Gleeful Firefly

Author's Note: So I just got this silly little idea in my head about how not all of Rachel's little quirks would be received badly by her fellow gleeks. And of course it plays into one of my deepest loves, Firefly. I hope you all enjoy the hijinks. And my apologies for the wonky formating, I cannot get some of the lyrics to behave no matter what I do.

Yay! Fixed the formating! Finally.

Artie hadn't been expecting to hear that music from the auditorium. He certainly didn't know anyone played the violin, let alone knew that tune. When he pushed through the doors he got an even bigger shock, and heard Puck curse softly in awe behind him. That haunting music, so sweet, speaking of lost tales and glory gone the way of the sword. Then they heard the voice, rising slowly, almost painfully above the violin.

"Take my love.
Take my land.
Take me where I cannot stand..."

There was a slow aching draw of the bow across the strings before the words began again, melancholy and defiant both.

"I don't care,
I'm still free.
You can't take the sky from me."

The violin sang again, dizzying notes and swirls of music through the air before the voice began the second verse.

"Take me out to the black.
Tell 'em I ain't comin' back.
Burn the land
And boil the sea.
You can't take the sky from me..."

A few more notes, liquid pulses of painful melody, rebellious even in defeat.

"Got no place I can be
Since I found Serenity.
But you can't take the sky from me..."

The violin swept over the strings again dancing, sending images of a Firefly and wild horses, stars and six guns, swords and space travel.

Artie felt Puck pushing him forward, grateful for the help since he couldn't stop applauding. "Damn Rachel, damn!" Artie shook his head as he and Puck got out on the stage, "Woman! How could you not... tell us about this particular piece of awesome," The paraplegic asked as he watched Rachel putting away her violin.

"Fiddle is just for fun," Rachel shook her head, "I only got into playing because I liked the music on the show and wanted to duplicate it." She shrugged, "I didn't know you liked Joss Whedon."

"Buffy was okay, Angel was better, Dollhouse was...interesting but Firefly was fuckin' epic," Artie said succinctly. "How long you been a fan?"

"Since it was on TV," Rachel tucked her bow into the case and closed it, her smile a little shy, "You?"

"Same," Artie grinned up at her. "We have so gotta have a marathon, bet Sam could be wooed away from Avatar by the awesome that is Firefly."

Puck regarded Rachel thoughtfully as he took a seat on the piano bench, "You ain't ever even said you liked sci fi baby."

"I like Star Trek because its mostly well written, I don't care for Star Wars because I find it unoriginal and hackneyed," Rachel shrugged and wound her hair back so it was out of her face. "I like stories. I don't watch something just because it has that label."

"Puckerman you have the coolest chick in the whole damn town," Artie grinned at the two of them. "Seriously awesome Rache."

Rachel just shrugged, "It doesn't usually matter to people that I like something they like. I can curse in Yiddish and Mandarin but no one ever notices because they don't really pay attention to me unless I'm singing." She smiled shyly at Puck and he held out a hand for her to take, tugging her into his lap, "Except for Noah."

"Why didn't you tell me you liked Firefly?" Puck asked her giving her a kiss on her jawline, "I wouldn't a made fun or anything. Hell you don't even laugh when I'm forced to watch Vampire Diaries with Becca."

"I guess...I'm just used to not talking about it," Rachel shrugged and gave both Puck and Artie a hopeful smile. "Have you two ever noticed how much Glee club resembles Firefly's cast of characters?"

"I'm pretty sure I'd notice a Browncoat in our midst," Puck pointed out dryly. "But I'm listenin' gorgeous."

"Well, Mr. Schue is like Book, more experienced, older and supposedly wiser, but he makes mistakes because of his past and his perceptions of us," Rachel began with a smile. "Tina is like Kaylee, she's happy when everyone gets along."

"So who'm I like?" Artie grinned, kinda liking this game.

"You're Wash," Rachel explained, "You aren't the strongest or the one with the authority but you're gifted and when you get going you're unstoppable."

"Okay..." Artie clearly hadn't expected that but from his smile he liked the idea.

Rachel leaned against her boyfriend and kissed his cheek, "Quinn is Inara, she's beautiful but she's changed herself, given things up so she could have the life she wants. She thinks if she follows the rules it'll get her a nice life."

"Interesting take on Inara," Artie nodded and leaned forward a bit. "So who else?"

Rachel shrugged a bit, "Not everybody really fits." She admitted wryly, "Although Sue Sylvester reminds me very strongly of Yo-Saff-Brig."

Puck couldn't help laughing at that one, his arm around her waist holding her to his humorously vibrating chest. "Damn Rache, you really do like to call 'em as you see 'em."

"Damn straight," Artie chuckled. "So who's Badger?"

