"So where are you from, stranger?" the barman says as he puts Leoben's stew and bread down on the bar in front of him.
"The Dominion of Canada," Leoben replies, smiling as he takes a drink of his water.
"Canada, huh? So what has you coming down here to these parts?"
"I have faith in God's plan, and go where his river takes me."
The barman raises an eyebrow. "You a preacher or something?"
"Sometimes a preacher, sometimes something else. Right now, I'm just a man, looking."
"Looking for what?"
Leoben shrugs, takes a bite of bread with stew. "Can't rightly say," he replies. Smiles. "I'm sure I'll know when I find it."
River is curled up against his left side, blanket tugged snugly around her to ward of the cold, and Kara sits to his right, skin only barely brushing his. A bit further away, the one who calls himself Hardison is fidgeting in his sleep as his guardian cleans his weaponry.
When he closes his eyes, he can feel all of them; their breaths, their heartbeats, all their tiny movements. He can feel the vibrations in the metal around them, the heartbeat of the Structure; once his mother and god, and now his destroyer. And beyond all that, he believes he can feel the truth; the real God, who is love and peace, and would not see these beautiful children dead by the hands of a false idol.
Kara elbows him in his ribs, and even though it hurts, he smiles at her.
"Stop thinking and go to sleep," she grumbles. "We can't have a tired robot slowing us down tomorrow," she continues, grudgingly moving closer so she's leaning against him.
"Of course, Kara," he says, and is soon asleep.
Leoben is a madman. There's really no other word for it; the man is insane.
But obviously insanity seems to work in his favor, because he's the best damn navigator Sam has ever met, even though he'll barely ever spare a glance for a map.
"God provides," Leoben says and smiles.
"Do you trust me, River?" he whispers against her hair, so that they won't be overheard.
"Of course I do," she breathes.
"Then hold on to me, as tightly as you can."
Then there is a great rush of air, and Alliance soldiers flying into the blackness of space, and Leoben clinging hard to River and the Serenity, a silent prayer for all of them on his lips.
born another gender
"L-Leoben?" one of the Sharons coughs, choking on her water. The Simon next to her pats her back absentmindedly as he stares in vague shock at the woman standing in the door.
It's a Six. It's very obviously a Six, but the shirt she's wearing very obviously isn't. No one on the basestar would be caught dead in that. Save for Leoben.
"Something went wrong on the resurrection ship," Leoben says simply, brushing his (her?) hand through hair that is uncharacteristically short for a model Six body.
"And you're... going to stay that way?" the Sharon asks as Leoben sits down at the table and sneaks some grapes off her plate.
Leoben shrugs. "I assume God has a plan for this."
Of course you do, Simon thinks.
"Where's Leoben?" Six asks as she drops her school bag down on the kitchen table and gets out her homework.
"His room," Sharon replies, chewing on her pen as she considers an algebra problem. "He asked Kara Thrace out again today," she adds as an explanation.
"Oh," Six says as she sits down and opens up her Spanish book. "How bad is it?"
"Just Muse and angsty love poetry bad."
Six sighs in relief. "Thank God."
"QFT," Sharon agrees.
This feels familiar, Leoben thinks, hands cuffed to the table as the lady police officer sits down opposite him.
"Vampires?" Sam asks, checking the old farmhouse out with his binoculars. "Not a demon's nest?"
"Vampires," Leoben confirms, lying down in the backseat with his eyes closed. "Seven of them. And four human prisoners."
"I fucking hate vampires," Kara mutters. "Think we can take 'em?" she asks, turning back towards him.
"It'll be difficult. And dangerous."
"Doesn't sound like a 'no' to me," Kara replies. "Does it sound like a 'no' to you, Sam?"
"No. But it does sound like we'll have to be careful. And maybe get reinforcements."
Leoben's eyes are still closed, but he is certain Kara is rolling her eyes. "Call Bobby Singer, then," she says. "But if there's no other hunters in the area, we'll have to go in alone."
"Fine then," Sam says, dialing his phone as Kara starts the car, and roars down the road.
In the backseat, Leoben starts reciting Psalm 23.