A/N: All Chinese swearin’ is followed with an English translation with * * on either side.
Ok... Once again its been a while since I updated... And that was very bad of me, I won't let it happen again. Reviews are more than welcome! Please, Please review!
Disclaimer: Firefly and Buffy both belong to Joss. All hail the Man!
Please don't sue me, I don't have any money. I think...? Wait, wait... *Pats down clothing* No, sorry. I still got nothing
The whole cargo hold went silent as they landed, everyone frozen in place, scattered in groups about the hold. Jayne stood picking up crates off the mule with Ross as Zoe and Faith watched them, Willow sitting next to them, her feet frozen mid swing where she sat on a crate. Up on the stairs Simon hung mid step frozen in time descending the stairs. Everyone was silent. No movement, no thoughts. They all stood frozen like statues in a frozen ship, waiting for someone to allow them to move. Everything was still, perfectly silent, no-one even drawing a breath as the minutes ticked by.
Willow didn’t begin to notice it at first, till it slowly dawned on her, as if waking from a long sleep. She couldn’t move, her entire body frozen in place, her body not responding, her arms, legs, head, even her eyes all frozen. A small ways from her she could make out Kaylee, sliding herself under the mule, Amy next to her, her arms full with various tools.
‘Amy!’ she tried to call out with her mouth, not a sound appearing as she thought about the girl. ‘Oh Amy… I’m here, I’m here…’ she called silently with her head. ‘I’m gonna find out who did this to you, to us and I’m gonna… Well, it will be horrible.’ she thought as she tried to focus her eyes on the young mechanic, with no such luck.
Off into the distance she could see River sitting by herself on a crate as if she was half expecting this force to wash over everyone, her small body frozen, hands in her lap, a small hint of a sad smile on her face. Mal stood next to her, holstering his gun, a concerned look on his face.
It was as if her mind was awake, but her body hadn’t gotten the message to rise from sleepy town. Willow stared forward, watching the mule in front of her, silently wishing she knew what was going on. Zoe and Faith stood next to her, both frozen in place, each watching the mule, both watching Jayne and Ross unpacking it. Wait...
Jayne was there...
Where was Ross?
‘Why can’t I move?’ she thought to herself, trapped in her non-responding body. ‘Where’s Ross?’
“Mmmmm... Mmmmm” she heard someone say.
‘Huh?’ she thought as her hearing cleared.
“Mmmmm, Mmm Mmmm... from her bunk.” Ross said to someone. “She’s got loads of supplies down there.” he said as he came into view holding a small bowl. “So that’s the Cap’n, Simon, River, Kaylee, Amy... I gotta do the whole crew?”
“Yes...” an English voice said. “All of them, they can’t know.” the voice told him. It was male, and slightly familiar, as if she’d heard it before... “And that stuff will do it? It will change them?”
“Yes...” Ross replied as he climbed the mule. “It should do the trick, mothers skin, dried ox liver and a couple other herbs.” He said standing in front of Jayne’s frozen body.
“Did you add your blood to it?” the familiar voice asked.
“Yeah, no end of creepy havin to cut myself on purpose for that.” Ross said as he played with a bandage on his arm. “Why was that?”
“Because we helped you Ross…” the man said. “The Magicks that helped you bonded with your blood, enhancing your own natural Magicks.”
“You still haven’t told me why I have to betray my friends like this Wes.”
‘Wes?’ she thought before the person came into her field of vision. He was tall, short hair, unshaven, standing in a white casual suit, tie slightly undone.
“Because they can’t know.” Wes replied.
‘Wesley?’ she said to herself looking at the once Watcher and friend. ‘What?’
‘Yeah’ Ross said, projecting his thoughts to her head. ‘Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, he was a friend of yours, wasn’t he Willow?’
‘Ross?’ Willow said back.
‘Yeah... Freaky huh?’ he said to her as he dipped his thumb in the bowl, a red liquid coating it as he brought it to Jayne’s forehead. He drew a small Rune on the merc as he softly chanted. ‘I could have heard you a mile away... You think too loudly girl.’
“They screwed up Ross.” Wes told him as the rune began to glow a soft gold. “The powers gave you all too much information.”
“Like what?” Ross asked as he finished chanting, the rune glowing brighter for a second then disappearing.
“I can’t say,” Wes said. “You know that.”
‘Ross... What’s going on?’ Willow asked watching the two.
‘I’ll explain later. Just listen...’ Ross told her. ‘You might learn somethin.’
