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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: 987 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
"Ooh!" Kaylee squealed. "He got down on his knee an' everythin'?"
Inara nodded, obviously pleased.
"You told him yes, didn'tcha?"
Inara hesitated. "I didn't exactly say no."
"You didn't exactly say no when he gave you the ring, either," Kate pointed out, crushing protein crackers for meatloaf. "Eventually you're going to have to answer him. He's not going to wait forever."
"Isn't he?" River asked. "The captain may be impatient at times but he's certainly been waiting for you a long time."
"River's got a point," Kaylee frowned, "but it'd sure be shiny to have another weddin' onboard. An' it ain't really fair to keep stringin' him along like you have been."
"I'm not... stringing him along," Inara said defensively. "I just don't want to rush things."
"Life's short," Kate said, a little sadly. "You find a man who loves you as much as Mal does, you marry him before someone else does."
"Like you're gonna do with Wash?" Kaylee teased.
"Like I did with Michael," Kate frowned. "Like you did with Simon."
Kaylee glanced at River. "What about you, mei-mei? Are you gonna wed that big ol' beefy merc of ours?"
River wrinkled her nose. "Marriage isn't a state of mind, it's simply a legal arrangement. Jayne and I are together in the ways that count."
"Just a legal arrangement?" Kate said. "Where'd you get an idea like that?"
River shrugged. "My parents were married, but they weren't in love. I don't even think they liked each other most of the time."
"Musta liked each other some," Kaylee giggled. "They got two kids."
River made a face. "Despite compelling evidence to the contrary, I like to think my parents reproduced asexually."
"And?" Simon asked.
Mal looked pained. "And what?"
"What did she say?" Wash hissed. "Out with it."
"Aw, she prolly said no," Jayne snickered. "Fancy lady like her might like to slum it a little, but she ain't gonna take yer name an' have yer babies."
Mal shot Jayne a glare. "An' what in Hades do you think River's doin' with you?"
Jayne's mouth flapped shut. "Ain't the same..." he muttered under his breath.
"She ain't took the ring off yet," Mal said optimistically. "That's gotta be good for somethin', right?"
"It's a start," Wash agreed.
Simon started to say something, but Jayne interrupted. "Jus' means you found a pretty she ain't wantin' to part with," he scowled.
Mal clenched his jaw. "Did it sound like I was talkin' to you, the one man on this ship ain't never been married an' ain't tryin' to be?"
"Who says I ain't tryin'?" Jayne said. "Ain't my fault the doc's folks screwed up his sister so bad she don't believe in marriage."
"What?" Simon asked. "Did she tell you that?"
Jayne nodded. "She said she don't never wanna get married, 'cause your folks was married an' they was miserable. Now maybe someday I'll get to changin' her mind, but that sister o' yours is one powerful stubborn woman."
"You asked my sister to marry you?"
Xue was hunting. She was being about as stealthy as a kitten can be, being mostly limbs and fur, with not much more than spun sugar for brains. Her prey, though, was completely unaware.
It just kept... wiggling. And for a kitten, wiggling is irresistable. She scrunched down, wiggled her little butt and pounced!
"Liou coe shuai du biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze!" Mal cursed, pulling his stockinged foot out from under the table. It still had a small kitten attached.
Simon and Wash had the decency not to laugh, the latter even retrieving the offending feline from the captain's foot, but Jayne was laughing so hard he thought he might split open his gut wound again. "Damn smart cat," Jayne chuckled.
"Gorram beast," Mal grumbled. "Ungrateful little bastard, I rescued you! You was gonna be somebody's dinner, ya know."
"Mrow?" Xue said, dangling from Wash's hand by the scruff of her neck.
"Y'know, technically she ain't a bastard," Jayne pointed out. "Bein' that she's got girl parts an' all. River told me," he explained when he got funny looks from the others.
"Amusing as this has been," Simon said, "Wash and I have some business to attend to in the infirmary. Did you want to fetch Kate, or should I?" He directed this last at Wash.
"I'll get her," he said. "We'll be right along." He plopped the kitten into Jayne's lap and the big mercenary started to stroke its fur absently, not noticing the look Mal was giving him."
"Traitor," Mal muttered. "I'm going to go put shoes on."
"What was he like?" Kaylee asked eagerly. "I bet he's all fuzzy."
"Covered in golden down," River agreed, pulling the image from Kate's memory.
"I don't remember," Kate said. It wasn't a lie, entirely; she really had very little memory of the night her daughter was conceived. "Hannah's going to be up from her nap any minute, I should -"
"I'll get her," River volunteered. "When she's up. She's still dreaming."
"You gotta at least remember was it good or bad?" Kaylee insisted.
Inara laughed. "Leave the poor woman alone."
"Good," Kate admitted. "It was good. But that's really the only detail I can recall."
Wash stopped outside the doorway to eavesdrop a moment.
"He was really sweet, and gentle. That's what set him apart from the other, um, indescretions I made during my time on Vegas." Kate smiled softly. "I looked for him for a long time. To tell him about Hannah, or maybe just to see him again."
"He stuck in your craw," Kaylee said.
"Kind of," Kate grinned. "Not like he has been lately, though. That man has gotten under my skin -"
"Ladies," Wash greeted, winking at River, who'd known he was there but hadn't given him away. "Kate, Simon needs us in the infirmary."
