DISCLAIMER: Firefly is not my copyright. This story's classified as not-for-prophet, no money is being made from it and access to it should not be bought or sold.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: (Series:) This is the third in the Opal Shire series, continued from "River's Way" (Summery:) Kaylee's injuries have all but healed, and there's nothing really around to do except live and try to make the best of things; have some fun when the weather's good, and wait out the rain when it's not. (Key:) "speaking" ~ [thoughts] ~ accent on the word.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To jess27[at]live.com
By Jessica Knight
- FALLING WATER -
It was a couple weeks and some later. Kaylee was feeling in much better sorts. River's doctoring and the meds from the shuttle's emergency kit had worked their ways on her to where she was just sore and not quite rosy yet.
Today, like yesterday, she was in the bowls of the shuttle again, looking over things and feeling worse and worse about the chances of the shuttle flying again... 'least not without the right tools and spare parts, of which she had not anywheres near what she'd need for it. Maybe she'd be able to get it done with what she'd had on Serenity, not here though. She lay back, defeated, and thought about River and how they were getting along and everything. River still made her a bit nervous now an' then, no denyin', and there was still something that made her feel not completely secure around her, but River was much more familiar to her now, felt like River had become much more a part of her life. Like she understood her more now, so much so that she thought it would feel a little strange if they were separated. It was kind of like how she'd felt about her sister back on Isis, a sense of camaraderie and them being the only two, except it was different than that. And maybe just all in her head.
River poked her head in just then. "Has the expedition met with any luck?" She asked her.
"Only if you mean the kind that's backwards and ornery." Kaylee told her. "Lost cause for sure, I'm thinking. What are you up to? You got a look." She asked.
"I always look, except when my eyelids interfere." River told her. "That doesn't matter now though. Come play in the falling water with me?" She asked hopefully.
She meant the waterfall at the lake nearby. "Sounds shiny to me." Kaylee decided. She felt grimy and smelled of grease and smoke residue from the fire that'd happened a while ago, so a wash sounded heavenly. "No sense dwelling on this mess at least. Might was well be enjoyin' myself." The thought of being out of where she was an in the fresh air under open sky again being a happy one to her about then too.
"There's wisdom in that." River agreed, then she disappeared back out of the maintenance tunnel hatch.
Kaylee just shook her head a little and smiled, River's playful innocence lifting her spirits as it usually did. So she got herself tuned about in the small space and crawled her way out. When she poked her head out, she saw River packing up a picnic sack. "You're all full of useful things about you, aren't you?" She asked.
"Better than a Swiss army, that's me." River said distractedly, packing things in some precise order it seemed.
"Who're these Swiss people?" Kaylee asked.
"Pacifists." River replied.
"Why they need an army then?" Kaylee asked.
"It's a mystery." River told, tying up the picnic sack neatly and getting to her feet. "And mysteries are for fools and lonely philosophers who can't be bothered to learn how to swim right."
"Well that makes sense at least." Kaylee smiled.
River walked over to her and touched her side. "It didn't bother you, crawling in the demons' nest all morning?" She asked, running a finger down her ribs experimentally.
"Only a' little. Water'll help." She met River's eyes. "Thanks for asking." 'Demon's nest', it was a name for it River'd come up with around the time the fire happened. Kaylee was discovering that was one of the tricks to understanding River, that she seemed to like to come up with her own names for things that were all her own for some reason. They always had a kind of odd logic to them though. She'd kind of made a game out of trying to keep track of all of'em.
"Asking's easy." River replied, holding her eyes without blinking. "Your eyes have stars in them. And sky."
Kaylee smiled a small, soft smile. "Yours have fallin' water an sunshine." [An words all a shimmer.]
"Then we have an understanding." River kissed her lightly on the cheek, turned, and walked away towards the ship's hatch with the things she'd packed for them.
Kaylee touched her cheek and felt her skin heat just a little. "Wait up, you." Kaylee said, going and grabbing some of her things quick and heading out after River.
River was standing out in the clearing around their ship waiting for her. Kaylee shook her head a bit and came up beside her.
