I do not own the characters of Buffy, Vampire Diaries or Firefly; all rights belong to their respective owners.Summary:
River was being hunted by a bounty hunter. Well, that didn’t strike Buffy and Damon as fair – so they decide to turn the tables on the bounty hunter.Authors Notes:
Set in episode 1x12 (DVD set) of Firefly
If there was one thing that Damon detested about how thing had changed over the last five-hundred years - it was the mode of transport. He really missed his sports car - it was too beautiful to have been destroyed, but alas, was too heavy to take when the mass exodus of the Earth occurred.
Anytime he whined about it, his wife had no problem a) reminding him that he was whining and b) at nearly 800 years it was ridiculous to still pout. That amused him, Buffy's pout had been deadly when she was thirty, now, it was positively lethal. Still, he was a good sport as they loaded their bags onto the ship.
The couple observed people on the ship, it was interesting diversion. Damon hoped to all that was holy, that the engineer and Buffy didn't bond. However, he and Buffy shared a snicker at the toy dinosaurs; it was nice to see that they weren't the oldest things on the ship.
Buffy had nearly flipped seeing the Captain. Logically, she knew it couldn't be the preacher. After all, she'd seen to it personally. Still, the resemblance was uncanny, but interestingly, when Buffy had reacted to his presence, the Captain's second had moved to protect him. Buffy could respect that and personally, she liked Zoe, if she'd felt the barest twinge of power she would have suspected that she was a Slayer. She was not, and in reality, that made her more impressive.
Still, the one person that they were there for, had yet to appear, or her brother. However, Buffy sensed that the young reader was actually a slayer, and therefore, would know she was present. If the girl was as talented as the Powers implied, then Buffy looked forward to helping her unlock her potential.
The doctor frowned, the new passengers were unsettling. He just couldn't put his finger on it. For one, he watched the dark haired gentleman and he was almost certain in the ten minute period he observed from the shadows, the man did not breathe – once. Still that could not be right, could it?
The Captain had looked at his new passengers and they intrigued him – greatly. They were beautiful, but that was not all, they moved with a deadly grace and carried trinkets worth a fortune. A few trinkets were pieces that he was almost certain were from the Earth-that-Was, but this couple were treating the items as if they were everyday items.
Dinner was an interesting affair, Buffy being immortal still technically had to eat. It was the first time she glimpsed the little slayer. Damon had read the files that the Powers had left for her and they were both in agreement that they would do whatever it took to get rid of the people chasing the brunette teen. It would start with the bounty hunter that was on their tail.
The couple shared a glance before Buffy gave a small nod. She’d confirmed her suspicions that River was a slayer, which meant that she was very pissed. Damon recognised that look – the last time he’s seen it Buffy had decimated a slave market. He had had fun fighting alongside her.
River floated in, and the Captain stiffened when the young reader sat by the female passenger, “You are the original.”
The crew frowned wondering what was going on, and wondering how they would explain River to their passengers. So they were surprised by Buffy answering her, “Yes I am, and you can have peace River.”
Jayne shared a look with the others, who told her River’s name.
River, ignoring the tension, cocked her head to the side and asked, “Will you teach me to dance?”
Buffy smiled, “Oh yes, you’ll be able to dance.”
River whimpered, “I can’t save myself from the men in blue – two-by-two.”
Mal and Simon had both froze hearing the conversation, and the small fact that this was the most lucid they’d ever heard River. Buffy smiled softly, aiming for reassuring – it wasn’t easy – it wasn’t her usual skill set. She was good at fighting; beheading, staking or general destruction - being reassuring – not so much.
She held the young readers hand, “Read me and Damon River. You know that we won’t let anything happen.”
River did exactly that and Mal waited. The girl was a reader and could see things that others couldn’t. He had sensed the danger radiating off the passengers. It was easy to spot; they carried numerous weapons and moved with the casual, fluid grace of predators. He would work on River’s decision; if she trusted them, they could stay.
River hugged her and then Damon fiercely, it was still something that Damon wasn’t used to – he missed the gold ol’ days of being a black hat. Then she ran down the hall laughing and positively skipping. The awkward conversation was avoided due to an alarm blaring in the cockpit.
Mal was doing one of his long walks around his ship. He hated when the memories kept him awake. They were becoming more and more frequent as the danger increased. He had thought of leaving the Doc and his sister on a moon, but couldn’t do it. He knew that the Alliance had done something awful to young River, and if his new passengers could help her – then they could keep their secrets. He walked into the cargo bay, to see one of the most bewitching sights he’d seen in while. River and the blonde, Buffy, were doing a martial art and it was being watched by Buffy’s husband, who was sitting cross legged over a container. When Damon noticed him, he winked at the Captain, and then deftly managed to maneuverer himself up on to the gangway. It was a show of grace and strength that the Captain envied.
“What’s up Cap?”
Mal wondered just what two obviously wealthy people were doing taking a trip on his boat, but decided that he wouldn’t kick a gift horse in the mouth.
“What is that? It looks like a fighting style, but I’ve never seen it.” He questioned with open curiosity in his voice.
Damon answered softly, “It is Tai-chi.”
Mal looked in shock at his companion; it was a fighting style that was thought to have died out after the exodus from the Earth-that-was. So how did this young couple know it? It added to the mystery.
The next day, was when things hit the crapper. Mal hated how his luck turned. They’d lost power to the engines – and then communication. To top it all, some crazy person had blocked the bulkheads and shot the doctor. Jayne was bashing in his door, and judging by the noise had moved onto using his beloved Vera to open his quarters.
