DISCLAIMER: Firefly and Serenity are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and Universal. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Post Serenity. Blatant apostrophe abuse (sorry). Posted to ff.net with the same title in 2008.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To howlingturtle[at]hotmail.com

Shiny 'n Good
By SilverTurtle


It's hard not ta love her. She's such a sweetie, 'n so innocent, even though she's the most fearsome person on Serenity. But she loves this boat as much as I do 'n I can't fear no-one who treats Serenity right like she does.

Speaks ta her in a way I never could. I can only talk ta Serenity through her bits 'n pieces, her innards 'n her outards, I have ta talk ta her through gadgets 'n parts.

River…River speaks ta Serenity's soul. She listens ta every hum, every vibration, every silence 'n she talks back. Not in words, leastwise not always. It's in her dances 'n touches that she talks. I feel Serenity's presence, but I can't speak ta her 'cept through the parts. But I always make it a point ta treat her right, just like I make it a point ta treat River right but that's just 'cause it's natural ta treat 'em right.

River ain't broken, not like the Doc and Cap'n and the others think she is. She just works different. Her wires have all been crossed, we just got ta suss out which wires are where now. Pretty simple really. Just like readin' Serenity's bits. I've had ta do some pretty amazin' things ta keep us flyin', hodge-podged our way through some tough scrapes, made some near impossible repairs, 'n holdin' us together with spit and gumption. I'm the only person, next t'River o'course, that could figger out just what works her 'n how. We just gotta find a way ta know River the same way.

She ain't broken. She's a mite cracked, bent about the edge, but not broken. Never broken. 'N even though she's a bit mussed she's still the shiniest person in the verse. Savin' us all one minute 'n wantin' ta play tag 'r jacks the next. 'Course things slip inta her brain she can't control, that don't mean she ain't right as rain. Just needs someone ta keep her solid sometimes, keep her from fallin' t'pieces.

The others are scared 'a her, even Simon. I ain't. I was scared 'a her once, and it nearly tore me in two, 'cause she's just a lost li'l girl needin' someone ta love her 'n trust her. I ain't scared 'a her no more. I know she'd never hurt any of us. The others don't trust her, think she'll go all crazy on us agin. An' that's just silly. The girl'd sooner die than harm any of us…'cept maybe Jayne, 'cause he's mean 'n nasty ta her.

River don't wanna hurt nobody, she just don't always have control, don't know her own strength. She can't stop her powers from bein' there, she don't want 'em anymore than we want her ta have 'em. Sure they've saved our lives a few times, warned us 'a Reavers or Alliance comin' fer us, kicked some outlaw rear once 'r twice, but she don't like 'em much more 'n we do. She knows she can't control 'em all the time, she can't stop what she hears in her head, can't stop what others think from gettin' in, but she stops it all from comin' out agin. I think that's what jumbles her up most times, holdin' everythin' in 'n mixin' it all up 'til it pops out nonsensical. I've seen her try so hard ta make sense 'a what she says, takin' pains ta make it unnerstandable t'us, 'n it just crushes her when she don't make no sense.

Thing is, most times ya just gotta listen close 'n she makes all kinds 'a sense. Cap'n 'n Simon don't wanna listen, they hear her speak 'n just decide she's talkin' crazy 'n start dopin' her up on new meds. Jayne thinks she's crazy all the time 'n don't want nothin' ta do with her. But she ain't crazy, 'n most times she ain't talkin' crazy. Zoe 'n 'Nara know she ain't really crazy, but they treat her like she's baby-babblin' 'n they don't unnerstand. Ya just gotta take a minute ta suss out what she means, 'n if you're thinkin' right ya can usually figger out what she wants ta be sayin'. Ya don't always know, but ya always gotch'r best guess which is better'n not tryin' at all.

So I'll listen ta River. 'Cause she ain't crazy 'n she ain't a li'l girl no more. I'll listen 'cause she's River 'n I love her. It's hard not ta love her. With her big doe eyes 'n cat-like curiosity 'n playful dancin', she's perfect. It's like I said afore, she's the shiniest person in this verse, 'n she's mine ta love.

'N as I lay in my bunk tonight, shiftin' her just enough to slide in she cuddles right up inta me 'n I know she loves me too. 'N that's just shiny.

The End

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