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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
A standalone for Zoe, and a big decision. Set two years after Miranda. Feedback would be excellent!
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 2176 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
The way he’d looked at her that day, pulling himself up from under the main console, checking her out from head to toe, smiling at her from under that ridiculous moustache … She’d told the Captain, told him there was something about this man that she didn’t like, but he didn’t listen. Sometimes she still wished he had, that she’d never met the man who was to become her husband. Then she wouldn’t still be grieving two years on, still waking in the night reaching out to an empty pillow, throwing those damn dinosaurs at the wall in frustration and rage. In the morning she’d pick them carefully up, ashamed at how angry she was, angry at him for dying, for leaving her to carry on without him.
She didn’t show it. When she looked into the mirror each morning, catching her long dark hair back from her face, pulling the curls into the clip, she looked the same as always. A little older, maybe, more experienced, but it was still the same face that had smiled back at her the day of the wedding. Inside, though … it was as if she was hollow. Everything that she had been, that she had become, had been wrenched out of her in a single moment, and now she had to live with that. She understood, more than ever, how the Captain had never really left the Valley, naming his ship after it so he didn’t have to. Well, she’d never left her marriage bed, and now it was time to finish it.
“Simon?” Zoe asked, stepping into the infirmary.
“Hi,” the young doctor said. “Have you ever seen anything so beautiful?” He was staring at a screen, some mishmash of colours that intertwined with each other.
Zoe stepped closer to him. “It’s … interesting. What is it?”
“Recombinant DNA. Normal recombinant DNA.” He turned a happy, smiling face on her. “Kaylee’s.”
“Then she’s –“
“All right. The accident didn’t affect her.” He sighed and leaned back against the counter. “The drugs washed the radiation out of her system, and there was no damage.”
“That’s good, doctor.” Zoe pulled a smile out. They’d all been worried for days since their encounter with the Orion, when Jayne had had to go in after Kaylee, risking his own life to save hers. He’d only been exposed for a few minutes – she’d been in there more than twenty four hours. “But you let her leave?”
“She’s in her bunk. Resting. She’s tired, but …” He wiped his hands across his face, and Zoe nodded. He cared deeply for the young mechanic, and she knew he hadn’t slept himself in that time. He inhaled deeply then released it on a sigh, looking up at Serenity’s first mate. “Was there something I can do for you?”
“I …” Zoe paused. Maybe this wasn't the right time.
“Aren’t you feeling well?” Simon asked.
“I’m shiny.” Zoe gazed at him a moment, then reached into her pocket and took out a small silver cylinder. “Here.”
“What’s this?” Simon took it, turning it over in his fingers. “A stasis tube?” he said, glancing up at her.
She seemed as composed as ever, but Simon could see just a little tightness at the corner of her eyes. “What’s in it?”
Zoe took a long time to answer, not taking her eyes from the cylinder lying in Simon’s palm. Finally she said, her voice quiet, “The last thing I have of Wash.”
Simon looked confused. “I don’t understand.”
Zoe lifted her face, her dark eyes liquid. “A long time ago, when we were first married, Wash and I were talking about the future, about children. He … we both wanted children, but he said we weren’t really in a position to at the time. That was always his excuse – that this wasn't the world to bring children into. We argued about it quite a bit off and on …”
She stopped as the image of her husband saying, “All I'm saying is we're living pretty deep in the rough and tumble, and I don't see that changing any time soon,” swept over her.
She’d replied to him, trying to be reasonable, “I'm not so afraid of losing something that I won't try having it. You and I would make one beautiful baby. I want to meet that child one day.” And here she was, doing this.
She swallowed and went on, “Next planetfall he brought this back.” She went to touch the cylinder but drew her hand away again. “Said it was my insurance.” A small smile lifted her lips. “He went to a clinic, told me it was one of the most embarrassing things he’d ever done in his life, and he’d made something of a habit of doing embarrassing things.”
Simon nodded, understanding. “Giving a sperm sample still isn’t the easiest of things to do.”
“They offered him a vid, apparently.” The smile grew as she remembered the look on Wash’s face.
“Can you imagine that, cupcake?” he’d asked. “Me, needing something like that. I told them, I've got this gorgeous warrior woman at home, could kill me with her pinkie … you think I need something like those sanitised breasts to get me turned on?”
