Disclaimer: I am not, nor will I ever be, Joss Whedon, Universal, Fox Network, the WB, or anyone else with a stake in either Firefly or BtvS. I do, however, own the plot.
“Well I’m not dust, obviously,” Drusilla said. “Except as much as anyone is. I’m glad they’ve not put a chip in your brain, Kitten.”
“So am I, to tell the truth. Were you the one who snatched Badger back on Juno?”
“Was that wrong? He’s one of Spike’s, and he’ll be safest with me.”
“No, not wrong, exactly - just, you could have left a less cryptic note. So, what’s the occasion?”
“I’ve a story for you, Kitten,” Drusilla said with a Cheshire grin. “You won’t like it but it needs to be told. Once upon a time there was an oracle.” Xander groaned and Drusilla’s grin grew. “She told a prophecy but there was no one to hear it but the stars. They knew it was important so they sang it amongst themselves for a thousand years and more. Then one day a vampire named Drusilla overheard them and knew it was important, too. So she wrote it down and forgot about it until it was time for it to come true. Now she is going to tell it. The end. Wasn’t that a lovely story?”
“Best I’ve ever heard, Dru,” Xander said sarcastically.
“Good, because this one’s not as happy.” Drusilla cleared her throat and brought out a very old but very well preserved piece of paper. “Dozens of planets and hundreds of moons shall know the touch of darkness, freed by brown coats and purple bellies in the valley of peace. When the Storyteller’s son and the son of the Other Slayer die, and the blue hands are sent to collect the Deathless, then shall the Woebegotten Son of the Deathless One begin the journey to renew the line. The Star Dancer – that’s me, you see – and any of her line still remaining shall aid the Woebegotten Son as he collects the Sapling, of the line of the Witch; the Paperback Writer, of the line of the Watcher; and the Slayer To Be from the Hearts of the Beast. Then and only then shall the Mouth of Hell be guarded amongst the brown and purple dead. Then and only then shall the Labyrinth fall and the Slayer rise anew.”
“That don’t mean nothin’,” Jayne said. “I mean, the part about the Browncoats and the Purple Bellies, any ruttin’ kid could tell you what that means, but… a tree come from a witch? A writer whose dad watches stuff? And how can this slayer guy come from two places?”
“How’s your mum?” River asked suddenly.
“Widow Cobb, mother to Jayne Filius Cobb, Matthew Parker Cobb, and Janet Vera Cobb. How is she?”
“Because there’s things to beware in the slithy toves besides the Jabberwocky.”
“Oh, you’re very sharp, my little vorpal blade,” Drusilla said, clapping her hands. “Snicker snack! How long until the Kitten figures it out?”
“You didn’t say your last name was Cobb!” Xander said.
“Ah, there it is!”
“And since Dru didn’t single you out, I’m guessing you’re not the oldest, which means...”
Jayne looked around, confused. Mal took pity on him. “Your family’s in a prophecy,” he said. “Looks like you’ll be able to thank your Ma for that cunning hat of yours in person.”
Meanwhile, on a backwater world called Madeline, something with unnaturally blue eyes and a very long tongue withdrew its claws from the neck of a man who had once been called Dr. Anton Piotrowski but could now only be called dead, while the medicine he had been preparing for the local sufferers of the damp-lung dripped onto the floor.