Joss Whedon owns all the characters.
Everybody sat in silence for a good long while. They each had a glass of whiskey in their hands. Dawn shifted uncomfortably in her seat. The silence was starting to border on awkward. She decided to break it by asking River a question that suddenly popped into her brain.
"Why didn't you tell me we were Slayers?" she asked. "I thought being a psychic meant you were supposed to know about this sort of thing."
River gave her a dirty look. "Being psychic means I can read minds, dumbass. It doesn't mean I know everything."
"And it doesn't mean you can call Dawnie names," Simon said. He drank the rest of his whiskey in one gulp.
"Are you okay there Doc?" Mal asked.
Simon shook his head. "No, I'm nowhere close to being okay. I found out one of my sister's used to be a blob of energy and lived on Earth That Was. And to top it all off, both of my sisters have been turned into some sort of superhero."
Illyria cocked her head to the side. "You should be grateful that there are very few vampires and demons left. In the old days, Slayers often had short lives that ended with brutal deaths."
Dawn smacked her forehead in exasperation. She should have known she could count on Illyria to make Simon feel even worse. Kaylee looked at Illyria curiously. "If you were a demon, how come you look kind of human?"
Illyria glared at her. "I had to take over this shell--"
"Fred," Spike interrupted. He sent a death glare to Illyria. "Her name was Fred."
"I took over Fred's body when I was released from my sarcophagus. She fought me but it was no use."
"So Fred was an actual person?" Wash asked.
Illyria closed her eyes and switched to being Fred. "Hi y'all," she said with a big grin.
The crew's eyes widened in shock. Inara even put her hand on Mal's arm, which was a move that Dawn, River and Spike didn't miss. "What's with those two?" Spike whispered in Dawn's ear.
"They're two people who don't seem to realize they need to get groin-y with one another," Dawn whispered back.
"What are you two whispering about?" Simon asked.
"Nothing," Dawn said innocently. "So Mal, why don't you tell Spike and Illyria about Serenity."
River gave her a look. She shrugged and began playing with Spike's hair as Mal explained who everyone was and some things about the ship. Spike rubbed his thumb on her stomach. He was staring at each crew member carefully, sizing each one up and making mental notes. She smiled happily. She had missed Spike so much. He and Buffy were the only ones who made her feel completely safe.
"So what about the smoochies plan?" Jayne asked. He looked at River and Dawn eagerly. "Does this mean I get smoochies?"
"No!" Simon and Mal said at the same time.
"Maybe," River and Dawn said together.
"What?" Mal and Simon exclaimed.
Zoe frowned. "Why would you want to smooch Jayne of all people?"
"Hey!" Jayne yelled.
"Why not?" River replied. "He's smooch-able."
"No, no he's not!" Simon screeched. He covered his ears. "I can't hear this."
Spike chuckled. "Easy there Doc. Don't get your knickers all in a bunch."
"I find the girl man to be very smooch-able," Illyria said.
"Is smooch-able even a word?" Book asked.
"It is now," said Wash.
Dawn sighed. "We've been over this Simon. We can't you smooch you, Mal, Wash or Book. That pretty much leaves Spike and Jayne."
"You could smooch Illyria," Jayne suggested.
Everybody gave him a dirty look.
"Wait, why can't you smooch the captain?" Kaylee asked.
"Why do you have to ask that?" Mal asked. "Can't we just be happy I'm not involved in the smoochies?"
"We have our reasons," Dawn said.
"His body warms for the companion," Illyria stated.
"Subtlety, thy name is not Illyria," Spike said with a laugh.
Inara and Mal looked at Illyria in shock. Illyria looked right back at them, daring them to challenge what she just said. Mal finally just shook his head. "Dawn, what the hell did you bring on my gorram ship?"
"I didn't bring anything with me!" Dawn replied. "Blame the stupid PTBs for this mess."
"Doesn't it bother anyone else that they just expect us to fight this war?" Wash asked.
"That's the PTBs for you," Spike said. "They jerk you around and expect you to go along with their little puppet game. The trick is to figure out if what they want you to do is worth it."
"And is this fight going to be worth it?" Inara asked.
"If it means putting the hurt on the Alliance, I have to say yeah," Mal said.
"Well whatever we're doing, we can do it tomorrow," said Dawn. "Right now I'm tired."
"And that brings us to the problem of where are new guests are going to sleep," Mal said. "We've only got one bedroom left."
"They can share," Dawn said. "Illyria doesn't actually sleep that much."
"But she can put a whole petri dish in her mouth," River said with a grin.
Simon frowned at Illyria. "You put a whole petri dish in your mouth?"
Illyria nodded. "I had to analyze it." She turned around and left the room.
"She's certainly interesting," Book said slowly.
"Yeah," Spike agreed. "But if you ever hear her say the words "muck at my feet" you better start running. She can rant for hours about how humans are beneath her."
Mal eyed him carefully. "Can you keep her in line?"
Dawn chuckled. "Mal, Illyria won't let anybody but herself keep her in line. But I think Spike and I can talk her down some if she gets too riled up."
"And what about him?" Mal asked, pointing to Spike.
"Hey, I'm sitting right here!" Spike objected.
Dawn patted Spike on the shoulder. "Don't worry," she said to Mal. "I've got him Niblet-whipped."'
River giggled. "Wow sis, I didn't know you like playing the dominatrix."
"River!" Dawn screeched. She got up to slap her sister but River moved. Squealing, Dawn chased after her.
Everybody stared after them, not sure what to say. Finally, Jayne spoke up.
"I'll be in my bunk."