Simon’s lips twitched. “Some men find it helps.”
“He made a joke of it, tied it up in a red ribbon before handing it over, but I could tell he was serious.” The humour died in her eyes. “I've kept it since then.”
“It’s not cheap,” Simon said, holding the tube up again. “But these things have a limited life. There’s a possibility the contents are no longer viable.”
“That’s of no consequence, doctor,” Zoe said. “I want you to destroy it.”
“What?” Simon was shocked.
“It’s been two years. And I haven’t moved on. And bringing a child onto Serenity … well, Wash wouldn’t approve.”
“And you?” Simon shook his head. “Zoe, this isn’t something you can make a decision on lightly.”
“Doctor, I have three choices. Do nothing, leave that thing in my drawer, and having it remind me every day of Wash. I can use it, and maybe have a child, but … I don’t want a child without Wash to be its father. Or I can get rid of it.” She moved away so he couldn’t see her face, seeming to study a probe on the counter intently. “And that’s what I'm asking you to do.”
“Are you sure?”
She turned back. “Yes.”
“Then … of course.”
Zoe nodded. “Thank you, Simon.”
“No problem.” He closed his fist on the cylinder.
Zoe sighed. It was done now, and maybe she could get on with her life. She nodded again and headed out of the infirmary. In the doorway she stopped. “By the way, when I came down, Kaylee wasn't in her bunk. She’s in the engine room.”
Simon could feel irritation surge through him. “Why, that little –“
“You said yourself, she’s going to be fine. And the engine room is where she feels most at home. Don’t be angry with her for wanting that.” Zoe smiled, more naturally than before. “She feels safe there,” she added as she walked out through the common area towards the cargo bay.
The young doctor stood still, shaking his head, then a laugh forced its way up. Zoe was right: Kaylee was always at her happiest fiddling with some part of the Firefly’s engine. Sometimes it occurred to him that if he had a compression coil or a catalyser, maybe she’d prefer it. Still, he was going to give her a piece of his mind for not obeying his orders.
He glanced down at the stasis tube still in his hand. It felt odd to know that this was all that remained of Wash, that this could become Wash’s child. But he wasn't going to destroy it. Not yet. Zoe could have done that, and left no-one any the wiser, yet instead she’d handed it to him. Whatever she said, she wasn't ready. This might be the first step, but that’s all it was. And he’d bet every penny he had that she’d come to him one day, ask him if he really had got rid of it. Instead he opened the drawer where he kept the adrenaline syringes, and placed the small container at the back then went to deal with Kaylee.
As Zoe crossed the cargo bay floor, she felt a strange lightness in her steps. There was a touch of guilt in her heart, that was true, but somehow she couldn’t help but feel that Wash would understand, that he’d be proud of her.
“Zoe, you seen Mal?” Hank called from the gangway above.
“No.” She looked up at Serenity’s current pilot. “Why?”
“Got a wave for him – Badger wants to talk to him about a job.”
“Did you check his bunk?” Zoe started up the stairs.
Hank looked … uncomfortable. “Didn’t like to. Door’s closed, and I ain’t seen Freya in a while either.”
Zoe laughed. “No, probably not the best thing to interrupt. I’ll talk to Badger.”
Hank stared at her. “You okay?” he asked as she came up the last steps. “You look … different. You done something to your hair?”
“No, it’s still the same as it always was.”
“Well, you look … shiny.“ He blushed a little, his hands rubbing together as he spoke. “More than usual, I mean. And I don’t mean that you don’t usually look good, because you do, but you look more than you usually do but like I said –“
She fixed him with a stern eye and he stopped babbling. “Hank, if I told you to go and check the transmitter assembly without a suit, would you go?”
“No,” he admitted, grinning nonetheless. “Might take you out for a drink, though. You know, just to be sociable.”
Zoe sighed. He was never going to give up. “Just get Badger up on the vid.”
“Yes sir. Ma’am. Zoe.” He stepped back, nearly fell over the railing but righted himself quickly, then ran back to the bridge.
She followed a little slower, more stately, but a smile playing on her face. He was not going to change, no matter how annoying he was.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 3:00 AM
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 4:53 AM
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:29 AM
Saturday, September 16, 2006 2:05 PM
Monday, February 19, 2007 3:08 AM
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 6:58 AM
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