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Childhood Wishes - Chapter Six - basched
basched
basched
Childhood Wishes - Chapter Six

Title: The Search For Rver Tam: Book & Kaylee
Series: A Little Problem series.
Author:  Me. Just me.  
Genre:  Supernatural/ humour.
Characters:   Kaylee. Book.
Summary:   The crew of Serenity undergo a transformation. The mechanic and shepherd search for the smallest member of their crew, high on sugar.   
Rating: It's okay. Nothing bad or untoward.
Author's Note: 
If you haven't read the comic "A Shepherd's Tale" you might be a little teeny tiny bit spoilt as to Book's character. Not much. Though it was fun to write these two together! Not enough is done for Book...so hope this silly little fluffy piece is okay. Again sorry, no Rayne...but Jayne and River are mentioned.

Thanks to Neuman for the beta.


 

 

Two weeks of music. Nothing but beautiful sounds and joyous dancing, a festival devoted to artists, Kaylee was beyond ecstatic. The people in all their shiny costumes overjoyed the mechanic when they were here before, but now, as she had the physicality and emotional capacity of a five year old, this festival was like one huge sugar rush.

The squealing hyperactive-ness was increased ten-fold with a real overdose of sugar. They had passed wondering vendors and one had given the two children ice planets, free! No coin was needed when two adorable faces looked up with wide hopeful glances it was enough to get the tasty treat! Who could resist the little girl with braided pigtails, a flowery dress and dirt smudged on her cheeks, or the dark skinned boy with fluffy hair and captivating eyes?

Eating an ice planet had been easy work as adults, but both Book and Kaylee were somehow incapable of eating the treat without getting it over their faces or on their clothes. Book had managed to get blobs of it in his hair when the dessert on a stick flipped up on the string and hit him on the head. He had laughed at it the first time, but the other times he slowly got frustrated at his inability to eat it.

With her face all sticky and smeared with ice cream, Kaylee was now jumping up and down beaming a smile that surely would have cracked her face if it widened any more.

"This is so freakin' awesome!" Her little fists shook with excitement above her head. "It's so shiny I could die!"

"We don't want that." Book grabbed a strap on Kaylee's dress and pulled her out of the path of some rather energetic dancers. She could have been trampled, could have been seriously injured but Kaylee was blissfully unaware as she bobbed and swayed in an attempt to mimic those dancers.

"Shepherd, ain't this the most fantastic and most super-duper shindig yer ever bin to?"

"Most definitely!" Book was mesmerized suddenly and he clapped his hands as someone cartwheeled past them. He watched the man spinning and turning down the path with wonderment and awe, as did others who got out of their way. When the cart wheeler disappeared he snapped out of his revelry. "However, we are supposed to be looking for River!"

A black cloud hovered over little Kaylee and her smile faded somewhat. Her bottom lip pouted and her head bobbed, making her braided tails swing back and forth.

"Yer right, Shepherd. We need t'find River, that's what's important."

"Don't be upset, little Kaylee. We'll find her!" Book wrapped an arm around her shoulder and squeezed. "Where's that enthusiasm and Kaylee Frye optimism that we all know and love?"

The sunshine returned and Book had to grin back.

"Let's do it! Let's find River!"

Book held up his hand and Kaylee slapped it hard before turning round and searching the crowd for signs of the youngest member of the crew. Book tried to scan the festival goers as well and, as a song broke out on the loud sound system, he rubbed at the socket of his eye.

He hadn't noticed any problems with the artificial device since the transformation and he hoped that nothing would go wrong. Well nothing could, could it?

Book was amazed that such a magical transformation in flesh and blood was possible; he understood a lot about science, technology and in the ways of God, but this was beyond anything he could come to grasps with. Whilst Kaylee was scurrying around people's legs, calling for River, Derrial took the opportunity to give his false eye a poke. Just a little one. It was amazing that the change had included the ocular surveillance device…

"RIVER!" Kaylee was getting frantic now. Her cheery nature was waning and doing so fast. Even the joyful Mandarin song and cartoon video playing on the large screens weren't helping her anxiety for her friend. "We ain't findin' her preacher. It's no good! Simon must be going through hell! What're we gonna do when we don't find her?"

