Nightmares: Wash
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sixth in the series. What might have been if Wash hadn't gone to flight school. Not all that scary, unless you see yourself in this story. :)


The usual disclaimer: They're not mine (though I wish Jayne was), and I'm making no $$$ off of this.

Thanks to my friend Jeff for the idea! You rawk, Duuude! ;D

Feedback is greatly appreciated! Leave me lots, good or bad. Your encouragement/criticism is what keeps me going. :)


The alarm let loose its clarion call, and Wash woke with much grumbling. He scrabbled for the clock, and finally managed to find it and turn it off. He sat up scrubbing his hands over his face and smacking his lips, still reeling from the night before.

He stumbled out of bed and headed for the bathroom. Once in the shower he realized he'd forgotten to remove his boxers, so he stripped them off and threw the soggy mass out onto the floor. He stood under the shower head for a couple of minutes letting the needles of spray smack him in the face, then set about shampooing his body and soaping up his hair.

Once Wash finished showering, he dried off and brushed his teeth, wondering at what point during the evening his mouth had been stuffed full of cotton. He quickly shaved, then headed back to the bedroom to get dressed.

He stared listlessly at the rank and file of drab suits and chose the grey one, which also happened to be the only one that looked semi-presentable. He made a mental note to take the rest in to be cleaned that weekend. Ahh, the weekend. Only two days away... He then chose a light blue shirt to wear underneath it, and a tie in a particularly vile Hawaiian print.

He walked out into the polluted air, choking slightly before he got his mask fully seated. He barely made the bus, and was dismayed when he found his favorite seat taken by a rather big and scary man that didn't smell particularly well, so he opted to stand. His stop was towards the end of the line, and as a result was shoved and prodded by the other passengers as they struggled to exit. He sighed. He just knew that this day wasn't going to get any better.

He grabbed a cup of coffee and a danish on the way to his desk, and his butt had barely met the seat when Larry barged into what little personal space his cubicle allowed.

"Hey Wash! Great happy hour last night, huh? Hey, did you happen to see the email I just sent you?"

"Uh, negative, Larry. I just got in. Give me a couple of minutes, OK?"

"OK! Let me know what you think of it. I think it's frickin' hi-larious!"

Wash counted to ten, and replied through clenched teeth, "I'm sure it's a real side splitter, Larry. Got to get to work now, you know?" Thankfully Larry got the hint, and left in a huff.

He rolled his eyes. Nope, the day wasn't going to get any better.

Just as he'd gotten logged in, his neighbor on the right side, Rebecca, popped her head over the wall, "Wash! Check this out, I just had some new pictures taken of Sadie! Isn't she a sweetie?"

He took a cursory glance, and smiled for the first time that morning. Crabby as he was, he had to admit that the baby was pretty adorable. Her momma was too. "Real nice, Becky. She's a cutie-pie."

Rebecca beamed, "Thanks, Wash," and she popped back down.

Just then the cube farm got very quiet. Wash heard the unmistakable footsteps of his boss coming, and they were headed right for him. He quickly picked up the phone, and began a mock conversation. The footsteps passed him, and he breathed a sigh of relief. He hung up, and began to go through his tasks for the day.

Uh oh, the footsteps returned. "Mr. Washburne, may I see you in my office in fifteen minutes, please?"

Wash closed his eyes, and muttered a small curse under his breath. Then changing his tone to one that was a bit more peppy he replied, "Sure thing, Mr. James." Rebecca peeked over the wall with a look of pity/empathy on her face, then dropped back out of sight.

His neighbor on the left side, Jude, then made his appearance. And he was smirking, as usual. "I heard the boss talking. You did it again, Washburne, and you're really going to get it this time."

Wash sneered back, "Yeah, you'd like that wouldn't you."

When Jude disappeared, he picked up the little plastic Tyrannosaurus off his desk, and waved it menacingly in his cube mate's direction. He then began to wrack his brain to figure out what he'd done wrong now. But any semblance of thought was destroyed when Larry, who sat across the aisle from him, began to talk on the phone...very, very loudly.

Wash resisted the urge to take his keyboard and smash it repeatedly into Larry's face, and instead concentrated on the nice poster his Secret Santa (he always liked to think that it had been Rebecca) had given him for Christmas the year before. "I am a leaf on the wind, see how I soar..." he whispered to himself over and over. It had become his own little mantra.

With a sigh, he headed for Mr. James' office. On his way, something small and sharp smacked him in the face. Was that? Oh for Christ's sake. "Hey, Tom, might want to consider cutting those at home next time, man. You know how it goes...'It's all fun and games 'til someone puts an eye out!'"

Tom just glared, and Wash scooted past quickly. As he made his way through the office jungle, he was barraged by the horror of it all. Sorry little people in their sorry little boxes, doing their sorry little jobs. All for a sorry little paycheck, and the occasional happy hour to bitch about the boss. Once he reached said boss' door, he raised his hand to knock, but it flew open before he could.

"Get in here, Washburne," Mr. James snarled.

"Sir, whatever I might have done, I promise I won't do it again," he pleaded.

Mr. James slammed a folder of paper on his desk. "Dammit Washburne! How many times do I have to tell you before you finally remember to include a cover sheet on your TPS reports?!?"

Before Wash could reply, the proximity alarm went off. He woke with a snort, and was relieved to see his familiar cockpit in front of him. "Guess I dozed off," he mused. "God, did I really almost turn down flight school for that? What was I thinking?"

He checked on the alarm...just a piece of space junk. He deftly swerved around it, and Serenity flew on her way with her happy little pilot, on his happy little ship, with his happy little makeshift family.


Author's note: They always say, "Write what you know," and it is with a shudder that I admit that I'm more familiar with Wash's nightmare than I care to admit.

Oh, and I just found out this week that I'm being laid off. :)


Wednesday, July 19, 2006 12:50 PM


Ahahahaha!!! Sounds like a nightmare poor Wash would have, all right! Until I read your note at the end, I was wondering how recently you'd seen 'Office Space'... ;)

At first I thought it might have something to do with a Reaver attack with Wash the only "survivor", but this seems a much more Washable nightmare. Bravo!

Thursday, July 20, 2006 4:23 PM


Well now...being wondering what kind of nightmare you would have Wash dream...fits Wash quite well. Though I guess the suggestion of having him still work at the fry-cook opportunity (instead of getting fired) is a tad too late, huh?



Friday, July 21, 2006 11:29 AM


I've lived in that cubicle. Customer service. You have my condolences.

Saturday, July 22, 2006 9:37 PM


Oh sadness. Nighmarish in truth.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 1:39 AM


I liked the thought of Wash in his miserable pre-life in the Cube Farm having a Secret Santa and having that tie in with the 'leaf on the wind' mantra from the movie. So pleased he didn't stick with the crabby dipshit job and went to flight school - and boy, did he soar! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, August 3, 2006 5:10 AM


The thing that made it feel most like Wash was the "Sure thing, Mr. James." Again, I can hear it - but, I can see it, too! :)


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