Zoe had been buying throw rugs for months. Mostly cheap rag-made things from markets and shops on backwater moons. She wasn't picky as to colour. Just the cheaper the better. She ran the new ones through the wash when they were docked and hooked up to a local water supply. Hung them to dry over the catwalk railings in the cargo hold, then rolled them up and stored them in the nursery.

Mal wasn't exactly sure why until the first time Grace got herself from sitting up onto her hands and knees by herself. Rendering any floor in Serenity clean enough for Grace to crawl on was just… not possible. The ship was too old, the grease and grime too ingrained.

And so, the throw rugs. Mal understood in principle. In practice, however, the room was an eyesore. Kaylee had done her best to rearrange the rugs so the clashes in colour and style weren't quite so violent, but there was a limited amount she could do.

The only one who seemed to like it was Grace. Mal sat with her on the floor of the common room and tried to keep her from stuffing the corner of a bright pink-and-green mat in her mouth.

"Apple don't fall far," he told her. "Your daddy liked bright colours, too."