Better Left UnsaidAuthor:
Kaylee, Simon, River & Mal FF_Friday Challenge:
60 – Appearance vs. RealityWord Count:
Just mucking about in other peoples’ sandboxes. I promise to put them back like I found them.
How could one bubbly, giggly girl manage to vanish somewhere in a spaceship in the middle of the black?
Not only that, but Kaylee managed it about once a week.
Mal checked her bunk (too obvious) and the engine room (too probable) before thinking to check the little sitting area off the kitchen.
Sure enough, there she was, giggling madly and trying to explain to River why looking at everyone else’s cards was cheating – even if you asked nicely.
“Kaylee – Wash sent me to find you. Another one of your boyfriends on the comm.”
Kaylee grinned and laid her cards face down on the table. “Sorry guys. I should take this.”
She headed towards the bridge, a spring in her step and humming a happy little tune under her breath.
“Keep the love-talk short and sweet – we’re expecting a call about a job,” Mal called after her.
He turned just in time to catch an odd look flit across the Doc’s face. What was that about?
Simon blinked the look away quick enough and suddenly seemed very concerned about their empty teapot. Mal watched him shove back from the table and busy himself in the kitchen.
Then it hit him – ‘boyfriends’.
The call was just another of the old, portly, spaceship-loving gentleman Kaylee had met at the ball on Persephone, calling to ask her advice on some possible purchase or how to finagle a few more years out of one of their pet junkers.
Those men doted on their little Kaylee – sending little trinkets and bits of sparkle, sometimes fresh fruit or chocolates, to their usual ports of call. Nothing was too good for the girl that had saved them hundreds of credits without ever even laying eyes on their ships.
The ‘boyfriends’ thing was just Wash’s joke, since the men were always gruff and short-tempered as they demanded to speak with “Miss Frye”. But once Kaylee got on, they sounded like benevolent grandpas talking to their own kin.
He started to tell Simon that, the reality of the thing, when River caught his eye.
Her face was slack, blank of all emotion, but she slowly shook her head right and then left, eyes flicking from her brother to Mal.
She mouthed “don’t” and then, with a quick glance to make sure her brother wasn’t looking, reached across the table and peeked at Kaylee’s cards.
Mal agreed with a shrug.
As he headed off in search of Jayne – the gorram
merc was supposed to be cleaning the cargo bay – he though perhaps River was right.
Maybe if Simon thought he wasn’t the only one to notice Kaylee’s special charm he’d get on with things already.
But probably not, Mal thought with a snort.
Day that happened the ‘verse would shift under his feet and the stars would fall from their place.END.