Lilac to Beaumonde
Disclaimer: Don't own or claim rights to Buffy or Firefly
A/N: We have entered the time-frame of the movie, Serenity
. Basically, Dawn, Faith and Xander are pretty much just inserted into the movie. You may wish to see the movie to get the other stuff that isn't mentioned here.~~~~~
Xander and Faith sat perched on a container, watching Zoë and Jayne ready themselves. Xander turned his head, suddenly, to see Simon following Mal out into the cargo hold.
“They still arguing?” Faith asked, smirking.
“Did they stop?” Xander shrugged.
“Would you?” Faith asked. “If it was Dawn he wanted?”
“I'd get ready to put a bullet through his head if he tried,” Xander frowned. He turned to his 'sister'. “Have I been spending too much time with them?” he asked.
“We live on a dinky little boat – and if you tell Kaylee I called Serenity
that, I'll deny it to my dying day – so I'm not exactly sure how you could avoid spending too much time with them,” Faith shrugged.
“Hide in my room, like Jayne does?” Xander considered.
“Oh, Xan, he ain't hiding there,” Faith smirked.
Xander snorted. “Well, duh!” He watched Simon bring River down to the mule, and buckle her in, then his final attempt at talking to Mal. The older man caught Xander's eye just as he was about to leave, and Xander nodded. The ship was theirs now, to guard. He turned to Faith. “You want to go hang with Wash, or will I?”
“I'll go hang with Wash,” Faith decided. “Youl watch the hold.”
Xander nodded, and quickly scaled the steps to where Dawn was lying on the catwalk. She and River had lain there, head to head, watching the others in the hold, but now River was off with Mal, robbing the Trading Station. Xander squatted beside her, and cocked his head. “You okay?” he asked.
“Buffy was River's age when she was mooning over Angel,” Dawn murmured.
“That she was. And I was River's age when I found out about vampires, and staked Jesse,” Xander nodded.
“So it's not really a hard thing that he's asking, is it?” Dawn frowned.
Xander sighed. “If Mal wanted you, and you were River's age, I would fight at least as hard to keep you back,” he admitted. “Of course,” he added, “I actually know how to fight, so I'd have a better chance of winning.”
Dawn smiled. “I'm just a little worried about her, is all.”
“You and me both,” Xander nodded. “How about you go sit with Kaylee?” he suggested. “I'll be watching the hold, and Faith will be up with Wash, okay?”
Dawn curled up off the floor. “Okay.”~~~~~
Faith was lounging in the co-pilot's chair, grinning at Wash's latest dinosaur story when the comm lit up, and Zoë's voice came over asking if he could hear her. She sat up, ready to run and do something.
Wash began prepping for flight, and responded to his wife. “We're moments from air. You got somebody behind you?”
Zoë responded with a single word. “Reavers.”
Faith was out the door to the cockpit even as she heard Wash rattling off some (they had decided) Chinese. She flew down the stairs straight outside the cockpit, reaching the cargo bay in the minimum of time. Xander's head was already up and he was tensed to move, having heard her on the steps. “Reavers!” she yelled, then flew across the cargo bay, past the infirmary, and turned right to their rooms, Xander right after her.
Xander ran into his room, and dragged his bag out from under his bed. He pulled out the weapons they had used their first day on Silverhold, and tossed an M16 and the M249 with a couple of belts of ammo to Faith. “Get that to Dawn, and tell her to lock them into the engine room. They are not to open the door again until they get you or me giving them a code-word 'all clear.'” He didn't wait for his friend to go, but went back to the bag to pull his own weapon out, gather the loaded magazines, and raced back to the cargo bay.
Simon was running to the hatch controls even as Xander was running back to the cargo bay. Xander could see the Reaver's larger skiff belching smoke as it chased Serenity's
mule. He jumped up on a container at the edge of the hatch, and wedged himself in as best possible. By that time, Faith had arrived in the hatch, also, and found her position on the other side of the hatch. They were both now fairly well placed to guard the entrance to the cargo bay while minimising their own vulnerability.
Right on time, Zoë swung the mule around, and headed back to Serenity
. Xander felt the floor push up against him as Wash pulled up to gain height the moment the mule was in the bay, but he wasn't quick enough to totally avoid the skiff, and a part of the roof followed the mule into the cargo bay. Simon acted quickly to quench the fires that sparked up, and then Xander sat back to enjoy the little comedy enacted in front of him, as Kaylee checked on Simon, who checked on River, neither of whom were at all injured. Of course, a stowaway Reaver chose that moment to pop up, an utterly foolish act considering where he was. Within seconds, he was down again, falling under a hail of fire from Mal, Zoë, Jayne, Faith and Xander.
There was a brief lull, then Wash's voice was heard over the comm asking if everyone was okay. Zoë quickly reassured him, and things seemed to be about to return to normal when Simon got decked Mal with a fine, if misguided, hit to the jaw. This, of course, started a fight between the two men, despite Zoë's attempt to placate the doctor, and ended with Simon's announcement that he and River were leaving once they reached Beaumonde.
