Far From Home
Disclaimer: Don't own or claim rights to Buffy or Firefly/Serenity~~~~~
Mal looked at the goods now loaded along the side of the cargo bay. Everything was neat, and they were just about ready to lift off from the sleepy little town, and he was pleased to finally have a decent job. He turned back to close the hatch to see a young dark-haired man walking up the ramp. “Can I help you?” he asked politely.
“I hope so,” the stranger sighed. “You're the third ship we weren't told about in the last two months. We want to get off-planet. Can you help?”
Mal folded his arms, and frowned at the newcomer. “Why are you so all-fired impatient to get away?” he demanded.
“'Cause we don't belong here, and we don't want to stay here. And we don't really feel like being kept somewhere against our will.”
Mal nodded. “Fair thought,” he considered. “So who's 'we'?”
The boy grinned, and walked forward, hand outstretched. “Name's Xander Joyce, and my sisters are outside. Faith and Dawn.”
“Where're you lookin' to go?” Mal asked.
Xander shrugged. “Somewhere less … out … than here? A nice Border Planet, maybe?”
“We'll be headin' in to Persephone soon enough,” Mal nodded. “But passage for three ain't cheap.”
“We have some money, and we're willing to work for passage.”
“What can you do, then?”
“Well, I trained a little in construction, not that that's too useful on a ship,” Xander admitted. He chewed his lip. “Faith and I can fight, too. If you need security, or anything like that. We have some weapons, and even Dawn can shoot. I don't like her to fight up close and personal – she's only a kid – but life hasn't been the safest, so I taught her to shoot.”
Mal nodded. “Ain't you a mite young for that? And I already got me a merc. Don't see the need for such as you to fight for me.”
Xander shrugged. “Been fighting since I was fifteen, Faith too. We're still here.”
“Truly, now?” Mal asked. “And where was that?”
“A little hellhole called 'Sunnydale',” Xander offered with a grimace. “I sincerely doubt you would have heard of it.”
“I've heard of most places in this 'verse,” Mal nodded sagely, “but you'd be right in that I ain't heard of that one. So where would that be now?”
“A long way from here, that's for sure,” Xander explained.
Mal frowned. “Well, you surely don't sound local. And this ain't no cozy Central Planet.” He looked out the hatch to the open sky as he thought. Decision made, he nodded. “Well, can't leave you here, I guess. Or, I could, but certain people have got to thinking they're my conscience, and would be a mite put out if they ever found I left you here. And you will be paying your way, one way or another,” he warned, “but passage you've got. So let's see your girls then, shall we?”
The young man, Xander, grinned and led him outside to meet two girls. The first to be introduced, Faith, was about Xander's own age, a girl about his own Kaylee's height, buxom and lusty, by the looks of the smirk on her face, and the (ai ya!
) tight clothes she was wearing. Her sister looked to be a fair bit younger, though just as tall, and looking to grow taller. Slim to her sister's well-built frame, she looked about River's own age, or mayhap younger. Xander introduced this one as Dawn, and Mal frowned, and pulled the man aside.
“You should know my crew ain't all nice,” Mal warned.
Xander squared his shoulders. “Do I have the right to correct any, uh, inappropriate behaviour?”
Mal nodded. “If me or Zoë ain't there to do it, and you think you can, you have my permission to look to your sisters.”
“Cool,” Xander smiled. “You should know, though, that Faith can look after herself. I said she's been fighting since she was fifteen, and I don't mean little slap fights.”
Mal frowned. “She ain't but a bitty thing,” he disagreed.
Xander laughed, and looked over at Faith, who looked at them, and rolled her eyes. “Yeah. I'll take your whoever, and raise my Faith. If I'm ever worried about someone's behaviour, then I'll do something about it, but I doubt she'd appreciate my interfering too much in her, um, privacy,” the boy finished, blushing. Mal raised his eyebrows at that, but Xander shrugged and gave a half-smile. “Who Faith has sex with is her choice. I don't get a say in it at all.”
Mal gave him a long look, then looked at the girls. “Well, we'd best be gettin' on, then. I'll show you to the passenger dorms – there's room there so you can have a room each. Once we're in the black, you can meet the crew.” With that, he ushered the three youngsters inside, closed up the ship, and gave the order to lift off. He made his way forward to the cockpit, where he was fairly certain his First Mate would be waiting. He'd seen her on the catwalk as he'd shown the newcomers to the passenger dorms, and knew she'd want something of an explanation.
Sure enough, when he reached the cockpit, Zoë was leaning against her husband's chair. “Anything I should know, sir?” she asked calmly.
Wash looked up quickly. “There's something to know? Should I know something? We are leaving atmo, aren't we? 'Cause I was sure we were leaving atmo,” he frowned.
“Set course as you should,” Mal nodded as he dropped into the co-pilot's chair. “We took on passengers,” he explained. “Young man lookin' to get his sisters somewhere a mite safer than a Rim Planet. He's offered to work for passage, says he and his sister can fight. Even the young'n can shoot, so he says.”
