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Exorcising a plot bunny: Mai-Hime/Firefly collision.
Exorcising a plot bunny: Mai-Hime/Firefly collision.
This isn't exactly a crossover. Hell, it's not even a story, per se, as much as it's a thought experiment. But I stumbled across this earlier today while searching for something else in my notes and figured I'd put it up here and see what people think. I'm mostly just amused by how easy this was to do.

You Can't Take Duran From Me

Captain Natsuki Kruger:

Capsule: Captain Nat sided with the Browncoats during the war, and ever since she’s tried to keep her head down. Deeply cynical given the Alliance’s victory, she mostly just tries to keep herself and her crew alive and fed, suppressing whatever cheerful optimism may have once existed in her heart, instead wrapping it in lots of layers of ice. Ice is cold, but at least it doesn’t bleed. As of the series start, this image has started to slip around those she actually cares for, who’ve managed to defrost her some, but with the state of the ‘Verse as it is at present, that’s a fragile thing when some decisions are easier to make when you can’t be seen to care...

Interactions: Natsuki trusts Youko completely, and gets along well with Midori and Mai. Nao and she have something of a Foe Yay situation going on due to the circumstances they met under, but Natsuki’s more than willing to trust the conwoman with her back in a fight. Shizuru confuses and infuriates her, but there’s definitely tension of a different sort there. Reito is big city smooth and this rubs the backwoods blue collar Natsuki the wrong way almost all the time. The fact that Reito’s wit is sharper than her tongue just adds to the antagonism, but for the most part they aren’t going to kill each other. Natsuki can’t remotely begin to figure out Mikoto’s ramblings, and Sister Yukariko she generally avoids if at all possible.

Role: Natsuki’s pretty much Mal here in his entirety, albeit her interactions with Shizuru are a bit less antagonistic than Mal’s with Inara. While Shizuru may drive her up a wall, Natsuki can’t genuinely bring herself to be cruel to her....except by obliviousness.

First Mate Youko Helene:

Capsule: Natsuki’s first mate and the only surviving member of her unit from their days in the Unification Wars. As good with her guns as she is with her field medic skills, Youko is generally seen as the voice of cool reason to Natsuki’s occasional flares of hot-tempered rashness. Has dragged her captain out of more bars every Unification Day than she cares to count. That said, working on the Duran did help her meet the love of her life, so there’s something to be said for it.

Interactions: Youko’s loyal to Natsuki to a fault, and loves her wife more than words can say. She takes a team mom role to most of the rest of the crew, though she and Shizuru are perhaps on a little more even social standing from her point of view. Mai could be, but for the most part, Youko just feels old when she’s looking at the chipper young engineer. Not that it’s a knock against her - Midori much the same, and hasn’t changed since she was 16. Given they both grew up in the Inner Worlds (albeit with drastically different reasons for leaving them) and their shared medical training experience, Youko feels a kinship with Reito, and tries to shield the young man from Natsuki where she can...or at least prevent them from ripping each other to pieces.

Role: Youko slots into Zoe mostly because Midori was an easy fit for Wash and Midori’s canonical love interest is basically maybe two shots in the TV series and an Indiana Jones stereotype scene at the end. As it is, Youko gives the crew a doctor before Reito arrives with his sister, but that common ground gives him an early ally that Simon didn’t have. While Youko is less obviously a retired soldier than Zoe, she actually has the broader skillset... which can be scary if she decides she needs to use it for something other than healing.

Helmswoman Midori Suigira:

Capsule: An old childhood friend of Youko’s from before the war, Midori got picked as a potential pilot for the Duran when the ship was just Youko’s way of keeping her captain out of the bottle rather than a concrete business venture. Midori and Youko hit it off like firecrackers upon being reunited, and are the Happily Married Couple onboard. While ditzy and eccentric, Midori’s piloting skills acknowledge only passing acquaintanceship with the laws of physics, and the settled state of her passengers’ digestive tracts is generally considered a “creature comfort”. General jokester and source of good natured humor onboard, as compared to Nao’s snarkiness or Shizuru’s veiled jibes. Despite her ostensible role as pilot and getaway driver, Midori would be just as happy strapping on a pulse pistol and following her wife into the firefights. Either gets her adrenaline pumping, which leads to entertaining nights afterwards in the cabin...

Interactions: Midori gets along with everyone pretty much the same, and she and Youko are sickeningly sweet together. She’s a big fan of teamwork and would like everyone to get along if possible. The effects of this are evident in the fact that Nao’s still a part of the crew rather than getting off at the first stop, and the fact that she supported Youko whole-heartedly in suggesting Reito and Mikoto stay aboard.

