The Losing Side - Author's Note on the Storyline
Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Explaining how it's possible for this story to fit into canon.


Some of you (well, one in particular!) have been questioning how this can fit into canon, because of the implication in Out of Gas that Mal and Wash didn’t know each other before Mal hired him.

With close watching of that flashback, however, my story starts to make sense. The flashback makes it very clear that Zoe and Wash have never met; not so with Mal. In fact, there are a few things that indicate it’s very possible for them to have known each other.

When Zoe and Mal are talking, Mal says “great, ain’t he?” and seems surprised that Zoe doesn’t like him. This could be taken as discussing someone he knows and has told Zoe good things about, and she’s just meeting him for the first time.

Also, one thing has never made sense to me, and that is the fact that Wash, this incredibly acclaimed, in-demand pilot would agree to fly for Mal. The choice between a reputable employer or a dangerous job with low pay that involves dodging the law on a regular basis isn’t a hard one, especially since Wash isn’t the wild risk-taking type……so why fly for Mal?

I know the common theory is Zoe, and I would agree that she’s what keeps Wash on the ship long-term. But I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say he’d take the job instantly just because he saw Zoe and liked her. I think my interpretation that they knew each other and Wash not only felt some sense of loyalty to Mal but had heard enough about Zoe to interest him works pretty well.

As far as the fact that it was implied, sort of, that this was Mal’s first meeting with Wash doesn’t bother me too much because Firefly as a series has been well know to imply something that didn’t turn out to be the case; they implied that Kaylee died when she hadn’t, implied that Mal and Inara were fighting and blind to Saffron’s intentions in Trash, when they were setting her up the whole time, etc.

I hope this helps settle some of the qualms about this story line; I would be interested in hearing any comments.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006 11:26 PM


Yay! I got name dropped (in a roundabout way);)

Hell, jetflair...I only questioned your plot device cuz I really wanted to see how you would pull it off. And I am liking your reasons;) Consider me Zoe to your Mal, plan-wise. I am backing ya up...but I will express thinly veiled concerns about things going pear-shaped:P

But I wanna see more of how you're gonna set up the possibly slanted version of the "Out of Gas" flashback through leading up to it via these lovely fics:)


Wednesday, April 26, 2006 12:26 AM


Works for me, I am just loving all the Mal and Wash interaction, especially as their friendship doesn't get much attention in the fic arena. And I love the notion that there are things that have happened between them, things they have shared like the prison, that add another dimension. So cool, go for it! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:44 AM


I'd already read this impression in betweeen the lines of The Losing Side, but thank you very much for clarifying anyway. What now interests me is how this would impact on a jetflair-retelling of War Stories. hm...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:21 PM


Anonymous (

So sorry about your kitty:( I have cats myself and I know what it's like.

I'm going to be very careful to try to preserve the relationship Mal and Wash have in the series, especially regarding Zoe. Yes, they will bond in the camp, but as Jill pointed out, not anywhere as closely as Zoe and Wash. The way I'll try to write this, Wash will still have the insecurities and jealosy that show up in War Stories and other places; in fact I'm going to try to address where some of those insecurities came from.

It is a danger, having Mal and Wash bond too closely, to the point where their relationship in the series doesn't make sense, but I think I can avoid that. Think about how some things will play out in the future; right now Wash is very much taking care of an insecure and for the most part subdued Mal. It's not going to be easy for him to adjust to uncompromising "I'm in charge" Mal...he's already having a few problems with that. And in the camp he's gonna hear all about this wonderful, perfect-soldier Zoe person that Mal is so bonded to, and he'll know he doesn't have that kind of relationship with Mal OR Zoe. I probably shouldn't ramble on too much about plans for the future of the story. But rest assured that while I will have them bond and support each other and be friends, I'll be working hard at setting up the conflicts between them as well.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 2:22 PM


Oops, I meant Zoe and Mal, above!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 8:02 PM


Losing a pet is hard, they do truly become family, and it's like losing a member of your family when they die. I'm sorry you lost Jillie, and I hope she lives on in your memory.

I appreciate your comments and reservations.....I'm very new at this fiction thing and I feel like I have a lot of pitfalls to avoid, especially in this story. I know what I'm worried about, and hearing other people's concerns helps me avoid those as well, and helps clarify where the story needs to go and not go.


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The Losing Side, Chapter 68 - Farewell to Bars
Mal is finally released by the Alliance, and says his goodbyes to friend and foe before being assigned a job in stapler quality control. In the meantime, Wash rebels against the perfection of his new job by buying dinosaurs and loud shirts. This is NOT the end of the story! :)

The Losing Side, Ch. 67 - Bombshells
Everything changes in the space of minutes when Mal is taken to Lee's office and confronted with two very different shocks to the emotions.

The Losing Side, Ch. 66 - Nature of the Beast
A long chapter full of conflict, trust, and musings....and a cliffhanger! An evil, evil cliffhanger.

The Losing Side, Ch. 65 - Trouble in Paradise
Wash wants to strangle the captain of the shiny new luxury cruiser he's flying, and Mal learns that something dangerous may be afoot....with his name on it.

The Losing Side, Ch. 64 - How to Win a Losing Battle
It's a tricky tightrope between trauma, rage, and finding yourself....but Mal is learning to walk it.

The Losing Side, Ch. 63 - The Art of Insanity
Mal may have more then he bargained for in Cody Patton, the mysterious and potentially deranged artist in his housing unit. Is the one real war criminal among them a threat, an asset, or just a damaged young soldier?

The Losing Side, Ch. 62 - Aiding the Enemy
Mal saves the life of an Alliance guard, and starts having serious doubts about his own mental state.

The Losing Side, Chapter 61 - Juggling Frustrations
Mal keeps on finding new and disturbing facts about one of his fellow prisoners, and Wash learns to juggle (and smuggle) goslings.

The Losing Side, Chapter 60
Wash gets a job, and Mal perfects his Alliance-taunting skills while developing an unlikely fondness for getting shots. Oh, and there's an artist who's a mite off.

The Losing Side, chapter 59 - Sharing the Night
Mal, Wash, and Zoe spend a sleepless night together, and Wash experiences some of the first joys of freedom.