BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA

BIGGRSTAFFBUNCH

Delirium
Monday, April 16, 2007

Zoe Washburne don't believe in ghosts. (post-BDM angst) |Zoe/Wash|


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1268    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

- - -

Zoe Washburne don't believe in ghosts.

Won't let herself, more like. Ever since that harpoon sailed its way through Serenity's window and into Wash's heart, Zoe's tried her best to stay truthsome with her own self. Tried her best to communicate to the crew, to her very reflection, that Wash is dead--and he ain't coming back. Tried her best not to dwell on how gutted she is, deep and clean and empty. No use in trying to fill them spaces up, not with hankerin' for a sandy-haired phantom to touch her shoulder when the moments get too hard, or when the job gets too rough. Sort of thing that's too romantical for the likes of her.

"But that's me, sugarlips. Romantical even unto death."

Yes, Zoe's tried to stay on an even keel, but there are things that could rattle even the most unshakeable wills, the most level of heads. Hearin' her lover's voice--even though she put him in the ground herself, dirt hitting the coffin like gunshots against dead flesh--is one of them things.

The voice is sing-songy and dry, and pure Wash. So purely Wash that it's damn hard to ignore. Zoe should know, because she always tries. Her breath catches in her chest, hitching for just a second, before she's taking a drag of air, in and out. Sometimes, just breathing is hard enough to do these days. 'Specially with the dregs of her own darkness coming at her in the most unguarded times, the go se left at the bottom of the coffee cup when all the good's just drained away.

The shirt she's been folding falls out of her hands, puddling to the ground in a bright, soft pile. She blinks down at the flower print, unseeing, till the oranges and whites and blues blend together in a blurry maelstrom of color. Enough to turn a girl's head, if she stares at it long enough, but Zoe can't quite look away. It calls an image to her mind that won't let go, holding her captive in some sort of numb stasis as the air in her bunk grows cool and the voice whispers again.

"Looks like the lakes on Ares, baby. Remember? The sun rising over the water and your eyes glowing like the coin we'd just pocketed."

Their first job as husband and wife. Zoe does remember. She kneels woodenly, reaching for the shirt. Her fingers are trembling, and cold anger seeps through her skin, smoky and unsubstantial like dry ice, making her shiver as she breathes in the chill.

She ain't so weak as to be fooled by her own gorram mind. She ain't. Worked too hard, lived through too much to let herself dream while she's wakin'.

"You--" Zoe starts to speak, but her voice is less than strong, and she hates herself a bit for it.

"Our honeymoon, Zo. You shot a man in the leg and took his money, and then we went for a swim. Call me crazy, but I think it's a fine life when crime funds some nuptial naughtiness." A gentle pause. "This is the part where you call me crazy, sweetie."

Then comes his laugh, the sound filmy and dry as rice-paper. So close that she whips her head up and looks around the room, blue fury raging through her veins. Blue like his eyes, and a spasm wracks her body-- jerks her around like a damn toy, as she recalls his smiling gaze, his sweet, familiar face.

Her own face is stiff with the force of keeping expression wiped blank, and she don't need to look in the mirror to know her eyes are flat like the lowest of plains.

Crazy. Zoe can surely call someone crazy in here and it ain't the figment of her imagination that she's suddenly got to seeing, neither.

"You ain't him," she says fiercely, to the heavy air of the bunk. "He's dead. Never coming back. Not ever, you hear?"

Not sure who she's talking to, the ghost or herself. Or are they one and the same? Zoe shakes her head, her breath coming in shorter, harder draws. She ain't dead yet. No use going around like she is--though that's what comes from talking to thin air. Person's liable to lose pieces of themselves right along with their own damn minds.

"Why won't you just admit I'm here, bao bei?"

A caress, like a tear sliding down her cheek, and then all at once, nothing. Like the airlock opened and oxygen got sucked out, and Zoe reckons this is what it feels like to be a shell, with an ocean of grief rushing through all the empty spaces. The moment hangs suspended, a vortex whorling in her belly, till it's almost like a bomb exploding in the soft cage of her body. She's containment for some core that's too hot to burn any longer, and in the privacy of her loneliness, no crewmembers or hallucinations to peer in on her, Zoe gives up.

Been so long since she could just be, and the force of her emotions makes her head swim so that she needs to sit down.

Her hand grasps the material of the shirt, brings it up to her chest, then her face. There's silence as she breathes in the scent that's no longer there, the one imbedded in her mind so deep that whenever she passes by the engine room or sips some tea, the smell of grease and chamomile thrust her violently back into this place.

This place of mourning, of uncertainty and regret and memory lurking in all the shadows of a bridge that, when she closes her eyes, still glows red.

Zoe sits carefully on the bed where she and her husband once made love, keeps her ears pricked and body still.

And as the minutes wane on, each just another moment that she's living without him, Zoe leans her chin against her hands and tries not to hear his voice in her head.

- - -

COMMENTS

Monday, April 16, 2007 11:11 AM

AMDOBELL


Ah, Wash coming back as a ghost, is bitter sweet pain of remembrance. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, April 16, 2007 2:06 PM

LAMBYTOES


This is exactly how I think Zoe would mourn, telling herself how he's gone and looking at his shirts. *tear*

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 9:10 AM

ORANGEHAT


That was so pretty!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:22 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Completely heart-wrenching stuff, biggrstaffbunch. Almost want to say you psychically crib-sheeted this from Joss's brain;D

BEB


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