BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

NAUTICALGAL

The Legacy of Uncle Jack, Chapter 3/11
Monday, November 6, 2006

A pre-series piece about how Wash, who really seems the Upstanding Citizen type to me, fell in with thieves and criminals. The frame story has Mal, Zoe, Wash, Bester, and later Kaylee; the backstory starts out with Wash and and other characters, then works forward in time to met up with the frame story (which is set shortly after Wash and Zoe marry), and includes a fun Jayne cameo. Chapter 3: Frame Story: Wash runs away from the Alliance lawforce. Backstory: Wash runs away from the Alliance military.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2274    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

If you like the story, please do let me know!

3.

Zoe ran for the bridge, with Mal and the new buyer close on her heels. They pounded onto the bridge together, and Wash asked “Okay, what now?”

“Lose the cops, and you can set me down anywhere,” the buyer suggested.

“Sure, let me just do that,” Wash said calmly. Zoe put a hand on his shoulder. He wouldn’t respond – his mind, his whole body was flying Serenity right now – but he’d know she was there. That was important to him. He’d told her so, in a less fraught moment – that it mattered to him to know she was there, and safe, even if there was nothing she could do.

The comm screen blinked to life, and the cruisers demanded insistently that Serenity put down. Wash silenced the comm and slowed the ship, descending.

“What are you doing?” Mal and the new buyer demanded.

“I’m losing the cops, like you asked,” Wash replied calmly.

He scanned the ground, looking for a likely spot, and finally found one that suited his purpose. The space was just large enough for Serenity to put down in, and Wash settled her squarely in the middle of it. Just in front of the little rocky patch where Wash set them down, the ground dropped steeply away; beyond that, foothills rose up in a rolling succession. All around, the forest cover prevented the cruisers from landing too close. Two of them set down in the nearest available empty spaces, while the third hovered above.

“Looks to me like you’re making us a sitting duck,” Mal said.

“Sit tight,” Wash told him. He grabbed the intercom and said “Best—sorry, Kaylee, I’m going to cut the thrusters but I want you to keep the main drive warm.”

The voice of their new mechanic, only aboard for a month, came quavering back over the intercom. “Okay.”

“I wouldn’t have tried this with Bester,” Wash said. “This new gal’s a lot better.”

People in uniform were disgorging from the two landed police cruisers, and approaching Serenity with drawn weapons. The cruiser hovering above them ordered “Cut your main drive and relinquish your helm.”

Wash replied “I have cut the main drive. It takes a few minutes to shut down.” When Bester had been their mechanic, that had been true; that particular glitch had been one Kaylee had fixed almost immediately. Now the main drive shut down nicely, except for the vent fans, right on cue.

“Unidentified transport, relinquish your helm,” the hovering craft ordered.

“Just give me a sec,” Wash muttered.

“Lower your cargo ramp,” one of the ships on the ground ordered. Serenity was completely surrounded now by half a dozen gun-toting police officers.

“Can’t,” Wash lied into the comm. “That takeoff a minute ago fried my hydraulics.”

“They’re powering weapons,” Zoe said, noting the telltale power surge aboard the hovering cruiser.

“Yep,” Wash said. He pulled the helm back, engaging the main drive as he did. Serenity jumped very nearly straight forward, crashing through the tops of the trees ahead of them. Using only the main drive and flaps for elevation, Wash had put them in the air with no thrusters. The three cops who’d been in front of Serenity were knocked flat by the ship, while the three behind were flattened by the exhaust blast from the drive. The hovering ship shouted at them to stand down, and fired a shot that might have taken out Serenity’s main engine, had she still been on the ground.

Wash brought the thrusters back online, and ran just above the treetops into the foothills.

The hovering cruiser followed. The other cruisers were out of it now; it would take a few minutes to recover their crews, and by then Serenity would be long gone.

“Two down,” Wash commented blandly. But the third, Zoe knew, would be the trick.

