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Well, That Went Well

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Summary: Xander and Faith are tasked with keeping Dawn safe from Glory, but (of course) things go wrong, and they're stuck out of time and place.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Firefly > Xander-CenteredMissEFR15821,1223014546,15327 Sep 1023 Oct 10Yes

Danger, Will Robinson

Disclaimer: Don't own or claim rights to Buffy or Firefly

~~~~~

“So what are we doing about getting my sister home?” Buffy demanded.

“Until Glory is defeated,” Giles decided, “we are doing nothing about Dawn, Xander and Faith. We are going to hope that they are safe, and we are going to see about making sure they have a safe place to return to. Once Glory is dealt with, then we will look at getting them back.”

“Do we even know where they are?”

“We hid their auras,” Willow offered gently. “We can't find them right now. Once Glory's out of the way, then we'll have some time to look for them.”

Buffy crumpled in her seat, head in hands. “She's all I have left,” she whispered.

“Well, we must trust Xander and Faith to keep her safe,” Giles comforted.

~~~~~

Xander threw a powerful right cross at the untidy lout. “Did I not tell you to stay on the ship?” he roared at a currently repentant Dawn. “I really remember telling you specifically to stay on the ship,” he continued as he dragged another man into a hard knee strike to the belly.

“I remember you saying that, too, Xan,” Faith growled as she launched into a spinning kick. “So why the hell are you at a dive like this? 'Cause I really want to know,” she added with an elbow to a large man's jaw.

Dawn peeked out from behind an overturned table. “We just wanted to see the puppet show,” she whined.

Xander looked around, and decided that all possible interested parties were now dealt with. He turned to his younger 'sister'. “Puppet show?” he asked in a deceptively calm voice. “You left the ship, and came here to find a puppet show? I'm looking, but I'm not seeing any puppet show.”

“We should have turned left at Albuquerque,” River explained, nodding.

“Don't you talk to me about Albuquerque,” Xander warned. “I am too mad at the both of you right now. So we are going back to Serenity, and you are going to explain to your brother, young girl, just how you ended up in a place like this, needing to be rescued.”

River whined. Xander and Faith glared at the two girls, who crawled out from behind their erstwhile shelter, and sidled up to the older pair. Together, the four young people walked out of the now-wrecked bar. River bumped her friend. “I'm blaming you,” she whispered.

“Me?” Dawn squeaked. “How can you blame me?”

“You should have known to turn left. It was Albuquerque,” River explained.

Dawn rolled her eyes, but said nothing. There was going to be enough to say when they got back to the ship. And there was never any getting around River's explanations. They never made any sense, especially since they involved things from their lives she could have no possible way of knowing. Still, it had been fun to get out for a while.

~~~~~

Mei mei,” Simon began civilly, “why did you leave the ship?”

“We wanted to go to the puppet show,” River explained, “but Albuquerque turned up, and we went right when we should have gone left, and the men at the bar didn't want to talk about the puppet show, so the White Knight and the Black Queen had to rescue us.”

“Apart from the fact that you seem to be getting your chess pieces confused, I'm not sure I understand any of this conversation.”

River rolled her eyes. “An optometrist should never write their own prescription,” she moaned.

Simon sagged back in his seat briefly, then stood. “Well, since Dawn's been confined to her cabin for the rest of the day, I can hardly do less, especially since you're the elder of the two of you. I just wish I knew what you meant sometimes,” he sighed. He made his way out to the common area where he knew Xander and Faith would be lounging, and sat down. “I hope you got a better explanation than I did,” he frowned.

“Oh well,” Xander shrugged. “It was all 'puppet show' this, and 'never go anywhere' that, and a pout-pout here, and a sulk-sulk there. I vaguely remember doing something like that, yea these many years ago,” he offered with a slight smile.

Simon raised a sardonic eyebrow. “Shi ma? Because you're so very old and decrepit now,” he nodded.

Xander grinned. “Kids of today, no respect!”

“Do you know who or what Albuquerque is?” Simon asked. “River said that … it turned up, and they went right when they should have gone left.”

Xander and Faith exchanged glances. “It was a thing back home. A joke, kind of. 'I knew I should have turned left at Albuquerque,'” Xander shrugged.

Simon sighed. “I'm sorry. She picks up things like that. One of the strangest things I saw was when she suddenly pretended to be someone from Dyton Colony to distract a minor villain. We've never been there in our lives,” he added pensively.

“Did it work?” Faith asked, grinning.

“Oh, yes,” Simon smiled in memory. “Badger was convinced she was from back home. Unfortunately, we were all too stunned by her performance to use the distraction she caused.”

