Death by Any Other Name - Part 2
Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Firefly/Highlander X-over Mal really hates taking passengers.


Disclaimer: Firefly and characters belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. Highlander belongs to Davis/Panzer Productions, Inc.

Feedback appreciated. Not beta-ed so all mistakes are mine.

Part 2  Okay, so I apologize if things get tricky. To prevent confusion, I will warn you that the names in the passages will be indicative of how much each character knows of what's happened with regards to Charles Pierce/Methos.

Chinese Glossary Liou coe shuai du biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze - Salivating son of a bitch and a monkey --

Mal sighed and looked at Zoe. Even though they had the story, and what a story it was, the man in front of them was still an unknown variable. "Seems to me that he's after the same thing we all are, Sir." Mal just raised his eyebrows at Zoe's comment. "Freedom." Mal nodded. The man's comments about avoiding the Alliance bureaucracy now made much more sense. To hide what he was in the Core would be impossible for any extended length of time. The technology would eventually trip him up. Before the war, Bellaraphon had been the edge of civilization. Now the man needed to be on the frontier to be safe.

Standing, he holstered his gun and walked over to the tied man. Crossing his arms, he stared down thoughtfully. "Well now, I guess that just leaves us with one problem doesn't it?" he questioned with a hard look.

The immortal swallowed and began to feel true danger in the man's gaze. "And what would that be, Captain?"

"What the hell do we call you?" The other man said with a sudden grin. Methos relaxed as the others began laugh and Mal untied his restraints.

"Pierce will do," he replied as he accepted Mal's hand and stood.

"Well then, been a long night. Time for everyone to turn in I reckon."

Simon paused in his packing of the medical equipment. "Uhh, Captain, I seem to remember a rather large mess."


Methos waved them on. "Don't worry about it. Seeing as I'd prefer the entire ship not know about tonight, I'll take care of it."

Mal paused by the stairs. "Fine." Looking back, he spotted River still on the floor of the cargo bay. "Simon, tell your sister that we'll have an update on the 'No Touching' list tomorrow."

"Be sure you add scalpels to it," Methos called after them. --

All traces of the pool of blood were almost gone from the floor when he heard her enter. After sitting in one of the corner cubbies, she apologized. "Weren't my secrets, but needed them to know I wasn't worse."

"It's okay, River. It all worked out." Standing he disposed of the last of rags and began to stow the cleaning products. "However, I'd appreciate it if you could stay out of my head." River whimpered and folded in on herself. "I'm not mad, little one. People just prefer it when others don't know their thoughts."

"Would that I could. You remember, I hear. You dream, I see."

Methos looked at the girl from across the room unable to keep an expression of horror and pity off of his face. "Is it that way with all of them?"

She shook her head. "Mostly glimpses. You – you're a blinding light. Can't look away, can't keep it out. Shows everything, hard not to get lost except for the shadow I cast."

"She means what she says, we haven't found a way to control it," Simon said from the hallway. "Mei mei, you're supposed to be asleep." River ignored her brother's words while greedily accepting his comforting embrace.

"So she's always . . ."

Simon shook his head as he re-positioned River so she was in his lap. "She was a normal but brilliant child. Then she went away to what was should have been the perfect school for her." Simon paused to soothe his sister as she got agitated at the direction of the conversation. "They did this to her. Before she was perceptive, brilliant. Now,"

"Now, she's more than clairvoyant," Methos finished for him.

"You seem to think she should be able to control it. Do you know any techniques or medicines?"

Methos shook his head and sat down at the table. "Over the years there have always been those select few with certain gifts. At times they were revered, others burned as witches. As technology increased and society changed, fewer appeared or perhaps fewer were able to use their talents. But I've never heard of someone being changed to possess those abilities." Simon frowned at the lack of help. "Anyway, soon enough I'll be gone. I'll try to do what I can to make this more bearable for her."


Inara exited her shuttle the next morning. Spying Kaylee close by, she joined her at the catwalk rail.

"Shiny, isn't he?" Kaylee observed happily. Below on the cargo bay floor, a shirtless Charles Pierce performed complex katas with a sword while Book and Jayne lifted weights.

Inara smiled. "So I take it their disagreement was resolved?"

"Cap'n didn't tell you?" Inara shook her head as she watched Pierce move through his katas. "River found a sword in Pierce's room. Simon freaked when he found her and Cap'n was upset too. Everything worked out though. At some point, Mal said Simon slipped about River's cover story though, so Cap'n lifted the restrictions. Course, River has a longer list of "things on Serenity not to touch" to remember." Kaylee wiggled her eyebrows and giggled. "And we get this."

"Indeed," Inara replied.

Across the bay from the women, Simon knelt down beside his sister who was dangling her legs off the catwalk. "Better mei mei?"

