Monday, October 20, 2008

A plot bunny that hit me today. As Halloween approaches, I wondered what Wash's ghost would think about Meeting Allan after he and Zoe had wed. Set in my Allanverse, six years after the BDM and three years after Big Blue. Inspired by the movie Always.


All belong to Joss.(Except for Allan, Alisha, Reggie, Sara, Jefferson and Becca) All hail the Joss - -

Haunting. A Serenity Halloween tale.

Set in my 'Allanverse', an old friend comes to visit.


AN: One of my favorite movies of all time, is 'Always'. In this story I am paying homage to that film. No copyright infringement is intended to Mr. Spielberg.

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“I am a leaf on the wind... What the?”

Wash found himself standing in the middle of a grassy meadow, blue sky overhead. Instinctively his hand moved to the center of his chest. The pilot expected a hole.

“It's not there,” said a voice behind Wash.

“Oh, I just thought that with that spear there'd be... Wait a minute. Where the diyu am I? And who are you?” he asked the thin asian woman who spoke.

“Somewhere else. You can call me Ming.”

Wash affected one of his cocky smiles, “Hi.”

“Quite a bit has happened in the six years since you died,” Ming said with a slight smile.

“I... died?”

“You did.”

“So... is this heaven? Or should you be sporting horns?”

Ming chuckled, “Neither Hoban.”

“Then where... Did you say six years?”

“I did.”

“Then where have I been in that time? Lao-tyen boo! Zoë!”

“She has moved on. Found another.”

“She wouldn't... Would she?”

“Not on purpose. Allan healed her heart.”

“Six years?” Wash said again, “And who's Allan?”

“Time is different here. To you, your death has just happened. To them it's been just over six years. Allan and Zoë met by accident. He's a good man.”

“Why am I here?”

“You're a good man Wash. You have been granted a special privilege.”

“What's that?”



It was deep in the night cycle. River couldn't sleep. Something bothered her this night. Back on Earth that was Today would be All Hallows Eve. The day when spirits were supposed to be able to cross over and interact with the real world. The scientist in her said that it was superstitious go-se. But in her experience, sometimes, science couldn't explain everything.

This is why she sat in the co-pilots seat of Serenity this night instead of the pilot's seat. She knew someone else would sit there this night of all nights.

River felt his familiar presence. Not on the bridge but in the cargo bay. A smile on her face, the psychic slowly made her way to the catwalk, her steps as silent as her quarry's.

- - - - - - - - - - -

The cargo bay. Figures, Wash thought. Why not the bridge, or he and Zoë's bed. Oh yeah. That Allan guy.

Wash let his eyes wander around the space. Things were slightly different. The bay was clean. Not so much clean as Spotless. All the railings had soft mesh over them. As if to keep something from falling through. What looked suspiciously like baby gates were at the top of the stairwells. The deck in the bay was covered in a soft gym mat like material. There were a few small child's toys scattered about.

Not wanting to head for the crew quarters just yet, Wash wandered towards the common area. Entering he noticed that the furniture was all new and well made. The old threadbare sofa and recliner were gone. Glancing into the infirmary, Wash saw that it was impeccably clean as usual but had much more equipment than he remembered.

Hearing a noise from the dorms, Wash slowly moved to investigate. The sight that greeted him nearly rooted him to the spot. Just outside the largest of the dorms, surrounded in Christmas lights stood a sign he was both familiar and unfamiliar with.

“Kaylee and Simon's room”

“Must be the doc finally got his head out of his pi-gu,” Wash whispered with a smile. Across the hall, over what had been River's room stood another lit up sign. With hand painted ducks and wrenches surrounding the border, the words, Rebecca's Room, could be seen.

“Who the heck is Rebecca?” Wash said.

“My niece,” said a voice behind him.

“Wu de tyen ah! River! What the... wait a minute? You can see me?”

“Of course silly, but not with my eyes. In here,” She replied, tapping her temple.

“Sooo, Your brother and Kaylee?”

“Married. Rebecca is their daughter.”


“Old?” River finished for him, “Just turned three last week.”


“There are many more changes since you have been gone.”

“I heard about one... Who's this Allan guy? Wait a minute. How come you're not all...”

“Crazy?” River giggled.


“I have healed a great deal since Miranda. That was the catalyst to my recovery.”