Their buyer knew it, too. “We’re humped,” she said. “That ship is smaller than this one, she’s faster, she can follow you out of atmo, she’s every bit as maneuverable -- and she’s armed.”

Zoe gave the woman an icy look. Mal said, “I don’t believe you’ve met my pilot. His name’s Wash. Don’t bug him right now, he’s working.”

Wash skimmed past the tops of the hills, zigging erratically to keep the police ship from getting a clear shot.

The police ship fired, and Wash zagged out of the way. The shot exploded harmlessly on a hillside below.

“You know my name. What’s yours?” Wash asked the newcomer calmly, never taking his eyes off his instruments.

“Felice,” the woman said, and Wash nodded, still frowning with concentration. “Why are you slowing down?”

Wash was slowing down, decelerating almost imperceptibly, but he’d slowed enough now that the difference was noticeable. The landscape below was no longer flashing past in a blur.

“Well, as you so astutely noticed,” Wash said, “we can’t flat outrun them. So we’re going to have to do something else.”

Mal, Zoe, and Felice jumped as Serenity’s collision alarms whooped. Wash cut them off. He had slowed so much now that the police cruiser’s nose barely cleared Serenity’s tail. He was maneuvering so that no matter what the cruiser did, they were almost right on top of the Firefly.

“What are you doing?” Felice demanded. “Trying to knock both ships out of the air?”

“No,” Wash said, as Serenity bucked underneath them. Their airspeed was dangerously low. “They’re using explosive ordnance. If they can’t keep enough distance between us and them, they don’t dare fire.” He said to Mal, “We’ll need some decoys prepped.”

“I’ll do it,” Zoe said, and headed for the cargo bay.

“You ever been to a horse race?” Wash said to Felice.

“No.”

“Me neither. But I’ve heard that race horse jockeys use a strategy kind of like this, sometimes.”

“They’re going to have to make a move soon,” Mal observed. The police cruiser was also having trouble with the reduced airspeed. How Wash was keeping Serenity in the air, Mal couldn’t imagine.

“So are we,” Wash said.

Zoe’s voice came over the intercom: “Decoys prepped.”

The cruiser made its move, accelerating past Serenity and banking into a turn that would bring them back around toward her, head-on. Wash made his move in the same instant, pulling Serenity’s nose straight up and accelerating, unleashing all the speed he’d given up. He ran straight for the black, while the cruiser, accelerating in a different direction, was left behind.

“Out of atmo in five . . . four . . . three . . . two . . . one. Go decoys,” Wash said.

“Decoys away,” Zoe replied.

Wash turned Serenity for the horizon and went full burn. He sat back in his chair and relaxed fractionally. “Local time is eleven thirty-six a.m.,” he announced, “and the weather is fair and mild. We’ll have you on the ground at the port of your choice within the hour.” He raised his head for the first time since Felice had boarded the ship, and looked right at her. “Thank you for flying the Firefly line.” He looked at Mal. “We get paid today?”

“Yes, we did,” Mal said.

“In that case, I hope you’ll fly with us again soon,” Wash told Felice.

“Whatever he’s paying you, I’ll double it,” Felice replied.

“That offer is less generous than you might imagine. But I could never leave my Mal,” Wash said, making moony eyes at the captain.

“Ugh!” Mal winced. “If you don’t need me here, I'll leave. I reckon I'm about to be sick,” he said.

As he was leaving, Felice said “Can you set me down in New Denver?”

“You got it.” Wash replied.

Mal went looking for Zoe. “I still don’t get the romance thing,” he said, when he met her returning from the cargo bay, “but that man of yours is a helluva pilot.”

“Sometimes I don’t get the romance thing either,” she admitted, “but thanks.”

They walked into the kitchen together. “Not a bad day,” Mal said, examining the contents of the coffee pot skeptically before he shrugged and poured a cup for himself, and another for Zoe. “We got paid, and we didn’t get shot.”

