Series: Slayers in Space
Disclaimer: Not mine; all belongs to Joss Whedon
Marie slowly opens her eyes, blinking pass the fuzz covering them. She's not sure where she is and she's completely unsure of what happened to her. She tries to sit up but can't move anything but her head.
"Doc gave you a muscle relaxer."
Marie turns her head to see a gorgeous brunette wearing leather pants and a tank top standing beside her. She schools her features and speaks in a soft, delicate voice. "What happened to me?"
Faith shakes her head with a laugh. "Look Saffron, Yolanda, Bridget or whatever the hell your name really is, you're going to have to do a hell of a lot better than that to fool me. Unlike Mal, I don't think with my crotch, most of the time."
Faith turns to look at Mal. "Shouldn't you be up there doing something captain-y?"
"Just ensurin' that you don't hurt Yosafbridge here." Mal steps up behind Faith and wraps his arms around her waist.
"Oh, I knew you still cared." Marie purrs.
Mal laughs. "I could give a flyin' pigu bout you; I'm more concerned on the reward."
"Reward?" Marie starts to look a little worried.
"We'll just save that for the time bein'." Mal grins. "Give ya somethin' to think on. I'm curious though, why'd you sneak back on my boat. I'm assumin' you got on at Persephone."
"Yes." Marie agrees. "I got myself into a little trouble and needed a ride out. I was hoping I could hide out until you landed again but…I didn't catch your name"
"But Faith here caught me." Marie continues. "I would really appreciate if you just dropped…."
"I'm done doing favors for you." Mal interrupts. "And before you ask, there ain't no way in hell I'm lettin' you go. You're stayin' drugged up on that table for about the next twenty minutes."
"Then what?" Marie glares.
"Then you'll see." Mal kisses Faith's temple and walks out of the infirmary.
"How long have you been sleeping with him?" Marie questions Faith.
"Couple of months now." Faith studies the redhead. "How many husbands do you have?"
"Does it really matter?" Marie replies. "Like you've never used sex appeal to get what you want."
"Not saying I haven't." Faith says, her arms crossed over her chest. "But marrying various men just to get some money from them, hell that makes you worse than a whore; makes you nothing but a pathetic gold digger."
"I'm only going to say this once." Faith warns. "You try to touch Mal, hell, if you come near this boat again, I will kill you."
"You're bluffing." Marie swallows at the look on Faith's face.
"Honey, I'm a convicted murderer." Faith purrs, a sadistic smile on her face. "Stay the hell away from Mal."
Marie watches Faith walk away, feeling fear for the first time in years.
"Don't talk." Faith grabs River's hand and drags her out of the boat. "I need to hit something."
"And I've won the drawling." River pulls her skirt off leaving her clad in shorts and a tank top.
Faith starts stretching, trying to loosen herself up. She can feel the blood lust building up in her body and she needs to get it out.
"You're trainin' here?" Kaylee's hand rests on the bulge of her belly as she waddles down the lowered ramp. "Mal okay that?"
"Didn't ask." Faith bends over to grab her ankles. "Don't care."
"What's going on?" Zoe moves beside Kaylee and watches the two slayers stretch.
"They're gonna spar." Kaylee says.
"We've got two boats landin' any second now." Zoe replies. "Really think this is the time?"
"Really don't think I care." Faith mutters.
"A part of Faith that she thought she had control of came out on it's own." River whispers to Kaylee and Zoe. "It scared her."
"This is her scared?" Zoe asks.
"R, you coming?"
"Yes." River walks over and immediately gets kicked across the face. She hits the ground with a roll and bounces to her feet. She dunks the next kick aimed at her and launches her own back.
Faith flies backwards and goes with it, her hands hitting the ground behind her and flipping over. She does aerial back towards River, her booted feet kicking River in the face.
River falls back a few paces and then kicks Faith in the stomach. In all the times her and Faith have fought, she's never seen Faith this angry. She blocks out Faith's emotions and focuses on her actions, blocking and returning hits.
Faith lets herself go. For the first time, the slayers don't spar, they fight. So focused on blocking and attacking, they fail to notice the crowd they've drawn.
