Willow was in the dining room with Mal, Wash, Zoe, and the young girl from Triumph. Xander stuck his head in with a cautious eye scouting the room.
Wash saw it and chuckled knowing what he's doing. "River's not here."
Xander took a sigh of relief and sat down next to Willow whom could be his only friend here. "So how's married life treating you?"
Willow looked at him with a death glare. "Ask me again and I'll turn you into a rat."
"You're welcome to try to but I'll turn into a frog." Xander warned with a smile on his face.
Willow looked at the food on the table. "Oh, fresh bao"
Zoe nodded seems her practical time has come to an end. "Captain is enjoying his own little mobile slave girl."
Mal rolled his eyes. "You know I wish one person here would not look at me like a dirty old man."
"I look at you like a psychotic priest." Willow offered.
Walsh chuckled you can call the captain a lot of things on many different moons and he has but he knows preacher sure ain't one of them. "All of a sudden evil lecherous hwun dan don't sound that bad huh."
Mal was going to tell Willow about Divorce but now he can sit on it for a few days or until Book tells Xander which is more likely.
Walsh saw the empty cup and went to get a refill for himself but Saffron was right there taking the cup out of his hands.
"That's for me to do." Saffron took the cup off him as Willow and Xander share a glance with each other that doesn't go past Zoe. As Mal quickly sent himself off but not before Saffron offered to wash his feet.
"What's so bad about washing feet?" Xander asked.
Zoe rolled her eyes. "bundun"
Xander waited for Saffron to leave and turned to Willow. "So she's evil isn't she?"
"Oh yeah" Willow agreed grabbing pieces of the bao left over from Wash.
Walsh looked at the two new recruits if Saffron is evil how are they so calm? "Can't she just be quaint?"
Xander shakes his head no. "That was too quaint that was Ted like quaint. This usually ends with me finding a mess of dead bodies while getting high off cookies."
Xander and Willow left the room leaving Zoe and Wash to have their own talk.
Willow went down to the passenger bunks to get her case and Xander went into the main room and his eyes lit up. He quickly tried to flee but a female hand grabbed him and pulled him in as River led the two to the Shepard in the guest bunks. Xander decided to let this play out since she won't do anything about it with a priest nearby… hopefully.
River looked to Book with a smile as she grabbed a pillow. "We want you to marry us?"
Xander's face lit up in excitement sweet freedom he can almost taste it. "You mean we're not…"
Book quickly dashed his hopes. "You two are already married River."
River nodded but didn't let it stop her. "A new wedding so our friends and family can attend and remember as soon as possible."
Book looked at her and thought on it. "That's a very nice thought River but we'd have to wait till Xander can gather up the important people to him."
"In his life there can be only three left and two would not be welcome at our wedding for the darkness, cheap booze, and brooding they bring." River looks at Book's confusion so clarifies. "Deadboys suck"
Book watched as Xander did what he could not to laugh at the insanity of his life and started. "Well if that's what you want I could… but I don't think it's enough time. I mean Kaylee seems like she'd enjoy looking at wedding dresses for the occasion and Willow it will be a great for you two to get to know each other."
Xander's brain finally reboots and lets him speak. "We're not getting married."
Book looks at him. "Now son this isn't helping matters."
Xander looked to him and was set to trade a barrage of insults but he has nothing. How do you argue against a preacher? Xander sighed and turned back to his wife and saw the pillow was gone and now safely held under her stomach as she patted the bump that it had caused.
"Now we have to stay married. I'm in the family way."
Xander turned to Book and somehow smiled and rolled his eyes all at the same time. "One day and she's baby trapping me." Xander takes a breath and turns to River while running his fingers through his hair. "OK River sweetie you can't be pregnant. We never had sex."
River grinned and started pulling him towards his passenger bunk. "So let's go fix that."
Mal came in with Saffron intending to show her, her bunk. "Well, if this isn't an interesting conversation to come in half way through. River your brother needs to see you."
Xander breathed a sigh of relief as River actually tried to leave but froze like a rock at the thought of the infirmary. Xander saw it and touched her on the shoulder for support he's not exactly a fan of doctor's either.
River smiled and walked for the infirmary. "We're staying married."
Xander rolled his eyes and counted to ten. How is it he's missing the house that had seven super powered teenagers because they were more predictable even during the three days of hell each month. "No we're not."
