"Kaylee…what exactly did you buy?" Simon huffed under the weight of the three bags he was carrying along with the four or so boxes balanced tenuously between his chest and free arm.

"Oh, ya know. A dress, some shoes, some food, oh and the six engine parts we needed. Nothin' much," she shrugged. She only had one small basket full of fruit as they navigated their way from town to Serenity.

He struggled the rest of the way there, but didn't drop anything. No wonder Mal and Jayne were relieved when I said that I'd be the one to take her shopping, he thought tiredly. Kaylee was oblivious to her boyfriend's difficulties. She was busy happily eating a peach for the first time in a while. Needless to say, Simon was more than relieved to see the ramp to Serenity. Even more so that no one seemed to be in the vicinity. His heart pounded harshly in his chest as a lump rose in his throat. It was time.

He set the boxes down on the bottom of the ramp with the bags. Kaylee had continued on, but stopped when she realized Simon wasn't with her. He was standing on the ramp looking like he was about to pass out.

"What's wrong, Simon? You're lookin' a mite sick."

"No, I'm fine."

She smiled and went back down the ramp, holding the peach up to his mouth so he could take a bite. He did, and they kissed just briefly.

"Kaylee, I want to talk to you about something."

"Okay…"

"This is where we first met."

"Sure is. You had them funny round lil' glasses on. Ya still looked good though."

He smiled and then gripped the box in his pocket.

"I want to do this right, and I thought this was the place. Kaywinnet Lee Frye…" he got down on one knee and pulled the tiny wood box out, opening it to reveal the large diamond ring he had saved up for. She shrieked happily. "Will you marry-"

"YES! YES! YES!"

She pulled him to his feet, just to tackle him to the ground in a fit of kisses all over his face. He laughed and tried to kiss back as much as possible. After she finally stopped, he was able to slide the ring onto her finger.

"Oh Simon, it's so SHINY!"

"I'm glad you like it."
"Love it. LOVE IT. Just like I love you!"

She kissed him again. They sat on the ramp for just a little while longer, cherishing the moment and the warm breeze as they watched the clouds drift lazily by.

****

Mal was standing in the galley searching for a clean mug. So far, he had only found one that wasn't mostly broken. He finally came across one that could work, just as long as he avoided the chipped side. He turned around, and there she was.

River had silently drifted in and sat down at the table while his back was turned. He wasn't startled at her sudden presence. He had come to expect it. He simply smiled at her and then reached for the coffee pot.

"Hey there little one."

"Big ring."

"Hm?"

"Sorry. I wasn't aware that I had said that out loud."

For a second he thought that she had reverted back to her code language. She had that reader look in her eyes too. He feared that look. It usually meant bad things. She got it when she went on jobs. Much to Simon's dismay, she was going on jobs when she wasn't being the full time pilot.

"Not a problem, darlin'."

A few seconds went by as he sipped his coffee before redirecting his attention to his albatross.

"Big ring?"

"Simon and Kaylee. They're engaged now."

"What?!?"

"Just now. He's been planning it, but he finally got the ring today."

"So the doc popped the question?" Mal asked with a smile.

"He did. She said yes before he even got the entire question out."

He laughed. "Sounds like Kaylee to me."

"They're so happy. I feel it."

"I conjure it's somethin' most people are happy about."

"Some people aren't happy about being married, if I recall."

Mal choked on his coffee at the reference to his marriage to Yosafbridge.

"I was drunk. That's different then two people wantin' to be married."

"Alcohol contains ethanol, which leads to inebriation and impaired judgment."

"That's what makes it so great, sweetheart."

River smiled.

"I have a request, Captain."

"What is it?"

"If you don't object, I'd like to spend the night away from the ship."

"Why?"

"Tonight is Simon and Kaylee's first night as an engaged couple. I have no doubt in my mind that it will lead to-"

"You don't have to say it."

"In any case, their…activates…will keep me up."

"They share Kaylee's bunk now! She even added 'and Simon' on the hatch. You sayin' that they'll be so loud you'll hear them in the passenger dorms? I conjure that will be a problem for everyone then."

"No, not loud in a literal sense. I hear and see things others don't."

"Are you sayin' that you…see when people…you know?"

"Yes, I see when they you know, but only when the emotions are very strong. They will be. That's why I want to spend the night away from the ship."

"Alone?" he asked.

"Is that a problem?"

"This ain't the safest rock in the 'verse. I don't feel comfortable lettin' you roam without someone with you."

"I doubt Jayne would. Zoe might. I'll ask."

"Hey! What about me?"

"What about you, Captain?"

"I'll go. The idea of them…in the next bunk…"

River laughed. He flashed a quick grin.

"I'll let you know when I'm leaving."

"Make sure you do."

With that, she floated away with her dress swaying and her hair gently falling down her back.

****