AN: I'm such a huge Firefly fan and have had this in my head for a while. This story begins after "Out of Gas" and will continue from there. A quick thanks to iNf3ctioNZ, who took the time to read this and encouraged me to upload. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Firefly does not belong to me.

Alexandria Firenze moved back into the shadow of the pillar. The two men who had been following her stood in the street, aimlessly looking up and down. A smile curved into the corner of her mouth. She certainly couldn't deny her father's persistence in finding her. This was the third time in the four months she had been gone where she had been tracked down.

She had rather enjoyed this twisted version of cat and mouse. But now it was really time to move on. Running around from country to country was one thing…but what she really needed was to get off the planet.

She checked her holster, making sure her pistols were secure, and then grabbed her duffel bag and guitar case walking quickly to the other end of the dock. She kept her face down, long dark hair falling forward to further conceal her face. She disappeared into the throng of travelers, some disembarking on her home planet and others leaving, perhaps looking for a better life.

The dock itself was filled with spaceships of various sizes. However, one particular ship caught her attention. It wasn't anything specific that stood out for her…just the fact that it looked ready to take off – exactly what she was looking for. She quickened her steps, weaving through the crowd, trying to reach the ship without knocking anybody out with her guitar case.

"Wait!" Alex called out.

A girl turned around, smile on her face as she twirled an umbrella in her hand. "Ya looking for passage?" she asked.

Alex nodded, already walking up the ramp to enter the ship.

"Where ya headed?" the girl asked, eyes squinting in the sunlight.

"Anywhere," Alex shrugged. She turned back, scanning the crowd for her father's thugs. So far, so good.

"Dontcha even wanna know how much we charge?"

"Doesn't matter as long as it gets me away from here," Alex sighed, her patience running thin with so many questions.

"Hey, Kaylee, she comin' or not?" a voice called out from the cargo bay. "We gotta go."

"Good to go, Cap'n," Kaylee replied, and Alex followed her into the ship.

Behind them, the cargo bay doors closed, and Alex caught a quick glimpse of her two shadows, completely oblivious to her escape, just before the doors sealed shut. She let out a small sigh of relief, moving over to join the other passengers.

"Name's Malcolm Reynolds," the man who had called out to Kaylee said. "I'm the captain of Serenity. Your belongings will be secured down here in the cargo hold. Make sure you have everything you need. You will not be allowed back into the hold until we land at our next destination."

Everyone nodded, placing their suitcases down on one side of the ship. Alex threw down her own duffle bag on top of the rest of the luggage.

"I'm gonna need to take a look inside that case, ma'am," Reynolds said, moving to stand next to her.

Alex placed it on top of one of the supply crates and flipped the latches, lifting the lid to reveal a glossy, black acoustic guitar.

"Sometimes a guitar case is just a guitar case," she said, throwing the man a grin.

Reynolds smiled back, throwing his arms up in defense. "I can never be too careful," he replied, then pointed to her pistols. "But I am gonna need to ask you to hand over your weapons."

The smile left Alex's face. She could certainly understand the man's request. It was, after all, his ship, and he had no reason to trust her. But she didn't trust him either, and she wasn't going to give up her weapons.

"I'm sorry, Captain, I can't do that," she said, hands moving slowly to her holster.

He motioned to a man that had been unloading the supplies. The burly man sauntered next to Reynolds, rifle pointed at her. She quickly took out one pistol and aimed it at him. Behind her, the other passengers gasped.

"My ship, my rules," the captain said, arms still held out as if trying to maintain some peace in the situation. "If you want passage, you're gonna need to surrender your weapons."

"I'll surrender one bullet," she replied, her silver eyes calmly meeting Reynolds' blue ones. "Where do you want it?"

The air grew tense. She heard shuffling, and she could only guess that the rest of the passengers were scampering away looking for cover. Alex remained still, pistol pointed at Reynolds' accomplice.

"Put down your gun," she said coolly.

Reynolds gave her a questioning look, waving his hands, palms out to show he had no weapons. "I don't have a gun."

