The Other Sister
title: The Other Sister
pairing: Faith/River #1946
summary: Sometimes the grace of fighting is a language all its own, and only those that truly speak it can understand it.
AN: Serenity movie spoilers.
She'd had a kooky crazy killer-woman spell again.
Someone wasn't quite done with River Tam or they just hadn't taken that Fruity Oaty Bar ad with the subliminal message out of the mix as of yet. Except this time there had been another crazy killer-woman who was fast and spry enough to stop her before she could do too much damage. it was strange. She had moved as quickly as River had. He didn't think he'd ever see another soul moved like that girl in his life, but there the other one was with her dark Gypsy eyes and long wavy brown hair. That's how Malcolm Reynolds came by having a woman named Faith on his crew. She was handy too. Very handy. Just as handy as Jayne could be in a fight. She also had no problems with helping out with the crime capers. Seemed to delight in it actually. On the plus side also, she appeared to have some sort of kindred thing going on with River. Not that he'd say so ever, but Mal loved watching his little albatross and his little spiritual guru interact.
Because for being such a hard-core shiong-tsun sha-sho, Faith sure did have enough wisdom in her to have rivaled Shepherd Book. She had a wealth of knowledge he wasn't sure how someone of her youth could have. River had told him that Faith didn't belong here... but she fit better than any of them. He both understood and was baffled by that. Faith proved useful and often provided entertainment... especially when she got in tussles with Jayne or when she got in deep conversation with River.
And there was currently some live theater he wished to enjoy. He knew River was aware of his watching. She seemed to like that he did though. Just like she liked hearing him say things she knew well and good he was gonna say.
"All right there, mei-mei?"
River looked up and grinned at Faith. "I like it when you call me little sister. I wish we really were sisters, bao-bei."
"What's bowl bay?"
"Bao-bei." River corrected. "It means sweetheart."
River had taken to teaching Faith Chinese. It was odd that she did not know it, but being who River knew she was, it made sense. River would hide who her 'sister' really was. Simply because the other woman had caught her fist. It had startled her out of her triggering. Strange that. Before it had taken Simon and his sleep words. There was some sort of psychic and kindred electricity to Faith's touch. River had sensed a slight bit of common ground. She had taken to the other woman like she had taken to no one ever... except for maybe her brother... which was why she called and was called sister by Faith.
Faith had been talking the whole time River was thinking, but being River she could keep up her inner thoughts and Faith's... Faith-speak. She loved the way Faith spoke. It definitely had a personal spin to it. She listened to the patterns and the rhythm of it. It frustrated Simon that she had even started to add a few Faithisms to her vocabulary. It only infuriated him because lots of Faith's personal phrases involved swear words. She could be more foul of mouth than Jayne at times, and that was a feat indeed.
"Sweetheart, huh? Aww, that's... well, sweet, Riv. I like you too. Don't think your bro likes me though. I do believe I make him right nervous. I think he's worried that I might lead you on some dangerous crime or fightin' spree or something, yo. I think he actually worries that we might go out slayin' folk or some other nonsense."
"I love Simon, but he's deeply stupid."
Faith snorted. Besides River herself, Simon Tam was about the least stupid person she knew. He was right up there with Red, Giles, and Wes in the brains department to her. He was a doctor and even in this reality, only smart folks did doctoring for a living.
"He just doesn't understand. He'll get it eventually. He will, and then he will know you in the shadow of how I know you."
"He could never know you as I do. He doesn't dance like we do."
"No, I reckon not, but do you really think he'll come around on me?"
"Before I have to slap him around a bit?"
River gave her a look. Faith grinned.
"You know I'd never hit your brother unless he hit me first, right?"
"And he would never strike you. Too much chivalry and propriety beaten into his brain."
Faith laughed loudly at that.
"Also... I think if he did, Kaylee would be mad enough to withhold sex."
Faith's laughing became more boisterous and much like cackling.
"Kaylee thinks you're fun. She's very nice. She was my first friend."
"I can see that about Kay. She's got a good heart. I can see she makes your brother less of a priss."
"His liking for her nakedness used to be problematic for him. It weighed against his rigid upbringing, but when we all nearly died, his issues with that died instead."
"That'll do it. Death has a funny way of being sexually liberatin'."
"You say funny things. Like fortune cookie wisdom."
"Well, I try."
"Will you sleep in my room tonight? I feel nightmares are eminent."
"Your brother don't like when I do that."
"But he isn't the one who keeps me from having nightmares."
"That's all in your head, you know, Riv."
"There's a great many things in my head, Fai."
They sat in comfortable silence in the cargo bay just swinging their feet off of the walkway they were perched upon.
"Tell me about her." River asked quietly.
"The other sister."
"Other sister? I ain't..." But she stopped. "B? You mean B? You can't mean B. I ain't never... how do you..."
"She echoes in you head and heart. I can hear her fighting too. She dances like us."
"That's B, lover AND fighter. Always."
"There were others, but she was the one you... she was special. She knew what you know best. Maybe better, but she never... she was your first sister."
River frowned. She didn't like the competition. This B person swallowed her Faith at times.
"But she ain't here. You are. You're my sister now."
River grinned at that. She could see inside. She could see that Faith meant what she said, but then Faith usually meant what she said. There was little falseness to her. There had been at one time. Long ago and in her past, but Faith had grown out of her falseness. It was what River liked about her. It was what had drawn her in.
Aside from the fact that her 'sister' was likely the only person who could fight her and possibly win.
AN: Chinese translations were taken from Browncoats.com. I think I might have typed out the phonetic versions, but you all get the idea. I'd rather have them a bit phonetically, so you all can hear the sound of it in your heads.
shiong-tsun sha-sho - ass-kicking killer
mei-mei - little sister
bao-bei - sweetheart