A Firefly in the Pitch Black Installment:
11 & 12 / 13Xover Type
: Pitch Black/Firefly and SerenityPairing:
River and Kaylee end up on the ship that crashes on the monster-filled planet in Pitch Black. River must keep Kaylee safe, keep her identity secret from Johns, explore her attraction to Riddick, oh, yeah, and NOT get eaten in the process.
Riddick really didn’t know what to make of the crew of Serenity. When he’d listened to Kaylee on the planet she’d described each crew member and certain events they’d gone through, but no one was as Riddick had pictured them--especially the Captain. The murderer didn’t see the often joking man as one of authority--mostly the one most listened to was Zoë, his right-hand man—er…woman—whom Riddick was sure was having something with the hired-guns.
They all sat around the table in the mess hall. Shazza had gotten into an argument with the captain during their ‘introduction’. Apparently Shazza had once met the captain, though neither would say when where or how, and if Riddick had to guess by the glares they gave each other, they hadn’t parted on amicable terms.
The Australian glared at the captain throughout the whole conversation until he sneeringly brought up ‘that big bluff of a man’ who’d been courting her during the time he’d known her, asking what’d happened to him. All the blood had rushed from Shazza’s face as she got up and ran away from the table, tears streaming down her face.
Obviously, the ‘bug bluff’ had been Zeke, her husband, and the realization that he was dead was once more sinking in now that she didn’t have to fear for her life.
“What?” The captain asked, seeing the glares Kaylee and Jack were giving him. “What did I say?!”
“Men!” Kaylee continued to glare at the captain while Simon Tam, River’s brother, who was way too prissy looking for Riddick’s tastes, sat next to her, hand on her knee, as if trying to reassure himself that his bao-bei was back with him safe and sound.
Riddick had to admit that while the younger man looked useless when it came to weapons, he was quite gifted when it came to fixing the damage caused by weapons. He’d taken care of Iman, stitching him up and bandaging him before doing the same to the others and giving them medicine to make sure that none of their wounds would get infected.
“What?!” Malcolm Reynolds asked once more, defensive.
“He was the first one killed on that gorram planet cap’n!” Kaylee exclaimed, obviously exasperated. “They were married!”
Suddenly all color left Mal’s face, much like it had Shazza’s. Guilt and pain contorted his features as he turned slightly to look in the direction that the woman had run to. Giving a little huff, he straightened his shoulders and left the mess hall, obviously hot on her trail.
Everyone was silent as they tilted slightly in their seats to watch him go until he turned at a corner and disappeared from sight.
Jack turned to Suleiman before stealing a piece of protein from his plate and plopping it into her mouth. “I bet you twenty that she decks him.”
Riddick, who’d been silent and standing in the shadows of the corner, felt eyes on him and turned to look at the mercenary he knew he’d seen before.
“ I know you.” The man named Jayne announced slowly, eyes widening in recognition. “Since you came in I knew I’d seen ya from somewhere, just couldn’t put ma finger on where.” He blinked. “You’re Riddick. Richard Badass Riddick.”
Riddick tensed. The survivors had all silently agreed that he’d go by Johns’ name now that he’d escaped, yet with his luck he’d had to come across someone who’d recognized him.
Apparently he was going to have to ghost two people on this gorram boat.
The mercenary’s face suddenly broke out into a toothy smile. “I remember you. I was workin’ with some punkass who was mighty obsessed with ya’ some years back. Saw ‘im attack ya and you beat the Gou Shi outta ‘im…nearly killed ‘im too.” He frowned. “What was his ruttin’ name again?” His eyes widened. “Ah! Yes! Johns!”
Everyone at the table froze.
“Hundan never told me ya’d killed Operatives ‘n that were why ya were bein’ chased.” Jayne snorted, leaning back. “Left tha next day. One less Alliance official the better says me.” He was silent for a moment. “Ever seen the hundan again?”
Riddick observed the mountain of a man and analyzed his posture, his facial features, and the likelihood that the man could be acting. When he realized that the man didn’t have the ability to act, he smirked. “Shived his wrist off.”
“Wish I’d seen it.” Jack murmured into her food.
Jayne turned to look at the girl and frowned. “Kid, you been hanging ‘round moonbrain too long. Yer all kinds a disturbin’.”
“Hundan wanted to leave us behind!” The girl snapped at the larger man, obviously unafraid of him. “I think I have the right to be pissed at him!”
“Jack!” Kaylee cried out the same time that Zoë announced: “Language!”
Jayne shook his head, obviously amused. “Did he still have that gorram big shotgun?”
Riddick’s smirk growing darker was the only answer given.
The conversation was cut short as Mal and Shazza returned. The woman’s eyes were red from tears she’d obviously shed, and the captain’s cheek sported an ugly red handprint, yet the antagonism that’d existed between them moments ago seemed gone.
Jack turned to Suleiman, hand outstretched. “Cough up the money.”
The older, Arabic boy looked down at her open palm and then up at her expectant face in obvious amusement. “I never said I accepted the bet.”
She frowned at him.
“Is everything alright, sir?” Zoë asked, eyeing the ugly handprint on his cheek with a mixture of amusement and worry.
“Just shiny.” Mal announced before turning to the others. “Now, even though our lil’ Albatross should be here with all of us she’s busy up flyin’ my ship through some turbulence and the crew ‘n I ain’t gonna last ‘till she’s ready, so someone better be tellin’ us what happened on that gorram planet.”
Riddick frowned as Jack and Kaylee vied for the story-telling position as they both broke out in hurried words.
What sorta idiotic name was that?
His jaw clenched as he viewed the man standing before the table, listening with deep interest as the girls told them all that they’d gone through after crashing on the planet.
