Title: one breath before dying

Author: Sonya

Email: sonyajeb@swbell.net

Summary: absolution found in skin, sanity found in touch

Spoilers/Timeline: Um... far in the future. Doesn't spoil much. (Unless the knowledge that River has problems and Kaylee likes Simon is new to you... in which case, um... oops?)

Character(s): Simon, Kaylee, River

Pairing(s): Simon/Kaylee, and sort of Simon/River but only in a platonic, brother-sister sort of way. (Sorry, no CSI here. No slash either. This one's totally S/K.)

Rating: R (For very poetic - I hope! - and somewhat obscure smut.)

Word Count: 541

Disclaimer: Not mine. Characters and 'verse belong to Mr. Whedon; poem belongs to the fabulous Mr. Cummings. I could never be as brilliant as either of those two men, trust me.

Author's Note: Inspired by the Cummings fic challenge at cummings_chal that is run by phineasjones. Most of the fics there are from the HP fandom, but somehow the poem just screamed Simon/Kaylee to me. And then it demanded for me to sit down and write this, despite the fact that I have 4 other Firefly fics waiting on me, not to mention 2 Cowboy Bebop stories, the Buffy/Doyle series that has been on hiatus since *FOREVER* and the Buffy/Xander epilogue to Destiny Lost to work on... Le sigh. Fic bunnies are evil. They know no bounds and will bite at your ankles with barely the slightest provocation. Grrrr. Hopefully Jayne's not too mad at me for letting Simon play with Kaylee this time out.

Also, this fic was supposed to be pretty and happy. Like the poem is pretty and happy. But, me being the angst whore that I am, it turned all sad after only a couple of paragraphs. Ah, well. I tried. Really I did. I just don't do fluffy very well.

Finally, it's written in what I see as a Cummings-esque style. So it's rather... experimental, I guess you could say. If that's not your cuppa, best leave now, 'k?

***

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones,and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like,slowly stroking the,shocking fuzz
of your electric fur,and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh....And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

-- e.e. cummings

***

he feels her as she surrounds him, breath hitching, eyes wide and mouths clinging. he is not used to the feeling of being both lost and found at the same time. but it is and she is and he is and together they are in a way that mystifies him.

when she touches his face, hands gentle-rough, he thinks of the others he has known and finds them lacking. their gleaming, perfumed skin and soft hands never quite touching him. he cannot understand how there could have been a time in his life when he was not aching for her, fingers itching to smooth tangles from her hair, mouth anxious to cover her oil stained skin with kisses and kisses and kisses until she parts like the stars and he can just sink inside of her, every movement joined together, every breath shared.

he has never known anyone so fragile and so strong at the same time, her heart perched precariously on her sleeve and bright fire in her eyes. he knows that he loves her, he fears that he will destroy her, broken in a pile of brightly colored shards of glass, tinkling merrily even as they mark her pain. everyone he's ever loved has been destroyed and he is too powerless (scared,ashamed) to save them.

the taste of her intoxicates him and he would lose himself in the sweet-perfect-light ness that she is, basking in her light and dying a little bit each time she smiles (glows,shines) at him, thinking he is her hero when he knows it is not true. he cannot be anyone's hero. he tried and everything still turned out blue, his mèimei gone and replaced with a broken doll-girl who speaks and moves and is never quite who she was.

he would forget himself inside her body, its curves demanding his attention and making his every muscle sing when he buries himself inside her warm wetness, her soft little whimper-songs making his head spin. and for one perfect, shining moment he is hers alone and he feels the better for it, completed yet incomplete at the same time. but then the wave crashes over his head and time resumes its pace, ever-always-forward, and he feels the world again. it crushes him slowly, yet he says nothing. she knows and sighs, bittersweet, and wraps herself around him, trying to hold onto his happiness (peace,sanity) for just a little while longer. he lets her, face cradled against the sweat of her breast, his body trembling for one eternal moment.

then he begins to pull on his clothes.

his sister needs him. and nothing, not even the cocoon-warmth of this perfect moment, can stop him from doing what is needed.

he knows that when it gets to be too much again, she will be here and she will welcome him, arms open and eyes open and heart open, and he will come to her and let her restore him to himself once again. and he will say this time is the last, like he has every time before, and she will smile knowingly and kiss his eyelids shut and lay him down on her bed, offering herself to him in perfect surrender.

and he will not resist.