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“Anyone here?” Kaylee swung down the ladder and glanced around suspiciously.

She knew there weren’t anyone there; she and River had planned this visit carefully. But Buddha alone knew, plans on this ship didn’t always go smooth; and this time she didn’t want any problems.

“You and me, we’ve got to talk,” Kaylee sat down on the bed and smiled persuasively. “’Bout me and your man,” she took a deep breath. “I guess it ain’t no news to you that we’ve been sexing for awhile. But now just sexing ain’t enough - I want more - lots more. And the thing is you see; I’m sorta hoping that he might wanna be my man.”

“Now I ain’t looking to split you two up or anything. I think you’re real shiny, and the way I see it,” Kaylee gave the gleaming barrel displayed on the wall a consoling pat. “You and me could be kinda partners. I figure we can work together – sorta like an engine. An engine’s parts have gotta mesh for it to run perfect, and we could do that. Jayne’s always gonna need you, just like he needs me. There’s things I ain’t never gonna be good at, and some things you can’t do. So if you look after Jayne out there, protecting him and all; I’ll keep care of him here…”

“What you doing girl?” Jayne’s voice interrupted and Kaylee squeaked in surprise.

“I was just bringing you a Valentine’s present,” she whipped out the gift she’d brought just in case. “It’s for Vera really,” Kaylee hurried on before Jayne could start telling her Valentines’ day was a load of go se. “Her being your best girl and all.”

“What’d you get?” Jayne greedily jerked the parcel out of her hands and ripped the paper off. “This ain’t half bad,” he gazed with appreciation at the leather rifle boot. “It’ll fit her real good.”

Kaylee nodded in delight, pleased that he’d liked her present.

“You know,” he bent his head and traced her ear with his tongue. “Vera ain’t the only best girl here.”

“She ain’t?”

“I was thinking – maybe you might like to be the other?”

Jayne fastened his lips to hers and Kaylee couldn’t resist glancing up at the rifle above her head. The light bounced off the barrel almost like a wink and, winking back; Kaylee wrapped her legs around Jayne’s hips, and returned his kiss with enthusiasm.