The man stood straight, his face an open book of every emotion that rushed through his face. The three emotions most prominent on his face was the obvious feelings he had for the girls, horror at what they nearly hadn’t survived, and anger directed at those who’d been responsible for the predators.
Riddick could understand why River was attached to the man, he seemed to honestly care for her and Kaylee, but that didn’t mean he had to accept or like Malcolm Reynolds or his part in River’s life…nor the close relationship they had.
‘Our lil’ Albatross’…
Riddick shook his head at the way Mal had called River. Everyone on this ship seemed to believe they owned River somehow, especially that big brother of hers, whom she’d had to kick out from where she was piloting Serenity to get him to stop fussing over her bruises, cuts and the scars that would obviously mar her perfect skin. And Riddick didn’t like that. He didn’t like that one bit.
River Tam belonged to only one person in the ‘Verse.
And that person was Richard Badass Riddick.
Oblivious to the going ons in the mind of one handsome and ridiculously possessive murderer, River put Serenity on auto-pilot once they’d cleared Atmo and the first thing she did afterwards was to wave a surprised Inara.
The Core Companion was now on a planet close to the Rim training young girls to be Companions as well, as she had been for a while now, and her beautiful dark eyes had widened in horror as River explained—to the best of her ability—what had happened since they’d been parted.
Then, when she’d assured the older woman that ‘the sun and stars are shiny’, she’d pulled out the Big Gauge--figuratively of course--and finally asked the questions that were the reason why she’d waved the Companion in the first place.
To say Inara was surprised would have been an understatement. Her eyes had widened and she’d opened and closed her mouth repeated before asking River if Jayne and her had finally gotten together…or if she was asking because of Mal.
That’d caused the assassin to make a face at her friend and explain that there was someone else, and the relief had been evident on the Companion’s face as she’d announced that neither Mal nor Jayne were the right sorta man for River anyway. And while she didn’t ask anything more about this man who’d gotten River smiling and glowing, the Companion had answered all of her questions as thoroughly and clinically as possible.
When they’d ended the wave-contact, River was sure that she had the theory down pat. Getting up, trying to push away her nervousness, she went in search of Riddick.
Shazza laid down on the bunk, looking up at the ceiling, holding the pillow to her breaking heart. Images of Zeke and the good times they’d had together raced through her mind, she could hear his accented voice chuckling in her ear, and could feel his loving and surprisingly gentle touch on her shoulder as if he was there in spirit trying to comfort her.
She’d been married to him since she was seventeen, and while he could be course and vulgar with everyone else, he’d loved her, and had treated her like a valuable crystal that could break at any moment despite the fact that she was far from being fragile.
He’d always wanted to keep her safe, had always promised to be there with her, to spoil their kids rotten and make her be the disciplinary figure in their lives. His favorite joke was that if she kept frowning she’d look like his mother--and considering that he was somewhat older than her the thought would always make her smile and forget whatever had been troubling her at the moment.
But Zeke wasn’t here, he’d never be with her again, and she hadn’t even been able to say goodbye.
That was what killed her the most. She hadn’t been able to tell him that she loved him and was going to miss him more than life itself.
A knock on the door caused her to jerk up into a sitting position on the bed and wipe furiously at the tears staining her skin. “Come in.”
The door opened and Shazza was surprised to see Zoë Washburne, Mal’s right-hand woman, come inside.
“I’m sorry to interrupt.” The beautiful, dark-skinned woman announced slowly, obviously uncomfortable. “But my bunk is on the other side of yours and I couldn’t help but overhear your crying.”
“I’m sorry, wasn’t tryin’ ta have an audience. Didn’ even realize I was cryin’ loud.” Shazza lowered her gaze, ashamed and embarrassed.
The other woman stood awkwardly in the doorway before speaking once more. “No, I--I came here because I want you to know that I understand what you’re going through.”
Shazza’s gaze lifted at that.
The woman lowered her gaze, face suddenly downtrodden. “I lost my husband a year ago to a Reaver harpoon. I was right there, one minute he was speaking and the next that monstrosity was sticking out of his chest, pinning him to the pilot seat and taking him away from me forever.” There was a pause as she shivered. “I can never go to the pilot room without remembering that sight up to this very day.”
Shazza gulped loudly, hugging the pillow tighter to her. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you.” Zoë gave her a teary, thankful smile as she continued. “I just want you to know that there is someone who understands how you feel. I know you think that you’re alone and that life shouldn’t go on now that he isn’t here, but if your husband was like my Mister, then I know he wouldn’t want you to stop living just because he did.”
The words were frank, yet utterly truthful. “I know Zeke’d have want me ta go on, but he was me anchor.” Shazza whispered, pouring her heart out to this stranger. “He was me home.”
“Would you like to talk about it?” Zoë asked slowly. “You won’t start to heal until you let go of all the pain, and the best way to do so is talking.”
Shazza nodded, and the other woman awkwardly went to sit on the bed next to her as she began to pour her heart out.
River had always hated her gift, yet now she shamelessly used it to steer clear of everyone else on the ship other than Kaylee. She’d asked the mechanic if she knew where Riddick had been placed to sleep, and when the other girl had slyly answered, River couldn’t help but blush.
“I’ll keep Simon busy tonight so he doesn’t go to yer bunk and realize that ya ain’t in it.” Kaylee’d announced with a conspirator’s whisper before hurrying off to find River’s Ge-Ge and ‘keep him busy’.
With that obstacle taken care of--although River knew that Simon would have to find out soon and wouldn’t be all too happy when he did--the young woman continued on her way to the bunk that Kaylee had told her Mal had given Riddick.
Finding the dark room and slipping into it noiselessly, River noticed Riddick lying still on the bed, hands behind his head, breathing peacefully, apparently asleep. Her heart sped up rapidly as her hands began to sweat.
She was nervous.