‘Ross!’ she yelled at him, Ross staggering back as he jumped down from the mule.
‘You need to be quiet Will.’ Ross told her with his mind, rubbing his head for a second, giving her a look as he moved to Zoe. ‘I can’t keep your thoughts away from him if you shout like that! Do you know how hard it is to keep that kind of charm up while doing this? Just listen...’
“Why do you do that?” Ross said, looking at Wes. “You guys bring me here, say I’m needed to help them survive, but then you don’t tell me what from?” he said getting angry at him. “I don’t like being someone’s pawn!”
“The senior partners and I...” Wes started.
“That’s something else I don’t like.” He said bringing his hand up to Zoe’s forehead and then turning to face Wes. “Everything I’ve been able to find about Wolfram and Hart says they were evil, that you’re all evil.” He says turning back to Zoe, marking her forehead with his thumb, chanting softly.
“Please Ross we haven’t been evil for a few hundred years.” Wes says with a laugh.
‘Nevitosi, you’re using the Nevitosi spell.’ Willow said with a mental wonder in her voice.
‘Very good Will...’ he said as the rune started to glow. ‘There’s some hope for you yet.’
“Yeah, yeah... Not since you guys took over as the senior partners.” Ross said as the rune disappeared. He moved over to Faith, sighing as he looked at her frozen form. “You told me. Yet all I can find is the bad stuff.” he said looking into her eyes, her laughing face frozen in place. “I’m sorry...” he let out softly as he began to paint the rune on her.
“You found what you wanted to find.” Wes said following the co-pilot. “We saved you Ross, gave you a new life, a new destiny.” he said gesturing to everything around them. “We gave you a life worth living... Not the crap hole you died in.”
‘Died?’ Willow asked.
‘Yeah... Died...’ Ross repeated, quickly glancing in the witch’s direction.
‘I’ll explain later.’
“We gave you a better life, something with meaning,” Wes said looking at Ross. “If we hadn't put you in the valley that fateful night, you wouldn't even be here!”
“Yeah, you did.” Ross said as he continued to perform the ritual on Faith. “But I’m still your pawn.” he said, his eyes showing sadness as the rune shone brighter and disappeared. “And I still don’t like it!”
‘I’m so sorry Faith.’ Willow heard him say in her head. Ross turns from Faith, moving to Willow. He moves to dip his thumb in the mixture again, before turning to face Wes once more.
“Why me?” he practically yelled, throwing his hands in the air. “Why me? Do you think I like hiding what I am from them? From Faith?”
“Ross, a Demon like you should...”
“Don’t call me that! I’m half Demon!” Ross yelled. “And even then it’s pushing it on the half... I‘ve got more human blood in me than anything else that’s floating about my vines. Besides... There ain’t no full demons left in this ‘ole ‘verse. We’re all just a sad mix nowadays.”
‘Demon...?’ Willow mentally gasped.
“You’re the only one who can do it.” Wes says. “What you’re all going to go through...”
“What about Willow?” Ross asked nodding his head in the witch’s direction. “She has powers too. Why not use her?”
“She’s not ready.”
“Still... She’s better at this stuff,” Ross said turning to the witch, winking as he spoke to Wes. “She does seem better suited for the job.” he finished, his thumb hovering over her forehead.
‘Ross?’ Willow pleaded with her mind. ‘Don’t do it... I know what that spell does, please.’ Willow whimpered with her mind as Ross brought his hand up to her forehead.
‘Clam down Will.’ Ross says in her head, making the symbol millimetres from her skin. ‘I’m not gonna make you forget. I should though... Now that you know I’m...’ he said, not being able to say the word.
‘A Demon...’ Willow finished for him.
‘Yeah...’ he said as he started to chant in front of her, Wes watching, Ross blocking Willow’s forehead from his view.
“She’s got a lot more experience with the Magicks then me.” Ross said to Wes.
‘Why?’ Willow said to him as he finished miming the spell. ‘Why didn’t you tell me, tell us?’
“True...” Wes said behind him.
‘It’s complicated Willow...’ he told her.
‘Tell me’ Willow said, her anger somehow radiating off her frozen body.
‘My clan doesn’t have a good past record with slayers... And anyone in league with them’ he told her as he finished, turning to Wes. ‘They... Killed a few in the past...’
“So why not her?” he asked Wes, turning on the man.
“Because you’re the last of your kind Ross.” Wes said smiling to him. “The last of your clan, like Faith and Amy, you’re a relic of a forgotten time.”