"You don't have a priest and neither do I." River replied walking away with a smile.
Xander looked over to the Captain. "You're a newlywed help me."
Mal laughed he's going to enjoy this after getting punched this morning. "Sorry son I can't help you." With that he and Saffron walked off."
Now that Book had Xander alone he needed to talk to him. "Son technically River is right and she's a goof girl you two have to stay married but it shouldn't be too much of a problem." Xander watched as Book's face something more like Giles after too many G-man comments. "Also if you take sexual advantage of her you will rot in a very special level of hell one saved for people and ones who talk during the theater."
"OK well A I'm already going to special hell but Faith will stop me from doing that first part. B What, why, what why are we staying married?" Xander asked.
"Divorce requires permission from each of your pastors since neither you or River have one you can't file for it. Why don't you have one?"
Xander chuckled and got himself together if it wasn't for Buffy, the cross, and holy water he'd be an atheist a long time ago. "While I've seen proof of the lord almighty I also believe he's a piece of go se that doesn't do anything while we all suffer. While the people who supposedly run his house are as twisted as the rest of us… no offense. Monks, followers, priests I hate them all and avoid church on purpose for that reason."
Book simply nodded in understanding because he saw the point Xander made abut preachers more then most people but what wondered what that faith comment was about then. Book watched him go and he's almost as angry at the lord as the captain. He wonders what kind of life he lived that led him to that.
Jayne was in his bunk going through Willow's things. As far as he can tell she doesn't have any firearms just a couple wooden stakes and either drugs or cooking spices and ingredients. Willow came in and her eyes flashed black for a second.
"What are you doing you hairless Sasquatch?" Willow shouted.
Jayne instantly repacked her things. "I was just going to help you unpack."
Willow took the case off him. "Me and you a fluke and there will be no more fluking. Not now not ever again why don't you go play with your little toy rifle."
"Vera ain't no toy." Jayne shouted.
Willow grabbed her case and went to leave the room as Jayne responded. "Wo Hen Ni"
Jayne looked at Willow's confusion and 'clarified' by lying. "It means I'm sorry for stealing."
"OK" With that Willow left the room and headed for her own bunk.
Simon and Kaylee were in the main hall talking about the three newest recruits. Kaylee had her usual that would likely have to be surgically removed smile as she asked. "So what do you think about Saffron and the captain?"
"I'm still trying to form an opinion on that but I have no idea how to react." Simon answered honestly.
Kaylee looked at the doctor and saw the confused look on his face probably has to do with River getting married and him not being able to do anything under threat of shin damage. "Hey are you alright?"
Simon nodded regaining his focus. "Yeah it's just… I took River to the infirmary today."
Kaylee bit her lip she knows that never ends well. "How much did she destroy today?"
"Nothing" Simon answered. "She sat down and calmly let me examine her."
"Maybe married life works for her." Kaylee offered but quickly received a death glare from Simon or the doc's impersonation of one. "Or not"
Jayne came downstairs. "Or not what?"
Kaylee looked at him. "Oh we're discussing the new recruits."
"Something ain't right about them. Two of them don't even speak Mandarin you want to explain that one." Jayne added.
Kaylee looked at them. "Jayne everyone speaks Mandarin."
Willow and Xander enter up top having their own conversation.
Willow looked at Xander. "Come on Xander you don't honestly think that."
Xander nodded yes he definitely thinks that after seeing him blow off Saffron time and time again. "I'm telling you Will that guy has a mad Kirk complex."
"So you don't think him and Inara?" Willow asked.
Xander shook his head no though there are definite sparks with how pissed she seems to be at the captain. "I don't know I mean he might love a girl and sleep with a hundred green skinned babes but I don't think anyone will ever come between him and Serenity."
Kaylee looked at him. "What did you do?"
Xander scratched his head nervously. "I went to Inara asked her to spread a little white lie that I slept with her to throw off River. She said I got married now deal with it."
"Captain also said there's more excitement then he'd like on his boat." Willow added.
"Hence the Kirk syndrome." Xander finished.
Jayne looked to Willow and decided to try something. "Piow liang de shao ji, nee gu wuo hu nee shang hao. Wuh hwai rong nee shung kai roo hua"
Willow simply shrugged. "Um OK"
Kaylee and Simon both stood there and took it in they expected Willow to hit him with the heaviest thing she could find. OK neither really does speak Mandarin. Kaylee was the one that broke the silence. "OK you two are learning Mandarin tomorrow."