"Karofsky," Rachel chuckled. "Sad little king of a sad little hill," She mimicked River's cockney accent. She smiled slightly, "Santana and Brittany are Nandi and Petaline, judged for who they're perceived to be, more worthy than anyone would guess."

"You know you're makin' me wanna watch the show all over again," Artie told her playfully and got Puck's grin of agreement. "Let's have the rest."

"All right, so Mercedes is Zoe," Rachel explained, "Because she's so strong willed and because Ms. Torres is a classically trained opera singer." When the boys nodded she continued, "Kurt is Simon, trying to fit in but he's still finding his place."

"That makes sense, I really sometimes expect him to say that this is what going mad feels like," Puck laughed a bit and took the opportunity to kiss Rachel's neck.

"Sam is like Monty, he comes and goes but he's a valuable friend," Rachel's hand rubbed Puck's shoulder as she spoke. "Mike reminds me of Mr. Universe, hidden depths to him, but when you finally get to know him he's amazing."

"So that leaves Finn an' me an' you," Puck said slowly. "Lemme guess, Finn's Mal?"

"Yes, but not because he's the obvious hero," Rachel shook her head. "Mal is always screwing up, his plans never work, and he's completely clueless about a lot of things. But he means well."

"Put like that you're totally right," Artie laughed. "So that makes Puckerman Jayne?"

Rachel leaned against her boyfriend's shoulder, "I think Jayne Cobb was part of the reason I fell for Noah. There's something about a bad boy who's trying to do right. Jayne is a mercenary, a hired gun, and its an established fact that he'll turn on Mal if the price is right. But he only betrays Mal once, and then never again. He doesn't want to lose his family," Rachel said quietly. "Even in the movie, Jayne's actions allowed River to escape. Without him, they wouldn't have made it off Mr. Universe's moon alive. He's selfish and self-centered but he cares about his family, sends his pay home and he prays. He's friends with Book." Rachel kissed Puck's cheek, and jaw and shoulder, "I always loved Jayne, he's an anti-hero, but he's wonderful in his own way."

"And who are you?" Artie asked teasingly as Puck's hand moved from the neutral territory to Rachel's thigh in a rough and possessive caress that the little diva clearly didn't mind. "As if I can't guess."

"You're right, I'm River," Rachel sighed as Puck's mouth drifted down her jaw to her neck. "No matter where I go, I feel like I don't belong. I know I'm better in a lot of ways but I'm damaged too, and there aren't many people who take me seriously. Noah's the only one who really believes in me, just like Jayne was the only one who realized almost from the first that River was dangerous."

"Hey, we believe in you, its just hard to maintain the know support," Artie tried to explain. "We're only human."

"I know, that's why I love all of you. You all try in your own ways," Rachel made a low hum in her throat as Puck's lips found her pulse.

"Hey Artie I'm gonna take my girl home," Puck groaned as he stood, keeping Rachel in his arms.

Artie nodded, grinning up at them, "Rache bring your fiddle with you to practice tomorrow, love to jam with you."

"Okay," Rachel nodded as Puck carried her off, snagging her violin case before she forgot it.

Puck looked at Rachel and kissed her again, "So I'm Jayne huh?" He wrapped his arms around her and turned so she was lying on top of him. Rachel wasn't ready to have sex yet, but she was perfectly happy and comfortable in her skin around him. He loved how they'd get in her room and she'd just start to undress, sometimes throwing on an old over sized teeshirt if she was chilly. She was also fairly insistent that he do the same, only for him it was a pair of old knit pajama bottoms she'd bought by mistake.

"Yes," Rachel nodded as she sighed against his chest. "I always liked the relationship Jayne and River had. They were honest with each other even when they didn't get along. They never pretended everything was all right when it wasn't," Puck felt her lips on his chest and groaned. Rachel propped her head up by balancing her chin on his chest. "And the fan fiction people write about Jayne and River is hot."

Puck chuckled and pulled her up over him so he could kiss her some more, "You got your plottin' face on baby," He teased. "Want me to go down on you while you try to think?"

"You know that doesn't help me think," Rachel moaned into his mouth. "That just makes me scream."

"Yeah," Puck grinned at the thought and rolled so she was under him. "You already showed me how you got no gag reflex again. Wanna show you how good I am with my tongue and my hands."

"I've got an idea," Rachel murmured. "Remind me that I had one last thought in my head later all right?"

Puck grinned as he began to kiss his way down Rachel's body, his girl definitely had her priorities straight.

Puck grinned as he watched Rachel place her carefully wrapped packages on the chairs in the choir room. "When you gonna let me in on the secret?"

"When you open the package after everyone else is here," Rachel grinned teasingly and put the last package down. There was one on the piano bench for Brad even and one for each band member. Rachel took her seat and put her package in her lap waiting for Puck to sit beside her.

