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Want to be a Cowboy

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Summary: Xander was arrested for planting the bomb that blew up Sunnydale high, and what happend next

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Xander-CenteredThewanderFR181539,75967979,62911 Jul 0520 Jun 07No

15

Cowboy 15

The ship was quiet. Tara was sitting with Xander and Dawn, the rest of the crew were in the dinning hall of the ship.

“They’re kicking me off,” Tara whispered.

“No, they won’t,” Xander said. “Your Captain has a bit of a temper, but he will not let you go.”

“How can you be so sure?” Tara asked, snuggling in tighter to Xander’s side. She had lost it all again. The problem with being an Immortal was the constant loss. And when the time between losses got cut short, it hit them harder.

Xander had never really had that problem. He had lost his family one time. Then he was sent across the universe with a new family, Dawn. Most, if not, all of the aliens he had encountered had no ideal about the lifespan of a human. So they could live longer with groups before he reached the end of each race’s borders, then start all over again with new races.

“Why would they get rid of someone as special as you?” Xander asked. Smiling softly, Dawn looked on. This was the first time in a long time that she had seen Xander smile and mean it.

*****

Dinner hall.

“She’s gone and that’s it,” Mal said, as soon as the crew had entered the hall.

“But we need an engineer,” Zoe said, sitting down across from her captain.

“We can always get a new one,” Mal said.

“Yeah, that’ll work out good. No jobs ‘til we know if we can trust them, and with everyone out after our heads,” Jayne said, snidely from his side of the table and glaring at Mal to say something about it.

“Doc, you got something to add?” Mal said, completely ignoring the Merc. The Doc and his sister had become part of his crew, slowly and through trials and hardships. Plus, he was sleeping with Zoe so it was nice keeping on her good side.

“I don’t know,” Simon replied, looking around. “I mean, Kaylee? Immortal? I’ve never even heard anything like that. Or what she and Xander said about the system. And everything about why humans came here. It’s all fake? Could this Xander guy be conning her and us?”

“Well, we all saw the reavers - how they just left. I have never heard of them doing that,” Mal said, looking around the room to see if anyone disagreed with him.

“We’re here in the black. Alone. I need to know I can trust who I got with me. I trust you all. Even you, Jayne. If you go against me, it will be to my face. But if what TARA is saying is true, she has been lying to me the whole time she has been on board. I can’t have that.”

“And you’re a paragon of truth Mal?” Inara said, as she walked on into the dining area.

“This is crew business, Not whore business,” Mal snapped.

Inara looked at Mal, then slapped him.

“I told you if you call me that again, we would have words.” Then she kneed him in the crotch. “Enough words, or do you want more?”

“What the hell was that all about?” Mal said, when he finally pulled himself off the floor.

“You are an ass,” Inara said, rage building up in her. “Kaylee, Tara, whatever her name is, has always been there for us. Whenever we needed something, she was there, with a smile. She kept this ship together with nothing but good wishes. She has been a sister to all of us.

“And you throw her away like last week’s garbage.”

“Inara,” Mal began. “She lied to me.”

“So what. You lie to everyone all the time,” Inara said cutting him off. “You are not the center of the universe. You are a Captain of a small time ship, whose crew is more family than crew. And you constantly try to run them off. And if you keep it up, you will be alone. You could have had me at one time, just for the asking. But no, I am a whore, you wouldn’t sully yourself by doing that. But you’re high and mighty enough to protect me from the bad people -people I have dealt with all my life, and you barge in save me, getting yourself in a duel that you almost lost.

“Mal, stop being an ass and grow up.”

With that, she turned and walked out of the silent room. Once she was out of the room, the captain looked at the crew around the table.

“I am grown up,” Mal muttered to which the crew said nothing.

Only a snicker from Jayne.

****

A few hours later.

Tara was sitting in her room. Xander had just left a few moments ago; she was cried out. Looking at herself in the mirror on the wall, she finally drew herself up. She had stayed here too long. That was it. She had grown to attached with the mortals. It was time to cut them loose and go to her next identity.

That’s it. She would go with the Xander and Dawn.

Who the hell was she kidding? She was leaving with him, no matter what happened anyway. Even if he was going to die.

She owed it to Willow, to herself and even Xander.

And with the cost to the universe, if Glory gets a hold of Dawn.

It was a done deal.

Tara jumped as someone knocked on her door. Looking up the ladder to the door, she did something the most Sunnydalers would never do.

“Come in.”

To say she was shocked was an understatement, when Mal came down into her room. Looking around at the boxes and bags that Tara had started to gather, so she could be gone as fast as possible.

“So, what’s with the bags?” Mal asked as he looked around the room.

“I am leaving,” Tara snapped, looking at the man standing in front of her.

“No, you’re not,” Mal said calmly. “This is your home.”

“No, you just reminded me that this in not my home. It’s just the place I work at.”

Tara stood up straight and walked toward her Ex-captain. “I could have bought this ship three times over and had enough money to left to travel from planet to planet without working for anyone else. I just thought this was my new family for a while.

“But I was wrong. You showed that to me. You took it away because I didn’t fit into your small little world. So no, I am not staying. No matter what happens, I’m out of here.”

Mal just stood there.

This was something that he never thought would happened.

That his Family would actually leave.

*****

Simon was on the bridge, taking his turn at watch. He was thinking back over the meeting with the crew about Xander when a screen bleeped at him. Looking down, the radar scan showed something was out there close, while the magnetic scans showed nothing.

“Huh?” looking closer at the scan, it was huge - almost half the size of an Alliance ship. But it still didn’t show up on the mag scan. The magnetic scans should have been screaming out about that much metal that close.

Then, there it was.

“What the {fucking hell},” Simon whispered as the golden tear-drop shape then floated into view.

Then, a with a jerk, the Serenity started to float toward the golden ship.

******

The End?

You have reached the end of "Want to be a Cowboy" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 20 Jun 07.

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