While her hymen had broken at the Academy due to the strenuous exercise and activities they’d made her perform, River knew that what she was about to do would still hurt to some degree.
But Inara had promised her that it would be pleasurable as well once the pain of the initial invasion subdued.
Sometimes knowing all the science behind something didn’t make it any easier…or less terrifying.
But she wanted to do this.
Taking in a deep breath, she took slow steps towards the sleeping man, glad that he was asleep. That gave her enough time to muster up some courage on her way to him and the bed…the bed in which she was determined to give him her virginity.
Buddha, she’d just gotten doubly nervous.
Better not overanalyze this soon encounter, she decided with a firm shake of her head before reaching the bed and looking down at him with another loud gulp. He was all sculpted muscles; every inch of him looked like stone--slightly like Jayne--yet oh-so much more appealing.
She made to reach for him yet quickly pulled her hand back when she noticed the mud and grim capping her skin, face turning red. She had yet to bathe! She’d been so excited to be back home, and had been so busy flying Serenity and talking to Inara that she’d forgotten to bathe!
Embarrassment coating her skin in a lovely pinkish glow, River turned to hurry out and take a nice long bath before returning to resume the mission when something went around her wrist tightly and jerked her back.
Not having expected this, River let out a little squeal and fell onto the bed and the hard body of the man who apparently hadn’t been sleeping the whole time.
“And where were you going?” His eyes still closed, Riddick’s voice was a deep growl reverberating beneath her.
“To bathe.” River announced and would have tried getting back up if Riddick’s other hand hadn’t gone around her back to keep her flat against him. She gulped as she looked down into his handsome face, feeling her body pressed so intimately against his, and recognizing the stirring in the junction of his legs that Inara had told her proved that a man was aroused and thus she was doing a good job seducing him.
This confused River. She had yet to start her coldly calculated plan of seduction and yet he was reacting.
The hand around her waist lowered to cup her ass and press her down harder on his growing erection, and Riddick let out a low moan.
Her brown eyes widened.
Her body’s contact with his was arousing him so quickly?
She smiled brightly.
This was going to make her seduction so much easier!
But still… “This girl must cleanse the dirt and grim from her skin before she can return to seduce the darkness.” She told him as-a-matter-of-factly, tilting her head in confusion when he chuckled in amusement beneath her.
Had she said something…comical?
The girl pouted darkly.
This seduction wasn’t going to plan at all. She wanted him aroused, NOT amused!
“Why would you do something like that?” Riddick purred before, in the blinking on an eye, he’d switched their positions so that she was beneath him and he was between her legs, eyes finally open and watching her like a predator. “I like my girls dirty.”
She shivered at the jolt of desire that shot through her body at the look of she could see in those silver orbs.
His gaze raked her silently before it rested on her heaving chest. “So,” his voice was husky with desire as he tore open the top of her dress, voice deepening when he realized she wasn’t wearing a bra. “Other than your brother…who might go to your bunk and figure out you didn’t spend the night there?”
River whimpered and arched up when his teeth found her nipple, biting into it harsh enough to mix pain with the pleasure. She cried out and felt heat rapidly pooling at the juncture of her thighs, along with a desire and need so deep it was distracting.
With his hand, Riddick teased her other nipple, rolling it through his fingers, alternating soft and hard pinches that caused her to cry out and jerk at the jolts of electric pleasure it caused.
“I doubt Jayne would go that way.” Riddick murmured against her nipple before pulling away with harsh suck, moving his attention up her heaving chest to nibble on her collar bone. “But what about the captain?”
He squeezed her nipple extra hard at the last word and she moaned, bucking her hips up towards him in response.
“Hmmm?” He questioned darkly against her skin as he traveled up her neck to the shell of her ear, running his tongue around the rim. “Will the good captain be findin’ some excuse to go to your room tonight?”
Realizing that he was waiting on an answer, River somehow found her voice and forced her eyes back open. “Captain Daddy sometimes checks in to make sure that his lil’ Albatross is fine, yet tonight the past is all that is in his mind. I feel he’s aura from here, it’s troubled, angry, confused, and nostalgic.”
Riddick froze above her before removing his mouth from her ear and moving to look at her in her face. “Captain Daddy?!”
She wondered why he looked so confused. “Captain Daddy, like Zeus, god of the heavens, made the stars and the sun his Athena and Aphrodite.”
River watched the suddenly realization cross over his features before they were blank once more, and couldn’t help but wonder if he hadn’t realized that Mal thought of Kaylee and herself as the daughters he could have had if the war hadn’t ruined his life.
Suddenly Riddick shook his head, chuckling darkly. “You have no idea how fortunate he is that you told me that.”
But before River could figure out what he was talking about, Riddick’s mouth descended upon hers in a furious, claiming kiss that burnt her from inside.
She groaned in pleasure and before she knew what she was doing, her hands were running down his back, her fingers tearing into his shirt as his hand ran down the side of her body to her thigh and then back up.
The next instances were too blurry for her to remember them clearly. All she knew was that he got off of her but before she could protest he’d yanked off her pants and soon after his naked body was covering hers once more and he probed her entrance.
Her eyes widened in surprise.
He was huge…much larger than Inara had told her male organs were when fully aroused!
Would he fit in her?
What if she was too small?
All of her thoughts and worries turned into a lusty and slightly pain-filled moan as, with one swift shove, he was buried within her slick passage to the hilt. She’d been one with many people due to her psychic abilities, yet this was a unity unlike any she’d ever experienced, and when he began to move within her, the pleasure she’d experienced at his mouth’s ministrations seemed like child’s play at the electrical overcharge now taking over.
“Riddick…” She moaned out his name for the first time in a tone she didn’t know she had, and dug her fingers into his now naked back, throwing her head back and closing her eyes at the overwhelming pleasure coursing through her body as he pulled out only to push back in nearly violently, shoving her back physically. “Uh! Uh!”
