Characters: Buck Frobisher, Julie Frobisher, Inara Serra, Malcolm Reynolds
Summary: A little family history. Written for donutsweeper's prompt for the Six Degrees Meme
Author's Notes: Completely cracked, as is wont to happen when connecting a 20th century Mountie to a 25th Century prostitute. Only 5 ficlets because I thought it was getting repetitive.
"She's too young to ride a horse, Dad," Julie Frobisher insisted.
Her father, decked out in his Red Serge as usual (could she ever remember a time when he wasn't in red?), paid no attention to his daughter and placed Patty on the horse's back.
"Nonsense, never too young to learn," Buck declared. "Right, now, Patty, take the reins." He held out the straps to the little girl, who put them in her mouth. "Great Scott, do you ever feed this girl?"
Julie hid her smile. "Yes, Dad."
"You wouldn't know it."
"Poppa!" Patty giggled. She leaned sideways and plucked his hat off his head with a chubby hand. Julie winced as she started to fall off the horse, but Buck caught her and Patty giggled again. The little girl put the hat on her head. "Mount-EE!"
Buck beamed. "She's destined for the Police, this one."
Julie rolled her eyes. "Yes, Dad."
"Why do we have to name him 'Buck'?"
Lacey Redgrove (nee Frobisher), frowned her husband. "We don't have to name him 'Buck', we just have to call him 'Buck'."
Constable Jim Redgrove adjusted his lanyard in the mirror and looked at his wife's reflection. "If it's a boy, I will not call him 'Buck'."
"It's tradition!" Lacey objected. "Every generation has had a Buck Frobisher in it for decades."
"He won't be a Buck Frobisher," Jim said, patiently. "He'll be a Buck Redgrove and frankly, that's just asking for him to be a stripper or some sort of Native shaman."
Lacey tossed his Stetson to him. "Don't be ridiculous."
"Don't throw the hat," Jim said, dusting it off. "It's sacred."
"We're calling him 'Buck'."
Jim pecked his wife on the lips. "Then I hope it's a girl."
"Are we going to die?" Francey Redgrove asked her mother.
Carson looked over to her from the Wave she was listening to, intently. "Of course not, why would you ask that?"
"'Cause Lisa says that the United States and China is gonna become one big country and eat Canada," Francey said. "And we're all going to die."
"That's silly," Carson said, flicking the Wave off. "We aren't going to die, and they aren't going to 'eat' us. We're just going to join with them and become American or Chinese. Or...Americanese."
"But, if we ain't Canadians no more, you won't have a job," Francey continued. "You can't be a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeperson if there's no Canadian or Royal left."
"Don't worry," her mother soothed. "Everything will be fine."
"Will you still get to wear your hat?"
Carson smiled and tickled her daughter under the chin. "I'll wear it anyway."
"Hurry up, Ming!" Cree Serra called her granddaughter. "The ships are leaving soon. We have to be on one of them."
"I can't find it!" Ming called back.
"The special one. Great-Grandpa said it's a good luck hat and I had to always keep it."
Cree sighed and dropped her suitcase at the front door, running back to Ming's room. She could see the girl's feet sticking out from under her bed.
"Ming, there's no time," Cree insisted. "Please!"
"I found it!" Ming's muffled voice sounded. She came out on the other side of the bed holding the battered hat. 'Stetson', Cree thought it was called. "I'm ready."
"We have to run," Cree said. "Grab your bag."
Ming put the hat on her head and followed quickly after her grandmother, for the ships that would leave Earth behind forever.
"What's with the hat?" Malcolm Reynolds demanded, one day.
Inara sighed and gave up the idea of ever getting any meditation done on this ship. "I've told you to knock."
"I remember," Mal said. He was twirling something between his hands.
"And, do not go through my things!" Inara added. She got up and snatched the hat away from him.
"It was sitting open," Mal defended himself. He gestured to a trunk that she had been looking through. "So, what's with the hat? All yer mêilì decorations and you got this old thing lyin' around?"
"It wasn't lying around," Inara pointed out. "It was in a chest, in my room, in my shuttle, where you aren't supposed to enter without knocking. It's...manly and impulsive." Mal gave her a smirk and she realized he wasn't leaving until he got an explanation. "It's a family heirloom. It's ancient, from Earth-That-Was. Part of an old military uniform in a country called Jiā ná dà*. Family legend says it belonged to a great hero called Xióng lù** who battled in the Great North."
Mal nodded. "Shiny. Prolly worth sumthin'. Don't show Jayne."
"I wasn't going to show it to anyone, Captain," Inara said. "Please, leave!"
"Arite, arite. Don't need to get fussy."
Inara waited until the door had closed and then carefully wrapped the hat up in a silk scarf and placed in back in her trunk once more.
*Chinese for Canada
** Chinese for 'Buck'