BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ADVENTURE

NAUTICALGAL

The Legacy of Uncle Jack, ch 10/11
Monday, December 4, 2006

In this chapter: Wash gets his inheritance and Zoe gets her man. My version of the Washburne nuptials . . .


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2286    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

10.

"You can't keep these on the ship," Mal said. "There ain't room."

"I know," Wash replied sadly. The two men stood together on the catwalk at the back of the cargo bay, looking down on Jack Tallis's collection of life-size robotic dinosaurs -- Tallis's legacy to his favorite nephew. The T. Rex shambled over, shoving several of the shorter dinos out of its path, so that Wash could reach out from the rail and pat its nose.

"So," Mal ventured, "Where do you plan to keep 'em?"

"Think I might take out an ad on the Cortex: 'Free to a good home. Nine life size robotic replicas of extinct giant lizards.' What do you think?"

Mal nodded. He didn't want Wash to have to give up his dinos, but there really was no way to keep them aboard the ship. "You know, you could mount their heads or something. Like trophies. They could maybe stay that way."

Wash's reaction to that suggestion could only charitably be described as horrified. "No, Mal," the pilot said. "I don't think I'll do that."

Zoe clattered down the steps from the common area to join them, greeting Wash with an embrace, and a kiss. "Got a 'wave," she said to her husband. "Fellah says he's the curator for Ripley's Fantastical Emporium of Earth That Was, on Osiris."

Wash nodded, and glanced at Mal. "Maybe I just found that good home," he said, and went to take the call.

**

One month earlier (2514)

“Zoe?” Wash said, from the foredeck corridor just outside her bunk. “Got your laundry.”

“Just drop it down the ladder,” she said, knowing he wouldn’t. Mal would. Bester would. Not Wash.

She could feel his hesitation, and suppressed a smile.

“I’ll just, uh,” he said, and stopped, not knowing what he meant to just do if she wasn’t going to step up the ladder and take it from him.

“Well, bring it down, then, if you must,” she said, feigning mild exasperation.

He hesitated so long she began to think maybe he would just drop the clothes down the ladder like Mal or Bester – or she herself – would. But eventually she heard him moving, saw him step onto the ladder and climb down, one handed, his left arm pressing her stack of laundry against his chest. Pants, shirts, tanks, vests, socks – no panties. No bras. Zoe washed her own undergarments; a habit held over from her army days. Some of her comrades-in-arms – the ones Bester put her in mind of – couldn’t be trusted around women’s undergarments.

Wash stepped off the ladder and turned to face her, holding out the stacked clothing at arm’s length. He looked slightly unsettled, with his lips pressed together and a slight crease between his brows.

Zoe ran her gaze dispassionately over the stack of laundry, but made no move to take it.

Wash glanced down at the clothes, and then back at her. “Everything’s here?” he said, asking whether her strange behavior resulted from some suspicion of carelessness – or theft.

“I expect so,” she said levelly.

“Right.” Zoe watched the interplay of emotions across his fact – perplexity, worry, plain uneasiness – and felt slightly guilty for the way she was enjoying herself.

“Well, I’ll just, uh, leave these here,” he said, swinging the stack of laundry slowly sideways and laying it gently on her desk. His eyes never left her face.

Blue eyes, Zoe thought. Can I really love a blue-eyed flyboy? It seemed so incongruous; so incompatible with everything she’d thought she was. But when she ran down the list of things that really mattered to her – integrity, industry, decency, humor – they were all here, in this most unexpected package.

He was everything she’d ever hoped to find, and nothing at all like she had expected.

Wash, still looking unsettled, moved toward the ladder, and Zoe stepped in to block his way. He stopped, so close to her that they were nearly touching.

A flush crept slowly up his neck, to his chin, and into his cheeks as she locked eyes with him and said, “Do you fold Mal’s laundry?”

He blinked. “Mal’s? Uh . . . no . . .”

“Bester’s?”

“What? No!”

“How about yours? Do you fold your own laundry?” she demanded.

“Of course not,” he said.

She glanced significantly at the clothing on her desk. “Then explain this.”

Wash stared at the laundry as though he’d never seen it before. He opened his mouth, then closed it again, watching her apprehensively.