"The test?" She asked; he nodded. "Let's go, then."
On the way to the infirmary, Wash took her hand, and Simon smiled when he saw them come in, hands clasped. "Are you ready?" the doctor asked.
Wash nodded. The smile on Simon's face grew. "Congratulations, Mr. Washburne, it's a girl."
"I'm a dad?" Wash said, grinning with glee, mingled with disbelief. "I'm a dad."
"I could have told you that without the test," Simon laughed. "But sometimes it helps to know for sure."
"We're the only ones who've never done it before," River commented to Jayne and Hannah. Hannah was sharing her banana chips with her uncle, though some of them were thrown rather than passed politely, which amused Jayne as much as it did Hannah. River frowned at them disapprovingly.
"Feisty little one," Jayne said affectionately, referring to Hannah. "Never done what, River-girl?"
"Been married," she sighed. "Kate's been married, Wash has been married. Kaylee and Simon are married, Mal and Inara will be married. Are we missing something?"
Jayne shrugged. "I figure you're probably right when you say we're together in the ways as counts, but it's amazin' how much that piece of paper and a few words mean to some folk. Where I come from, you get a girl with child and don't wed her you're in for it. Man can raise the child an' be a good daddy, an' it means nothin' if he ain't married to the momma. Man can knock up a girl, marry her an' leave her to fend for herself an' he's considered the better man. Ain't right."
"What would your motivation be," River asked him, "if we were to wed?"
Jayne looked confused. "Love? What else is there?" He paused. "Oh, no, River, you ain't -"
"No, not pregnant," she assured him. "You have answered correctly. You earn a kiss." She sat herself down in his lap and gave him a proper kiss. They both laughed when they heard the toddler's "Ewww!"
"This mean you changed your mind?" Jayne asked, hopefully.
"Not yet," she told him, "but I'm thinking about it."
"Good meatloaf," Jayne grunted around a half-chewed mouthful. Several others mumbled their agreement. Wash was poking his meatloaf with his fork. He never really had liked meatloaf, even with real breadcrumbs, and he knew Kate had put protein crackers in this instead.
"Drown it in ketchup," Kate advised, noticing the slight wrinkle to his nose. "That's what your daughter does."
Wash brightened. "She doesn't like meatloaf either?" He grinned. "What else does she do like me?"
Hannah held the ketchup bottle precariously over Wash's plate with both hands and upturned it, succeeding not only in dousing her father's meatloaf with the tomato sauce, but also his coveralls and his face in the process.
"She's funny," Kaylee grinned, "jus' like her daddy."
"It's a rare occasion I stoop to prop comedy," Wash laughed, "but given she's still working on full sentences, I'll make an exception for her."
"Huh?" Mal had been half asleep, staring at the book on his desk. It wasn't terribly interesting, considering the title was "The Independants' Last Stand: The Battle of Serenity Valley." It was fairly controversial, because the author was clearly an Independant sympathizer; it had been his Christmas gift from Inara.
"Is the book that engrossing, or that dull?" Inara laughed.
"Oh, no, I'm just tired," he covered. "What'd you say a minute ago?"
"I said, yes."
"Yes, as in yes, yes? The big yes?"
"Yes," Inara laughed. She found herself being swept up off the floor and swung around in a circle by a whooping captain. He set her down and kissed her eagerly.
When they parted, he calmed his demeanor and replied, "Well, all right then."
"She's asleep," Wash told Kate. "It's really sweet; Xue is sleeping on the pillow by her head. Well, I say sleeping, but she was still purring, so I think she's probably still awake." He sat down on the edge of Kate's bed, where she was sitting indian-style and from a cor-vue pad. She grinned up at him, and he felt warm inside like he hadn't felt in quite a while. "So about that date..."
"Won't be at Vegas until the day after tomorrow, you said," Kate said, turning off the computer pad and setting it aside.
"True," Wash admitted. "We could always pretend."
Kate laughed. "You've been spending too much time with Hannah."
"No, come on, stay with me, here." Wash had an adorable look of childhood innocence. "We've got a huge, empty cargo bay down there, it could be anyplace we wanted it to be. It could be... a ballroom. Or, a roller-skating rink?"
"Do you have skates?" she laughed.
"No," he admitted after a moment's thought. "But we could pretend."
"Yeah," he grinned. "It's fun."
She smiled at him, one of those smiles he remembered Zoe giving him when he was being silly. It said both "I love you" and "you're an idiot" at the same time, and it was almost always followed with... yep, there it was. The kiss. When they parted, he could see her eyes sparkling. "Let's go dancing, then," she giggled.
"'Nara," Mal asked casually on their way back to her shuttle. "Do I see what I think I see?"
"Possibly," she said cautiously, peering down into the cargo bay and stifling a grin.
"Why are my cook and my pilot doing the cha-cha in my cargo bay?"
"Technically, Mal, that's not the -"
Mal sighed. "You an' me are the only ones ain't lost our senses." He studied her a minute. "Strike that, you just agreed to marry me. I'm the only one ain't taken leave of my senses."
Liou coe shuai du biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze! - Salivating son of a bitch and a monkey!
Sunday, January 1, 2006 7:28 AM
Wednesday, January 4, 2006 1:05 PM
Thursday, December 22, 2011 10:44 AM
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