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Andromeda/Firefly: A Sense Of Serenity (Ff)
by Starbug

Malcolm Reynolds looked around the dimly lit tavern on Greendale. He had been
told that there was a woman their looking to get off world without attracting
the attention of the Alliance.

"Captain Reynolds I presume?" A soft voice said from a corner table, "I
believe you are looking for me?"

"Miss Gemini?" Mel looked at the slender woman sitting at the table, a glass
of water in her hand, "I believe you're looking for a ship?"

"Please, call me Trance." The woman motioned to the seat opposite her own,
"I already have a ship captain: unfortunately, it is not on Greendale."

"Trance? That's a strange name." Mel sat, "So where is your ship? I presume
that is where you want to get to?"

"I need to get to Shadow, no questions asked," Trance leaned back, her pale,
almost ghostly skin reflecting the light, "and fast."

"Shadow?" Mel couldn't help but blink, "Haven't been there in a long time..."

"I'm surprised: most people visit home every chance they get." Trance smiled
at Mel's reaction, "Yes, I know you are from Shadow. I like to know as much
as I can about the people I travel with." She sipped her water, "Like I know
your ship is grounded with a damaged compression coil, and you can't afford
a replacement." She tossed a purse onto the table, platinum coins spilling
out into Mel's lap, "That should be more than enough to cover the spare parts
you need. You may consider it an advance on my passage."

"Now just wait a minuet!" Mel raised a hand to object, his eyes never leaving
the small fortune on the table, "I never said we'd take the job."

"Right now your wondering whether or not this is a trap." Trance leaned
forward, "After all, I could probably buy a ship with that much money." She
smiled, "There are people looking for me, people who will be keeping a close
eye on anyone flashing around too much cash without good reason. You have no
love for the Alliance, and need a high-paying job to get you off this rock
before your meagre supplies run-out."

"Ok, I'll take the job." Mel gave up, scooping the platinum coins back into
the purse, "Any baggage or cargo?"

"None." Trance stood, slipping a few coins onto the table to cover her bill,
"Just myself and a small bag."

"Ok then." Mel looked at her, "If this is a trap, or you endanger my crew in
any way, I will kill you. Dong ma?"

"Perfectly captain." Trance smiled, hefting a small pack onto her back, "I
wouldn't have it any other way."

* * *

"Ok people, we got a job." Mel walked through the cargo bay door and into
Serenity, "Kaylee, Wash, go get the bit's we need to get back in the air."
He tossed the purse of money Trance had given him at the two crewmembers,
"And I want change."

"Oh, shinny." The engineer grabbed the money and ran out the door, closely
followed by the pilot.

"This is my kind of ship captain." Trance looked round, then saw the look on
Mel's face, "And I mean that: I used to be medic on a salvage/cargo ship."

"Well, we got us a doctor, but we shouldn't need him on this run." Mel led
the way back to the passenger cabins, "You know our rep, so I'm sure you can
understand why I'd prefer it if kept to yourself for as much of this trip as
possible." He turned round, "Direct trip to Shadow is 18-hours, but if we
want to keep off the Alliances' radar, it's 2-days. Dong ma?"

"Don't worry captain." Trance dropped her bag on the bed, "I'll be as quiet
as a mouse."

"Three blind mice, three blind mice, see how they run! See how they run!"
River appeared in the doorway, "They all ran after the farmer's wife, who
cut off their tails with a carving knife." She looked straight at Trance,
"Did you ever see such a thing in your life as three blind mice."

"Lao tyen, boo!" Mel looked at River, then turned toward the infirmary,
"SIMON! I told you to keep an eye on your shiao mei-mei!"

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" The harried doctor stumbled along the corridor,
"Inara was watching her while I did inventory."

"Wuh de tyen, ah!" Mel banged his head against the wall, "First she can't
decide whether to stay or go, and then when she stay's, she doesn't do what
she's supposed to!"

