Disclaimer: Joss is Boss. No copyright infringement is intended and no money was made from this ficlit. Any similarity to any other story not my own is coincidence.

Title: And Who Avenges the Flowers
Genre: River-Centric ficlit
Timeline: Sometime after TBDM
Rating: R; rated for language, violence, and the mention of sexual assault
Note: Please see above because this is about as dark as I've really written, especially for here. It is really not like most of what I have posted here(shippy stuff). And no, no I have no idea where it came from.

This was originally posted on my lj: hrmusings and elsewhere in lj.

And Who Avenges the Flowers?

The man danced on the floor before her; a strange twitching dance of dark poses and darker colors as blood started to trickle from his nose.


It was simple thing really; a slight tweak here; a small twist there.

He didn't even scream as more blood dripped from his ears and into a pattern on the deck floor, foretelling his future. Then he was still. River turned her attention to the next man. She stared into his blue eyes until they started to turn black, filling with red blood, rich from its source

"You tried to take the flowers. No one is allowed to take the flowers," the teenager said in a black tone like a dirge.

She reached further into the man's mind; twisted just so.

"They were not yours to pluck," she said slowly, in a voice full of the quiet promise of death. "The flowers give themselves away to who they want. They didn't give themselves to you."

The young girl knelt next to the man writhing in the cargo bay floor, careful to avoid the dark blood now dripping from his nose and ears.

"They don't love you, and flowers are for lovers."

He died with a wet rattle. River turned her attention to the last man; stepped over to him with a dancer's grace.

"You little bitch," the brute growled. "I'll give you what for… I'll give you a right proper fuck just like I did those two." He waved is hand in the direction of the two unconscious and bruised women lying a short distance away.

"A right proper fuck," River echoed, matching his inflections perfectly.

Then suddenly she was a blur and the man was on the floor with his fellows. She stepped back, the slim blade cleaned and back in her boot faster than anyone could really see. She watched him clutch his bleeding throat.

Suddenly there was sound and movement and a blur of angry voices bouncing from the walls.

"Bao bei…" River's brother cried in alarm as he knelt by Kaylee.

Malcolm was next to Inara, murder in his own eyes.

Jayne scanned the cargo bay, his gun held ready.

"River…" Zoe said gently from behind her, coming as close as she dared.

The teenager turned to the beautiful solider.

"They tried to take the flowers," she explained. "They tried to take the flowers and run away past the river."

The teenager looked down to the three dead men on the floor. "But they forgot how to swim and the River caught them…" She looked back up to Zoe. "No one plucks the flowers… they only give themselves to lovers… Someone had to avenge the flowers..."