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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
An AU in which Zoe sacrifices her life for Wash... and he must learn to move on.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 855 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
"Nobody said anything about a drag show," Simon said, pouting in a chair in the corner of Inara's shuttle.
Inara laughed. "I didn't think it was necessary. No one's going to know we're really women."
"I'm not," Simon pointed out. "And I'm not exactly keen on the idea of dressing as one."
"You'll make an awful pretty girl," Kaylee teased.
Kate was inspecting Simon's face, far too close for his personal comfort. "What? What are you doing?"
"You have amazing skin," Kate said. "No shadow, and it's fairly late; we might not even need to use the cake makeup on him, 'Nara."
"What do you think, girls?" Inara said, holding up two wigs. "Is he a blonde or a redhead?"
"Why me?" Simon whined.
"Mal's the boss, Jayne's too hairy, and Wash hasn't got the hips for it," Kate grinned.
"If'n I didn't know better," Jayne said, watching Wash and Hannah put together a holo-puzzle, "I'd almost think she was yer get for true."
"Huh?" Wash looked up.
"Kid's got yer eyes," Jayne told him. "She's fair like you. Looks more like you than her momma." Jayne grabbed a sandwich and headed for his bunk.
"Man's got a point," Mal said, studying the two closer. "If I didn't know you were married to Zoe when this li'l one was concieved -"
"It's not possible," Wash said suddenly. "Is it? It can't be."
"I'm not going in there," Simon said from the corridor. "No. Ow, Kate. Inara, stop pushing. I'm going to fall off these shoes!"
A very tall, thin blonde stumbled gracelessly into the common room, and Mal just about pissed himself laughing. "Doc, what in hell did you let those women do to ya?" he snickered. Simon made a very lovely woman, as the girls had predicted, and Wash had to do a double-take.
"I didn't let them do anything," Simon said dryly. "This? Is all your doing. Sir," he added sarcastically.
"Not gorram possible," Wash repeated as River, Kate and Inara were ushered into the room by a giggling Kaylee. They were all dressed like Simon, in black and purple lace and vinyl, with over-the-top make-up common to drag acts, and shoes that looked like they were about to snap their ankles. Kate's long hair, rather than being knotted up on her head in a practical bun, hung in a long, dark braid down her back, and something in Wash's brain clicked. "Ta ma de," he muttered. Vague, drink-fogged memories of a dancer he didn't even think was legal, with a long dark braid, came flooding back.
"I'm getting married," he told the dancer who was straddling his lap, breasts in his face.
"Congratulations," she replied, with a genuine smile. "I'm avoiding it."
Wash took another shot of whiskey. "Buy you a drink?"
"Sure," she said, climbing off his lap. "I'm off in a few minutes. Just let me go change."
He'd waited, though he had seriously doubted she'd come back, and he was surprised when the girl returned, clad in denim jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, that beautiful long braid pinned up around her head like a crown. He bought her the promised drink - more than one, actually, and at some point they fumbled and stumbled their way to his hotel room.
"I don't have anything," he told her when it was nearly too late.
"It's okay," she'd assured him. And in his drunken haze, he'd believed her.
"I'll just go," she said when they'd finished. She started gathering her clothes and she just looked so lost...
"Stay," he said. "It's late, and you must be tired."
"I'll be okay," she smiled sadly. "I wish you and your new wife all the happiness in the 'verse." And then she just left. When he woke up in the morning with a hangover the size of Londonium, she was all but forgotten.
"It just doesn't make sense," Wash said, staring at Kate. "How old is Hannah?"
"Almost three," Kate said, looking at him strangely. "Why?"
"I just... there's no way, but... Kate - the Lucky Panda?"
"Yeah," she said, blushing.
"Almost four years ago?"
"Three and a half, yeah," Kate said. "What are you getting at?"
Wash looked at Hannah, who was happily piecing together the puzzle they'd been working on, and then back at her mother. "I told you I was getting married," he said. "You said you were avoiding it."
Kate blinked. "This is insanity."
"I said I didn't have anything, and you said it was okay."
"I thought it was," she said quietly.
"Obviously it wasn't," Wash said, throwing his hands in the air. "Obviously I've been a father for almost three years and I'm just finding out about it now."
Mal popped a piece of candy into his mouth. "Just like goin' to the theatre," he commented, earning a glare from Inara. "Cheaper, though," he added, "an' I ain't gotta dress up. Though it does look like Simon's got that covered for me."
"Don't you think I deserved to know?" Wash asked.
"What do you want from me?" Kate demanded. "You didn't even give me your real name, Steven."
"Mama," Hannah said, breaking the tension in the room. "Unca Simon pretty."
"That sure was interestin'," Kaylee said brightly.
