Title: Half For Each
Ship: Kaylee/Zoe, Zoe/Wash
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Two happinesses unfold from one joy.
Notes: Spoilers for "Out of Gas"
Kaylee's practically skipping out of the ship, already half in love with it, when she turns a corner and runs straight into somebody.
She stumbles back a bit, and her dress slips off her shoulder again. Her obstacle, a woman, raises an eyebrow.
"Hello," Kaylee chirps, tugging at her sleeve. "Sorry."
The woman purses her lips, looks Kaylee up and down. One of her hands settles on her hip, creasing the hem of her leather vest.
Kaylee smoothes her hands over her skirt, feels very aware of the air ruffling across her thighs. The silence stretches a little long, and she bites her lip.
"I'm sorry," the woman says, not sounding it at all. "Do you have some business here?"
"Oh!" Kaylee straightens, and her smile shines out again. "The captain, he just offered me a job, as a mechanic. Just now."
The corner of the woman's mouth twitches. "Did he?" She looks over Kaylee's shoulder, and her smirk widens. "Interesting."
Kaylee extends her hand. "I'm Kaylee." The woman tilts her head, but after a moment, she clasps her hand around Kaylee's. Her fingers are strong, and her palm is warm.
"Zoe. First mate." Her smile is gone, but her expression isn't unfriendly. "If you don't mind--" She inclines her chin towards the engine room.
"Sorry," Kaylee says, and releases Zoe's hand. "I'd better go tell my folks, anyway." She gestures down the corridor. "I'll just--"
Zoe nods, walks past Kaylee without further remark.
Kaylee spins on her heel, watches Zoe until she turns the far corner. Then she takes a breath, and runs for home.
It doesn't take Kaylee more than an evening to get packed and unpacked again. Just a bag of clothes, some pictures and things of home she wants to keep. Cookies her ma packed into a box. A little money, so she send a wave if she needs to.
Her pa accompanies her to Serenity, exchanges a long glare with the captain before nodding. There isn't much more in the way of crew, just Zoe and the pilot. No sign of Bester, and the captain doesn't say a word about that.
While her pa shakes Zoe's hand, the pilot, Wash, sidles up to Kaylee with a wide grin. "She's really something, huh?" he murmurs, and his gaze is warm on Zoe.
Kaylee watches as Zoe smiles solemn at her pa, and something like relief flickers low in her belly. "She really is," she murmurs back.
And they stand together, and they wait.
A few weeks in, and they set down on a moon called Whitefall. Mal smiles tight at her. He says it's just a milk run, no worries at all.
Zoe swings by the engine room ten minutes later. "Don't wander too far," she instructs. "And it might be wise to keep the engine warm."
"Zoe." Kaylee steps forward, lowers her voice. "Is there something wrong? Is it dangerous?"
"No more than any other run." She starts to turn, then stops. Sighs. "There's some folk the captain doesn't take to. And some folk that don't take to the captain."
Zoe smiles, the same tight gesture that Mal had given her. "Little of both."
Kaylee reaches out, touches Zoe's wrist. "But it'll be okay?"
Zoe hesitates, then covers Kaylee's hand with her own. "Yes." Her fingers tighten, then she's gone.
Kaylee lifts her fingers to her lips, and doesn't feel worried at all.
Not at all.
Nothing goes awry, on that run, or the next, or the next. Well, the second time, the captain comes back with a black eye. The fifth time, Kaylee has to spin the engine pretty hot before they take off, and Wash's voice is panicky over the comms.
But they do all right, and that's as much as Kaylee wanted.
She's been on Serenity a few months when she walks into the mess and sees the way Wash touches Zoe's shoulder, then her waist.
Kaylee stands in the doorway and wilts a little bit.
Then Zoe laughs, something Kaylee's never heard, and she spins into Wash's arms. Wash kisses Zoe on the neck, and Zoe's smile is bright as anything Kaylee's ever seen.
It's a minute before they notice Kaylee in the doorway. Zoe looks abashed, but Wash just says good morning, all cheery-like.
"You two are beautiful," Kaylee says, and Zoe's expression relaxes.
Wash pours Kaylee a cup of tea, and Zoe gestures to one of the chairs. Mal tromps in, grumbling like he always does, but he has carton of char siu bao.
And together, the four of them eat breakfast.
A/N: Title and summary adapted from Molly Peacock's Couple Sharing a Peach:
It's not the first time
we've bitten into a peach.
But now at the same time
it splits--half for each.
Our "then" is inside its "now,"
its halved pit unfleshed--
what was refreshed.
Two happinesses unfold
from one joy, folioed.
In a hotel room
our moment lies
with its ode inside,
a red tinge,
with a hinge.
Linked on femslash_minis and here.