Love's First Sight

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. Just love 'em and like to let them come play in my head.

A/N: This is the first in what I plan to be a series of "Firsts" for the crew of Serenity. Hope you enjoy. Reviews are right shiny!

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First moment he locked eyes on her, he was a goner.

Malcolm Reynolds never held much truck with the notion of love at first sight. Chalked it up to all be a bunch of fairy tale go se, conjured up to sell cortex vids and dime-store romantical tales to teenage girls and middle aged housewives.

Until her.

Mal felt his chest tighten up just at the sight of her, sitting there off to the side under the hard light of this dusty backwater moon. She was just waiting for him to come rescue her from this dreary life at the corner of No and Where. Waiting for him, just as he'd been looking for her but never knew it 'til this moment.

She was nice and curvy in all the right places, slender just where she oughta be, but even from a distance, he just knew she weren't all pretty looks. Inside, she'd be strong and welcoming, the kind a man could make a real home with. He couldn't scarce believe some other lucky hun dan hadn't come along and claimed for his own.

Mal couldn't pry his eyes off of her. He hadn't even got up close to her yet, and already his mind raced with visions of their future together.

A perfect match, him and her, to his way of thinking. Sure, she weren't no fresh-faced virgin, for certain. Maybe she was a bit rough 'round the edges, but she was all kinds of classy in her own way. He could tell she hadn't had any attention for a while. Damned shame, that. Mal could see the fiery young thing still there under the years of not-so-gentle use. How he'd loved to have met her back then, the thought jumped from his mind. Sure ya coulda handled her back then, son?

With a body like hers, weren't hard to guess what use she'd been put to. Most likely fell in with a disreputable sort of crowd. Looked like she'd been around the 'verse a time or two. Truth be told, she'd likely had more experience with the kind of life he figured on leading than he did his own self. Suited him just fine anyway. It weren't for everybody, scratching a living from the hard reality of the Black, but he reckoned she could handle it, and with her backing him, so could he.

So long as he loved her, respected her, she'd give him everything she had and stay true no matter what. She was meant for him, had already claimed whatever remnant of his battered heart was left after War.

He'd come here not sure what he was looking for, not expecting much. But for the first time in a long time, he felt a stirring inside. Didn't care to put a name to it as of the now, but it was there just the same.

In a near daze, he felt himself moving toward her on stilted legs, oblivious to the passers-by and the roundish man still yammering away beside him.

She was the one.

She was his. He was hers. No doubt to it.

The rotund fellow trailed off, following the besotted look in the younger man's eyes, and couldn't help grinning. She had that effect, she did. Wasn't any use trying to change the lad's mind, he thought, shaking his head.

"Sir, looks like you're a fine judge of character," he said, clapping an amicable hand on Mal's shoulder, leading him over for a more formal introduction. "She may not be the youngest belle at the ball, but this little gal's still got a lot to offer a man."

Mal stood before her, struck by the way she gleamed in the light. Shiny, solid, serene. Freedom. The salesman was saying something else now, but Mal didn't hear it. He'd give her his own name. Serenity.

"You know, you treat her right-" the man stated, tapping in the entry sequence on the Firefly-class transport's control panel, "-you treat her right, a ship like that'll be with you till the day you die..."

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Mal does love that ship. If you liked, (or didn't) please hit the little button below and tell me why …

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