Zoe about Mal
When it all went to hell and her world had come apart in ragged shreds of scorched debris, he'd been there, hand solidly at her back and long paces propelling her along with unstoppable power. Her eyes had been swollen shut with the gas the Alliance had used.
"Keep movin', Zoe," he'd said, low voice close by her ear, her focus, the one thing that had kept her from panic. "One foot afore th'other is all. Just keep movin'."
She'd admired his vision, his unreserved conviction in their cause, and she had learned to trust him implicitly. So when he bought a ragged old Firefly she'd smiled, tried to look at the ship through his eyes, and understood what he was looking for. She'd bound her fate with his because she found herself wishing for the same things.
Zoe about Jayne
Zoe ain't ever been what you'd call a 'people-person'. She likes most people well enough, on her own terms, but she's never been one to seek them out much, or understand them easily. That's always been Mal's side of things, understanding what people want and talking to them, making a connection.
Jayne she understands though. Food, drink, women – and weapons or coin to acquire each. Man's no mystery. She scolds him – sometimes - for his crudeness, and she appreciates him – unspoken - for his skills; he's good at what he does, it's just that most of what he does ain't very nice. Zoe can tolerate a lot of crudeness for competence. She's even come to like him, reached some sort of understanding where he looks at her with appreciation and she treats him with mild humour. Even teases him sometimes. But she likes him – most days - for being someone she understands.
Zoe about Kaylee
Zoe had only been too eager to get Bester off the ship - she didn't like the lecherous looks at every turn, and the man hadn't even compensated for the irritation by being good at his job. Meeting Kaylee she'd been worried about the girl's young age, but impressed by the easy way the girl had around the engine room. She'd hoped the harsh reality of the life they led and the jobs they took would not break the girl, and found herself pleasantly surprised by just how unquenchable the girl's spirit was. Kaylee had an innocence that Zoe no longer possessed, perhaps never had, and she'd been surprised to realise that rather than be annoyed by it, she enjoyed it.
Zoe about Wash
She hadn't liked the goofy man with the loud shirts. The pilots she'd known before than had been different, serious, and it had taken a while to understand that Wash was not serious, but he was more than competent at his job. It had taken longer to relax around him, because he looked at her, looked at her in a way that she wasn't used to and wasn't comfortable with. She'd kept him at arm's length, uncomfortable being the person he saw, or wanted to see.
When she was finally ready to let him, he'd uncovered within the tired soldier the woman, someone who could giggle and dance and fall asleep in his arms. Someone who could long for a child. [The soldier had never even thought of that – she didn't expect to live long enough.] Wash had awakened the woman who could do more than just survive.
Zoe about Book
She didn't have Mal's anger for God, but Zoe had no use for a preacher. She remembered 'em from before – sniffling men with soft hands, tellin' the people that the Lord had a purpose with it all, even as the babies wailed with hunger and the crops rotted in the fields.
The God Zoe could believe in had no use for men like that. Men and women of Zoe's God worked with their hands, built houses, grew food, healed people. What sort of God Book had, she wasn't so sure about. It was a good thing that he knew how to be a shepherd, instead.
Zoe about Inara
As a soldier and a woman who'd spent a good part of her life shoulder to shoulder with men, living and working with them with no regards for gender, Zoe didn't have a lot of time for those who turned sexuality into a weapon. She'd seen from the start how Inara used her training to manoeuvre Mal into places where he wouldn't otherwise have gone, and not much cared for the other woman. It had taken a long time to see that Inara cared for her captain, if perhaps in a different way, and was often no more in control of where they took each other than Mal was
Zoe about Simon
She had never had trouble seeing Mal as Simon saw him, which was why she'd had a fair amount of quiet sympathy for the boy almost from the jump. The bitter sharpness the boy got from Mal - Zoe knew that it was equal parts pain and anger. The embodiment of everything the Alliance stood for could hardly hope to meet such a perfect embodiment of the Independents. Zoe had more distance to the war, hadn't lost her home planet or her faith, and could be milder to a lost young man. He cared, hard, for every patient on his table, which made him a great doctor, and he fought equally hard for his sister, which made him a great man by her standards.
Zoe about River
It had taken a while to start seeing the girl as a person rather than as the doctor's troublesome appendage. She weren't that good at connecting with people to begin with, and connecting with a strange, troubled 17-year old girl had been a little beyond her. It had been River who had bridged the gap, sat down next to her one day while she was sorting out the contents of the emergency locker, and had asked to be allowed to help. Said it was soothing. She had thought the girl meant the work, but when she joined her more often, sometimes to help with jobs around the ship, sometimes to sit near and silently drink tea, Zoe had realised the girl liked her company. It was mutual. River knew how to be quiet.
Zoe about Serenity
When her old sarge had first said he'd something to show her, she'd laughed when it turned out to be an old Firefly. Not exactly the most shipshape boat in that yard, nor the flashiest. But walking around with him, she'd shoved back her cynicism and watched him, watched his eyes light up with the ideas of what it could be like. That old boat could be a home, and he'd painted his vision so clear that she'd followed him, as before, as always. Had helped make it happen.
It couldn't last forever, she knew - enemy fire to crew or ship, one too many Alliance encounters, a breakdown they couldn't afford to fix, or just plain crew moving on - one day it would end. But not yet. She trailed a hand along a railing worn smooth from years of gripping hands. Not yet.