Zoe accepted the mug. “Always nice, sir. But the feds got a good look at us.”

“Yeah, I was thinking on that myself. We’ll want to change out the pulse beacon and the navsat, and we might want to lay low for a while, someplace not especially close to here. Anyplace particular you’d like to go?”

“As it happens, sir,” Zoe said. “There’s a funeral I’d like to attend.”

**

5 years earlier (2509)

Wash walked into his uncle’s office and took a seat. Not even a twinge, he noted. Best medical care money could buy.

“How’s the leg?” Jack asked as Wash sat. “All better now?”

“All but the scars,” Wash said. The two puckered scars, where the bullet had entered from the outside of his thigh, smacked the bone, and ricocheted out through the front of his leg, could have been erased with a simple reconstructive surgery, but Wash had elected to keep them. The cut along the underside of his jaw had been a clean one, the doctors had told him, and would not scar. Oh well, it had been in the wrong spot to give him that piratical, rakish look anyway. “And I had a nice vacation on Sihnon, too. But I think I’m ready to get back to work now. Just don’t put me back on a ship with Voyle, okay?”

"Come back? You sure? I figured six months on Sihnon, I might not get you back at all!" Jack said enthusiastically.

Wash shrugged. "Sihnon's okay, I guess. But being grounded was starting to drive me crazy."

"You didn't have to stay on the ground," Jack said. "You could have had a job there, you know -- a job that would have paid for you to stay on Sihnon, or to go anywhere else you'd like!"

Wash frowned, wondering what his Uncle was on about. "I said I'd come back and work for you."

“Yeah . . . about that,” Jack said, looking unhappy. “I, uh . . . I don’t really have anything for you right now, I’m afraid.”

“You don’t?” Wash straightened in his chair. Before his uncle had sent him to Sihnon to have his leg fixed up right, Jack had sworn to hold a job for him; promised to put him right back in the sky once he was ready -- and then left him on the ground -- with plenty of spending money, and nice digs, but still, on the ground -- for six months. And now there was no job? It wasn’t like his uncle to break a promise that way.

“But, I can give you a fine recommendation with any other transport company,” Jack added quickly. “With your abilities, you could do much better than shipping wool out of Ita for me.”

“You told my mother I got shot,” Wash accused.

“Your mom and I keep in touch,” Jack admitted. “She asks about you.”

“So you told her I got shot?” Wash said. “And what, she cried and begged you to cut me loose?”

“Not exactly –“

“What, then? You’re just firing me out of the goodness of your heart?”

Jack pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes. “Actually,” he said, “it turns out your mother knows a fair bit – more than I would have expected – about my business dealings. She’s never used it against me before, but . . .”

“She’s blackmailing you?”

“When a mother thinks her baby is in danger –“

“I’m not a baby! This is unbelievable.” Wash threw himself out of the chair and stalked the generous length of his uncle’s office on his good-as-new leg. He turned to his uncle. “You promised me a job.”

“I know. I’m sorry. Like I said, I’ll give you the very best recommendation I can, wherever you choose to go from here.”

Wash wanted to say, “Don’t do me any favors,” but the fact was he might actually need that recommendation. So he bit his tongue, gave his uncle one last unhappy look, and walked out.

**

For six months, Wash lived on the ground on Boros, trying to decide what he wanted to do. After two months working in a warehouse, he knew what he really wanted to do was fly. After two more months of unemployment, getting turned out of his rented room for failing to pay his rent, he was nearly ready to give up and sign on with one of the Allied shipping companies.

Instead, he took a job at a restaurant near the port, thinking it might be a good place to hear about job opportunities with independent transport companies.

As it turned out, he was right; there was a small printed newspaper that came out twice a week and included job announcements from various independent captains; Wash scavenged copies from the trash and read them while he stood over the deep fryers. Most of the jobs he found listed were gone by the time he could manage to inquire about them, but he discovered that the paper also served as a useful spatter shield, so he kept looking, as the papers became grease-spattered and translucent in front of him.

