Washing A Shore the River - River&Wash
Sunday, November 6, 2005

Advice comes from strange places..... and who's really giving help to whom?


A River / Wash piece for you.
BUCKY AND BOB do not make an appearance (not really)....................

Onboard Serenity
(Written by Blake and Tatey)

A baby.


Zoe wanted a kid and had taken to thinking on it often, and talking about it just as much. He hadn't had a chance to sit and talk about it too much, given their last run around on a failed job. He figured Mal would call it a success, because they escaped with their lives in tact, but Wash called it another reason to not bring a baby into the world. Not their baby.

How could he be the father he wanted when they were being boarded, running, fighting or being shot at every other week? A slight exaggeration perhaps, but still. Book sometimes was the only sanity Wash found to even consider the idea, but on the whole, it was a done deal. A no brainer.

A man would have to shoot the healthy horse he was riding on to make more sense than bringing a Zoe-Wash hybrid onto Serenity.

Sitting back in his chair, looking out at the planet where everyone was out hauling goods or looking for income, Wash found himself on guard duty of the Girl and patted her hull. "It's just you 'n me again. Havin' ourselves a good conversation." It was easier to talk to Serenity than Zoe about these matters.

Serenity didn't talk back and make strong, almost unarguable points.

A stand and stretch, Wash headed towards the kitchen and all but jumped out of his skin. "AaaHGH!" He leapt back, his spine hitting the exact, sharp angle of the door. Stiff pain zipped up his bones but that barely had his attention.

Thinking he was alone on board, Wash was staring at River on the stairs. "How long have you been sittin' there? You scared the gorram hell outta me."

“You were loud,” she explained, half in the bridge half out, hesitancy in the posture of her body. The Captains words rung in her ears still about her place on the ship and she could taste Wash’s unease just as sure as she could feel the coldness of the grating against the arch of her foot. “Your head is full,” she complained, stepping into the bridge, her face open and relaxed. Her movements were careful and slow as not to scare as she remembered the nervous squirrels that gathered outside their family home in the autumn. She would have to coax him out, nuts and sweets, nothing sour.

But it would be worth it. It’s peaceful with just Serenity and Wash onboard. The whispers weren’t deafening and Wash understood Serenity like Mal and she did. He understood her role, the unspoken agreement that Serenity was the omnipresent present third party in all things they did. Wash talked to her like Kaylee did and Serenity liked that.

"Full?" Wash was never much one for understanding River or the fits that seemed to claim her. He felt sorry for her, more than anything, and for Simon too, for taking on such an obligation. "What'd you mean? Full?"

“Afraid of hearing the vagitus,” she said, watching the colorful planet that kept them in high orbit as it slipped passed. Simon was terrified of the black because it was endless but Wash loved it for that very same reason. “Zoe dreams about it though, wants her belly to swell.”

This was the part of River that made him uncomfortable. How did she come to pull these things out of the air? Did the kid hang out outside their bunk at night or listen through the vents? Sneak up on them when it was only Zoe and Wash on Serenity's bridge and whispering to one another while stealing a kiss?

"What do you know about growed up things?" The man challenged. Perhaps he would have been better off staying in his seat talking to Serenity.

She gave him a look, one that she saved for Simon usually. Too stupid to live. “Learned about Coitus in the dictionary, made Simon turns colors at the dinner table when I told him about.” She grinned.

Had he been drinking anything, it would have either decorated River's face or dribbled down his own shirt after exiting his nose. "Oh my," Wash exclaimed, looking at this young girl while placing himself in Simon's shoes that she finished describing. "Well. I suppose that would take care of that." Still half way in the door, he nodded past the mini-stair case, "Are you comin' or goin'? I was headed for a bite of grub."

“Not sure,” she admitted quietly, eyebrows drawn together as confusion clouded her face. It was hard for her sometimes, hard to piece words together, she was never sure if they came out right with Simon because he talked to her like she was still 14 but not with Wash. Cap’n says he ain’t got no poker face Jayne’s voice reminded. He was easy to read, even without his voice in her head. “Coming,” she said finally and she rose to follow him, trying to sort out her thought from his and Serenity’s.

Her first reaction caused Wash to almost not wait for her, but there was something about River that took his attention: Her innocence. In a way, she was what Zoe wanted. A child that was helpless and needed someone to look after her.

