Characters: Kaylee, Wash
Word count: 408
Summary: When the crew goes out on a mission, those left behind have to entertain themselves somehow. Pre-Serenity Pilot.
Author's notes: A little ficlet written for bringthehappy. The prompt was 'Kaylee and Wash, puzzle'.
“I need the whirly one with the whoosh,” Kaylee said, gesturing nonsensically.
Wash peered around the collection of puzzle pieces before him and found the whirly one with the whoosh. Kaylee snapped it into place triumphantly.
The puzzle had been done so many times that the image was starting to peel up from the pieces. Neither Wash nor Kaylee really cared about that, though. It was the only puzzle they had and it had a history. Every time they had to wait for the crew of Serenity while they were off on a mission, they pulled out the tattered box and started to assemble it. It kept them from worrying about what danger the people they cared about were in.
Kaylee had even constructed a special portable table that they could bring into the bridge to work on. That way, if Wash had to get Serenity moving quickly, he was already in place.
Sometimes they challenged each other to see who could assemble the puzzle the fastest. They were about even in wins and losses. Kaylee could notice the intricate slopes and knobbles and things on each piece, just like she could assemble an engine full of little pieces. Wash could see the big picture and how the colours fit together, just like he could plot the best course and navigate through asteroid fields and busy ports without crashing into anything. Together, they were ‘unstoppable puzzle-doing...people’ (Wash’s words.)
Over the years, they had looked for another puzzle in markets, but hadn’t found one. Most people preferred the electronic kind these days. But Kaylee and Wash were both more hands on types.
“Oh, we are so good!” Wash said, after he snapped the last piece into place. He and Kaylee high-fived each other. “Seriously, if there was a title for people who could do jigsaw puzzles really fast, we would have it.”
Kaylee beamed and sat back to admired their work. The picture was of Earth-That-Was, all blue and green and sitting amongst the stars. Looking at it made her happy.
The radio crackled and Wash pounced on it. “Wèi?” he said.
“Wèi,” Mal’s voice crackled back. “We’re on our way back. No hurry. Everything’s good there?”
“Everything’s shiny, captain!” Kaylee called.
“Good, be there soon,” Mal said.
Kaylee and Wash smiled at each in relief, then got to work taking the puzzle apart and putting it back into its tattered, falling-apart box. Just like everything on Serenity, it was worn and used and loved.
And that suited them just fine.