"The lake calls us, we should be more punctual." River told her as they started walking.
"I'll remember for next time." Kaylee replied.
"It's okay if you don't." River said back, walking beside her.
A few steps on, River took her hand in hers and Kaylee let her. River seemed to be doing that a bunch lately, and Kaylee had to admit, it was a comfort.
They walked through the woods to the river and followed it's path to the small lake with the waterfall. It really was such a beautiful day out. It had just rained heavy yesterday and everything was all fresh smelling and pretty today. The sun was out and it was warm. A nice, soft breeze kickin' up every now and then. Idyllic even.
Kaylee watched as River found a spot to put the picnic sack and her other things down in. Next, River started taking off her clothes to swim, no modesty about it, which was typical for River and didn't bother Kaylee any. It was kind'a nice the other girl felt that comfortable around her, actually.
Kaylee herself was a bit more shy about it than that for some reason, though she couldn't say why exactly, and had found one of Inara's swimsuits to wear. Them being about the same size, it fit her fine. She was just taking off her shirt when she heard a soft splash behind her. She turned around and saw River's head and shoulders appear from under the water, she was smiling. "I win." She said.
"There wasn't a race, you know." Kaylee said, going over and sitting on the edge of the lake, dangling her legs in the water.
"That's why it as inevitable that I would win." River smiled, coming over a little closer. At this part of the shore, it was a sheer drop into the water mostly.
"Besides, I'm still injured." Kaylee pointed out.
"It's okay to lose, you know." River comforted her playfully. "It's playing the game that's important. Or so the wisdom says."
"And what game would we be playing then, if that's the case?" Kaylee bantered back.
"That's a good question. You should try to answer it; it could be of vital importance one day." River informed her. "Probably not today though." She allowed.
Kaylee giggled a little at that. "If you say so."
"I don't think your ears have been lying to you, if that's what you're worried about." River said, then dunked her head back under water promptly.
Kaylee giggled a little more. "River, come on."
River appeared again a few inches away and tugged on her ankle a little. "Come swim with me." She prompted.
Kaylee sighed and pushed off, slipping herself into the water with her shipmate, hardly making a sound. "There, happy?" Kaylee asked when she kicked up so her head was above water again.
"Yes." River replied. "Come on, follow." She further prompted, starting to swim out into the lake.
Kaylee smiled and followed along. "Alright, just don't go too fast!" She called after her.
Kaylee caught up with her at the other side of the lake, just a little ways from the waterfall. "Come on!" River encouraged, swimming under the waterfall and getting up on the stone ledge under it so the water was falling down over her body. Kaylee watched and saw how much River was smiling. Their eyes met and she was a little dazzled by the feeling it gave her. Like they were the only two anywheres almost. In any case, not to be out-done, Kaylee swam after River, under the waterfall, and got herself, with a hand up from River, onto the ledge next to her. The water was pretty loud, so they couldn't talk. The fall wasn't too high though, so the water wasn't hitting them all that hard. It felt really nice actually.
She felt River take her hand in hers again, and Kaylee squeezed her friend's hand back, turning so their eyes met. River's smile was infectious. She really seemed to have come alive out here in a way Kaylee wouldn't have quite expected. She was still the same old River Tam of course, just more... relaxed, more care free somehow, like she'd got a glimpse of on the ship with the apple that day a while ago. More even. It was a pretty sight.
River reached over and touched her cheek. Just a small touch, and then pulled her hand away and slipped off the rock-ledge, pulling Kaylee by the hand down with her into the water. It was a jumble of rushing water pushing them down to the lake floor, but she kept her hold on River's hand and kicked along after her as River led her back up. They both broke out laughing upon breaking the surface.
"That was fun. But don't think I won't get you back for that." Kaylee warned.
"I wasn't thinking that at all." River told her. "But I look forward to it none the less." She said simply.
"Lets go back to the shore. I'm... I'm feeling kind'a worn out, tell'ya the truth." Kaylee admitted.
"Of course!" River took her hand again. "Come on, we should go eat anyway. The day is escaping us, even though I wish it wouldn't." She tugged her along again a little before letting her go so she could use the hand to swim with.
