Undying - Chapter 2
Monday, August 9, 2010

The crew and Macleod rescue Mal from Wing's men. Back on the ship, the rest of the crew find out about Immortals.


Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. They all belong to their respective creators. I'm just playing with them a bit.


I've been fighting off this plot bunny for some time now and I finally lost and wrote this. The show I loved the most before I discovered Firefly was Highlander. So I guess this crossover was inevitable.


A Crossover between Firefly and Highlander: The Series. Ignores the events of Highlander: The Source. Post BDM in the Firefly 'Verse.




Chapter Two


Mal grunted as the thug's fist impacted his ribs... again. He licked his split lips and grinned, “You boys callin this torture? I can tell ya' I been tortured afore and this ain't it.”

The thug snarled and punched Mal across the jaw. The Captain felt a crunch and swore. The hwoon-dahn had probably just broken his jaw.

“That oughta shut you up,” the thug sneered.

Mal shrugged his shoulders as best he could with one dislocated and being tied to a chair. Taking a deep breath, he spit blood on the thugs boots and smiled.

The thug pulled back his fist...


“She flies well,” Macleod commented as he watched River pilot the shuttle.

“Near on as well as my... late husband,” Zoë replied quietly.

Jayne grunted and glared at the dandy with the long hair, “Don't see why we're bringin strangers along on an 'op.”

“Cause I said we are Jayne.”

“And what's with the sword?,” Jayne began, “Moonbrain carryin one I can see but...”

“Sword never jams. Needs no ammunition,” River commented from the pilots seat.

“Ain't manly is all,” Jayne grumbled.

Duncan chuckled slightly, “He always like this?”

“Mostly,” Zoë replied.

Duncan looked closer at Zoë. Struck by the fierceness in her eyes. It only seemed to enhance her beauty. Not to mention the veritable arsenal she was carrying upon her person.

Twin automatics in shoulder holsters, a sawed off Winchester on her hip. Several grenades and a pump shotgun laying on the deck at her feet. And enough ammo to restart the war for Independence. She also wore body armor.

The big man. Jayne. Was outfitted similarly. A lightweight flack jacket, numerous grenades. At least three pistols and a massive Callahan Autolock.

The girl pilot. River. Was carrying just a single pistol on her hip, a large bowie knife opposite and Duncan had to admit, a rather nice Katana slung across her back.

He looked down to where his own Katana hung from his hip opposite a borrowed automatic pistol.

Duncan had changed from his tuxedo into jeans, a t-shirt and his tan trench coat.

Zoë had noticed the coat earlier. She spoke up now, “Your coat looks Independent issue...”

Duncan looked at her, “I might have picked it up during the war...”

“Looked like it,” Zoë acknowledged, “Got one myself.”

Duncan grinned slightly, “Infantry?”

“How'd you know?”

“You strike me as a ground pounder.”

Zoë glared at him and Duncan smiled, “I've been one myself... a few times.”

Zoë recalled Duncan's story on the shuttle flight when he explained who and what he was, “Imagine so...”

“But in the last war I was in the Intelligence branch.”

“Spook?” Zoë asked.

Duncan nodded, “Undercover in the core.”

“Dangerous work,” Zoë acknowledged.

“Had it's moments. But I'd done it before.”


Duncan glanced over to where Jayne sat, “Tell you later.”

“Two minutes!” River called out. Jayne readied his weapons as did Zoë.

“I'll hold you to that.”


River flared the shuttle to a landing outside a modest house in a suburban neighborhood of Eavesdown. A middle class area and not a usual haunt of someone like Wing.

“Are you sure, River?” Zoë asked.

“I got the location from Wing. And I can feel the Captain.”

As Jayne slid the hatch open, Gunshots rang out, pinging off the hull. Jayne replied with a burst from his rifle. With a determined look on her face, Zoë charged out the open door, River on her heels. Duncan followed.

More shots rang out and Zoë returned fire with her Mare's leg. River gracefully sidestepped shots fired her way and picked off targets without looking. Jayne just started tossing flash bangs to keep the opposition off balance.