Role: Midori was the zaniest person in the Hime cast, and thus she fit pretty well as Wash. Unlike Wash, however, Midori is hardly a backstage character, and can hold her own in a fight if she needs to. Unfortunately and irritatingly for her, more often than not, it’s more important that she get the Duran ready to run than be in the field. Nonetheless, she’s fairly content with her life, much like the pilot she’s replacing.

Grifter Juliet “Nao” Zhang:

Capsule: Nao came onboard in a supposedly accidental “marriage” to the good captain, which caused many a joke and more than a few sparks with the resident Companion, mostly given Natsuki’s typical response to anything resembling emotional issues: ignore it and hope it goes away. However, sweet little “Juliet” certainly turned out to be less than honest about her reasons, and nearly got the Duran fried and stolen and the crew killed in an electromagnetic net. After the crew got out of the situation, Natsuki was basically talked down from spacing the conwoman by Midori, who suggested they could use someone as good as her on the crew, given they’d just blown up her old one. Under threat of various awful things if she put one toe out of line, Nao was taken in essentially as a gunner, though she does get to ply her preferred trade from time to time. Fast forward a few years and she’s Natsuki’s go-to shooter after Youko, though the Captain would rather try to swallow Midori’s cooking than be stuck in a room with her and Shizuru at the same time.

Interactions: Nao has something of a love-hate relationship with Shizuru. The two are very much alike, but Nao took her Companion training in entirely different directions from Shizuru, and can’t help but try to bait the cat when she sees Shizuru’s hackles rise at Nao getting a blush out of the captain. Truthfully, Nao doesn’t really care about anything resembling intimacy, or even friendship. The Duran’s just proved to be a decent way to make a buck...until recently. She greatly dislikes Reito for being smart enough to think rings around her and despises Mikoto even more for being so damn innocent and at the same time bringing the Alliance down on their heads. Her respect for Sister Yukariko is grudging, more the remnants of her upbringing than any real belief in her authority. Secretly a mama’s girl, as the handknit hat she hides in her quarters attests.

Role: Nao is obviously slotted into Saffron, but she’s also fused a little bit with Jayne’s concept. Aside from Jaynestown, we hardly have any background on his real history. However, Jayne’s line of “there ain’t people like that! Just people like me!” is very Nao, so the two were somewhat fused together. She also serves as something of a spoiler between Natsuki and Shizuru, to compensate for the loss of Mal’s typical brusqueness.

Engineer Mai Tokiha

Capsule: Mai came with the Duran in more ways than one. Natsuki’s spotting the engineering prodigy was a stroke of luck, given her boyfriend at the time was claiming her work was his. The coup was completed when it turned out that Mai was also a part time chef in her spare time and as good around the kitchen as the engine room. Since then, she’s been adopted as the semi-official little sister of the crew, even if she’s not notably as tough around the edges as the rest. But Reito and his sister coming onboard stirred all that up in new ways.

Interactions: Mai gets along with everybody, and is more tolerant of Mikoto’s antics, a holdover of when she helped raise her own siblings. She’s definitely keen on Reito, however, to the amusement of everyone (except maybe Natsuki) involved.

Role: Mai’s caring and sunny disposition slotted her into Kaylee’s role pretty early when it was determined that Reito would be taking Simon’s spot in order to try to at least have one guy on the entire ship. Downside of the Shoujo genre, I guess. It means that Mai takes less of a lead than she does in canon, but in canon, Mai only became the hero by accident. She was never really the “leader” of the group, so it’s not that surprising.

Sister Yukariko

Capsule: Sister Yukariko is just an ordinary missionary traveling about the spacelanes of the ‘Verse, who got on about the same time as Reito and Mikoto. That said, no one on the ship is without their secrets, and the Sister is no exception.

Interactions: Yukariko basically acts as a voice of morality and reason aboard the ship, and she and Nao somewhat conflict over this, though Nao’s more likely to blow her off than argue with her. Surprisingly, Yukariko and Shizuru get along well, despite Shizuru’s line of work. The rest of the crew basically benefit from her good nature. Natsuki, however, possibly gets more chiding than most others.

Role: Yukariko is obviously slotting in for Shepherd Book here, which is a very odd combination. Like Youko, she’s benefiting from her slot’s “skillset”, and is a bit more competent of a fighter here than she is in -HiME, being closer to her -Otome incarnation, really. And like Book, she has her own shrouded past, mostly connected with her rarely heard surname of Greer...

