Note: I have no idea when this will get updated. Also, be forewarned, this features pairings of Cordelia/Angel, Buffy/Spike, Dawn/Connor, Xander/Anya, and possibly River/Jayne.
All standard disclaimers apply. They are not mine, Joss is a genius, and I am just digging through his toybox.
Three months had passed since Miranda. Three months, and Zoe had yet to shed so much as a single tear. The others, they all just thought she was holding it in until she was alone. Surely, she must be going to her bunk, sobbing through sleepless nights. Even Mal, the one person who knew her better than the rest, he just kept reminding himself how Zoe was a private person. She’d told him that day she wore the pink collared shirt for the first time since . . . well, she’d told him she was gonna be OK. Man had been her husband. It would take time. Time, however, was running out. Something had to be done, something extreme. It was time for a little visit from the family.
It was as normal a day between jobs as the crew of Serenity was ever likely to know. Simon and Kaylee were up to things Mal just did not want to know about in the engine room. Jayne was lifting in the bay. Mal sat in Wash’s old seat, watching as River expertly set the auto pilot, probably so she could go watch Jayne in that creepifyin’ way she’d taken to lately. Another on the list of things Mal didn’t care to think on too much. Just before flipping the last switch, River cocked her head to the side and grinned a little before grabbing the com and calling Zoe up. Mal was sputtering his whys when the wave came in. “For you,” River said, staring at Zoe and pointing at the nearest screen. Somehow River managed to hustle Mal out of his own gorram bridge and close the door before he even managed to sputter indignantly about him being the captain. He probably would have protested more had she not handed him off to Inara before skipping off to the bay.
Zoe studied the image on the screen, unable to convince herself it was true. They weren’t supposed to have contact. It was against the Rules. Of course, when had her family ever cared much for the rules anyway? “Hi sweetie!” Cordelia Chase, higher being and proud charter member of the Scooby gang beamed at the other woman.
Zoe paled a bit and shifted, clearing her throat and swallowing a few times before answering weakly, “Hi, Mom. Didn’t expect to be hearing from you.”
Cordelia turned serious. “I know. Desperate times, desperate measures, ya know.”
“Of a sort. Listen sweetheart, I know it’s unexpected, but we’re coming for a visit.”
“Yes, dear. We. It’s family intervention time. Dawn’s about got the portal ready. See you in a minute!” With a cheery wave, Cordelia ended her connection and Zoe was left staring open-mouthed at a black screen proudly proclaiming ‘Transmission Terminated’. The screams and crashing noises that followed had Zoe shooting out of her seat and making for the cargo bay at a dead run. Even so, she was the last to arrive (though it seemed that was only because Simon and Kaylee hadn’t bothered to finish dressing).
Mal and Jayne were busy grabbing anything that might pass as a weapon while practicing some rarely used swears. Inara was staring from the giant ball of swirling green light in the middle of the bay to Zoe and back again, almost as if she suspected something of the truth. Kaylee was clinging to Simon, who in turn was busy yelling at his sister and reaching out as if his arms might suddenly grow a few feet in length and reach her. River, for her part, was staring in awe and reaching up to the light, paying no mind to the mystical wind whipping her hair and dress back and stirring any loose bit if debris in the bay into little vortexes. When a hand reached out and wrapped around her fingers, it was hard to say who screamed loudest: Simon or Jayne. Then a body followed and Zoe felt her knees weaken. Next thing any of them knew, stoic Zoe, first mate and scary warrior woman, was clinging to a buxom brunette who looked barely older than Kaylee and sobbing like a baby. River patted Zoe on the shoulder and smiled softly. “Mommy’s here, Daddy’s coming.” A slender young man about River’s age came hurtling out of the green light ball next, followed by roughly a dozen or so other people.
By the time a young brunette stepped through and sort of grabbed at the light which just disappeared into a sluggishly bleeding cut on her palm, the bay was filled with strange people, all of whom seemed to be huddling around Zoe while at the same time watching the crew for any sign of attack. The crew on the other hand had done what seemed the smartest thing and, with the exceptions of Zoe and River, were huddled behind a stack of crates listening to Simon babble about post-traumatic stress and mass hallucinations. It was Mal’s turn to let out a mostly-manly scream when a petite redheaded woman peeked around the edge of the crates and offered a bubbly “Hi! I’m Willow. You can come out, we won’t bite, well, except maybe for Dru, but Cordy made her promise to behave and not eat anyone or she’d have to stay home. We’re good guys, promise, even though sometimes we’ve done things of the bad, and Spike and Angel are reformed big bads, oh, and then there was the time I went all dark-Willow and attacked everybody but hey, better now, and Cordy and Jas-I mean Zoe, they weren’t really bad, it just seemed that way and . . . did I mention you can come out?”
It was a full five seconds before the huddled crew moved, and then suddenly Willow found herself face to barrel with Jayne’s very favorite gun, Vera, as Mal slowly stood up and leaned around the crates. “Zoe, you wanna explain who all these gorram people are, and maybe continue with how they seem to know you and . . . what was the other thing, oh yeah how the gorran hell they got on my gorram boat in the middle of the black?” Mal tried to contain his temper while he watched as his first mate swiped at her eyes and stood, tall and proud, between the curvy brunette and the teenage boy.
“No sir, I don’t, but I suppose I have to introduce you at least. Captain Mal Reynolds, meet my family. Family, this is Mal.” Mal spit and sputtered, unable to form words. It was almost funny, watching as his eye started to twitch and that one particular vein stood out in his forehead. River danced over, followed by a taller woman in a flowing white dress. The second woman drew a long, black-polished fingernail over the vein in the captain’s forehead and licked her lips in a way that made Mal more than a mite uncomfortable. “Oh, the blood sings to me.”
“Drusilla!” The woman drew away and pouted a bit before turning to the brunette woman holding Zoe’s hand.
“What did I tell you?”
Drusilla sighed like a scolded child and turned. “No biting and no eating the crew or there shall be no tea and cakes and the naughty girl may not dance in the stars.”
“Uh, yeah. Why don’t you come back over here and play with Spike and Angel?”
Drusilla pouted until River grabbed her hand and led her in a swirling turning dance back across the bay to a broody man in a black jacket and a bleached blond man in a black leather duster. She grabbed at the blond man’s hands and pulled him into a spinning sort of dance before stopping and facing the crew again. “Musn’t be rude, sister-niece.”
“This is the appropriate time for proper introductions,” River added, grabbing the blond man’s other hand and staring at Zoe. With a sigh, Zoe stepped away from the mob of people surrounding her and looked at Mal.
“River’s right. We should get that out of the way before I start trying to explain things I’m not sure even I understand. Come out from behind the crates, sir, and Jayne, drop the gun before Willow gets cranky.” Just like that, the old Zoe was back, as if she’d never been that other woman having an emotional breakdown with a bunch of people who came out of a ball of green light.