Wash's ghost smiled, “I'm glad to hear that. You deserve some happiness kid.”

“Thank you. Jayne makes me very happy.”

“What! Jayne makes you... I mean you two aren't... Uh...”

“Jayne and I are married.”

Wash looked like he was about to faint, “You have got to be kidding me.”

“Scouts honor,” She giggled.

“Good thing I'm already dead, the shock might have just killed me,” Wash chuckled.

“Come on. More to show you,” River said as she walked back towards the cargo bay.

“Who's flying the ship now? That Allan guy?”

“Sometimes. I am the primary pilot.”


“I am better. Serenity talks to me. She misses you.”

Wash smiled at that. As they reentered the bay, He spoke again, “I see why the padding is on the floor and what the netting on the railings is for now.”

“Rebecca is not the only child on the ship. Inara and the Captain have a little boy named Jefferson.”

“You mean they finally stopped fighting long enough to reproduce?” Wash chuckled again.

“They have been married three years. They still fight.”

“Doesn't surprise me about that part.”

River giggled.

“Any more kiddies on the ship?”

“One more.”

“You and Jayne?” Wash asked hopefully.


Wash's face fell, “Zoë and this Allan guy?”


Wash looked like he was almost going to cry, “The one thing I couldn't give Zoë...”

“All happens for a reason.”

“Quoting Book on me little one?”

“Yes. Come, you need to see them.”


“Zoë, Allan and Sara.”

Reluctantly Wash followed River up the stairs to the forward passageway. Quietly, River opened Zoë and Allan's bunk. Wash slowly climbed down. Upon entering he stopped. In the dim light he could see Zoë in bed, A strange man's arm draped across her as she slept, spooned up behind her. A surge of jealousy flowed through Wash for a moment. Taking a breath to calm himself, Wash stepped closer to the bed. The man sleeping with Zoë was much older than he expected.

He had reddish brown hair, with gray showing at the temples. Gorramit, he actually had a big bushy mustache. Zoë hated mustaches.

“Only on you,” Wash heard River's voice in his head say.

Wash harrumphed and continued to stare. Soon his eyes drifted from his wife and the man sleeping with her to the large crib next to the bed. Stepping closer Wash looked inside to the child lying asleep.

Tears welled in Wash's ghostly eyes as he looked at Zoë's daughter. She had toffee skin and a pile of reddish brown curls on her head. The little girl was surrounded by numerous stuffed toys. Wash smiled when he saw a few dino's in the mix.

“She's beautiful,” he said.

“Just turned two. Sara is like her daddy... very smart.” River's voice said in his head again.

“Another genius?”

“Allan is smarter than Simon but not as smart as me.”

Wash snorted then climbed the ladder back to the forward passageway. He looked towards the bridge. River smiled at him.

“Come, much has changed.”

He followed River up the stairs to the bridge, “Wow, you weren't kidding.”

As his eyes took in the heavily rebuilt bridge, he began to smile.

“Allan paid for it,” River smiled.


“Allan is very wealthy... We completely overhauled Serenity several years ago. All new systems...”

Wash nodded as he dropped into the pilots chair. His hands caressing the new glass, touch screen displays. A big grin appeared on his face when he saw his beloved dino's on top of the panel.

“Always there. To honor you.”

He smiled back at River.

“Why don't you stay here for a while,” River suggested, “Jayne will miss me in a little while and I need some sleep. Serenity won't mind.”

“Thanks River.”


Wash sat in his old place on the bridge. He found he could walk on the decks and climb stairs but he couldn't manipulate objects. What good is being a ghost if you can't do a proper haunting.

After a while, Wash figured out most of the new bridge displays. Looking at the navsat he realized that they were enroute from Boros to Londonium. What the hell was Serenity doing this deep in the core?

Wash realized he needed to be patient. River would explain it to him when she woke up. He hoped.

After about an hour, Wash wandered back through the ship again. He smiled when he saw the yellow walls and Kaylee's hand painted flowers. It was still the same table but ten new chairs surrounded it. As well as three high chairs.

New, built in seats were in the lounge and the galley had been completely rebuilt with new everything.

Shaking his head, Wash headed aft towards the engine room. Entering Kaylee's domain, He saw many new pieces of equipment. It looked like The engine had gotten some upgrades to match the bridge.

