Disclaimer: This story is intended for entertainment purposes only and provides absolutely no financial compensation. Recognizable characters from BtVS or Harry Potter belong to their prospective owners/writers. Some lines from the show are used either as is or altered to fit the story. Songs used are not mine.
In plain speak: I don’t own anything, just my imagination.
This is #3 in the Series Never Never In The Black
and will have 2-3 chapters… Maybe.
Translations are in (parenthesis) immediately after the phrases.Through Noble Intentions
A ship was landing on the outskirts of the settlement and everyone was on alert.
He sensed her even before Serenity touched ground.
She was here… on Haven.
Thoughts of the loss of so many lives during that chaotic time still pulled at him, but after five years, most of the pain had lessened. Not all loss had been due to the death of others.
He was both eager and terrified to see who would come out of the ship he’d called home for so many years. As other, more distressing thoughts began to surface, a cool hand slid into his and gripped it tightly. The trembling that had threatened to shake him apart stilled. Okay, he could do this… Right? Another hand squeezed his other shoulder and he looked into dark sympathetic eyes.
Five years ago, any show of emotion from this man would have been disregarded as false. Justifiably so. But Drusilla had a knack for changing a person’s life.
Or Unlife, as in most cases here on Haven.
Haven was still an apt pseudonym. Only now, instead of providing shelter for a Shepherd’s refugees, it was a secret training facility for the New Independent Coalition. It still housed people hiding from the Alliance, but life on Haven was very structured. Thomas saw to that. All were required to pull their weight in some fashion; whether that meant physical labor or other service needs.
Due to the dietary needs of half the population, all healthy residents age sixteen on up were required to donate one pint of blood a month. Several herds of cattle supplemented the blood supply needed by the more nocturnal inhabitants of Haven.
Drusilla released his hand and kissed his cheek before making her way to the landing site. It had been agreed that he not come in contact with the crew until things were explained. When Wash saw Zoe stride down the ramp, Thomas was hard pressed to hold him back.
She was beautiful, her face smooth and expressionless as she moved with a fluid grace he’d missed watching. His demon was screaming at him, urging him to take her, Claim her. A cross pressed against his throat brought him out of the haze and he fled to his sanctuary. Wash never saw his widow turn her attention to the hidden alcove they had watched the landing from. But Thomas did and hoped that Drusilla would be able to sufficiently explain things before the warrior woman took it upon herself investigate.
The woman waiting to greet them was a surprise. Through the years, Mal had become accustomed to speaking with Wood when Haven was of a mind to trade. He had definitely hated it with a raging passion, but his crew had to eat and Serenity required upkeep and the new Haven occupants paid well for his services. He heard the sound of children’s laughter off in the distance and he held back a smile. Mal hadn’t thought to expect children on this rock again.
His scan of the area finished, he looked at the woman… Drusilla; if he remembered correctly. Despite the traditional garb of the rim planets, broadcloth shirt and leather pants and boots; she had all of the appearance of Core breeding. Milky skin, aristocratic features and the silliest lookin’ parasol shading her from the harsh noon sun.
“Howdy ma’am.” Mal hooked his thumbs in his belt and smiled benignly. She smiled back at him with a mischievous air and he felt someone nudge him aside. River’s dark head rushed by him and swooped in on the lady. He felt Zoe approach from behind as he watched a strange interaction between the two women ahead.
River’s voice had taken on an airy tone that Mal hadn’t heard often since Miranda.
"Lao pung yo, nee can chi lai hun yo jing shen." (You’re looking wonderful old friend)
"TZOO-foo nee, nyen ching-duh." (Blessing on you, young one.) The woman replied, her voice a low cadence that Mal usually associated with Inara.
River tilted her head. “Yao bu shi ni bu cuo mu qin?” (Were you a good mother?)
The woman gave a slight bow. “Fu ze nin jue ding.” (It is for you to decide.)
River turned to Mal. “Captain Reynolds, this is Drusilla; mother of Haven.” She smiled mysteriously at Zoe and then skipped away, moving quickly toward a side opening that had previously been used to enter Shepherd Book’s private quarters.
