Pretty Little Things

"Ain't they all so pretty?" Kaylee exclaims, gazing in the store window at the squashed in faces of a litter of pups. They are all a golden colour with shiny black noses and big brown, captivating eyes.

Simon smiles softly at her excitement. "They are pretty little things," he agrees. "But," he adds before she can go on, "I conjure Mal wouldn't want one on the ship. Remember the cows?" He runs a hand through his hair.

Kaylee stares off into space, remembering. She frowns. "Maybe we could sneak one aboard when he's looking the other way?"

"As fun as that sounds I think it would be too much trouble to take care of without him finding out. Feeding it, for example. Where would we get the food?"

She sighs loudly, offers him a look of contempt.

Simon rests an uneasy hand on her shoulder. "I'm sorry, Kaylee. I…I've always wanted a dog just like these ones – they really are adorable – but Mal – "

"Screw it!" she interrupts. "I'm asking him. If he says 'no', then…" She shrugs. "Whatever. I'm asking." Her eyes glimmer with defiance.

Grimacing slightly, Simon nods. "I don't' like our chances of survival – "


" – but I'll ask with you."

They share a brief, hopeful smile and then set off in the direction of the ship to find Mal.