Mal pushes Saffron through the ship, her hands tied behind her back.
"Knew you always wanted me tied up." Marie purrs.
"Don't make me gag you too." Mal warns.
"They just landed." Wash jogs down the stairs, rubbing his hands together gleefully. "Have you told her?"
"I thought I'd let it be a surprise." Mal grins. "Doc, you get what I requested together?"
"Yes." Simon replies. "I labeled and put them in a bag."
Marie turns to look pleadingly at the big brute that she knows wanted her before. "You're not going…."
"Ain't interested in your crazy shit." Jayne interrupts.
"Mal, look, just let me go and I won't bother you again." Marie pleads.
Mal just pushes her down the ramp. "Sorry, ain't that…."
A body flies through the air and hits the ramp a few inches in front of the group walking out.
"What the?" Mal mutters. "River, you okay?"
River flips to her feet and dives back at Faith. She upper cuts Faith and then kicks her in the chest. Faith falls back a few steps and then does a roundhouse back at River.
River grabs Faith's foot and spins, slamming Faith into the side of Serenity. Faith grabs onto a ledge of the ship and jerks her foot out of River's hand. She twists around and kicks River again, this time knocking the genius backwards into the surrounding crowd.
River pushes off the people she hit and runs back towards Faith. The two slayers meet in midair, kicking each other across the face. They spin through the air and land in a crouch.
Mal pushes Saffron at Simon and runs towards his girl, noticing as Jayne does the same.
Faith goes to move towards River again when somebody grabs her shoulder. She's spinning around, intent on knocking the person away, when she realizes it's Mal.
Jayne wraps his arms around River, prepared to get his balls twisted again, but she just relaxes back into him.
"What the hell is goin' on?" Mal bellows. "You two have an argument or somethin'?"
"Just wanted to fight." Faith swipes at her face, pulling away spit, sweat, and blood.
Jayne spins River around, a scowl on his face. Her right eye is black, her bottom lip split and her nose is swollen. He glances at Faith and sees she's no better off.
"Monty." Mal steps forward, his arm wrapped around Faith's waist. "This is Faith."
Monty studies the brunette girl, raising an eyebrow. "She's with you?"
"Yeah." Mal replies. "Why?"
Monty shrugs. "Just looks to be smarter than that."
Faith laughs and holds out her hand. "Sorry about the fighting thing. Sometimes you just have to beat out your frustrations, you know?"
Monty shakes Faith's hand. "Is Mal not treating you good?"
"Naw, he's good." Faith replies, leaning into Mal's side. "It's your shared wife that's the problem."
Monty sighs. "I know just what you mean."
"This is the surprise?" Marie scoffs. "Like this is supposed to scare me?"
"Not him." Mal replies, reaching back a hand to pull her towards them.
"Me." A tall, well dressed man surrounded by four large goons steps forward. "Yolanda."
"Durran." Marie whispers, looking between her three husbands. "Mal, you're not really giving me to him, are you?"
"Hell no." Mal holds out a hand. "I'm sellin' you to him. Normally, I'm completely against slavery but in your case I'll make an exception."
Durran drops a bag into Mal's hand.
"He stole your Lassiter." Marie says. "Remember?"
"Technically, we stole it." Mal points out. "And we done discussed this while you were unconscious. Durran here finds you to be more valuable. It's kinda sweet, if'n you think about it."
"Durran, baby." Marie tries.
Durran just laughs. "I didn't fall for that before and I won't fall for it now."
Mal pushes Saffron towards him.
Durran pulls out a small, pen shaped device. He pushes it against the skin of Yolanda's arm and pushes on the end.
"Ouch." Marie gasps. "Are you drugging me too?"
"It's a tag." Durran explains. "The same type of tags used on cows and the such. I will know where you are at all times."
Marie turns her head to Mal but sees his cold gaze and then turns to Monty. "You're not going to let him…"
"Not interested, Bridget." Monty interrupts.
