Bit Much White Stuff

The air was crisp. Kaylee pulled her sweater sleeves down over the tops of her hands and clutched at the material with her fingers. She suppressed a shiver as she did so. Outside, snow coated the ground, a blanket of white and it was even colder. The gentle hum of Serenity's engines mixed with birdsong and the occasional chatter of passerby's.

"Think we ought to stay indoors today," she said quietly. It was directed more to herself than any particular person, but Jayne nodded and moved closer so he was standing beside her.

"Yeah," he agreed. "Bit much of the white stuff for my likin'."

"You don't like snow?" She looked at him, surprised. In all honesty, she shouldn't have been. It wasn't like Jayne had feelings like normal people. He didn't seem to find joy in the little things, like snow. Not like she did.

Jayne huffed and crossed his arms over his chest. "Not when it's this gorram cold."

"But it's pretty," she said. "Snow is one of the most beautiful things this 'verse has to offer, Jayne. It may be cold but it's also pretty."

"Ain't denying that. Just sayin' it's cold, is all."

Kaylee fell silent, unsure how to respond. She wrapped her arms around her middle. The crunch of combat boots on snow caught her attention and she looked up to see Simon and River heading back to the ship. Simon nodded to them as he and River passed by and headed for their rooms.

"So," Jayne said when they were gone. "You want some hot chocolate? Inara's left some for the crew."

She looked at him. "From a client?"

He nodded.

"Okay," she agreed with a grin. "That'd be nice. And warm."

Jayne shrugged as if it was nothing and then turned to walk to the kitchen, without so much as a glance her way to ensure she was following. Giving one last quick look out at the snow, Kaylee smiled and then she went after him.

Truth was, Jayne wasn't the warmest person she knew, but there were times that made her wonder if maybe he was a bit softer on the inside than he let on. His offer of hot chocolate sent those thoughts back on overdrive.

As they prepared their drinks and then sat at the table together to drink them, she felt warmer in his presence, and for once she was certain that the warmth was not just because of the hot chocolate.