Characters/Pairings: Mal, Book; Crowley-Badger
Spoilers: Series for Firefly, Vauge S5 for Supernatural
Disclaimer: I don't own a thing.
A/N: Written for crossovers_las for the prompt: "blasphemy"
Summary: Shepard Book goes along with Mal to meet Badger and discuss a few things about their past... and future.
Oh now there’s a twist. Entirely not expected, that. Malcolm Reynolds’ little band of Merry Men has picked up a Shepard. I didn’t expect that little lost lamb to open his doors to a holy man. More to the point of business, I definitely didn’t expect him to bring one along to a job.
“Mal,” I say heartily. It’s false as everything else about me, but part of the image. “I thought you didn’t bring tourists along.”
“Not a tourist. Badger, Shepard Book.” Mal’s a stickler for manners, right until he gets angry. It’s endearing for an old soul like me.
The Shepard looks vaguely familiar as he nods in greeting, but I can’t place him. No matter. He gets the same treatment as all the others.
“There’s no choir to preach to here, Shepard. If you’re hoping to lead me away from temptation, I’m afraid you’re a lifetime too late.” I let my voice harden. “Cross me, make me lose money, and Mal will be flying a little lighter, dong ma?”
“No need to get tetchy. Nobody’s said anything yet,” Mal cut in. “I’m just here for business.”
“Goods are in the back. Giorgio will take you,” I say, jerking my thumb back towards the mook at the door.
“Don’t worry about me, Mal. I just want to have a friendly chat with Badger,” the Shepard said smoothly. Mal looked skeptical, but Book sits down in my favorite chair as if he doesn’t have a care in the world. Oh yes, I think I know him now. Or I know the type.
Mal looks at both of us as if doubting our sanity, but heads for the back room with Giorgio anyway, leaving us alone.
“Naughty Shepard,” I say, steepling my fingers in front of me. “Consorting with thieves and smugglers and killers. Nasty stuff. Blasphemy, even.”
“That’s ironic, coming from you Crowley.”
I chuckle a bit, and the Shepard looks surprised.
“Expecting a bigger reaction? Can’t say I’m sorry to disappoint.” I lean over to pour tea for the both of us, watching the Shepard watching me, as if expecting me to try to slip him poison.
“Given as you haven’t used that name in a good four hundred years, perhaps I was.” The Shepard takes a sip, eyeing me warily.
“Given as not one hunter in a thousand knew me, perhaps I am a little curious,” I admit. It doesn’t matter how he found me though. No reason to give up this identity if I don’t have to.
“My family’s been hunters since Earth-that-was. One of my ancestors, Rufus Turner, ran with the Winchesters. You’ve let your standards down, Crowely.”
“Necessary changes. I was running out of room for hunter body parts in my trophy room. So, change of pace.”
“Whatever you think you’re doing to Mal, you can think again. I’ve warded the ship. No more sabotage, no more tip-offs to the authorities. If you try to drive him to a deal, you’re going to find it very, very difficult to do business from now on.”
“Ah, you spotted my handiwork?” It’s obscurely flattering. Not that many hunters around these days to appreciate the finer aspects of my work.
“Not two days out of the abbey and the first ship I want to fly on is covered in sulfur dust. Everyone thought it was just dirt from the bazaar.”
I smile as I drink and don’t bother to hide it. Mal’s ship is tough, and his little engineer is smart, but where would the fun be without giving Mal something else to worry about? He ends up on Persephone looking for repairs far more often than he should, thanks to me. I like to keep my best prospects close.
“Well?” Book demands quietly.
“Don’t beg, Shepard, you’re embarrassing yourself. And what’s it to you if I get Malcolm Reynolds? Don’t tell me you’re actually after that charity case. He’s a faith-broken believer, and I know he hates everything you stand for. He doesn’t even allow anyone to say grace on his ship.”
The little smile Book gets on his face is one I’ve seen on my own of a morning. No further calls please, cosmos, we have a winner.
“Oh, I see. This isn’t charity, it’s martyrdom. What have you been up to, Shepard?” I ask. The anticipation is lovely.
“Things I’d rather not say.” He plays reluctant very well.
“Those are the kinds of things I like to hear,” I challenge.
“Far more to your taste than anything Captain Reynolds has ever done.”
“You do know what I like.” I put my cup down and lean back. “So, a deal.”
“Me for Mal and his crew. I tell you what I’ve done. You keep your hands off them.”
I wave nonchalantly. “Already done. I’ll have Giorgio take the hex bags out of the shipment Serenityi’ll be carrying. Now, how long? What are you offering?”
The Shepard pretends to think. “We get back to Persephone often enough. Every time we do, we’ll have a little Bible study.”
I do laugh. I have to.
“During which I’ll tell you the things I’ve done. As long as I have things to tell you, I stay alive.”
“No stalling,” I counter. “I like my lists of sins long and juicy. If you can’t work that into your ‘Bible studies,’ the deal’s off and I collect you then and there. And Malcolm Reynolds is free game again.”
“Done.” The Shepard reaches his hand across to shake mine.
I smile as I pick up my cup and clink it with the Shepard’s. “To your health.”
The Shepard raises his cup. “To Malcolm Reynolds.”
We drink, and I sputter and cough as my mouth catches fire, smoke pouring from it.
“Holy water in the tea?” I gasp in indignation.
The Shepard rises from the table, his Bible in his hand. “Consider that my first confession.”
I smile as he leaves. Oh, I am going to enjoy this as long as he lasts.