He chuckled in her ear with smug, manly satisfaction before letting a pleasured groan escape when she gave an experiment thrust of her hips, meeting him halfway. “Fuck, yes, do that!” He hissed when she continued to do so, encouraged by his reaction. “You’re so tight!”
Apparently, that was a good thing.
“RidRidRidRidRidRidRiddick!” She gasped, eyes rolling in the back of her head as she felt something coiling tightly in her stomach with every thrust. It was painful yet in such a way it was pleasurable and she wanted more…she wanted much more.
Sneaking a hand between their joined bodies, Riddick pressed the pad of his finger on her clit and, and smirking in her face, began to tease it mercilessly.
It was as if she died.
Something exploded within her and she came with a scream Riddick did nothing to try and muffle, as she grasped him tightly, riding the blinding wave of pleasure over and over again for what seemed like eternity before, with a hoarse cry Riddick buried his teeth in the curve of her neck, drawing blood as he came within her.
Rolling her hips slowly beneath him, continuing to milk the still throbbing dick, River giggled when he took his teeth from her skin to lap up at the small trickles of blood with his tongue.
Growling seductively, Riddick pulled out of her, earning a moan of pleasure for River before he turned her around so that she was lying with her back against his chest.
Possessive arm around her waist, Riddick’s body relaxed, obviously readying to sleep and not giving her the option of choice whether to stay or go.
Shaking her head, grin on her face, River closed her eyes and burrowed back closer to him before letting out a satisfied sigh and falling asleep.
Early morning, Simon Tam smiled as he watched Kaylee moaning something in her sleep about engines before turning over and burying her face in her pillow. He couldn’t believe that she was back here in his arms safe and sound with only a cut on her arm to prove that her life had been in danger multiple times during the time she’d been gone.
A frown touched his features as he bent and gave his sleeping bao-bei a kiss and left their room, not surprised to find that mostly everyone was already up and doing something. He’d checked on Iman earlier and the man had been doing well, amusedly watching Jack torment Suleiman, who didn’t seem as tormented as she’d obviously have liked.
As he passed by the mess hall, Simon’s frown continued to grow, and it wasn’t because he saw Shazza cooking breakfast with Zoë, talking as if they’d been best friends for ages and not like they’d only met each other the night before.
Nor was his frown darker because Mal had been avoiding Shazza all morning, yet would sneak glances of her when the woman walked in a room where he was.
Nor was it the fact that Simon knew Jayne and Zoë were together ever since Zoë had come to him some months ago asking for birth control.
The reason Simon was frowning was because he couldn’t find his sister.
He’d gone to her room earlier and found that she must have gotten up earlier than he and made the bed before leaving to begin piloting Serenity. That didn’t bother him because River hardly ever slept much--which was why he was always trying to push some sleeping pill in her--and would usually be up and doing things at ungodly hours of the morning.
But things like that were what made River River, so he’d only shaken his head and gone to the pilot’s hold only to find her seat unoccupied and Serenity still set on auto-pilot.
He’d then gone searching for his sister--he really needed to give her her medicine and look over her injuries better--and couldn’t find her.
After checking all of her usual hideouts, he’d gone back to his room to see if his sister hadn’t gone to visit Kaylee, yet his beautiful sweetheart was still sleeping and arguing with someone in her dreams about which engine was better for a battle cruiser, so he was once more looking for his sister and getting worried.
Where the world was she?
Turning towards the cabin of the only passenger who had yet to appear as well, Simon sighed, knocking. While he didn’t trust this Riddick persona, nor like him in the least bit, Kaylee had assured him that the man had taken care of his Mei-Mei while on M6-177 and that he’d even saved her life, so the doctor decided that he was going to be nice to him…at least until he got off on the next port.
Realizing that no one was answering the knock, Simon opened the door to ask the man inside if he’d seen River when light streamed inside the dark room and the doctor’s eyes widened in horror when he saw the man lying naked in bed, goggles on, watching him smugly…with a sleeping, NAKED, River practically lying on him.
And Simon didn’t need to be a doctor to know that this wasn’t just some innocent “I-can’t-sleep-because-of-nightmares-can-I-slept-in-the-bed-with-you?” scenario. No, the smell of sex saturated the whole room.
“Gao yang zhong de gu yang!” Simon cursed, going from horrified to enraged in seconds. “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!”
“Now Doc,” the bastard’s voice was pure insolence. “I would have thought they’d have taught you that in your fancy medical school. At least in biology.”
Simon clenched his fists tightly.
River murmured something in her sleep and cuddled closer to the man. “Stop thinking such nasty things Simon. You’re such a boob.”
“Mei-Mei!” Simon knew she shouldn’t have gone so long without her medicine! “Mei-Mei, what’s going on? What--?”
“Sleepy, Simon.” Her voice was muffled since her face was in Riddick’s chest. “Go away. Copulated almost non-stop all night--and most of the early morning. Need rest. Not medicine.”
With a swift movement she’d thrown a pillow at his face, causing him to stumble backwards from the blow and tear it away from his face, growing red when Riddick chuckled in dark amusement. “I’m going to tell the captain!”
“Close the door on your way out.” Riddick told him.
Glaring at the other man, Simon slammed the door shut behind him and stalked to find Mal, choking the pillow in his hands.
“WHAT!?” It was too early for this.
Malcolm Reynolds ran his fingers through his hair as he looked at the infuriated doctor glaring up at him as if it was somehow his fault that his little sister was--and with--and all night--.
Shaking his head, the captain of Serenity took in a deep, shaky breath. He must be sleeping. That had to be it. He was having some very morbid dream thanks to the doc’s atrocious cooking last night.
