|Puel, Wrongsexual (puella_nerdii) wrote in kinkfest,|
@ 2007-09-23 21:03:00
|Entry tags:||a: puella_nerdii, f: firefly, p: kaylee/river, september 23|
The Mass for Earth-That-Was (Firefly, Kaylee/River)
Title: The Mass for Earth-That-Was
Prompt: music - "turning and turning in the widening gyre"
By the time Kaylee’s packed her tools back up and stripped off her work gloves, Serenity’s purring like a kitten with a belly full of cream. She rests the palm of her hand on Serenity’s grav boot; it should be cool enough to touch now that she’s finished rewiring it. The warm metal tickles her skin, little spots of heat sinking blissfully into her knuckles. “Good girl,” she says, and puts her ear a little closer to hear how the grav boot sounds.
She’s making a real low kind of whirr, and the noise is as smooth as Kaylee could hope for. She lets her eyes drift on closed—then an even lower chord rumbles through the floor. “That’s not a sound you ought to make,” she tells Serenity.
And Serenity’s not the one making it, she realizes, because then some kind of high tinkling sound rests on top of that first deep note and trills up and down the scale, light and fast.
She looks to the door. “It’s music,” she tells Serenity. Inara has a lap piano, she remembers. She’s let her play around with it a few times before when she does up Kaylee’s hair real fancy. But Inara likes playing slower things where you can just wallow around in the notes for as long as you like and every sound lingers in the air until it aches. This is a lot faster. It makes her toes start to tingle inside her boots.
She walks down the hall. The music gets louder until she comes up on River’s room; River’s got the lap piano resting on her knees, her fingers flitting from one key to the next. Kaylee’s a little surprised the lap piano’s sensors can keep up with how quick she’s going.
“Dun-dun,” she announces, jabbing her fingers down until a rich chord booms from the lap piano’s tiny speakers. “One-e and-a two-e and-a three-e and-a four-e and-a—” She plays even faster. Kaylee gives up trying to follow her hands, but she can still hear the individual notes in the peaks and valleys of sound. “One-and. Two. Three. Four.” She brings her head up and stares right at Kaylee through the curtain of her bangs. “Hold.”
The last crashing harmonies fade.
“I didn’t know you could play piano,” Kaylee says.
“Shen Xu,” she says. “The mass for Earth-that-Was.”
“Don’t sound much like a church service to me.”
“That’s why I like it.” River swings her legs back and forth in time with the tune she’s humming under her breath. “It’s messy. The middle section isn’t melodic. Crash,” she shouts; Kaylee jumps back a little. River smiles, giddy as anything, and swings her legs faster. “Like that.” She leaps up from the bed as the lap piano tumbles around on the covers and tugs on Kaylee’s hand. “Sit.”
Kaylee sits. River yawns and snuggles her head in her lap, and she really looks like Simon’s kid sister then with her eyes half-shut and her toes twirling circles in the air. When she starts humming, the sound vibrates straight up through Kaylee’s legs.
“What’s that one?” she asks. It’s a low little song, but the notes don’t quite sit right with each other. She can’t say why that is, only that listening to it makes her frown and scratch her head.
“I forget. I learned it, though, so I think I knew. Have known.” She sighs. “Bits and pieces keep flaking away and falling and tumbling and falling again.”
“Can I help at all?” she asks. Fixing people’s not much like fixing ships, she knows—you need a different set of tools, for one—but most anything’s worth a try once. She smooths River’s tangles away from her eyes, the way her mama used to do in the summer.
“No,” River says, her voice flat. “Probably not.” She starts humming again, but Kaylee recognizes this one—
“That’s the Star’s Lullaby. I had to learn it in school.”
River stops singing and lets her head hang limp in Kaylee’s lap. “I forget the words.”
“That’s okay,” Kaylee says. “I remember ‘em. They’re real simple. I’ll sing them with you, okay?”
“All right,” River says at last. “But I’m changing them if I don’t like them.”
Kaylee smiles. “Deal.”