Xander and Faith dropped down from their perches either side of the hatch. Faith glanced at Xander, knowing things were about to change, and she wasn't sure how she felt about that. Xander strode up to Mal and stopped. Staring the older man in the eye, he spoke to Faith. “Go and pack. We're getting off at Beaumonde.” Without another word, he slid past the Captain and stalked off to his cabin.~~~~~
Simon found the young man in his cabin, packing. “You don't have to do this, you know,” he offered. “This is my decision, to keep my sister safe. You will be fine here without us,” he assured.
“Actually,” Xander thought, “I think we kind of do. There's something about your sister, and I have a feeling we're supposed to stick by her. So we are.”
Simon smiled slightly. “A … feeling?”
Xander looked up at him, and offered a lopsided smile. “Where we come from, we don't discount feelings. Probably a big reason we're still alive. I had a feeling about the girls when they were off looking for that puppet show, after all,” he added.
The older man shrugged, and looked away. “I'm sorry. It's just that I was raised to be very … scientific.”
“Science doesn't always have the answers,” Xander shook his head. “Trust me on that one.”
“I must admit I would feel a lot better if you were coming with us,” Simon nodded. “You have that … ability to fit in. So much better than I do, anyway,” he smiled. “And you've been so good with River.”
“Not a prob, Simon,” Xander nodded. “But you should go pack. It's only a few hours to Beaumonde.”
Simon nodded, and left. Xander sighed, and returned to his packing.~~~~~
Xander stood with Faith in the hold, and glanced over to where Kaylee was talking to Simon, who was holding River's hand. He could hear snatches of their conversation, where Kaylee was instructing Simon about getting a berth. She knew they were going with Simon and River, which helped, but she was still clearly worried. He turned back to his 'sister'. “You make sure the two of you are ready to go, okay? I don't want Mal going on about how we delayed his departure again.”
“You sure about this?” Faith asked. “We know the crew here, and all.”
“You think we should leave them to drift?” Xander asked.
Faith sighed. “No. There's something about that girl, and I don't think he'd last long out here without us,” she added. “But they ain't out problem. Dawnie is.”
“What if River is our key to keeping Dawn safe? Or what if she's the reason we're here?” Xander asked. He watched the girl for a moment, eyes narrowed. “Is there something you're not telling me?”
Faith folded her arms and hunched her shoulders.
Xander stepped closer, and dropped his voice lower. “Have you been having Slayer dreams?”
“No,” Faith frowned. “Well... Not really. Just...” She sighed. “I have had dreams, but I can't really say for sure they're Slayer dreams. Thing is, it's us, River, and Serenity
, all tied together. Like we ain't supposed to leave here.”
Xander frowned. “Okay. Well, we follow through what we're doing for now. I'll go with Simon and River, and you two stay on the ship and get ready to leave.” With that, he dropped a hand on Faith's shoulder for a moment, then left to join Simon and River. He smiled at the older man. “Kaylee give you precise instructions?”
Simon rolled his eyes. “I'm to let you conduct all negotiations. You are suitably grubby, and have an appropriate air of menace. And that rifle you're wearing won't hurt.”
Xander slapped Simon on the shoulder. “That's why I'm wearing it,” he grinned. “And you just need to find your inner 'Ripper' is all.”
Simon looked at the younger man sideways. “Do I even want to know what that means?”
Xander laughed. “Probably not. Let's go talk to some captains.”~~~~~
Simon looked around. They'd been busy negotiating with a captain, and now he couldn't find his sister. “Where's River?” he asked absently.
Xander tensed, and looked around quickly. “Where's Mal?” he asked in return.
Why do you ask?”
“That's where she'll be. You're her brother, he's her father. Even though he's rejected her, that's where she'll be.”
Simon bit his lip, and led the way to the bar where he knew Mal would be making his drop.
They made good time, but they were still too late. Xander ground his teeth as he watched the girl dance around the floor of the bar. He could count two dead already, and she hadn't even broken a sweat. With a glance at her horrified brother, he yanked his rifle from its sheath. At this distance, with his accuracy, he could go for a relatively safe shot, and put her down, but not out. Provided she didn't zig when he was expecting her to zag. He just wished for once that he had a tranq gun instead.
Through the scope, he saw her drop the large merc, and smirked. Then she spotted Mal attempting to retrieve his gun, and raced for the stairs. Xander muttered under his breath as he followed her, but the shot was getting harder all the time. All of a sudden, he heard Simon shout something, and she dropped to the floor, unconscious. Xander pulled away from the scope, and looked at her. He saw Mal look around, then pick her up and carry her up the stairs. He then looked at Simon, frowning. “What the hell?” he demanded grimly.~~~~~
Jinx watched his gloriously ravishing God fearfully as she paced around the apartment. “We have failed you, oh wondrous embodiment of light and beauty.”
“You certainly have,” she scowled, before she stopped, and delicately pressed out any frown lines. She tossed her head. “I want my Key,” she began in a reasonable tone. “I need my Key,” she went on, gathering volume. “Go out and find my Key!” she screeched. She looked around the apartment once they'd left, and sighed. “Good help is so hard to find.”~~~~~Shuh muh