Series: Slayers in space
Rating: PG-13 her but eventually R
Disclaimer: Firefly and Buffy both belong to Joss.
Pairings: Kaylee/Simon, Wash/Zoe, Mal/Faith, River/Jayne (in case anybody freaks out bout that last pairing, I just want to point out the age differences between Angel/Buffy and Spike/Buffy. I am an avid River/Jayne shipper, can't not put them together)
Challenge: 1068 taken from twisting the hellmouth
FYI: Takes place during "Serenity" right after River finds Miranda. Buffy takes place after season 7
"Always knew I'd go out in a fight, never thought it'd be a fledge though." Faith says out loud, looking around the white room she's in. "Never thought I'd end up here. Figured I'd be burning in hell by now."
"That has yet to be decided." A voice echoes in the room.
"Who the hell are you." Faith questions trying to find the voice. But even as she looks around the room for the 5th time, she knows she isn't going to find it. There is no one here but her.
"I'm dead, ain't I?" Faith asks.
"Yes." The voice enters. "But whether you stay that way is up to you."
"There is a girl, a slayer actually." The voice explains. "She needs help, finding her path, understanding her power, and accepting what's she's done and what has been done to her. You can either choose to stay dead and accept your fate or you can agree to help her."
"Redemption is a rocky path." Faith whispers. "Guess I ain't done walking it. I'll help her if I can."
"Just wondering why you ain't getting B to help her." Faith points out. "She's a hell of a lot better at this teaching thing."
"She would be of no use." The voice explains. "This girl is balanced between light and dark. Only you will understand that. Besides, she is needed in this world and you are needed in another."
"This slayer's in another dimension?" Faith questions.
"No, she is in this dimension, 500 years in the future."
"No shit!" Faith exclaims.
"Are you ready?" The voice asks.
"Five by five." Faith smirks. The room flashes bright white and Faith is hit by a bolt of blue energy throwing her across the room.
"Whoa, no." Wash says quickly
"That's a bad notion." Zoe agrees.
"Honey." Wash starts. "Show them the bad."
"I got it baby." Zoe says. She hits a couple commands on the screen and steps aside so the crew can see. "This is us, see? And here's Miranda. All along here, this dead space in between, that's Reaver territory. They just float around there sending out the occasional raiding party."
They start arguing when River suddenly stands up and moves quickly across the room. Reaching out, she grabs the front of Jayne's shirt and pulls him across the room.
"What the ruttin hell are ya doin, crazy?" Jayne growls.
River just pushes him against the wall before turning around and facing the spot where he had been standing.
"River, what the hell ya playin at?" Mal yells and then jumps about a foot in the air when a bright light flashes over where the merc had been.
The light flashes brightly and when it goes out, a body drops to the ground exactly where Jayne would have been.
Inara squeaks, takes a step backward, and then trips over her dress, falling over. Kaylee actually screams and grabs onto Simon. He stumbles slightly with the unexpected weight and falls over, taking Kaylee with him.
"Damn, B never mentioned how much being brought back hurts." Faith mutters from the ground. She stands up slowly looking around the room.
"What the……how…..where did you come from?" Mal stutters at the appearing girl.
"They shouldn't have sent you." River says. Shaking Jayne's arm off, she moves over to stand in front of the brunette. "There's no point, it's too late to save the girl, she has been swallowed by darkness, no chance of bringing her back."
"Well, you know them." Faith replies. "They have this whole 'redemption' quota to meet. Guess you're just another in a long line to seek it."
"You can't save everyone." River whispers. "Sometimes there's nothing left to save, everything's just rotted away, evil reigns. You of all people should know that. What it's like to feel a life's possibility snuffed out by your own hands. To kill without remorse is to feel like a God, but we aren't Gods. We're just girls."
"We ain't girls." Faith says. "Haven't been for a long damn time. And you're right; I know what the blurry line feels like. What's it's like to ride so close to the edge until there's nothing holding you back, until there's nothing left but the thirst."
"Thirst?" Zoe questions. She notices the rest of the crew is staring at the new girl and River.
"For the kill." Faith answers. "A hunger deep in your stomach that no matter how hard you try, you just can't completely get rid of it. It's always there but eventually you can learn to control it."
