For a Laugh
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

An uber-fluffy Wash/Zoë, pre-series ficlet. Zoë is hurt and Wash goes out of his way to make her smile.


A.N. To preemptively alleviate confusion, this is before Jayne and Inara came on board and before Wash and Zoë got together. One of the 101 theories as to how Wash lost the 'stache (I really will make a list)... I wrote this on the plane down to Chile before my M/I kick started.


It was a stupid mistake and she’d nearly killed them all. Killed Mal, killed Kaylee – all of them. Her heart struggled to beat under the crushing weight of guilt. Her eyes stung with unshed tears as she stared at the Infirmary ceiling. Mal had done his best to patch her up, but she was sure from here on out she’d walk with a limp. If not in her leg, then in her heart. Zoë closed her eyes, forcing blackness to shroud the memory. How could she have been so foolish?! A gentle hand slipped into hers, too soft to be Mal’s, too large to be Kaylee’s. Wash. The gorram pilot had been hitting on her for weeks and now he had her some place she couldn’t run away. She considered twisting his arm or breaking his fingers just to convince him to back off, but that’s not what she wanted. He had every right to hate her right now – to blame her for screwing things up – but here he was holding her hand. And she desperately craved his forgiveness. Keeping her eyes pressed shut, she adjusted her grip, letting their fingers interlace. Like a warm embrace, he closed both hands around hers, rubbing his thumb consolingly over her scraped knuckles. He didn’t blame her for what happened. He didn’t care that she’d almost gotten them all killed. He was just glad she was alright, and all he needed to do to convey this was hold her hand. Wash’s thumb brushed her cheek, wiping away the tears that had fallen when she’d closed her eyes. He’d seen the chink in her armor; now there was no turning back. Despite her threats and cold demeanor, Wash had never been afraid of her. When she challenged him, he never backed down. What now? Would his eyes hold anything but pity? Would he tell the world how weak she really was? Fearfully cautious, Zoë peeked her eyes open to look at the man holding her hand. But she failed to find his sky blue eyes… her attention was instead captured by his naked upper lip. Laughter bubbled from her core and overflowed as she ran a hand up to touch his smoothly shaved skin. “What’s this?” she grinned, forgetting that she didn’t like him. He always made her laugh with reckless abandon. “Thought it might cheer you up,” he answered smoothly, pressing his lips against her fingers and kissing lightly. Zoë couldn’t remember the last time she felt so special. Wash loved that moustache! He told endless stories about it! And he’d shaved it off just to get a smile out of her. To cheer her up when she had no right to expect compassion from any one of the crew. Wash tilted his head playfully from side to side, letting her hands wander over his clean shaven face without putting the effort into moving. Zoë’s arm grew numb and she realized her fingers had been resting over his lips for a long while. Wash must have felt her fingers grow cold because he kissed her palm one last time and guided her hand down so that their four hands and twenty fingers rested peacefully on her abdomen. Her guilt forgotten, Zoë gazed happily into Wash’s eyes, wondering if that date he’d offered was still on the table. She didn’t even know how to ask. “Thanks for tryin’ to cheer me.” Wash rubbed his naked upper lip and wiggled his nose. “That smile is worth it. Now the real trick will be getting you to smile again tomorrow.” “Oh, just keep that face clean-shaved. That’ll keep me smilin’.” “That’s a steep order, coming between a man and his moustache. I don’t know if a smile is enough for that kind of long-term sacrifice.” “How about a smile and a kiss?” Wash’s blue eyes rolled thoughtfully upward. “I think I can get behind that.” His fingers still laced with hers, Wash closed his eyes and leaned toward her. Zoë impishly turned her head away, laughing as Wash’s lips grazed her ear. His eyes shot open and he started chasing her face playfully as she turned side to side. “Hey!” “Come in clean-shaved tomorrow,” Zoë teased. “Then you get your kiss.” “Oh, okay” he agreed conspiratorially, his lighting lips stealing a quick peck on hers before she could turn away. He stood lightly, making an excuse that it was his turn to cook dinner, but promising to come back tomorrow. She watched him go, then dropped her head to the pillow, her previous guilt chased away by laughter. Zoë bit her lip, lamenting that Wash’s stolen kiss had been too short for her to taste him, but there was still tomorrow. She could dream until tomorrow.



Wednesday, June 13, 2007 5:55 AM


Awww! I love it. So cute!!! I want to see the next kiss!!!!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007 11:01 AM


That's adorable! I kinda want to know what Zoe did, if it's really her fault, or if she's just convinced it is.
Of course, Wash wouldn't care either way. He's cute like that.
I want to see the next kiss too!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 6:06 PM


This was a whole lot of fun, i can totally see Wash doing it just as you describe. I have to say though, I really want to know what Zoe did! Prequel???????

Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:45 AM


I loved this, but what did Zoe do that almost cost the crew their lives and the ship? I can so see Zoe and Wash acting like this and it is a good insight into how and why Zoe fell in love with him. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, June 16, 2007 7:31 AM


SO CUTE! you got right into the characters and allowed us to greedily soak in their mini-moment of mirth! i agree...sequel? prequel? another moment, pretty please?

Sunday, June 17, 2007 4:20 PM


Uh...what in the name of the seven hells did ZOE do that almost got herself and the rest of the crew killed?! Cuz I can't think of anything that Zoe could have done that was dangerous enough. Not even trying to fix a busted part, since she grew up on a ship!

More! We need more and fast! Please?!



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