Reito Minagi

Capsule: Reito had everything he could want in his life until his little sister went missing. He threw away everything he’d ever had to get her back, and wound up aboard the Duran. Now, he’s something of the odd duck on the crew, being used to inner world prestige and comfort, rather than the kill or be killed of the outer rim. But if it’s for his sister, he’ll adapt...and possibly even thrive.

Interactions: Reito gets on well with most of the crew, though Nao typically considers him a pussy richboy and his opinion of her isn’t much higher. Similarly, Natsuki mostly sees him and his sister as a burden that makes her job of keeping her crew alive and fed harder, though she’d never throw them to the Alliance. This doesn’t mean either of them like the situation they’re in, though. He genuinely enjoys Youko’s company, and there may be some flickers of something more between himself and Mai. But first and foremost, Reito is determined to keep his little sister Mikoto safe.

Role: Reito is very obviously slotting in for Simon, but there are some differences. Whereas Simon is awkward, Reito is rather smooth. He snarks a bit more readily than Simon did, as he has a bit more self-confidence in himself. This, combined with a more receptive crew environment with Youko and Midori’s support, means he’s learning the game that this section of the ‘Verse runs on a bit faster than Simon did. And he knows he has skills that the Duran’s crew need. Not just medical, but he has an air of respectability only Shizuru can really equal, and for which she has his respect. Essentially, Reito is where Simon probably would’ve gotten to be if Firefly had had more than the one season.

Mikoto Minagi

Capsule: Mikoto was a bright young child with a penchant for dance, before she got an invitation to the prestigious Fuka Academy. Now she’s crazy, scatterbrained, and just not entirely there, occasionally seeming more like a cat than a person. Even if she’s capable of a whole lot more than she’s letting on, or maybe even aware of...

Interactions: Mikoto trusts her brother, and that was about it until Mai won her over with her cooking. This has basically increased her list of people she acts affectionately around to 2 people total, whereas everyone else gets the weirdo, borderline unhinged version. Most of the crew kind of tolerate MIkoto, in the way you don’t say anything rude about your friend’s retarded cousin.

Role: Mikoto is, obviously, replacing River here, though she’s less out and out creepy and more just weird in comparison. Pretty much everything else is much the same, though Mikoto isn’t quite the genius River was pre-mindscrew. Mysterious waifs ahoy!

Shizuru Fujino

Capsule: Professional Companion, Shizuru is the epitome of grace, intelligence, beauty, and sexuality, being just about anything that the person in question needs of her. Despite all this, her heart seems reserved for one person in particular, even if Natsuki doesn’t seem to be aware of it. But Shizuru’s set her sights on her, and she’ll get a straight answer (no pun intended) out of her yet.

Interactions: Shizuru is laid back around most people, almost seeming lazy. Despite their seeming doctrinal dispute, she and Yukariko get along well, while Youko and Shizuru have sort of an “older women’s club” where they comment on the rest of the crew amongst themselves. Reito is an interesting sort to her, as his sharp mind shows potential to her, and she’s somewhat cautiously mentoring him in skills one doesn’t develop in the inner worlds, even if he doesn’t realize it yet. Similarly, she’s pleasant around Mikoto, even if she’s not aware there’s more to the girl than meets the eye. Nao is probably the closest to a hot button she has, and mostly just whenever the conwoman is vamping on her Natsuki. Just because she’s patient doesn’t mean she’s a stone.

Role: Shizuru fits well into Inara’s role, though she, like Natsuki, changes their role the most in how they interact with their Unresolved Sexual Tension partner. Similarly, she retains Inara’s tendency towards unexpected skills, and her own rivalry with Nao.

"Oh, silver blade, forged in the depths of the beyond. Heed my summons and purge those who stand in my way. Lay
... Wow. I like this fic. I'm excited to be a part of it. I'd dearly love to see this crew meet Mal's... Wink
Sucrose Octanitrate.
Proof positive that with sufficient motivation, you can make anything explode.
Given the names
Shouldn't it be a Mai-Otome/Firefly fusion?

Anyway, it's interesting that you would have Natsuki in the captain position, rather than Mai--she is, after the, the titular character. But Natsuki is pretty cool, if lacking that certain Jim Rockford-quality that Mal always had.

But what's really surprising is that you made Mai the engineer but DIDN'T make Yuuichi and Shiho into the Simone/River siblings. Was there, other than Shizuru, a more crazy Hime than Shiho? Or, other than Tomoe, a more crazy Otome?

But on the other hand, I do like this fusion. It should be funny and I look forward to reading this from you

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