"You can?" River asks hopefully. "How?"
"Fighting, dancing, or training." Faith says. "Although sex works the best and fastest. You just have to learn to work past it."
"I'm still wantin to know who the hell she is." Mal yells.
"Faith." River answers.
"Gorramit, River, I ain't got time for those riddles." Mal says.
"My name is Faith." Faith clarifies. "Who the hell are you?"
"You pop into my ship and you don't know who I am?" Mal says.
"They never mentioned you, just her." Faith says. "Hell I don't even know my mission's name."
"River." River replies. "His name is Mal, he's the captain. The warrior is Zoe and the joker is her husband Wash, he flies us. Fancy one is Inara. Stuffy looking one is my brother Simon and he's holding Kaylee's hand. She fixes stuff. The big one is Jayne; he's a man even though his name isn't."
"Thought we done talked bout that girl's name thing." Jayne growls.
"Yes and you never showed me your man parts." River agrees.
Jayne's eyes go a bit wide and he gets ready to say something when the doc starts yellin.
"River, don't say things like that." Simon scolds.
"Hey, S, don't you think you're overreacting a bit?" Faith questions. "She's old enough to talk about sex."
"I don't know who you are but she is my little sister." Simon calmly says. "She is my responsibility."
"No she isn't." Faith argues. "She's nobody's responsibility but her own. She has to accept what she is in her own way, alone."
"What, that she's a mind reading genius that ain't all there?" Jayne says. "Think she already know that."
"Who the hell is all there?" Faith replies. "Don't know nothing about the mind reading genius thing, though I'd suggest keeping out of my head. Ain't too pretty in there."
"Death." River says. "Demons and monsters and angels and watchers and slayers. You're here to help me face them all."
"I'm here to try." Faith corrects.
"Your turn to be the big sister." River adds. "Save little sister from getting lost."
"That's my mission." Faith answers. "So, where are we?"
"Serenity." River answers. "We're in space."
"Damn, this may turn out to be better than hell." Faith says.
Nobody knows what to say to that so they just stare at her.
"It's nice and all that we got a visitor." Wash says eventually. "But I'm still focused on the whole Reaver thing. I think we should stick with the run and hide scenario. And we are just about……what the hell?"
"You think I care?" Mal says angrily to the operative.
"Of course you care." The operative says calmly. "You are not a Reaver Mal. You are a human man and you will never…."
Mal turns off the monitor and leaves the bridge, a plan forming in his head.
He walks down the ramp and looks at his gathered crew. Kaylee is holding Simon's hand tightly, with River and Faith next to them. Zoe, Inara, Jayne, and Wash are standing across from them. "Get these bodies together." Mal orders.
"We got time for gravedigging?" Zoe asks confused.
"Zoe, you and Simon or gonna rope em together. Five or six of 'em. I want them laid out on the nose of our ship." Mal replies, throwing Simon some rope.
"Are you insane?" Simon asks, catching the rope.
"What do you mean, the bodies…." Kaylee starts.
"Kaylee, I need you to muck the reactor core, just enough to leave a trial and make it read like we're flying without containment, not enough to fry us." Mal interrupts.
"These people are our friends." Kaylee gasps.
"Kaylee, you got a day's work to do and only two hours to do it." He turns to Jayne and Wash. "Jayne, you and Wash hoist up that cannon mount. Goes right on top. Piece or two of the other ship, stick it on. Any place you can tear hull without inner breach, do that to. And we're gonna need paint. We're gonna need red paint."
"Runtse de fwotzoo, ching baoyo wuomum." Inara mutters.
"Sir, do you really mean to turn our home into an abomination so we can make a suicidal attempt at passing through Reaver space?" Zoe growls, shocked.
Mal gets ready to respond when Faith walks over to Simon and takes the rope out of his hand. "What do you think you're doin?" Mal questions her.
"Don't know nothing bout engines or how to tear a hull, so I thought I'd help string the bodies up." Faith responds.
"You can't be agreeing to help him?" Inara asks shocked.
"They killed children." Faith says calmly. "Only two types of people do that. Sadistic, physcos or someone trying to keep something quiet that can hurt a lot of powerful people. Physcos wouldn't have shot them or burned them up; they'd want the close up kill. That just leaves the other type. They go to this extreme to keep a secret, they won't hesitate to kill all of us. So, we can either wait for them to come back and swallow us whole or we can make them have to choke us down. Choice is yours."
