Title: River and the Light
Characters: Sam Winchester/River Tam
tamingthemuse Prompt: #272 ~ Bound
Content Warning: Spoilers through S5.
Summary: The Light still shines. It sits, somewhere inside Sam, and doesn’t go away.
Author’s Note: Written for the Anon Meme, with the prompt “Supernatural/Firefly, Sam/River, skin.” Kinda falls in line with some of the previous Sam/River pieces I’ve written before.
Disclaimer: I don’t own. They belong to Kripke and Whedon. I’m just borrowing and will put everything back where I found it.
The Light still shines. It sits, somewhere inside Sam, and doesn’t go away.
The brighter it shines, the more Sam remembers, but the more he remembers, the stronger the Light gets. The Light will never truly go away, never truly disappear, not unless Sam does, but they are bound together, like two sides of a coin, twisting in the air as it fell to the ground.
River wishes that Sam never remembers. The world is brighter without the Light, even if it may need it. There is always balance, always, and taking the Light away would break that. She knows the Light must stay but at the same time that she wishes he was gone. She likes Sam better. Sam is big and warm. Large hands for a large heart and he is good. The balance survives inside of him because he is good and that balances the Light.
Sam also isn’t the only one with a light inside him. Their new passenger, a funny man with dark hair and bright eyes has a light that burns just as brightly, but he isn’t empty, the way Sam is. He remembers and he knows—River can see it in the way he looks at Sam, and she wants to take Sam away from him, keep Sam to herself and not let the man who remembers be the one who takes him away. He watches her with the same intensity he watches Sam, and while most of the time she pretends not to notice, she knows that he isn’t stupid.
He knows, and that is not something to take lightly. Knowing never is.
She spends more time in Sam’s bunk, and Sam doesn’t seem to mind. He never does. He never looks at her strangely or says she’s wrong in the head. He listens in a way that no one ever does, like there’s a meaning to what she says. Most people know that there usually is, but they don’t bother to listen until it’s too late. Sam always listens, and that means something to her.
He’s reading this time when she comes in, sprawled out on the his cot and pouring through the pages with the intense interest of someone who truly enjoys it. His focus is on the page in front of him, but the rest of his body is relaxed, content to be where he is. She slowly makes her way over, barely making a sound, and crawls onto the space that he leaves, sitting and letting her legs dangle over the edge of the cot. He looks up and smiles, shifting so that he’s sitting more next to her.
“What are you reading?” she asks, leaning in more so that she can peer at the words, see if they need correction. He pauses as he settles back against the wall, letting her lean against him.
“Just something I found in Book’s library he said I could read. It’s a great story, but—for some reason it’s really familiar.”
She peers at the title, and it takes a moment for it to register, but when she realizes it’s Book’s Bible, one of the supplements that were attached before Earth That Was, the part that involves the Light, and she reaches over and snatches it away, tossing it across the room. It will help Sam remember, and she doesn’t want him to remember. He gives her a look for that, a look she so rarely gets from him, and she rolls her eyes, taking on the air of the highly intelligent.
“It’s highly inaccurate,” she says with an eye roll, and he buys it. He smirks as he lets her lean back against him. “Even if souls weren’t more than a theoretical construct, placing two inside the same body is preposterous.”
“Maybe. But it’s just a story.” She takes her free hand in his, measuring the size of her fingers against his. She likes the softness of his skin and the feel of his hand against hers. “They don’t have to be accurate.”
“Better if they were,” she mumbles, stiffening as his fingers curled around hers, like he’s holding her hand. It’s not the same way Simon does. There’s an intimacy to it, something more than a simple hold between brother and sister. She turns to look at him, meeting his eyes and there’s something there, a familiarity and affection that’s not familiar at all. His fingers curl against her palm, pulling her in closer, his head dips, and his lips brush hers.
It’s her first kiss. Her first. And given the fact that River doesn’t react to things the way she’s supposed to, she’s sure that this is the wrong response. But it is very nice, and very sweet, and she’s sure that she should enjoy it, but instead of smiling and conveying that fact, River relies on instinct.
She punches him in the face.
She punches him and she runs flying over the corridors of the ship, finally hiding in the infirmary. It isn’t much of a hiding place, there are certainly better ones, but she ducks down behind the cabinets, hands tucked over her head as she waits for Simon to return to the room.
When he does, he frowns, tilting his head as he crouches down in front of her. “Is everything alright, mei-mei?”
She’s quiet for a long time before responding. “I didn’t turn into a princess.”