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Worth It

Title: Worth It
Author: jaune_chat
Fandoms: Firefly/Sherlock (BBC)
Characters/Pairings: Simon Tam, River Tam, John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Rating: PG
Wordcount: 700
Spoilers: None, really
Warnings: References to past medical experimentation
Disclaimer: Firefly is Joss’, Sherlock isn’t mine either!
A/N: Written for crossovers_las for the prompt “Time heals all wounds.”
Summary: Simon discovers two of Serenity’s passengers have far more in common with his family than he ever thought possible.



River clung to the railing of the staircase, watching one of their passengers. Sherlock had been curled up in a chair in the lounge outside medbay for the better part of two days. He’d scarcely spoke, and barely acknowledged the crew. Jayne thought he was spooky. Mal had found him merely unsettling. He wouldn’t even respond to Inara, not even to dismiss or exclaim, ogle or wonder. And everyone responded to Inara, one way or another.

That was very strange, as River was certain Sherlock missed nothing.

The first day out, John, the man who’d come on board with Sherlock, had managed to get him into the galley, though Sherlock had refused to let go of his Cortex comm. Sherlock had spent his entire tenure on Serenity locked in communion with his machine. Except when he was needed. That first day in the galley, Zoe had accused Jayne of taking the last bean bun she’s been saving for Wash. Without looking up, Sherlock had unexpectedly spoken up, reeling off two dozen devastatingly accurate predictions that proved Book had been sleep-eating.

River let herself down from the railing and curled up in a chair next to Sherlock, oblivious to everything else.

-----

Simon felt a shard of ice stab his gut when he walked into Serenity’s tiny medbay to see one of the passengers reviewing a brain scan. River’s brain scan.

“What the hell are you doing?” Simon demanded, using every bit of authority he’d ever had as a preserver of life.

The passenger turned around; Dr. Watson. No hope for it. Simon couldn’t bluff his way out this, couldn’t use layman’s ignorance to explain away the damage visible even from the doorway.

“The captain said it would be all right to use these computers…” Dr. Watson said, holding a hand up. “I needed to examine the scans I brought with me.”

Like hell, Simon thought darkly. The doctor had to be another Alliance spy, hunting for the outlaw Tam siblings. Simon took a cautious half-step closer, ready to scream for help the minute Dr. Watson showed his true colors. “Those are my sister’s scans. You hacked my files.”

Watson started, growing pale. “These are Sherlock’s scans.”

Simon forgot about caution and stepped close, examining the scans minutely. Almost unbelieving, he tapped keys to bring River’s scans up side-by-side. One brain was definitely older, with slightly more remodeling from the same wounds. The same exact kinds of wounds…

“My God,” Watson said softly.

-----

“You use your contradictory nature to diminish thanks for your accomplishments,” River said.

“I don’t need hangers-on. If they can’t observe, too bad,” Sherlock said, keeping his eyes fixed on the tiny screen in front of him.

“You could be more generous, but you won’t.”

“You’re stating the obvious,” Sherlock said, flicking his eyes up.

“I knew who ate the bean bun, but the words often come out in a spiral fashion at inopportune times.”

“Focus on the minutiae and speak out loud. It strengthens linear speech pathways,” Sherlock said, his pale gazing fixing on her.

“The datastream can be overwhelming,” River confessed.

“Reduce input. Limit your interactions to a specific timeframe.”

“I prefer motion to gain focus.”

Sherlock looked her over critically. “They went more physical after I escaped.”

“It was necessary for control and lucidity.” River’s hand shot out to touch Sherlock’s temple. “Consistency helps me.”

Sherlock smiled. “That’s why I have John. If you have at least one thing, and your work, it all stays together in a symmetrical whole.”

River pondered that. “I dance.”

“Then do.”

-----

“So I wasn’t the first,” Simon said wonderingly.

John shook his head. “I took Sherlock out of the pilot program. They increased security after I left. I’m sorry it took so much to get your sister out.”

“Sherlock is… functional,” Simon said, questions in his eyes.

“Took us fifteen years,” John said, a great weariness in his voice.

“Was it worth it? Is he happy?” Simon asked.

John nodded toward the window, where River was dancing before Sherlock, the man enraptured by the formulas and mathematics of her movements.

“Yes. It was worth every minute.”

Comments

jaune_chat
Nov. 11th, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

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