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|Title: Something New
Author: Eleanor K.
Posted: 8 June 2003
Series/sequel: Sequel to Something Old.
Disclaimer: All hail Joss the mighty. Not to be confused with Joxer
Notes: Xiexie to the lovely and talented Cab for the beta.
Kaylee likes boys. Hard, flat chests and muscled shoulders and hairy
legs, stubble scraping against her cheek. She likes the way they smell,
the way they surround her, the way she can take them in and make them
gasp and make them hers.
She likes boys. So she can't figure out what she's doing with River.
She knows how she got here, more or less.
"You'll walk me to my room," River said. Like prophecy. So they cleaned
up their game of checkers, and Kaylee walked River to her room.
And inside. The door closed and locked. River looking at her, eyes
wide, staring out through tangled hair. Wild like she always looks,
lost like she always looks, but somehow more present than she ever
has been before.
She took Kaylee's hand and turned it over and over. Palm and back,
palm and back, soft glancing touches, fingers tracing the veins in
Kaylee's wrist with disturbing precision. It tickled, but Kaylee didn't
River stepped closer. "Things need to change," she said.
She slid her arms around Kaylee's waist and leaned in, and Kaylee
hugged her close.
Why not? She hugged Inara, hugged her sisters and her girlfriends
back home. River snuggled into her, and it felt so good to have her
arms full like that, to have that soft warmth pressed up against her.
So trusting and so delicate. River breathed against her neck, and
she could feel both their heartbeats, just slightly out of synch.
She should have stopped it then. It wasn't like hugging her girlfriends
Now she's thinking it's gone too far to stop, or she's too far gone
to stop, or... River's hand, surprisingly strong, is under her shirt,
cupping her breast. Rolling her nipple so slowly between thumb and
Kaylee is holding onto River's upper arms, feeling tightly-strung
muscle beneath the skin, the sharpness of bone beneath that. She tries
to push River away, but she knows she's not trying hard enough.
River shakes her head. Her pale face floats between two lines of dark
hair, strangely luminous. Her eyes are calculating, but not cold.
Not cold at all.
Kaylee feels the fingers on her nipple pinch gently and release, pinch
and release, pulsing. Heat starts to pulse in Kaylee's stomach. Fingers
stroking now across her breast, returning to flick her tightened nipple
with a blunt-cut nail, teasing until Kaylee has to open her mouth
and suck in air. The room is too hot, the air too thick.
"River, we can't. This isn't--" But she can't say what it isn't. Can
it really be wrong? Simon would think so, she's almost sure. The captain
might, too. The captain's weird about sex sometimes. "Simon wouldn't
"And you like Simon. But he won't touch you."
River's other hand slides under Kaylee's shirt, and River leans in
and kisses her lips. Soft and smooth, like flower petals. She sounds
"But..." But I don't want to do this. I don't-- I'm not-- Really.
"Don't say it. Don't lie with words. Lie with me."
She likes Simon. River is just Simon's little sister. Her crush's
little sister. And maybe this is wrong. River's too young. Only three
years younger than Kaylee is herself, but--
"You worry about me," River says.
"Yeah, honey. I do."
River tilts her head, hair slanting across her face. Her mouth tilts
in a sly smile. "If worrying helped, Simon would have made me better
Kaylee has to smile back. "Guess you got that right enough."
"Honey is sweet. Am I sweet?"
Kaylee thinks of their kiss, of the hands now stilled against her
skin. "You sure are. So sweet. But--"
River kisses her again, fitting their mouths together so that Kaylee's
lower lip is caught for a moment and nibbled so softly. The protests
fade from Kaylee's mind. She can't find the words to lie with any
It's easy to allow her shirt to be peeled off, bra unhooked and cast
away. Her breasts tumble into waiting hands as goose bumps rise on
her bared skin. She blinks and takes a step back. The bed is closer
than she thought, and she sits down hard, feet slipping out from under
River stands between her parted legs and looks down at her, hands
now clasped behind her back. A still life painting, with that quality
of a staged scene, of the illusion of perfection that, in the captured
moment, isn't really an illusion at all. Kaylee will remember this.
She touches River's legs, below the knees, where her skirt begins.