"She's right." Mal says. "There's a lot of fine ways to die. I ain't waitin for the Alliance to chose mine. Anybody who don't wait to ride with me anymore, this is your port of harbour." Out of the corner of his eyes, he sees a man trying to crawl out of a broken ship. He raises his gun to shot him, but it's too late. Faith had already pulled a knife out and thrown it, straight in the man's throat.
Faith walks over to the ship and pulls the knife out of the man's shoulder. Picking up his body, she carries it over to drop on the ground in front of the ship.
Mal watches her for a second before turning to the rest of the crew. "Get to work." He orders.
"Why'd you follow my orders?" Mal questions Faith as she sits on the bridge. "Ya don't even know me or what's going on."
"You're a leader." Faith answers. "Know how hard that is. Making decisions that could either save everybody's life or kill them all. Sometimes there's nothing you can do to stop yourself from getting knocked down, except stand back up and try to fight again."
"You fight a lot?" Mal asks.
"Seems like that's all I've ever done." Faith answers. "Right when I feel like I've got my feet back underneath me, something else knocks me back down."
"We should almost be there." Mal replies. "I'm gonna head up to the bridge, you coming?"
"Sure." Faith stands up and follows him. They get onto the bridge and see they are surrounded by a bunch of ships. "By the way, what's a Reaver?"
The crew turns to look at her. "You don't know?" Zoe asks.
"Nope." Faith answers.
"Men gone wrong." Mal answers. "Killers of the worst kind. Like to rape, eat and skin folk."
Faith opens her mouth to ask another question, when River whispers, "They're not monsters, not the kind you fight. They have souls and brains and heartbeats."
"Oh." Faith says.
"But they didn't fall down." Inara whispers. "None of them. They just lay down."
Simon starts to say something when River drops to her knees with a scream. "Runtse duh shange-dee ching dalwuhtzo. Make them stop, they're everywhere, ever city, every house every room, they're all inside me. I can hear them and they're saying nothing. GET UP! PLEASE GET THEM UP. Wuoshang mayer, maysheen, byen shr-to. Please God make me a stone…." Simon runs towards his sister only to be beat by Faith.
"She's starting to damage my calm." Jayne growls.
"Jayne." Zoe warns.
"She's right! Everybody's dead! This whole world is dead for no ruttin reason." Jayne yells.
"You have to push them back." Faith tells River. "Ignore the voices, they aren't yours."
"It's too hard." River whispers.
"You can do it." Faith says. She grabs River's arm and pulls her to her feet.
"Let's get to the beacon." Wash says.
"You all got on this boat for different reason, but you all come to the same place." Mal says once they're back on Serenity after watching the Miranda video. "So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. 'Cause as sure as I know anything I know this: They will try again. Maybe on another planet, maybe on this very ground, swept clean. A year from now, ten, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people….better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin. I aim to misbehave."
"Shepard Book used to tell me: If you can't do something smart, do something right." Jayne says, sliding his bottle to Simon.
"Do we have a plan?" Simon asks after taking a swig.
"Mr. Universe." Mal says. "He's the only one who can broadcast this."
"Based on our orbital trajectories, he reached optimum proximity just before our sunset." River states. "If we make a direct run within the hour, we're only 367,442 miles out. At full burn we'd reach him inside of four hours."
"Still got Reavers, and probably the Alliance between us and them." Wash points out.
"It's a fair bet the Alliance knows about Mr. Universe." Zoe states. "They're gonna see this coming."
"No, they're not gonna see this coming." Mal says.
Jayne falls through the mess and then gets back up, running over to where some of the crew are strapping themselves into chairs. He moves around, checking to make sure their safety harnesses are fastened. He straps himself in right as the ship takes another hit.
River screeches loudly and then turns to Faith. "You have to stop it. He can be a leaf in the wind but you can't let him soar, or he'll never fly again."
"River, what's wrong?" Simon questions.
"Go." River orders Faith, ignoring her brother.
Faith nods quickly before unfastening her harness, jumping up, and running towards the bridge, despite the crew yelling at her not to. She runs up the stairs right as Serenity comes to a stop.