Curiosity satisfied, Wash slowly strolled back through the Galley and down the stairs to the cargo bay again. Looking up he spied a very nice, fairly new Hoverworks hover truck hanging at the top of the bay where the Mule once hung.

“This Allan guy must be loaded,” he said to himself, “Zoë probably married him for his money.” Then he thought better of that. Zoë was many things but she was not someone who would marry for money.

With a sigh, Wash headed back to the lounge next to the galley. Dropping into a comfortable chair he put his feet up on the small table in the center. Still trying to figure out why he could sit in a chair but not move something as light as a magazine.

Magazine, Wash spotted one lying on the table next to his feet. It looked to be a business and financial journal. Now what would something like that be doing on Serenity.

Wash looked at the capture of the man on the cover. He looked a bit familiar. Kind of like the man sleeping with his wife.

Wash read the blurb on the cover out loud, “Allan Bryant. An in depth interview with the man behind Blue Sun.”

Blue Sun? Lao-tyen boo. This Allan guy was loaded. If he ran Blue Sun, he could buy half the 'verse and not notice it. Why hang out with this crew. Pour money into Serenity when he could buy his own Alliance cruiser. Why...

Wash shook his head again. Need to wait for River. Frustrated, Wash swatted at the magazine and to his surprise, knocked it off the table.

“What the?” Wash said. Carefully, he reached down. The first try, his fingers passed through the pages. Second time he made them move. On the third try, he was able to pick the magazine up.

“Now we're getting somewhere,” Wash crowed.

He opened the magazine and began to read. Soon Wash had learned a great deal about the man sleeping with his wife.

Bryant was from Earth... Earth that was. Serenity found him floating in space. Bryant had founded Blue Sun back on Earth and had built the ships of the exodus. He had, with the help of no one other than Durin Haymer, retaken his company, made friends with the new Prime Minister, Gotten the Tam's exonerated, Made the government admit to Miranda and Married Zoë. All in just under a year.

“Man moves fast,” Wash said, “Gotta give him that.”

A sudden yelp made wash drop the magazine. He suddenly realized that he wasn't the only one in the room.

Slowly, a young, dark skinned woman he had never seen before cautiously approached the lounge. Wash thought she looked a great deal like Zoë.

“Honey? You okay?” A strange man's voice said.

“I'm okay Reggie. Just, for a second it looked like a magazine was floating in mid air. Then it fell.”

“Probably a glitch in the gravity. Better tell Kaylee when she comes up for breakfast,” Said the tall red head who entered behind the woman, he gave her a kiss.

“Now baby, you better stop that or I won't be able to make breakfast.”

“Alisha, You don't technically work for Mal anymore. You don't need to cook.”

“I know, but I want to. They're family.”

The redhead... Reggie smiled, “You're right, need any help?”

“Start cutting up the fruit for the kids.”

“Yes Ma'am.”

Wash watched in fascination as this young woman who looked so much like Zoë began making breakfast for the crew. Had Mal finally hired a cook?” But she said they were family and the man said she didn't work for Mal anymore. Wash was as confused as ever.

Finding a quiet corner, Wash decided to observe what would happen next.

In a few minutes, a bundle of energy dressed in tiny coveralls stormed into the room, chased by Kaylee. The little girl looked like a miniature version of the mechanic.

This must be Rebecca Wash thought.

“Mornin aun' Lisha” the three year old said with a smile, “Mornin unca Regie”

“Mornin squirt,” Alisha said. Reggie smiled at the little girl.

Kaylee finally caught up with her daughter, “Becca, come here baby, I need to fix your hair.”

“Don' wan 'hair fixed,” she said.

“Can't help me work on Serenity if you hair's gonna get in the workins baby.”

“Okay momma.”

Kaylee sat at the table and pulled Becca into her lap. Soon she had braided the girls chestnut hair. Simon entered a moment later. Wash was surprised at how casually the doctor was dressed. Black trousers and a sweatshirt didn't look quite right to him.

“And how are my two favorite girls this morning?” Simon asked as he kissed Kaylee and Becca.

“Jus shiny daddy,” Becca replied.

Mal and Inara entered next, Mal carrying his son. Wash thought he was a handsome boy. With Mal's blue eyes and Inara's raven hair. Mal deposited his son in the high chair next to his own seat at the head of the table.