“Jayne, Macleod! Front door!” Zoë ordered. The two men split off for the front of the house.

Bursting through the rear gate, Zoë felled two men quickly. Before reaching the house and crashing through the kitchen door.

A shot rang out and she grunted. A bullet striking her vest. Snarling, Zoë fired and the shooter went down.

River vaulted the kitchen island, her sword out. Sticking a gunman through the chest and felling him.

As the two women reached the living room, the front door crashed in. Jayne having blown it off the hinges.

“Hold here!” Zoë ordered, “We'll get the Captain!”

“Basement!” River shouted as she headed for the slightly open door leading down.

“Jayne?” Zoë called. The big man tossed the First Mate a flash bang. Zoë pulled the pin and dropped it down the stairs.

With a sharp report, smoke billowed out of the stairwell and Zoë charged down.

“Hold it right there!” shouted a man holding a gun to a very battered Mal's head.

“Ain't gonna help,” muttered Mal.

Zoë held her Mares leg on the man holding the Captain, Likewise River moved beside her. Her own pistol aimed at the gunman's head.

“River?” Zoë asked.

“Double action pistol. Requires twice the effort for the first trigger pull. Brain stem shot will kill without endangering accidental discharge.

“Now keep back or I'll blow his brains out!” shouted the gunman holding the Captain.

“Can you get that kinda shot?” Zoë asked.

“With my eyes closed,” River grinned.

“I'm warnin ya'...”

“Take him...”

Before Zoë's words were hardy out of her mouth, a shot echoed in the basement and the thug slumped to the floor, dead. A bullet hole just behind his left ear.

“Nara safe?” Mal mumbled through his broken jaw.

“She's on Serenity, Sir.” Zoë replied as River pilled her knife and began cutting the Captains bonds.

Mal slumped in the chair with the news. Zoë turned to the stairwell, “Jayne! Rear guard, Macleod. We're gonna need help carryin him to the shuttle!”

“Who's he?” Mal mumbled through his broken jaw when Duncan came down the stairs.

“A friend.” River smiled.


Simon was waiting with Inara when the shuttle docked, “Merciful Buddha!” Inara gasped when she saw the condition Mal was in.

Carefully, Jayne and Duncan carried the Captain to the infirmary, laying him on the exam bed.

“How do you feel, Mal?” Simon asked as he placed his stethoscope against the Captain's chest.

“Been better,” Mal mumbled, “Think the hwoon-dahn broke my jaw.”

Simon's face contorted in concern for a moment, “I'll have you back together in no time. Inara? Can you stay? The rest of you leave. I need the room.”

Zoë nodded, “River. Get us in the black. Jayne get the gear stowed. Mr. Macleod? There somewhere we can drop you?”

Duncan shook his head, “Not at the moment. We need to discuss some things.”

Zoë looked at him, “Reckon we do...”


Zoë sat at the galley table. A shot of good whiskey untouched in front of her. Jayne sat at the far end, sharpening one of his knives. River was on the bridge while Simon and Inara were still with Mal in the infirmary.

Duncan stepped into the room, rousing a growl from Jayne. Macleod ignored the big man, “Can I speak with you, Zoë?”

“Go right ahead, “ Zoë replied listlessly.

“I'd prefer alone...”

Jayne paused in his sharpening and looked at her, “Zoë?”

Zoë sighed, “We're all family on this boat. What affects one affects us all.”

Duncan frowned, “Not many who are not like... us know about this.”

“I trust everyone on this boat with my... life...” Zoë snorted at the last

“What's goin on, Zo?” Jayne asked.

“Somethin happened tonight.”

“What happened?” Jayne asked.

“Wing shot me in the chest... I died...”

Jayne's eyes bugged out, “What?”

“I got better though...” Zoë trailed off.

“That don't make no ruttin sense...”

Zoë chuckled mirthlessly, “Tell me about it.”

Just then Kaylee followed by an obviously tired Simon entered the galley. Zoë looked up, “Doc?”