River nodded. "All quiet. No thoughts, just the weight of the sword."

Simon kissed her head and walked over to where Mal stood a few feet away also watching the exercise. "Did the others accept your explanation?" Mal nodded and continued drinking his coffee in silence. "Thanks for letting him try this. River says it helps."

"Just keep wondering how I end up with all strangeness in the 'verse congregating on my boat. Is there a sign or something?" Mal asked.

Simon smiled. "If there is, I didn't see it."


Zoe and Wash sat comfortably together in the pilot's chair on the bridge. "You're serious, no heartbeat, and then wa-la!"

"More remarkable and disturbing than even juggled geese, I assure you husband."

Wash shook his head and just stared out at the black. "And we're absolutely certain he's not an alien?"

"River says he's not."

"And Mal's cool with all of this?"

Zoe caressed Wash's hair and smiled at him. "He's accepted it. He'll be glad to be rid of him, no doubt, but he's accepted it."

Wash frowned. "I'm still not seeing the urgency of the situation that required you to spend the night out of our bed, wife!"


"For the last time Shepherd, I'm telling you the translation you're referring to was not correct so your argument is flawed."

"I disagree, Mr. Pierce. That translation has been redone several times and the result is always . . ."

"Drop it, Preacher," Mal said from the stove where he'd been standing for several minutes listening to the conversation.

"Captain, you aren't familiar with what we're discussing."

Mal set down the kettle of water on the stove and walked closer to Book. "I believe I told you once that God wasn't welcome on this ship."

Book met his gaze for a minute before standing. "Fine. Captain, Mr. Pierce." With that word of parting, he left the kitchen.

Methos dropped his head on the table in exhaustion. "You have my undying thanks."

Mal smirked. "Well, only to be expected. Hard not to be thankful for this exceptionally pretty face and winning personality."

"Are you telling me I should be thankful to Jayne instead?"

"Now that's just cold man!"


A muscular Hispanic man of average height walked into the crowded bookstore. After turning over the closed sign and checking the narrow stacks for any stray customers, he approached the elderly owner, a man of African descent, who was busily updating his inventory in the corner across from the door. "Nycos waved to say the ship should arrive tomorrow."

The owner glanced up from his work. "And was Nykos helpful as to the contents of the ship?" he asked as he pointed a wrinkled hand at a stool not far from his work table.

Sitting, the messenger shrugged. "Said that the ship was a crew of smugglers, no one too interesting. In addition to the cargo we want, they did take on a passenger – Nykos said something about his look bothered him, but he couldn't place it."

The store owner leaned back in his chair and assumed a thoughtful expression. "Nykos was always useless in the field. I don't suppose we were lucky enough for him or the dock security to get a picture?"

The messenger smiled at him and handed him a data pad. On the pad's screen, the store owner saw two men dressed in Bellaraphon governmental uniforms, a blonde man dressed in a brown duster and the striped pants favored by the Independent army a few years back, and a young lanky Caucasian man with black hair and prominent angular facial features.

"Liou coe shuai du biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze!" the elderly man swore. "Listen to me carefully, this changes everything, dong ma?"

The messenger nodded.

"This mission is critical to the survival of our organization, my young friend. Kill the passenger, preferably without drawing any attention, and recover the shipment."

"And if he doesn't leave the ship alone?" the messenger asked for clarification.

"If other means do not work, dispose of them. We do not have the time to see if they could be brought into the organization." The bookkeeper called after the young man as he started to leave. "Oh and Carlos, under no circumstances are those swords to be delivered. You must intervene before then."

-- TBC in Part 3


Wednesday, March 24, 2004 3:36 AM


Very interesting! I like how this is building up and I love the crew interactions. Can't wait to see what happens next, *xiexie ni*, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, March 25, 2004 7:35 PM


jebbypal, really getting into this series a lot, love the line where Methos asks Mal if he should be thankful to Jayne instead...LOL


You must log in to post comments.



The Missing Chapters
Everyone's curious, but Kaylee finally asks. Exactly how did Simon rescue River?

Twin Regrets Ch9 - Shopping
Firefly/Farscape xover

Twin Regrets Chapter 8: Plans and Portraits
Farscape/Firefly crossover

Summary: River's nervous during the interview.
Based on session 1, 22, and 416 of the viral marketing campaign.

Twin Regrets Ch7: Score – John Crichton, 1; Other Guys, A lot more.
Farscape/Firefly xover.

Twin Regrets Ch6: Still Flying
Firefly/Farscape xover

Reflections of the Soul
Brief vignette about hands.

Twin Regrets Ch 5: Bridges
Farscape/Firefly xover

Revisions of a Life
Introspection sometimes rewrites who we are.

Twin Regrets Ch 4
Farscape/Firefly xover