AN: written as a prompt from The Cleric 007, she had a lot of faith in me to write this! I'm hoping she'll have more prompts for me. This is really my first attempt at a Firefly fic; I have another slightly longer one on the go, which hopefully I'll be able to finish.

Edited by: The Cleric 007, thank you!

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters from Firefly

Hear the Music

River's eyes opened to see the plain ceiling of her small room, her head tilted as she listened to the voice of Serenity whispering softly to her. The rest of the ship slept peacefully, surrounded by the cold vacuum of space. River sat up on the bed, long legs pulling under her small body as she backed into the corner. There was no silence for her in space, no peace from the voices.

The dreams were the worst, so many images and colors all attempting to blind her. And at the very core River saw flashes of herself, as she had once been. She had made Simon smile then and he'd watched her with pride in his eyes. River curled in on herself, hands moving into her hair in a vein attempt to hold her thoughts together. She didn't see that light in his eyes lately. Only concern, and from the others confusion and fear though they did their best to hide it.

Her mind was a jumble of thoughts, hardly making sense even to her. River shut her eyes against the din, and that was when she heard it: the soft melody of a familiar tune. She listened, holding tightly to it, letting the sound fill her battered mind.

A smile touched River's lips, her head tipping to the tune. She wanted to hear more of it. Slowly River unfolded from her corner, an expression of contentment on her face as she stepped lightly from the room. Her bare feet against the cold metal of Serenity made River feel connected to the ship; aware of their every move together. River followed the sound of the music, letting it guide her moves, feeling lighter than she had in a long time.

Stepping onto the cargo room floor, River spun on the ball of her foot, eyes falling closed as she just gave into the music and let it carry. River was free of everything except the music. Letting herself go, body light and at peace, she could at last breathe. And for the first moment in a long time the pain was gone.

"River?"

She spun to a slow stop at the sound of her name, eyes reluctantly opening to see Simon standing at the bottom of the stairs. His expression was bemused, and River could see that spark of pride in his eyes.

"What are you doing?" he asked walking towards her.

River tilted her head to the side, "Can't you hear it?"

"Hear what?" Simon said, resting one hand on her shoulder while the other cupped the side of her face,

"The music," she whispered, delighted by the continued melody.

Her brother's hands tightened, drawing River's attention to him, "Mei-mei," Simon spoke earnestly, looking directly into her eyes. "There is no music, mei-mei."

River shut her eyes ears listening intently.  She'd just heard it. Opening wide bright eyes River searched her surroundings, heart beginning to fall as reality swept over her. Her head dropped, eyes closing tightly against the voices, as a tired breath escaped her. 

"It's gone..."

Thanks for reading!

Morganeth Taren'drel