The voice of the hidden waterfall

"Can you hear it?"

Disclaimer: The Winchester boys aren't mine and the girl doesn't belong to me either.

Rating: T (Language, angst)

Characters: Sam Winchester, River Tam

Pairing: Sam/River

Author's Notes: This is part of my Firefly/Supernatural crossover series, Rhapsody of a Windy Night. Written for the spn_30snapshots challenge on Livejournal.

Spoilers/Warnings: None

The next time it rains, Sam finds her in the parking lot.

She's standing on the asphalt in her bare feet, head tilted up to smile at the sky, and River's thin cotton dress clings to the curves it hides when she's dancing around the motel room. It's the same smile he sees every morning when she's standing underneath the shower, water rushing through her hair and past the soap-slick swell of her breasts; sliding down her stomach and slipping between her thighs, the wet from his fingers and his tongue swirling with it down the drain.

He moves in close, feeling the heat coming off of her arm, and River reaches across the space between them with a sigh that doesn't break the smile; her hand curling into his. She's searching for something, her eyes flickering back and forth while Sam watches her, but she doesn't say anything until Sam tries to find what she's looking for in the storm clouds.

It's probably not water dripping into her eyes.

"Can you hear it?"

Sam's not sure what he's supposed to hear, either, but he's guessing that it's not the splatter of raindrops into the puddle where a pot hole used to be.

"I don't hear things the way that you do."

Even in his dreams, when he walks down the river of fire winding its way through splintered earth – when the power to save Dean without deals or demons or lost souls twitches through his fingers – Sam doesn't hear things the way that she does. But he listens to her breathe in time to the sudden catch in his chest, in time to the song that she's always humming when the wind roars through the open windows of the Impala and there's nothing but the whir of tires on the highway.

River rocks up onto her toes.

"I don't hear anything. Not one thing." Her fingers push between his, splaying them open with a small laugh. "Not even rain in a puddle." She falls slowly back down on her heels, head falling forward until she's watching her wiggling toes. The skin around her mouth tightens and she lets go of his hand. "Sammy-Sam?"


"I'm not a princess. And, sometimes, the only thing holding me together is skin." River swallows. "Don't you want a princess?"

"Sometimes the only thing holding any of us together is skin." Sam leans down and kisses the blue vein pulsing down her neck, memorizing the taste when she shivers. "Being a princess is overrated, River."

Her eyes widen when he grins at her. "You're just lucky Dean-Dean didn't hear that," she says softly, hands behind her back before River's mouth quirks to the left and she stares up at the sky. "He'd call you a girl."

River laughs and there's a different smile on her face, the same smile he sees every time she lies on top of him and strokes the bridge of his nose with one finger. He doesn't see her move, her warm mouth finding his in the time it takes to blink, and her hands are fluttering on his hips when Sam dips his mouth down; her fingers tightening as he tongues one nipple through the wet fabric, nipping the small nub gently as it pushes against the cotton.

Her gasp is a sigh swallowed up by the patter of the rain.


The title of this story is a line from the poem "Little Gidding" by T.S. Eliot – one of the poems from The Four Quartets.