Author: Ami Ven
Prompt: Christmas present for riverotter1951
Word Count: 300
Character(s): Kaylee Frye, Inara Serra, River Tam, Zoe Washburne
Setting: technically, post-Serenity, but that’s not mentioned
Summary: The ladies of Serenity visit the Winter Market.
Kaylee didn’t take any particular notice of Inara sliding an arm through hers as they entered the bustling market, but River twisted to give Zoe a knowing look as she carefully put an arm around the younger woman’s shoulders.
There were a lot of people on this world, most of them bundled up against the lacey snowflakes falling around them, and the first mate didn’t want to risk losing either of their distractable crewmates in the crowd. Zoe managed a smile, hoping River would understand her reasoning, and after a long moment, River smiled back.
“She is glad to spend time together,” River said, her breath forming tiny puffs of cloud in the cold air. “Just us girls.”
It was a direct quote from Kaylee, and the engineer beamed at her. “We’re gonna have so much fun!” she said. “I’ve been wantin’ to come to the Winter Market here for ages, but I never could talk the cap’n into it. How’d you manage it, River?”
The brunette smiled. “She did not ask.”
Kaylee laughed, delighted. “That’s even better!”
“No, the look on his face was better,” said Inara, a smile tugging at her lips. “But I promised to bring him a sweet.”
Zoe only just managed not to smile herself. “Then we’d best get lookin’,” she said. “Supposed to be a lot of fine goods at a market like this. Might have to sample a few, really be sure.”
“Good idea!” said Kaylee, lighting up. “C’mon, ‘Nara…”
The two women pulled ahead, and River wriggled a little closer under Zoe’s arm. “She understands,” the girl said, softly. The snowflakes clung to her eyelashes, making her eyes seem larger. “You trust her to defend herself, but you still wish to protect her. She appreciates the sentiment.”
Zoe did smile, at that.