“Why do you fold my laundry, when you don’t even fold your own?” she asked again.

Wash took a step backward and reached up to scratch the back of his neck. “I . . . well . . . because . . .”

“Because what?”

“Well . . . because . . .”

“Because I’m a woman. Isn’t that right? You treat my laundry differently because I’m female.”

“I am really, really sorry,” he said fervently. “It won’t happen again.”

“What won’t?” Zoe asked, her voice softening. She took a step forward, toe to toe with him; face to face. “Treating me with special consideration because I’m a woman?”

“Right. That.” He couldn’t back any farther away, or he’d be sitting on her bunk.

Zoe reached up and wrapped one hand around the back of his neck, working her fingers up into his hair. “Now, that would be a damn shame,” she said, pulling him toward her.

His lips brushed hers, warm and soft and perfect – she had feared, deep down, that her feelings and her resolve would vanish like a will-o-wisp at that first real contact, but no. She felt his fingers in the small of her back; snugged the length of her body against his; pressed her lips to his more firmly, and knew that she’d been right. So right, as his hands moved slowly up her spine and his kiss sent shivers down it.

He kissed her cheek, her jaw, her neck, and she lifted her chin to more fully enjoy the attention. “Mmm,” she said, “Marry me.”

“Not fair,” he gasped, still planting kisses along her throat. “Right now, you could ask me to do backflips and yodel and I’d say yes.”

She chuckled. “No yodeling. Just promise me you’ll never go.”

He straightened, leaned away from her, caught his breath. “Isn’t this kind of backward? I mean, shouldn’t I at least buy you dinner, or, or, I dunno, flowers or something, maybe have some kind of . . . courtship?”

“I’ve given it a lot of thought,” she said, still enjoying the feel of his arms around her. “I don’t need any of that.”

She waited, while he considered it some himself. “You mean, you’ve given me a lot of thought,” he marveled.

Zoe lowered her gaze, slightly embarrassed now. Wash probably couldn’t begin to imagine just how much thought she’d given him. “Yeah.”

Wash grinned, and leaned in to kiss her again, but she turned away. “I need an answer.”

“Yes,” he said. “Can we do more kissing now?”

Zoe laughed, and let him kiss her again.

**

Mal had spent half his morning trying to find an affordable replacement for the grav boot Bester claimed was busted, and keeping them grounded.

He’d failed.

He’d spent the rest of his morning trying to line up a job – something that might involve enough advance money to replace the grav boot and get them back in the sky. Assuming, of course, that the grav boot was actually the problem. Given that it was Bester, could be Mal would replace the grav boot only to find out that the catalyzer was the real problem, or some such.

Not that it mattered. He hadn’t found a job, either. Oh, plenty of jobs for a ship that could fly, but for one that was grounded? Nobody was going to hire that. And the job he'd had lined up, on Paquin . . . well, he'd heard from that client this morning, before he'd left. It hadn't been a pleasant conversation.

He stalked into the cargo bay -- the empty cargo bay – and stopped when he heard footsteps. If it was Bester, that hun dan --

But it wasn’t Bester. It was Zoe and Wash, coming down the steps from the common area, side by side. Something strange about that, but Mal was too preoccupied to give any thought to what.

“Zoe,” he said, beckoning her over. She reached the bottom step and came toward him. Wash went in the opposite direction, toward the mule, and as they parted Mal saw that they had been . . . holding hands?

Naw. Surely not.

Mal shook his head and told himself he needed more sleep. Which he wasn’t like to get, long as he was grounded, losing money every day while job prospects slipped from him like so many grains of sand through the neck of the hourglass.

“Find a job, sir?” Zoe inquired as she came up to him.

“No jobs for a ship won’t fly.” At the back of the cargo bay, Wash was unhooking the trailer from the mule. Mal wondered vaguely what the pilot was up to.

"Talk to the client on Paquin?" she asked.

"There is no client on Paquin, now," Mal snapped. "Don't tell Bester, though. It's the only stick I have to beat him with right now that ain't a real stick. Although it might come to that."