Kaylee followed her back to shore and watched as River got up on shore first and helped her up. "Sorry about this." Kaylee offered.
"About what?" River asked.
"Gettin' tired, you know." She offered.
"That's nonsense. The lake likes you too much, and I agree with her." River told her.
Kaylee sat down on the lake's edge and started drying her hair with the towel River rushed to bring her.
"I'll go get the food ready, don't go anywhere." River admonished her.
"Wasn't plannin' on it." She said to herself, looking after her shipmate as she went off, drying herself with a second towel as she went. [She really does have a nice body...] She thought to herself as she watched River's graceful movements.
After sitting there a few moments more and feeling her energy come back some, Kaylee got herself back on her feet and walked over to where River was setting up their little informal picnic, having put on her clothes again.
She sat the towel down against the tree that was there and sat down with a happy sigh. "It really is beautiful today, ain't it?" She said wistfully.
"It is." River replied.
Kaylee looked to her and their eyes met. Had River been watching her just then? [Huh. Wonder what that's about.] She idlely mused.
"You like being in the water, don't you?" Kaylee asked, laying her head back and closing her eyes.
River seemed to consider that a moment. "I am jealous of fish gills sometimes, but I don't want to be a mermaid in a small lake, I don't think..." She told her.
Kaylee laughed at that, smiling to River. "You sure have got a way thinkin' about things." Kaylee told her.
"We all do." River told her. "That's what's amazing... and what's sad."
"Hm. Well, luckily, today, we've got the amazing, and not the sad then, huh?" Kaylee offered.
"Maybe. But I think we could have done it on purpose." River said off hand. "That's why I like quantum physics so much."
"...if you say so." Kaylee said, getting up and investigating the food River was laying out. Her stomach was telling her it was time to eat.
As usual, the food River made was very good, likewise the company.
They spent hours there just relaxing, talking sometimes. Kaylee was sure she'd caught River watching her that same way as before a few more times, but she really didn't think too much of it.
Though, in the back of her mind, she had to admit, she was kind'a curious about it.
- DREAM FAIRIE -
It was in the morning the day after next that Kaylee woke up in bed. River was with her, curled up on her side next to her. It took her a while to really feel awake though, so she just lay there a bit, letting her mind wonder.
Sleeping arrangements was just like this now.
There was just the one big, really nice and fancy bed after all. At first, River had insisted on camping out with some blankets and pillows on the floor, to avoid the chance that she'd hurt Kaylee if she got to kinkin' in her sleep or somethin'. But as the days went by and Kaylee got to feelin' better, she'd come to notice River wasn't feeling in too great a shape in the mornings. Obviously, she hadn't been sleeping too well. So she'd insisted River share the bed with her the next night and it had been fine, no problems.
River slept soundly next to her, always just curling up a little on her side facing her. She looked... really adorable, if Kaylee was bein' honest. Downright cute. Grown up womanly cute though, not little kid cute, she noted to herself, unsure why she was making a distinction like that in her head exactly, other than maybe she knew River didn't like being treated, well, not like a kid exactly, more not like as she was... damaged. Like she needed to have things done for her, needed for her brother and other people t'be lookin' after her all the time.
River had let Simon treat her that way more than a little though.
The last while, shipwrecked planet side like they were, no one but River for Kaylee to count on, it was obvious that people, her included maybe, hadn't given River Tam enough credit. Or reckoned on just how strong she was. Not strong in a mussels way, though she obviously was in really good shape, athletic lookin' and everything, but strong in a... soul kind'a way. Like, all those horrors she must'a seen, that they couldn't really touch her, not in the ways that mattered.
She turned on her side so she was looking into River's sleeping face and a little of a smile came to her lips. "I seen you, River. You just shine inside, don't you?" She said softly, brushing a little hair from the woman's face. River made a soft little sleeping sound and moved her cheek into the touch a little in sleep.
Kaylee felt a little flutter of something inside her and yanked her hand away, looking at the hand she'd touched River's face with and wondering at why she'd snatched her hand away like that. She lay on her back again and looked up at the ceiling. "Right then." She said to herself, sitting up and softly crawling out of bed.
