The bride wore red.
Simon had never in his life before Serenity imagined that would be the case. He had been to dozens of weddings in his youth and imagined what his own might one day be like, and it was always the pristine white dresses. Something pure and clean, available this once and gone.
Even when he had decided Kaylee was the one, putting his heart and soul into the young mechanic, the mental images he’d had were simple: her in a flowing white gown, no adornment needed. Just a smile, a ring... and a single white sheath.
Reality far eclipsed his imagination. Even in red.
It was Inara’s idea. On Sihnon, Red was common enough at weddings- a traditionally lucky color, and flattering for most women. Kaylee was no exception, a tight bodice with the most glowing skirts of brilliant red flowing in waves around her hips down to her ankles. Either shoulder was bare and adorned with a simple jeweled rhinestone.
The hallmark, though, was the choker at her neck. A single gold rose in a sea of red, peeking over to him. She had gone though hell to get it, going home. It represented her father’s blessing. No surprise, then, that a hand went to it as she moved up the aisle and smiled at her groom. He couldn’t help but grin back.
The mess hall of Serenity had been done up special for the occasion. Paper lanterns filled the ceiling, streamers flung around by River’s courtesy in her excitement. There were even dozens of twinkling lights all across the walls. It was not his he would have guessed, but it was very much his Kaylee and seemed to make her happy.
As Kaylee got to the front, she patched her arm to Simon. He reached for her elbow and soothed it, feeling her excitement mute to a comfortable level. “Are you ready for this?” he whispered.
“To marry you? Surely.”
It had been a long road to this moment. From ignoring each other, to being unable to separate- through dozens of strange goings-on. This ending was, however, unexpected.
Map stood in front of the two, looking around the dining area. “Last chance,” he offered.
“I’m marrying him, Mal.”
The captain frowned. “I meant having me do the honors. I’m not really that kind of captain.”
“Which is why I want you to do this,” Simon chuckled.
“Some kind of poetic justice in it,” Inara added from her seat at Kaylee’s side.
Mal shook his head, wrinkling his nose and grabbing a book. “So. Dearly beloved and all that..?”
“Skip it.” Zoe breezed in, plopping onto the floor. “Get to the good parts.”
Mal sighed. “I’d prepared...”
“Nah, Zo’s right,” Kaylee asked. “I’ve waited long enough already.”
Mal cleared his throat. “Alright then. Who’s got the rings?”
River danced up, a pirouette as she reached out to Mal and deposited the jewelry. “Here! Right here!”
“Thanks you, mei-mei.”
River beamed at her brother’s words as she slid back into the background, letting him and Kaylee take the spotlight. She watched as he took his lover’s hand and grinned near foolishly in his delight. She felt his happiness, childlike, still unusual for him.
It suited him.
“Alright then.” Mal cleared his throat, continuing. “Does anyone- ‘cepting maybe Jayne- know a reason these two shouldn’t get hitched?”
It was, surprisingly, Inara who spoke up from the sidelines. “That’s just a formality. Move along.”
Mal rolled his eyes. “Alright. Simon, do you agree to be her rock, her confidante, and be at her side from now forward?”
“I sure do.”
“And you, Kaylee, will you do the same?”
Mal took a deep breath and nodded. “Then I guess since someone was crazy enough to give me the power to do so I’ll call you man and wife.”
Kaylee beamed, then turned. “Can I kiss him now?”
Mal shrugged. “Don’t wait on my say-so.”
With that, Simon pulled Kaylee in and deposited a passionate, almost rough kiss on her lips. The mechanic relaxed into it, dipping slightly...
“Alright. Get a room, you two.”
“Hap’ly,” Kaylee offered, grabbing Simon by the hand and leading back.
“Cake first? I was told there would be cake?” Jayne asked, gruff but slightly smiling.
“Yes,” River added. “The cake is a must.”
It was a lovely little celebration. Even Zoe and Jayne got into the enjoyment, and Inara watched the two dance with something akin to envy in her eyes before Mal took her hand and led her in a few songs. The crew were truly whole again, or so it felt, after a while at drift.
The bride wore red.
And that was how it should be.