Title: Breaking with Tradition
by Nopporn Wongrassamee
Summary: Three people walk into a bar… on U-Day… Post Serenity Movie.
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to their owners who I'm too lazy to look up and list.
Author’s Note: Thanks to http://fireflychinese.home.att.net/phrase.html for the Chinese.
Another day, another bar on another backwater moon. Another…
“A toast!” one patron in grey slurred loudly. “To Unification Day!”
“Unification Day!” chorused the patrons.
Such was the scene when three strangers stepped into the town. The leader, a steely-eyed gent in a long brown coat, quickly assessed the situation and nodded in satisfaction. His name was Malcolm Reynolds, “Mal” to his friends. He turned to the woman on his right.
“Zoë,” Mal said, “you and Jayne find a table. I’ll head on to the bar and get us a few drinks.”
“”But, Sir,” Zoë protested. “We just got here.”
“What?” He gave Zoë a hurt look. She merely rolled her eyes and led the man called Jayne in search of that rare creature known as an empty table. The bar was full today.
“Today,” the drunken toaster continued as Mal made his way to the bar. “Today is the day we gave those mangy Brown Coats a whupping they’ll never forget!” More cheers followed. For some reason, Mal thought the toaster’s bleary red eyes would start bobbing back and forth.
“Three shots of whatever ya got cheapest,” Mal told the bartender.
“Y’know,” the toaster said, squinting at Mal while the bartender was getting more drinks. “Yer coat’s kinda brown.”
“I’m making a fashion statement,” Mal replied as his drinks arrived, smiling at the drunk. Mal noticed an up tick in attention coming his way. The bartender for instance was giving him a good, hard stare.
“Hey, are you one of those ben tian sheng de yi dui rou Brown Coats?” the toaster persisted.
In a sudden move, the bartender swept Mal’s drinks aside, sending them tumbling to the floor. “Not only is he a Brown Coat, he’s Mal Reynolds!” the bartender announced.
Mal tensed in anticipation. The first punch was most likely to come from…
“The Great Reaver Slayer!”
What did he just say?
“He gets the best scotch in the house!” the bartender proclaimed, holding aloft said bottle of scotch to the sound of enormous cheering from the patrons. Mal was getting a serious case of déjà vu from somewhere.
His trek across the bar back to Zoë and Jayne was slowed considerably. Every step along the way was dogged by admiring fans… in grey no less.
“Why, I heard you stood off a whole ship full a Reavers!” one annoying young un said to Mal.
“No way!” scoffed his friend. “It was a whole fleet! They tried to board yer ship and you slaughtered them all with your bear hands! Ain’t that right, Captain Reynolds?”
No, that ain’t right at all. It was Mal’s crew who had held off only one ship of Reavers while he had been elsewhere. And the bulk of the hands on killing was done by River. But Mal could not get in a word edgewise.
“Saved my cousin’s township from a Reaver attack…” That hadn’t been intentional. River had charged in and the rest of them had run in to back her up.
“…collects Reaver weapons as trophies…” Again, that was River, which was a might creepifying in retrospect.
“…son’s in the Fleet, told me that he’s spearheading a whole Alliance Task Fleet to hunt down them Reavers…” Oh, now that was a complete load of la du! Where were they getting this stuff?
By the time he took a seat with Zoë and Jayne, Mal was completely shell-shocked. He only stared at his drink, completely stunned by Grey Coats chanting his name.
“You all right, sir?” Zoë asked.
“This just ain’t right,” Mal mumbled. “Ain’t right at all.”