Kaylee loved joining Inara for one of her tea ceremonies. Inara would loan her one of her kimonos and Kaylee would hours cleaning herself up shiny so she could pretend to be as glamorous as Inara. Then she'd walk through the ship towards Inara's shuttle.
Inara opened the door with a gentle smile and moved aside to let Kaylee in.
"You look amazing, Kaylee," she said.
"Why thank you, Inara. I'm not as pretty as you though." She looked around the shuttle and took in a deep breath, enjoying the scent of incense in the air. "I'm so glad we get to do this."
Inara shut the door and gestured for Kaylee to sit at her table. "I am as well. There are times when I do miss living on an Alliance planet, and ceremonies are one of them." She smiled at Kaylee. "Fortunately, I can enjoy this with you."
She lifted her teapot and poured hot liquid into their cups. Inara set aside the teapot as they reached for their cups. "I have some desserts we could eat. I've been saving them for a special occasion and I think you'll enjoy them." Inara reached under the table and placed the plate down on the table. "Take a bite. Tell me what you think."
Kaylee took one of the desserts between her fingers and took a bite. A burst of raspberry filled her mouth and she fought not to moan. "This is good! Thank you, Inara."
"You're welcome. I knew you would enjoy it."
Wash had landed Serenity in some backwards planet for repairs. Well, Wash and Kaylee would be doing repairs on the ship. Everyone else had a few days off to explore the planet.
Wash slid out from under the console and Kaylee handed him a wrench before he slid back under again. "The wheel has been acting up lately and considering the amount of trouble we get into, I'm hoping I can unjam things so we can fly smoothly."
"I think we should go to the market and see if we can purchase new parts for Serenity. There's only so much I can reuse for parts until they're nothing but nubs." Kaylee smiled as she stroked her hand down the ship's wall. "She deserves so much better."
"The captain's not here. Maybe we should sneak out and head to the market. We have to eat, after all, and there's food out there to be eaten."
Kaylee laughed. "I could sneak out for food and ship parts. Maybe we can even get another dinosaur for your console."
Wash slid out again and sat up. He tried to rub the grease off his cheek to no avail. "More toys? I'd like that. Let's go."
They locked up Serenity tight and headed towards the market. It was dusty and crowded, but Kaylee took in a deep breath and sighed happily. She loved being a mechanic on a ship, loved traveling through the black, but there was nothing like being back on land.
A cart caught Kaylee's eye, particularly the food hanging from the cart. "Shiny," she said as she dragged Wash with her. "We should eat first. I mean, we can't do proper shopping if we're hungry."
"I agree. I can't concentrate if my stomach's growling louder than I'm talking."
They paid for their food and walked around eating while enjoying the sights. They did need to purchase ship parts, but Kaylee was just enjoying spending time with Wash in the meanwhile.
Simon was gorgeous. He was gorgeous and smart and Kaylee was proud to say that he was hers. She ran her fingers down his chest and let out a giggle. "Shiny."
Simon pulled her in and gave her a sweet kiss. "I do have work to do, you know. The inventory in the medical bay won't count itself."
"Maybe not, but there's always time for this. Life is precious, you know."
Simon was solemn as he nodded. "It is. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I was still working in a hospital saving lives and earning promotions, but then I realized it would have been nothing because my sister would've been locked up and I would have never met you. You are precious, Kaylee."
Kaylee felt her cheeks warm up and she hid her face against the crook of Simon's neck. There were plenty of moments in their relationship when Simon would say the stupidest things that would hurt her unintentionally, but there were plenty more moments when he would say something so sweet and beautiful that she couldn't help but love him even more.
"I could come and help you count. The engine's running smoothly and I need a break anyway."
"I'd like that."
They walked through Serenity wrapped around each other and Kaylee took in Simon's scent. He smelled amazing and she wanted to lick every inch of available skin possible. Kaylee cleared her throat. Maybe she wasn't going to be helpful with Simon's inventory count.
Inside the medical bay, Simon was nothing but business with his clipboard and organization. Kaylee stood off to the side so she didn't get in his way and watched him. Simon was meant for so much more than living on Serenity. He loved being a doctor and there was more to life than patching up some measly crew.
Then he looked up and smiled at her. "I was thinking the next time we need to replenish supplies, we should go out on a real date. I could take you to a fancy restaurant and you could wear that pink dress you love so much."
Kaylee's heart pounded and she rushed forward to kiss him. "Yes," she said between kisses. "Yes."
There was more to life than patching up some measly crew, but Kaylee was more than thankful that Simon was with them instead of never knowing him. At least here he had his loved ones.
The hum of the engine always soothed her and tonight was no different. Kaylee patted Serenity's wall before reaching for a wrench. The ship was flying beautifully, but there was always room for improvement.
"We're going to make you shine, girl. No one else will be able to compete." Kaylee smiled before kneeling and getting to work. She loved her quiet time with just her and the ship. People were great, but Kaylee understood ships right under her skin. It was like they spoke a language only she could understand, only she was fluent in.
Serenity hummed her approval and Kaylee made a noise of agreement. "You keep flying and I'll keep you whole, girl. You, me, and the rest of the crew."