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Rescue Procedures

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"My God, he's cute!"

Aral was pretty sure nobody had used the word 'cute' to describe him since he'd been six years old. But then, from all he'd heard, there wasn't anyone quite like Captain Song. Well, apart from Cordelia, but Song was Cordelia turned up about twenty degrees, and with a rather attractive willingness to shoot first and ask questions later. And given that the two of them had just showed up to rescue him from a profoundly embarrassing kidnapping by space aliens, he supposed he had to accept whatever they chose to call him.

Besides, it wasn't as though he had any strong objections.

"Can I borrow him for five minutes, Cordelia? Please?"

"Later," Cordelia said indulgently, bending down to cut through the chains with a vibra-knife. Song went to the other side, and in a moment he was free. The two women each took one of his arms and lifted him to his feet, which was just as well, because his legs were numb and tingling from being tied down so long.

"Right," Song said. "Now we clear the hell out. Come on."

Aral relaxed and permitted himself to be carried off by two dangerous and gorgeous women. There was no gravity in the corridor of the alien ship, and Cordelia and Song swooped along in matching, trained arcs, towing him like a rather ungainly scarecrow. The feeling was almost back in his legs by the time they reached the shuttle hatch. Cordelia pushed him through first, then he pulled her after just as the aliens caught up with them. Song opened fire, covering Cordelia, then bounced up through the hatch. Cordelia was already at the pilot's controls, and Song slammed the hatch shut and they thrust away from the side of the alien ship.

"That went well," Cordelia said, pulling back a lever and frowning at the control panel. "God, River, your shuttle handles like a pig."

"You just have to treat her with respect," Song retorted. She turned to Aral. "All right?" she asked, helping him to his feet.

"Much better," he said, still dizzied, gazing at them both with open admiration.

"Good," Song said. "Excuse me, Cordelia." She leaned in suddenly and kissed him on the mouth.

Aral shot Cordelia a startled look, but Cordelia merely grinned at him and turned her attention back to the shuttle. Well, when you were rescued from a prison by a daring soldier or two, kissing afterwards was almost required. Especially when they were really dangerous soldiers. Aral wasn't sure whether it was Captain Song or the fact that his legs hadn't quite recovered yet, but his knees weakened and he allowed Song to press him against the side of the shuttle to hold him up.

Cordelia engaged the autopilot and came over. "All right, River, he's my husband," she said, a laugh in her voice. Song opened an arm and Cordelia was suddenly snuggled between them. Aral gave up thinking too hard about this then.

ImpSec would never forgive him for it, but Aral was starting to think he should get kidnapped by space aliens more often.