Buffy and Damon had rolled their eyes. Bulkheads were good preventatives to stopping humans – Buffy and Damon not so much. They tag teamed it, kicking alternate turns, weakening it and finally punching threw. The hole was big enough for them to fit through. Damon smelt the blood and sighed, he used his hearing to find out that the doctor was injured. Buffy hated this part, there was no easy choice, and whatever choice they made – someone was going to be hurt. Damon though was always able to fall back on his instincts, “If we want to save them – then we need to get the bad guy.”
Buffy nodded, acknowledging her tacit agreement, “Yeah, he sounds like he is three fries short of a happy meal.”
Damon snickered, oh this would be fun, and he hated the new speech patterns, even if Chinese offered really creative insults. It was the easiest way to converse and not be understood by the crazy bounty-hunter – use good, old-fashioned C20th English.
Damon was curious to see how Buffy judged this, “So on a scale of 1 to batshit – how bad is he?”
Buffy snickered, and got out, “he doesn’t even in make the list.”
Damon had to laugh, “Yeah, I suppose after the exodus everything has seemed boring.”
They found the captain, in the cockpit next to Wash, staring agog at the couple. Mal asked, “How are you of your quarters?”
Buffy looked a little sheepish, “We heard the bad guy wants River so we kicked the door in.”
Wash a little faint, “You kicked the bulkhead door through.”
Damon shrugged, “I have anger management issues and I like the little one.”
Buffy sighed, “You have a plan?”
Mal was still trying to comprehend the sheer amount of power you’d need to be able to kick through a door. Still, given the trouble River seemed to attract – he could think of worse protectors. He decided to give this one over to the professionals. Answers could come later, when they were all safe. He took a deep breath, “You know what – I’m gonna leave this one to you guys.”
Damon looked to his wife, she had her eyes closed, “Where is she?”
“She is where she feels safest!”
Damon grinned, as that was good news, she was in the bulkheads. “Good, shall we go hunting?”
Buffy could feel an answering grin, when it came to situations like this – they were of one mind. This hunter was crazy and attacking the crew – he needed to be stopped. Let’s see what happens when the hunter became the hunted. After all, hunting came naturally to the Queen Slayer and her Vampire husband.
Buffy and Damon were walking across the beams attached to the ceiling, watching their quarry below.
The bounty hunter was tearing apart the cargo bay. “Come out, come out wherever you are?” He put down his blaster, but left it in easy reach. “I won’t hurt you.”
Buffy and Damon despite being older, and maybe wiser, were unable to let such an opening pass. They dropped down, effortlessly landing, like giant cats. Buffy decided to be the one to face the hunter. The hunter was startled to see the woman, also confused, as she was not in the information packet provided by the Alliance.
Buffy’s bright sunny smile should have been a warning. “Hi.”
The hunter wasn’t completely stupid, he moved for his gun – only to find it kicked from his grasp. He would fight, but found his fist caught by a man. Where the hell did he come from? Damon sent him flying into the bulkhead wall. He crashed in a heap having dented the wall. Damon wasn’t sympathetic, “Ouch that would have hurt.”
Buffy advanced upon him, all predator, and the bounty hunter suddenly felt what it must have been like for his prey. It sucked. “You should have left her alone; you’ve screwed with forces beyond your comprehension.”
The hunter looked into her eyes, and saw death, pure and cold in its brilliance, and he was terrified. Buffy smiled at the hunter, not that it reached her eyes, “You will take a message to the alliance, she is under the Queens protection and if they want a fight they’ve got one.”
He shuddered, he’d heard rumours of the alliance trying to create a slayer. Slayers were a legend amongst the hunters and warriors of the new world. The little girl was a dangerous weapon; she’d been created thanks to the diaries of a certain slayer coming to light. The slayer had been one, Buffy Summers, who was known as the Queen Slayer. This blonde was claiming to be her, which was impossible, she’d been alive 600 years before now.
Damon snickered when he saw the hunter realise exactly who he was facing. “Yeah I know. I’m a lucky guy; we have aged really well. The centuries have just flown by.”
Buffy hauled him up, intent on frog marching the hunter back to his ship. Damon though, showing great insight yelled, “River!”
Buffy could have kissed her husband, he was a badass, but he did have a heart of gold. River got to see that her nightmares could be fought, and Buffy and Damon would be there every step of the way. Once the hunter had left, Buffy tugged on River’s shoulder, “Come on kiddo, let’s go and find your brother.” The young slayer walked towards the sickbay, nestled between Buffy and Damon. She was feeling good, and more importantly – she felt safe, and with Buffy close, she didn’t hear the voices in her head.
The doctor was frantic, and making a lousy patient for Zoe. “Where is River? She is fragile.”
The captain wasn’t frustrated because he could understand that type of protective instinct. Still he had the perfect answer, there walking towards them was the young River. She looked content and was listening intently to the stories that the couple were sharing.
Yes there were questions that needed to be answered, oh so many questions, but for now Mal was content. The crew were safe, River was protected and apart from the hole in the passengers bulkhead – everything was cool.
Buff could see though that his patience was at an end. She was slightly amused, as asked, “What do you know about slayers and vampires.
He frowned, “They are just legends from the Earth-that-was.”
…If only the conversation had ended there, life would have been a lot less complicated. Instead, there were many complications, but ultimately, the alliance fell, and it was enough to warm his little browncoat heart. If he could just get use to the Slayers, Vampire and Mercenary - joining forces to give him epic headaches then life would be perfect. Good crew, Good boat and more importantly – freedom.