"Don't fret, Kaylee. In crowds such as this and being as small as we are, it's not going to be easy but she will be found. We need to have a difference perspective."

The two stepped out of the main crowd and into a small alley between some shops. The barrels and crates stacked up against the walls were a definite must for kids to climb on, so they did, Book requiring a little assistance from Kaylee. She pushed on his bottom to try and heft him up as much as she could, but his little legs finally enabled him to scramble up. Book then in turn pulled Kaylee up beside him.

The higher view on the barrel didn't improve things that well, especially when other children and even adults were climbing on everything to get an overall look on the festival town themselves. When some older (or was it younger?) kids came and climbed up in front of them shoving some others out of the way, one boy smirked nastily at Book and Kaylee, as if blocking them was somehow amusing.

"Excuse me?" asked Kaylee as she tried to peer over and around the group of boys. "Can ya move please? We can't see what's goin' on!"

"Too gorram bad!" the boy stuck his tongue out and laughed, turning his back on them. Kaylee scowled as the others did as well. Her arms folded across her chest and she huffed in the most huffiest and angriest way she could muster.

"He's as mean as Jayne!" hissed Kaylee to Book, her voice pitched with anger. "They's all like a big group of Jayne Cobbs! Being mean and…well real mean!"

"Kaylee…" Book held on to her arm and whispered in her ear. "These boys are no Jayne Cobb. Yes, our mercenary has a certain uncouth and blunt manner…"

"He's rude."

"W-ell…we all know that." Book nodded. "But Jayne…"

Kaylee huffed again when one of the boys nudged at her leg and nearly unbalanced her. Their laughs made her little freckled face scrunch up in disgust. Her nose wrinkled.

"I think our public relations officer has a lot more to him that meets the eye."

"If you say so, preacher. You two do seem to get on well...which is all 'culiar an' all. But what ya see with Jayne is whatcha get and I know he was just like them when he was this age! Pickin' on girls, bein' scuffy lookin' an'…an'…" Kaylee was getting very huffy.

"Being mean?" Book wrapped an arm around her shoulder. The group of boys were pushing around some other children and not being very gentle about it. Their guffaws and rude comments were plain uncalled for. "But you know and certainly River knows, how to deal with his unsavoury behaviours."

"Riv sure does! She bugs the hell out of him!" A small smile drifted across Kaylee's face. "I think she loves freakin' him out and annoyin' him…she's like pickin' at a Jayne scab t'make thin's worse! Yeah that sweet lil' darlin' could teach Jayne a thin' or two…I'm bettin' she could do the same for these hun dans! And hell...so can I!"

As soon as Kaylee said those things, the boys in front of them purposely jostled the barrel they were standing on. The two little members of the firefly crew surely would have fallen if they hadn't braced themselves with their hands on the wall.

"Hey! Chuo zi ya ji bai! Di yu!" Kaylee hissed spitefully. "We're standin' here! No need to throw us off!"

"Quit yer snivelling girlie!" The eldest boy sneered and then chuckled. "You gotta problem, go find somewhere else! We were here first!"

Book sighed. A memory of back aboard Serenity, when they were adults, came to the old man. He recalled Jayne and Kaylee arguing, bickering over the last chair around the table that didn't wobble and the ultimate result was a big shoving contest…which Kaylee won.

So he wasn't surprised in the slightest when Kaylee yelled and gave the boy a huge shove. Kaylee had quite a bit of strength behind her too. Pushing a smug 240 pound merc off a tipped back chair was easy, so was this.

The force behind her shove pushed the boy right off the barrel and he tumbled into his friends, dragging them down to the floor in a tangle of limbs. They were not happy. They shouted and yelled and some of the nearby adults crowded round them. The other little kids laughed.