“How old are we talking?” Wash asked, concerned. “Kaylee young?”
“River young, mayhap younger,” Mal thought.
“Qing wa cao de liu mang
,” Wash muttered. “You don't hand a gun to a girl child.”
“You do if you want her to live,” Zoë argued. “You give it to her, and you teach her how to use it properly.
“Ain't a happy 'verse out there,” Mal nodded.
“So when do we meet the new people?” Wash asked.
“Once we're clear in the black, you can come down. I'll be makin' introductions to them as are in the Dining Room.” With that, Mal rose and left the cockpit.~~~~~
Faith heard the knock at the glass panel as she fiddled with the strap. “Just a sec,” she muttered as she pushed a finger under the strap to test its fit. “Now remember: you don't go anywhere without at least this on you, okay, Little D?” she warned.
Dawn pulled her cropped tank top down over the sheath strapped to her back. “Okay. I just don't get why we have to keep this up,” she frowned.
“Captain warned X about his people. Until we know what's the what, we all go armed all the time. Anything happens, you pull your knife and scream.”
“I'd complain about you and Xan being paranoid, but...” she sighed.
“We just did too good a job back on on Silverhold,” Faith explained, “though, hell if I can tell how we could have done anything else. Now on we stay armed, and keep things on the down low.” She looked at the younger girl, and noted that the straps couldn't be seen under her clothing. “Time to face the music.”
The two girls left Dawn's room, and joined Xander standing in the hall. Having been given the option, they had chosen three rooms together, and away from the other passengers. This way they had at least the pretence of privacy, though on a ship so small, that's all it was.
Xander lead the way to the Dining Room, followed by Dawn, then Faith. When they arrived, they found three men already sitting at the table. The largest looked up and scowled. “Juh shi suh mo go dohng shee
?” he demanded. “We got passengers?” He slapped his hands on the table, stood up, and stalked out of the room, shouting, “Mal! You got us some gorram passengers?”
The younger of the remaining men, an elegant, fair skinned man who reminded Xander a little of Wesley, grimaced. “Please excuse him,” he begged in cultured tones. “He's ...”
“Difficult?” Xander asked with a small smile.
The elder man smiled in return. “I don't think he's done well with passengers being brought on board.
The younger snorted. “Jayne just doesn't like River. Or me. He likes you, though. I think that's because you'll do weights with him.”
The Sunnydale natives exchanged quick glances. “Jayne?” Faith asked.
The younger man cleared his throat, and tried to hide a smile. “My sister has already had that conversation. It was … enlightening. But forgive us, we've been rude. My name is Simon, and this is Shepherd Book.”
“Shepherd,” Faith asked suspiciously. “That like a preacher?”
“Yes. But fear not: I do not generally preach sermons on board the ship,” Book soothed.
“Five by five with me,” Faith shrugged. “So who else is here?”
“Well,” Simon began, “as I mentioned, the other man who was here is Jayne. He's, er, ships security.”
Xander nodded. “Mal said he had a merc already.” He turned to Faith, and grimaced. “Looks like we've already pissed him off. This is going to be fun,” he commented. “We offered to pay our way doing just that,” he explained to the others.
“Oh,” Simon murmured. “Well, I'm sure Mal will find something for you to do,” he offered with a shrug. By then, they could hear Jayne's loud complaints heading back down the passage-way, followed by Mal's voice, as well as another male voice in counterpoint. “And this will be the rest of them,” he smiled.
Jayne stormed back into the dining area, followed by Mal, a genial-looking sandy-haired man, and an elegantly dangerous looking woman. “And I say we don't need no new ruttin' passengers.”
“And I keep sayin' as this is my ship,” Mal frowned, “and I'll take on board them as I like. And since they're here now, I won't be puttin' them off until I see fit, dong ma
?” He looked around at the assembled group. “So, I guess introductions will be needed. This here is Xander Joyce and his sisters Faith and Dawn,” he gestured to each one. “ And this is Zoë, my First Mate, her husband Wash, my pilot, and Jayne, our merc. Simon and Book I dare say you've already introduced yourselves to,” he finished, nodding to each in turn.
Xander smiled at the group, then looked at Mal. “Yep, all up to date on that. So are you going to be needing us to do what I suggested, seeing as you have your own burly merc?”
“No problem,” Mal shook his head. “Can always use more help.”
“Well, that's feng le
," Jayne protested. "We already got enough fighters. We don't need no babes in arms as apt to kill us as help us."
“Well, Xander and Faith are young," Mal acknowledged, "but they've been fighting since they were younger, and they are going to help out on any fightin' we might need to do. What with their nice, shiny weapons, and all.”
Zoë smiled tightly. “You accepted passengers you knew were carrying arms, sir?”
“Tools of the trade, Zo',” Mal nodded. “'Sides, a man's got a right to protect his girl kin.”
