"Fixers, shooters…" her quiet voice floated to him.
"What was that little one?" he asked as he made his way to the pilot's chair. She was curled up in a ball on the floor clutching the metal grating.
"Repairs…plug the holes…make the holes…" she muttered as she sat up and leaned against the consol.
He looked at her intently waiting for her babble to continue. Her shift was almost over and his was about to begin.
"Don't want to listen to me talk," she said even more softly as she pulled her legs to her chest.
"I never said that. Never thought it neither. Go on…"
"There are the fixers and the shooters. Simon and Kaylee, fixers. Jayne and Zoe, shooters…" she sighed.
She looked at him with her head cocked to one side and that far away reader look in her eyes. He wasn't following.
"Simon fixes people. Kaylee fixes her," she explained as she ran her hand over the cool metal floor of Serenity.
"Jayne and Zoe fight. Make holes in people, in things. They have to. Nature of the Black. Sink or swim. Kill or die…paradox. Some die, never having lived at all. Slept the whole time. Never opened their eyes. But they're awake. All of them. Fixers and shooters," she wasn't talking to him as much as she was just voicing her thoughts.
"You're forgettin' a few of our crew," he reminded her with a smile, somewhat curious to see what he'd be.
"She's nothing…" she said, referring to herself. "Doesn't fix anyone, anything. Made to kill, but stopped that. Doesn't fight, doesn't fix. She's a paradox. Awake while sleeping. Sinking while swimming. Killing while dead."
"She don't seem like a paradox to me," he said gently.
"Because you're a paradox too, Captain…" she stood gracefully and leaned over the other consol where he was sitting.
"You're a shooter sometimes. We all are. Know when to fight, when to kill, but know when to stop. You know. But you're a fixer too."
"Never pegged myself as fixin' much," he smiled.
"Fixed it. Broken bird with a broken wing. Couldn't fly. Useless. Not like the other birds. Mended the wing, let it fly. Fixed the wounded albatross. Fixed her…"
She walked around and stood beside the chair. He knew exactly what she was saying. He usually did. He noticed how close she was to him.
"Two paradoxes in the Black…contradictions…but two halves make a whole." She leaned in and carefully kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you for fixing the albatross."
With that, she floated away. He mindlessly ran his finger tips across his cheek where her lips had just been.
"No problem, my little paradox."