"It's quite all right captain." Trance smiled, "I'm used to strange things
happening."

"Well then you'll feel right at home." Mel rubbed his forehead. "We'll be
taking off just as soon as Kaylee and Wash get back with the catalyser so
you better get settled in."

* * *

It wasn't long before the replacement part was installed in Serenity' engine,
and the old transport lifted off up into the darkness of space. Trance took
the time to arrange what little she had in her bag, and changed from the
jeans and blouse she had worn in the bar to a more comfortable t-shirt and
knee-length shorts. She pulled the Gauss pistol from its hiding place in the
bottom of her bag, and after checking the power gage, hid it under her
pillow.

The knock at the door didn't surprise her, but she waited a moment before
opening the sliding panel and looking at the dark-skinned woman in front of
her.

"You must be Trance." The woman looked her over, "I'm Zoe, the 1st mate. Mel
said to tell you that dinner's ready."

"Thank you, and is it nice to meet you." Trance smiled, trying to deflect
some of the other woman's hostility, "Tell me, how big is the crew?"

"Technically 6, but we have 3 others we consider crew." Zoe seemed defensive,
"So, what do you do on Shadow?"

"Nothing, just passing through." Trance followed the other woman along the
short corridor, "But I've done lot's of things: Ship's medic, salvage, what
ever it took to keep going."

"That's a lot for someone so young." Zoe stopped in the doorway.

"Believe me," Trance smiled, her eyes shining in the light, "I'm older than
I look."

* * *

Dinner passed without incident, and Trance returned to her cabin. Mel looked
around the table at the rest of the crew, "So what you think?"

"I don't trust her." Zoe leaned back in her chair, "I can't place my finger
on what it is exactly, but something about her seems, off."

"I agree with Zoe." Book crossed his arms, "I don't think she's Alliance, but
there is something different about her."

"Did you see the way she looks?" Jayne shook his head, "Only live person I've
ever seen who's that pale is Wash."

"Hey!" Wash objected, "I'm not that pale!"

The discussion continued, and no one noticed as River slipped away.

* * *

Trance sat cross-legged on the catwalk overlooking the cargo bay. It was late
in the ship's night, and everyone else was asleep. Trance tried to meditate,
bringing up happy memories of her past: time spent on the Maru, then the
Andromeda, the friends she had left behind.

"They don't trust you." River appeared at her side, "They don't know what you
are, so they don't trust you."

"And you?" Trance's eyes didn't move from the far end of the cargo bay, "Do
you trust me? Do you know who and what I am?"

"Yes and no." River sat down, "I know I can trust you, but I don't know what
you are." She shrugged, "I don't care."

* * *

The next day passed quietly, Trance spending most of her time in the box
they called a passenger cabin, reading a history of the Alliance. She put
the electronic book down: she missed her plants. It was a strange thing to
say: she missed her friends too, but her plants always made her feel calm.

The stop-off in this reality had been un-planed, and she had been unprepared
for the reaction her purple skin had gotten from the first people she had
come into contact with. She had hoped to get away, but then she had run afoul
of the two humans with the fixed smiles and blue gloves. They had been odd,
unlike any human she had encountered before. They had been able to subdue
her, and thought that they could control her.

They had gotten her as far as Osiris before she had been able to escape,
changing her skin-colour and sneaking on to a ship heading out from the
central planets. She had managed to get as far as Greendale before they
caught up with her, and it had taken a lot of effort to throw them off
long enough to make contact with Captain Reynolds.

There was no use mulling over what had happened: she had been disorientated
by her abrupt arrival, and had been caught off guard. There where
uncertainty's and variables in any plan, and she had been blind-sided by
one. Slipping the Gauss pistol into a pocket, she went out to stretch her
legs.