“You four, Faith, Amy, Willow and yourself are the last of your kind.” he said looking between Faith and Willow. “Willow, one of the last witches… You, one of the last Demons… And Faith and Amy the very last of the slayers.”
“You mean Faith, Amy and River.” Ross corrected.
“I mean what I said.” Wes said looking at him.
“So... They won’t know River’s a slayer?” Ross asked, it finally dawning on him. “That’s what you got me to take away?”
“Yes...” Wes said, both of them moving away from Willow. “And there is still one more thing I need you to do...”***************************************************
“We been over this.” Mal says rolling his eyes. “It’s unnecessary fire power.”
Willow watched Mal and Faith fight about her going on the job, the bickering bringing a smile to her face that was, until something seemed awfully familiar about the argument. Almost like...
‘This has happened before...’ Ross said to her in her head.
Playing cool, Willow slowly looked to Ross, standing next to Zoe, watching the argument.
‘Ross...?’ Willow said to him projecting her thoughts to his head.
‘Bingo Red...’ Ross said, smiling quickly to her as Jayne made a smartass comment about the Captain. ‘Laugh Will.’ He told her as everyone laughed at the joke, Willow forcing the laugh out as she tried to remember what was going on.
“Bi Jweh *Shut Up*.” Mal said over his shoulder as Faith laughs. “Still don't change a thing...”
‘Don’t worry Will. It’ll come back to you in a second.’ he said in her head. ‘It’s a side effect from being consciously aware when you were frozen.’
‘Frozen?’ Willow said in his head. ‘... We were frozen... You... You’re a Demon!’
‘Half Demon!’ Ross shouted in her head.
“Cap'n...” Faith starts.
“I've spoke my peace, best you listen.” Mal says pulling his gun and checking it.
“Ah… Actually Cap’n...” Ross said making Mal stop, turning slowly to look at his co-pilot. “Ah... Thought I might sit this one out, wouldn’t mind running a check on my console. Been playin up of late.”
“Shun muh? *What?*” Mal said looking at his co-pilot.
“Ah... I thought I would sit this one out...?” Ross said looking at Mal. “Faith can take my spot...She's just as good as me...”
“Exactly my point.” Faith chimed in.
“No,” Mal said waving them off. “Like I said, we been over this…”
“Yeah, but I was thinking…” Ross began.
“They do have a point Sir,” Zoe said stepping forward. “Faith would be better, need a fighter, not another gun hand.”
“Zoe? You too?” Mal said turning to his first mate.
“Sir, let the girl go…” Ross said, standing behind Faith, pleading Mal with his eyes to let Faith go on the job.
“Fine!” Mal said throwing his hands up in the air, a pissed off look on his face. “Faith, grab Ross’ gun, get on the mule.”
“She can grab my gun...” Jayne giggled as Faith jumped to attention and snatched Ross’ gun.
“I’d hurt you.” Faith said with a smile.
“And I’d help her.” Ross said staring Jayne down.
“Its jokes...” Jayne says shrugging at Faith, then Ross. “I'm joking...”
“Bendis... You... ” Mal said looking at his friend. “Ahugh!” he let out waving him off, turning back to his gun, checking it. “My ship? Is this my ship?” Mal muttered to himself. “It use to be... Didn't it? I have a very distinct memory of it being my ship.”
“You owe me.” Ross said walking with Faith to the weapons cabinet, grabbing a holster and moving to strap it to her hip.
“I can think of a way to thank you.” Faith said, low, a slight grin on her face.
“Oh?” Ross said moving his arms around Faith, sliding the gun belt tight on her hip. “We’ll have to talk when you get back.”
“Yes we will.” Faith whispered with a grin.
‘You still with me Will?’ Ross asked Willow with his mind.
‘Yeah... It’s coming back to me...’ Willow’s response came back in his head.
“Good.” Ross said looking at the belt on Faith’s hip then to Willow.
‘None of them remember?’ Willow asked him. ‘None of them remember what she is?’ she asked Ross as she watches River getting up from her spot on the catwalks, climbing down the crates near Mal.
“She’s River...” Ross responds. “The Little Creek.” He said out loud as they both look to each other then back to River. She talks to the captain, walking off, her eyes connecting with both of them as a small smile flashes on her face.***************************************************
OK, that's a new chapter up so I should be OK for a week or two. I wanted to update sooner but I've been busy, real life and all. I'm also looking for a Beta at the moment so if you think you can do the job then drop me an email. Also... Please guys, review my work, I love getting feedback, makes me feel wanted. And deep down, isn't that what we all want?