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Title: Laundry Day
Fandom: Firefly
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Words: 405
Notes/Warnings: Written for [livejournal.com profile] 31_days theme '24 January 2013: That was embarrassing, so I'm not saying it again.'
Summary: Mal needs to tell Kaylee something.
Disclaimer: Firefly copyright Joss Whedon, and this derivative work was created without permission

Zoe was conveniently missing. Mal wasn't sure how someone could hide on a ship Serenity's size, but it was awfully inconvenient, and he couldn't put off this problem until Zoe raised her head above decks.

Besides, if he went looking for Zoe, he might find her with Wash, and that would trade one situation for another. Serving with someone during the war didn't leave much to the imagination about modesty, but there was a difference between hurrying to grab pants because the Alliance was shelling your base camp and, well, hurrying to grab pants because the captain walked into your love nest.

So Mal braved the engine room on his lonesome. Kaylee was there, as she usually was, doing something to the engines that Mal didn't understand, but made them run sweeter than they had when new. "Hi Captain!" she bounded up to greet him, avoiding the strings of clothesline she had stretched across the room.

"Hi there," Mal said. He tried to step in the room, but the thicket of clothing was a bit of a hindrance. He picked something he hoped was a jumpsuit and not something more… delicate… and pushed it out of the way. "Kaylee, we need to talk about your laundry."

"I paid for the extra water out of my own take," Kaylee said, "and I'm using the waste heat to dry everything. So it's not costing us a thing, Captain."

"That's very thoughtful of you," Mal answered. Kaylee was good at seeming young, even if Mal knew she was old enough to be working… and other things. it still made her seem like a younger sister to the rest of the crew, and there were some things Mal didn't fancy thinking about his younger sister. Like the string of fancy undergarments looped across the engine room. "But I don't know if I'm comfortable seeing a girl's wardrobe strung out over the ship. Especially her unmentionables." For that matter, he'd rather no one's undergarments be out of their quarters; normally Mal didn't bother much with formal rules, but that one sounded fair enough.

Kaylee considered this. "Well, I can move those into my quarters, if you don't mind me keeping the bigger things out here. They can't exactly take high heat-."

Mal held up a hand, because he really didn't want to hear about Kaylee's laundry troubles. "That's fine, Kaylee. Let's do that and not have this conversation again." Please.

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Becca Stareyes, Invoking Urania

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