"C'mon gorgeous, not even a little hint?" Puck teased as he sprawled beside her, his hand on her knee and fingers absently caressing the tender skin on the back of it. "I'm gonna die of curiosity, like the cat."

"I believe that expression is meant to show that the cat died in an attempt to satisfy its curiosity," Rachel retorted with a grin.

Before he could say anything in response the rest of the glee club began to meander in, everyone exclaiming over the wrapped packages on their chairs. Artie sent Rachel and Puck an unreadable look but said nothing until Mr. Schuester entered the choir room and saw everyone with packages in their laps, one on top of the piano with his name on it.

"What's all this guys?" Mr. Schue was obviously a little confused as he picked up his package.

Rachel didn't respond verbally, simply opening her package and taking out a black teeshirt with a familiar logo on the front and white lettering on the back. Pulling it over her head she nodded to Puck who began to open his as he watched her stand and walk towards her violin case on the piano. Puck grinned as he read the lettering on the back of her shirt, 'Call me if anyone interesting shows up'.

"Rachel?" Mr. Schue blinked at her.

"Open them all please," Rachel smiled at Brad and opened her case, exchanging a grin with Artie.

Slowly and then with increasing enthusiasm the club members opened their gifts, all of them finding a teeshirt with the same logo on the front and white lettering on the back. Artie started laughing when he saw his and turned it so the rest of them could see, 'I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar'. "This is awesome Rache," He grinned up at her before pulling the shirt on over his head and grabbing his guitar.

Puck opened his and smiled when he saw Jayne's words, the moment that Jayne became more family than crew, better than just a gunhand or merc, 'Shepherd always said, if you can't do something smart do something right'. He pulled the shirt on over his head and headed towards his guitar, watching as the rest of the club opened their packages. Mr. Schue seemed the most confused, though some of the band members, including Brad understood theirs.

"Let's see yours Mr. Schue," Artie called as he began to check the tuning on his guitar. Schue held up the shirt and Artie read aloud what was on the back, "Oh, I've got heathens aplenty right here," Artie chuckled. "Nice."

"This is awesome Rachel," Tina grinned from her seat as she held up her shirt. "No power in the 'Verse can stop me," She read out proudly.

Mercedes had unwrapped hers and was looking at it in confusion, she and Kurt exchanged glances and turned their shirts around, "I'm guessin' this has some sorta hidden meanin'?" Mercedes regarded Artie and Rachel quizzically while Kurt's expression remained puzzled. Mercedes shirt read simply, "Sir I think you have a problem with your brain being missing," While Kurt's said, "This must be what going mad feels like."

Artie grinned at them both, "It means you're Zoe and Kurt is Simon." He explained not very helpfully as Rachel began warming up her violin.

"Who am I?" Quinn's shirt read, ' Yes, precisely. Only the exact phrase I used was, "Don't.",' and her smile was lopsided though affectionate.

"You're Inara," Puck told her with a grin, "She's this high class geisha who's really helpful and the captain is totally in love with her."

"So who's the captain then," Santana had put her shirt on after showing them the back which was emblazoned with the words, 'I'm not going anywhere.' She hadn't asked for an explanation either recognizing the quote or not caring. Brittany had done the same with her shirt that simply read 'Say 'good-bye',' on the back.

"Why's mine say this?" Finn held up his shirt which read, 'Everyone's makin' a fuss!'

"That's 'cause you're Mal, he's the captain," Artie explained as Puck and Rachel began to match their notes.

"Well I can tell from mine that I'm Mr. Universe," Mike chuckled. His shirt just read 'That's my motto, or it might be if I start having a motto,' and he'd already pulled it on.

Sam was laughing as he looked at Rachel, "So I'm Monty huh?" He turned to show Artie the back of his shirt, the white letters spelled out ' I shaved off my beard for you, devil woman!'

Rachel nodded at him, "Because even when you're not with us, you're still our friend." She explained quietly.

The band members teeshirts had 'Can't stop the signal' emblazoned on the back while Brad's read simply 'Aim to misbehave'.

Artie grinned up at Rachel and Puck, "Well Rache? If fiddle is for fun, what've you got in your back pocket?"

Rachel grinned, "Oh, just a little Jack White." She tilted her head towards Puck and the fiddle began to weep.

Puck grinned as Rachel began to sing, her voice wailing along with the violin, a twang to her words more appropriate to the music than the most enunciated diction.

"I am a poor wayfarin' stranger,
Travelin' through this land of woe.
And there's no sickness, toil or danger,
In that bright land to which I go.

I'm goin' home to see my Father.
I'm goin' there no more to roam.
I am just goin' over Jordan.
I am just goin' over home."

