Setting: Serenity, aftermath
Characters: River and Mal
Note: found this laying around and finished it
He approached the girl, struggling over the bodies of the Reavers. Her brown eyes were wide open, and he could tell her mind was shut. She was still standing there, weapons in hand, and it was making the Operative's men nervous. Most of them still have their guns in hand, and one or two were not-quite aiming at her. Prepared to take her out like a dangerous animal.
The dangerous animal the alliance had made her. He gritted his teeth, willing his legs to go on a little longer. The others were too shell-shocked and the girl was still the not-girl, the weapon. A part of her he doubted even she had seen before.
"C'mon... go outside," he rasped, daring to put a hand between her shoulder blades, relieved when she didn't react by chopping off his head. Always a good thing, that. The touch propelled her into motion, mindlessly walking in the direction he steered her, through the wall of alliance men who hastily moved out of the way, their guns-barrels following them.
They left a trail of blood drops on the ramp they walked out on. His blood, her blood, reaver blood dripping from her weapons.
Have to come back, girl, he thought at her, wondering if he could beam words into her skull, project thoughts on purpose like she had said he did by accident sometimes. Would she be able to hear them in the noise of the reavers? Have to come back. Can't lose any more people today.
It was like she wasn't there at all, not really. Maybe she was hiding deep inside herself. Maybe that was the only way a reader could cope with being up close to reavers. Go somewhere away from the screaming.
The reavers are silent.. you killed them all, he continued, halting out in the sunlight and facing her. Her eyes were empty. Don't rightly know how you managed that. Pretty good for a chit of a girl. He managed a tired grin. We broadcasted the clip. Everybody knows about Miranda now.
She blinked slowly at him, and he watched blood from a small cut on her temple trail down over her jaw.
Come back, darlin'. They're all gone. You need to come back and be River. Can you do that for me?
He saw something shift in her eyes, a glimpse of a girl with her own peculiar brand of crazy... something he found kind of endearing most of the time. The girl he desperately wanted to find back right now, because she was crew and he wasn't going to lose anymore crew.
He almost startled from the sound of his own voice, loud as it sounded after all the thinking. Huge brown eyes blinked again and then focussed. She looked at him now, saw him, and for a moment he was convinced that she saw through him, into him, all of him. Then something shifted and she was just River again, en route between seventeen and sanity.
"I'm here," she whispered. "So much noise..." she looked around slowly, registering the Alliance men. Seemed to realise that she was still holding weapons. Then, slowly, took in the state of him. He was barely on his feet, one eye showing red mist.
Her axe dropped to the ground with metallic clank that made the Alliance men jump. She reached out, and her touch rocked him. She was different. Focused.
Her touch changed, hand slipping to his back, steadying now. Her smile sweet and sad and old as the turning of worlds.
"Can't stop the signal."