Van (van) wrote in _the_firefly_,
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Two Guys and a Girl Named Serenity

Christ, I dunno what this is. It's pure crack, only in serious format. I seem to enjoy taking these crazy plot ideas and making them work realistically. So here's another. Hope someone gets a kick out of it.

Title: Two Guys and a Girl Named Serenity, chapter one
Author: Van Donovan
Rating: PG
Characters: Mal, Jayne, Zoe, Simon, River, Kaylee, Johnny
Pairing: none yet, will have: Mal/Johnny, Kaylee/Simon, Zoe/Wash
Word count: 2,948
Warnings: Firefly series & Serenity movie, Two Guys and a Girl seasons 2-4
Summary: The crew rescues Mal from the Alliance and discovers he's got a clone -- or does he?
Notes: This is a crossover (in part) with the 1998-2001 TV sitcom Two Guys and a Girl, in which Nathan Fillion played a character. It is not neccessary to know the show to enjoy this fic although it might help if you're familiar with his character. All blame to randominity for giving me the episodes of the sitcom and planting this bunny, ahahaha. Crossposted to my personal journal & beacon_st_slash.

Chapter one, chapter two, chapter three, chapter four.



Two Guys and a Girl Named Serenity
(begun 5 December 2005)

The plan was simple: Zoe, Jayne and Simon were to infiltrate the Alliance medical facility and once they had retrieved their kidnapped captain, Kaylee and River would drop a lift from Serenity to get them out. It was an easy plan, especially when compared to a job like the one they had pulled on Ariel, only this time their haul was a lot more priceless: it was Malcolm Reynolds.

They’d been out on a border moon, doing another milk run when the Feds had hit them. It was clear immediately that they’d been tagged and followed and that it wasn’t a chance encounter. The style was too meticulous, for one, but the other give away was the fact that not only had Mal been knocked unconscious by the gas that had filtered through the store hold they’d been robbing, but Zoe and Jayne had both been knocked out too. However, when a concerned Simon found them sometime later he discovered only the captain missing.

That, of course, had set the ball rolling. The Feds had pinched Mal and the crew was determined to get him back at all costs. That had been almost two months ago. Serenity had been flying with Zoe as her acting captain since then and River had gotten to show off her prowess as the ship’s full-fledged pilot; so far she was the one holding together the best.

Contacts had eventually paid out though and although some of their information had to be bought at a hefty price, the exact location of the captain had been established and the plan had been laid. It was a medical facility in a remote location on Boros and it was given to them on good authority that Mal was there, still alive. They didn’t know his condition though and so Simon was put on what would have otherwise just have been a Zoe-Jayne muscle rescue mission.

It was an easy plan, though, despite the fact that Boros had such an intense Alliance presence. Simon and Zoe had worked it out and they’d explained as much of it as they’d needed to Jayne. The facility shut down at night, when they’d be attacking, so their resistance would hopefully be low. River flew the ship like she’d been doing it for as long as Wash had and she held her perfectly steady over the compound while Zoe, Jayne and Simon dropped out of the floor cargo hatch. The ride down was the most harrowing event but it was over quickly and the three found themselves on the roof of the facility.

They mixed speed and stealth and quickly gained access through the roof into the main building. The facility was of higher technology than the hospital they had infiltrated on Ariel but on a much smaller scale; it was clear that this was a secret operation and not one well known. It was so unknown that the security was relatively lax, especially this late at night; they ran into only one guard on the way down and Jayne had taken care of him before Zoe even noticed him.

Simon pointed the way, studying a small data pad of the layout of the facility. Before long they found themselves at the double doors that opened into a large chamber. It was bathed in the blue safety runner lights that meant no one was inside working at the time. Their contact had been correct, at least that far. Jayne took up position at the door to keep watch while Zoe and Simon hurried in to find the captain.

“Don’t hear no alarms,” Jayne called from the door. He was all business.

Zoe ignored him because chances were the alarms were going to be silent. She just followed Simon as he led her to a large silver cylindrical tube that had a glass window on the front of it and a lot of buttons. The window was frosted over a little but Zoe could immediately pick out Mal’s sleeping face through it. “This is it. Is he alive?”

Simon put his data pad in his pocket and started pressing buttons on the chamber Mal was in. “He’s fine. Just give me a minute to unlock and get him out of this; we’ll have to revive him on the ship.”

Zoe nodded and stood back to give Simon his space to work. Simon worked diligently and before long the lights on the chamber flashed and then the whooshing sound of air came from it. The door swung open and icy cold steam wafted up. “We’ll have to lift him out,” Simon said, straightening.

Zoe called Jayne over and together the two of them pulled their nude captain from the cryochamber. He was cold to the touch and unresponsive; he didn’t even appear to be breathing. “Set him down here, quickly,” Simon urged and led them to an autopsy table. Jayne wrinkled his nose as they set him out and then quickly took a step back. “I have to administer this drug now,” Simon informed them, “otherwise he’ll suffocate.”

Zoe nodded. “Just do your work, doctor,” she stated and watched him intently.