Willow looked at them confused until it sunk in. "What did he say?"
Xander and Willow came into the dining hall for dinner. Xander saw River had left a seat for him and he just gave a case of pleading eyes to take the seat but it was Kaylee that did it and let out a groan from a kick to the shin. Xander sat across from River and saw Jayne having a seat to himself and the Captain missing. Xander sat down and realized that while River is across the table that it in no way protects his feet from a game of footsie.
Dinner was uneventful as Xander volunteered to clean up with Book.
Book looked at the young man. "So why did you volunteer we usually play card games to avoid this."
"This is a two person job." Xander answered. "So it will buy me a reprieve from my unrelenting intelligent beautiful wife from trying to have her way with me… Why am I here again?"
"Special hell" Book reminds him.
"Right, hellfire" Xander quickly added with an innocent laugh. Has Book even been paying attention at all since he got on this ship?
Book had to say he admires the boys persistence there isn't many people that could keep shutting River down. "So what did you do before moon hopping I believed you called it?"
Xander was drying the plates and laughed at it now. "Well I actually was a teacher me and Willow went to different villages we taught girls martial arts and other things."
"Was it good work?" Book asked.
Xander thought on it for the girls like Dana and the ones who went renegade. "It was necessary work."
Xander went to his bunk he can see a life here. All the people here are nice and they've paid for about a year according to the Captain. Xander checked the door and breathed a sigh of relief seeing it's still locked as he left it. He opened the door and climbed down he sat down on his bed taking this all in while working on his shoes as two slender arms wrapped around his waist.
Xander shot up instantly as hellmouth instincts took over. "The door locked I left… came back… How?"
River giggled seeing him panicked. "Locks are easy."
"You know it's all fun and games until you scare me one time and I shoot out a window." Xander quipped.
She laughed some more and sat up showing nothing underneath the sheets.
Xander looked away as a mantra of special hell rang through his head. "Clothes, need clothes, fully clothed would be of good."
River sat up not bothering to cover herself just points at his hands. "You won't need that."
Xander looked down and saw the tomahawk in his hands and dropped it. Sunnydale instinct usually means get ready to kill something. "Sorry survival instinct."
River patted the spot next to her. "Come to bed please."
"I'm not sleepy." Xander replied. He can honestly say he's never been more awake.
"You're afraid I'll throw you out in your underwear." River said. "Space is cold I'll let you get dressed first."
"Wha… no it's not that at all." Xander objected he can safely say he's over what happened with him and Faith.
"The remove your clothing and come to bed." River insisted.
"Well" Xander looked like he was about to say something but quickly bolted in the other direction.
Willow was alarmed hearing a knock on her bunk door she opens it and sees Xander. She opens it and he comes down.
"Didn't the Captain give you your own bunk?" Willow asked.
"Naked River Special Hell" Xander answered.
Willow read his mind and got a jumbled mess. "Yeah I uh hear that."
Xander sat down on bed with her and Willow listened carefully as Xander told her everything and countered. "You know Xander I keep getting all these mixed messages from you about River. But not one of them says stay away from me."
Xander shrugged he'd have to lose his other eye to be blinded to it. "River's a nice girl she's beautiful intelligent has a quirky dark sense of humor. There's a lot to like."
"Smoochie kind of like?" Willow asked.
Xander rolled his eye he should have seen this one coming. "Not going to give it up are you?"
"I think you two would work together." Willow said bluntly he was his best friend and since Anya he deserved a bit of happiness. River is his type and it's not like a potential mind reader is a big deal to him. "What about you?"
Xander thought on it and dear god he does like his wife. "Maybe but I don't want to jump right into bed with her either. Maybe take it slow and get to know her. So how about your husband."
Willow rolled her eyes. "Can you say not a prayer? It's not the first mistake I made."
Xander play coughed. "Kennedy"
Willow glared at him. "You know you promised that you weren't going to do that anymore. We signed a contract and everything."
"Yeah but the paper I signed has been lost for over 500 years." Xander replied. "I got married I'm in the future let me have that one."
Willow shrugged not having a problem with it. "OK just this once."
"Will you deserve better than someone who saw you as Superwitch and nothing else." Xander said stating his reasons for it.