That had to be it!
“Well?!” Simon grounded out. “What the ruttin’ hell are you going to do about it?!”
Simon had just said ‘ruttin’--didn’t that just prove that this was only a dream?
“Why are you tellin’ this to me gorramit?!” Mal asked the dream-Simon, since his subconscious seemed persistent in keeping him in this dream--which was quite vivid for a dream--the most vivid one he’d ever experienced actually.
Everyone were congregating about them, watching them in confusion.
He’d never dreamt of the whole crew together like this before.
“You’re the one who always says that this is your ship and that you want to be informed of anything that’s going on in it!” Simon roared out, face bled of all color.
“I said I wanted ta know what everyone was doin’ on this ship--NOT WHO everyone was doin’!”
“Who’s doin’ who?” Jayne asked Zoë in an excited whisper.
The first-mate just shrugged her shoulder in confusion.
“I want him thrown out of the airlock for abusing my sister!”
Jayne’s face went comical. “The moonbrain’s gettin’ laid?!” He ignored the glares Simon, Zoë and Shazza were giving him.
“What’s all the shouting ‘bout?” Kaylee murmured as she appeared, dragging her feet as she walked and looking still half asleep. “There was so much screams I wondered if’n we hadn’t been boarded by Reavers.”
Simon turned to Kaylee, looking worried as he grabbed her hands. “Bao-bei, something happened, something very bad happened.”
Kaylee was awake in seconds and looked frightened. “It ain’t really Reavers, right? ‘Cause I was just jok--.”
“ No Bao-bei.” Simon looked deep within her eyes. “This morning I couldn’t find River and after searching the ship I found her in that murderer’s bunk!”
“Was she nekkid?” Jayne asked, and then made a sound of pain when Zoë and Shazza both elbowed him roughly in the ribs.
“Was she?” Kaylee seconded the question, eyes wide.
Mal winced, wondering if Simon should really let Kaylee know that the murderer had taken advantage of the young girl. Kaylee was a really sensitive creature. She mightn’t recover from the horror.
Simon took in a deep breath. “Yes, bao-bei. They were both naked.” He looked in pain. “I--.”
“Yeah!” Kaylee whooped, fist shooting up in the air as she giggled. “It worked! I’m so glad for them!”
Mal’s mouth fell open.
Simon dropped Kaylee’s hands, looking horrified before placing his palm to her forehead as if searching for fever.
“You knew?” Zoë asked, elbowing a silent yet leering Jayne Cobb harshly once more.
“Gorramit woman!” Jayne cursed, rubbing his now aching ribs. “I didn’t say no gorram thing!”
“But you were thinking git.” The caramel beauty deadpanned.
Simon finally found his voice, looking up at the mechanic in horror. “Kaylee, you knew that Riddick was taking advantage of River and didn’t say anything?”
Kaylee’s smile froze. “Now wait a minute there bao-bei, Riddick ain’t takin’ ‘vantage of no one. Your sister was the one who went looking for him last night to seduce him.”
Simon looked utterly sick. “River is a mentally unstable young girl! How could you—knowing this—allow her to do such a thing without at least telling the captain and I so that we could keep her from making such a huge mistake?!”
Kaylee frowned darkly at her boyfriend. “River is more stable than you want to admit! She went without those ruttin’ medications you keep forcin’ down her throat and she did just fine! She was even more lucid and able to speak more normal without them!”
Simon placed his hand on Kaylee’s shoulder in what would seem to be a placating way. “Now bao-bei, I know that it would seem that way to you, but I’m River’s doctor, and I--.”
“Don’t you bao-bei ME bao-bei!” Kaylee shrugged off his arm angrily.
Mal blinked. Kaylee mad was a rare thing to see. Kaylee mad at SIMON had never happened until this moment, and the captain couldn’t help but find it all mildly entertaining.
“Medicines?” Shazza asked, speaking with a disapproving tone that’d been directed too many times in Mal’s direction in the past for comfort. “You were forcing medicine into that girl?!”
Simon sighed in growing annoyance. He never did liked explaining his actions towards his sister. “I don’t know what you know about my sister, but she’s a mentally unstable young girl who needs me to take care of her and--.”
“No, ya don’t know yer sister like I do!” Shazza stepped forwards, looking so intimidating and angry that Mal had to gulp, remembering how his cheek had stung all last night from her slap. “She saved us, she ‘n Riddick both. If’n it hadn’t been for them we’d not have made it out alive!”
She shivered before continuing a shaky voice. “River personally saved my life, she made decisions, and she took care of us. Ask yer girlfriend if’n you ain’t believing me, she’ll tell you that maybe yer sister don’t need ya as much as ya need her ta need ya.”
Simon froze, looking torn, hurt, and somewhat angered.
Jayne looked absolutely entertained with the whole confrontation.
“She’s right, Simon.” Kaylee whispered, placing her hand on his shoulder. “Riddick understands her River-talk, he took care of her, protected her from Johns when he was trying to kill her, and he went up against one of those hundan creatures with just a bone-shiv and his bare hands to keep it from killing her.”
Mal frowned. He hadn’t heard that story last night. Why hadn’t they told him it?
“And she really likes him.” Kaylee went on in her soft voice, visibly soothing the hurt and angered doctor obviously suffering from a mighty dose of brotherly jealousy. “She searched him out, she made her choice, and I know that you love her more than your own life and that you still see her as that little girl she was before the Alliance messed her up--but she ain’t no little girl Simon. She’s eighteen, and she’s old enough to make her own choices.”
“Her own mistakes you mean.” Yet Simon’s voice was without malice. It was pure defeat. “She’s my little sister, Kaylee; I don’t want to see her get hurt. And—and—I mightn’t know Riddick personally, but I know men like him and Jayne. They don’t have a heart and no real desire for commitment. They’re just in it for the trim--and River has suffered too much already to just be someone’s trim.”