Drusilla watched the rest of the crew exit the ship and swallowed a purr at the sight of the large heavily armed man standing a few feet behind the Captain. It had been some time since she’d had a lover. The last one had turned out to be a poor choice and Dru had been forced to make an example of him. Theft on Haven was inexcusable and no one had attempted that particular crime since then.
The captain greeted her and then her vision was filled with the latest incarnation of the Slayer. Their exchange was short and the young woman formally introduced Dru to Captain Reynolds. He hadn’t needed an introduction. Her Peter had accurately described all of the crew. She mentally shook her head. Must remember to call him Wash, after re-introductions were made should be soon enough.
Peter’s warrior wife Wendy stood with a predatory air that could have been a rival to any Slayer. Captain Reynolds introduced her as Zoe and Dru could feel the loss and loneliness, it was faint as if buried deep, but it was still there. Zoe’s scent was free of any other and Dru released a breath she hadn’t been aware of holding. The situation had the potential for disaster if the warrior woman had moved on.
Dru nodded to Zoe, and then felt eyes on her that were more than curious.
Inara walked down the ramp carefully. Even though there was no trace left of the carnage from five years ago, She had to steel herself from flinching as she surveyed the area. As she stepped around Jayne’s hulking form, she caught sight of their host and froze. Ice blue eyes captured her shocked gaze and a flash of recognition shocked a gasp from her normally composed demeanor. Inara had never before met this woman; but it became apparent that they recognized each other’s station. All Companion’s of teaching status or higher were expected to pass down the verbal history of how the Companion Guild came to be. Mu Qin Drusilla was their greatest secret.
Inara composed herself and made her way gracefully to greet their host. “Ruo da yi wai rong.” (So big an unexpected honor) She curtsied deeply; ignoring Mal’s inevitable grumbling at being in the dark.
There was something off about the whole set up here. The minute they’d touched down, Zoe had started feeling anxious and twitchy. Mal had had to all but order Zoe from putting a bullet into former Operative Wood the minute they laid eyes on him. She couldn’t help it. If it hadnt’ve been for that… Go tsao de, Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze (Dog humping, Stupid son of a drooling whore and a monkey.); her Wash would still be warming their bed and flying them through the black.
With her soldier face firmly in place, Zoe covered her Captain’s six and strode forward to meet the new leader on Haven. New being a relative term since this group had set up on the destroyed sanctuary almost immediately after the signal had gone out about Miranda. She watch with silent amusement as the woman seemed to try and devour Jayne with her cold blue eyes. Looks like they wouldn’t have to listen to the big guy complain about a lack of trim while they were here.
The sensation eyes lifted the hair on her neck and she turned to look toward the darkened doorway, half and ear tuned to the goings on nearby. River approached the woman and had a strange exchange of words, sounding more like the old River that rarely made an appearance nowadays. When River passed into Zoe’s line of sight, the young woman flashed her a strange smile and then practically skipped toward what the older woman realized was the Shepherd’s old quarters.
Inara approached their host and made mention of some kind of unexpected honor, whatever that meant and then Simon and Kayley finally exited the ship.
“You look different.”
Wash jerked around; startled by not only her voice, but the fact that someone had managed to sneak up on him. No human had been able to sneak up on him in five years, not even Thomas. Of course, that fact that it was River shouldn’t have been a surprise. She could sneak through a room full of infrared laser sensors before her calling as the Slayer.
He watched her warily and tried not to flinch when she held out her hand. What sat on her palm caused a contradiction of feelings run through him.
A plastic dinosaur. The T-Rex he’d left sitting so many years ago on the pilot’s console to be precise. He looked from her hand to her face and returned her smile with a tentative one of his own. “She’s going to hate me isn’t she?”
A snort brought his gaze up to River’s and she quirked a brow. “She’s going to kick your ass. Very hard and multiple times. If would be prudent to allow it.”
I won't hold the story hostage, but comments make my day and get the muse jump started. Please?