"Interesting is not the word I'd use for it," Kate sighed, wiping off the heavy makeup with a cloth. "How? How was I supposed to know? What are the odds, really?"
River opened her mouth to speak.
"That was rhetorical," Kate snapped. She closed her eyes. "I'm sorry, River."
"River, mei-mei, you're supposed to be psychic, you didn't see this coming?" Kaylee asked.
River smiled enigmatically. "Sometimes it's more fun to see things play out the way they were meant to than to meddle. I dislike meddling."
Inara sighed. "It's very romantic, don't you think?"
Kate looked at her with a funny expression. "Not really. We were drunk. He was about to get married to the love of his life and I was hiding from mine. Where's the romance?"
"Not that," Inara shook her head. "A fleeting encounter years ago creates a beautiful child who, in the end, brings you back together as though it were meant to be."
"I've been tellin' her to lay off the soap operas," Mal said, coming in to fix himself a snack.
"We're not together," Kate insisted. "Right now I'm not even sure we're friends."
"Told ya she looked like you," Jayne said. "But ain't it strange."
"It's just going to be a little prick, sweetie," Simon told Hannah. "Daddy will hold your hand."
"I'm right here, baby," Wash told her. She didn't even wince as Simon took her blood sample. He covered the spot with a pink cartoon bandage.
"In a couple hours, we'll know for sure," Simon told Wash.
"Doesn't really matter," Wash said. "I'm her Daddy either way."
"I can't believe you was playin' around on Zoe," Jayne said. "That woman was the only person I was ever scairt of. 'Cept River."
"I wasn't -" Wash began. "What are you even doing in here? This is between me, my daughter and her doctor." He flared his nostrils. "I wasn't playing around on Zoe. I would never do that. It was... I just... I can't explain it. I was just trying to spread my wings one last time. I had no intention of bedding a stripper!"
"Booze'll do that," Jayne said, almost sympathetically.
"So?" Kate asked eagerly as Simon came into the common area.
"The results aren't ready yet," he said apologetically. "Hannah and Wash are on the bridge. You should go see them."
"Think he really wants to see me?" Kate asked.
"He's just angry," Simon replied. "And not with you, with himself. He's feeling very guilty for cheating on Zoe. He still loves her very much."
"How was I supposed to let him know, Simon?" Kate asked. "He told me his name was Steven. Do you know how many Stevens there are in the system?"
"Not a few," Simon nodded. "And even if you'd waved them all, none of them would have been him. He'll see reason, Kate."
"You do know you haven't washed your face yet, don't you?" Kate smirked. It was desperately hard to keep a straight face talking to him, tarted up as he was.
"No wonder you love to fly," Wash smiled affectionately down at his daughter, who was playing pilot again. Her new doll was riding shotgun. "What do you think, kiddo? Think you're a Washburne?"
"I would have told you," Kate said softly. "If I'd known how to reach you."
"And what about when you first came on board?" Wash asked, careful not to raise his voice.
"I didn't recognize you," Kate scoffed. "One night, almost four years ago, drunk off my gourd and you expect me to take a look at you and go, hey, you're that guy who knocked me up?"
Wash looked at her; he could see there were tears forming in her eyes. "Kate -"
"I've known you long enough to know you're an honorable man," Kate smiled. "I know you would've done right by us if you'd known."
"You're not angry with me?"
"Me?" Kate laughed. "You didn't realize it at the time, but you gave me the best gift in the 'verse. My baby girl. And I wouldn't want to take away the time you had with Zoe or the time I had with Michael for all the platinum in the 'verse."
"So where do we go from here?" Wash asked her.
She shrugged. "We could try another date."
"You're still wearin' it," Mal pointed out.
"Yes, I am," Inara smiled.
"You still ain't told me yes," he said.
"Not in so many words, no."
"Hmm." Inara pretended to contemplate this. "I can't seem to recall you ever actually asking me a question."
Mal raised an eyebrow. "No? Well, I can fix that." He hitched up his pants and got down on one knee. "Inara Serra, you are the most beautiful, most infuriating woman in the entire 'verse, an' the only one crazy enough an' patient enough to put up with the likes o' me. Would you do me the honor of bein' my wife?"
"When you put it like that," she grinned, "I might just have to rethink that yes."
"Stop lookin' at me."
"I know something you don't know," River sang.
Kaylee scowled. "Quit it. We don't wanna know yet. An' if you keep starin' at my belly I'm gonna get self-conscious."
"Okay," River said evenly. "If I can't look at them, can I at least talk to them?"
"Oh, fine," Kaylee sighed. "Wha - them?"
Friday, December 30, 2005 7:03 PM
Saturday, December 31, 2005 8:57 AM
Sunday, January 01, 2006 7:21 AM
Wednesday, January 04, 2006 12:43 PM
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