~~~~~

“As I recall,” Mal began as he walked into the dining room, “we had only one crazy girl on board. Am I now to believe there are two?”

“She's fourteen, she wanted to go to a puppet show, and we got them back,” Xander argued, unconsciously standing at parade rest.

“And we had to hold up lift off while you did,” Mal shot back. “What if we'd had to leave atmo in a hurry?”

“Then you would have been down a reader and two fighters until you came back for us,” Xander replied.

“And what say I didn't come back?” Mal demanded.

Xander gave him a look that could have got him court-martialled if they'd been in service together. “Do I really need to answer that?”

Mal scowled, but didn't push it. “So what are you doing about them girls?”

“Dawn is grounded – confined to her room for the rest of the day. When we get to the next port, she's going to be just about tied to one of us for the whole time.”

How. Doc? What about River?”

“Same thing,” Simon answered as Xander and Faith glanced at one another, startled.

Jayne watched from his vantage point, and noted the strangers' be-puzzlement. It was just another thing on his list of what was wrong with the kids.

~~~~~

Jayne looked through the common area to the hold, where the three newcomers were sparring with River. Well, the boy and his older sister were sparring, while the two younger girls were playing cards, with an odd deck of cards that he'd never seen before. Some fishing game. Well, while he was sure they were all occupied, he was going to do some investigating. 'Cause these people just weren't right.

He slipped into Xander's room (and what kind of name was that?) and pulled a bag out from under the bed. It wasn't too heavy, but he could hear metal clinking inside. He pulled the zip down and opened the bag up, and felt his jaw drop. He reverently pulled out the first weapon, a rifle, the like of which he'd not seen before. It was finely made, and well balanced. He sniffed, and nodded approvingly at the smell of gun oil. He set it, and it's mate aside, then pulled out another, larger rifle. This one had a pull-down bipod so that it could be rested on something. He grinned, and wondered how long before he could get this baby off the boy. He flicked the bipod back up, and set it aside with the other rifles.

Jayne poked around inside the bag and found a wide variety of other weapons. There were a number of pistols, with boxes of bullets and spare magazines. Then there were the blades. Jayne had a fine appreciation for a sharp blade, and it appeared the Xander shared it. There were boot daggers, throwing daggers, hunting knives, and knives with sheaths that could be strapped to arms. There were swords of various sizes and styles, and even a couple of axes, including a large double-headed axe at the bottom of the bag. Jayne was in lust. He reverently replaced all of the weapons (except for a pretty little dagger in an arm sheath) and tidied the bag away, before pulling out the second bag.

This bag looked (at first glance) to be full of clothes, but Jayne decided that the boy wasn't such a fancy-boy as to have that many clothes, so he carefully removed the clothes to find out what was beneath. This led to a treasure trove even more bewildering than the weapons bag. Starting at one end of the bag, he found wrapped blocks of … putty? He picked one up and sniffed it, but it didn't smell like any putty he knew. He shrugged, and put it back down. Next were vacuum-packed coils of cord. He shrugged again, and tossed those aside as well. Next came a box, which he opened. Inside were a whole pile of very carefully packed silver rods. He picked one up, and looked at it, then put it back, and set the box aside. He poked around in the bag, but couldn't see much of anything he could recognise. There were a great many things scattered around the bottom of the bag, including what looked like large, thin, floppy books. Picture books. He flicked through one, and frowned. Not a word of Mandarin in the whole things. He glanced around, and considered the time, then quickly re-packed the bag, and shoved it back under the bed. He'd try for Faith's bags next time, he thought with a leer.