Zoe seemed unperturbed by the notion that Mal might give Bester a good thrashing. “Maybe instead of looking for a job, we should be looking for a new mechanic,” she suggested.

“Oh, sure. ‘Cause good mechanics in need of a job are as thick as dust motes – can’t turn around without stepping on one,” Mal said.

Wash had unhooked the mule, and walked over to open the cargo doors and lower the ramp. “What’s he doing?” Mal said testily.

“We’re going out for a bit,” Zoe replied.

“Out where? Out for what? Got no money for shopping, and only thing the ship needs is a grav boot I can’t afford and a job nobody will give me.”

“A bit of fresh air, sir,” Zoe said wearily. “And a preacher, or a J.P., if we can find one.”

“Preacher?” Something in the pit of Mal’s stomach clenched up hard and sick-like and foreboding. “What do you and Wash need a –?” There was really only one thing made sense, Mal realized, ‘cept that it didn’t make any sense at all. Zoe? And Wash? In what kind of mixed-up crazy ‘verse did that happen? “I thought he bothered you!”

Zoe tossed her long curls back over her shoulder and grinned. “Oh, he does, sir. Like you wouldn’t believe.”

“So you’re gonna take up with him? Zoe, that’s . . . that’s crazy, what it is! You can’t do this! What about Serenity?”

“What about her, sir?” She was watching Wash as he returned to the mule and started it up, and Mal did not like the look in her eye one bit.

“Shipboard romances don’t work, Zo’,” he said. “What happens when you fight? When he dumps you – or you dump him? Ship’s too small for that kind of hurt feeling and bad blood. I’ll lose me a pilot or a first mate, one, and I can’t afford to lose either. You gotta call this off, put a stop to it now!”

Wash drove the mule down the ramp and stopped. He glanced back over his shoulder and called, “You ready, bao bei?”

“Coming,” she called back.

“Bao bei? You’re gonna let him call you bao bei now?” Mal demanded.

“Oh, I expect I’ll be letting him do a fair bit more than that,” Zoe said, starting toward the ramp.

Now, that right there was a whole raft of mental imagery Mal would rather not have had. He groaned, and reached to grab Zoe’s arm. “Zoe. Don’t go. Don’t do this.”

She met his gaze coolly. “Sir. When we’re on a job, or when the ship is really at stake, you’re the captain, and I’m the first mate. But this is a personal matter.”

She turned and walked away.

“Problem is, it ain’t gonna stay that way,” Mal muttered darkly to her receding back. He watched her slip onto the mule and wrap her arms around Wash’s waist. His jaw clenched. First his ship quit flying; now this.

Growling in frustration, Mal went hunting Bester.

**

Zoe touched Wash on the shoulder and pointed down a side street. A small white building with a steeple stood a short distance to the east. On one side was a neat parsonage, with colorful flowers growing in profusion; on the other side was a small graveyard.

Wash turned down the street and followed the signs to a small side door in the church labeled “church office.” He stopped the mule, and he and Zoe walked up to the door together and knocked.

Zoe’s resolve had never faltered, since she had settled on this course, but when the office door opened, she nearly turned and walked back to the mule. The preacher at this small country church, it turned out, was tall, lean, balding . . . and at first glance, partially masked by the glare from the midday sun, strongly resembled Zoe’s father.

She could hear her dad’s voice in her head, in that instant, saying You’re here to do what? You’ve known this man how long? Not that her father would disapprove of Wash, but like Zoe, Tavis Alleyne had a powerful practical streak that would always go first to such considerations: Is this the wise thing to do? Have you considered all the ramifications? And the answers were: I don’t know, Daddy. No, I really haven’t. But I tried, and there are just too many. And in the end, he would come around to where she was: loving Wash, willing to take the risk involved. Because he had that in him, too, just like his daughter did.

Fortunately, on second glance, the man in the doorway looked a lot less like her father – similar build, similar height, similar hairline, similar skin tone, but very different facial features – and facial expression. Instead of a look of serious contemplation that could easily be mistaken for ire, this fellow only looked mildly curious. “Hello?” he said. “Can I do something for you?”

Wash glanced at Zoe, who nodded. She was still on board with this. “We’d like to be married,” he said.

