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Persephone TalesOriginating Fandom:
484Prologue to the New Series
: Kaylee looked around the table at the candlelight flickering on the familiar faces, and felt the tears welling up. “I just can’t believe this is the last time we’re gonna sit around this table like this,” she said, with a catch in her throat. Inara leaned across the table and patted her hand. “It’s okay, mei-mei,” she said softly. “Everything changes, and we too.” She turned her sweet smile to Simon, who nodded and wrapped his arm around Kaylee, kissing the top of her head. “Besides, we’ll all still be together, you’ll see. We’ll set out our shingle out in Eaves Valley, with Mal and Zoe over the way, close enough for you ladies to share pregnancy stories, and we’ll get Inara to perch nearby after she’s done her stint at Olympia House. And even Jayne’ll hole up somewhere near the Docks, so I’m sure he’ll be underfoot once he sees how well set up we are.”
Jayne barked out a laugh as he pushed away from the table, picking his back teeth with a large hunting knife. “Fat chance, little doc,” he scoffed. “No ways I’m gonna hang around some Stuck-upbaby’sville when there’s fun to be had with the real people.” He smacked his lips, thinking of the rough-and-tumble of the bars and houses of ill-repute of Eavesdown Docks. “ ‘Sides,” he said with a bit of a snarl. “I agree with Kaylee-girl here. Never thought we’d all end up going straight and setting down dirtside. And taking up business with Badger, of all the low down dirty…”
“Jayne.” Zoe’s eyes were flinty and her voice cold steel, so at odds with her softly rounded physical shape. “There’s no call to be criticizin’ the Captain’s decision. We all agreed that it’s time, for all of us and for Serenity, set ourselves down for a spell and try to have some kind of normal life.” She grimaced slightly at the sound of her own words, as the voices of the others’ chimed, called, choked, and sneered at once.
This was silenced by a loud scrape as Mal pushed back from the table, stood, and eyed his crew with a mixed expression. “Now we’ll hear no more arguing, it’s happening, and it’s the right next thing, we all know it. Time to put down some roots, find our feet on solid ground, and sees what’s gonna happen with the next generation here.” He looked with warm eyes at Kaylee and Zoe, gave a mock glare to Jayne, and ended with a lingering smile at Inara. “It’ll be good, you’ll see. We'll have plenty of adventures, doing jobs 'round town, and setting up housekeeping, and getting into scrapes. It'll be fun. And if it ain’t, well then, Kaylee here’ll put Serenity back together, we’ll scoop up the babies, and head back into the Black. Deal?” He raised his mug and looked around the table.
“Deal,” they chorused, and sipped, gulped, laughed, hugged, or went back to teeth-picking, each as was their wont.