Pilots needed. That was unusual. Advertisers in this rag typically needed only one pilot. Experience required; valid license a plus. Wash frowned. No valid pilot’s license required? Independent ship owners often didn’t care about valid licenses, but they seldom advertised the fact. Still, whoever these people were, they had multiple openings, which meant they might still have jobs even though the ad was three days old. He laid the page against the edge of the counter and ripped it along one edge of the ad, then turned the paper three more times and ripped it along the other edges. He was holding the snipped bit, re-reading the ad and wondering who the employer was, and whether the whole thing was a scam of some kind, when he caught a flicker out of the corner of his eye.

The torn paper had brushed up alongside the hot fryer and ignited.

“Oops.” Wash crammed the job ad into his pants pocket with one hand, while with his other hand he knocked the burning page to the floor and stomped on it. He was too slow; the grease spattered all around the fryer had caught fire, too. Wash grabbed a towel and started beating at the flames, but they had already gotten away from him, climbing the wall behind the fryers and arcing over into the hood. Weren’t there sprinklers in the hood to douse this sort of thing? Well, there were, and they suddenly tripped, flooding the fryer with white powder – but the fire had already climbed beyond them, into the exhaust hood. Now, that right there, Wash figured, was a real design flaw. He cast about for a fire extinguisher – he was sure he’d seen one in the restaurant at some point, but he sure didn’t see one now.

The kitchen was starting to fill with thick smoke.

The manager came into the kitchen, swearing and yelling. “What’s going on in here?”

“Grease fire!” Wash called back, dropping to his knees to get below the smoke, still hunting the fire extinguisher.

The manager grabbed it, and started shooting over Wash’s head at the fire in the vent hood. Just as the extinguisher ran out, two sprinkler heads in the ceiling popped to life, filling the kitchen with a cloud of fire suppressant.

Wash, the manager, the dishwasher, the grill cook and one of the servers stumbled out through the kitchen door into the street, coughing. The manager shoved Wash against a dumpster, pushing a warty finger into his face.

“You ri shao gou shi bing! Look what you’ve done to my restaurant!”

“I’m sorry,” Wash said, the rough edges of the dumpster scraping against his spine. “I am really, really sorry. It was an accident!”

Kwai jio kai! Chui se!” the manager screamed, spitting in Wash’s face.

“Right, let me just do that,” Wash said, slipping under the man’s arm and sidling hastily out of the alley, while smoke continued to roll out of the restaurant. He fought through the crowd at the restaurant’s entrance – panicky patrons, curious onlookers, a smattering of uniformed emergency personnel who were just arriving on the scene – and jumped when he heard his name called from off to one side.

“Washburne! Hey! Wait!” It was the super who’d turned him out of his rented room a couple of months before. Other than not being able to pay his rent, Wash had no quarrel with the man, so he stopped, and the hairy, potbellied fellow came huffing up to him, holding out an envelope.

“Mail. Came after you left,” the super said, handing Wash a smudged and wrinkled envelope that looked as though it had been dropped in a muddy puddle and run over in the street. “Normally I don’t bother, but this looked official, so I thought I better get it to you. Anyway. You get a job, you come on back. We like the ones as don’t trash up the rooms too bad.” The man looked over at the gathering crowd. “What’s going on there?”

“Uh . . . nothing,” Wash said, glancing back over his shoulder. “I, uh, gotta go. Thanks for this,” he waved the envelope, and started walking.

Wash kept walking until he was several blocks away. Pausing beneath a payday-loan company sign, he examined the envelope more closely. It did have an official sort of look about it. Taxes, maybe? Far as he knew, he’d paid what he owed. Maybe his dad had died? But would the government bother to notify him of that? Wash slipped a finger under the envelope flap and tore it open, pulling out the paper inside.