“ Hey!” Jayne cried out, clearly insulted.
“What’s ‘trim’?” Jack whispered to Suleiman, who just blushed scarlet and refused to acknowledge the question.
Mal looked down in amusement at the two youngsters before shaking his head and sighing, finally admitting to himself that this wasn’t a dream and his lil Albatross had indeed just taken up with the guy Jayne had referred to the night before as the ‘blackest hearted murderer tha ‘Verse ever had ever seen who could kill six men with a gorram teacup and a bottle of spam.’
“Does he really?” Simon asked softly.
“Does he really what, bao-bei?” Kaylee asked.
The doctor closed his eyes and took in a deep breath before asking: “Understand her River-talk?”
Kaylee broke out in a large smile as she nodded.
Shaking his head again, Mal pushed passed Simon and the others, making towards the bunk where the two in question were.
“Sir?” Zoë asked in confusion.
“Where are ya goin’ Mal? Tha party’s ‘ere!” Jayne called from behind him.
“I’m the captain of Serenity.” Mal announced over his shoulder, brown coat flying behind him. “I’m going to go to the source of the disturbance on my ship and get to the bottom of this. Hopefully they have on their clothes by the time I get there.”
There were rapid footsteps behind him as it would seem no one wanted to miss the confrontation.
“Now Mal,” Shazza appeared by his side, long dark curls bouncing wildly around her sun-bronzed face as she turned to look at him reproachfully. “Don’t go and do anything stupid.”
He frowned, turning to her, slightly insulted. “Now why would ya go and assume that what I’m about ta do is stupid-wise?”
She raised an eyebrow at him. “’Cause I know you.”
He bristled, glaring at her beautiful face. “You knowin’ me when I was eighteen and you knowin’ me now are two completely different things! I’m not the same person I was back then.”
“True.” She agreed as they continued on the way to Riddick’s bunk. “You were handsomer back then. And more understanding.”
He froze once more, turning to look at her in outrage. “I’ll have you know that I’m a very handsome man! I’m also an agreeable, independent, self-supporting man who is the captain of his own ship and has the love, support, and respect of his crew!”
Jayne snorted somewhere behind them.
Mal ignored him, glaring down into Shazza’s unimpressed face. So...how does Zeke compare to THAT?!
“If yer such a catch, Captain Reynolds, then why aren’t you married?” The woman challenged, obviously reading his silent question and pissed as hell at him for even thinking it.
“I was married!” Malcolm announced, slightly disturbed that she still knew him and his way of thinking oh-so well.
Kaylee and Simon moaned at the reminder while Jayne burst out into a long string of curses about conniving bitches.
“Sir, I don’t think bringing up Saffron was your best move.” Zoë announced flatly from his other side. “She is married to more men than one can count and did marry you under false pretenses before overtaking the ship and sending us off to be scrapped by pirates.”
Mal felt his face going red at the look Shazza was giving him. Dammit! Gorramit all to hell! Even dead Zeke was making him seem like an idiotic teenaged boy with a crush!
“Why am I na surprised that yer marriage was like that?” Shazza shook her head with a sigh.
Mal bit his tongue to keep from saying something to her in anger that he wouldn’t be able to take back, especially if that something proved to the beautiful woman that it hadn’t been as easy for him to forget her and move on completely as it’d obviously been for her. “Let’s go wake up Lil’ Albatross and Riddick and get this over with.” He snapped before stomping away.
Stretching leisurely like a cat, River could sense Simon, Captain Daddy, and apparently the whole crew storming towards the bunk, but she was too comfortable to even try to move. After Simon had left, Riddick had told her to go and put on some clothes since her brother would obviously be returning with the captain, and the murderer didn’t want either to get a look at her bare skin, so she’d silently gone to her bedroom, taken a quick bath, changed clothes, and returned only to jump right back in bed.
The door flew open and Malcolm Reynolds entered the bunk, freezing in the doorway and causing those behind to walk into him. Shazza was the only one who avoided it since she’d been walking at his side, and the elder woman just smiled at River and Riddick.
“Gud’night I ‘spect?” She gave River a quick grin.
River blushed thoroughly and nodded.
Riddick chuckled at her.
River gave him a glare.
“Morning!” Kaylee pushed passed Simon and skipped into the room, bright smile on her face. “I would have gone and bathed, but I decided that I needed to be here to give cap’n the kicked-puppy look if he gets outta hand, and to catch Simon if he faints.”
“Hey!” Both men cried out.
Kaylee gave them a wide-eyed, innocent look.
Jayne snickered and then cried out in pain when Zoë elbowed him once more.
Mal drew himself to his full-height and looked at them. River could feel his worry about her and couldn’t help but smile at him. He really was her Captain Daddy.
“Now, Richard--Simon brought this occurrence to my attention, and since lil’ Albatross is like my daughter, I’m going to do the same thing to you that I did to Simon when I found out that when he was ‘helping’ Kaylee in the engine room he was fiddling with my mechanic and NOT with the machinery…”
Simon went beet red and Jayne leered at him. “Shut up ape-man if you don’t want me telling the captain something I’m sure he’d send you out of the airlock for.”
Jayne scowled angrily at the doctor who was obviously referring to the relationship the hired-guns was secretly having with Zoë.
Thankfully, Mal was so intent in his mission that he didn’t hear that, and continued on, glaring at Riddick. “What are your intentions when it comes to my pilot? She’s like my daughter and I won’t let you use her because you couldn’t wait ‘till we docked at port to buy some whores and have some trim.”
“Oh!” Jack’s eyes went wide from the back of the group as she finally understood what ‘trim’ meant.
Suleiman, caramel skin glowing red, refused to look in her direction.
