Disclaimer: Firefly/Serenity and The Labyrinth, unfortunately, do not belong to me.

AN: Finally uploaded the third chapter, sorry it has taken so long. Graduation is coming up soon, so hopefully I'll have more time to do more regular updates. Hope you all enjoy! ^_^ R&R!

Somewhere in the Black

Mal had settled down to eat some breakfast, if the protein mush on his plate could be called breakfast, when Simon burst into the mess.

"MAL!" Simon's yell echoed through the room.

Startled, Mal spilled the coffee he had just picked up all over his pants.

"Wuh de ma! Simon! Gorram it! Don't sneak up on a man like that. Its liable to lead to injuries and retaliation!" Mal yelled back at Simon.

"But Mal, River is GONE!" Simon seemed positively distraught, his eyes wide and wild.

"Now calm down Simon, River has probably just disappeared into one of her hidey holes. Though it has been awhile since she's had one of her episodes…" Mal said pensively, " I'm sure she'll turn up, don't get your panties in a twist Doc."

"No, Mal. She was in her room, I could hear her talking to someone. When I got there however, all I could find was this glitter on the floor." Simon held up a handful of glitter for Mal's inspection.

Leaning over, Mal peered at the shiny powder in Simon's hand. He prodded it with a finger, only to have Simon cover it and pull it away from his reach.

"What?" Mal was looking rather indignant.

"We don't know what it is…or what it may have done to River." Simon got an introspective look on his face.

"Hey Captain, Bao-Bei, whatcha doing?" Kaylee looked cheerfully into their faces. Her eye was caught by the sparkling glitter. "Ooh! Shiny! Where'd you get that Simon? Can I have some? Ooh! Is it for me?" Kaylee's eyes were shining with the thought that Simon had gotten her something.

Mal covered his eyes with the palm of his hand and wondered how to deal with the fact that his crew was utterly mad.

In the Labyrinth

River was prancing down the path, enjoying the silence in her mind, when suddenly the strident voice of the Goblin King echoed around her.

"Having fun are we?"

River smiled up at where Jareth was lounging on the wall, "It is so quiet, calm, and there is no dissonance from loud minds. How could this not be enjoyable?"

Jareth gazed at her in puzzlement, "What do you mean it is quiet? There are always noises in the Labyrinth." He could clearly hear the Fireys several walls over singing their song, the creaking of shifting walls, and far in the distance the hubbub of Goblin City. Of course he could understand that his hearing was far superior to hers, realizing this he assumed a haughty expression.

"No no! You do not comprehend. I can hear the singing birds that detach their limbs, and the living movement of your Labyrinth, even the arguing of the goblins in their market place, but there are no people, no thoughts that I can hear. Even you are quiet like stone." River's eyes were pleading trying to make him understand, what she was saying.

Jareth looked shocked.

"Imitating the cows of Earth-that-was will not help your understanding," River shook her finger at Jareth.

There was click as Jareth snapped his jaw shut. He glared down at her and stated coldly, "Are you saying that you can read the mind of others? Psh. No human has that power."

A cruel smile twisted his face, "Let us see if you speak the truth, if not then a trip to the Bog may be in order."

River looked confused and then scrambled backwards, when Jareth suddenly appeared in front of her. He grasped the side of her face and put their foreheads together.

A prodigy, unique, beyond genius

A new school, new challenges, new opportunities

A lie, no school, no challenges, just training and experiments and death

Secrets, so many secrets

Old men covered in blood, but never touched by it

A ship in space

A family not of blood but of blood: Captain Daddy and his radiant love, the Amazon warrior with her lost husband, a true brother with the Sunshine, an ape-man who secretly cared for all of them, and a priest who had left them behind

Weapons, dripping blood, the dead piled around a slim form

A snarling face, grotesquely disfigured by rage and knife


Jareth suddenly found himself hitting the wall opposite to River. He looked up at the small girl that sent him flying, and realized that something was very wrong. River was no longer home.

Back on Serenity

"Mal we've searched the entire ship and not found River. Perhaps something is truly amiss," Inara's cultured voice was laced with a hint of worry.

They had all gathered around the table in the mess, after an extensive search of the ship had not turned up River. A small red book lay in the center of the table.

"I found this on River's bunk, but I'm not sure if it helps." Simon looked terrible. His hair was wild from his tugging on it, and his eyes glistened with unshed tears.

"The Labyrinth…" Inara mused over the title as she reached for the book.


Mal's hand slapped Inara's hand away from the book.

"Ouch! Mal what was that for?" Inara glared at Mal while nursing her red hand.

"We don't know where that book came from or how, if it is indeed the culprit, it might have made Little Bit disappear. So we will handle it carefully… KAYLEE!" Mal's speech ended in an indignant squawk.

Kaylee glanced up at Mal, from the book, "Really Cap, it's only a book… no harm ever came from readin' a book."