This was basically thought up while watching Serenity for about the umpteenth time. Basically what River was thinking before her big moment of badass-ery. It's told from River's point of view, so the incoherency is intentional. :)

This is NOT Tamcest. *shudders*

Disclaimer: As much I would love to own Serenity and her awesome-tastic crew, they are all the property of Joss Whedon and Fox.

Hanging Back, Moving Forward

She hangs back.

She hangs back and lets the big boys and girls do all the work. They would know what to do, they could fix it, fix everything, because if they could not, who could?

And then, quite suddenly, Zoe - angry, grieving, reckless Zoe - gets cut and Kaylee - innocent, little Kaylee - gets hurt. The air fills with the stench of blood and she feels her stomach churn and roll, like a ship on the ancient sea – well, her head is certainly swimming.

She glances over to Simon. He'll make it better. He's a doctor; he can make things better… can't he? He stands purposefully, and she feels a burst of hope – (he's going to make things better!) – before her world crashes down around her.

Simon's no longer standing. On the floor now, twitching and gasping for air to fill his lungs. Perspiration glistens on his brow, it a struggle just to stay alive – to remain in this world, instead of moving onto the next. He's slipping away, she can feel him slipping away. She tries to cling to him, to ground him to this world, but the fragments of his life are fleeting.

"River…" he gasps, "River… I'm sorry."

"No," she dismisses his apologizes, tears welling up in her eyes as she shakes her head, "No."

"I don't wanna go," he breathes.

"You won't. You take care of me, Simon," River whispers, her throat thick with emotion as a tear trickles down her cheek, "You're always taking care of me."

She knows what she has to do. Her head clears and the fear is washed away like water swirling down a plughole. All that remains is fury. They killed Wash; cut Zoe; hurt Kaylee; but, most of all, those heun dahns dared to hurt Simon. Her brother, her saviour, her protector, her everything is dying because of them.

She wants them to feel the pain they inflicted. It's a burning desire to make them suffer as Simon, Serenity and her crew are suffering. They will pay.

"My turn," she whispers; she's no longer hanging back, she's moving forward.

Moving forward to what? To retrieving the medkit that could save her brother's life? To her death? To the realms of uncertainty in which it is impossible to call what outcome will occur?

All she knows is that she's moving forward, because Simon needs her to do so.

Nothing much else to say, apart from I hope you liked it and please leave me a review on your way out. Thanks for reading. :)