Fandom: Firefly au
Rating: pg-13 (for now.)
Summary: River was always a good child. She always did what was expected of her, but when her parents accept a marriage contract against her will she can no longer stay there. With the help of her brother and the crew of Serenity she may just find her place in the 'verse
Disclaimer: I do not own anything and no profit was made. (This is also my first posting to live journal. So be kind and if there is something that doesn't make sense or I have done wrong, please let me know.) comments and reviews are always welcome.
River placed her feet gently on the ground trying her hardest not to make any noise. The ground was cold and hard and she recoiled her feet when they first touched it. She thought for a moment about putting shoes on, but then decided not to. The fence was just 200 feet away and the guards were doing their usual walk around the perimeter. She looked both ways and then sprinted across the front lawn. She had to leave. She couldn’t sign that contract. She couldn’t sign away her future when she had so much she wanted to do. She wanted to see the stars and other planets; she wanted to be in the black. She didn’t want to be stuck on a core planet for the rest of her life. Being a daughter then being passed on and being a wife. She couldn’t handle it. She reached the fence without incident and hopped over it in a single bound. She thought she was home free until she was blinded by a flash light and she heard a soft laugh.
“Almost made it this time lit’l one.” She turned to see one of her father’s guards smiling at her. She was slightly upset he found this so amusing.
“So close yet so far.” She smiled. She could probably out run him if she took off while he was trying to walk her back.
“Don’t even think about it.” He said flatly grabbing her shoulder. “You’re 17 what are you going to do out there on your lonesome?”
“Well Mal, if you would have let me go I could have gone out and joined a band of independents and robbed my way through the verse.” She grinned cheekily at him before skipping off towards the house.
“Little witch.” He laughed and followed her to the front door.
“What do you think your doing? You won. I didn’t escape go back to guarding our house.” She began to get nervous.
“Oh no lit’l one. This is the third time this week. I have to let him know this time.” He frowned. He really didn’t want to tell the girls father. He knew that she was running to keep from signing that awful marriage agreement, but he had no choice.
“Ah Mr. Reynolds I knew I would be seeing you soon when the maid awoke and found River had run again.” The man smiled at the two before motioning for River to go inside. “Thank you Mr. Reynolds you may go back to your post.” Mal nodded and turned to walk away. As the door shut River prepared herself for the yelling, but smiled brightly as she saw Simon running down the steps.
“C’mon mei mei. Let’s get you to bed.” He wrapped a comforting arm around her and led her away. It took Mr. Tam a few minutes to be able to form words, but when he did it caused both of his children to jump.
“Get back down here now!” He pointed to the ground in front of him.
“No father I am taking River to bed.” Simon didn’t even turn to look at him.
“I will not be treated in such a manner. You listen to me when I am speaking to you.” He continued to yell at their backs. River turned eyes glaring right towards her father.
“You will get respect when you earn respect.” She smiled sweetly before turning the corner with Simon.
Simon smiled at his little sister. She was so young and so delicate and he felt like she was his own child. He had been there for her the best he could, but the week before he returned from Medical school they had been given a marriage contract and his parents readily agreed. There was nothing he could do. They didn’t even need her signature, not really, on Osiris it was okay for the parents to agree without the woman, or in this case the girl’s consent. Mr. Atherton Wing had requested his sister’s hand in marriage and she would be shipped off to Persephone and there was nothing he could do about it. She looked up at him with a pleading look.
“I’m so sorry River.” He cupped her cheek. “I said I would protect you and when you needed me most I wasn’t here.”
“You need a life too Simon.” She laid down as Simon covered her with a blanket. “What’s going to happen to me?” She felt her eyes well up.
“Well they don’t actually need your signature, but they’ll buy you passage on a ship and pay someone to make sure you get there. Then you’ll be married and we’ll be separated forever.” He looked at his younger sister sadly then stood up to walk out of the room. He heard his father arguing with another masculine voice as he shut River’s door.
“No you can’t leave.” His father was obviously upset. “I need you to escort my daughter to Mr. Wing.”
“I’m sorry sir. I purchased a ship and I’ll be leaving tomorrow morning. Gonna start transporting Cargo.” He heard Mal, his father’s head of security and the only other person he trusted with River, say to his father.
“But you’re taking Zoe with you.” His father sounded like a spoiled child whining. “You’re taking my two best security guards.”
“Well don’t feel too bad sir. We’re taking Zoe’s husband from an Alliance ship as well.” Mal joked, but it did nothing to help the situation. Suddenly Simon got an excellent idea and ran down the stairs to talk to Mal.
“Mr. Reynolds may I please have a word with you?” Simon asked interrupting his father.
“Simon it is very rude to interrupt. Mr. Reynolds and I were discussing business matters.” His father turned to him with a look that told him he was in no mood for any of Simon’s ridiculousness.
“Father, you don’t have any chance of getting Mal to stay.” Simon said paying his father no mind. “Now Mr. Reynolds if you please I would like to have a word outside.” Mal nodded and led the way. “If you don’t mind we should have this conversation a little farther into the grounds and away from anyone who may be listening. Mal looked at him strangely, but followed him into the middle of the grounds.
“Mr. Reynolds. As you know my sister is going to be married off to Mr. Atherton Wing on Persephone.” Simon said looking at the ground.
“Yea I’m ‘ware of the situation. Can’t say I’m too thrilled with it. Think of her as a daughter. I have seen her grow up from a little girl and now her father is just shipping her off like livestock. Can’t say I’m too fond of Mr. Wing though either. I’ve heard a few things about him at those fancy dinner parties your parents throw.” Mal prattled off.
