Actions

Work Header

Masquerade

Chapter Text

Sadly I do not own any of these wonderful characters, or even the setting and world of Firefly. They all belong to Fox/Universal and Joss Whedon.

James Norrington and related belongs to Disney, Gore and Ted and Terry.

Set a few months after Can’t Stop the Music

Masquerade

Here is where we are. You are all familiar with the how and why we are in a new system and what me and my crew do. We came across a wonderful client who not only pays us in money but also in a nice fancy dinner when the job is done. Once he asked us to steal a device he and his top techno expert were working on. It turned out to be an actual time machine. It sent us back in time to Earth that was, to the 18th century to be exact. We came across pirates and mutated fish men and had to deal with them and the egotistical head of a trading company before we could go back home, but we returned, along with a member of the Royal Navy. Now we are back in the saddle and he is learning the ropes.
We keep working and we keep flying.- Malcolm Reynolds.

Prologue

Everything was changing for Malcolm Reynolds and his crew. He had lost few crewmembers, people who had cared deeply about would never forget, he gained a new one who was starting to fit in. His little pilot had grown up, his second in command was a mother and his doctor and mechanic were now husband and wife. He also learned new things about some old friends, and a secret that the Alliance tried to ignore, not on the scale of Miranda but it involved innocent lives.

Not long after the secret of Eros colony was revealed they took a break on Santo before they took on several more jobs, and most were transporting cargo. They even made a little more cash by selling the three chickens they had in the bay to an egg farm. Mal was going to miss the fresh eggs, but not the feathers that flew around or the chicken droppings.
They came out of Paquin to sell some salvage they found and to transport some building supplies from one town to another. All of it went smoothly for once. There were no complications from people welching on deals, no ambushes, no one tried to shoot at them and they didn’t have to shoot at anyone. There was no bitching from Jayne and the former commodore didn’t question if things were legal or not.

Since was done and Serenity was refilling Mal had decided to treat some of his crew to a decent meal at a bar and grill, of course those members were selected for a specific reason due to what day it was Mal planned on celebrating it the traditional way.

“Where are we heading next, sir?” Zoe’s words interrupted Mal’s train of thought. She had long since finished her meal and was twisting her napkin around.
They were seated in a booth with deep green vinyl bench seats and a tan cracked table. Their table had traditional salt and pepper and ketchup and mustard bottles and a napkin dispenser. Their main light source was a red and white paper lantern that hung from overhead. The floor was covered in sawdust and the air had a faint whiff of tobacco smoke even though there was no cheap complimentary ashtray at their table.

The food was decent, nothing to write home about, but also a step up from what they were eating on Serenity. There were various meat dishes and mostly in the form of chicken with a few beef and pork meals as well. Zoe had ordered chicken kabobs, Jayne the jumbo burger platter, James had the shepherd’s pie and Mal ordered the beef pho. Everyone had the complimentary crispy chips and Mal chipped in a lil extra for the guacamole.

“What?” Mal asked and he continued to stare at the bar near the front of the place. It was traditional with wooden stools; wood paneling and several shelves with various liquors various paper thin screens that hung from the ceiling were broadcasting various forms of entertainment. There was a couple of sporting events, some music videos and what looked like the local news. Several people just hanging around and drinking. It was a decent sized crowd, but nobody seemed to be celebrating.

“I asked if there were any new jobs,” Zoe answered. She had stopped twisting the napkin and was now tapping her fingers on the table.

“Any new jobs?” Mal asked and looked away from where people were guzzling down their drinks while watching various sporting events on cortex screens. “What new jobs?”

“That is what I asked,” Zoe said in a slightly annoyed tone. She was waving around the bamboo skewer that where the remains of her kabob meal.

“None so far,” Mal answered. He stared at the other two people at the table. Jayne had inhaled his food like usual and was now licking the plate and while James had eaten with perfect manners he was now gorging himself on the rest of the guacamole from the dip bowls.

“You want me to send some waves and see what I can pick up?” Zoe asked as she raised her eyebrows.

“You and the commodore,” Mal said. “That is if he can slow down and come up for air.”

“Sorry,” James said as he lowered the heavily laden chip from his mouth. If the chip was made with pure corn flour instead of a mix of both cornberry flour and liquid protein it would have collapsed. He wiped his mouth with his napkin and took a small drink from his glass. “It has been a while since we had real food.”

“Can’t fault him,” Jayne said after he released a huge belch. “This here is the best guac in the verse.”

“I never had this before,” James said while he wiped his mouth with his napkin. “This was not common for us back then.”

“Not that common for us now,” Zoe told him before she turned back to Mal. “Won’t even be able to buy rations if we don’t find any new jobs soon and we did promise Kaylee we would bring her some guacamole.”

“That is what I’m about to do,” Mal said as he turned back to the bar.

“And after you celebrate?” Zoe asked with a slight miffed look in her eyes . She knew what he was up to and even though it annoyed her she would still jump into the fray to defend him.

