Chapter Title- Simon says
Disclaimer- I own nada, niente. nil point.
Summary- who has noticed?
A/n- Last one, although I might write a sequel. I just love Simon in this and hope I got his voice right.
I know that they all think I'm oblivious, that things pass me by.
Of course, when it comes to women they are absolutely right.
I had no idea that Kaylee was interested in me, had no idea what to do when I did uncover it and, to be honest, even now I keep on missing the cues. Luckily Kaylee is very patient with me.
But that has more to do with the eternal mysteries of women and less about my being a clueless boob.
I graduated in the top percent of my class even though I was years younger than most of them. I'm smart and I can tell thirty different types of headaches just by the way you furrow your brow. I can see a sore throat, aches and fever and not just assume that you have the flu but know by the subtle pattern of spasms exactly which form of malarial septicaemia you have and which village in New Rockefeller you visited to contract the disease.
I pick upon nuances of bodily twitches and pains that most people would miss.
I'm not a dummy.
I'm only telling you this so you'll understand when I say that there is nothing I don't know about my sister.
Despite her being taken from me and experimented upon, I can tell when she is nauseous even though I may not know the cause. I know when she is starting to have a flashback and when her bad days are coming. I can see when she sees clearly and when she's actually acting like her old self.
I may not understand what they did to her brain chemistry or why they stripped her amygdala but I can see the effects and am doing my very best to counter it.
But I can also see her behaviour is better since Miranda and believe that it has more than a little something to do with laying the three million ghosts at rest and finally being able to hear herself think.
People on board the ship may think that I no longer pay so much attention to River because I have Kaylee. But that's not true. I no longer pay so much attention to River because she is no longer sick.
Oh, whatever the government did to her has altered her for life. But she's not ill any more. Her body is functioning normally and even at a increased capacity. I'm a Doctor and there is nothing medically I can do for her.
So I don't have to be her doctor any more. I don't have to ply her with medicine and shots to make her lucid. I don't have to monitor her temperature and her appetite and browbeat her into eating and sleeping. For the first time in months I no longer have to spend every waking hour thinking about her health. I don't have to be her Doctor 24 hours a day.
But I do have to be her big brother and for the first time since she went to that academy I can be her brother.
Which was why I didn't come running when Jayne carried her into the surgery after one of Mal's jobs oh-so-mysteriously didn't go according to plan. No one was screaming so she obviously wasn't in that much danger.
Jayne put her on the table and even before he left my eyes had catalogued everything about my mei mei and I was confused.
“Uh, River? Did you...get hurt?”
She gave me that “my big brother is an idiot” look before giggling.
“A large male grabbed me and tried to abscond with my person.”
I sighed. “Fine, I'll tell Jayne—”
“Not him!” she exclaimed. “An enemy. He stole me and spirited me away, crushing my fragile hips in the process.”
“You,” I said, “are about as fragile as a rampaging rhinoceros.”
“So's your excuse,” I pointed out. “But I'll check you over anyway.” I looked down deliberately. “I mean it had to be bad if Jayne carried you home.”
And there it is.
Just like I knew it would be, and I have to stop my own reaction to it. I could never play poker.
But this is just perfect. Perfect timing and way past time for us to get back what we had.
I pick up the clipboard and run the diagnostic scanner over her, I force myself to frown.
River sits up. “What?”
“Well, you have acute bruising to the upper thighs and hips, your joints seem fine but you do have some strain to the lower back.” I trail off and wait.
“Simon,” River poked me. “Why are so serious? Is there something wrong?”
I swallow and turn to her. “Well, it's probably nothing but you have extremely elevated cutaneous blood flow to the buccae and pharyngeal muscles. It was so sudden, I almost missed it.”
River's eyes widened. “Is it serious?”
I'm so pleased that we decided it was against doctor/ patient confidentiality for her to listen in on my thoughts. This would be so much harder if she were Reading me.
“It can be, it depends on the underlying causes. But from what I've seen. You have all the symptoms which lead to a very serious condition, River.”
“Like what?” she folds her arms across her chest as if daring me to give her yet another illness and I almost feel guilty.
“You have arrhythmic tachycardia which could lead to a myocardial infraction. Not to mention the way your odorants 2-methylphenol and 4-methylphenol are off the scale. The stimulus which exacerbates these effects is dangerous.”
Her eyes are so wide now that I don't think I can keep it in much longer.
“W-what does it mean, Simon?”
I give her my best “bad new face” as I deliver the verdict.
“It means, that you River Tam... are crazy over Jayne Cobb.”
I can't hold it in any more and her affronted face is too much. I start to laugh.
“You like Jayne.”
Her face is priceless. It has been so long since I teased her that she thinks I have forgotten how.
“Simon!” she stammers incredulously.
I can't help it. I feel ages lighter. “You like Jayne. Jayne. You looove him.”
“Oh please, a trained assassin who takes down Reaver armies can't walk back to the ship because she has a bruise.” I pretend to flutter my eyes. “Oh, Jayne, please carry me!”
“Simon!” River can't help it now either and she starts to laugh, grabbing for my clip board to throw it at me.
“You think I'm so oblivious, you just happen to be in the cargo bay when it's his turn to clean. You happen to be drawing when he's lifting weights—and what were you drawing River?”
“Shut up.” Her cheeks are scarlet now and in true big brother fashion I point it out to her.
“Ooh, blushing River? Could that be because someone can't put their own shoes on unless Jayne tells them to, or, can't quite reach up into the mule unless he hands her in."
“Not fair!” River pouts. “Taunting the sick. Your bedside manner is lacking.”
“So's your taste. But if its the man-ape gone wrong that you want.”
And curiously I am okay with it, more than fine. Because you see I've been watching River and Jayne its clear as day to me.
They are crazy for each other.
Captain Dummy talk-
You have extremely elevated cutaneous blood flow to the buccae and pharyngeal muscles.
River is blushing on her cheeks and throat.
You have arrhythmic tachycardia which could lead to a myocardial infraction.
River has jumpy heartbeat which could lead to a heat attack should Jayne suddenly tear off all his clothes.
Not to mention the way your odorants 2-methylphenol and 4-methylphenol are off the scale. The stimulus which exacerbates these effects is dangerous.
Jayne makes her sweat.