Twenty or so minutes later, she'd pretty much got breakfast put together, when she started to hear sounds coming from the bed.
"Mmnnn, uuuh!" She looked over at the sound and saw River sitting up in bed, looking off into the room blankly. Kaylee put down the pan of tofu stakes she'd been taking off the cooker and went over to the bed.
River was wiping the sleep from her eyes. "You alright there?" She asked, concerned for some reason having to do with the quality of River's startled moan.
"Bad dreams." She said softly.
"Have those a lot?" Kaylee asked.
River just nodded 'yes'.
"Huh, I must be more of a sound sleeper than I thought, not to have noticed 'fore now. What do you dream about?" She asked.
"...the bad times. And I don't..." River trailed off, looking up and meeting Kaylee's eyes.
"Don't what?" Kaylee asked.
River looked at her forehead and pointed there, touching the center with her finger. "You have a dream fairie living in you, Kaylee Frye. One that likes me very much I think." She said, falling back on her back on the bed and staring up at the ceiling, much like Kaylee had done not long before.
Kaylee was a little stunned to hear that, but it made her smile. "You sayin'..." She lay down beside River. "You sayin', you don't have bad dreams, long as your sleepin' next to me?" She asked, playing her fingers through River's hair a little.
"I don't." River said. "It was most unexpected." She assessed.
"Huh. What'a ya'know about that." She said. "Think it means anything?" She asked.
"I think that everything means something, even if I don't always know what that is. Why should that be any different?" River asked, rolling on her side to meet Kaylee's eyes. "You made us breakfast?" She asked, a spark playing behind her eyes somewhere.
"Prob'ly won't be as good as when you make it, but yeah." Kaylee smiled, a bit proud of herself. "I thought it was about time I started doing more a'my fair share." She told her friend.
"It makes you feel good, right?" River asked.
"Doing things for yourself, or for... another person. It makes you feel good." River told her.
"Oh. I mean, yeah. Yeah, River, it does at that." She smiled, kissing River on the forehead and getting up. "Care to take your life into your hands? Try my cooking?"
"I trust you." River said simply, getting up and crawling on the bed towards the food Kaylee'd cooked.
Kaylee smiled and ran a hand through her hair to straighten it out a bit more. "I trust you too." She said unexpectedly. Unexpectedly because she hadn't expected to be saying it.
River turned to her from sitting on the edge of the bed and smiled. "Do you really, you think?" She asked.
"Huh? Um, well, yeah. I just said it, didn't I?" She replied.
River just seemed to consider that a moment. "Okay." She said finally, turning away and getting up from the bed, going to investigate the food. "There's going to be a test later though, I'm almost certain." She said.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kaylee asked, a little offended actually, as she got out of bed again too.
"I don't know. It hasn't happened yet." River explained, putting food on her plate.
"You going to test me then? See if I'm lying?" Kaylee asked, a little annoyed now.
"No, why? Should I?" River asked, apparently confused.
Kaylee just looked at her a little skeptical for a few moments, then shook her head a little and smiled. "Sorry." She said.
"What for?" River asked curiously.
"Bein' stupid I guess." She replied.
"Oh... I guess I didn't notice that." River said, scratching at her hair a little, and fidgeting a bit. "The food's good." She offered, looking at Kaylee a little uncertainly.
Kaylee met her eyes and saw River was looking for reassurance. Whenever River got fidgety like that, Kaylee had learned, it meant she was feeling unsure of herself. Unsure of her ability to relate or communicate well. "Thanks." Kaylee smiled. "Um, I do mean it though, River. That, um, that I trust you? I mean... I was, you were right." She said, looking down at her plate. "Part of me was scared of you before." She looked up and met River's questioning eyes. "I'm not now." And she was pretty sure she wasn't, either.
River looked into her eyes for what seemed like a long while, though it probably wasn't really all that very long. Kaylee made sure to keep eye contact. Like, she wanted to prove to River, and herself really, that it was true what she'd said.