Now the preacher in the doorway looked surprised. “Well,” he said, opening the door slowly, “Let’s see, then. Come in.”

He led them into his office – a small room, just as neatly kept as the church and parsonage and graveyard around it. The shelves behind the preacher’s small desk were lined with cleanly labeled notebooks, apparently containing sermon outlines. On the opposite wall were some framed certificates and family portraits; Zoe noted that the man had three sons. Along the far wall, a door led into the church building – through a window next to it, she could see a corridor lined with other doors. Classrooms, presumably, although the building appeared empty just now. A plaque on the preacher’s desk identified him as Shepherd Pryor.

She took one of the chairs across from the desk; Wash took the other. The preacher sat at his desk and folded his hands. “Well,” he said again. “Let’s see. Usually, I marry couples I’ve known since they were this high,” he indicated the height of a small child with one hand, then returned it to its position on the desk. “I’ve honestly never had two strangers come to me asking to be married. It unsettles me a little bit. So let’s see. Normally, when a couple comes to me and wants to be married, I’ll try to do some pre-marital counseling with them first.”

Wash and Zoe exchanged glances. “We need to get back to our ship shortly,” Wash offered, and Zoe nodded agreement.

“Mmm hmm. A ship. I see. Well. Perhaps I could ask just a few brief questions?” the preacher suggested.

Hesitantly, Zoe and Wash agreed.

“Where do you plan to reside, after you’re married?” the preacher asked.

Wash looked at Zoe. “Your bunk, or mine?”

“Mine’s larger,” she pointed out.

“The room’s larger. The bed’s not.”

Zoe considered. “There’s enough room that we could take the bunk out of yours and put the two together.”

Wash nodded. “Okay.” He turned back to the preacher, who looked slightly nonplussed at their exchange. “Her bunk.”

“Mmm hmm. Well. Am I to understand that you haven’t been . . . bunking . . . together before now?”

“No,” Zoe said.

"I wish," Wash said fervently, drawing an amused glance from Zoe.

“Mmm hmm. I see. That’s . . . refreshingly old fashioned, I must say. And how will you support yourselves once you’re married?”

This is premarital counseling? Zoe wondered. People don’t work this stuff out in advance on their own? Not that she and Wash had explicitly discussed any of it, but they did both have jobs that they intended to keep, and where to live seemed simple enough – aboard Serenity. The rest were just details.

Wash was apparently finding the questions banal, too, because he responded to the preacher in a dead-on mimic of the man’s speech pattern. “Well, let’s see,” he said, nodding slowly. “I’m a pilot, and she’s first mate on the ship I fly, so . . . mmm hmm, I think that’s going to work out well.”

Zoe suppressed a smile.

Shepherd Pryor was nodding slowly along with Wash. “Mmm hmm. I see. First mate?" he frowned. "In the strictest terms, then, your wife would outrank you?"

"Yeah," Wash replied. "I guess so. Why?"

"Hmmm. Well." Shepherd Pryor looked at Zoe, then Wash. "I married a couple once who were on active-duty. The woman outranked her husband. We thought it best in that instance to leave obedience out of her vows, as it might have caused problems for them in their circumstances. I'm thinking perhaps that is warranted here also?"

It was a good point; one Zoe hadn't considered. Not a bad idea. She glanced at Wash, gauging his reaction.

He shrugged. "Okay, whatever." "Well. Continuing, then," he steepled his fingers in front of his face and asked, "Have either of you ever been married before?”

“No,” Zoe said.

"Hah!" Wash said. "I can hardly believe I'm getting married now! I mean, it wasn't really in my plans before today."

The shepherd glanced at Zoe in mild alarm, but she replied with her best Mona Lisa smile. She knew Wash well enough by now that his loquaciousness didn't bother her, even if the shepherd found it strange. “Mmm hmmm," he said, still looking somewhat concerned. "I see. I think. Ahm . . . do you plan to have children?”

“Yes,” Zoe said.

“No,” Wash said, adding in the same breath to Zoe, “You do?”

“You don’t?” she replied, wondering whether there was any real point to marriage if children weren’t involved in the equation at some point, and what exactly Wash might think that point was.