"I'm a leaf on the wind." Wash says.
Reacting quickly, Faith grabs the pilot's chair Wash is sitting in, rips it off the ground, and tosses Wash and the chair across the room before dropping to the ground, right as a giant harpoon flies over her head.
"Wash!" Zoe yells, running over to her husband.
"Ow." Wash groans. "I didn't want to soar like that."
Faith stands up quickly and moves over to flip the chair over onto its broken legs. "You okay?" Faith questions.
"I think so." Wash says. "I should be dead, shouldn't I?"
"Yeah." Faith answers. She reaches down and rips the broken seat belt off before helping him out of the chair. "Sorry bout the tossage but there wasn't enough time to get you out of the chair."
"We have to go." Mal says, staring at Faith in awe. "This'll have to be sorted out later."
Zoe grabs Wash's hand and pulls him out of the bridge, Mal and Faith behind her. They move towards the cargo bay right as the rest of the crew walks in. Jayne is overloaded with weapons and the crew runs into Mr. Universe's station.
"We'll hold them back, sir." Zoe says. "You just get the message out."
Mal nods at her before running down the hall to Mr. Universe's room.
"Jayne and I will take the first wave." Zoe orders. "You don't shoot unless they get past us. Faith, you know how to use a gun?"
"Not really, but I'm a fast learner." Faith answers taking the gun Zoe hands her.
River is huddled in the corner, her hands over her ears, mumbling to herself.
"She picked a sweet bunk of a time to go helpless on us." Jayne comments, staring at River.
"She can't keep them out." Faith says. "It'll take time before she learns to." Faith can hear Simon and Kaylee talking and laughs out loud at their conversation.
"What?" Wash questions.
"Never fails." Faith says. "People ignore what they want until they're about to die. Then all their feelings come out. Guess facing death makes you horny."
"Yeah, well." Jayne says, smirking over at her. "We make it through this, I might be feelin a bit horny myself, if'n ya're feelin the same way, maybe…."
"I'm not her." Faith cuts in. "We have a lot in common, but I'm not her. I won't be a stand-in."
"What?" Jayne questions, then his eyes go wide. "Ya can tell?"
"Not at first." Faith answers. "But I caught you looking at her a couple times, recognize the look."
"Ya ain't gonna say nothin are ya?" Jayne questions worriedly. "Mal probably shot me if'n the doc don't castrate me first for lookin at his little sister."
"Nope." Faith says.
"Thanks." Jayne grunts.
"What are you guys talking about?" Wash questions.
"Weapons." Faith answers.
Everybody stops talking when the Reavers finally get through the doors. Jayne and Zoe kill the first couple, the rest of the crew staring at them in fear. A couple get into the room and Faith raises her gun to shoot them. "Stupid piece of shit." Faith mutters when nothing happens. "Screw this." Faith throws the gun down before jumping over the cover, kicking and punching at the Reavers.
"Gorramit, git back here." Jayne yells.
Zoe stands up and runs to help the girl, despite Jayne and Wash yelling at her. Faith is surrounded by Reavers but she's holding her own. Zoe shoots one and then hits another with the butt of her gun. She fails to notice the Reaver knife coming at her back.
"Zoe!" Wash yells.
Faith hears Wash yelling and turns around just in time to see a Reaver slash at Zoe's back. Faith pushes the larger woman to the side, taking the large knife that was aimed at Zoe into her own gut. She sees Jayne dragging Zoe back as she falls. Jayne runs back out and grabs her, getting himself shoot in the shoulder.
"Everybody fall back." Zoe yells as Simon foams up her back. Wash helps his wife behind the door as Jayne drags Faith. Simon and Inara help Kaylee move through the doors. River moves slowly behind them.
"Can close it…from the outside." Kaylee mutters, indicating to the door.
"No one's coming back from that." Zoe says. "Jayne, when they come in, try to plug the whole with em."
"I'm startin to lose some feeling here…I think there's something in them darts they throwed at me." Kaylee murmurs.
"Lie still." Simon orders. "I'm gonna give you something to counteract the…where's my bag?" Simon stands up to look around the room and a bullet flies through his stomach. He falls to the ground instantly.
