: Not mine. It all belongs to Joss.
Kaylee quickened her pace when she heard River talking to someone. She really shouldn’ta left the girl out there alone, not on the Eavesdown Docks. The Tams were no longer top priority for the Alliance, it was true, but that didn’t mean they might not still be targets.
But River’d been so much better since she’d gotten that memory that wasn’t hers out of her head on Miranda that Kaylee hadn’t thought twice when the Captain had called. She’d gone inside for just a few minutes to pass the message on to Simon.
She walked out onto the docks to find River talking to a blonde woman about her own height. Kaylee couldn’t make a good guess about the woman’s age- at first, she’d thought young, her own age or somewhere between her and River, but then she’d caught sight of the woman’s eyes. Those eyes made Kaylee want to back up a step.
They were like Zoë’s or Mal’s or once in a while even Shephard Book’s had been, only more so- eyes that had seen bad things. It never really hid, but sometimes it shone through more than others, when they were upset. But unlike Zoë or Mal, who looked after her like she was their 妹妹, Kaylee didn’t know this woman well enough to trust that she wasn’t dangerous.
Kaylee really wanted to tell River to come away from the woman with the eyes that had seen too much, but when she approached, River smiled brightly.
“It’s ok. She’s our new passenger.”
Kaylee wanted to protest, because usually the Captain left it to her discretion to pick passengers- the only time she’d ever picked wrong had been that Fed had come on board the same time as Simon and River. But then the woman smiled, a smile that was somehow sad, and Kaylee realized this woman knew what she was thinking. Another Reader?
“It’s all right,” River repeated, putting a calming hand on Kaylee’s arm. “She’s seen many things. But she needs Serenity as much as we need her. Hasn’t found a ship to call home in many years.”
“What about a world to call home?” Kaylee asked feebly, as River herded both of them into the cargo bay.
“Not since Earth,” River whispered. “She was the last to leave.”
Kaylee planted both feet, stopping their forward progress. The blonde woman had a wry smile on her face, but she hadn’t disputed River’s obvious exaggeration.
“No, it’s true,” she said quietly. “I was the last one off. Turned the lights out behind me and everything.”
“She’s lived on ships ever since,” River said, her voice sad. “Thought she wasn’t needed anymore, out in the black. Night is not the same on our worlds, Rim or Core. No way to die, but no way to be useful either. Until now.”
“She can help,” River said firmly. “She needs a room, and we need the cash. Supposed to find passengers. I found the only passenger we need.”
Kaylee surrendered to the inevitable. There was no arguing with River when her mind was truly made up, as it apparently was.
“You’re the one gets to ‘splain it to the Captain, River,” she said, pursing her lips to show she still wasn’t happy with this. “Come on, I’ll show you to your room, Miss…?”
“Don’t bother with the ‘Miss’. I haven’t been that fancy in… a long time. My name is Buffy Summers.”