Normally the crew of the Serenity would listen in to the familiar launch routine during takeoff, a comforting sound for most.
Not so much today…
“Yes, yes!” River moaned loudly, her clothes scattered about and sweat dripping down her skin.
“Is everything okay up there?” the traffic controller asked. “I hear moaning.”
“Everything's fine and dandy,” Julie assured him moving River’s foot onto her shoulder and away from her face, “my copilot is just having loud sex with the morale officer in the pilot’s seat about a foot from me, well most of them is that far away from me, a couple of bits are...”
“During takeoff?” he asked incredulously.
“The ship vibrates really well then,” Julie replied cheerfully. “Besides there’s no rule against it.”
“Roger that, Serenity.” He decided he really didn’t need to know any more. Pilots were all insane as far as he could tell anyway.
“Are you okay?” Mal asked when Willow shuddered and bit her lip.
“Yeah!” Willow panted her face turning red. “I'm just a bit sensitive.”
“Want me to get some stomach settlers from the doc?” Mal offered setting his coffee down.
“Not that kind of sensitive,” Willow moaned her nails digging into edge of the table. “River's projecting.”
“Is she okay?” Mal demanded and flipped on the com.
“Yes! Yes!” River’s voice moaned loudly, while Xander’s moans were audible but muffled by something.
And promptly flipped it back off.
“Throw up a shield,” Dawn suggested a little jealousy in her tone.
“Can't concentrate enough,” Willow gasped.
“I've seen you throw up a shield with a knife in your shoulder!” Dawn complained.
“It's not a knife I'm feeling,” Willow panted. “And it's a long way from my shoulder.” She shuddered and threw back her head, her back arching involuntarily.
“I'll be in my bunk!” Jayne announced, standing up and walking stiffly out of the room.
Faith stood up a moment later. “I'll be in his bunk,” she announced and followed him with a leer on her face.
“So she really felt all that?” Mal asked Dawn reluctantly, not sure if he really wanted confirmation, as Willow started coming to.
Dawn nodded with a scowl.
“She must have been feeling really good to make Willow pass out from that distance,” Inara drawled fanning herself.
Julie walked in with rubbery legs and a satisfied smile. “You should try feeling it from less than a foot away.”
“How did you manage to fly and feel that at the same time?” Dawn asked wide eyed.
“I've trained very hard to be able to do my duty no matter what I'm feeling,” Julie answered cheerfully as she helped herself to a cup of coffee. “That doesn't mean I don't need to change into a clean pair of underwear now; it just means I can do the job during.”
Everyone stared as Julie downed her coffee, not even waiting for it to cool and left.
Dawn shook her head. “Everyone gets to feel what it’s like to have sex with Xander but me; stupid morals.”
“I want to spar,” River told Faith, shooting her puppy dog eyes, as the crew was sitting around the dining table with the exception of Julie, who was in the cockpit.
“Normal people can't keep up with you mei-mei,” Mal said gently.
“Sounds like fun,” Faith said, ignoring Mal. “I'm in.”
“I got twenty on the moon-child,” Jayne said, tossing a cred chip on the table.
“Faith …” Mal wondered how to put it, before saying, “I love River dearly, but if she loses control the doc will have his work cut out for him putting you back together.”
Faith laughed, “I'm sure I can hold my own.”
“I'll take that bet,” Dawn said to Jayne with a smirk, tossing a cred chip up to match it.
“I'll be careful,” River promised. “I'm not getting enough exercise, even if that old earth-that-was Deli book says I can with a little more effort, if I learn to dislocate my joints at will.”
“Twenty on River,” Simon said, tossing his own credits in.
“Faith,” Willow said, joining in after a second of thought.
“Julie!” Xander exclaimed, surprising everyone with his own contribution.
“Really?” River asked, before nodding and tossing in twenty credits as well. “Julie!”
“River honey, it’s just you and Faith sparring,” Kaylee said before tossing in twenty. “River.”
“Xander needs to stretch too, though his null-g idea sounds fun too, if Willow doesn't mind providing the donuts. Donuts are better than dot books no matter how long ago they were written,” River explained.
“I got no problem with a three way,” Faith teased, “or a four way if Julie wants to join.”
“River,” Inara said firmly as she tossed in her twenty.
“I … River,” Mal conceded, knowing this was a bad idea as he dug through his pockets for the credits.
Xander, Faith, and River stood like the points of an equidistant triangle in the center of the cargo hold still as statues.