To Hoban Washburne, citizen of the Allied Planets, Greetings from the Parliament of the Allied Planets and the Prime Minister, he read, and frowned. He scanned the rest of the message. . . . hereby ordered to report for pre-induction physical examination on December 12, 2509 at the nearest convenient recruiting office to your present location.

“Pre-induction?” Wash muttered.

A draft notice? Billions and billions of eligible citizens throughout the Alliance, and his number had come up? Now that he was out of work, and out of school, with no family and no excuse, the Alliance wanted to send him to war? Wash stared at the paper -- it looked official, his super had said -- and shook his head in disbelief.

He fished around in his pocket for the crumpled job ad he’d torn from the paper, and smoothed it against the draft notice.

It struck him then, who might advertise anonymously for pilots. Plural. No valid license required. What would they care, after all, about some piece of paper the Alliance issued?

Well, if it’s hell I’m bound for, I might as well choose my own road. He glanced around, hunting the nearest location likely to have a public console. It took only a few moments to collect a voucher for an interstellar flight to Hera to join up with the Browncoats.

Wash laughed bitterly when he saw that his flight schedule included a 2-day layover.

In Cookville.

**

Wash stopped with his hand on the doorknob, and marveled at how absently he had fallen back into old habits.

This wasn’t his house anymore. Hadn’t been for going on seven years. He released the doorknob, shifted his duffel, and knocked.

While he stood waiting for an answer, he contemplated the wisdom of showing up unannounced. Maybe nobody was home. Maybe they were . . . at the hospital? Mabye Deenie had moved out, his father had died, and his mother had retired to Boros.

No; anything that dramatic, Uncle Jack surely would have told him about. Then again, he had never asked. His mother knew what was going on in his life because she had asked. He had never done the same.

Coming here had been a mistake. Spending a chunk of his meager funds on the round-trip ticket from Cookville had been lunacy.

Wash turned to go just as the door opened.

He didn’t recognize the fellow standing in the doorway – the man was close to Wash’s own age, maybe a little younger. His dark hair was neatly parted and combed, and the embroidered logo on his shirt made him out to be Tim, Shift Supervisor from the Here, Rover! factory.

“Hello?” Tim said.

“Sorry,” Wash replied. “Wrong house. Sorry to have bothered you.”

“Wait,” Tim said. “I know you – your picture’s all over the house.”

“It is?” Wash said.

“Yeah.” Tim stepped back and threw the door open. He leaned backward and called into the dining room, “Mrs. Washburne? It’s Hobie at the door!”

Wash winced. “Please don’t call me that.” For all their offenses – of hygiene, of manners, of murderous intent – no gun hand on any ship Wash had ever flown had ever called him ‘Hobie,’ and Wash suddenly felt far more charitable toward gun hands.

There were scuffling noises and gasps inside the house, and in seconds Deenie and his mother were flanking Tim at the door. Deenie wrapped herself around Tim in a way that explained his presence clearly, and Wash’s mother stood at Tim’s right elbow with her hand over her mouth and tears glistening in her eyes.

“Oh, Hobie, it is you! My boy’s come home!” she cried, and Wash suffered her embrace and made an effort at returning it. His duffel slipped off his shoulder, catching in the crook of his elbow and smacking them both in the leg.

“Come in, we just finished with supper, but I can fix you up something if you’re hungry,” she said hopefully, heading for the kitchen. Tim and Deenie followed her.

“No, thank you, I ate on the train,” Wash said as he stepped inside, standing on the worn linoleum between the front door and the steps. He suppressed an urge to vanish upstairs into his bedroom and bury himself in his flight simulator. I’m not that kid anymore. So why did he feel so much like that kid?

“Some dessert, then,” his mother insisted. “I made pie yesterday, there’s some left, surely you want some pie?”

“Sure,” Wash agreed, even though he really wasn’t hungry.

Tim reappeared, wheeling Wash’s father from the dining room to the living room.

“Son,” Norris said in greeting.

