Title: Long-Delayed Reunion

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Rating: PG-13/T

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not.

Summary: B:tVS/Firefly. It just meant one more woman joinin' the crew that Jayne didn't dare touch 'less she showed up in his bunk of her own accord. 800 words.

Spoilers: Firefly; "Serenity" (2005); the last seasons of Buffy & Angel.

Notes: For this year's Twistedshorts August Challenge. Follows on the heels of "Annual Report". Chinese translations at the bottom.

Wasn't but a week after Wash died that Mal had managed to find the ship another pilot. Not that crazy-girl was all that awful at it, but Jayne found it impossible to sleep easy when they were in the Black with her behind the yoke all the same. He'd seen her lose her nut too many times- suffered for it more'n once- to trust that she would stay on an even keel, just 'cause they'd figured out why she was crazy.

Mal's new pilot came with her own set of complications, though, that bid fair to make up for that shiny license in her wallet. Because she was also the captain's aunt. Either Mal's momma had had her a baby sister young enough to be her own daughter, or some blood uncle of his had married a girl as much younger'n him as Mal was to River, 'cause his Aunt Fay was definitely a piàoliang de xiăojie, no older than Kaylee or 'Nara.

The shape on that woman. Whoo-ee. One look at her swannin' in to pay her respects to Book's grave and Jayne had lost all interest in spending the night alone in his bunk with a jug of rotgut. Her greeting to Mal had tamed Jayne's tongue a little, but not his eyes nor his pecker, and when she'd come over that night to shoot the shit he'd taken great pleasure in plying her with alcohol and telling her all manner of thrillin' stories. 'Course, she'd ended up drinking him under the table, but it had been worth it to hear her laugh. And over breakfast, she'd promised to meet Mal at the Maidenhead soon's she had time to settle her affairs and take over as pilot 'til River was full trained.

Jayne had to admit, she had seemed more concerned about their yúbèn de captain, and not in the lustful way, than could be accounted for by no piece of paper, which probably meant she really was a blood relation. Which meant one more woman joinin' the crew that Jayne didn't dare touch 'less she showed up in his bunk of her own accord and took him to hand; between Kaylee, the grievin' widow, the doc's crazy sis, and the Companion Mal spent his time moonin' over, the ship had plenty of eye candy but slim pickings for a man looking for a pipe-cleaning. And now the captain's aunt? Āiyā. Wasn't rightly fair.

Three weeks, she'd said. So three weeks after lifting away from the funeral, they were making their way back to Beaumonde to pick up a new job and new pilot in the same stop. They walked down an all too familiar set of steps into a bar as still bore the marks of River's tantrum; they'd left her behind so as not to upset their hosts and hike up their percentage yet again, but Jayne still shivered a little as he locked away his gun, some instinct crawling up his spine and warning him of hidden dangers.

He shook it off, though; only made sense the twins would have hired new plainclothes security, what with the unrest crawling through the midworlds since Miranda. He shared a wary glance with Zoe, makin' sure the Captain's second was wary, too, then followed Mal over to Fanty and Mingo's private business table.

The brunette was there, waiting: all leather and curves and smooth skin begging for the touch of a man's tongue, just like before. Jayne licked his lips, then gave Mal a furtive look to make sure he hadn't noticed his merc's reaction to his aunt- and dropped a hand to the empty holster at his hip, all his nerves set afire again by the look on Mal's face. Rigid jaw, pale cheeks, hollow eyes- that was his chúfēi wŏ sĭ le face, not the way Jayne would have expected him to greet her after last time.

But then again, the aunt weren't alone. Next to her, dressed near the same with a touch of kohl around eyes the same color as Mal's and sun-bleached brown hair pulled back from her face, another woman was just getting up from her chair. Her expression was near the match of his, with a tiny curl twitchin' its way toward a smile at the corner of her mouth.

"Mal," she said, calmly.

"Cào," the other woman muttered, the sound carrying in the suddenly quiet space between the groups.

Mal swallowed, then stepped forward, closing until he was standing practically on top of the much shorter woman. Then he opened his mouth and answered her. "Ma."

"Cào," Jayne echoed the one called Fay. 'Cause if that woman, who looked no older than Mal's aunt, was Mal's long-dead mother...

Things were about to get a whole lot more interestin' aboard Serenity.


piàoliang de xiăojie - beautiful young woman
yúbèn de - dumb
Āiyā - Damn
chúfēi wŏ sĭ le - not over my dead body
Cào - Fuck