"After you and Mr. Reynolds left, I started to wonder." Durran says. "I started to wonder how many other men you've married, robbed, and left. So far, I've found twenty-seven. I've paid them all off, made good on what you took, to ensure that they would no longer look for you. It's cost me a large fortune so far. You'll be working it off."
"You'd force me to have sex with you?" Marie tries to sound scared.
Durran laughs. "I have no desire to sleep with you, not anymore. And I think my new wife would have a problem with that anyways. No, you'll be working it off in other ways. I'm sure there's some work you can do around the estate."
"You really think you can force me to stay on your home now when you couldn't before?" Marie crosses her arms angrily over her chest.
"That chip is special made." Durran explains. "It is embedded deep enough into your skin that it will take surgery to remove. And is fitted with a sensor that will set off an alarm if you get so far from the estate; you will be electrocuted, not enough to kill you but enough to knock you out, once it's activated, of course, which will happen once we're home. And before you think about it, all of my staff has been warned not to help you in anyway and if they do, they will suffer the consequences."
"You can't do this." Marie yells. "It's not right."
"You're a heartless gold digger." Faith says. "You've dug your own damn grave; it's time to lie in it."
Marie looks around helplessly and her gaze settles on the pregnant girl.
"Don't look at me." Kaylee glares. "You hurt Serenity, twice."
"You were going to offer Jayne sex in exchange for his help." River cocks her head to look at her.
"There ain't a person here that's gonna help you." Mal says.
Marie starts to panic, her heart pounding in her chest. She tries to run but is blocked by people every direction she goes.
"It's okay." Simon says when she runs at him.
"You won't let them?" Marie lets her bottom lip tremble as she looks up at the young, well dressed man.
"Shh." Simon shushes, one arm wrapping around Saffron's waist and the other touching her arm.
"Doc, what're ya…"
Saffron's body slumps against Simon's.
"Did you just drug her?" Mal grins. "You did, didn't you?"
"Yes." Simon agrees. "A little help here."
Durran's men step forward and pick up the unconscious Saffron.
"She'll sleep for about twenty hours unless you administer the antidote." Simon hands Durran a small bag. "It is clearly labeled. There are a few more doses of the sedative and the antidote too."
"Thank you." Durran takes the bag and turns to look at Mal. "I hope to never see you again."
"Same here." Mal agrees.
Durran nods and walks back towards his transport, his men and Saffron behind him.
"I have to say I'm glad to see her gone." Mal comments.
"So am I." Monty agrees.
Faith touches Mal's arm. "I'm gonna run and change, maybe check if R broke anything."
"I think you broke my nose." River comments, touching the swollen part softly. "Yes, you did."
"Let me see." Simon steps forward and touches River's nose. "Yes, it is broken. This will probably sting."
"Just do it." River orders.
Simon cracks River's nose back into place.
"Gorramit." Jayne mutters. "What the hell was you two tryin' to do to each other?"
"We were just fighting, my Jayne." River replies.
"We may have gotten a bit outa hand." Faith agrees.
"She slammed you into the side of the boat." Mal glares. "That's more than outa hand."
Faith rolls her eyes and holds her hand out to River. "C'mon, R, I'll patch you up if you patch me up."
"Deal." River takes Faith's hand and they both start into Serenity.
"Hey, we wasn't done yellin'." Mal yells at their backs. "Stop."
Amazingly enough, they both stop.
"Hell, that's never worked before." Jayne says, his mouth open in shock.
"I know." Mal agrees with a grin. "I guess they've finally learned to listen."
River and Faith both hit the ground in a dead faint.
"Or maybe not." Simon pushes past the two immobile men and drops down between the two unconscious slayers.
Kaylee waddles forward worriedly. "What's wrong with em?"
"I don't know." Simon starts to examine them.
Jayne walks forward in a daze, kneeling down to touch his girl's face. "Doc?"
Simon glances up to see a look he's never seen on Jayne's face, a look that is also duplicated on Mal's. "I'm working on it."
Faith walks through the familiar halls, wondering how she ended up in B's house. She opens B's bedroom door and walks in. The first thing she notices is the smell, freshly laundered sheets and the clean smell of dawn.