Jayne turned around and looked at the rest of the chamber. He wasn’t fond of needles or watching them getting poked into other people. Besides, Mal didn’t have any clothes on and he figured the polite thing to do would be not to stare. In any event there were a couple more of those stasis chambers in the room. Most of them were empty but Jayne sauntered over to one where he could clearly see a figure inside of it.

Simon looked up from Mal and nodded. “That should do it. Now just to get him to the ship again, and I can revive him properly.”

“Hey, doc,” Jayne called suddenly, his voice bordering on nervous. “We got ourselves a problem here!”

Zoe put her hand on her gun and looked up at him but didn’t see anything threatening. She started over quickly. “We ain’t got times for games, Jayne.”

“Know that,” Jayne grunted and then thumbed at the chamber he was in front of. Inside was Mal, sleeping peacefully behind a window slightly frosted with ice.

Tien xiao de,” Zoe whispered and then looked back to the man still lying prone on the table. “Simon?” she questioned.

Simon was already pressing buttons on the second Mals’ chamber. “I can’t tell you anything right now, other than that he’s alive and healthy.” He peered through the window at him. “This could very well be our captain.”

Jayne pointed his gun nozzle at the man on the table. “Then who’s that?”

Simon started the unlocking sequence on the second chamber. “I don’t know. One of them might be a clone,” he began, uneasily. “I don’t recall the captain ever mentioning having a twin brother. Anyway, we can’t know for sure until they wake up. We’ll have to take them both.”

Zoe stepped forward to help him open the door. The steam cleared and they saw that the man inside still looked exactly like their captain. “C’mon Jayne, help me with this.” Zoe had already gotten the second Mals’ arms up and had started pulling him out. Jayne stepped forward and very quickly they had him between the two of them. Simon cleared off another table and they laid him out.

Simon quickly administered the same drug to the second Mal. When he was done he looked at the two of them. “Did you guys check the other chambers?” he asked, his voice sounding hesitant.

Zoe looked bewildered for a moment but Jayne stepped forward. “Yeah, I checked ‘em all. These’re the only Mals there is.”

Zoe seemed disturbed by this news. “You sayin’ there could be more, doc?”

Simon looked away from her, uncertainly. “I don’t know. This is unexpected.” He quickly scanned the room, taking in the other chambers and then shook his head. “We don’t have time to find out. I’ve got to get him—them—back to the ship otherwise they’ll never wake up.”

Jayne grunted and picked up the first Mal and hauled him over his shoulder. “I got this one, you two get that one.”

Zoe and Simon didn’t question him they just both took up the other Mal’s limbs and awkwardly carried him between them. Jayne made his way to the door and poked his head out, making sure the coast was clear. Then he hurried through, heading back to the stairwell they’d come down on.

“Radio the girls,” Zoe grunted as she and Simon hustled as fast as they could behind Jayne, carrying the weight of Mal between them.

Jayne looked over his shoulder at the three and realized he was the only one with a free hand. He shifted Mal on his shoulder and then pulled out his radio link to the ship. “Hey girls,” he said into it. “We got company.”

River’s voice answered over the comm. “Mission accomplished. We’ll be there.”

Jayne grunted and put the link away. “Don’t even got to tell her we got two Mals, girl already knows,” he said in a mutter.

“Maybe she can tell us which one is which,” Zoe called hopefully. Behind them the heavy metal door slammed shut. It reverberated loudly through the building. Simon and Zoe exchanged nervous glances and then a blaringly loud alarm rose up.

“Gorramit!” Jayne cussed and doubled his speed up the stairs, hustling quickly and not turning back to make sure Simon and Zoe were following.

They made it to the roof without incident although the sirens were blaring just as loudly there. Jayne was about to start cussing out Serenity and her pilot for being late when she appeared almost from out of nowhere. The belly of the ship opened and Kaylee quickly lowered the lift for them. Jayne ushered Zoe, Simon and their Mal onto it. He had a gun and a free hand to fire it with, so he waited.

The lift was slow to rise and Jayne kept his eyes on the door to the building while he waited for them to get up there and unload. It took longer than he was comfortable with but when the lift lowered the second time he got on without incident. It rose up faster with Zoe and Simon there to help Kaylee, too.

As soon as he was on, though, River was taking the ship away from the facility and Jayne just crouched on the lift, swaying in the breeze and holding Mal over his shoulder still.

They had made it, it seemed, and gotten away without even firing a single bullet.

--

“We know which is which?” Zoe asked as she stalked into the infirmary. Their course was laid in and they had broken atmosphere moments before without any signs of a chase. It seemed unlikely their escape would have gone so well but Zoe wasn’t going to stick around to see one way or another.

The Mals were laid out in the infirmary. One was laying on the main examination table while the other was taking up counter space on the right side of the infirmary. The one on the counter also had his arms crossed in front of him and wrapped tightly with bonding. Zoe appraised the situation.

“Yes,” Simon answered. “This should be our captain,” he said, gesturing to the man on the examination table. “That one is probably a clone.”

Jayne appeared behind Zoe, ducking into the infirmary and looking between the two still unconscious Mals. “What we need two of ‘em for?”

“We really don’t,” Zoe said plainly and kept her eyes on the second Mal. She could hear the footsteps of Kaylee and River arriving, so she didn’t say anything for a bit; Simon could explain everything to all of them at once.

River squeezed in beside Jayne, watching her brother aloofly and Kaylee moved around to stand between the two Mals. Her eyes were wide, even though she’d already seen both of them. “They both look so much like him,” she commented.

Simon was administering a cocktail of drugs to the Mal he had identified as their own captain. Both men had been covered with sheets, up to their hips. “They may both be him. I’ll have to run some tests.”

Zoe lifted her chin. “How you know which is which then?”

Simon pointed at the chest of the Mal he was working on. “I treated this scar,” he said simply. “The other one doesn’t have it.” He glanced to Kaylee as she leaned closer to the other Mal to check. “He doesn’t have any of the captain’s scars, in fact. Also, their masses are disparate.”

“What?” Jayne asked with a wrinkled brow.

“Their weights,” Simon clarified. “This one has less muscle mass than that one.” He gestured to the second Mal.

“That why he’s all tied up?” Jayne questioned.

Simon nodded and glanced to Zoe. “I thought it would be best to be precautionary in case he woke up angry.”

Zoe rocked back on her heels, obviously trying to wrap her brain around the current events. “Why the differences?”

Simon pulled the needle he had just inserted into Mal’s arm out. He threw the tip away and put on another one, drawing out a full syringe of it again. He advanced to the second Mal. “Superior fighting clone, maybe?” he theorized. “If they were cloning him and were using some sort of steroid to enhance his performance it could result in the additional bulk.”

Zoe crossed her arms. She looked uncomfortable. “What’s he going to be like? Like the captain?”

Simon pressed the needle into the other Mals shoulder and pumped the liquid into him that way. “I can’t say. He’s younger than our captain,” he explained. “Not by much, a few years as far as I can tell, but it leads me to believe that he was still being grown or cloned. If that’s the case then we might just have an empty shell. I never did much cloning studies; I don’t know how late they start the neural conditioning.”

“We gonna have an evil Mal?” Jayne questioned. He sounded a bit too eager.

Simon pressed his lips together and looked up at Kaylee. “We might.”

Zoe took a deep breath and then let it out. “When will they wake up?”

Simon pulled the syringe out and stepped back. “The captain should wake up in about an hour; his clone not much after that. I could keep the other one out for a bit longer though, with a sedative.”

“Do it,” Zoe commanded.

Simon nodded. “It can’t be for long though. He’s been in stasis for a while and he needs to regain proper functions again otherwise he might be permanently damaged.”

Zoe arched an eyebrow. “Not sure why I ought be caring for a clone’s well-being.”

Simon looked at her tensely and then to the clone. “Whether you like it or not,” he said in the best non-offensive voice he could muster, “we’ve got another living creature here. I’m not going to do anything to potentially harm him.”

Jayne grunted and moved backwards. “Clonin’ ain’t natural.”

Simon looked at him hard and then glanced to his sister briefly. “It is natural, actually, Jayne,” he said plainly. “Identical twins are clones.”

Jayne shifted. “No they ain’t, theys twins.”

“They’re clones. They have matching DNA. Effectively they’re the same thing—clones in nature. You can see how they’re entirely separately beings too, though, with their own likes and dislikes and memories. That’s exactly the same case we’ve got here.” He got another medication from one of the shelves and loaded up another needle with it. “Effectively the captain now has a younger twin brother.” He pressed the needle into the clone’s arm and let it go. “That should keep him down for another hour. I don’t dare risk doing it longer, not yet.”

Zoe frowned and shook her head. “How is the captain’s health?”

Simon took a deep breath and moved back to the examination table. “He seems to be the picture of it. There aren’t any injuries as far as I can tell. He seems perfectly fine, other than having been frozen.”

“Don’t they gotta cut you up to make a clone?” Jayne asked. Kaylee gave him a scolding look but he didn’t see her.

Simon shook his head. “No. You could clone him from just some fingernail trimmings,” he said casually. “The neural mapping would require extensive brain work, though, and he doesn’t appear to have been opened.” He ran a gloved hand through Mal’s hair, looking for sutures. “There isn’t anything though, which leads me to believe they hadn’t gotten that far in the process yet.”

Kaylee backed out of the room. “Not sure I want to be in here when they start waking up,” she said a little nervously.

“It’s probably best that we minimize the trauma as much as possible. I’ll stay here with both of them until the captain awakes,” Simon agreed. “Zoe, I could call you when he regains consciousness?”

Zoe shook her head. “No, I’ll wait here.”

Simon nodded and looked to River. She smiled briefly at him and then slipped out of the infirmary along with Jayne. “We’ll be back,” she said softly. “Need to see who is in there,” she added.

Zoe watched them go and then shifted her weight, arms still crossed, and looked between the two men laid out before her. She shook her head. “The hell would the Alliance want a clone of the captain for?” she questioned aloud but didn’t expect an answer.
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  • Firefly Fanfic #1: Two Birds

    “There’s pain,” River said, as if the blood trickling from her shoulder wasn’t her own. She stared at the medical bay door,…

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