Light & Fluffy
spoilers for Trash for scarywhit over LJ's iluvmycaptain
Disclaimer: I don't own. I just play. Sue if you must. I have $1.59 in the checking account. There are 19 sticky pennies in the change jar, many children on the place and even more cats & plastic fish that might bring you wealth beyond your dreams...or not
Keeping Your Pants on is a Complex Situation
"How's Jayne, doc?" Mal savored his cup of coffee. It was thick from being left on the stove while all and sundry tended to details. Sludge was a welcome testimony when your pockets were about to fill.
"Oh," Simon nodded as he passed through the kitchen from the cargo hold. "He's fine. Sore, but otherwise I think he'll learn to walk a bit more carefully from now on."
"You transplant his feet?" Mal called to the doc as he descended the stairs. "Thought it was his back got knocked around."
Doc didn't answer him. Mal shrugged and went back to the joy of coffee that a spoon coulda stood proud in.
Zoe, stepping into the kitchen with Wash and laughing over the possibilities of being rich, grimaced over the coffee in the pot. "You aren't actually drinking this are you, Sir?"
"I am." Mal informed her. "Not about to waste anything till that coin is dragging my pockets low."
She raised her eyebrows. "Hoping you need to reinforce those suspenders huh?"
"Yeah," Wash snuggled behind Zoe at the sink, "Wouldn't want to be displaying your … attributes all over the 'verse. Again."
"You just get us there," Mal shoved from the table, "I'll worry 'bout the rest."
Mal placed his cup on the counter, rolled his eyes at the intimate smile between Wash and Zoe that was blossoming to more. Couldn't help suggesting, "You do have a bunk."
"Do we?" Wash gasped as if this were wonderful news.
"Came with the job, honey, remember?" She stepped from his arms. "Night, Sir."
Wash danced a few steps by the glaring Captain and followed his wife.
Being used to their joy in tormenting him with their excessive gropes of affection on his boat, Mal complained, "Wasn't displaying. Just had a good day."
"Sure was, Cap'n." Kaylee breezed by him, grabbing a couple cookies and pouring some tea. "Serenity is feeling better. Turns left and right now."
Mal enjoyed the smile Kaylee blessed him with on her way to the table. "Reckon we just can't help feeling good about that."
"Reckon not." Kaylee dunked a cookie in the tea and watched Mal shudder. "They're harder than the deck, gotta do something."
"We done had this discussion. Not right to drown a cookie, Kaylee." He crossed his arms, trying to maintain a bit of Captainly decorum. Damn grin screwed that up. "You planning on buying a barrel of cookies?"
"Definitely a box or three." She stirred her tea with the not-really-sweet-anymore cookie. "What about you? Thinking on buying your way free of that woman, or just getting tighter pants?"
Mal choked as if that soggy cookie Kaylee was gnawing around her wicked grin was lodged in the back of his throat. "Now see here-"
"Shepherd says a bit of coin wouldn't hurt when you go speak to the folks about your divorce." Kaylee informed him.
"What?" Mal shouted. Glanced around the empty room, as if spies were everywhere and hissed at her, "What gives you call to be discussing my personal business with the Shepherd?"
"We weren't discussing it." Kaylee licked her fingers to gather the crumbs from the table. "I asked is all. Figured you wouldn't. Can't let her hang on you like busted suspenders flapping in the breeze, now can I?"
Mal leaned on the counter with both hands, trying to think of one coherent thing to say that didn't begin with, Who the hell do you think you are? and end with his hands around her throat just to emphasize his fondness for privacy. "I'd take it as a favor, little Kaylee, if you kept your nose out of my marital complexities."
Kaylee swirled the crumbs in the cup, a thing she knew made Mal most disgusted about dunking cookies. "Gotcha." She swallowed it all on one gulp, enjoying the slightly queasy face Mal turned away. Leaving her cup in the sink, she patted his shoulder as she walked by. "So, uh, what sized pants you figure will stay on a married man?"