“He's resting,” Simon said as he took a seat. Kaylee by his side.

Kaylee suddenly noticed they had a new face and stuck her hand out, “I'm Kaylee.”

Duncan grinned back, “Duncan Macleod,” he said as he kissed her hand. Simon looked cross.

“Don't mind Simon. He gets a might jealous,” Kaylee grinned before planting a peck on her man's cheek. Simon might have come back with a witty remark but he was too tired. It was well after three am ships time.

“Why are you here?” Simon asked.

“And what's this go-se about you dyin, Zoë?” Jayne added.

Duncan sighed and nodded, “I'm here to help Zoë.”

“Help her what?” Kaylee asked.

“Help me figure out how to be an Immortal... like him...” Zoë nearly whispered before downing her shot in one gulp.

“What?” Simon said.


“No ruttin way!” Jayne exclaimed after Duncan had finished his story.

“For once I have to agree with Jayne,” Simon added, “That's scientifically impossible.”

“Nothing to do with science,” River said as she ghosted into the galley.

“You believe this go-se, Moonbrain?” Jayne asked.

“Did you believe in mind readers two years ago?” River asked as she took a seat across from her brother.

“Well... no...” Jayne sputtered.

“I can't explain what happened to me tonight,” Zoë nearly whispered, “Wing had me. The bullet hit me right here...” Zoë trailed off as she put her palm against her chest.

“It's true...” Inara said as she entered.

“How's the Captain?” Zoë asked.

“He's resting,” Inara replied, “And I cannot explain what happened to Zoë. I felt her heart stop.”

“What Zoë experienced is what we call a 'First Death',” Duncan began. “From now on. Zoë will not age. And unless someone takes her head. She cannot die... well for more than a few minutes anyway.”

“This is all go-se,” Jayne muttered.

Zoë suddenly pulled a knife from her boot and slashed her left palm. She felt the pain and blood began to drip from the cut as Kaylee let out a small squeak. A moment later, small sparks quickly knit the edges of the wound back together. When the small light show was over. Not even a scar remained of the cut.

“Wu de tyen ah,” Jayne breathed.

“Son of a bitch...” Simon whispered, “Didn't that hurt?”

Zoë was still staring at her hand, “Just for a sec. Then it felt... tingly...”

“That's par for the course,” Duncan said, “You'll also find it takes a lot more alcohol to get you drunk. And you'll sober up within minutes.”

“That ain't no fun,” Jayne muttered. Simon shot him a look while River rolled her eyes.

“What about this 'game' you spoke about?” Inara asked.

“In the end there can be only one,” Duncan began, “All immortals at some point or another must participate in the Game. We fight to the death with swords. The winner must take his opponent's head and experience a Quickening.”

“Then why ain't you tried to take Zoë's head?” Jayne asked. His hand tensing next to his gun.

“Because those of us... at least the old ones. Take on students as we find them. It's part of the code. Not a part that we all follow but most do. It's more of a tradition than a set rule.”

“Who was your... teacher?” Zoë asked.

Duncan smiled sadly, “Connor Macleod. A Clansmen. He was born about a hundred years before me.”

“What happened to him... you kill him after?” Jayne snorted.

Duncan's eyes hardened, “I killed him yes. But not for centuries. And only because it was the only way to defeat a much stronger immortal, Connor... sacrificed himself.”

“What is this... Quickening?” Simon asked.

“When another immortal takes another's head. Their power is released into the body of the victor. The winner gains both strength and knowledge from the vanquished. That is why Connor sacrificed himself. I offered my head to him but he refused. He said I was the better man.”

Duncan looked down at the wooden surface of the table. He hadn't thought of Connor in decades. Even after five hundred years, it still pained him.

River smoothly rose to her feet and moved to the kitchen, retrieving another shot glass. The young woman poured a stiff shot into the glass and slid it to Duncan.

“We all have to make sacrifices for the greater good sometimes...” River whispered.

Zoë filled her glass again and tossed it back. It was her third and she didn't even feel fuzzy, “Gonna get expensive... getting drunk from now on.”

