Author: Eleanor K.
Summary: Simon considers the weight of silence and of Mal's fist.
Disclaimer: Joss owns all.
Notes: This was done for a Livejournal meme where people pick one
of your icons and you write a ficlet based on it. Here's the icon
Simon's father used the weight of his silence as a weapon. The
pressure cracked Simon open and let words slip inside to cut along
prescribed lines, deft and easy as surgeon and scalpel, Jack the
Ripper and White Chapel whore.
His father's words and silences put Simon in the hospital and kept
him there, working off the debt he acquired by being born. He understands
that things don't come free. He understands better than Mal does
about price and payment.
He touches the scab on his lip and finds it still tacky, clinging
to his finger. A thick ridge of congealed blood covers the place
where Mal split him open as cleanly as his father ever did. Little
zings and tingles of pain make him keep poking when the doctor and
the older brother in him tell him to stop.
This isn't the kind of price he's used to paying. There was no drawn
out dance of guilt and blame and silence. There was nothing cold,
nothing of death and antiseptic and formaldehyde designed to preserve
the moment of his capitulation.
He remembers Mal's face just before the blow, remembers the flash
of heat before the pain, remembers the taste of his own blood.
He sits alone in his own room now. The room Mal gave him, grim-faced
and unsympathetic, but not angry. Not silent.
Mal hit him twice today, and Simon can't stop touching his wounds.
He is fascinated by the feel of them. No one has ever hit him before.
The pain is clear and liquid, sliding out from underneath his finger
so that he can't ever pinpoint where it hurts the most. He pushes
his bottom lip against his teeth and tastes blood and feels heat
again. And again.
The heat is only the flush of endorphins. The tingle is only abused
nerve endings. The look on Mal's face was only anger.
He doesn't want Mal to do it again.