Mal shoved from the counter, chasing after her. Kaylee had to dart around Jayne as he took the stairs slowly. She slid down the rail and squealed when River poked her head from the infirmary to shout: "Faster!" Tangling in the Captain's forward momentum, River grinned from the deck, "Not playing..."
"Come out from under there!" Mal slapped at the support beam. "I know you're under there. Serenity isn't gonna hide you from me."
"Ha!" Kaylee laughed. "Will so. Serenity don't mind me intruding in her personal complexities. Do ya girl?"
Mal squatted, intending to give Kaylee a bit of his choicest interpretation of profanity. But, she was grinning, squirming from his reach, her shoulder sneaking from her coverall, just enough to divert a man's attention to the possibilities her skin might be that color all over, or not. And his brain just stopped. Not like dead, more like ambling off the path of self-direction and veering toward the uh, with her hair caught in the static, dancing about, and her eyes wide and mocking him with such delight … what was he thinking to say? Better just to enjoy the view….
"Now, look," Kaylee's grin faded a bit when his expression turned from irritation to somber. "I was just teasing. Seems you had a word or two to mention about my personal business more'n once. And…. What ya looking at me like that for?"
"Measuring." Mal's voice blended with Serenity's heat, bringing a flush to his face. Somber, eased a mite toward the pleasured zone and Kaylee squirmed toward him as if he'd asked her, nicely.
"You." His hands slid under her arms, tugging as she backed out.
"Me?" Kaylee turned, startled when he didn't move. "For what?"
"A crate," Mal's words stirred her hair, and the thermo-coupling behind her must be running hot cause sweat was running down her back.
"A…crate?" Kaylee's hand fanned on his chest, her thumb looping under the leather of his suspender, resting there, feeling the quake of his heart. "What do, uh, I need a crate for."
His eyes drifted low, one hand covering hers, fingers curled. Ever so slightly, he leaned closer, aware of the way her eyes widened and her teeth disappeared behind her lips. Lips that weren't smiling no more, but seemed to be as enticing all the same. "For me," he whispered.
"You," Kaylee inhaled the coffee, warmth and energy Malcolm Reynold's radiated as if his fuel cells might be premium instead of the second rate ones. Her thumb twitched beneath his hand, stroking north then south.
"Hmm." Mal pressed his lips to her forehead, then trailed the side of her face, his other hand inching from her shoulder to the back of her neck. "For me…."
Kaylee turned to meet his lips; surprised by the smile he gifted her. Leaning closer to her ear, denying her the kiss, or maybe just making her wait, he whispered, "To stuff ya in…."
"Shiny." Kaylee's forehead drooped to the hand trapping hers. "Reckon you'll let me out in time to see ya lose your pants … again?"
Mal draped himself across her shoulder and laughed till his knees nearly gave out. "Shouldn't ought to play with fire, little Kaylee."
She pushed gently against his chest, forcing his head from her shoulder. Smiling tender as Mal's torment, she leaned a bit closer, "Who says I'm playing?"
His mood shifted swift as lightening. Captain, with his spine as stiff as other attributes, "I do."
Kaylee nodded, stepped a pace back and leaned on her hands, flattened behind her. "Yes sir, Cap'n."
"How, uh," Mal cleared his throat, "How much the Shepherd say was needed for that divorce?"
"Best talk to him 'bout that, sir." Kaylee tilted her head, almost disgusted with him. "Not right to force my way into your complexities."
Mal glared at her, "You done nothing but since you got here."
He threw up his hands. "It was not a compliment I was handing you."
"All depends on how you look at it." Kaylee shrugged, rose up on her toes and kissed his cheek. "Being noticed is nice."
"Being nosy isn't." He put his hands on her shoulders, but as in the kitchen, the damn grin just wouldn't be denied. He wasn't sure what it was 'bout Kaylee that tickled him where any other woulda been facing his not unwarranted wrath, but some things in the 'verse, ya just let be, and enjoyed.
"What about being naked? Is that nice?" She knocked him off balance - with her hip, not her words, gorramit! - and darted from the engine room.
Her laughter chimed throughout the ship, so that when he approached Shepherd about, uh, information concerning his domestic tranquility, he didn't sound like he might have to shoot someone.