epiphanyx7: Cartoon me! (Default)
[personal profile] epiphanyx7
Title: Whispered
Length: One-shot (932)
Rating: not for children
Summary: Inara's thoughts are strong, sure, the steady stretch into an arabesque - practiced and certain, every time.
Warnings: Very minor language, Spoilers for the movie.
[[Written for Cliché Bingo 2009. Cliché: Telepathy ]] Why am I writing this on the last day of Cliché Bingo? WHY do I procrastinate so very muchly?


Serenity has a lot of secrets, a lot of voices, a lot of whispered words that nobody hears. Nobody hears them, that is, except for River, and sometimes she even pays attention to the whispers.

Zoe's  mind has sharp edges, broken and jagged like shattered glass, sparkling bottles cracked over bloody skulls. The edges of her mind taste sharp, too, like lemons or bitterness, and a sweet heavy ache all over like a fever. River carefully avoids the edges, keeping to the centre where Zoe's mind curves, lush and soft, sweet in its sincerity. Zoe has secrets, hundreds and thousands of secrets that it may take a lifetime to learn, and tip-toeing through her mind, River finds the ones that Zoe has kept closest to her heart.

Flickers of memories, too, ones that surface less and less often. If she sits quiet and still, though, near where Zoe is cooking or reading, sometimes the older woman will speak to her in a whisper. Her mind tells River her secrets, saying 'Here, River, take this secret, keep it, it's yours now---' and River will accept it, will take Zoe's wishes and hopes and dreams into herself.

Wash is not a secret, and Zoe does not offer to share his memory, but she shares the baby-that-never-was, and the baby-that-almost-was, and the love-that-still-is. River likes these, likes having thoughts that aren't hers to keep and care for. Most of the thoughts that people share are ugly and mean, but Zoe keeps those edges of her mind away from Rivers, and she shares the sweet moments, laughter and happiness. If River could choose, then Zoe would be allowed to be the mother she wanted to be.

Inara's thoughts are strong, sure, the steady stretch into an arabesque - practiced and certain, every time. Her memories are hazy, though, her mind closed off to River in a way that's not fair at all. River pouts, considering this, and then she remembers the woman's occupation and decides that there are some things that perhaps Inara has need to keep secret. River isn't fond of secrets, she likes the ones that aren't kept in silence, just kept close. Inara has too many of both, and sometimes her mind turns frantic and scared, spinning and whirling, fouettés and pirouettes until River falls down dizzy, head aching, the world still spinning around her.

But Inara shares some things, she shares small smiles with friends, shares her excitement over another new gown. She lets River take the memories of home, of sunsets over a deep, reed-lined lake. It's sad, of course. Very sad, walking through the echoing open spaces in Inara's mind, the places where she goes to be free, to twist and sway and become a real Inara. She has missed her calling, the gentle swaying of her mind from side to side, complex movements to music only River can hear; it means that she should have been a dancer. There's still time, though, before the music fades away.

Kaylee's mind, though, that's the best place, that's where the laughter is hiding. River likes the little things in Kaylee's mind, the way all the puzzle pieces fit together pretty just like Serenity does. There are engine spaces and mazes, curves and sharp corners, exciting and exhilarating like a roller coaster or a wild joyride though the outer rings, and there's so much joy, so much love, so much Kaylee in her mind that River likes to stay there, to sprawl under the blanket of stars and stay curled up  in Kaylee's thoughts like a warm, fuzzy kitten. She's in there, too, memories of apples and games of tag and chocolate frosting on a protein-cube cake.

And of course, in the back of Kaylee's mind, steady and sure and with a sweet smile, Simon is hiding. River doesn't always find him in Kaylee's thoughts, but if she stays long enough she can find him. Sometimes it's hard to remember the way Simon is, because River remembers the way Simon used to be and the way he will  be, but Kaylee is good at that. She can pull away the things that Simon isn't any more or isn't just yet, and she sees him the way he is now. He's stronger now, and determined, and he smiles in quiet joy and he clenches his jaw in anger. There are things about Simon now that River had never seen before, he thinks his own thoughts and doesn't know the answers any longer, the way he used to. But in Kaylee's mind, he's always there with a sure and steady hand, broad shoulders to rest a head on, warm hands that fix wounds and heal hurts. Sometimes, Simon's hands can take away the pain and suffering that River can feel all around her, but Kaylee's thoughts are warm and lovely all the time, and she pulls them around herself like a blanket.

"What in the gorramn hell are you doing down there?" Jayne yells at her, and River puts down the gun she was holding and stares at him. "Put that down, you lunatic!" He says.

Jayne's mind is a fun place to be. He's full of sex and swear words and violence. River points at him with her toe, pirouettes to the staircase, and then looks up at him, brushing stray strands of hair away from her face. "You," she says, sternly, "Should learn to play nice with the other kids, and share your toys."

"What's that supposed to mean?" 

River floats off, tip-toeing across the floor because Serenity is sleeping and she doesn't want to wake her up. Perhaps she'll find Mal.


Date: 2011-05-15 01:18 am (UTC)
pi: (Piper smile)
From: [personal profile] pi
I have posted a podfic of this wonderful story here: http://amplificathon.livejournal.com/987980.html
Thank you!! :D

Date: 2011-12-06 04:29 am (UTC)
sunspot: we have offended the heavens. aren't you the least bit excited? (excited for this atrocity)
From: [personal profile] sunspot
................. I was coming here to tell you I wanted to make podfic. FOILED AGAIN.

I love this one, bb, and I don't know why I didn't tell you before.

Date: 2012-01-17 06:35 am (UTC)
sunspot: text on purple background "aww yeah it's business time!" (business time!)
From: [personal profile] sunspot



epiphanyx7: Cartoon me! (Default)
"I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of a desert island. I want to play football with people. I want... I want everything."

-- Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book


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