Kaylee huddled under her two thick blankets, shivering against the pervasive cold. The comforting thrum of her engine sounded just a few feet away, but Kaylee still curled up with a miserable frown.
The engineer perked up, a smile springing back onto her face like a frog jumping into the air. “Hey Inara,” she greeted, waving with one hand under the blanket. “What are you doin’ down here? I figured you’d be under all those nice blankets in your shuttle.”
Inara shivered and tugged a long robe more tightly around her. “I was, but I knew you would be in here. This is the coldest part of the ship,” she chided. “Why don’t you come back with me?”
An invitation to Inara’s room was certainly something to be cherished, but Kaylee hesitated. “I don’t know. Turnin’ off the heat routed all the fuel to the engine, but we’re still runnin’ low. I might have to do some pretty quick work if somethin’ goes wrong.”
Inara stepped fully inside the engine room. “Wash is watching the monitors from up front, he promised me he’d tell us over the intercom if something happens. I’ll let you try some of my perfumes,” the Companion suggested with a teasing expression.
Kaylee broke. “Alright, fine!” She threw off her blankets and immediately started shivering. “You sure you’re not one o’ those evil temptress demons?” she asked as they hurried toward Inara’s shuttle.
Inara laughed, but, Kaylee noted suspiciously, didn’t deny it.
When they got to the shuttle, Kaylee sighed in relief at how much warmer it was than the rest of the ship. “How’d you make this happen?” She shivered as her body began to shed its coldness to the sweet-smelling air.
“I have a separate fuel source, remember?” Inara reminded her.
Kaylee blushed. She definitely had known that.
“It’s alright,” Inara said kindly. “The cold is distracting. Let’s get under some blankets.”
“You said-” Inara held up the case of perfumes and Kaylee grinned. “Mind reader.”
Inara curled around Kaylee’s back while the engineer carefully handled the delicate glass bottles. Kaylee examined the labels, the color and viscosity, and sniffed the lid of each perfume carefully before setting a few aside. Once she’d gone through the entire small case, she took a few breaths of the normal air to clear her nose. Instead of the usual scent of the room, though, caught a hint of something different. It was sweet, but odd, like an exotic flower, and when she turned her head to ask Inara what it was she realized it was stronger closer to the Companion.
“Which one are you wearing?” she asked eagerly. “That’s my favorite.”
Inara laughed, looking honestly surprised and flattered. Kaylee tried not to blink, not wanting to miss this uncontrolled emotion on Inara’s beautiful face.
“I’m not wearing anything right now,” Inara admitted, and Kaylee sighed.
“I guess that means I can’t borrow it.”
“Well, maybe I could share.” With another sweet smile, Inara pressed closer to Kaylee.
The engineer grinned and snuggled back into Inara. “This is definitely my favorite.”