“Mmm hmm. Well. This is why young couples should discuss these things in advance,” Shepherd Pryor intoned. “But perhaps a simple clarification is all that’s required.” He looked at Wash. “Are you capable of fathering children?”

Wash was taken aback. “I . . . well . . . I haven’t done it before, at least not that I know of, but I don’t suppose . . . I mean . . . I think so?”

He really is cute when he’s caught out like that, Zoe thought, watching him, and trying to imagine what their children might look like. Adorable. They’d have beautiful babies.

“Mmm hmm,” the preacher replied. “Well. In that case, are you opposed to the idea of having children in principle, or is it simply that you do not think you’re ready to do so in the immediate future?”

Wash considered. “I think, actually, that it just never occurred to me that a drop-dead gorgeous high-class woman like Zoe would ever want to have my babies,” he replied, and Zoe smiled to hear herself so described. “I guess I might be willing to think about it. I just never did, before.”

“Mmm hmm. Well,” Shepherd Pryor looked at Zoe, “Can you live with that?”

“Yes.”

“Well. These are the most fundamental sorts of questions that have to be addressed,” the Shepherd said. “Since our time is limited, let us consider together just a few more things that might be of particular importance,” he looked at Wash, and frowned. “I have realized that I do not even know your names.”

“I'm –" now Wash frowned, “ah. Um,” he looked at Zoe. “Actually, I don’t think you know my name, either.”

“I don’t?” To Zoe, that was a real surprise. Knowing Wash like she did now, she couldn’t imagine what reason he would have to lie.

Wash squirmed in his seat. “I . . .it’s . . . well, see, when I came aboard, Mal had the wrong name somehow, an alias I’d used once just to avoid some, uh, trouble, and I don’t know how he had it, but he did, and . . . I can’t remember why, but I guess I just didn’t correct him.” He stole a worried glance at Zoe. Certainly if she were going to back out of this, she’d just been handed a perfect excuse.

The Shepherd was shaking his head. “I don’t believe I’ve ever had a couple before who discovered in premarital counseling that they did not even know one another’s proper names. Hmm, well, except for one time when the young man turned out to be lying about his history –“

“Shut up,” Zoe said, and the preacher closed his mouth with a snap. To Wash, she said, “What trouble?”

He looked like he’d been kicked. “I . . . uh . . . I sort of skipped out on the Alliance draft.”

“The Alliance tried to draft you?” Zoe said. She tried to imagine anyone wanting Wash for a fighter, and came up blank. In fact, it seemed rather comical to her.

“Yeah. But I wouldn’t fight for them,” he said. “So I . . . didn’t. I went to work for Tanaka instead. And I used the name Wash Warren for cover.”

“I think you need to consider –“ the preacher began.

“Shut up,” Zoe told him again. “What’s your real name, then?”

“Washburne,” he said miserably, not looking at her. “That’s where ‘Wash’ comes from, actually.”

Zoe tried the name on for size. Zoe Washburne. Zoe Warren. Zoe Washburne. Eh, whatever.

“I was actually addressing –“ the preacher tried again.

“Shut up,” Wash and Zoe said in unison.

“Do you have a first name?” Zoe asked.

“Uh . . . yeah. But, do you really need it? I mean, Wash is really fine with me,” he said.

“It will have to be on the marriage license,” the preacher put in quickly, as though he feared they would cut him off again.

“Oh. Because I don’t actually use my first name. I hate it,” Wash said.

“What is it?” Zoe wondered aloud.

“Hoban,” Wash said to the floor.

Zoe frowned. “What’s wrong with that?” she asked. “’Hoban’ sounds like a perfectly good name to me. Is it a family name?”

Wash put his face in his hands. “No,” he said, his voice muffled. “My mother picked it. She named me that so she could call me ‘Hobie.’”

Hobie?” Zoe choked, swallowing laughter. She could see clearly, in Wash's hunched posture and pained gaze, the little boy who had hated the name "Hobie" and started calling himself "Wash," and it made her smile. "Tell you what," she said, "I promise to shoot anyone who ever calls you 'Hobie' in my hearing."

He glanced sidelong at her, without raising his head; when he read amusement in her face, his own lips quirked. "Deal," he said.