Willow nodded in agreement it's why she ended it in the first place. "You deserve happiness too and crazy is right down your isle."
"She's not crazy she's just blunt very, very blunt." Xander said to his surprise defending his wife.
Willow smiled seeing Xander stuck and maybe someone needs to figure out his feelings first. "Why don't you go back to your bunk and think it through."
Xander nodded see he knew talking to Willow would help. He has feelings for his crazy wife didn't see that one coming.
Xander climbed out of Willow's bunk and to his surprise was nearly knocked down by Saffron but she fell first. "Whoa, are you alright."
Saffron got up and easily dusted herself off. "I'm fine sir."
"Well what are you doing back here the only thing left according to Kaylee are the shuttles"
Saffron smiled. "I just wanted to explore the ship. It's something I could only dream of in the maiden's house."
"I think I know what you mean." Xander replied. Their travel method has been Willow teleporting them or buses from moon to moon this is actually their first ship across multiple moons and planets.
"Have you ever heard of the myth of Earth that was?" Saffron asked as she put a hand on Xander's chest?
Xander quickly backed up. "I know plenty about earth that was. More then most even."
Saffron backed up and frowned. "I'm sorry sir I came on too strong. It's just soon we'll be away from each other. We should make this night what it should be."
Xander looked at her and decided to just drop all tact. "So you're evil huh?"
"You're hitting on me." Xander gave as his explanation. "Which means you're either evil or crazy? I have myself a crazy wife so that leaves ev... Xander is cut off by Saffron violently hitting him in the Adam's apple as he gasps for breath. Saffron went to punch him but Xander stepped aside and shoved her into the metal wall head first allowing himself to catch his breath. Xander looked to her and heard her crying he walked to her and was swiftly kicked below the belt as he fell to his knees allowing Saffron to take a pipe off the ship and hit him in the head knocking him out.
Xander woke up trying to get where he is to stop being so blurry. "What's the score?"
Simon looked at Zoe. "Well we got one of them back might have a concussion though."
Willow looked down at him and smiled "52-88 you."
Xander was holding the side of his head. "No offense Will but when I get better I have to start knocking you out I'm getting too far ahead."
"OK" Willow replied to the crew's amazement that these two keep score of how often they're knocked out. "So what did it this time?"
"Pipe" Xander answered. "On the bright side it hurt less then the microscope."
Willow rolled her eyes in disappointment. "Xander will you ever let that go we were in high school?"
"I actually meant Spike." Xander countered.
Simon looked at the two sharing jokes to River's amusement. "How many times were you knocked out with a microscope?"
"Just twice?" Xander replied.
Simon is actually surprised there isn't some level of brain damage considering they keep score of how often they're knocked out. Simon moves to the knocked out Captain and Xander sees nearly everyone is here except Jayne and Kaylee.
Xander got to his feet and to his surprise River was waiting with an ice pack in hand as she gave it to him. Just what he needed as he pressed it to his head. Xander looked at Mal as he started to come to.
"Is it Christmas?"
Well, he's back," Simon said as he helped the Captain up.
"What happened to me?" Mal asked
Zoe looked at male she knew she was trouble. "Your blushing bride was a plant," Zoe turned to Wash and Xander. "She took three of you out."
"Narcotic compound," Simon explained cutting him off. "Probably spread over a seal on her lips. You get it on yours and pow."
Zoë looked at the captain she's going to enjoy this. "Lips, huh? "
"Well…" Mal stuttered trying to think of an explanation.
Simon saved Mal by explaining the drug. "Yeah, we used to get a lot of guys brought in on the night shift at the ER. Usually robbed, very groggy. They called it the good night kiss."
Zoe grinned. "So you two were kissin'?"
"Well. Isn't that... special?" Book added, causing both Mal and Jayne to shift uncomfortably as Xander chuckled.
"Is there a story?" Willow asked.
"I'll explain later." Xander replied.
"Wash," Mal said suddenly. "How did-"
Wash held up his hands. "Hey, I just got kicked in the head."
"My man would never fall for that jien huo." Zoe added as she put an arm around Wash happy he didn't.
"Most of my head wishes I had," Wash commented as Mal turned towards Xander.
Xander raised his hands in surrender. "Hey I resisted River and I knew Saffron was evil."
Xander looked to River and saw her in one of her dresses. "At least she didn't steal one of my shirts."
