Spoilers: R Tam Sessions
Summery: Simon needs a Reason.
All quotes are taken from the R Tam Sessions.
They had fallen into his hands, a gift, something to help him help her. It didn't matter how. A slim handful of tapes, marked only with some numbers, and the letters R Tam. He had held them tightly to his chest and thanked a god he had stopped believing in a while ago.
He would be able to see what they had done, what had happened. He was going to be able to be save her. Her big brother, the hero.
And here she was, bright and beautiful and smiling, all of her intuition and brains and brother not able to warn her that this was hell, where her sanity and smile would be taken.
His heart broke, every time she spoke of him, and she did, often, in the beginning.
He’s a genius. I could never do what he does.
His throat ached as she said it, bright eyes eager.
He had to stop the tape for a moment after the first one.
That girl was gone. The one who smiled and believed and spoke in full sentences. The girl who used to beg him to take her to see Swan Lake, just once more, please Simon. The girl who could have choreographed Swan Lake by age six, if she wanted.
Would I still be allowed to dance?
He wasn’t sure if he could watch her slide into who she was now. A fractured girl with a broken smile who still believed her big brother could save her. A girl who woke screaming most nights, and when she didn’t, it was only because he had given her enough chemicals to keep her quiet.
He knew she still screamed on the inside on those nights.
She was out with Kaylee now, playing and laughing, and he couldn’t help but compare this girl to that one.
He hadn’t been expecting this. He had been expecting having to watch her, unconscious on a table or in that strange steel chair, while they probed and poked and cut her open. He had steeled himself to see his little sister helpless and in pain.
He didn’t know he was going to watch her fall into madness.
The second tape was that much worse, for the anticipation.
The changes were already obvious, and his hands shook as he took notes on her condition.
I’m not progressing!
Her hair had become tangled, and he wished for a point of reference. Twenty two sessions told him nothing. How often were the sessions? How long did it take them to start breaking her? How long did she feel safe before they began to rip her into pieces?
How long did she sit in that place, waiting for him?
On the screen, she choked out, It hurts, and held her fingers to her mouth as if she might be sick.
Off screen, her brother sat, nauseous and shaky, as she asked for him
I need to..I would like, please, to see him.
His little sister, who had never begged, nodded in defeat as she was told her brother was very busy. As if he would ever be too busy for her, his baby sister. But her eyes were sad and her face was crumpled and he hated himself.
Outside in the cargo bay, she shrieked and ducked from paper tossed down at her, and she spun, her face shining.
This morning, she had thrown a tray at his head, screaming that he wasn’t real.
She was still waiting for him to save her.
And the information on these tapes could help him.
His mouth tightened, and he steeled himself for the next one. One hundred and sixty five sessions into her treatment. Into the cutting of her brain.
He held onto his notes, and flattened them to the table with white knuckled fists.
But it was so much worse, and he retched as she spoke, pacing like a caged tiger, words scattered and her beautiful grace reduced to trembling shoulders.
Simon hated the interviewer, who stayed so calm and unfeeling through it all.
The man must see many episodes. He must have been there for every session. Simon wanted to know everything the man had seen. Every note the man had taken.
His pen snapped in two, and he was covered in ink. Ink looked like blood in the bad light and he gagged at the sight. He washed his hands in the hottest water he could stand. He dried them carefully, wiping between each finger methodically, holding his anger inside.
He wanted to rip the interviewer limb from limb.
The man probably went home afterward, after one of the sessions, and had dinner with his lovely wife, never thinking of the broken girl he left behind him.
The same girl who had ripped her brother’s mattress apart with her bare hands and a butter knife two days ago, and wasn’t able to tell him why.
Can’t…see anyone. Even the orderlies wear masks.
Simon couldn’t see for the tears in his eyes. He wiped them away with the back of his hand, careful not to smudge his notes. He placed his hands flat on the table, ignoring the scattered pages he had already covered with spindly writing.
This was going to help. It was. He shut his eyes, whispering it to himself. When he knew how she went to pieces, he could figure out how to put her back together.
He was a doctor. He fixed people.
She paced, hair hanging tangled in front of her eyes. She twitched and trembled and he groaned into his hand with the pain of it. She grabbed the edge of the table, and he saw the interviewer twitch, just the slightest bit.
You cut it out! You cut it out! You cut it out!
A sharp metallic taste in his mouth let him know he had bitten into his cheek.
His notes were wrinkled where he had held them too tightly, and he looked down in dread at the last tape.
Four hundred and sixteen. Four times a week, they must have done..something to her. Four times a week for two years, she sat, or paced, or cried, in this little room with this emotionless man while her brother spent money like water trying to find her.
Four times a week, they cut into her head, and fractured her thinking and broke her.
He thinks he can find me, but I’m deep down.
Four hundred and sixteen times he could have found her, could have gotten her out.
And I do not make a sound.
Over four hundred times he could have saved her.
She stared out of the tape with wide dark eyes, smudged with fatigue. She is hunched over in on herself, when she used to be so proud of her posture. Her hair stood around her head in wild chunks, making her look even more frail than usual.
He had found a scar on her back two weeks ago. It was jagged, and looked like it had been self inflicted. When he asked her, she told him that bears liked honey, but the bees still sting. She had laughed, high and wild, and he flinched at the look in her eyes.
Now, she laughed, like a wild thing, and leapt from the catwalks into a pile of pillows she had stolen from other’s beds.
On the screen, she held her hand out for a pen.
He closed his eyes in horror, and tried not to remember the bird she brought back, mangled and torn, to Serenity a few months ago. She told him it had fallen from a tree. He had wondered about the blood under her fingernails, and the smudge beside her mouth.
On screen, an emotionless man choked, and sputtered, and died.
Off screen, Simon jerked back from the girl’s mad eyes pressed up to the camera.
Outside, River laughed as she spun in circles. She closed her eyes and whispered her secret to her brother.
I can see you.