River started to smile, a little shyly, and look away. "Um..." She looked up a little uncertainly and met Kaylee's eyes again. "That's good then." She said, looking down then up again. "Should we hug?" She asked. Asked in that way like she was just wondering if they should, not like she had any particular stake in the answer, one way or the other. River asked questions that way a lot, Kaylee was noticing. Kaylee'd never known anybody else who asked things that way before. Took some getting used to.
"Um, if you want?" Kaylee offered.
River considered that. "Can I have a voucher?" She asked.
"For a hug?" Kaylee asked.
River nodded 'yes'.
"If ya'want. Sure." Kaylee agreed easily.
"...We should eat, or the food will slow down again." River said.
By which she meant get cold. Heat being a function of how fast the bits of matter that the food was made up of moved. River had explained it to her a few days ago when she'd used the same phrase and Kaylee had asked about it. River thought a lot in terms of sciency things, Kaylee had come to realize. She half thought River talked like she did as much to keep herself from getting bored as anything. Kaylee had noticed that too, how much energy, nervous sort of searching energy, River always had about her. Always thinking about this or that. "Sounds like a plan." Kaylee replied.
They ate for a while in silence, until Kaylee caught River watching her in that certain way again. So, she just decided to watch right back at her this time, see what happened.
River seemed a little surprised by this, but kept looking back into her eyes, for a while at least, before she blushed a little and looked away again, getting up and saying she needed to go relieve herself.
Kaylee just nodded okay and sat there, eating the last bits of her food and trying to work something out in her head, she wasn't quite sure what.
- DREAM FAIRIE (EPILOGUE) -
That night, Kaylee was still thinking as she got into bed beside an already sleepy River.
"River..." She started to ask something, she wasn't sure what.
"Hmm?" River replied.
"You think we're... you think, if it's just us here, we'll be okay. Long term I mean?" She asked.
"Mmm?" River opened her eyes and Kaylee turned her head so their eyes met. "I'll protect you." River told her simply. "I'm scary girl, remember?" She said.
Kaylee swallowed and smiled, kissing River on the forehead. "Okay then." She said. "Time to sleep I guess..." She said.
"...Kaylee?" River asked.
"Don't make breakfast again, okay?" River asked.
"What? Food I made was really that bad?" She asked. "Well, guess a' can't fault you your honesty, now can I?" She smiled a little to herself, having mixed feelings about the whole thing.
"Not that." River corrected.
"What then?" Kaylee asked.
"...you keep bad dreams away. It's more valuable than tofu." River explained.
"Oh..." Kaylee replied.
"Tired... sleep..." River said.
Kaylee looked over and River was already asleep apparently.
"...Pleasant dreams then..." She touched her friend's hair a little and smiled to herself, snuggling in under the covers and closing her eyes. Somehow proud of herself now. Despite knowin' she prob'ly had no real cause to be.
- CAVE PAINTINGS -
The day after next River and Kaylee were in the woods, just exploring around, basically because they were bored and there wasn't much else to do. And River seemed to like exploring. Kaylee didn't really care for the woods as much as River seemed to, but she did kind of like to go along because River made it fun anyway. Always investigating this or that, explaining what she thought about birds or wondering why squirrels acted the way they did.
Right now, they were sitting by a group of trees by a rock wall. Kaylee had watched while River had made some paints from inedible berries and such and had painted a picture on the rocks of the two of them sitting together and looking up at the sky with Serenity flying by and the waterfall in the background. Kaylee had mostly watched silently, fascinated. 'Cave paintings' River had told her, 'To mark us when we're gone'.
The painting was remarkably lifelike for using such simple, seemingly casual lines. It reminded Kaylee of this old woman she'd met in a marketplace once who did calligraphy on cloth banners and sold them as decorations. She'd bought this miniature one, only fourteen by fourteen centimeters. Just one character on it that meant 'luck'. Kaylee had figured she could hardly go wrong with more luck, after all.
