Her whole life she's had to fix things. Not just banged up engine parts and busted machinery, either, like the Captain thinks. Sometimes she hated being responsible for everyone's well being, always having to say that everything was shiny or be the one to break the news that everything wasn't.
Her whole childhood was spent fixing things in her daddy's shop. Everyday she worked below the house on odd jobs. Sometimes she got paid. Sometimes her payment was a plate of food and a warm bed. She hardly minded, 'till she started having to fix harder things.
One day she came back late from running an errand. She'd met up with some ship's mechanic, and they'd really hit it off. He'd showed her the ship, not to mention a few other things. Being caught by the Captain was embarrassing, but she forgot all about being embarrassed when he offered her a job.
Now, she couldn't remember the mechanic's name.
She'd run home in a frenzy, excitement sending shivers up and down her body. Her daddy wasn't in the shop. And her mama wasn't in the house. Her mama had gone, packed up her bags and left, and so Kaylee had to fix Daddy.
She looks back at this while she sits on a box in the cargo bay. Simon patched her up pretty good, like he always did, and the bullet hole in her shoulder feels like a distant memory. She thinks about Simon, thinks about what's about to start, thinks about what is ending.
Kaylee's good at fixing people, just like Simon. She knows just where to slap a bandage, what parts of someone are broke. All of that comes naturally to her. She knows stitches won't seal up a broken heart.
She finds herself wondering why she feels so lonely. Why fixing other people takes so much out of her. Simon can fix someone in the physical sense, but Kaylee's the ray of sunshine on this boat, and if someone's down, they come to her.
After fighting a battle, after losing a friend, Kaylee asks herself just what exactly she's trying to fix. The 'verse isn't a good place.
Sometimes a thing gets broke, can't be fixed.
Like Zoë was after the battle. Like Mal is everyday.
Her whole life she's had to fix things.