"Malcolm Reynolds? A father?" Inara rolls her eyes, gently tilting Kaylee's head back and running a comb through her hair "Please. I think a duck would have a better chance of successfully raising a kitten."

"Aw, don' be so hard on the cap'n." Chides the perky mechanic with a barely concealed smirk. "I'm sure he'd raise the kid fine and well."

Again, Inara snorts. He may be her husband, but that doesn't mean she always has to think highly of his abilities- especially as a caregiver for an innocent, helpless little thing. "I just don't think children are in our near future, Kaylee." She says softly, a hint of amusement tingeing her words.

"'S a shame," She sighed. "can you imagine what you and the cap would look be like, all meshed together into a little'un?"

"You're not helping your case."

Kaylee tilts her head back and laughs.

She's not always right

Don't matter what Inara says. This duck's doing a pretty damn fine job, and he knows it.

"'Aint I, child? Can't listen to everything your mean old ma says."

Henry looks up at his father and pushes his empty lunch plate away. "Momma is smarter than you, pops." He states plainly.

"Wha- what? Where you getting that nonsense from, boy?"

"I thought you knew," the ten year old says gravely, as if telling him that his mama was just paid a visit by Reavers. "everybody else does."

"I am just as smart as your momma!"

"Sure, Pops." Henry gets up from the table and shuffles towards the corridor, his disarray of brown curls bobbing along. "Keep thinking that."

"Yeah, I gotta go, too." Mal coughs, backing up from the table "Got…smart capitan-y stuff to do."

The duck is viciously mauled by a sweet, furry kitten. How strange.

Bad Genes

"What do you think, honey doll?" Mal asks, collapsing on the mess hall couch in defeat "Is your wizened, brave, immeasurably handsome Uncle Mal just as smart as ol' Auntie 'Nara?"

Athena stops reading her book and looks at Mal "I don't like to be disrupted when I'm reading." She states, blowing a strand of black hair out of her face "Go bother Matty or something."

"Girl, did you dig those manners out of a garbage heap or sumthin'?"

She rolls her eyes, a move Mal thinks is far too sarcastic for a 9 year old. Especially a girl with a lump of a father like Jayne.

"Got 'em from Mom." Athena tilts her head to the side and gives Mal an odd, bug-eyed stare, like she's brain-scanning him or somesuch thing. Yep, definitely River's girl.

"Nice chattin', Thenadoll." He rises from the chair, the girl's wide blue eyes still fixed on his face. "I'm gonna go talk to your momma for a mo'."

"Uncle Mal?"


"Inara is much smarter than you."

He scowls.


King of the Ants

Matthias Tam is the oldest of the tykes on Serenity. He's sure to cut his poor ol' uncle Mal some slack.

"No dice." Matty says, His thirteen-year-old eyes trained on the canvas in front of him. A portrait of Bella. "Auntie 'Nara is way smarter than you." He pauses thoughtfully. "And prettier, too."

"Now boy," Mal winces "that just hurts."

"'s true." Kit Tam looks up from his building block tower. "'Nara 's prettier than you, Uncle Mal."

"What? You're way too young to be thinkin' of womenfolk as pretty. 'Specially womenfolk I happen to be married to."

"I'm five. That 'aint young." Kit huffs "Matty's right. 'Nara's smarter than you, too."


"What about you? Who d'you think's smarter?"

"Unc! Unc!" Bella raises her baby-fists to Mal, grabbing for his suspenders. He grins.

The duck wins.

List 'o Kids

Henry Reynolds

Athena Cobb

Matthias Tam

Christophe Tam

Mirabella Tam