Nor Ever Chaste
by Victoria P.

When they return to the ship, he can't stop touching her.

He looks over the preacher, and talks to the captain, but every inch of his skin prickles with the need to get back to her, to make sure she's within his line of sight, always.

They eat with the rest of the crew, and he feels more comfortable, though his sense of wariness is increased. They left him, left River, without a qualm, and that betrayal isn't completely assuaged by the captain's assurance that he is part of the crew.

He goes to find her, after checking on Book, and she's humming the reel she'd danced to earlier when he gets back to her room.

"Hush, now," he says, enfolding her in his arms. She turns into him, stilled by his presence.

"Simon," she says, her fingers brushing his lips softly. He can still taste the sweetness of the hodgeberries on her skin. "Daddy isn't coming for us."


"I'm not a witch," she whispers fiercely, pressing her body against him, her head fitting perfectly into the crook of his neck.

"I know." He holds her, breathing her in, smoke and sweet berries, the scent of childhood, long-gone. After a moment, he says, "Let's get you cleaned up."

He eases her dress off her shoulders, and she lets him. The slim perfection of her body, unmarred by any sign of what they did to her mind, makes him catch his breath.

As she shimmies out of her shorts, he reminds himself that he's a doctor, he's seen hundreds of naked bodies and hers is no different.

But he has given up everything for her, to keep her safe and with him, and though he knows it's wrong, his heart lifts and his body responds to her presence.

Gently, he soaps her with the sponge. He kneels before her, a supplicant before a goddess. Her hands rest on his shoulders for balance. Her head is thrown back, body arched as he touches her.

"You're not broken," he tells her. "You're strong. Brave. Beautiful."

Her breath hitches as he leans forward to press kisses to her belly, rubbing his cheek against the warm, wet skin. She shivers, her fingers clutching at his shoulders. He finishes washing her, but he can't let go. He caresses her, slick, wet fingers on slick, wet skin, reassuring her with his touch that she is safe, that they're together.

"Oh, Simon," she says, and he's not sure if she's scolding or urging him on. His heart aches in his chest. He came so close to losing her today, and she is the only thing he has left, the only thing worth dying for.

They are tied together, fated, and he can't regret any of the choices he's made, what he's given up, to save her, to keep her in his life.

Even this, which he knows is wrong. It's just one more way of keeping her with him, keeping her safe.

Because she's his sister. His lover. His life.

He slides his tongue along the sensitive flesh on the inside of her thigh, fingers slipping into the tangled thatch of dark hair between her legs to coax her to release. After this, she'll be calm and sleepy. She won't wander, won't scream, won't have nightmares tonight, despite the horror of the day.

She whimpers and keens and her body shudders against his hand. For the moment, he can forget his parents and the life they left behind, forget everything in his training that tells him this is wrong. For the moment, they're just Simon and River, bringing each other joy.

She slumps against him, boneless and sated. He pats her dry and leads her to bed, pulling the covers over her and dropping a kiss on her forehead.

He hopes she dreams of dancing.


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