"I think we'd better go." Book grabbed hold of Kaylee's hand and pulled her down from the barrel. Then like lightening—or as fast as their little legs could scurry—they ran away from the alley and back into chaos of the streets.

Book didn't know how fast they were running, but it was fast. They weaved in and out through the legs and the grip he had on Kaylee's hand was firm and solid. A little sweaty—ugh!—but Kaylee didn't slip. In fact as the music got louder, Derrial found himself grinning. Then he was laughing at the rush of it all.

Back home, when he was this young…there was never anything to laugh at. He never had the opportunity to be this free as children should be. His father never allowed him to be. Now this was wonderful.

Kaylee started laughing. It was a beautiful sound, light like sunshine and rainbows and then it turned into a squeal—no, that was him—as Book felt himself being lifted up off the ground. Everything was a blur, Kaylee's hand slipped from his and his little arms and legs flapped frantically trying find ground.

"Shepherd!" Book's heart nearly shot up into his mouth with fear at her cry, but then as he felt himself being dumped on someone's shoulders, he heard Kaylee's happy laugh again.

"Weeeeeeee!" The blur faded—as much as it could with so many lights around the place—and Book was indeed sitting on top of a man's shoulders. Kaylee was sitting on a woman's slight frame and clapping her hands with joy.

"Don't know where ya goin' in such a hurry kiddos, but it ain't a place for you to be on your own!" Angling himself a little, Book was able to take a look at the man's face and his attire. Typical, he was a lawman. The woman—his sister judging by the facial similarities—looked to be another version Kaylee. Though with not quite so much grease or oil smeared over her.

"We're looking for our friend." Said Book to the lawman.

"Roamin' this town on your own is not a good idea, son." The Lawman shook his head. "Even when it ain't festival time."

"I can see for miles up here, Preacher!" Kaylee screeched, gently stroking the red hair of the woman she sat on. "We might even be able to find River like this!"

"We can help you look for your friend." Said the lawman, smiling up at Kaylee and then to his sister. "Then we will have to get you back to your parents."

"Thank you!" Book patted the lawman on the head. This man was nothing like Dobson or any of the other Feds he'd come across in the Verse. Book could tell by his eyes. He had a kind soul. So did his sister.

The woman jiggled Kaylee, making her laugh even more. Book couldn't supress the grin or stop from extending his arms out to the side as the man spun him round. The rush of the air around him and Kaylee's elation made everything feel so wonderful!

"Good, glad you guys are all right. " Said the woman. "I bet your parents are goin' spare."

"They may do, but please…we have to find our friend first!" said Kaylee stroking the woman's hair again. "Please? She's lost an' all alone! Don't call the kiddie feds!"

"Kiddie feds?" laughed the woman. "Bless ya hon! There aint no such thing!"

"The Lady don't like kids bein' on their own." The man said "It's my duty and responsibility to see you safe back with yer folks."

"But we can't go back without River," Said Book, a whine unintentionally sounding in his voice. "Please help us find her!"

Kaylee and Book put on their best pouty expressions and their cuteness was obviously enough to convince the adults. The couple gave in and when both the boy and girl clapped their hand triumphantly, they were bounced on the shoulders in time with the music. So as they were bobbed around amongst a sea of people, Book and Kaylee tried to look for the smallest member of their family.

Book thought he saw glimpses of River, fleeting sights of a little pair of black boots or a wisp of long black tatty hair. He thought he heard her laugh or her singing, but it was never her. The helpful siblings carrying them did all that they could and when the two of them were getting even more down heartened, more ice planets were handed to them.

The sugar pushed Derrial Book into overdrive.

"Whoooooo!" He cried and screamed up at the sky above him and bit a large chunk of planet as it swung by his mouth. The vanilla gloop dribbled down his chin and he laughed. "They're so cold and yummy!"

He had never laughed so much in all his life. Derrial Book had been through a lot but now he truly felt free. Kaylee was beyond happy again, waving her arms about and swinging that ice planet around and spraying melted ice cream in her immediate vicinity.

