Disclaimer: I do not own Firefly, Serenity, River or anything else that isn't mine. Joss is boss, I'm just a borrower. Law-likes bring nightmares of loss and fear - not just to those of criminal intent, but to honest borrowers too. Is not everything relative?


I watch him.

He doesn't know it.

I confess, part of my mind - and heart - wishes he did.

It's funny, how old habits die hard. I'm better now, and they all know so, but yet… they still act as before. Some more than others…

Simon, for example. But, having to have done so much to care for me and deal with me for so long, I understand why he still does. He still treats me like I don't know what I'm doing, when I do… well, anything.

Like, when I watch him.

No, not Simon. Him.

And, you would think, that of all the people on Serenity, Simon would understand. Poor Simon. I feel that his mind will always be narrowed by his education.

And then, there's him.

More than anyone else on the ship, he understands me. I think… though I don't know why… he accepts it more than anyone else. Being of a sound, at least sounder, mind, I can control more of what I do. I don't listen to their thoughts so much. Especially his. I… I could find out why he accepts my recovery so well, if I really wanted to, but I don't. I find that I like the element of surprise, now. Not all the time, for he does want me to keep a… mind out for problems, but for their thoughts. I like to hear actual voices, not whispers when I'm alone. I like to see eyes meet mine, not thoughts sneaking in through the back.

He trusts me, too. I really like that. I know that he needs me, yes, but he also trust me.

I miss Wash. We all do. But, despite the loss and sorrow, I revel in being useful and needed…

Even… wanted?

I wonder, sometimes.

He smiles at me, he speaks to me. He tries to ignore the fact that I could, can, and sometimes can't help but read his thoughts. For his sake, I try not to. I want to be surprised when he speaks to me.

I admit, everything is slightly new. Not really, but you see, when things were actually new, my mind was… broken. Fried. Now, I'm on the mend. I feel like I need to relearn some things, as I never learned them properly. One of these things is…

Hmm. Watching him.

I can't do it where he'll see, or he'll discover that I've learned a few new things, like how to hide things. How to hide… feelings. Ideas. Emotions. So, I have learned to watch him carefully, so he doesn't know.

And there are some other things too… and with them lies my new troubles.

He said he would teach me. Anything, anything at all. All I had to do, he said, was ask… I did tell him I wouldn't steal the information from his mind. I want to learn like anyone else.

But I can't ask this. Nor can I steal this, even if I wanted to.

How I wish I could ask him. I may… but fear is new, too. I never thought I would fear something as simple as a question. It's strange, how things like doubt and fear have found places in my mending mind, like scar tissue over healing wounds. I find myself sure, but unsure. Scarred and scared.

Oh, and I still have my moments. Moments when my mind fogs over and I can't express myself clearly and start speaking in riddles… at least he's there for me when that happens. It makes me angry and I start to cry… and there he is. For comfort. He… he…

Oh, he cares. He's held me.That's why I watch him, when my head is good and he doesn't see.

A darkness came and I couldn't fight it... I was angry and frightened and I felt myself run and then pain. Then, like a beam of light, he was there, holding me, rocking me, saying kind things to me until the darkness faded and all was clear again. That's when he said he'd teach me anything... allI had to do was ask...

If only he knew my question...

But I want to ask him. It is the one question I can't ask. Simon would never understand… nor would he take to my plans. He'd fight me all the way. It would be bad… I try to get Simon to understand, sometimes. Slowly, I hint. Simon bristles and rages on about how young I am and how I must not be thinking clearly.

You would THINK Simon would SUPPORT me. He wouldn't hurt me, I know that. Even if he tried, which he wouldn't, I could handle it. How many Reavers did I destroy? Well, I'm not sure exactly, as that's a part of my memory I like to ignore, but I'm fine. Poor, narrow-minded Simon.

I will ask him, sometime. I have to. Albatross or no, I'm still human – a fact that my brother will have to face at some point in time. I can't hide the truth forever… the crew learned that lesson with Miranda.

Yet, until then, I'll watch him. I am patient. I can wait….

For the right time…

For the right words and the right mind…

For my Captain.


A/N: I hope you all like this! For the moment it isa one-shot, but I am planning on a chapter or two more from... another's point of view... please, read and review, and let me know what you think. You can't use "Oh, I didn't have time to review" as an excuse - I know, I leave reviews, and I know how long they take. All ya'all ain't foolin' me none.