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Kaylee finds River in the engine room, a mess of wires tangled in her pale fingers.
"Whatcha up to?" Kaylee asks, wrinkling her nose and moving closer to River.
River continues to stare intently at the wires, as if the maze will come untangled the minute her brain solves the puzzle. Kaylee takes a wire and begins disentangle the mess around River while she waits for a response from her.
"Romance novels are very non-specific, and do not seem too heavily based on reality. Also, none of them deal with the courting rituals of two women," River says finally, her tone of confused frustration familiar to Kaylee. Kaylee has no idea what she's talking about though. She says nothing, continuing her process of fixing the wires.
"Mal's always saying that you keep Serenity flying with your heart," River says softly as Kaylee's fingers unweave the wires around her fingers, Kaylee's fingertips brushing across hers.
Kaylee freezes, her hand hovering above River's.
"River, were you trying to figure out how I wired Serenity?" Kaylee asks.
River bites her lip.
"You thought you might understand my heart if you understood how I kept Serenity flying?"
River goes back to studying the wires intently.
" Because you like me?" Kaylee finishes her revelation.
River doesn't respond.
"River, do you like me? Like Simon likes me? Like a crush?" Kaylee asks insistently.
River still doesn't respond.
Kaylee changes her tactics, untangling the last of the wires from River's fingers. Kaylee slowly presses her hand against River's, until their hands are flat, palm pressed against palm.
"And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss," River says softly.
"O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do," Kaylee replies with smile.
River's lips press softly against Kaylee's, and Kaylee presses back gently.
When River pulls away from the kiss, she looks up, smiling shyly.
Kaylee giggles, pulling River into her hammock. They sit side by side, with Kaylee's arm around River, and River's head resting on Kaylee's chest.
After a moment, River breaks the silent revelry.
"Kaylee, I read that romance too. It didn't end very happily," River says with reluctance.
"The trick is to not let it end at all. Also if you're going to fake your own death, make sure you tell your lover beforehand. In person," Kaylee replies with a smile.
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