Alphabet Soup

Part I---A through C

Author: justslummin

Disclaimer: I own none of these characters.

Rating: PG

Summary: This is a collection of short scenes in the family life of Master Adam Reynolds of Serenity. Warning: Wall-to-wall fluff ahead. Enter at your own risk.

A—Adam and Anya

Anya sat on the catwalk, swinging her legs dejectedly.

Bending to sit beside her, Kaylee asked, "What's the matter, sweetie?"

"Adam," Anya answered.

"What about Adam?" Now Kaylee was truly curious.

Anya sighed and gave Kaylee a long-suffering look. "Captain Mal said Adam was gonna be my playmate, but he just lies around all day. He can't even walk or talk, and he drools too." She made a disgusted face. "How are we ever gonna play?"

"Well, he'll be able to walk and talk sooner than you think," Kaylee answered. "And there's ways to play with him now. Want me to show you?"

Anya nodded enthusiastically, and she and Kaylee found River, who gratefully relinquished the baby for a little while. When it was time for Adam's feeding, River peeked around the corner to discover a giggling Anya, her face buried in the little boy's belly, blowing perfect little raspberries just like Miss Kaylee had just taught her, and Adam, answering with kicking legs and waving arms, blowing bubbles of his own.

B—Breast or Bottle

Mal never tired of watching River nurse their child. But as the weeks wore on, he began to suspect he might be missing something very important. While he loved to see the bond between his wife and baby, he was embarrassed to discover that another less pleasant emotion was beginning to rear its ugly head.

"Jealous," River said one night, as she sat rocking the nursing baby.

Mal shifted on the bed, uncomfortable to have the thought stated aloud. "No, I'm not," he answered defensively.

River rolled her eyes, reminding him wordlessly that it was useless to lie to a Reader.

"Well, maybehaps a little," he acknowledged sheepishly. "He's just so beautiful lookin' up at you, and so…"

"Connected," River supplied.

Mal nodded.

"Would you like to feed him?" River asked.

Vaguely startled by the question, Mal answered, "Well, I ain't exactly got the right equipment for the job."

"Can fix that," River said. "Bought a breast pump dirtside. Took a class over the cortex to figure out how to use it."

"A what?" Mal's eyebrows wrinkled in confusion.

"A device by which I can pump breastmilk into a bottle so you can feed your son sometimes too," River explained patiently.

Mal looked at her skeptically, trying to wrap his head around the concept. "Sounds a mite painful for you."

"Not really, now that I've gotten the hang of it, and it would provide an optimum environment for parental bonding," she answered, as Adam released his little pink lips from her nipple with a satisfied smack.

Mal reached over for Adam, leaning him gently over his shoulder and patting his back rhythmically. Letting out a loud burp, Adam gurgled happily and snuggled into a ball into his father's arms.

Mal looked from his son to River, knowing he was grinning like a gorram fool. "Well then, if it's all the same to you, I think I'd like to give it a try."

River answered him with a matching grin. "Then you can take the night feedings, ai ren," she said, her smile a little on the mischievous side.

C—Candlelight and Curses

Mal had found, by trial and error, that Adam accepted a bottle best if he was still allowed maximum skin to skin contact. So, he sat in the rocker, his son curled into his bare chest contentedly drinking his last bottle before sleep.

River stood by the sink bathing herself with a languid grace in the flickering candlelight. Mal watched her sensuous movements, and was amazed that after just six weeks, she had regained her lithe dancer's form. Except for the enticing fullness of her breasts and a slight softening of the curves of her belly and hips, he could scarcely believe that scant weeks before, she had been awkward and heavy with child.

He watched the water from her sponge run down the smooth expanse of her back and thighs, and a low groan rumbled up from deep in his chest. If she heard, she gave no indication as she raised her arms to secure her hair away from the nape of her neck, affording him a view of the velvet skin on the side of one breast.

Mal glanced down at his son and realized that Adam had fallen asleep whilst he'd been distracted by all manner of erotic thoughts about his wife. Rising slowly from the rocker so as not to wake him, Mal placed the child gingerly in his crib.

When he turned back around, he was disappointed to see that River had slipped into a robe, denying him the sight of her beautiful body. But when he looked into her eyes, he saw a smoldering fire there that made a delicious tension curl in his belly.

"Saw Simon today," she said softly, drawing close enough that he could feel her warmth against his bare chest.

"That so?" he murmured against her hair, consumed now by the fiery need burning a hole through him.

She raised her luminous brown eyes to his, reflecting the flicker of the candlelight. "Got a clean bill of health."

Lost in the haze of his desire, Mal did not process her words immediately. Then, comprehension dawned. "You mean we can...?" he began hopefully.

"Yes, ai ren, we can," she said, slipping her robe off her shoulders with a small shake.

Mal stood frozen, his flashing eyes absorbing every inch of her glowing skin. She kissed him, her mouth as hungry as his own. Moving quickly to the bed, she began to tug at his pants, eager after weeks of abstinence to feel the hard length of him inside her again.

Suddenly, Adam cried out, startled from sleep. Mal and River held their breath, each praying that the infant would settle back into slumber on his own. His wails became louder, outraged to be ignored in such a fashion. Muttering darkly, Mal retrieved his clothes and River pulled her robe reluctantly back around her shoulders.

"Sorry, ai ren ," she said, as she picked up a very angry Adam from the crib.

"'S'alright," Mal answered aloud, though River heard a long string of curses in his mind that made her blush with their inventive nature.

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Coming Soon—D through F

Author's Note: For those who read all my angsty work, I know this is a departure for me. I will be back to my regularly scheduled angst in a bit, but wanted to take this little side trip. I'd love to hear how you feel about this one, as it is an experiment of sorts.