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RelaxNotes: Response to skripka's and blueraccoon's HugSimon challenge
An interlude in the Intersections series
He's got another one of his tension headaches - the kind he gets when he's been working way too hard. He should stop and let himself relax, but he can't. He's sure that if he can just concentrate for a few more minutes he'll figure it out. Figure out where he went wrong in the dosage, figure out why this time River went into convulsions after he had given her the meds that had been working so well the past few months. But he just can't do it. Between what feels like a metal band covered in sharp spikes pressing into his skull and his own mental exhaustion, he can't seem to dig out the problem. He knows it's not an overdose or a build up of the medication - it's the first thing he checked. But no other explanation has presented itself. He's been working on this for over five hours and he's still no closer to a solution.
Simon's head throbs in time with his heartbeat, each pulse sending a jolt of intense pain through his skull making his stomach roil with nausea. He closes his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose, trying to distract the pain away from his temples to a new point - when that doesn't work, he covers his eyes with his hands and presses hard enough to make coloured lights dance behind his eye lids.
When he opens his eyes the room is dark. Someone has turned out the lights.
"Yer workin' too hard again, Simon," Jayne says as he moves towards the smaller man and tugs him up off the stool he's sitting on. "Yer not going to do her any good if you get sick yourself. You gotta learn to relax." Jayne strokes gentle fingers along Simon's jaw and down his throat. He opens a few buttons on Simon's shirt and slides his fingers into the material and begins to massage the tight neck and shoulder muscles.
Simon closes his eyes again and leans into the strong hands on his skin. He inhales deeply, allowing Jayne's familiar scent of steel and sweat to wash over him. He jumps slightly as Mal's hands slide through his hair and start massaging his temples. Simon knows they rarely approach him separately, but he had been so distracted by the pain in his head that he hadn't even heard Mal's footsteps behind him.
Simon leans back against Mal's body and soaks up his heat. Jayne wraps his arms around both of them, as best he can, holding them close. Simon rests his forehead against Jayne's chest and puts his arms around his waist. Mal continues to massage the tension out of his head and neck and Jayne rumbles quietly, almost purring.
Sandwiched between them, surrounded by their warmth, strength and love, Simon feels the tension drain from him. He releases a shuddering sigh and relaxes completely into their embrace.