"Things always look brighter in the morning."
Faith spins around to see B walk into the room with sheets in her hand, blood red sheets. "B, what the hell is going on?"
"It's time to make the bed." Buffy walks around Faith and sets the folded sheet at the foot of the bed. She unrolls it slowly and then looks at Faith. "Are you going to help?"
Faith pauses for a few seconds but moves to the other side of the bed. "Is this my mind or yours?"
"I've been dead for hundreds of years, Faith." Buffy laughs.
"Then you're just a messenger?" Faith tucks the sheets under the mattress and straightens out the wrinkles.
"Will they be ready?" Buffy asks.
Buffy looks Faith dead on. "For the splash."
"Okay, B, I so don't do good at the cryptic crap." Faith protests. "Try normal people talking, please."
"Nothing is as it seems and everything is how it looks." Buffy giggles.
Faith rolls her eyes.
"You'll see what you want but not what you need." Buffy continues. "You're not alone anymore; depend on those around you."
"Yeah, I got that one." Faith replies.
"It looks good on you." Buffy comments.
"What does?" Faith asks.
"Serenity." Buffy says and Faith knows instantly this is coming from Buffy herself and not whatever power is sending this message. "You tried so hard to fit in with us but you never did. We weren't the people you need but they are. It looks good on you."
"Thanks." Faith replies.
"You think you know." Buffy whispers. "Who you are, what's to come, you've only just begun." Then Buffy kisses Faith's forehead and slits her throat.
"You want to show me something." River holds her hand out to the reaver child.
The little boy, about ten years old, his face mutilated and scabbed, takes her hand and pulls her through hallways and rooms. She remembers them all from when she was here before, remembers every bit of training, every doctor visit. She still sees this place in her nightmares and can't help the fear that fills her belly. They move into the room where the doctors do the nightmare tests and instead of seeing herself tied to the chair with a needle through her forehead, she sees the first slayer.
"We are death." The first slayer's voice pops into River's mind. "We walk, sleep, eat, and kill and that is all we do."
"No." River protests. "We are girls with girl feelings and desires."
"We are death." The first slayer repeats. "Death is our gift and it will be yours too."
"No." River argues. "I may be a killer but it isn't all I am."
"We are death." The first slayer stands up. "Death is our gift and it will be yours too."
River rolls her eyes.
"Will they understand your gift?" The first slayer asks. "Or hide from it."
"Who?" River asks.
"We are death." The first slayer repeats.
River looks down when the reaver child tugs on her arm.
"You think you know, who you are, what's to come." He whispers. "You've only just begun." That said, he slits her throat.
"I don't know." Simon shouts, growing completely frustrated. "While they both have various cuts and bruises, none of their injuries explain this semi-coma."
"I want her back." Jayne growls, stabbing a finger into Simon's chest. "You bring her back, now."
"Jayne." Zoe warns, seeing Mal isn't. "Let the doc do his work."
Jayne looks back down at the head cradled in his lap, biting his tongue to keep from yelling. She looks so gorram peaceful, looks like she's just takin' a nap, and he's so gorram afraid she ain't gonna wake up.
Mal on the other hand, is deathly quiet. He too is sitting on the bay floor, his girl's head on his lap, but instead of yelling, his face is just a mask.
"We should move them." Simon says. "Into the infirmary…"
"You think you know, who you are, what's to come, you've only just begun." Faith and River whisper together. Then they both jump up, grabbing their throats with a gasp.
"Throat sliced?" Faith feels around her throat, looking for the slice she felt only seconds ago.
"Throat sliced." River also feels her throat, her hands shaking slightly.
"Damn, I hate dying in dreams." Faith comments. "Specially how B told me the first slayer tried to kill them all in their dreams once."
"She did?" River asks. "She was in my dream."
"She kill you?" Faith asks.
"No, a little reaver child." River replies. "Who killed you?"
"B." Faith smiles. "Like the third or fourth time she's killed me in one of our slayer dreams."
"WHAT THE GORRAM HELL IS GOIN' ON?" Mal and Jayne both bellow.
