Author's Note: Well, I finally finished my Firefly christmas fic- a year after I started writing it. Hopefully, you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Complements to whoever can guess the "Little House on the Prairie" reference!
Christmas on Serenity was always...interesting. Yes, interesting was the best word for it. One could add some mighty foul words, but that weren't any kind of fitting, considering that it was Christmas.
Mal rolled carefully out of bed, still feeling all kind of tired. However, the noise in the common room made it clear everyone else thought it was already Christmas morning. He stumbled up the ladder, noticing that the lights strung down the hallway gave the ship a kind of peaceful look.
He was finally wide awake-you couldn't blame a body for being excited Christmas morning- by the time he stumbled through the door.
An unfortunate plastic tree-Kaylee had finally replaced the cardboard trunk with an old broom handle- stood in the corner, supported by a bit of baling wire. The presents were clustered under one side, so no one would accidently step on them. The room was festooned with Christmas lights, enough that a person could see quite easily, even though the lights were off.
Everyone was already there, as usual. Simon looked like he was about to fall asleep, River looked all childishly-excited, Jayne was just sitting there, Walsh- if he got any more on the edge of that seat, he'd fall off, and Zoe was being typically calm. Kaylee was looking all calm-excited, as was the Sheppard.
Inara didn't seem to be there- No, counter that- she was emerging from the darkened kitchen, holding a teacup. The odor it was puttin' out was that of hot chocolate, however.
"Cap'n!" Kaylee bounced up. "We was just wait'n for you."
A package, lump-ly wrapped in newspaper comics, appeared and was shoved into his hands. He did the only logical thing- pulled up a chair, sat down, and began unwrapping. And unwrapping. And unwrapping. The giver, apparently fearful that the gift's true form would be recognized, had festooned it in wrapping-paper armor.
A brand-new leather gun-holster finally emerged, carefully stamped with "Mal" across the outside.
"That's from all of us," Inara stated "Zoe said you needed one, I obtained it, and Kaylee did the stamping on the side."
Mal instantly thought of his old army holster, still tough but wearing horribly thin in places. He had been wandering how he could find a replacement.
The gift-exchanging began in earnest after that.
Wash unwrapped a pair of fingerless driving gloves- something he had been after for a while now.
Jayne looked surprised to find the cleaning kit for a sixteen-gauge shotgun. He had confided in the Sheppard that he had been making due with a twelve-gauge kit that didn't really work that good for his pistol, and Simon had found one second-hand a month or so ago.
Kaylee received three separate packages. One contained a small, fine bottle of perfume, courtesy of Inara's private stock. The second package, soft and neatly wrapped, contained a nice, if simple, dress. Kaylee admired it, and Simon blushed entheusasticaly.
Opening the third package revealed the Compression Coil for a Zumalt-class heavy bulk transport. Everyone, to a person, turned to glare at Jayne. To his credit, he looked a little sheepish and muttered something about "not want'n to break down again." Mal glared harder, and Kaylee cheerfully explained that, with some extenisive modifications, it could posibly work in a Firefly-class engine.
Simon carefully opened a large box to find his old medical bag, the handle now beautifully repaired and looking like it had never met a shotgun slug. River had found the once-prized possession languishing in the corner of the med bay, and Zoe had replaced it using the handle from an old handbag of Inara's. Mal had added a card, promising to paint the infirmary ceiling next time they had the opportunity.
Zoe- well, she had made it no great secret that she wanted a laser sight for her rifle. Walsh had done more than a bit of haggling, and finally talked Jane out of one he found on a recently-acquired weapon (as he put it, "Vera was getti'n jelous anyhow.").
Sheppard Book received a neatly-stitched handmade bible-case, something River had put a lot of work into at Simon's insistence. "She promises not to modify any more books." River added, rather loudly.
River would be receiving a very nice paint set, complete with paints. Sheppard Book had found the paints somewhere, and Simon had located the brushes at a second-hand store.
Inara carefully unwrapped a package that, it turned out, contained a smallish, highly decorated purse, of remarkably high quality. A card inside promised, in Mal's handwriting "good for one get-out-of-my-shuttle-this-instant."
The last gift had been unwrapped when something occurred to Mal. "What time is it?" he demanded. Christmas weren't the time for grumpy, but he had made it clear last night that there would be no getting up before five O'clock in the morning.
Everyone looked at the clock. Then back at Mal. Then back at the clock.
"Well, Cap'n it's kind of-" Kaylee began.
"It's sixty minutes 'till Four" Inara finished.
Author's Note:I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and I hope everyone remembers the true reason for the season: Christ's birth.
Well? What do you think? Review and let me know!