A look of horror crossed the Shepherd's face before his features smoothed out once again. "Well, I think we ought to address just a few more --" he stopped midsentence, as Zoe rose abruptly.

"I'm sorry," she said, "but I think we're just going to have to have the Captain do this for us. We really do have to get back to our ship." She turned away from the Shepherd just enough that he couldn't see her wink at Wash.

"But, sweetheart," Wash said, catching on immediately, "I thought you wanted a church wedding!"

"Oh, I do, darling, but I'm afraid we just don't have time," she protested.

"Well," Wash said, putting his hands on the arms of his chair, as though he was about to stand, "I suppose we could always just wait until our next stop, too . . ."

"No, no, that won't be necessary," the preacher put in hastily. "I think we can accommodate you. Let me just call my wife in to witness." Wash settled back into his chair, and Zoe turned toward the Shepherd again. The Shepherd pressed a button on his desk and spoke briefly with his wife. When she had agreed to come, Zoe sat back down.

The Shepherd reached behind him and pulled out one of his binders and opened it. "Will this be a single ring or a double ring ceremony?" he asked.

Wash looked at Zoe. "Is there a no-ring ceremony?" he asked.

"Wait," Zoe said. She reached behind her neck and undid the clasp on the braided necklace she always wore. "Use this," she put it in Wash's hand.

Wash frowned down at it. "Your necklace?" he said.

"My mother always promised I could have her ring when I got married," Zoe explained, "but . . . I never will, now. She gave me that necklace, though -- it was hers, too. So I'd like to use it."

Shepherd Pryor nodded, muttering. "Single ring ceremony, small modification." He pulled a single sheet of paper out of the binder and laid it alongside his well-worn Bible. He still seemed mildly troubled by the whole business. But before he could say anything else, his wife arrived, carrying an impromptu bouquet of flowers cut from the neat beds around the parsonage. She handed the flowers to Zoe.

"Well, then," the Shepherd said. "Shall we begin?"

**

Mal was standing in the cargo bay with Kaylee when Wash and Zoe returned. He broke off exchanging pleasantries with his new mechanic to watch, sourly, as Wash parked the mule at the back of the cargo bay. The pilot and the first mate dismounted, and walked over to where Mal and Kaylee stood near the ramp.

Mal spoke as they approached. “Wash, Zoe, I’d like you to meet our new mechanic, Kaylee Frye.”

“What happened to the old mechanic?” Wash asked, offering a hand to Kaylee.

“Don’t know, don’t care,” Mal replied. “Kaylee here has us up and running again, and I’ve offered her the job,” Mal smiled at the girl – she looked barely old enough to be let out without a guardian, but supposedly she had her parents’ permission to be here, and Mal wasn’t going to look too closely for trouble in this gift of a competent mechanic. “Kaylee, this is our pilot, Wash, and this is my first mate, Zoe All—“ he broke off, remembering, and looked at Zoe.

“Washburne,” Zoe said, “Zoe Washburne. Nice to meet you.” She shook Kaylee’s hand.

Mal frowned at Wash. “You told me your name was Warren!”

Wash shrugged, unconcerned. “No, actually I didn't. I just didn't correct you when you somehow had an old alias of mine.”

Mal frowned at Zoe. “When did you find out about this?”

“About an hour ago,” she said.

“And you married him anyway?” This was patently unbelievable. Zoe had lost her mind. Mal looked again at Wash. “What do you need an alias for? What did you do? Kill somebody?”

“What he did . . . was in a very good cause, sir,” Zoe said – a reply Mal recognized readily enough as an evasion, and if Zoe was choosing to be evasive, there wasn’t a thing Mal could do about it.

Wash, for his part, was fairly bouncing on the balls of his feet. Well, don’t he just look like the cat that ate the canary? Mal felt the beginnings of a headache taking shape behind his eyes, and pressed his thumb and forefinger to the bridge of his nose to force it back. The pilot was no killer, that was an obvious thing to anyone with a brain. But Mal would never get a straight answer out of Zoe unless she chose, for her own reasons, to give him one, so pressing the issue wasn’t like to get him anywhere.

