Title: three
Fandom: Firefly
Summary:'They cut, and she bled, and she knew.' River can't think clear thoughts, because Simon was right.
Time Period: Pre-Serenity
Characters: River, Simon
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by Joss Whedon. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended

She was disjointed. Left, right. Up. Occasionally she felt silver or orange or invisible. Tiny spider-web lines cover her palms, and tiny spider-web scars line her thighs. Things don't really form into thoughts at this speed so much as they pass by as smells or tastes or blood. She groups things into three when they're covered in blood.

They cut, and she bled, and she knew.

Simon runs fingers through her hair to comfort her. One, two, three strokes. And he sings to her, like their mother did.

Lullaby, and good night.

Three was round and beautiful and half of an infinity. The stars were infinity too, and she loves them. They'll live when everyone else dies.

Sometimes, death is funny, but Simon gets mad when she giggles. He says that they should respect the dead. But if someone was funny in life, why not death? Why the change?

Death is natural.

She giggles in her sleep, when Simon can't frown.

Everything on the ship hums. The engine, the kitchen refridgerator, Wash in a happy mood. Three examples. If she were to write down what happened in her head, it would be a hum. Or just a line of threes, or empty space.

Simon says that there's something wrong with her.

He's right.

When she focuses, it isn't focus at all. A clock in the Sheppard's room ticks out a steady pulse, and she just can't ignore it. With each click of the gears, she thinks of the click of a gun.

That's the logical jump.

That's all she thinks about, except when she thinks about everything else.

Simon doesn't like guns, because they erase everything he does. Bang, you're dead, and there's nothing he could do.

Sometimes, she wonders what would happen if bang, she was dead. Would Simon cry?

Would the stars cry?

When she plays pretend with Kaylee, she always picks a color. Greens blend into pink, but never blue. Blue is the color of nothing.

Outside. Underneath. The sky is never blue, just black and stars and humming.

She wondered what would happen if she opened the hatch to the outside. When she pressed her palm against the slick slide of the glass, it was cold. Frozen. Nothing moved out in space, not even them, and she wondered if she would be able to move. Maybe before she exploded from the inside out, she could do an unconsious tumble through the air, like debris.

Maybe she could pull Simon with her, and they would float free, and not be wanted, and then just stop.