* * *

Jayne waited until Trance had reached the cargo bay before he opened the
door to her small room and started going through her stuff, partly out of
curiosity, partly out of general greed. He tossed aside her clothes, knowing
that they would never fit. He found a few photo's, obviously taken on a ship
of some sort: Some were of a scrawny looking man in a shirt that made the
one's Wash liked seem tame, other an attractive woman with blond hair. He
tossed the rest to the side without looking, trying to find something he
could trade or sell.

"Can I help you Mr Cobb?" Trance's voice was accompanied by the ominous sound
of something powering up, "Or are you secretly the ship's steward?"

"Now you just wait a minuet..." The protest died on his lips as he turned and
saw the barrel of the weapon pointed at his head, "I think we've gotten off
on the wrong foot here..."

"I know you're just round the corner Shepard Book." Trance's eyes didn't move
from Jayne, "Would you be kind enough to fetch the captain?"

The sound of hurried feet heralded the arrival of Mel and Zoe, weapons drawn
and ready, "Now just what's going on here?" Mel looked at the scene before
him.

"I went out to stretch my legs," Trance explained, "and came back to find Mr
Cobb here going through my personal effects."

"Come on now Mel!" Jayne edged toward the door, "You're as interested as
everyone else as to what she's hiding: the Alliance wouldn't be after her
without a reason."

"They where taking her to the Academy." River appeared at the other end of
the corridor, "The men with the blue hands. They wanted to know what she is."

"What are you?" Mel looked at Trance, "You some genius mind reader like
River?"

"No captain, I'm a lot more complicated than that." Trance lowered her gun,
"I find anyone going through my things again, I will shoot first and ask
questions later. Dong ma?"

* * *

The others gave Trance a wide birth after that, but looked at her with a
mix of shock and awe: very few people had ever gotten the drop on Jayne and
lived. Night came again, and Trance had just settled down to sleep when she
saw a shadow outside the door.

"It's ok." She sat up in bed, "You can come in."

"You don't sleep much, do you?" River slipped through the door and closed it
after her, "Everyone else is asleep." She looked at Trance, her head tilted
to the side, "Why are you so alone?"

"I had to leave where I was to find where I'm needed next." Trance explained,
"It wasn't as easy decision, but a necessary one."

"You shouldn't be alone." River leaned forward, her robe falling open to
revel her skimpy nightdress, "Not when you don't have to be."

"What are you doing?" Trance's mouth stayed slightly open as River's lips
brushed against hers.

"Letting my feelings guide me." River gently kissed her; moving the blankets
to the side so she could slip into bed next to Trance, "I've never done
anything like this before."

"Don't worry." Trance pulled her own nightdress up over her head, revelling
her small but perfectly formed body, "It's easy once you start." She looked
down at River, "Are you sure you want this?"

"I want this." River pulled Trance down into a passionate kiss, their bodies
pressing against each other. Trance let her tough explore River's mouth,
before planting kisses down her jaw, neck and collarbone. She shifted her
body down, pulling River's nightdress up, and affixing her lips around one
hard nipple, sucking as much as she could into her mouth.

River moaned as Trance's tough played across the end of her sensitive nipple,
and then sighed as she moved across to the other side, repeating the process.
Moving further down, she planted kisses across River's flat stomach, before
reaching her destination. Taking a deep breath, Trance blow across River's
thin patch of downy hair, making her newfound lover arch her back, opening
her legs wider. Trance lowered her head, her tough licking up River's damp
slit, flicking at her partially erect clit. River whimpered, her hands
running through Trance's hair, pushing her closer.

Taking it as read that River wanted her to continue, Trance's tough probed
between the puffed lips, seeking the other woman centre. Moving as close as
she could, Trance reached as far into River as she could, her nose rubbing
against her now fully exposed clit.

River clasped a hand over her mouth to stop her cries from escaping as her
first orgasm rippled through her body. She bucked her hips, pushing her
crotch against Trance's face as hard as she could. Trance responded by
drinking down as much of the other woman's juices as she could.

