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WARNING: If you haven't read the warning on the index page, go back and read it. If you don't, and you don't like what you find here, don't come crying to me.

Title: Weight

Author: Eleanor K.

Fandom: Firefly

Pairing: Mal/Simon

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Simon considers the weight of silence and of Mal's fist.

Email: emungere@gmail.com

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 in question.

..__..

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.

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