"Come on. I'll make you one of my special peanut spread surprises." Deciding on a smile, Wash made up his mind that River was going to be his big test to see if fathering out in space was such a good idea. In the back of his cranium was always the image of Zoe standing over his pilot's chair, holding their child while he dove Serenity down and his wife was pointing her gun at someone behind them both. Breastfeeding and picking off unwanted on-boarders.

It would be a sexy image if it wasn't so gorram truthful and dead on the money.

River trotted behind Wash dutifully, letting him lead her through the ship even though she knew the way, she’d learned it within hours of waking from her box. There was a feeling she couldn’t explain welling inside her in his presence and she let it flow through her, override the fear and pain that had become inherit in her. This was why she sought him out. His thoughts weren’t dark like Mal's or loud like Simon, he was like Kaylee. When he spoke she heard his laughter and his happiness and if she stood close enough she could feel it too.

Starting the production, he moved over for the can of spread and rummaged around for the packaged brownies, "Zoe's always hidin' these on me, I swear." A glance over his shoulder, he told River the story, "Don't let her fool you, my wife. She may be tough and act all tough and yes. She's all tough, but when it comes to a cravin', such as her chocolate, she has a weakness the same as the next man." His fingers brushed a box and Wash looked up on the shelf. "Bingo. She tried to hide them behind the rice."

Pulling forth the delicacy, he knew Zoe would be grumpy if she saw him giving his specialty to River, but like a smart husband, Wash was already putting together his contingency plan. If Zoe complained, he would throw 'research' back in her face.

“Hide a lot too,” she said, voice full of a quiet, shy understanding. “She wants to give life to something, aches for it here,” she told Wash, settling her hand over her heart, listening to its rhythm. “Loves you so much, it spills out of her.”

This certainly wasn't helping and with his back to River, Wash's face tightened and he took a deep breath. The kid was being more persistent than Zoe.

Letting it go, for she was only a seventeen year old punk kid who didn't know the reality about life, marriage and choices - never mind what crap she read in a book and taunted her brother with - Wash moved over to the table and set down the ingredients for the perfect snack. "Yes. We love each other very much." On purpose he bypassed her other words about life, love, liberty and the pursuit of child birth.

"So, are you ready to try out my masterpiece?" His eyes held a bit of resentment or a dull tone. Wash was tense again, that much was for sure and one didn't need to be River or Zoe to figure that out.

“Why are you so scared?”

The answer was quick and evasive, "I'm not scared. I rather enjoy making these brownie-nut surprises, although the fear of cuttin' off my finger has never come into play until now. Hmm." He lifted his hand and turned it around in full inspection.

“Wear your laughter like a shield,” she observed, reaching out to touch him, small fingers brushing over his arm. Her eyes fluttered and she saw something, faint but so very clear “She’d be beautiful,” River started and her voice had taken on an airy tone, “laugh like you, smile wide like Zoe. Sit in your lap, play with Bucky and Bob, give them new stories when it was quiet. Exasperate Zoe,” she said with a grin but her smile soon faded and she looked sad. “But you’re so afraid. Why?”

Wash was about to jerk back his arm, sternly tell the girl that she had no business judging or even thinking on his life and the words came out. They came from his throat but died before hitting his teeth. Instead, she touched on the very being of his inner soul, and had more power to stop him than he realized. River talked about a baby girl.

A slow gulp in his throat, Wash tried very hard to ignore River's words and not picture the beautiful painting she stroked across his mental canvas. Hooked in emotionally, the older man sat there with peanut spread on a knife that was held motionless in the air. He looked very sad, almost aged, and regarded River knowing somehow she held this eerie knowledge of Ancient times.

None of it made any sense to him in the 'how' or 'why' category but his heart clutched at River's verbal canvas.

It would be simple to respond that she needed to drop the subject, get up and walk away, but Wash recognized something real before him. Or perhaps he bought into it because he needed to. In any event, he answered her when he previously did not wish too, and what did it matter when he believed River somehow knew the truth anyway....."Because she'll die." He couldn't explain it, but in his heart of hearts, Wash was convinced that if they stayed aboard Serenity, having a child, either his wife or his daughter would die. He'd had nightmares about it and couldn't bare to be left alone to deal with that sort of pain.

Her fingers tightened around his, “All things die, doesn’t matter where you hide,” she reminded gently, “but hope waits.” Her smile softened with the laughter of a phantom child only she could hear as his pain blossomed warm and fresh inside her. How could he not understand this?

