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Like the Sea
By Celievamp

"She understands. She does not comprehend."

Simon does not understand when I talk about myself in the third person. He thinks it is a symptom of my illness, a disassociative disorder. I try to explain that it is the only way to describe what I am. There is more than one of me, but we are all the same at heart. We are rooted in the same life, the same experiences.

Simon is a very intelligent man, yet he can be a complete boob when it comes to the simplest of things. He does not know himself so how can I hope that he will ever understand me. This is part of what I mean. In me there is the little sister that I was, that he remembers. That is what he wants me to return to. That is when I will be `better'. The only problem is that she doesn't really exist anymore, except in memory. But sometimes I bring her out to please Simon.

To the menfolk I am an object of pity, a minor irritation. In truth I am Simon's little sister, and in time Malcolm Reynolds will also call me mei-mei as he addresses Kaylee now. There is no malice in him. I am a part of his crew now and he has extended his protection to me. Doesn't mean he trusts me though. Wash does not understand me, does not want to. He had eyes only for Zoe as is proper. I'm just the crazy girl. He has no expectations of me beyond that. Shepherd Book prays for me. But then he also prays for those that hurt me and would hurt me still if they found me. His logic and his faith are flawed. And Jayne. When the price is rutting good enough. His desires and dreams and fantasies are simple and crude. He has heard what I can do with a gun and that excites him. But at heart he is a superstitious man and the taint of madness makes him fear me.

The distaff side of Serenity, the women, my sisters. Zoe tolerates me but is kind. Kaylee. Kaylee is afraid of me. She thinks she betrayed me to Jubal Early but she did not. It was not her fault. It was inevitable. One day I hope to make her understand. Inara tries to protect me, teach me. She tries to show me that there is still love and beauty in this `verse. She has become my shelter from the storm.

My blood sings. Simon performs his alchemy. The smoothers infiltrate my dreams my thoughts, gray shadows that bring only stillness. They do not heal, they preserve, they freeze. My mind is full of statues, frozen moments of time, of misery, fear, pain, love.

I remember it like birdsong. Their voices... the sweet bloodslick pain. Do this... think that... tell us what we're thinking... tell us what will be... if we do this, go there, kill this person, what will happen. It wasn't just me, there were a dozen of us, probably more but each of us was alone because it hurt too much to be together. Sometimes I forget that I'm not there anymore. Sometimes I think there are too many people here, too many thoughts, too many emotions, and then.

Like the sea, waves washing over me, washing away the pain, the loneliness, the memories. Inara's arms are around me, soothing me back to restful sleep. I must have sought refuge in her shuttle, in her arms again. And I am free and I am safe and I am happy. And I am in love.

The End

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