“We head back to Serenity and look for the next job.”

“Celebrate?” James asked ash searched their expressions for answers. “What does he mean by celebrate? Is there a holiday you haven’t informed me of?”

“What holiday?” Jayne asked and raised an eyebrow. “What day is it?” He glanced at Zoe’s irked expression and was no longer confused. “ Oh yeah I forgot what day it was.” He chuckled. “Get ready for a tussle, Jimbo.”

Mal chose to ignore them as he watched the other patrons and the screens. It was almost time for his moment, but he wondered why it was taking so long? The game one screen disappeared and was replaced with an advertisement for a popular brand of sake. It involved colorful monkey samurai’s that cut down a peach tree and was told off by a giant fairy turtle for not drinking Momokun before they all danced.

“Momokun sake wishes you all a wonderful Unification Day and to be responsible with your celebrations,” the tag line for the add appeared on screen and was said by an announcer.

Mal smirked as he stood up and strode over to the bar. It was time to start the fun and fulfill his promise to his mechanic.

“A toast to Unification Day,” one man with a cybernetic eye said as he stood up, or tried to stand up. He had short dirty blond hair and appeared to skip a few days of shaving. “To all those brave soldiers who spat in the eyes of those crybaby Independents.” He was a good three sheets to the wind.

Malcolm made sure he was close to the drunk guy when he caught the eye of one of people behind the bar. He only half listened to the others cheering, although this year it was weaker than last for some reason.

“Two tubs of your finest guacamole to go,” Malcolm ordered as he held up two fingers.

“Maybe some of those Independents had the right kind of idea,” someone said. He was a man dressed in black with well-toned arms. His dark hair was slicked back and he had a Viking skeleton print on his shirt.

“What do you mean” The man with the eye asked. “You anti-Alliance?”

“Not against them and not with them one hundred percent,” the man in black said.

Mal stared at the two as he handed over the credit to the bartender. What was going on here? He can’t remember someone who towed the line along the middle to object to a Unification Day toast before.

“How can you not be for them all the way?” Cyber eye asked and held out his arms. “After all they had done for us?”

“All they done for us,” the other man said. “Including creating the Reavers?”

That caused nearly everyone in the bar to stir and talk, several people agreed with the man in black and the man with the eye blinked for a few seconds.

“Now them about makin’ the Reavers is just rumors. They aint got all the facts and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was fake news now and even if it were completely true it just meant a mistake and we all make mistakes.”

“Sir here is your guacamole,” the bartender said softly as he handed Mal the two plastic tubs.

“Thanks,” Mal said

“Fake news?” Someone shouted. “What about the Alliance letting their colony get murdered and enslaved.”

“That was the Independents,” The man with the eye said. “Those piss-pots couldn’t ‘cept the fact they lost and took over our land. They Alliance did nuttin wrong.”

“A mere mistake they didn’t listen?” The man in black asked and folded his arms. “What about all those people that died from Reaver attacks?”

“What about the people that just let them die?” Another person shouted. “The ones that just stopped living and they went to sleep and they just died.”

“Or the Reavers themselves?” A woman cried out. “They were once people themselves.”

“Y’all are a bunch of crybaby ‘Pendants.” A man who was with Cyber eye said. He was shorter than his friend with a stocky building and copper colored hair that stuck out in every direction. “Get over it you lost.”

“I was for unification,” the man in black said. “But now I’m sorry that I was.”

“Sorry?” The friend of Cybereye said. “I’ll make you sorry.” He lunged at the man in black.

The man in black dodged at the last second and the drunken idiot struck a taller man made of well tanned muscle and sported a large moustache that could've rivaled Colonel Obrin’s.

Everything went to hell in a matter of seconds as soon as the human brickhouse jumped in the fray. People from both ends threw their fists and drinking mugs at each other and some grabbed chairs.

“Hey a Browncoat!” A guy shouted and pointed at Mal. “This is all your doing.”

“My fault?” Mal asked. He could not believe what had just happened or the fact he was being blamed for something he didn’t do. Sure he wanted to start something, but since he didn’t start it he didn’t want to take the blame for it.

He never got to strike Mal, not when the fist of Jayne had sent him sprawling to another part of the restaurant

“Took you long enough,” Jayne said as he looked for someone else to spar off with.

“But I didn’t start it this time,” Mal said in a disappointed tone.

“And none of us are going to end it,” Zoe said as she grabbed Jayne by the shoulders. “Come on lets go.”

“But it just started,” Jayne said in a dejected voice.

“Time to go,” Zoe told him.

“Captain it would be best if we just ignored this mess,” James said as he grabbed Mal’s arm. “This is not our fight.”

“It was supposed to be,” Mal said in a hurt tone. “This was our war.”

“Your war is long over,” James told him. “They are not the enemy. They are just idiots and you don’t want to risk any harm to Mrs. Tam’s guacamole.”

“No I don’t,” Mal said as he walked away from the fracas and sighed. There was always next year.

-