She would make him understand and that knowledge flooded her suddenly. Words came to her easily when before she struggled to piece them together in an effort to make him understand. “We’re family. Can care for her and teach her too. Serenity isn’t freedom from the storm, but peace within,” she whispered, choking on his emotions.

None of this situation made sense, not that Wash couldn't understand the words, but the entire 'getting advice from an inexperienced child' was not possible. His chest tightened in rhythm with his throat and the blond man gave a soft nod before managing, "I'll keep that in mind." This girl was too eerie to be real and it made him reconsider a lot of what he had previously shot down with Zoe. "River."

The name spoken so she might know he was serious.

"Would you now like to try a brownie?"

“Yes,” River said, drawing her hand back as she let the tide of the new conversation pull his emotions from her. They wouldn’t speak of this anymore but River was satisfied, she could feel one more burden slipping away from her shoulders.

“Don’t tell Simon,” she warned with a grin, fingers reaching greedily for what he offered her. “He’s not a dentist and he worries my teeth will rot away,” she explained gravely, taking a delicate bite of the chocolaty sweet. “We’ll get another lecture and they’re very boring,” she assured finishing the brownie he gave her before placing her hand outward, palm up, a sign that she wanted another one. “He likes to hear himself talk.”

For someone who liked to talk, Wash had been quiet as he spread peanut butter on the innards of their brownies. River all but gobbled hers down, but that didn't matter much to the pilot of Serenity. His mind was unclear, his heart confused and his soul torn. He'd been touched by something that wasn't entirely Simon's little sister and gouging out another chocolate confectionary, he put forth effort to make his voice normal once more and light. "I won't tell him a thin' if you don't."

Filling her hand with another Wash Brownie Surprise Special, he put his own treat to his lips and took a bite. This test of his, trying to interact with a kid, turned out to be another questioning of what happened to River or who took residency within her brain and robbed her of being an innocent girl. How did she know his soul?

A complete mystery.


River Tam-(Written for by RiverMeimei) Child Warrior
Hoban Washburne-(Written for by HobanIWashburne) Pilot


Sunday, November 6, 2005 3:41 PM


I don't mind the rating.... heheee... but any feedback to go along would be much appreciated.

Thanks much.

Sunday, November 6, 2005 3:48 PM


Like I said on your other one, this color looks much better.

It's cool that your stuff is so well edited. And there are some strong word choices here. For instance:

"Her smile softened with the laughter of a phantom child only she could hear as his pain blossomed warm and fresh inside her."

Good stuff, that.

Sunday, November 6, 2005 3:50 PM


Thanks Man. That I can't take credit for, as Tatey (RiverMeimei) writes for River. She's really fantastic at capturing the character..... be on the look out for more.

And hey man.... you should forward me one of your fav. links of art/writing. I always like reading other's work. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2005 3:56 PM


"Thanks Man. That I can't take credit for, as Tatey (RiverMeimei) writes for River. She's really fantastic at capturing the character."

I agree, she is.

"And hey man.... you should forward me one of your fav. links of art/writing. I always like reading other's work. :)"

Just click on my name. You'll get my most recent blog, which was a list of some of my fav fics, and all of my own stories will be down at the bottom under "My Blue Sun Items."

I messaged you about the other stuff.

Welcome aboard, and keep writing.

Sunday, November 6, 2005 7:00 PM



I think you captured Wash's frustration beautifully.

Monday, November 7, 2005 12:14 AM


Absolutely excellent. I loved how River keyed in to Wash's insecurity and the reason why coming through was nicely handled. Shiny! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Monday, November 7, 2005 8:27 AM


that girl has got some oddness to her...


Tuesday, November 8, 2005 7:32 PM



Nice interaction between two characters that usually don't have much to do with each other.

One suggestion, though: You were kind of hitting us upside the head with the "Wash is making River a sandwich in order to try out fatherhood." Show, don't tell.

I liked how Wash imagined fatherhood aboard Serenity, feeding the baby while Zoe defends the ship. Good job.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005 7:41 PM


SameErtia - Thanks so much for the feedback. Frustrated charries can be a wonderful thing.

AMDOBELL - A compliment coming from you is like a light shinning on my doorway from the rain. Thank you so much!!

Bellona - As to oddness... she does. Gotta love that River (Tatey).

smithandwesson - Thanks for stopping by!!! I totally appreciate the constructive crit and will try and recognize those for myself (a hard thing for me at this point) so please... keep em coming! I so do love all sort of feedback. Thank you for offering it!!!


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