps of flesh and bone, life force gone, no longer pressing on her.
Kaylee was standing next to her now and she turned back slightly, confidence now rising, no longer the fear of death hanging over her like a black cloud
She could see Kaylee standing over her, apple in hand and used the same words-to make herself understood. Borrowing words was so much easier than find her own. “No power in the verse can stop me.”
Jayne could feel the slow burn of the slug sitting in his shoulder, the stabbing pain when he moved too much in the wrong direction. That being said-well, everyone else seemed overly concerned on Mal or Wash. So even though he’d been shot, he weren’t gonna get attention for that any time soon. The route back from where Mal had been quiet-almost suspiciously so if he hadn’t been stepping over bodies every few seconds. They’d run into Sheperd & the Doc about half way back and Doc had fretted over Mal. Jayne followed the rest of ‘em up onto Serenity, Wash running to start her up, get away from this god-awful space station as fast as possible.
Everyone else was distracted, so it was only Jayne who noticed something.. wrong with the picture they’d come back to. They’d passed three very dead men. All looking as if they’d been shot from inside Serenity-as if they’d tried to pin someone down and it just hadn’t worked.
But lil’ Kaylee was the only one left on ship to protect him-Simon & the Shepherd half way through the hallways had seen to that. And if Jayne knew anything, he knew Kaylee couldn’t fire so accurately to get all three of those with just one or two bullets (the lack of messy blood pools spoke to the neatness of the job).
But… if it weren’t Kaylee, that only left the Doc’s moonbrained sister. He looked up to the catwalk as he headed for the medbay. She was standing there, two hands gripping the railings and staring down at the commotion. She turned her head and stared right back at him. Jayne growled and kept moving, unwilling to let a little girl frighten him. He’d just have to keep a closer eye on the moonbrain. He weren’t about to get shot because the girl decided she wanted to see his insides up close.