~~~~~

Mal wandered into the kitchen and began to fix himself a cup of tea. He glanced into the dining room to where Xander and Faith were playing a game of cards, while Jayne was watching them. They had offered to teach him their game, but he had refused. Mal was worried. Jayne had been insistent that bringing them on board, and then keeping them on board was a very bad thing, but couldn't explain why. He had to admit that the merc did have reasonable instincts, even if he was generally ruled by something other than intellect. And in the last few days, he'd been watching the boy with something akin to awe, though he was blowed if he knew what that was about. He was brought back to the present by the sound of Jayne speaking.

Piow liang de shao ji, nee gu wuo hu nee shang hao. Wuh hwai rong nee shung kai roo hua,” Jayne nodded conversationally at Xander.

Mal held his breath, eyes wide, but neither Xander nor Faith did anything but shrug and smile back, before returning to their game. Mal looked at Jayne, who was now smirking, and nodded towards the hold. He followed the larger man out there, then hit his shoulder. “Ta ma duh,” he hissed. “What in the name of all heavens do you think you are doing, sayin' that to him?”

Fang xin,” Jayne smirked. “They don't understand not a word of Chinese. You can tell them their grandmother's a whore, and they'll smile and nod at you. I told you before, and I'm tellin' you again: they ain't right.”

Mal frowned. “They came from somewhere different, that's for sure. They tell of jokes ain't none of us heard before.” He shook his head. “They do good work, Jayne, and ain't been no trouble. 'Cept when that sister of theirs gets to playing with River a mite too strange. Still, the girl's doing well with them.” He pondered a bit more, before shaking a finger at the other man. “And you stay out of their things, dong ma?

~~~~~

Mal was about to return to his tea when he saw River on the upper walkway. He climbed the stairs, and walked up to her. “So what are you seein', little one?” he asked.

“Danger, Will Robinson,” River declared.

“You know that don't mean nothin' to me,” Mal sighed.

“The White Knight and the Black Queen are keeping the Key safe from the Glory of Hell. But they're here for a reason,” she stated emphatically. “They...” River frowned. “I don't see why,” she added plaintively. “It is all muddied with white and green. It used to be all screams and death, and I couldn't hold it, but now there's clouds, and they're green like hail, and things are not what they used to be.”

“Well, now,” Mal frowned. “That makes a whole lick of sense. Or at least it would, if I had your brain.”

River shook her head. “You don't want my brain. It's far too big to fit inside your thick skull,” she sniffed. “Besides, it bends and shifts, and little bits leak out to make friends with other people's brains, then come back to tell stories.” She frowned pensively. “Should I listen to the stars sing about kittens?” she asked. “I need to ask Xander,” she decided as she wandered off.

Mal shook his head. “I keep listen' to her, I'm like to get addle-pated.”

~~~~~

“Now, the job we've got coming up is a bank job on a little place called Lilac,” Mal announced to the crew. “Won't be no trouble. Folk there are a righteous sort, and we'll hit during Sunday service. Just a simple bank job, easy in, easy out. I will be taking River with us. Good to have a reader,” he added. “Now, mule only takes four, so Xander and Faith will be staying back to guard the ship. Yes, Simon,” he sighed, exasperated, “what is you're wantin' to say?”

“You can't take River,” Simon protested. “She's just a child.”

“She ain't the baby of the ship, now, and I need her. She's goin'.”

“Mal,” Simon began.

“No,” Mal returned forcefully. “I ain't havin' this conversation. The girl is going, and that is final.”

Simon looked about to argue, but Xander bumped him, and shook his head. So he sighed, and walked out.

Mal looked at the newer members of his crew. “You fine with lookin' after the ship?”

“It's a strenuous job,” Xander considered, “but I think we can manage it.”

“Good,” Mal nodded. “We'll be landin' in a few hours. Best get anything ready as you need.”

~~~~~

Mei mei – Little sister

Shi ma – Is that so

How – Good or okay

Piow liang de shao ji, nee gu wuo hu nee shang hao. Wuh hwai rong nee shung kai roo hua – Pretty lady, hire me for the night and I'll open you like a flower

Ta ma duh – Damn it

Fang xin – Don't worry

Dong ma – Do you understand

Translations from http://firefly.wikia.com/wiki/Dictionary
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