Category: Firefly, River/Kaylee
Note: Written for ‘s Too Hot for Plot ‘ficathon’
"What in the seven hells—Kaylee, get up here!"
"Yessir, cap’n?" The air inside Serenity was thick and hot, but the mechanic still hurried up to the deck, sweat making her clothes cling to her.
"We’re not gonna reach Impar for another twenty-seven hours and there ain’t another planet this far out where we can stop for repairs so you’d better hope you get that temperature regulator back online soon, or there’s gonna be trouble…" Mal didn’t look like he was handling the heat well.
"I know cap’n. I can’t seem to pinpoint the exact problem, but I’m making progress, I’m sure of it." Kaylee nodded, mouth set in a determined line, and headed back below-deck. If it was possible, it got hotter the lower she went.
"Ain’t nobody else comin’ down here," she said to herself, shrugging. "Might as well." She tugged off her coveralls, instantly feeling a bit more comfortable in just an undershirt and her skivvies. "Now, if I could just…" She crouched next to the open circuitry. "Talk to me, Serenity. Why ya doin’ this?"
"Really must… get out of here."
Kaylee spun around, not expecting an actual answer. It was River, wearing a thin dress, barefoot as always, leaning against the doorway. "I’m doin’ my best to fix her, River," Kaylee said, turning back to her work. She always figured it was best to treat River like a normal girl—there had to be one in there somewhere.
"There’s an impending escape, you know. They’re trying to get free but they can’t. No… no, they need aid."
Kaylee smiled a little with sad eyes. Poor thing. The heat must be affecting her, hell it was starting to make Kaylee herself a little crazy. "I’m sure they’ll be fine, mei mei."
She heard the faint footsteps behind her and pictured River climbing down next to her, but stayed focused on the circuits, frowning when nothing looked broken.
"Don’t you see?" She was startled by the sudden cool touch of River’s hand on her cheek. "She’s ready for her freedom but the buttons won’t come undone." River stared into Kaylee’s eyes for a moment and then turned to reveal a long row of buttons in her dress. River looked back over her shoulder and whispered "Please?"
A laugh bubbled out of Kaylee’s throat. "It’s hotter’n a gorram frying pan, ain’t it, River?" She began undoing buttons at the top, wincing a little at the smudges of grease she left behind on the clean garment. After a moment of quick movements, "There you go, mei mei. Cooler like that, huh?"
River turned back around smiling, eyes darting. "The villagers perhaps will not revolt." She placed two fingers on Kaylee’s lips, dragging them slowly down her chin, brushing her neck, then resting her cool palm just above Kaylee’s right breast. "Revolutions can be violent."
And with that, River turned and began stepping up the ladder. At the top, she leaned against the door frame once again. "You know the problem is the Ruddard cuplink, darling, why don’t you try fixing that?"
Kaylee blinked as her jaw dropped. She rushed around to the other side, and sure enough, there was a wire loose. "Hell, River! Why didn’t ya say so earlier?" Just a little tightening and sure enough, within seconds Kaylee could feel the heat start to subside. She stepped back around to get her coveralls back on before anyone else came by and looked up. "River?"
There was only a rumpled white dress lying discarded on the floor.
"What in the seven hells!"