"A paradox, colors scream in agony knowing they don't belong together. They become a paradox so bright they burn the eyes." River looked at Xander's face and clarified. "They're ugly."
Xander actually smiled a bit. "I still have a Hawaiian shirt left?"
"It was ugly. I threw it out on Triumph while you slept last night." River replied.
Mal watched the scene and wondered when those two started to level off. He was also wondering what exactly Saffron was up to. "Where the hell are we heading?"
Xander and Willow waited as everyone gathered up what Saffron was up to. They offered to help but this was just something they couldn't be useful in and just get in the crew's way. He watched Mal yell at Kaylee and Walsh while they were fixing the ship. Kaylee came out from a little hole she was working on and countered. "Hey it was your big make out session that got us in this mess."
"I was poisoned!" Mal countered
"You were drugged" Inara corrected while rolling her eyes.
Willow put up a hand to stop Jayne from what he was going to say. "Don't even think about it buster."
Mal turned back to Walsh. "Well what can you do?"
"Give us some time; we can get the cortex and nav comm back online. At least see where we're headed." Wash said
"What about steering?" Mal asked
"What about stopping?" Inara added.
"She humped us hard," Wash replied. "We're gonna have to do a lot of-"
Mal cut him off. "Well do it. Doesn't help me to see where we're going if I can't change course."
"This girl really knows her ships," Kaylee added to their mess.
"That's not all she knows," Inara said drawing everyone's attention. "She's well schooled."
"What do you mean the sedative? The good night kiss?" Simon asked.
"Well, I only hit my head, But Mal went through that. But, no, I mean seduction. Body language, signals. She's had training. As in companion. As in academy." Inara explained herself.
"Our little Saffron's quite a wonder. I'm beginning to think she married beneath herself." Book said with a smile
Mal glared at him before turning back to Inara. "How do you know about the training?"
"She tried to seduce me, too." She simply stated.
"Really?" Mal asked. "Did she... did you...?"
Inara grinned and shook her head. "You don't play a player. It was sloppy of her to try it, but I think she was in a rush."
"Yeah but she had professional... So in my case, it was really..." Mal pointed his finger at Book. "You woulda kissed her, too!"
"Wash didn't," Zoe said.
"Neither did Xander." River added.
"But she was naked!" Mal sputtered out. "And all... articulate!"
"Okay!" Wash said as he pulled himself back out and waved a screwdriver at the crew. "Everybody not talking about sex, in here. Everybody else, elsewhere."
A little while later the whole crew came back in as Wash got a signal of a circle. Xander looked at it in confusion. "I don't get it what's out there?"
Book looked at it and knew exactly what it was. "The end of the line, It's a carrion house. Scrap shop. Takes ships, pulls 'em apart, or fixes 'em up."
Xander sees Willow's face and that's enough to know it's bad as he starts a mind conversation with her. 'What's wrong?'
'I sense the net its lightning' Willow answered telepathically.
Xander shrugged. 'Is that bad?'
'Remember the X-Men movie?' Willow asked.
'We're in the statue of liberty and Storm has PMS.'
Xander sees the crew form their own plan to deal with it as Mal and Jayne head out while Kaylee and Wash keep trying to fix Serenity. Willow senses Jayne outside as he shoots the electrical grid disabling the net and saving them all. She then watches as Jayne breaks the windows with extra shots and kills all the people inside as they float into the vacuum of space.
Willow was shocked but quickly buries it. After all it's not like she hasn't done far worse.
Xander looks at her. "Are you OK?"
Willow simply nodded. "I'll be a lot better once we get to Beaumonde so I can get a divorce."
"They would have killed us Will." Xander pointed out. "God knows how many they got before us and how many they would have gotten after us."
Willow saw the point but its still humans. "I guess but I'm just used to dust and goo still."
"Me too" Xander replied still trying to wrap his head around this world. He has a crazy wife whom he's actually growing fond of. And thankfully he's not alone he'll have his best friend with him always. And that will have to be enough for now.
Hwun dan = bastard
bundun = idiot
go se = crap
Wo Hen Ni = I hate you
jien huo = cheap floozy
Piow liang de shao ji, nee gu wuo hu nee shang hao. Wuh hwai rong nee shung kai roo hua = Pretty lady, hire me for the night and I'll open you like a flower
Thanks for the reviews
Up Next: Divorce?