"River? River!" Kaylee's voice called out and the next thing Derrial knew was that the mechanic had slipped off the woman's shoulders and was running to the sidewalk of shops. The woman called out for her to stop, but Book slipped down and began chasing after her.

"Kaylee!"

"I saw her Shepherd!" Kaylee waved an arm for him to follow her. "I saw River down here! RIVER! Honey! Sweetie! It's me! Kaylee!"

Book ran after her as well, calling out for River but knowing that she might not respond to him. His mass of hair may not be shockingly white anymore, but the sheer amount of it, the way it rocked from side to side, probably would still freak her out.

"River?" Book called out. "River!"

"Are you sure you saw her?" The two adults were keeping up with the two of them, but it wasn't easy as Kaylee was pelting along at a startling pace.

"Yes! I saw her! It was definitely her!" Kaylee squealed, as she then impacted with a very large man's backside. She fell onto her bottom and looked up with a disgusted "eew" expression on her face. Before Book or even the couple could reach she jumped back up to her feet and carried on running.

"KayLEEEE!" Book was running out of puff. All this running was too much. "Wait!"

"I know she's here Book! I saw her and…..OOOOH!"

Kaylee came to abrupt halt and Book couldn't stop himself from ploughing into her. It was his turn to tumble to the ground. He sat on his bottom a little dazed for a moment and then gazed up to see Kaylee smooched up against a glass window with wonderment.

He got to his feet just as the couple came to stop behind them. It was then that he saw what had distracted the mechanic so much.

In the window, were displays of various engines parts, tools and mechanical pieces that was making Kaylee literally drool. Ice cream covered fingers smeared over the glass as did Kaylee's face. Her eyes were as wide as dinner plates and pooling with desire.

"Lookit! They got synchronizers…new ones and ones that ain't more than a coupla months old!" Kaylee started jumping up and down. "We gotta get these!"

"You know 'bout all this stuff, little one?" The man looked in wonderment down at Kaylee. She nodded her head and began to spout endless jargon which only made the two adults even more astounded. "How could you know about this at your age?"

Kaylee shrugged her shoulders.

"They talk to me is all. I just know what makes 'em go."

"When we find your friend and with your parent's permission," The woman knelt down next to Kaylee and Book and smiled warmly at them. "We'd love you to show us what else you know."

"Huh?"

"Little one…this store…I own it an' if you know 'bout engines, there's a lot we can offer you."

"SHINY!" Kaylee plucked herself from the window and beamed the most blinding smile at Book. She then lunged at him, crushing him in a hug. "If we find River and get this sweet deal, Serenity is so gonna love us!"

Kaylee jumped up and down squee-ing loudly before hugging the woman and her brother and running off down the street again.

"RIVER!"

Book found himself jumping for joy as well. Her enthusiasm, her vibrancy wore off on the little boy and he found himself running after the mechanic and caring nothing for the ice cream on his face and hands and in his hair.

It was great to feel this young. He almost wished he didn't have to be an adult again.

TBC….

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Comments
raven_40 From: raven_40 Date: May 30th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Weeehh, more CW goodness! I'm probably grinning like overexcited, sugar-high Kaylee right now. Liked the glimpses of Books past and that he finally got the chance to be a child after all these years. This series is so much fun!
basched From: basched Date: May 30th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

:) Yeah...I wanted to write more on Book but I feared it would be way too much! lol

Thanks lass...pleased you're liking it.
sunshineali From: sunshineali Date: May 31st, 2011 02:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Wheee, this is such a fun, light-hearted fic. I was kind of expecting little Jayne to make an appearance when those rude boys were hassling Kaylee. I kind of thought he kick their asses good and rub their noses in dog crap. :)
basched From: basched Date: May 31st, 2011 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Glad you liked! :) I think that would have been cool! Who knows...he might still do it...that's if he doesn't find River first, huh? :)

Thanks for the comment!
(Deleted comment)
basched From: basched Date: June 3rd, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

I did enjoy writing happy little Kaylee and Book. :) So fluffy!
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