Kaylee had told River how great she thought her 'cave painting' was and gotten a kind of shy but very pleased smile for saying it. River had told her a little about how scientists on Earth-that-was had found paintings on caves and learned things about their ancestors that way. Kaylee had gotten to like it when River told stories like that, not that she always knew what River was talking about, but River had a way of telling stories that was just fun to listen to. But, after she'd finished telling about the cave paintings, one of those quiet places that happened sometimes when they talked happened, and Kaylee was just going to ask if they should get up and start walking again when River had an idea.
"We should play a game." River offered.
"Um, 'kay, what sort'a game?" Kaylee asked, seein' nothing better to do and willing to go along.
"I don't know, you can pick." River said, getting up and taking Kaylee's hand and pulling her up to her feet from sitting.
"Um, okay... hide and seek? ...Tag?" Kaylee tried to think of the games she and her sister played back on Isis.
"Tag." River said, tapping her on the shoulder and dancing away from her a ways. "You're it." She smiled, and ran off.
"River!" Kaylee ran off after her into the woods, thankful she'd thought to bring along a homing beacon set to lead them back to the shuttle, because no way was she going to remember the way back after this probably.
Kaylee chased River into the forest and only barely kept her in sight. She'd round a tree and see River leaning against one. "Can't catch me." She'd smile, ducking behind the tree and Kaylee would get there and she'd be gone. Maybe up ahead, or even once or twice back where she'd just come from.
After a while of this, Kaylee got the idea there was just no way she was going to be able to tag River back. "I give up, you win!"
River walked out from the tree right next to her. "You're not very good at this game, why'd you chose it?" She asked curiously.
Kaylee giggled a little. "I underestimated your ability to dart around like that."
"Oh... that's understandable then." River smiled.
Kaylee narrowed her eyes at her. She wanted to do something to her for that, mess up her hair or wrestle with her a little like she and her sister did sometimes, but... she was still a little hesitant to surprise River with things that might be looked at as aggressive. Just... just in case she might react bad to it. She sighed. "We should be getting back." She said.
River looked at her a little quizzically, like she was trying to figure her out again. She stepped in closer to her and Kaylee didn't quite know what to expect. "I'm sorry... because I wasn't fun to play tag with." River said softly. "I get carried away and..." She kissed Kaylee on the cheek. "You still like me?" She asked.
Kaylee felt all the sudden a little uncomfortable, butterflies in her belly or something. She smiled, a little unsteady. "'course I do, don't be silly." She said quietly. "Um, we could play guess who on the way back?" She offered, stepping away and taking River's hand in hers to show her friend that there really where no hard feelings or anything. It made her feel better too.
"Okay." River said easily, apparently set at ease from Kaylee taking her hand and all.
"Only, has to be someone I'd have a chance at guessin', okay? No fancy stuff from school I wouldn't know. Right?" She asked.
"That's fair." River agreed.
"Who guesses first?" Kaylee asked.
"I do." River answered as they walked.
"Alright. Okay, I got someone. Have at it." Kaylee said, looking off into the trees and smiling.
"Are they living or dead?" River asked.
"Living. Last I heard at least." Kaylee supplied, looking over at River a little curiously and then looking ahead where they where going.
"Male or female identified?" River asked, being politically correct apparently.
"Male." Kaylee supplied.
"Johnny Nolen?" River asked.
"How'd you know?" Kaylee stopped and turned to her in surprise.
"He's your favorite male identified singer, and you looked like music when you started the game." River told her. "Your turn to guess?" She asked expectantly.
"Um, sure." Kaylee shook her head a little. River really was somethin' sometimes. To have picked up on something like that about her. She really... really must have paid a lot of attention to her. Or maybe River just naturally did that for everyone? For some reason she kind of liked to think maybe she was special though. "Got someone?"
"Uh-huh." River said as they started walking again.
"Living or dead?" Kaylee asked.
- DANCING IN THE DARK -
In bed the next day, after sundown. There had been a rainstorm, starting yesterday in the evening, lasting all night and through the day. It was still comin' down outside, could hear it, a muffled rata-tat-taping on the shuttle in the background. The sound had soon just sort of faded into the background for Kaylee though so she didn't much notice it no more.