“So,” Mal took in a deep breath. “Once again I ask you. What are your intentions with my pilot?”
Throughout the whole thing Riddick had been silent, sitting leisurely in the bed, leaning against the wall with River draped over him, resting her head on his lap. While his mental wall was back up completely, the girl could feel his amusement rolling off of him as he took in her family.
“She’s mine.” He finally announced in a ‘this-should-be-obvious’ voice. “I’m keeping her.”
“She’s not a puppy for you to just ‘keep’ her!” Simon’s aura vibrated with brotherly worry and indignation.
A slow smirk that was pure sex graced the face of the handsome murderer, causing the women in the room to smile and blush, some even sigh. “I don’t know ‘bout that Doc, last night was more animalistic than anything I’ve ever experienced.”
River blushed at the pleased satisfaction he felt when he remembered the night before and that very morning.
Simon looked ready to faint.
Kaylee grabbed hold of him just in case.
Jack was blushing and had inched away from Suleiman so that she was as far from the blushing boy as possible without looking too suspicious.
Shazza and Zoë shared knowing smiles.
Jayne was looking at River in consternation, not able to believe that the ‘moonbrain’ was getting laid.
Mal’s thoughts were as confusing as the expression on his face. “So…this keeping, it goin’ ta be done on my ship or are we gonna ta have ta hurt ya for tryin’ to take away my pilot? Serenity won’t fly without her.”
The amusement grew in Riddick. He obviously knew that he could disarm and kill the males on the ship easily and rapidly, and so he felt no threat from them at all, finding the whole situation amusing.
“We’ll be staying, for now.” Riddick informed Mal, hands behind his head. “You need a pilot, River’s that pilot and I know enough myself to help her in rough situations. And you can never have too many guns on your jobs.”
Mal’s eyes swung to River. “You told him about our jobs?”
Mal returned his glare at Riddick. “We don’t pay much.”
“You’re not much in the way of company either.” Riddick deadpanned.
Mal chose to ignore that. “But you’ll get your share of whatever profit we make, and food and board are free.”
“Talking about jobs, sir.” Zoë spoke up, hands behind her back. “According to the computer we’ll be reaching New Mecca in a couple of hours. We can drop off the holy man, resupply, and go see that client.”
Mal nodded, before turning to Riddick. “Well, Richard, seems I’ll get to see just how good you really are.” With that, he turned and made his way through the crowd behind him, leaving River and Riddick in the bunk.
“Well, what are you all still doin’ here looking?” Shazza asked the onlookers, hands on her hips. “I made breakfast ‘n it’ll be cold if y’all don’t hurry!”
Everyone turned and hurried away.
Everyone but Simon, who hesitated at the door and took in a deep breath before speaking to Riddick. “If you don’t take care of her or treat her well, I don’t care how badass you are, I have more than twenty ways I can kill or incapacitate you with what little medicine and surgical tools I have here.”
Riddick’s smirk grew, and he nodded silently, acknowledging the warning and reluctant acceptance.
Simon took in a deep breath and turned to leave.
“Simon!” River pulled away from Riddick and hurried to her feet, throwing herself into her surprised brother’s arms. The girl hugged him tightly and gave him a kiss on his cheek. “Thank you.”
He smiled down at her tenderly. “You tell me if he treats you bad. I’ll knock him out with chloroform and castrate him.”
“’Kay.” She smiled up at him.
Giving River a kiss on her forehead, Simon sent Riddick another glance over her head and left, closing the door behind him.
The young woman turned to the silent murderer. “Family accepted.”
“Doesn’t matter if they do or don’t.” Riddick told her.
“To girl it does.” She smiled before climbing back in bed, returning to resting her head on his lap. “To girl it does.”
“Now you wave regularly.” Kaylee told Jack as she looked at the young girl. While she was going to miss her terribly, she was glad that Iman had decided to take Jack with Suleiman and him and keep her safe. Life on Serenity wasn’t for children, and the holy man had proven to be a good man and an obviously good father.
“Sure.” Jack smiled sadly at her. “I’ll need female advice in a bit, ‘n I don’t think I’ll be gettin’ any from Iman, so I’ll be gettin’ into contact with you. No worries.”
“Good.” Kaylee gave the girl another hug. “I want you to behave, though. I know you like bothering Suleiman, but he’s going to take care of you from now one so don’t make it hard for him, okay?”
Jack nodded obediently, returning the hug.
Pulling away, tears making their way down her cheeks, she stood. River, captain, Riddick, Jayne and Zoë had gone to go meet the client and Kaylee and the others were left to say goodbye to Iman, Jack and Suleiman. “Go on now.”
Jack nodded and hurried to where Iman and Suleiman were waiting. She looked like she was trying desperately to cry, and the grateful smile she gave Suleiman when the boy placed a comforting hand on her shoulder assured Kaylee that the younger girl was going to enjoy life with the Chrislams and be well taken care of.
“She’ll be fine Kaylee girl.” Shazza smiled at her side.
In a very awkward encounter, after breakfast (where everyone had been surprised at how delicious Shazza’s food had been), Mal had turned to the woman and offered her room and board if she wanted to stay on as Serenity’s cook since most of them couldn’t cook at all. The woman (and everyone else) had been visibly surprised by the offer, but she’d rapidly accepted it saying she had no where else to go and would love to stay on Serenity.
And with a small smile, Mal had left to go see the clients.
“ Wanna come with me to the market?” Shazza asked, basket under one arm and a list in the other. She’d taken her position as official cook seriously and had immediately looked through their supplies and made a list of what they would need, calculated approximately how much she would need to buy them, and somehow wrangled the money out of a usually closed-purse Mal as easily as Kaylee made Simon go ga-ga.