Jayne snorted. “I'm lookin', Mal, but I don't see no man.”
Xander's eyes flew to the larger man, and his lips twitched, but he kept silent. Dawn, on the other hand scoffed, and muttered to Faith, “And people complain about Buffy's name.”
Jayne scowled. “You sayin' something about my name? 'Cause I ain't no girl. I got man parts!”
“Wuh de ma
,” Simon groaned. “Haven't we already had this conversation?”
,” Mal bit out. “You,” he pointed at Jayne, “keep it in your pants. And you,” he glared at a wide-eyed, and determinedly not grinning Dawn, “quit tauntin' my merc. Right. Now Xander and Faith will be helpin' out with any fightin' that needs to be done, along with any other chores, just like everyone else. Is that clear?”
“I ain't losin' none of my cut,” Jayne warned.
“No, Jayne,” Mal sighed. “They're working for their passage.”
“Who's workin' for their passage?” asked a sweet-faced brunette.
“Kaylee,” Mal smiled. “This here's Xander, Faith and Dawn Joyce. They're working their way with us. Got stuck on Silverhold, and wanted off.”
“Hey,” Kaylee grinned and waved. “So where're you going?”
“Anywhere but Silverhold?” Xander offered. “No real plans. Just wanted to get away.”
“And why didn't anyone tell you ships were comin'?” Mal asked. “I assume you were askin'?”
Faith snorted. “Yeah. We kept telling them we wanted off the planet, but I think they just wanted us there in case they got any more raiders hitting the town.”
“There were bandits?” Kaylee asked wide-eyed.
Xander nodded. “They hit town the same day we did. They rode in, guns blazing, and we were caught out in the open, so we had to … deal with it. I think the locals appointed us their guardian angels.”
Simon nodded. “Sometimes people … latch onto whatever they perceive they need. Or actually need. Personal freedom is sublimated to group need,” he shrugged.
Faith shoulder-bumped Xander, and grinned. “Dress him in tweed, tweak the accent, and we've got our very own Giles Junior.”
Xander grinned. They had one cranky, if huge, person (mental note: leave him to Faith) one professionally suspicious person (mental note: leave her alone) and a group of nice, if diverse yet accepting, people. “Anyone else we need to meet?” He was instantly on his guard by the guilty shift in most of the group.
“Well,” Simon began tentatively, “there's my sister, River.”~~~~~
“What do you mean they're gone?” Buffy asked angrily.
“Well,” Willow began nervously, “everything was going fine. Then there was … glowy eyes, and, and the flash was kind of greenish, instead of just white, like it was supposed to be, and then they were gone,” she explained.
“'Glowy eyes?'” Buffy enunciated carefully.
“Uh huh,” Willow breathed, keeping a weather eye on Mount Saint Buffy. “First Dawnie's eyes glowed green, which I guess is right, since The Key is all glowing-green-energy, then Faith's eyes glowed white, which is what your eyes did during the Joining Spell, apparently, and then, um, well, Xander's eyes kind-of maybe started glowing kind-of green,” she finished in a rush.
Buffy stared at her friend wide-eyed. “Giles!” she yelled, stalking to the other room. “I thought you said the Hyena was gone.”
Giles looked up from his book. “It is. She was exorcised along with the others. Otherwise Xander would have been driven mad years ago.”
“Are you absolutely, positively, nope-no-way-is-it-ever-going-to-happen sure She's gone?” Buffy demanded.
“I'm quite sure she's gone. Why do you ask?”
“'Cause Will said Xander's eyes glowed green just before they all disappeared.”
Giles closed his book, and stared off into the distance in thought. “Well,” he began, “I am certain the spirit is gone, but she would have left a mark on Xander's spirit.” He tapped his fingers on the table. “It is possible – possible, mind you, not definite – that the Slayer essence in Faith and the Primal mark on Xander somehow combined with the spell. This is disturbing,” he frowned.
“You think?” Buffy squealed. “You approved the spell which has sent my sister somewhere, and we don't know where she is, and, and Xander's gone, too, and Faith is gone, and now I have to patrol the whole town all by myself, and we've got Glory to find and get rid of, and my sister is God only knows where, and we don't even know if Xander and Faith are with her, and, and... And!” she finished desperately.
Willow, Giles and Tara stared at her in shock for a long moment. “Wow,” Willow murmured. “I think you have been spending way too much time with Xan and me,” the redhead shook her head.
Buffy's head whipped around, and she pinned her friend with a glare. “This. Is. Not. Funny,” she growled. “Find them,” she ordered, then stalked out of the house. Half the Slayers meant double the territory, even with Spike to help.~~~~~Ai ya
- DamnQing wa cao de liu mang
– Frog-humping son of a bitchJuh shi suh mo go dohng shee
– What the hell is this crapDong ma
- Do you understandWuh de ma
– Mother of GodBi jweh
– Shut up
Translations from http://firefly.wikia.com/wiki/Dictionary