They always ask why. Because she's mine. Kaylee is good and kind and would give herself to me if I even half-asked, but River belongs to me. Mine. Since our parents left her to rot in their blindness. Mine. Kaylee's friend, Mal's reader, but mine first and always before anything else. Her small hands are mine. Her messy hair is mine. Her smiles, her good days, her bad days. Every last bit, for me. I always wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to help people. And she would be proud of me. I would make money. I could buy my own estate and give her the best things, the things that she deserves. They didn't give her all that she should have had. All she wanted was a rutting dedicated source box. She's mine now though, and I'll give her everything she'll ever need. I'll take care of her. I'll give her everything she'll ever want. All she'll need is me. And she's mine.
I would die for her. I almost did on that bible-thumping backwater hole. Burning isn't a pretty way to go, but if you lean into the smoke you'll asphyxiate yourself before you start to burn. I was just about to whisper that into her ear when our big, damn, heroes showed up. I'm the only hero she needs. She's mine. Its easy to die though, anyone can do that. Not so easy to kill. I'd kill for her. I haven't had to yet, but I will. The sooner the better. She's mine and then they'll know it. They're good people. That doesn't change the most important fact though.
The quicker Book realizes that I hold River after her nightmares the easier it will be for everyone. And I will make her tea. It tastes just as good in the regular cups as in Inara's enamelled ones no matter what Wash tries to tell her. River is very smart. She knows that. She likes my tea.
People were always surprised that we were so close. 'You and your sister get along very well, don't you Simon?' Idiots. Of course we do. I love her. And she loves me. She was mine then, my sister. But she was other things too; their daughter, her playmate, his star student. Now she's just mine, the way it should be. Everything is gone from then except for her. Everything is almost perfect now. Just the two of us. I just have to get her book back from Kaylee so I can read to her. And find a better place to keep it out of prying hands.
When she has nightmares and I finally manage to coax her back into the bed, she likes it when I hold her tightly. Makes her feel safe. Her back against my chest. She likes me to run my fingers lightly over her stomach. She likes it. It calms her.