“ Sure.” Kaylee smiled, wiping at the tears still in her eyes. “I need ta go get some parts anyway. You can see that cap’n was piloting my poor baby, Serenity’s all shook up. She missed River’s piloting sorely.”
Shazza chuckled as they made their way into town. “I ‘member Mal’s drivin’. We actually met ‘cause I was caught in a torrential rain on my way home ‘n he had a covered mule ‘n offered me a ride. After a couple of minutes with his drivin’ I told him ta let me out in the rain ‘cause I wasn’t goin’ ta ride in that death-trap any longer.”
Kaylee giggled. “Well, his piloting is better, but he ain’t as good as Wash was, or as River is.”
Shazza nodded silently as they made it to the marketplace and started looking at the food on sale, taking notice of the prices and eyeing the sellers, trying to figure out which ones they could haggle with and get lower prices.
Shazza looked up when she heard Kaylee whisper that, and frowned. The girl had gone pale. “What is it?”
“Alliance officers.” The mechanic whispered, seeing the small group of men in uniform enter the marketplace, looking over everyone as if searching for someone.
As the officers made their way to them, Kaylee pretended to be interested in some vegetables and Shazza looked up when the taller of the men came towards her.
“Good day ma’am.” The man announced in a detached way.
“Gud’day.” She nodded, face neutral. “How may I help you officer?”
“We have word that a very dangerous criminal was seen here earlier.” He showed her a frozen image of a younger looking River Tam, with her name and the words Dangerous written beneath the image. “Have you seen her?”
Shazza frowned at the image but shook her head, looking up into the officer’s eyes as Zeke had told her to do whenever in the presence of an Alliance officer. “No, I haven’t.”
“If you see her, find one of us and let us know immediately.” The man ordered.
“Of course.” Shazza nodded and watched as the man joined his friends, shook his head, and they continued forwards in the marketplace, showing everyone the frozen image of River Tam.
“They know she’s here.” Kaylee turned to Shazza, eyes showing fear and anger. “Gorramit, the ruttin’ hundans know she’s here!”
“Why is the Alliance looking for River?” Shazza asked.
“Not enough time.” Kaylee placed her hand on her arm. “Someone’s gonna remember seeing River and lead those hundans right to where she is. We need to warn the others!”
Shazza nodded. “Kaylee, you go ‘n tell Simon to ready the infirmary in case we have some injured. Start the engines, we’ll need to get offa this rock as soon as possible! I’m going ta go where they said they’d be meetin’ ‘n warn Mal.”
Kaylee nodded. “Be careful.”
Shazza nodded before shoving the basket into Kaylee’s hands and hurrying through the crowd towards the bar where Mal had said they could be found if they were needed.
Lemme get there on time.
River knew that no one thought much of her when they saw her. Mostly all they noticed was a skinny young woman with flowing black hair and dresses that flittered around her in the breeze. No one noticed the shiv hidden in a strap around her thigh or the gun holster she had around her arm with the shiny gun blinking at anyone who paid attention.
Everyone thought it was just a rouse to make her look more intimidating--a rouse that didn’t work because she looked like a child wearing her mother’s shoes, but that suited their necessities perfectly. Everyone tended to either ignore or leer at her, completely comfortable in her presence, and that made reading them all the more easy.
She looked at the scene before them.
Mal was sitting with Jayne, a silent Riddick, and their two boisterous clients who wanted them to bring them some cargo from some ‘associates’ in Baeumonde. Mal was haggling prices, Jayne was making a comment here and there, and Riddick had been silent throughout the whole exchange, looking terribly intimidating (the men kept sending him nervous glances) and had only spoken once, to call the bluff of one of the clients on the price, causing the man to go red in embarrassment and finally agree to Mal’s price.
The captain looked at Riddick as if starting believe that he really would be a good addition to his crew. If anything he’d kept Jayne entertained as the mercenary had spent most of the ride on the mule telling a silently uninterested Riddick the names of his guns and the stories of the men he’d killed and taken them away from (the stories of the killing had struck more interest in the murderer).
“So, that should conclude our meeting.” The fat one announced, getting up and shaking their hands, looking somewhat relieved when Riddick wouldn’t shake his hand. “C’mon cousin.”
The clients left.
And it was a good thing too…
River gave a cry as the image of the Blue Hands and of Alliance Officials entered her mind…Officials that were heading towards the bar at that very instance.
“Lil’ Albatross?” Mal sounded worried, and his voice was far away and distorted.
“What’s wrong with moonbrain NOW?!” Jayne asked in exasperation and a little worry.
Her legs collapsed on her and she crumbled to the ground, holding her arms and shaking back and forth, leaving this plane behind, her fear isolating her from reality.
“Hands of Blue touch her skin, bathing it in red, and when they take her back to Hell, the girl’s as good as dead.”
From somewhere far away she felt a presence and someone grabbed her upper arm, jerking her up to her feet roughly, shaking her violently.
“Hey!” Mal called out in protest.
The fog around her disappeared and she felt his presence, and realized he was speaking to her, anchoring her once more to reality and leading her back to the present.
“The only one taking you anywhere is me.” Riddick’s goggled gaze quickly scanned her face before he was sure that she had returned from whatever madness had taken over. He turned to Mal. “We’re leaving now.”
Jayne opened his mouth to protest.
There was a commotion and everyone looked up as Shazza ran into the bar.
Mal stood rapidly, worry etched in his face as he reached her. “What’s wrong? Shazza? What’s wrong?”
She looked up at him, curls a mess and face red from overexertion. “Alliance officers are all over the marketplace with frozen images of River. We have ta leave now.”
And that was when the Alliance Officials entered the bar, their eyes resting on River and Riddick almost immediately as they drew their weapons.
Riddick’s whole body tensed like a predator readying to attack. “Too late.”