Slides up and up so the skirt bunches and then spills over her arms,
hiding the progress of her hands. Up and up, and River closes her
eyes. One hand on a smooth hip, caught by the feeling of soft cotton
panties under her palm.
She pulls River closer and rests her forehead against a hollowed stomach.
The other hand wanders, brushing over fine hair and warm skin, feeling
the increased heat as it moves up and is suddenly caught as River
brings her legs together.
Kaylee looks up, sees the color in River's pale face.
She pulls River down to her, and they hold each other on the narrow
bed. Breathing in the scent of River's hair, tilting her head still
more to encourage the mouth at her neck.
It feels strange to have her arms enclose her partner, to hold instead
of being held. She strokes River's hair and continues down over the
curve of her back and buttocks. It is simple to pull the skirt up
and bare all that skin, and when she strokes a hand over River's hip,
around to the front, between her legs, the heat is coming off her
in waves. The crotch of her panties is already damp, and as Kaylee
strokes hesitant fingers over it, River pushes into the touch.
Kaylee feels nimble fingers unfastening her pants and stops--moving,
breathing, thinking. Her heart pounds at the questing touch on her
skin. For just a second, she is removed from her body, watching this
happen and not believing it. Watching from the outside. She wonders
how often River feels like that.
Then River's fingers slip inside her pants, inside the scratchy lace
panties that, pretty as they are, have been bothering her ever so
slightly since she put them on this morning. Back in her body, back
in the present moment, very much inside the small private world of
this room, this bed, the warmth of their two bodies. Kaylee looks
at River and smiles. She is glad to be here.
River smiles back, something joyful lighting in her eyes, and bends
forward to kiss Kaylee with a sigh. "See," she murmurs. "You see now."
Kaylee doesn't know what she sees or doesn't see, but it's not important.
Important is River's fingers stroking inside her, making her gasp.
Important is being able to do the same for River, pulling the cotton
barrier aside and touching her center, warm and wet and silky. Their
faces buried in each other's necks; soft, high-pitched sounds of need
and encouragement that could have come from either of them as they
rock their hips together, hands caught between their bodies, finally
coming in almost the same moment.
Everything is slow afterward, like the world has been dipped in honey,
thick and sweet, and even the air she breathes flows in and out of
her lungs with a certain laziness. She kisses River's soft mouth for
long minutes, breathing as she can between breaks of their lips.
Only when River tumbles from the bed, evading Kaylee's hands with
a giggle, and goes to wash up, does Kaylee remember.
She picks up her shirt, wondering how long she's been here, wondering
how long before--
"Stay," River says without turning to look at her.
"I can't, honey." She finds she doesn't want to say his name. "Your
brother'll be here to check on you any minute."
Then River is standing in front of her, pulling the shirt from her
hands. "Wear this."
This is one of River's nightgowns, pink, with a ruffled hem that will
fall nearly to her ankles.
River is already dressed for bed. Her nightgown is shorter, white
cotton with a scalloped bottom that stops just below her knees. She
is the picture of innocence, but the picture is marred by lips reddened
with kisses, a face still flushed from pleasure. Kaylee can't stop
herself from touching River's cheek, kissing her mouth one more time.
River pushes the pink nightgown into her arms. "Slumber party," she
says. "Just girls, no harm." Her eyes turn pleading. "No harm?"
Kaylee hugs her quickly. "No harm. It's all right. I'll stay."
Minutes later, they are snuggled together in River's bed. River lies
quietly in Kaylee's arms. The sound of her breath fills the darkened
When the door opens, Kaylee closes her eyes. She tries to breathe
normally, but fear leaves her short of air. Simon will know, and then...everything
will be different. Everything.
She waits for the angry hand on her shoulder, for the accusation,
but it doesn't come. She hears Simon's soft chuckle and hears him
slide the door shut and walk across to his room.
She could sneak out now, go back to her own room, pretend in the morning
that nothing happened. She thinks of Simon, with his cultured voice
and strong doctor's hands. She thinks of other boys she has known,
names and faces that she keeps tucked away, close to her heart.
River mutters in her sleep, twisting her head as if to get away from
something. Kaylee lifts a hand automatically to stroke her hair and
soothe the tiny frown from between her eyes. River quiets under her
touch, and Kaylee feels her own body relaxing. She closes her eyes.
She doesn't want to leave. She sees now.
Everything is different already.