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Balancing Act

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This story is No. 4 in the series "Lost in Serenity". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: A supernatural being on Persephone is countering every good deed by a local priest with an act of evil. Meanwhile, Xander comes face to face with a figure from his past. His distant past. Lost in Serenity Episode 4.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Firefly > Xander-Centered > Pairing: RiverMidknightJFR1517072154,89421 Oct 0921 Oct 09No

Disclaimer: BtVS and Firefly/Serenity belong to Joss Whedon and other people who aren't me. All I can claim to are the crazy ideas somehow making it from my head to these words and bringing the two universes together.

Notes: A short teaser for the next part of the series I'm hard at work on in my free time. At least, what free time that isn't taken up by my growing Champions Online addiction.

Notes 2: Takes place between the Firefly episodes 'Jaynestown' and 'Out of Gas'. As far as the 'Lost in Serenity' series goes, it follows 'Big Talks, Small Spaces'.

Father Francis Jacob was a runner in his youth. Being the fastest was a point of pride for him in those days. He took great joy in beating his classmates in a race as he went on to win trophy after trophy. Even when he made it to the worldwide competition level and the competition became that much tougher it only inspired him to train harder.

Right now though, he was forced to face a simple truth; he wasn’t a young man anymore.

He was breathing heavily as he hit the church, barely slowing as he ripped the door open and rushed inside. Frantic eyes searched for a place to hide before settling on the confessional. Then he ran as fast as protesting muscles and burning lungs would allow. He ran as if the Devil himself were chasing him.

Maybe he was.

The door to the confessional had barely closed when Father Jacob heard the squeaking hinges of the church’s main door opening. He tightly clenched his eyes shut and mouthed a silent prayer.

Lazy footsteps echoed through the large room, seemingly in no hurry to complete their search. The sounds got closer before receding and then repeating again as his pursuer appeared to search each row of pews for him. Finally, after what seemed like hours, another door squeaked open and then there was silence.

Francis strained his ears to hear past the hammering of his fear stricken heart. Many minutes ticked by but Father Jacob never moved or even opened his eyes. It was nearly half an hour before he allowed himself to breath a sigh of relief.

That was a mistake.

Before he even registered what happened the door on the other side of the confessional whipped open. He heard the shifting of the cushion as it accepted a figure’s weight, but Francis refused to open his eyes and see the screened outline of the monster he knew was there.

“Forgive me Father, fore I have sinned,” came a mocking voice full of gravel and menace. “Again and again and again.”

“Oh God!” Father Jacob cried, clenching his eyes tighter and trying to deny what was happening.

“Wrong direction Padre,” the voice sneered. “Did you really think you could run from me? Tsk, tsk, how very, very foolish of you. This is all your fault after all.”

It happened almost too fast to follow. Before he could even registered the sound of the something tearing through the screen an iron grip clenched around his throat and clawed fingers dug into his neck. “ARHGG–” Francis gargled in surprise and pain.

“For every good deed you do, I’ll balance with an act of evil. For every life you save, I’ll take another. For every soul you bring to the light, I’ll damn another in eternal darkness.” There was a tearing sound as the hole in the screen was made bigger and Francis felt another clawed hand place something into his own.

“Remember those three kids a couple months back? The ones you found overdosing on a bad batch of that new designer drug the kids are all crazy about? They would have died if it hadn’t been for you,” the creature mocked and Francis knew where this was going. Before he had been too scared to fight back, but these were just kids; barely starting their lives and had worked so hard to get clean over that last months. For the first time since the struggle began Father Jacob fought back, trying desperately to loosen the monster’s grip.

It only laughed at his efforts. “I see you do remember. Don’t worry though, I’ve saved your favourite for last.”

Suddenly he found himself free and heard the confessional door open. Francis gasped for breath as he heard the monster walk away and call out, “This is only the beginning.”

It was several tense minutes later, long after he heard the door to the church open and close, that Father Jacob finally got his breathing back under control. Slowly, hesitantly, he opened his eyes.

The confessional looked pristine. The screen was mockingly whole, like nothing had happened at all. The only evidence anything had were the scratches on Francis’ neck and the two bloodstained rosaries in his hand.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Balancing Act" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 21 Oct 09.

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