"Not you," Alex replied, her eyes still not leaving the captain's. She cocked her head to the side. "Her."

The woman that Alex was referring to was making her way down the steps of the gangway, shotgun raised. She lifted an eyebrow, perhaps surprised that Alex had heard her trying to sneak in from behind.

"Are we really going to let her do this, sir?" the woman asked, making her way to stand next to Reynolds, shotgun still aimed at Alex's torso.

"Of course not," he smiled, still not breaking eye contact with her. "Jayne, take her weapon."

Alex tensed, waiting for the woman to make her attempt to disarm her. However, it was the man with the rifle who reached out to grab the pistol that was still pointed at him. Alex took a step back, and then slid forward, disarming the man called Jayne in one quick move. She swung the rifle over, one weapon pointed at the woman and the other at Jayne, who now raised his hands up in defense.

She had to hand it to Captain Reynolds, though, it was a great tactic. She had definitely been expecting the woman to make a move.

"Why don't we make a deal?" Alex asked, her eyes momentarily leaving Reynolds' to rove over the cargo hold. "You need money, and I need to get out of here. Now, I've got money." Her eyes came back to his, a half smile appearing on her lips. "Can you get me out of here?"

He seemed to be thinking her question over, before replying, "Yeah, I can get you the hell off my ship."

Alex knew she hadn't made the best first impression. In her defense, this would be her first time off planet, and she felt it was better to be exaggeratingly cautious than not at all. However, Reynolds seemed to know what he was doing. He had a sturdy ship, and a crew who he obviously trusted…and, more importantly, trusted him. She made her decision to stay, no matter what it took.

"How about I pay you double, and you can take my weapons?" she suggested with a slight shrug.


"Is this really necessary?" Alex asked, wriggling in the chair she had been tied down in.

"You started it," Jayne snorted back a laugh from the other side of the room.

Alex resisted the urge to roll her eyes at the man…something she had been trying to do since she had gotten stuck with him. She turned over to the captain, who sat on the edge of the bed, forearms resting on his thighs as he leaned in to give her a firm look.

"Alright, here's the deal," he said. "We should be landing on Palaven in a couple days. You are to stay here in Jayne's room until we get there. Then you get the hell off my ship."

"But I'm a paying passenger!" Alex stated emphatically, still struggling against the confines of the thick rope.

"And so are the rest of those people out there who you scared to death with that little stunt you pulled in the cargo hold," he answered, getting up and walking over to the rungs that led to the doorway. "That's why you're staying here where we can keep an eye on you."

Alex let out a defeated sigh, looking down at the floor. She could easily just break the legs of the chair and use that to loosen up the ties. But she didn't want any more marks against her. She would play along with the captain in hopes that they would see that she was not a threat.

"Just one thing that's bothering me, though," Reynolds said, walking back to stand in front of her, a finger on his chin as if he was contemplating something. "Why didn't you point the guns at me?"

Alex shrugged. "Because you're the captain," she stated simply.

She could feel his eyes on her, waiting for her to elaborate. When she didn't, he asked, "Is that supposed to mean something?"

Alex looked up, a cool look on her face as she met his eyes. "You tell me."

He frowned at her, understanding all too well the meaning of her words. He left, leaving the question of his captaincy up in the air. She turned to Jayne, who had kept busy stripping a rather large gun.

Great, a whole two days with this idiot, she thought sardonically, as she tried to make herself more comfortable.

"Hey," she called out to Jayne. "I need to go to the bathroom."

Jayne jerked his head over to a drawer at his side, not even bothering to look up at her. Alex knitted her brows together, completely at a loss as to what he was trying to tell her. Then, Jayne reached over and pulled out the drawer to reveal a toilet bowl.

"That's the bathroom?" she asked, making a disgusted face.

Jayne spared her a quick glance, a grin appearing on his face. "Well, it ain't a wishing well."

Alex leaned her head back against the wall, closing her eyes and letting out a loud sigh.

It was going to be a long two days.