river_meimei: (hearing more than you say)
[personal profile] river_meimei
Today at dinner, Simon was subdued. Perfectly friendly, and everybody has moods, but -- quiet.

River watched him, out of the corner of her eye and in quick startled glances, and didn't laugh along at the mealtime banter. Most of the crew didn't notice; it's River, after all.

Today it's River's job to clear the dishes. She's distracted, even by her usual standards, and Inara has to gently steer her back to focus several times. (River's well enough these days to take on a carefully selected share of the crew chores, but everyone feels -- wisely -- that most of these are best done with someone else supervising.) Inara finally takes over the last of the silverware, and River slips out of the kitchen with her hands still damp.

She's not so distracted, now.

Date: 2008-11-12 05:08 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (something's wrong)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
Simon's in the infirmary. It's not really due an inventory check for another few weeks, but ... he has the urge to be doing something.

Almost anything would do, really.

Date: 2008-11-12 05:34 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (businesslike doctor)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
Liquid bandage, six vials. Same as last time -- it's been a while since anyone on board took an injury serious enough to need it.

(He's read the official obituary, by now.)

Butterfly sutures, twelve packages of four each, likewise.

Date: 2008-11-12 06:09 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (tired)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
Anaesthetics, local and general, several varieties. Analgesics.

(In the years before her death, Liz Whitaker was working on a treatment for Ng-Hadary, a neurodegenerative disease affecting primarily the young. According to the obituary, her research was widely hailed as a real step toward a cure.)

It's a moment before he consciously registers River's presence. When he does, it's without surprise.

Date: 2008-11-13 03:52 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (tired)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
(Neurodegenerative. What an ugly coincidence.)

"Hey, meimei," he says quietly.

Date: 2008-11-13 11:44 pm (UTC)
simon_doctor: (dark and serious)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
Simon looks up at her. The surprise is muted, and quickly gone.

"What did you see?"

Date: 2008-11-15 11:07 pm (UTC)
simon_doctor: (sober)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
He nods.

"Liz Whitaker," he says quietly. "Do you remember Liz?"

Date: 2008-11-17 05:06 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (desolate)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
"Yes," he whispers, and can't say any more.

"I never tried writing back to her," he says, looking directly at River, "and now it's too late."

Blink and his gaze is still downward and distant, and he hasn't said a word.

Date: 2008-11-17 05:28 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (something's wrong)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
"There's going to be a memorial service," he says after a long moment. "I think I need to go."

Date: 2008-11-17 05:47 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (tired)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
He nods.

Looks down at the little box of vials of local anaesthetic, still in his hands.

Date: 2008-11-19 04:43 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (eyes closed)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
The ache that rises in his throat isn't unexpected at all, but it's still all he can do to swallow it down.

Simon lets out a long breath, and holds out his hand to River, palm up.

Date: 2008-11-19 05:08 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (hug)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
These moments are rarer now than the used to be; the times when he has no idea at all what River means.

Somehow it's comforting anyway, just knowing that she means to comfort.

Date: 2008-11-19 05:33 am (UTC)
simon_doctor: (with River - keep her safe)
From: [personal profile] simon_doctor
His hand closes on hers, and squeezes lightly.

He doesn't answer.


river_meimei: (Default)
River Tam

August 2010


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