“We got a new mechanic,” Zoe observed, “Do we have a job?”

“Still working on that,” Mal said. “Got a call just now, with a lead on a Captain Sommers who might need a load transshipped to Whittier. Ought to know something by tonight.”

“Just let us know when you’ve got some work lined up,” Wash said. “In the meantime, we will be in our bunk.” He wrapped an arm possessively around a smiling Zoe, and guided her toward the steps that led up to the kitchen, and beyond that, to the crew quarters.

“It was nice to meet you, Kaylee! Welcome aboard!” Zoe called over her shoulder as she and Wash started up the steps.

“Aww,” Kaylee said, waving at the departing newlyweds. “They’re such a cute couple! How long have they been together?”

“I dunno,” Mal said, staring distractedly after his smiling -- smiling, gorramit – first mate. “Couple of hours, maybe?”

Kaylee was momentarily taken aback by this information. Then she slapped Mal lightly on the arm. “Oh, you just didn’t know about it until a couple of hours ago, I bet.”

Mal didn’t consider that likely, but he was in no mood to argue. Not about that, anyway, and not with Kaylee. A good round of fisticuffs in a bar with some strangers actually sounded more like what he was in the mood for right about now. But he had a ship to run, and a job to line up, and a new mechanic to show around the place, and that ought to be plenty, for the time being, to take his mind off this latest weirdness. “Why don’t I, um, show you your bunk?” he said to Kaylee, then thought twice about it. “No, actually . . .why don’t we start . . .” in the engine room, where he’d found his new mechanic en flagrante with the previous one? No, not there, either. “Right here,” he said finally. “Now, this here is the cargo hold. Where we put our cargo. And . . . we got a couple of shuttles. And . . . an infirmary. And some passenger rooms. How about I show you those?”

COMMENTS

Monday, December 4, 2006 1:47 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Why am I not surprised Jack gave Wash his collection of animatronic dinos? Cuz that first part was great:D

And Zoe asking Wash, huh? Plausible, perfectly written context-wise and brilliant dialogue. Yep...great stuff, nauticalgal!

;D

BEB

Sunday, December 10, 2006 4:46 PM

NAUTICALGAL


Thanks, BEB. You're pretty much the only reason I'm bothering to finish posting this here; maybe I'll just stick to LJ from now on.

Thursday, December 14, 2006 5:05 PM

TONYAHUQT03


Ok it took me about two weeks to read all of this, and now I gonna comment. This was a great story. I love how you filled in the blanks, even with the whole Washborne/Warren thing and Zoe's necklace which was just a continuity mistake. Pretty creative thinking there. This last chapter was my favorite. Can't wait for the final chapter. This is on my top fav. Wash/Zoe stories which there isn't enough of them, I think. Ok I'm gushing and rambling. Can't wait for the last chapter.
Tonya :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006 5:08 PM

TONYAHUQT03


P.S
BEB is awesome when it comes to reviewing, but you should post it here too, b/c lj confuses me. I found your story by the little blurbs at the top and the quote drew me in. And there is a cool Wash/Zoe fan site its http://www.flower-and-leaf.com, people don't comment much on it, but your story does belong on it. Who knows you could get it poppin'. Sorry ramblings again.


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The rest of the crew return home.

The Four Winds, Chapter 24
Me and Elwood, we're puttin' the band back together.

The Four Winds, Chapter 23
Inara investigates matters; Mal discovers that the impossible has been done in his absence.

The Four Winds, Chapter 22
River needs Mal to solve her problem; Mal is forced to provide information to the Alliance.

The Four Winds, Chapter 21
When Mal tries to recover the cargo, will he lose more than he stands to gain?

The Four Winds, Chapter 20
Mal makes changes to his plan; River puts her plan into action; Inara decides on a plan of her own; Wash finds something he'd lost.

The Four Winds, Chapter 19
Simon gets an alias; Mal gets a look at his client; Wash gets a shock.

The Four Winds, Chapter 18
Our Heroes - and Our Villains - try to figure a way out of the mess they're in.

The Four Winds, Chapter 17
River finds out what's really going on; Simon and Zoe fall into the wrong hands.