“Yes…well… I can’t say I’m too fond of this situation either, but I was thinking that you could transport her to Persephone.” Simon smiled at him.
“I don’t like this here contract your parents cooked up. So why would I help take her there?” Mal was almost applaud.
“No you misunderstand. You’re not actually going to take her. She can stay on your ship until I can get off planet and find a more suitable place for her. Simply say she got kidnapped or had run off along the way.” Simon smiled thinking his plan was ingenious. Mal thought for a moment before smiling at Simon.
“Sounds like a plan. I get to keep money for transporting her and I get to keep her safe.” Mal was extremely excited about this arrangement. “Alright I will meet you two at the docks first thing in the morning.” Simon was extremely excited about getting his sister safely away from both their father and Mr. Wing.
“Deal. Mr. Reynolds we’ll see you then.” Simon gave him one last nod before running up to the house. His father stood there pacing the floor as he waited for Simon to come back up.
“Simon, what was all that nonsense about?” Mr. Tam demanded an explanation from his oldest child.
“I, father, have gotten River passage on Mr. Reynolds ship to Persephone. This way she gets to Persephone and she’s under the watchful eye of someone we both trust.” Simon smiled hoping his father would agree to his plan.
“Well Simon I wasn’t expecting you to be so level headed about all of this. Very well we will go down to the docks to see her off with you tomorrow.” Mr. Tam smiled at him.
“NO!” Simon threw up his hands. “I will see her off by myself tomorrow. No need to upset her before her big trip.” Simon told his father who readily agreed to his son’s terms. His children were so close he didn’t see anything wrong with Simon wanting to spend the last few minutes alone with his sister.
River awoke early in the morning dreading this day. She began to think of all the ways she could get away. She could always hitch a ride another ship down there. She wouldn’t have a hard time getting a ride. She knew she was pretty. She could tell by the way men looked at her when she went out with her brother or her father. Maybe she could get a ride based on her looks. It would be better than marrying someone she doesn’t even know, let alone love. She turned to see Simon walking into her room and placing a finger over his lips indicating she was to remain quiet. She nodded at him and smiled.
“Mei mei. I got you passage with Mr. Reynolds on his ship. He will keep you on there for awhile so I can secure passage to a different planet. He’s going to tell father you ran away so you don’t have to marry that man.” She smiled at her brother. This was fantastic. Not only was she not going to marry that man, but she was also going to marry she was going to spend a lot of time in the black. She smiled at her brother, her brilliant, loveable brother and she began to pack all her things. Simon walked her downstairs to her waiting parents. They smiled at her finally proud of the decisions she was making. She didn’t want to point out that it was their decision and not hers, but it would have been pointless. They hugged her and kissed her goodbye. She told them she would send them a wave as when she got to Persephone and Simon walked her out to a waiting mule. The ride there was silent as Simon knew he would be sending his sister out into the black without any real supervision.
The docks were filled with people and it was hard to walk through. Simon walked her up to a ship, not an enormous one, but it was still larger than one she had ever been on. It had a certain charm to it and River knew she was going to be happy. This place was going to be more of a home than she had ever had. Mal walked down the ramp with a smile on his face.
“Hello Lit’l one.” He smiled and it put River at ease. “You ready to go?” She looked between him and her brother before feeling tears roll down her cheeks.
“Let me say goodbye to my brother.” He nodded and took her bag from her.
“Simon I am going to miss you so much.” She hugged him tightly.
“Mei mei. I will come for you as soon as I am able.” He smiled at her holding her chin between his fingers. “You be good. No causing problems.” He joked. She hugged him even tighter. “Alright mei mei time to go.” She nodded before pecking him on the cheek lightly.
“I love you Simon.” She smiled.
“and I you mei mei.” He gave her a pat on the shoulder before turning away from her and walking back towards the mule. She stood there watching her brother’s back disappear before turning around to see Mal smiling at her.
“Well come on lit’l one. I gotta introduce you to my crew.” She followed him in and watched him yell into the comm system. “Crew got a passenger I want you to meet. Come on out.” One by one she watched four people file out to the cargo hold. “Lit’l one you remember Zoe.” She smiled at the tall dark skinned woman. River always liked her. When her father wasn’t paying attention Zoe taught her how to fight and defend herself.
“Hello little one. How are you?” She hugged the small girl.
“I am well.” She smiled stepping back
“And this is her husband Wash.” She smiled at the shorter red haired man. He looked so out of place next to Zoe.
“It’s very nice to meet you Wash.” She shook his hand.
“And this is my mechanic Kaylee.” Mal showed her a young woman who looked so happy that she was about to burst. She was very pretty even wearing those overalls and covered in grease.
“Well aren’t you just a pretty young thing.” Kaylee hugged her which caught River off guard, but River thought it would be impolite to pull away so she hugged Kaylee back.
“And this is our merc Jayne.” He motioned to a very tall very well built man standing next to Kaylee. River’s breath hitched in her throat at the sight of him. His blue eyes seemed to pierce her and she was having difficulty breathing.
“Well crew River here is gonna be riding with us for awhile. She’s avoiding a Marriage contract and until her brother sends me word she’ll be our passenger.” Mal puffed out his chest to make himself seem more in charge. “And you’re to all treat her like family. Dong ma?” Everyone nodded. “Jayne help the girl to her room.” Just as he reached down to grab her bags he caught sight of her legs and stopped. He looked up at her and waggled his eyebrows causing her to giggle. “JAYNE!” they both turned around to see a red faced Mal staring at them. “Help her to her room and then meet up with me. We’re gonna have a little chat.” Jayne nodded and proceeded to show her where her room was.