"Hush! It's starting!"
"But you said you don't even like it no more after what they said about the Hot Dart," Jayne starts, but when Kaylee fixes him with a look that had more murder in it than a pint of rattlesnake venom. Jayne shuts up.
"We're hardly ever in range of the programming waves, and I'm gonna enjoy it while I can."
Simon and River joins the two of them in front of the screen. "What are we watching?" Simon asks, angling for a seat next to Kaylee.
"Failure." River's voice is rich with satisfaction.
"Quiet!" Kaylee hisses, "Just watch okay?"
The screen is only a little blue and crackly, which is better than the last time when all they got was the audio and had to imagine the explosions for themselves. This time they can see the silhouettes of three men as they stand in front of various top of the line spaceships.
"On tonight's program, Hammond tests the new Blue Sun GT 57, I see if a horse can out run the Porche Land Cruiser, and James opens a door!"
Wash wanders by and hangs off the back of the couch. "Hey! It's Top Gear. I haven't seen this in forever. Do they have a star in a Standard Ship this time?"
Kaylee shakes her head without taking her eyes off the screen. "Not this time. I think they're gonna do one of the building challenges though."
"Meh. Not nearly as much fun." Not that this keeps him from wedging himself between Kaylee and Simon on the couch.
"You don't have to stay," Simon tells him.
"Even a bad wave of Top Gear is a good wave in general. And there's picture this time!"
On screen the three men are talking again.
"So the producers told us to meet at the Icarus waystation where they would be waiting with transport." The scene shifts to the dock. "So what we've got to do is fly from here to the other side of the canyon in atmo." The short one, Hammond, scratches his head. "Well that's not very far, is it? I mean, the canyon's a bit of a challenge, but it's nothing serious."
"Look, look they're bringing the ship out," the tall one, Clarkson, interrupts.
The supertransport opens its maw and out limps…a Firefly.
Simon glances sideways and Kaylee's mouth drop open.
Clarkson starts to laugh and ends up having to brace both arms on his knees just to stay upright.
Kaylee is now turning pink. Bright pink.
"No, Hammond. I think the first challenge is going to be getting it up in the air at all." May says giving the ship a concerned look through the fringe of his bangs.
"Why they…" Kaylee sputters. River snickers from her seat on the floor but hides it in her knees.
"My granddad used to work in a factory that made Fireflies." Clarkson rolls his eyes, but Hammond continues. "No no! I'm serious! He helped make the seating. The Firefly is a good ship."
"I always liked him best," Kaylee says.
"Hammond, you are out of your mind. Shall we count the things that are wrong with the Firefly?"
"Well the catalyzer is lese for one thing."
"And the Fuel Apparator."
"Now that's not fair. Distributed Fuel Apparation hadn't even been invented yet."
"The steering is looser than a Pandorian Barmaid."
Wash snickers. "Yeah, it is a bit…" Kaylee turns an icy stare on him and Wash finishes his sentence with "Fine. The steering is a bit fine."
"All right all right!" Hammond throws his arms up in the air. "It's a rubbish ship. I admit it. But the seating. You have to admit that the seating is excellent."
Simon knows he should keep his mouth shut, but he can't help himself. "Wash, I haven't noticed that the seats up in the cockpit are anything special."
Kaylee's glare is fixed on Simon now and he can feel sweat beading on his forehead like he was standing in front of a Medical Review Board or Officer of the Law.
"Well, that's because our seats aren't the original ones," Wash offers.
Kaylee's expression softens in approval.
Wash scratches behind one ear. "We had to get rid of the original ones because of the mold."
"Wash!" Kaylee pulls off one of the couch cushions and starts to hit both Wash and Simon over the head with it.
"I didn't say anything!" Simon protests while covering his head with his arms.
"You were thinking it," Kaylee hisses at him.
River looks up from her knees, laughing again, or maybe still. "She's right. You were."
"Stay out of this mei mei."
"I think we'd better retreat. Ow!"
"Pair of sissies, the both of you," Jayne says without even looking up from the screen."
"I am, OW! Secure enough, stop it!" Wash yelps, getting up from the couch, "in my manhood not to be offended by you, ow!"
Simon follows Wash after a particularly hard blow makes his nose throb.
The two of them makes it as far as the mess when they hear an inarticulate wail like raw animal pain, followed by Hammond's voice saying "Oh, that's not gone well."
Wash leans back against the counter, trying to look like he hasn't been chased off by a girl with a throw pillow and failing. "Simon, let me give you a little advice about women."
Simon rolls his eyes and leaves.