“Dad!” Wash replied, surprised to see that his father really was still alive.

“Sit,” Norris invited, as Tim rolled the wheelchair into its spot in the living room and turned on the newsfeed. Wash obediently took the wing chair across from his father. Deenie sat with Tim on the sofa.

Wash’s mother brought him out a slice of chocolate pie. Wash stared down at it, remembering the recipe – as a teenager, he’d often come home, made one of these pies, and eaten the whole thing himself as a snack. One envelope of Tasty Mixins chocolate pudding mix, one cup of Tasty Mixins powdered milk, two cups of water, blend all ingredients thoroughly, pour into a prepared pie shell and chill. When there hadn’t been any pie shells, he’d just chilled the filling in a bowl and eaten it that way. Now, the thought nauseated him. He’d spent nearly seven years deliberately avoiding all Tasty Mixins products. Would that be long enough?

He picked up his fork and took a small bite.

Maybe.

He smiled at his mother, and took another bite.

“Hobie, what brings you home?” she asked.

“I was on my way to somewhere else and had a layover in Cookville, so I just came by to say hello,” Wash said. And goodbye.

On the screen, the newsfeed droned about the war – about all the Alliance’s great victories, and a few minor setbacks dealt by wildly fortunate but soon-to-be-exterminated Independent forces.

“Where you headed, son?” Norris asked.

“Got an interview lined up,” Wash said with a shrug. “You sound better.”

“I am better,” Norris said. “Signed up for an ex . . . perimental treatment. Increased my lung capacity ten percent already. I can even walk, some.”

“Wow!”

“You met Tim,” Norris said, and Wash nodded.

“They’re getting married this summer,” his mother said. “Is there any chance you could be here for the wedding?”

Wash wasn’t meant to miss the unhappy look Deenie shot in his mother’s direction. She didn’t want him there. Which was fine with him; he didn’t really want to go.

How is it that Mom and Jack get along so well even though they disapprove of each other’s choices, but Deenie and I can’t seem to say a civil word to each other? Wash wondered. “I really can’t say,” he said. “I have no idea what my schedule might be.”

Deenie simpered. “What about you, Hobie? Are you seeing anyone?”

Maybe that’s why,Wash thought. She knows I hate that name. He shrugged. “I get dates, but nobody takes any kind of serious interest in pilots.”

“Oh, Hobie, you shouldn’t run yourself down that way,” his mother said. “Why shouldn’t some nice girl take a serious interest in you?”

“I’m a pilot, mom. There’s a reason for that ‘girl in every port’ rep pilots get. We’re not around much. Doesn’t tend to make us good serious relationship material.”

“Oh. Well,” his mother said, and Wash knew she now had another reason to worry about him. Which would be nothing if she discovered that he was headed for a meeting with a Browncoat recruiter.

The screen beeped, and a note appeared in the corner: incoming call. “I’ll take it in the kitchen,” Deenie volunteered, jumping up.

“Well, surely if you had some sort of base location you were working out of, and coming back to every few weeks . . .” his mother started. Wash noted that he hadn’t actually said he was suffering for want of a steady relationship, but here she was trying to solve his ‘problem’ anyway.

“Like Boros?” he asked.

“Like that,” she agreed, giving no indication that she had caught his subtle dig. “Couldn’t you find a nice girl then?”

“I guess, if I wanted to,” Wash said, trying desperately to think of something besides himself to talk about.

Deenie returned from the kitchen, and Wash thought maybe he was saved until he saw his sister’s face. She was looking right at him and smiling. Evilly.

“That was your recruiter,” she said, and Wash’s stomach clenched. “He said your flight’s been changed, and you’ll need to get to Cookville two hours earlier tomorrow.”

“Thanks,” Wash said, and waited for her to drop the other shoe.

“Oh, Deenie knows who your interview is with!” his mother said. “Deenie won’t keep that secret from me!”