"If we're stuck here, for good I mean, what d'you think we'd do?" Kaylee asked, laying next to River in bed. They'd gotten ready for bed an all, but they still had a light on next to the bed and had been talking about this and that for a while.
The more she and River talked, the more they got comfortable just talking, it seemed like. Once you got her to open up, once she felt like someone really heard her and was willing to let her be who she was, broken bits and all, Kaylee figured, River really seemed to open up. Kaylee felt special that she was the person who could give that to her. An... the way River would look at her when Kaylee was the one talkin', like what she was sayin' mattered more than anything else in the worlds. It made her feel... it was a really nice, warm sort of feeling. She couldn't remember anyone paying that much attention to her before, at least not to the things she said, her opinions and feelings about things and everything.
"We'd grave rob and start a farm, I think. It's logical, isn't it?" River asked, looking over to meet Kaylee's eyes.
"Grave rob?" Kaylee asked, a little confused. "Oh, you mean, go'an... take things from the settlers an all, don't ya?" She realized.
"You have farming expertise from past experience... I don't foresee any difficulties... unless there's a drought." She qualified.
Kaylee smiled to herself. "You an me, on a farm. Wouldn't that be something?" She mused. "Certainly be me comin' round full circle, now wouldn'it?"
"Circle?" River asked.
"Me, startin' out on a farm, with a sister my only friend, then goin' up into space, havin' an adventure... then here I'd be, on a farm, with you bein' sister number two."
River sat up. "I'm not sister number two, don't say that." She said, sounding a little hurt.
"...why not?" Kaylee asked. "I mean, I know we ain't really sisters or anything, but... feels like we could be, in another life or somethin', doesn't it?"
River was silent and Kaylee couldn't tell much of anything just looking at her back like she was. "River...." She got up and put her hand on her friend's shoulder. "What's the matter?" She asked softly.
River shied away from her and came around in front of her to face her. Her eyes were all stormy and troubled. "You don't know anything important, do you?" She said, pushing Kaylee down onto her back, looking down at her from on top of her on her hands and knees, her eyes were all... intense somehow, Kaylee couldn't look away, she just kept quiet and couldn't think of anything to say.
River just kept looking into her eyes for a few more moments and then she started to lower herself down closer. Kaylee's mind just sort of... went blank. She didn't know what was happening, or what would happen next, then... River closed her eyes and kissed her.
Just a soft, simple kiss, followed by a second just the same.
River stopped and got back up on her hands, looking down into a speechless Kaylee's eyes. "That's important." River said softly, getting off of her and going to sit against the headboard, a pillow's distance between them. Kaylee looked over and saw River had brought her legs up and was resting her chin on them, just looking off into the darkness of the room.
"...Why'd you do that?" Kaylee asked, getting up on her knees and looking over at River.
River didn't answer.
"You... you like me... don't you." She said. It wasn't a question. She wondered in that moment how she hadn't seen it before. Of course River liked her like that. All those times she'd caught her watching her. She'd caught a boy lookin' at her like that, what else would she have thought? She felt kind'a dense for not seeing before now...
River turned her head and looked at her, resting the side of her head on her knees. "I used to know how to do this better... I had a girlfriend, her name was Ella Dannan. She took me dancing..." River said softly. "I wonder what become of her sometimes... I hope she found someone else to dance with..." She closed her eyes.
Kaylee just sat there watching River a moment, then she looked down at her hands. Her thoughts were still a little dazed, and she wasn't sure if what she was thinking was a good idea or not, but she figured she was gong to do it anyway.
She looked back up at River. River was looking off into the darkness again, a sort of... wistful look on her face.
Kaylee got up and crawled out of bed, going to the far side of the room. River watched her curiously. Soon, there was music. A soft, instrumental song. Piano, electric guitar, some other instruments.
Kaylee walked over by the side of the bed where River was. "I like to go dancin' too." She said softly, offering River her hand.
River smiled softly to her, took her hand and let Kaylee lead her out to the middle of the floor. They stepped closer together, put their arms around one another, and danced to the music.
See you next time...
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