Inara moves over to him quickly. She presses part of her dress against his wound. "Keep pressure here." Inara orders.
"My bag." Simon chokes out. "Need adrenaline and a shot of calaphar for Kaylee…I can't….River?"
River moves over to her brother, looking down at him with sad eyes.
"River…I'm sorry." Simon gasps. "I hate to..leave.."
"You won't." River assures him. "You take care of me, Simon. You've always taken care of me." She turns to the door before whispering, "My turn."
Before anybody can stop her, she runs down the hallway and dives through the small opening. A few seconds later Simon's bag comes flying through the opening and the doors start to close. The last thing they see is River being dragged back by Reavers.
"Why'd she do that?" Jayne whispers.
"She had to." Faith croaks back.
"She supposed to be a genius." Jayne says. "Why would she do somethin that stupid?"
"It's what she was born to do." Faith answers.
"She ain't gonna make it through that." Jayne growls, hearing the bodies slamming around in the other room.
"You never know." Faith whispers.
They sit and wait, listening to the fight in the other room. After a few minutes the fight dies down and they can hear the elevator door open behind them.
"Zoe, report." Mal says, dragging his body down the hall to them. "Where's River?"
Zoe starts to respond when the doors open. Among the bodies of dead Reavers, River is standing with a knife in one hand and a sword in another. A few seconds later, the wall behind River is torn away and there is a group of Alliance soldiers, pointing guns at them.
Jayne can see River's body tense as she prepares for another fight but suddenly the soldiers point their weapons at the ground.
"Go." Faith whispers at Jayne. "She's not standing down yet, she needs to feel safe first."
"Last time I tried to stop her from fightin, I bout got my nuts twisted off before she knocked me out." Jayne protests. "Don't want that happening again."
"Yeah you do." Faith smirks. "You like the fact that she can kick your ass. She won't do it now."
With a grunt, Jayne stands up and walks slowly towards the opening. He can hear Mal and Zoe yelling at him to come back but he just ignores them. He stops a few feet away from River, his hands held out in front of him.
"Moony, it's time to back down." Jayne says. "Ya done won."
"Jayne?" River whispers. "I killed them."
"Yeah, ya did darlin." Jayne whispers back. "Now's the time to lay down arms."
"Can I keep them?" River asks, indicating to the weapons in her hands.
"Guess so." Jayne grunts. He holds out his hands and she places the sword into his left one before grasping his right hand with her own.
"Can we go home now?" River asks him.
"Yeah, let's go home." Jayne replies.
"We're taking her out." Mal tells Inara. "Should be about a day's ride to get you back to your girls."
"Thank you." Inara says, turning to walk towards her old shuttle.
"You ain't gonna stop her?" Jayne questions, walking up beside the captain.
"No reason to." Mal responds. "We don't fit. Never have, never will. She don't like this life and I ain't gonna ever like hers."
Jayne just nods at him before walking to his bunk.
Mal walks up to the bridge where Wash, Zoe, Faith and River are sitting. Simon and Kaylee are otherwise occupied.
"We ready to go?" Mal asks.
"Yep." Wash responds. "Systems check out, we're ready to fly."
"You two just gonna watch him?" Mal questions River and Faith.
"Yeah, wanna see the stars." Faith answers. "Ya know, when we ain't being chases by other ships."
Faith and River lay down on the ground between the pilot and co-pilot's chair, looking up at the stars. Mal moves over to the co-pilot's chair and drops down in it, watching Wash fly Serenity off the planet.
"It occurs to me I never thanked you for saving my life." Wash says to Faith once they're out of atmo.
"Don't thank me, thank River." Faith replies. "She's the one who knew."
"She can't fly without you." River says. "And neither can Serenity."
"Thank you River." Zoe says. "You too Faith."
"No problem." They both reply.
"So, Faith, you plannin on stayin?" Mal questions.
"Am I allowed?" Faith questions.
"You have to." River says. "I still have to learn."
"Learn what?" Mal asks.
"What it means to be a slayer." River answers.
Runtse de fwotzoo, ching baoyo wuomum: Oh, merciful Budda protect us
Runtse duh shange-dee ching dalwuhtzo: Merciful God please take me away
Wuoshang mayer, maysheen, byen shr-to: I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone