Quest - Chapter 28
Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just a little fluff before everyone heads for Earth...


Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em’. I’m just playing. No money being made. The situations come from my own twisted mind as do my original characters.


AN: Getting closer to the end of the arc folks. Just a few more to finish this up.


Quest - Chapter Twenty Eight


“If you need anything... call me,” Allan said.

“I'll be fine,” Sylvia replied from her stretcher as she was loaded into the waiting ambulance for her trip to the hospital where she would be completing the recovery from her gunshot wound, “Besides... I'll have Steve here with me.”

Allan nodded and grinned. Glad that his two friends had finally gotten back together, “I arraigned for a private room...”

Steven turned red and Sylvia giggled, “I'm not going to be able to do anything that requires a private room for a few weeks, Ge-ge.”

Allan grinned back, “Just a thought for future reference.”

“Keep an eye on Derick for me... Jayne is still kinda pissed.”

“Derick will be fine. After he woke up and stopped sputtering. River put Jayne in his place.”

“Still. It's my place to worry... Mother's prerogative.”

“I understand, Sylvia. And you better get well soon. I want to see you, Steven and Cordell's crew on Earth in three weeks.”

“Yes, Sir,” Steven chuckled.

“When are you heading back?” Sylvia asked.

“Leaving for Boros this afternoon. Then jumping back tomorrow. Need to round up a few strays for the holiday.”

“Safe journey, Allan,” Steve said as he shook the older man's hand.

“See you in a few weeks,” Allan said as the door on the ambulance closed. He shielded his eyes as the craft rose into the air and flew off in the direction of downtown New London.

Zoë slid up next to her husband, “Who's the strays?”

“Dan and Robert. I imagine that they are kind of worried about getting back home.”

“And Robert seeing Trudy too, I'd imagine,” Zoë smiled.

“Yep,” Allan agreed.

“Let's go then, husband.”


Robert Pace stumbled out of his bedroom and headed for the coffee machine in the kitchenette of his suite. He and Dan Reed had been staying at the New London Hilton ever since they had arrived on Londinium. The two men sharing the huge suite.

It had been a late night thanks to the Yuletide gala at the New London Companion house. Matter of fact. He had left the party at about midnight. Dan had stayed behind.

Robert smirked. He was pretty sure that his friend and fellow diplomat, General Dan Reed had gotten lucky last night. At least it looked that way from how Allison was hanging off the handsome General's arm. It did strike the diplomat as weird since Alison was his 'girlfriend's' twin sister.

A knock at the suite's door shook the Secretary of State from his reverie. He moved across the huge sitting room and opened the door, “Allan?”

“Morning, Robert,” Allan smiled as he entered the room, Zoë a step behind.

“Hello, Robert.”

“Zoë, how lovely to see you. What brings you here?”

Robert motioned to the sofa in the center of the room. Zoë and Allan took seats across from the diplomat, “We were wondering what your holiday plans were...”

“Staying here I suppose. Ever since Quest was destroyed...”

Allan nodded, “I have a suggestion.”

“What is that?” Robert asked.

“I propose we spend Christmas on Earth.”

Robert was taken aback, “I thought that Quest had been blown up?”

“It was,” Zoë began, “But my genius husband came up with a work around.”

“Work around?”

Allan grinned, “I kinda figured out how to make a regular ship into an FTL ship. We can be in Boston for dinner tonight if you want...”

Robert's jaw dropped, “You're kidding... right?”

Allan shook his head, “I'm serious. We've been half way across the system to deal with who was responsible with the attack on Quest.”

Robert nodded. He knew that there was much more of a story behind that statement if he knew Allan as well as he did, “I imagine that the perpetrators have been dealt with?”

“Permanently,” Zoë said tersely.

“Good. I was saddened to hear about Mr. Flores.”

Allan looked around the suite and noticed the door to the other bedroom was open, “Where's Dan?”

Robert smirked, “We went to the Companion training house for a party last night. When I left, Dan was... having fun. Did you know that Trudy has a twin sister?”

Allan and Zoë shared a look and smiled, “We've known Allison for quite some time,” Zoë said.

Allan nodded, “Allison and I shared a... misadventure about twenty six years ago. It's how we met her and Trudy.”

“I see,” Robert replied, “Allison seemed quite enamored with Dan last night...”

Zoë snickered, “No doubt...”

“Am I missing something?” Robert asked.

Allan grinned, “No... well, perhaps. Allison is sort of the, 'Evil' twin of the pair. She's more than a bit wilder than Trudy. Probably why she's still a Companion.”

Robert snorted in amusement. Before he could comment further, the door to the suite opened and in staggered a slightly disheveled Dan Reed with and equally disheveled Allison Sexton on his arm. Both were giggling. Everyone's jaws dropped.

Allan swallowed his shock and grinned, “Morning, Dan... have a good night?”

Zoë snorted as did Robert. Dan turned red which contrasted with his dark blue uniform.

“Zoë! Allan!” Allison cried out as she ran into the room. She quickly embraced the pair as they came to their feet.

“How are you, Allison?” Allan asked.

“Fair ta' middlin,” the woman replied. Shocking Robert and Dan both with her sudden change in accent.

“Despite the airs they put on, Allison and Trudy are rim girls as much as Zoë or Kaylee,” Allan grinned.

“That's right,” Allison agreed.

Regaining some composure, Dan spoke, “What brings you here, Allan?”

The engineer grinned, “Ready to head home for Christmas?”


“Getting a bit crowded,” Mal commented as A limo from the Companion house deposited Allison along with her luggage at the foot of Tranquility's ramp.

“Well. Not like it's going to be a long trip,” Allan replied.

“Only forty light years,” Jeff commented as he stepped up beside Mal and Allan.

“Hard to imagine, actually,” Mal said back to his son.

“Just wait till we see Sara,” Allan smirked.

“I can't,” Jeff said wistfully.

Mal and Allan shared a look. Knowing the pain of being separated from the woman you loved.

“Captain Reynolds!” Allison called out as she exited the limo and began walking up the ramp. Gone was the elegant Companion. Trudy was dressed casually in black pants, an oversized, pink baggy sweater and what looked like athletic shoes on her feet.

“How are you,” Mal smiled as the woman gave him a hug.

“Very well,” Allison smiled. “And this is Jefferson, correct?”

“Yes Ma'am,” Jeff replied.

Allison smiled at the young man, “I can see so much of your mother in you.”

Jeff blushed slightly, “Thank you.”

A moment later, Emma came bounding down the stairs into the cargo bay, “Oh... more guests...”

“And who is this?' Allison asked.

“My annoying little sister,” Jeff smirked.

Emma hit her brother on the arm playfully, “Ignore Ge-ge. He's just sexually frustrated because his wife is forty light years away.”

Mal squeezed the bridge of his nose like he had a migraine while Jeff rolled his eyes and Allan chuckled. Emma was the perfect blend of Mal and Inara. Mal's often sarcastic wit, Inara's beauty and Mal's ability to hold his own in a fight.

“I'm Emma,” the girl replied.

“Allison Sexton,” the companion replied as she shook the girl's hand. Allison looked Emma up and down. While Jeff looked like a younger version of his father with Inara's dark curly hair and Mal's blue eyes. Emma looked like a much younger version of her mother. But she could see traces of Mal in her face as well. Allison noted the young woman's clothing. Tan cargo pants, A dark red long sleeved t-shirt with an open, western styled leather vest and a pistol hanging from her right hip.

“Let's get you settled, Allison,” Mal said. “We set up the port shuttle for you.”

“That will be fine, Captain.”

“I'll get her set up, Dad,” Emma offered.

Mal nodded, “I'll leave you in my girl's capable hands then.”

“Shiny,” Allison replied. Taking everyone by surprise. She smiled at the group, “I wasn't born a companion, you know...”

Mal nodded. His mind flickering back to a similar statement made by a long departed friend, “We take off in two hours.”

“Did I say something wrong?” Allison asked as Mal walked away.

Allan shook his head, “No.. just your statement was something similar to what an old friend of Mal's used to say. At least that's what Zoë told me. I never met the man.”

Trudy nodded and then turned to Emma, “Care to show me the shuttle?”

“Sure,” Emma smiled as the two women climbed the stairs.

Allan shared a look with his Son-in-law, “Looks like we get to carry the luggage...”

“I got it, Uncle... uh Allan.”

Allan grinned, “I've been your 'Uncle' longer then I've been your Father-in-law, Jeff. Don't worry about it.”

The young man smiled, “Okay.”

“I need to go find Dan. I'm sure he'll want to know where Alison is staying...”

Jeff began laughing as he climbed the stairs lugging Alison's pair of suitcases.


Two hours later, Tranquility followed by Freebird climbed away from the Blue Sun port facility and headed for the black. An hour later. Both vessels were clear of the main shipping lanes and engaged their FTL drives. Arriving over Boros in nearly the blink of an eye. Twenty minutes later. Both ships were parked on the pads at Serenity Acres.

Allan began shutting down Freebird. He glanced back to where Melissa and Robert sat behind them, “First step.”

“Indeed,” Robert replied. He had enjoyed his short stay at the compound when he and Dan had first come to the 'Verse. It seemed fitting that they were stopping there on the way back to Earth.

“Are you alright, Mr. Pace?” Melissa asked.

“I'm fine. I'm just trying to figure out what I'll need to do when we get back. I'll have to get the Embassy staff assembled. Get an ambassador assigned...”

“Spend time with Trudy...” Zoë added.

Melissa snorted and Robert smiled, “Well... there is that too.”

“Come on... We'll get you settled into the guest room at our house for the night. Then we'll run into town to do a little Christmas shopping,” Allan said.

“Mel and I will be coming along too, Husband,” Zoë said, “Need to get a few things.”

“We'll go after dinner,” Allan replied.


After a quick shopping trip to the New Edmonton Mall. Robert had found a few presents for Trudy. Allan had purchased two new guitars for Sara, replacing the ones lost when Quest was destroyed.

Zoë added in some baby things and a wedding gift for Becca and Clay. Allison had accompanied the Bryant's with Dan Reed on her arm.

As the women were in a clothing store, Allan turned to Dan, “Having a good time?”

“In what way?” the General replied.

“How much money did you bring, Dan?” Allan asked.

The younger man blushed slightly, “It's not like that... I mean... I'm not paying...”

“Relax, Dan,” Allan smiled, “Companions do have some leeway in their personal lives. And Since Allison is a house mistress, she doesn't actively take clients. And... she is on vacation...”

“She's really something...”

Robert grinned, “I know the feeling...”

Allan's face fell slightly as he remembered another time when Allison had taken a friend of his to bed. Namely Marion Vorrasi. The young woman who had been his family's bodyguard and had been murdered by the men who had kidnapped Sara twelve years before.

“You boys look to be deep in thought,” Zoë said as she walked out of the store, Allison a step behind.

“Just talking dear,” Allan smiled as he kissed his wife.

Alison slid up to Dan's side, “This store is wonderful. I would never guess that the latest Core fashions would be available here on Boros.”

Allan grinned and pointed up at the illuminated sign over the entrance, “There's a reason for that...”

Allison gasped when she saw the store's name. She hadn't noticed it before. The sign proclaimed the establishment to be “Inara's Fine Fashions for Men and Women.”

“Inara owns a clothing store?” Allison asked.

“Near on fifteen years now,” Zoë replied.

“I had no idea.”

Before anyone could reply, a shouted “Stop! Thief!” was head in the busy mall.

A few yards away, a woman had yelled as a young man had grabbed her purse and headed for the exit.

The man hadn't gone more then a few yards towards the door when he was slammed to the floor.

By Zoë.

Face down on the tile with Zoë kneeling in the center of his back and the man's right arm pined into a painful hold, the youth began swearing in English and Chinese.

“Keep still and I won't dislocate your shoulder, Boy,” Zoë snarled, “And by the way.. you're bound by law...”

Allison looked shocked. Allan turned to her, “Zoë retired as the New Edmonton Police Chief two years ago.”

“Oh...” Alison replied.

Dan stepped to Zoë's side, “Need a hand?”

“Grab his other arm, Dan,” Zoë said.

Nodding, the General grabbed the young man's other wrist and put pressure on it, causing a yelp of pain. Together the pair pulled the would be thief to his feet.

Within minutes, a New Edmonton Police officer on foot patrol in the mall for the holiday shopping rush was with them. Quickly handcuffs were snapped on the purse snatcher.

“I want to file a complaint for assault,” the youth growled.

The officer grinned at the boy, “You got no clue who she is, so you?”


The cop grinned, “That's the retired Police Chief, Boy. You're lucky you're still able to walk.” As he finished, Corporal Toby Lee grinned at Zoë.

Zoë looked at the thief, “And this one's big sister is my replacement as Chief so don't go getting any ideas...”

The young man gulped.

“Thanks, Zoë,” Toby smiled.

“Just in the right place, Toby.”

“Thanks and Merry Christmas, Zoë,” Toby called as he hauled the cuffed man to the Mall's security office, the woman who's purse had been stolen in tow.

“You too, Toby,” Zoë called back.

Allan smiled, “Everyone ready?”

“Yes.. I think so,” Allison replied, shooting Dan a glance that should have melted the buttons on his uniform if he had been wearing it.

Robert chuckled, “I know that look Dan...”

Zoë snorted in amusement, “Let's get you back afore Allison does something in public that I'll have to arrest her for.”

Allison just smiled at Zoë.


“Big day tomorrow,” Allan said as he sat on the edge of the bed.

“Free bird up to it?” Zoë asked.

“Oh yeah.”

“Good,” Zoë replied as she sat next to her husband.

Allan chuckled, “Dan's in for a wild night.”

Zoë grinned, “Reckon so... you up for a wild night yourself?”

Allan matched his wife's grin, “I'll show you wild...”


“Oh Gorrammit!” Rachel cried out as she snuggled in close to Derick as they lay on her bed in her bedroom.

Jayne had sputtered and had reached for Vera when his little girl had dragged her Fiancé towards her bedroom for the night.

It took a few choice words from River and Rachel's' little brother, Jesse to calm the big man down. Particularly when Rachel stated that she and Derick had been sleeping together the entire time they had been on Quest and that the boy had been her first, nearly two years before when he and his mother had visited Serenity Acres.

While Jayne sputtered, Rachel led Derick upstairs.

“What's wrong, Ai-ren?” Derick asked in the dark.

“Everyone's rutting is what's wrong...”

Derick grinned, “They are huh?”

“Mom and Dad... ewww. Aunt Zoë and Uncle Allan... Emma and Jack... General Reed and Allison... oh... that's an interesting technique. I'll have to try that out...”

“Try out what?” Derick asked.

Rachel grinned in the dark, “You'll find out in a minute...”


The next morning. Everyone gathered on the landing pad. Inara, Mal, Emma, Jeff, Kaylee, Simon, Jack, River, Jayne, Rachel, Derick, Jesse, Allison and Dan would travel on Tranquility. Allan, Zoë, Melissa and Robert would be on Freebird.

“We'll do it in four jumps,” Alan said as everyone gathered.

“Four?” Mal asked.

“Optimum for course corrections,” River replied, “Freebird and Tranquility do not have the enhanced sensors that Quest did.”

“Melissa and I hammered out the course this morning,” Allan added.

Mal turned to Kaylee, “Tranquility all ready to go?”

“Shr-ah, Cap'n” the mechanic replied, “All set.”

“All right then. Lets get this show on the road,” Mal stated.


Half an hour later, Freebird and Tranquility roared through space, preparing for the first jump.

Mal glanced over at River who sat in the pilot's seat and then to the co-pilots seat where his daughter sat. “We ready, ladies?”

“Aye, Cap'n” River grinned.

Inara slid up next to her husband, “It's hard to fathom that in a little over two hours, we'll be on Earth that was...”

“Not, Earth that was, Mom,” Emma said, “Earth that is.” Behind her Jack nodded.

Mal smiled and reached for the overhead ship to ship com, “Ready when you are Allan.”

On Freebird, Allan keyed his own mike, “Copy that Mal. Twenty second countdown in five seconds... mark.

River engaged the automatic systems on Allan's call. Twenty seconds later. Two bright flashes announced the departure of Freebird and Tranquility from the 'Verse.




Sunday, May 16, 2010 2:52 AM


Emma's last line was perfect. Great work and great fluff. I loved this story.

Sunday, May 16, 2010 4:01 AM


As always a wonderful read... NEXT stop.. Earth that is.. Anticipation and expectation are at a ruttin' high level here... New chapter = good weekend (even if its raining)

Yes Please!!!! May we have another??

Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:34 AM


Loved Rachel and Derick in the dark ... I think any psychics would have to develop good mental walls just to be able to get to sleep at night! Balanced, of course, by learning new techniques ...

Christmas on Earth-that-is ... next stop!


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