Universes: Firefly x Labyrinth
Disclaimer: Firefly is Whedon's baby, Labyrinth belongs to the Henson estate, though David Bowie owns Jareth's delicious rump.
Characters: Simon, mentions Kaylee, River and Jareth
Pairing: River/Jareth, Simon/Kaylee
Timeline: Post BDM, sequel to Tiny Dancer and Sarabande. Third in the Goblin Queen Series.
Summary: Simon has a rather traumatic day and decides to write it down in his journal for posterity.
Word Count: 1000, exactly
Today, I have decided to have a small, tiny, itsy-bitsy mental breakdown over the state of the supposedly universal and unbreakable physical laws that run this 'verse. Everyone's entitled to one of those, right? Kaylee thought it would be best if I took a break from the group for a while and wrote in my journal. Clear my head, she said. She’s probably right. My little mechanic usually is.
What do you say when you find out your sister is the Goblin Queen? I mean, there's a point in which denial just doesn't work and you have to sit back and say, 'Oh, that makes so much sense.'
Because it does.
All those little things that made us wonder about River as a child are now explained. How uncomfortable she made my parents and their friends; the sideways looks my mother would give her when she thought I wasn’t watching, like River was some sort of changeling child that could not have come from her womb. How River always seemed to know things, like the way she clung to me when they went to take her to the Academy, whispering about the coming darkness. The way the birds seemed to sing just for her, and how she sang back at them without really thinking about how odd it was to be a little girl, singing with the birds.
Did the Alliance know, all that time ago when we were just children, that there was something called the Goblin Kingdom lurking just outside our world? Did they try to breach it and steal that magic for their own uses? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if they did. Maybe that was Book’s great big secret; why he clung to his faith. Believing in God and his miracles is somehow easier when you were faced with real magic. Why not? Or did the Alliance just know that River was different, bound for a greater fate than most?
Greater fate. Is it really greater to see her slaughter Reavers like she's taking a walk in the park? Beautiful, yes, in a skin-crawling, horrible way. She saved my life, our lives, with some shiny blades, and acted like it was fun. She seems not to care about the blood spatter and the awful stench, just dancing along inside her skin like she's with him.
I can't believe I have a Goblin King as a brother-in-law. Might as well be, you know? I don't think they even have marriage laws in the Goblin Kingdom. Not much in the way of human-shaped things either, from what River tells me.
Has been telling me.
And I just didn't see it. No, no, you're crazy, mei-mei. Because that's so much easier than the possibility that some freakish Owl-Man is going to sweep down one day and carry my sister off for a little waltz or two, return her unharmed, then come back pronouncing she's his bride. There are things that just don’t happen in the rational, reasonable world. My world. The place where bright young men grow up to be famous surgeons…then rescue their kidnapped little sisters from secret government agencies, go on the run with a bunch of scruffy criminals, and save the world.
My life is never easy. Why can’t it be easy, just for a little bit? I think it must have been easy, when I was boy, because I remember it that way. But with River around I’m sure it wasn’t. If your little sister starts talking about necessary cannibalism when she should be playing with dolls, your world is not normal.
What would my parents say? Hello Father, this is River’s…King. No, they spend most of their time in an alternate reality where unwanted babies go to become goblins. Yes, she’s ecstatically happy and goes around singing and dancing all the time. No, Jareth probably does not want to go to the club for a drink to get to know you all better. Yes, he really is a goblin. That would go well, wouldn’t it? Mother would probably have a fainting fit and banish all of us from her sight. Not that I'd blame her. If I came home with something that looked like Jareth she'd probably have shot me. And then Jareth would probably turn her into a toadstool.
Or River would have. Oh, god. She really can kill me with her brain. She probably knows I'm writing this right now. Hello River!
But, to have that much power over her reality that she could wipe me off the face of it with just a twitch of her eyebrow? There has got to be a better safety word. Because now that she's found the Goblin King again, she's unstoppable.
If the Alliance had known what they were creating, with or without the Goblin King's help, they never would have contemplated unleashing her. Or sent a much better Operative to take care of the problem.
I know, I know. We’re safe with her, but only because she loves us. Anyone else that gets in her way? That’s another story. Imagine the Alliance coming for us now, all their guns turning to goblins and their armor sprouting flowers—all because she thinks that’s pretty. Sort of astounding metaphysics, actually, that she can bend reality to fit her thoughts, just like he can. I always thought the laws that govern the physical were just that, laws. I should have known better when we finally understood that River could hear us all thinking. And now? We can live what she’s thinking. What's in her head can be our world, if she wants it. And River's mind…well, I love her, but it is a very scary place to be.
I think I need a drink.
Maybe Kaylee with six drinks.
Today has been a red-letter day.
Today I found out my sister is the Goblin Queen.
Thank god there's always tomorrow.
So, do you want to read the other side of this story, the events that made Simon so unhinged?