Artie's electric guitar joined Puck's acoustic strings and Rachel grinned as Puck began the next verse, his voice a cry in the wilderness.

I know dark clouds will hover o'er me.
I know my pathway's rough and steep,
But golden fields lie just before me,
Where weary eyes no more shall weep.

I'm goin' home to see my brother.
I'm goin' home no more to roam.
I am just goin' over Jordan.
I am just goin' over home."

Rachel sent Artie a grin as he segued into Orange Blossom Special and Sam began to dance with Mike and the Cheerios. Mr. Schue was simply watching them as they made music, one song leading to another, until Artie plucked the familiar chords of the tune that had led them there.

Puck looked at Rachel and nodded at her, he'd rather she sing it than anyone else.

"Take my love.
Take my land.
Take me where I cannot stand.
I don't care,
I'm still free.
You can't take the sky from me..."

The three Firefly aficionados created the musical bridge from one verse to the next, fiddle versus guitars in an electric duel until the three of them joined their voices for the second verse.

"Take me out to the black.
Tell 'em I ain't comin' back.
Burn the land
And boil the sea.
You can't take the sky from me..."

Artie's quick fingers danced over the guitar strings matching Puck and Rachel, drawing the pain and pleasure of the music out for everyone's ears. Sam's voice joined the three of them as they sang the last lines.

"Got no place I can be
Since I found Serenity.
But you can't take the sky from me..."

Rachel squeaked as Puck's arm wrapped around her waist to kiss her hard on the mouth, nearly hitting his chin on her fiddle, but the sound was lost under his lips and then stifled by her moan.

"Wow guys, that's great...but what brought this on?" Mr. Schuester was clearly still confused and Rachel, once Puck released her mouth, did her best to take a deep breath and steady her dizzy pulse before she replied.

"I just wanted to do something nice for the club and since so many of you remind me of my favorite show..." She shrugged and absently placed the violin on her shoulder, drawing the bow across the strings. "It just seemed like fun."

"Yeah we're all bustin' our ass with the competition an' all," Puck agreed. "A little fun never hurts right?"

"I guess you're right," Mr. Schue nodded and looked up as Sue Sylvester stalked into the room. She too was wearing a shirt and everyone one in the room did a doubletake to be certain they weren't seeing things.

She glared at all of them and then met Rachel's eyes, "I suppose I should be grateful you didn't make me Yo-Saff-Brig," She snapped. Her words didn't make sense until she turned to leave the room, her shirt emblazoned with the words of the Operative, 'I already know you will not see reason'.

Mr. Schue looked at Rachel with a question in his eyes and the tiny diva smiled, "We are judged by the quality of our enemies," She said quietly.

"Shit," Puck blinked at her and then looked at the rest of the boys in Glee minus Finn. "Baby, you didn't..."

"You didn't just quote Dragon Age Origins did you?" Sam asked carefully, Mike and Artie drawing closer.

"Uh," Rachel blinked at them, "Maybe?" She hunched her shoulders slightly, "Yes?"

Artie turned and looked up at Puck who'd slung his arm around Rachel's shoulders again, "You have the coolest girlfriend like...ever." He pronounced with Sam and Mike nodding in agreement.

Puck grinned as Kurt nodded from where he sat, apparently even Kurt knew about Dragon Age, "Hey I been sayin' it all year, just 'cause ya'll ain't smart enough to listen."

"So, epic Firefly and Serenity Marathon this weekend followed by a Bioware game fest?" Sam suggested with a grin.

Rachel smiled and looked at the rest of the group, "If we invite everyone we could have it at my house," She suggested with a smile.

"I'll say it again," Artie couldn't stop grinning. "Coolest girl ever."

Puck just chuckled and wrapped his arms around Rachel, "Damn right she is."


Author's Note Post Script: Okay folks, I had no idea that people would find my rating of Buffy to be irritating. First of all, I'm a fan fic writer, its not as if I'm the New York Times and people actually pay my opinion respect. Second, I'm over forty and when Buffy was out I was obviously older than the target audience. I liked the show but I never connected with it the way I did Angel becuase to me Angel was more about grey areas and adult problems and that appealed to me way more. Buffy always seemed to be more for kids, especially when I catch it in reruns. Firefly is by far my favorite Joss show, (obviously) becuase it was very real to me.

I loved the characters, even the villains, on all the shows and I totally understand rooting for a certain 'ship and wanting that happy ending. I mean hey, I ship Puckleberry so I get it.

Just keep in mind this is only an opinion. I'm happy everybody is reading this and I'm grateful for your reviews. But this isn't meant to be serious or a debate on one show vs. the other. I mean we may as well compare Popular to Glee if we're going to start doing that.

So lets enjoy ourselves here. This is supposed to be fun. Remember? Fun?

Thanks for reading. WIP hopefully posting soon.