Duncan chuckled once, “Yep.”

“So, I gotta learn to use a sword?”

“You do.”

“And you're going to teach me...” Zoë trailed off as she looked Macleod in the eyes.

“I will.”


Everyone drifted off to bed. Kaylee showing Macleod where he could bunk in the passenger dorms. Jayne was three sheets to the wind as he staggered off to his bunk forward. Kaylee and Simon retreated to Simon's room in the dorms as well.

Since becoming the pilot, River had taken over the unused crew bunk that had originally had been Wash's before he and Zoë had gotten together. After giving Zoë a sad smile, the girl climbed down.

Inara retreated back to the infirmary where she could watch over Mal. Leaving Zoë alone in the galley.

With a sigh, she slowly made her way to the bridge. Settling into the pilots... no. Wash's chair. She absently reached out and picked up a dinosaur off the console. She turned the hunk of plastic over and over in her hands.

“Why me...” Zoë whispered, “I can barely make it through the day now...”

her words cut off as a sob escaped her lips. Tears began to run down her face, “How am I gonna do this?”

The toy held in her fingers had no answer.


Duncan awoke suddenly. A noise outside his room had jolted him awake. A sudden giggle and a sift cry of, “Simon” told him all he needed to know. A slight smile on his lips, Duncan pulled himself out of bed and dressed.

After washing his face in the room's small basin, the Highlander slid back the door.

Across the hall, the door was open to the Doctor's room. Kaylee sat on the bed, zipping up her stained coveralls. When she saw Duncan, she smiled wide, “Mornin, Mr. Macleod.”

“Good morning,” Duncan replied, noting the teddy bear patch sewn on the leg of the young woman's coveralls, “Let me guess. You're the mechanic?”

Kaylee smiled wider, “That I am. You like Fireflys?”

“They're good ships.”

“That they are,” Kaylee agreed, “So... you're really from Earth-that-was?”

Duncan nodded, “I am. I was born in the highlands of Scotland.”

“Shiny,” Kaylee replied. Duncan decided that Kaylee was one of the happiest people he had ever known.

Following the mechanic past the infirmary, Duncan stopped when a muffled voice called out. Kaylee stopped as well.

On the bed inside lay the Captain. Yesterday , between the bruising, cuts and grime, Duncan hadn't been able to see what the Captain looked like. Now, after having his jaw wired shut, and the cuts cleaned up, The Captain looked vaguely familiar.

“Suo-yo duh doh dhr-dang...” Mal mumbled between his closed teeth.

Kaylee looked back and forth between the shocked expression on Mal's face and the apprehensive look on Mcleod's, “You two know one another?” Kaylee asked.

Duncan sighed, “Good to see you, Mal. Been a long while...”

“No ruttin way,” Mal mumbled, “I thought you were dead. And why are you lookin younger than me?”

“That's a long story, Mal.”

Mal looked around the infirmary and then back at the man before him, “I got plenty o' time... Uncle Mac.”




Monday, August 9, 2010 6:58 PM


Well now...things have just taken a turn for the interesting, I gotta say. What with Duncan apparently being a close friend of Mal's mom or parents (depending on what kind of back story you give Mal) that apparently hasn't aged at all. Gotta wonder how Mal's gonna take finding out both Duncan and Zoe are Immortals...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 6:09 AM


Ooh, need to read more! It would be interesting if Mal were a latent immortal, but then maybe not. And Zoe's asking what she's going to do, how she's going to go on without Wash forever ... heartbreaking.

Thursday, August 12, 2010 3:28 AM


Whew... Interesting tale.. Forever.. thats a long time to miss someone. I agree, I wonder how Zoe will deal..and Mal..Immortal?? How about a cluster of latent immortals.. like a forever Jayne or River (would definitly be the last one standing)OR timeless beauty.. Inara.. Shiny.. Im surprised your plot bunny hasnt keeled over D E A D.

YES Please!!! May we have anther ???


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I Choose You - Chapter 1
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