“Oh, I know she won’t,” Wash said.

But Deenie basked in her mother’s attention and pleas for a few seconds more before she said, “Hobie’s going to join the Browncoats.”

In the silence that followed her announcement, broken only by the drone of the newsfeed proclaiming yet another Alliance victory, Wash started making a mental list of what he would want in a woman if he ever did get involved in a serious relationship. A woman who can’t wait to tell everybody else’s secrets is right out, he decided.

His mother started moaning and hiccupping, and Wash added no hysterics to his list. He wanted a woman who was never hysterical. Which, he admitted to himself with some dismay, probably ruled out any woman worth being with. He’d known a few women – gun hands on some of his Uncle’s ships – who weren’t the hysterical type, but they also tended to be the not-terribly-feminine type, and Wash knew he wasn’t interested in any woman who considered it a point of pride to be able to out-belch, out-fart and out-curse the crudest of men.

“Independents gonna lose this war, son,” Norris said, rumbling beneath his wife’s histrionics. “Don’t you watch the newsfeeds?”

“I’m more about the right and wrong than the winning and losing, Dad,” Wash said. He tried to be grateful that at least Deenie – and through her, his folks – didn’t know about the draft notice. If his mother added draft-dodging to his list of delinquencies, the wailing might deafen him. Which would at least get him out of the war, on either side.

“Oh, Hobie, you’ll be killed!” his mother cried, wringing her hands.

“Well, mom, I had a nice civilian job,” he pointed out, too irritated now to try to be nice.

“Whatsamatter with the . . . commercial lines?” his dad asked.

“They’re owned and run by the same people who ruined your health for their profit, Dad,” Wash said. “Which is what they want to be able to do on every world. I won’t work for the Alliance in any form. Not while I have a choice.”

“Did I raise you to be a noble fool?” Norris asked.

“Yeah, Dad, you did,” Wash said. “Did you forget?”

Norris suppressed a smile. “Guess so. Forgive me, I’ve been sick. Affects the judgement.”

“Norris, you can’t be supporting this,” Cici cried.

“Boy’s got courage and convictions,” Norris said.

“Can’t you see he’s doing this to spite you?” Deenie demanded.

“Oh, Hobie!” Cici wailed.

Wash rolled his eyes at Deenie. “If spite were my motive, I would have announced it when I walked in the door. You’re the one who told everybody.”

“Well, Deenie knows how it pains me when you won’t tell me anything that’s going on in your life!” his mother said.

“Every time I tell you anything about my life you get hysterical,” Wash pointed out.

“You got shot!

Wash sighed, and wished he hadn’t come. He laid his unfinished pie aside and stood. “I’m sorry,” he said, “I really didn’t mean to cause a scene or hurt anybody’s feelings. I think it’s probably best if I go.” He picked up his duffel.

They protested. His mother insisted that he stay another hour, or maybe for the night. But Wash wanted nothing more than to leave, and he finally made his exit. The change in his flight schedule at least gave him a good excuse; he needed to see if he could get an earlier train back to Cookville.

Having made good his escape, Wash vowed never to go home again. ----------------- ri shao gou shi bing [Pile of sun-baked dog poo] Kwai jio kai! Chui se! [Get lost! Go die!]

COMMENTS

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 2:39 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Damn it...me too! You stole a cool plot point I wanted to use for a story I got percolating! Oh well...:(

Still...this is amazing stuff, nauticalgal! Especially with the unexpected plot points of Jack canning Wash cuz of Wash's mom blackmailing Jack and Mr. Washburne actually backing his son's decision to fight for the Browncoats. Cuz those were definitely surprising but plausible ideas:)

Can't wait to see what kind of nutty fei hua you're gonna have Wash get up to when he joins up with the Independents...or tries to. Cuz I really wanna see how you explain his lack of discussion about his serivce in the Independent military during the series...

BEB

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 8:32 AM

HERMITSREST


Love this story. Still reading...


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