1/2 (whatever, shut up IJ character limit, you don't know me : / )
Someday, Simon decided for at least the thousandth time as he threw his empty coffee cup into a waste bin in the complex lobby, he was going to literally sleep for a week. He had actual fantasies about it—how he would arrange food for River for the duration of the hibernation, assign his cases at work to other doctors, fill Lauren in on what she’d need to know during his absence in the med lab, the way he’d arrange the office so that his temporary replacement could find everything easily… all in all it would be accurate to say that Simon envisioned preparing for this imagined coma the way some men fantasized about meeting their mistress, reveling in each of the little preparatory details. He realized, however, that for the duration of this…attack of the giant insects (he had almost given up the fastidious mental shudder with which his normally orderly mind encountered the illogical snags this place threw into the normal order of things, but only almost. It was like the mental equivalent of setting Jayne loose in his med bay aboard Serenity sometimes, trying to make sense of everything that happened here) the fantasy was going to remain just that.
He’d actually gotten fairly little resistance from River about staying in the complex, the hive mind seemed to bother her, but he still had injuries to deal with from those staying in the complex and, even more troublingly in some ways, from people in town. That there was nothing he could do for the venom these things carried after an initial window where it could be drawn out through bleeding was troubling, but not a crisis to the people in the complex. They had other healers. The Weasley girl who had volunteered to help in the infirmary and especially that young man who had asked about where to find illegal drugs, Caleb, Cade, something like that, and a whole host of other powered individuals willing to speed the injured along to him.
For the civilians of Lawrence, however, the invasion had been devastating. Ten percent of the population the so-called prophet (he still couldn’t accept such things easily, no matter how long he had been here) had said. He suspected that Mal, and others who were used to fighting, would call that an acceptable loss given the situation. Simon had done the math. Lawrence, Kansas, as of the 2009 census, had a population of roughly 92,000 people. Ten percent was 9,200 give or take a few lives. Give or take a few lives his steps quickened in agitation as he moved towards the infirmary. Simon was steady in the face of crisis, with the capability to divorce the faces of his patients, the idea of them as sisters or brothers or parents or lovers, from the flesh under his scalpel. It was the ability that had enabled him to treat his own sister, the ability to switch seamlessly back and forth from doctor to brother, but he was still only human. 9,200 give or take a few lives and when the bugs, the killiks they were called, had come he had been the only doctor at the clinic or the hospital who had any warning. There was no way to tell them without giving the others away, and nothing he could do for the cases that stumbled through the emergency room doors too late. Those cases, the ones where it had already been too late, where there was no question of slipping into his role as a doctor, had been the ones he hadn’t been able to shake yet, the ones that followed him home like a silent coterie of expectant ghosts.