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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - DRAMA
Zoe, after. (movie spoilers, obviously, but frankly, if you haven't seen the movie by *now*...)
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1456 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
One minute, I'm sick of this type of fic. The next minute, I'm writing one. Well, there's nowt as queer as folk. This was done in one beta-less sitting and I am fully prepared for you all to slash it to bloody ribbons. In fact, please do. Then I can go back to writing porn, as God intended.
“The Widow Washburn.” Zoe tried to fit the label to herself, but it foreign and repugnant. As was “Mommy,” but they were both true and as keening as a knife blade in her heart. Her “life” as she’d known it was gone, shattered like the hull of their dear ship and the body of its gifted pilot. “Life” also seemed like an inappropriate moniker for her existence. A great part of her died with Wash that day, even as she ran and fought for her own survival. Every morning when she awoke and remembered, and her heart broke again. Each morning’s realization of her loss made her harder and more numb. So numb that the doctor’s diagnosis of pregnancy could not raise an expression to her face. She merely whispered a thanks for his time and retreated to the vast, empty bed in her berth.
Speaking was arduous. It sapped her of her strength and she had no desire to make the effort. That is not to say she did not talk to her captain or crewmates, but she never really spoke. Her belly announced her condition in its own time, though the crew did bicker over the cause initally. “Of course she’s pregnant,” she heard Jayne saying to Kaylee in that harsh, low voice that served as his whisper. “Her tits are as big as my head, she’s gettin’ a poochy belly, and half the time she don’t eat and half the time she can’t stop.” Leave it to their tracker and his eloquent ways.
It did not seem right, or even possible, to minimize the newcomer as an “it”. It was what it was, a baby in her belly. And Zoe could not kill the baby. She knew that from the very first, even though it would have been medically simple. It was a baby to her, even if its existence was the most tragic possible turn of events. And it belonged as much to Wash and she could not take action on her half without encroaching on his.
But Zoe could not keep the baby. She could not raise a child who was half Wash and try to teach him or her who Wash had been, what he had been like. It was not fair to her and it was not fair to the child. Of course, if “fair” mattered, she would not be pregnant and she would not be a widow.
Everyone tried to talk to her at some point, offering advice or “comfort.” And everyone gave up after a few minutes of unrequited conversation. The only one whose words she heeded in the slightest was Simon, who gently asked her to submit to regular examination. She did. When he told her that her day was nearing - ‘any time in the next few weeks,’ he had said - she knew it was indeed time.
Clothes, money and one small sidearm went into the bag. No personal mementos, no effects of a remarkably personal nature would go with her. They were docked on Regina when Zoe, bag over her shoulder and belly out in front of her, walked calmly down the ramp.
“Zoe,” Mal called out, her name like an order to stop and explain herself.
“Getting off now.”
“Permission denied.” He started after her when her pace did not slow.
Zoe turned to his hand on her arm. “Not asking, Mal.” Zoe peeled his fingers from her bicep. They stood in tense silence for only a moment, volumes in their hearts begging to be screamed out. As calmly as though it were her everyday routine, Zoe turned and walked away.
Mal let her go. For all their love and mutual respect, he had no grounds to make her stay.
A fresh-faced young family offered Zoe a ride as she made her way slowly but steadily to the nearest town. When they asked where they could drop her, she said only, “I’ll be needing a midwife, if you all have one.”
The midwife in the pastoral town was stern in demeanor and altogether drawn and leathery in appearance, but she knew her trade. She took Zoe in, exchanging minor tasks for room and board, but demanded cash for her services when Zoe travail began the following week. The Baby had the look of his mother, down to the cotton soft curls and the gorgeous eyes. It was all at once at relief and a disappointment to Zoe that there was so little of Wash in The Baby.
When her strength had returned, Zoe stole a sheet from midwife’s clothesline and tore it roughly in half. One half she wrapped tightly around her swollen breasts and the other she tied into a sling for The Baby. She began walking just before dawn and reached the Bathgate Abbey on the late side of mid-morning. A long tubular bell hung near the gate and its lowing chime suited her. The man who pulled the door open on its argumentative hinges looked exactly as Zoe had wanted him to look - sage, kind, and even beatific - and it lightened her heart a little.
Zoe bowed her head respectfully. “Did you know a man called Book?”
“Yes,” the monk’s face showed his concerned curiosity readily.
“He’s been killed.” She paused to allow the monk to cross himself and mutter sympathetic words for Book’s soul. “There were no other survivors.” Zoe drew the sleeping Baby from the sling. “This is Shepherd Book’s grandchild, his only living relative. Please care for him.”
The monk’s mouth opened, but Zoe thrust the baby into his arms and dropped the bag of infant essentials at his feet. If he had meant to object, he had been too slow. Zoe was already several meters away, moving more like an earthbound spirit than a person.
Zoe walked for as long as she had strength, rested, then walked again. The land around the abbey had been moderately dry, but Zoe soon found herself in the hilly country at the edge of a picturesque little river. In the distance, a mere suggestion against the rubescent evening sky, lay a small city, a fresh place. Zoe stripped off her clothes, leaving them in an unceremonious pile on the ground, and dove into cool water as gracefully as a crane springing into the air. The water caressed her skin and washed away her old life. Zoe emerged from the river at the far bank, re-birthed and new.
Sunday, February 05, 2006 6:11 PM
Sunday, February 05, 2006 8:36 PM
Sunday, February 05, 2006 11:23 PM
Sunday, February 05, 2006 11:25 PM
Monday, February 06, 2006 3:51 AM
Monday, February 06, 2006 6:51 AM
Monday, February 06, 2006 7:37 AM
Monday, February 06, 2006 11:01 AM
Thursday, February 09, 2006 10:10 AM
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 12:42 AM
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