Suddenly, Xander ducked and rolled to the side, just before Faith tried for a side kick while keeping her guard up, wary of River.
River's attempt to foot sweep Faith was neatly avoided as she flipped out of the way and Xander caught and turned her foot making River follow or have her ankle twisted. River's mule kick caught Faith who was attempting to stomp Xander who rolled backward out of the way.
The crew of Serenity watched in shock as Faith and River moved at speeds that were hard to follow and Xander somehow managed to avoid everything while moving at a normal, albeit fast, speed.
“What the hell?” Jayne asked, pretty much summing up the thoughts of the crew.
Willow chuckled and brushed her hair out of her face. “Faith is actually holding back. She still doesn't trust herself not to accidentally hurt them.”
Dawn grinned and leaned on the railing of the catwalk. “And Xander can see what is going to happen.”
“While River can read their minds and see what they're going to do,” Kaylee added in amazement.
The Captain's com beeped and he answered it, “Yeah?” he asked not taking his eyes off the fight before him.
“Where is everybody?” Julie asked.
“Faith, River and Xander are having a free for all in the cargo bay,” he replied absently his eyes glued to the scene.
“Really? I'm on my way!” Julie said excitedly.
Mal and Inara looked at one another and realized they'd been had by Xander and River.
“Wait a second,” Inara said turning to Willow. “If Xander can see the future, why did you and Dawn bet on Faith?”
“He's not always right,” Willow replied her eyes following Faith’s backflip as she avoided a side kick from Xander and Rivers attempt to sweep them both. “Constantly in motion the future is,” she quoted a little green muppet.
“The further into the future the less accurate he is,” Dawn explained. “And you can see how good Faith is.”
“It’s like poetry,” Jayne said as he watched the three, shocking everyone, as those that knew them were pretty sure the closest he got to poetry would be the type of limericks that involved a lady from Venus or a man from Nantucket.
“It is,” Kaylee agreed leaning against Simon, as the three fought like it was a choreographed dance they'd been practicing for years.
The door opened behind them and Julie bounded in, pausing to take a good look at the current match before shrugging off her heavy leather trench, revealing a tight black body stocking, and little else, before diving in – literally as she leapt off the catwalk and flipped into the midst of the melee.
The fight's pitch changed instantly and Jayne was the first one to start laughing, as what was poetry now was more akin to the three stooges, as shoelaces were tripped on and buttons popped open, while Julie danced through the resulting chaos with a bright smile and speed to rival River's.
“How the …” Mal trailed off and looked over at Willow, who shrugged.
Xander slipped and rolled out of the way of Faith and Julie's rapid footwork, while River followed trying to hit him while he was down.
“I can see the future in your eyes,” River teased breathlessly, as the two squared off against one another adrenaline rushing through their veins.
“And I can change the tune,” Xander panted agreeably, “but reading minds leaves you wide open for … this!”
“What's he doing?” Simon asked as Xander just stood there holding a finger against his temple and staring into River's eyes.
“She can read minds, so he's probably thinking something at her,” Dawn guessed her brow furrowed in thought.
“C'mon River, I've got twenty riding on you!” Jayne called out, snapping her out of her trance.
River's hand flashed out, smacking Xander's finger away from his temple.
“Woo Hoo!” Jayne cheered.
And then River started calmly walking away with Xander obediently following wiping sweat off his face with the bottom of his shirt. “We'll be in my bunk!” she called out as they climbed the stairs.
“What happened? I thought you were going to win?!” Jayne demanded angrily as they started to walk past him.
“If I won I'd lose the bet and waste time I could be using to try some of the things Xander was just thinking,” she declared before continuing on.
Jayne nodded, and began to grin. “Girl's got some sense at least.”
Kaylee smiled and kissed Simon on the cheek. “You are being so mature about this.”
“It helps that she seems to be in charge and that I have a whole lot of ulcer medicine,” Simon admitted with an awkward smile.
“Remember to share,” Mal said, making Inara chuckle.
Faith slipped yet again on a patch of sweat and used her superior strength and speed to regain her feet before Julie could take advantage of it to call time. “How do you do that?!” she demanded incredulously, knowing that something strange was going on.
Julie just shrugged and wiped sweat from her forehead, while smiling brightly at her. “I'm just lucky I guess.” AN: A bit short, but I felt like tossing something up. Typing by Godogma.