"Slayer dreams." River and Faith reply.
"What's a slayer dream?" Simon asks curiously.
"Messages from above high that get relayed to us through are dreams." Faith explains.
"It must be rather important if they knocked us unconscious to tell us." River comments.
"Yeah, the world is probably ending or something." Faith waves it off.
The bay goes quiet.
"Don't worry, we'll stop it." Faith assures them.
"We will?" Mal growls.
"Well, me and R kinda have to, duty and all." Faith replies. "And since I highly doubt you and Jayne are going to let us fight alone, you'll be saving the world with us."
"Don't give a good gorram about the world." Jayne growls. "Baby doll, are you okay?"
"Fine, Jayne." River steps up and wraps her arms around his neck. "A little tired but fine."
"You and me both." Faith agrees. "Wait a sec, we're flying."
"That we are." Mal agrees.
"Where's Monty and his crew?" Faith asks.
"We told them to go ahead, that we would take care of you two." Mal replies. "Monty understands the need for secrets among crew and let it go. He does want to meet up for drinks sometime soon. And we made plans to meet up for U-Day."
"That's when you're going to get into huge fights, right?" Faith grins. "I'm in."
"Luckily, it ain't for bout half a year so by that time, Zoe'll be in." Mal says. "But for now, you're going to bed."
"Normally, I'd argue with you but I'm feeling in an obeying mood." Faith takes Mal's hand. "R, we'll have to compare notes on our dreams later."
"Okay." River leans against Jayne's side as he leads her out of the bay.
"Well, wifey, I think it's time for my nap too." Wash says with a grin. "You know how I get when I'm tired."
Zoe smiles and takes Wash's hand.
"Kaylee, do you think I could read to the baby tonight?" Simon asks, his hand touching her bulge gently.
"Simon, the baby ain't born." Kaylee giggles.
"I know." Simon smiles at her giggle. "But reading to the baby while it is still in it's womb is supposed to be good for the child."
"Okay." Kaylee agrees, taking Simon's hand.
Simon takes Kaylee's right hand and feels the band of her ring touch his fingers. It's not the right hand but he hopes one day soon, it will be.
"Jayne, I'm fine." River tugs on his arm, pulling him down onto the bed next to her. "You know I'll be healed up by tomorrow night at the latest. I want to go to sleep."
"You scared me." Jayne buries his face in River's hair and breathes her scent deep.
"I'm sorry." River cuddles into Jayne's body contently. "I didn't mean to."
"I know." Jayne murmurs. "Don't change the fact that you did."
"Jayne, nothing is going to happen to me." River promises, kissing his lips softly. "You won't let it happen."
"Damn straight." Jayne kisses River's forehead. "Go to sleep baby."
River cuddles further into Jayne's chest and closes her eyes. She lied, she can't promise nothing will happen to her because she's not sure. She doesn’t know what is going to happen, what the dreams mean, and she is truly and honestly scared by that.
"Mal, I don't know." Faith jumps off their bed and pushes Mal onto it. She finishes stripping off his clothes and then climbs in beside him. "Look, these dreams don't mean anything in the literally way. Everything means something else or doesn’t mean anything at all. It's cryptic to the tee. Let me sort through everything and then I'll tell you."
"Promise." Mal demands, his arms tightening around her.
"Yes." Faith kisses the bottom of his chin. "I promise. I know I'm not alone anymore and I intend for it to stay that way. I'm not planning on fighting anything without you, R, Jayne, and the rest of the crew. I have people to help me now, I know that."
"Can't loose you." Mal mutters, kissing her forehead. "Can't handle that."
"I can't loose you either." Faith whispers.
"Go to sleep." Mal orders, kissing her forehead again.
Faith throws a leg and arm over Mal and buries her face in his neck. She can't help the fear that fills her at the thought of her and R having slayer dreams but meant what she said. She's not alone anymore; she has a family.
a/n-in case you didn't notice, this is set up for a sequel which I will write, but like with Our Mrs. Cobb, it won't happen for a while. Thanks for reading.