After giving River a moment to catch her breath, Trance moved back up the
bed, kissing the other woman passionately, they're bodies pressing against
one another. River rolled Trance over onto her back, a hungry look in her
eye.

"It's your turn." She grinned, "Hope I remember what to do." Her elfish face
disappeared under the blanket, and her mouth found Trance's erect nipples.
Trance sighed as River started to suck and nibble on her breasts, before
moving further down, her tough flicking in and out of Trance's belly-button
a few times before she reached the small patch on blond hair between her
legs. River extended her tough as far as she could, and licked up the damp
slit, enticing a deep sigh from Trance.

River's tongue slid up Trance's pussy lips, then circled her clit slowly.
Trance arched her back, making a strange purring sound that resonated
throughout her entire body. River gently nibbled at the exposed love button,
sending Trance into spasm, her boy stiffening as her orgasm reached its most
intense. River flicked her tongue over the clit as she held it between her
teeth, drawing the orgasm out for as long as possible. A fresh flood of
juices flowed from Trance's swollen pussy lips, and River eagerly lapped it
up.

"That was amazing!" Trance's eyes fluttered open, "Are you sure you've never
done this before?"

"Never." River smiled, "But I've read a few of Inara's books. She doesn't
know I can pick the lock on her shuttle."

"Well I promise not to tell her nyen ching duh." Trance pulled River up into
her arms, "Now it's time for you to sleep." She planted a kiss on the young
woman's head and she fell asleep almost instantly.

Trance laid a hand on River's forehead, and closing her own eyes, probed into
the sleeping mind next to her. She saw the damage the Alliance doctors had
done, the parts they had changed. She sifted through a few memories, mentally
wincing when she came across those of the Hands of Blue.

"Well, well, well little one." Trance smiled, "If only you know your true
potential." She focused, changing River's mind ever so slightly, "Time to
let them see how truly brightly you can shine."

* * *

Wash carefully brought Serenity down in the clearing Trance has specified,
her hull reflecting the dawn sunlight. The entrance ramp lowed to the ground,
and Trance led the way across to the tree line. A sharp pull on a piece of
camouflage net reviled the sleek outline of a Slipfighter.

"This is my ship." Trance explained as she typed the access code into a
keypad beside the cockpit hatch, "I borrowed her from a friend." The cockpit
opened, and Trance reached inside, "She may not look much, but she suits my
needs."

"Shinny!" Kaylee looked at the fighter, "What is that? Some kind of Alliance
prototype?"

"No, it's a Centaur-class fighter: much more advanced than anything the
Alliance has." Trance handed a second purse of platinum coins over to Mel,
"I think that should cover the rest of your expenses, and then some."

"Seem's more than generous." Mel looked at the coins, "I just got one
question, and I'd like a straight answer: what are you?"

"I think you deserve the truth." Trance smiled, "Or at lest part of it."
She closed here eyes, and the others watched as her skin started to darken,
taking on its previous purple colour.

"Wuh de tyen, ah!" Book found his voice first, "You're not human!"

"No." Trance admitted, "I'm not even from this dimension. I was simply
passing through when I was waylaid. I know this news may startle you, but
humans are not the only intelligent life out here: they've just given you
a wide berth until now."

"Until now?" Simon asked.

"Thing's change Doctor." Trance smiled at River, "People change. Goodbye."
She ducked into the slipfighter and closed the hatch before the others could
respond.

The backwash from the engines whipped the dust and leaves up, forcing the
crew of Serenity to cover their eyes as Trance angled her fighter up into
the sky. With a burst of speed that would rival any ship in the 'verse, it
shot up into the sunrise.

"I wonder what she meant by 'people change'?" Wash asked, "The way she said
it..."

Everyone turned to look at River, who simply smiled.

The End?

Shiao mei-mei = little sister
Dong-ma? = Understand?
Lao tyen, boo! = Oh, god, no!
Wuh de tyen, ah! = Dear god in heaven!
Nyen ching duh = young one

    

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