“Mornin all,” Mal said.

Greetings were exchanged.

Simon placed Becca in her own chair, Jefferson stared hard at his cousin.

“Jeffy? Are you still mad at Becca?” Inara asked her son.

The little boy nodded.

“She said she was sorry.”

“So,” little Jeff replied.

Mal rolled his eyes. The two tots had been feuding for days ever since Becca had dismantled his favorite toy beyond any hope of reassembly.

“Where are the oldest and youngest members o' this crew, not to mention my first mate?” Mal asked.

“Right here sir,” Zoë said as she entered carrying Sara. The little girl smiling in her mothers arms. Allan was a step behind.

Wash stood with his mouth open. Seeing Zoë with a child in her arms seemed so natural. He kicked himself mentally for being such an ass when Zoë said she wanted a baby.

“Where's River and Jayne?” Allan asked.

“Right here,” Jayne said as the deadly couple entered.

River looked at where Wash stood and gave him a wink.

Allan took his daughter from Zoë's arms and sat the two year old in her high chair. Alisha plopped a bowl of O shaped cereal in front of the two year old.

“How's my niece this fine morning?” Alisha asked.

“Auny Lesha” Sara burbled. It was the closest she could get to aunt Alisha.

“Niece?” Wash said out loud. Of course only River heard him. The young psychic gave Wash another wink

“She's a little fussy this morning mei-mei,” Zoë said, “I think she has another tooth coming in.”

“Do you want some more topical pain reliever Zoë?” Simon asked.

“Still got some left Simon.” She replied.

“Toof hurts,” Sara proclaimed

“Here we go,” Alisha said as she and Reggie deposited large bowls of real scrambled egg, fried potatoes, sausage and bread on the table. Before long the entire crew was digging into their breakfast. As usual, Sara made a mess. Laughing and carrying on as she threw cereal around the table.

Throughout it all Wash stood in the corner. Enthralled as he watched his family going about their day to day routine. Other than the kids and new faces, it was just like he remembered it. Particularly since to his own mind, he had been sitting next to Zoë at a breakfast similar to this just days ago. Not the six years that had passed.

As soon as breakfast was over, Allan collected his daughter and carried her off to the bridge. With one hand, Allan pulled a play mat out of the corner and set it up. Depositing Sara on the mat, Allan then pulled several toys out of a cabinet and his daughter began to play babbling to herself as she rearranged the toys to her liking.

Allan sat down in the pilots chair and started checking the ships course. Wash watched him in silence as the older man worked. Satisfied that all was well, Allan pulled up the cortex and entered an address.

“Hello Allan,” Said the face of Durin Haymer. Wash recognized him from the capture Saffron had showed them before the Lassiter caper.

“How are things Durin?”

“As well as can be expected. The board meeting went very smooth. I half expected a challenge to the price cuts but they voted unanimously.”

“Good. I don't mind the company making a profit. It should, but two hundred percent is a bit much in anyone's book.”

“I agree. This will help out on the rim primarily,” Durin said.

“How is Oso settling in as the new head of security?”

“Very well. Security is now at full strength in the uniformed division and he is hiring people for the VIP teams.”

“Glad to hear it, my friend,” Allan said, “And how is Bridgett doing?”

Durin smiled, “Being a holy terror.”

Allan smiled, “Sara's the same.” As if on cue, Sara let out a happy shriek and babbled something.

“Case in point,” Allan chuckled.

Durin laughed as well. Then his face darkened slightly, “Unfortunately, Bridgett called her nanny, momma.”

Allan nodded, “Bound to happen Durin.”

“I know. It's just...”

“When she's older, you can tell her all about her mother's adventures around the 'verse stealing and scamming. Including her uncle Mal.”

“I think I'll skip telling her that one,” Durin chuckled.

“Well, Durin, I have a course change to make here in a few minutes. I'll let you get back to work. We'll be on Londonium around six tomorrow night.”

“Very well Allan, I will see you then. Give Zoë my love.”

“I will Durin.”Allan replied as he cut the wave.

Throughout the conversation, Wash stood watching. He was seeing this man in a new light.

A captain of industry who doted on his daughter and sounded like he was from the rim Very strange.

Approaching the course change point, A grin came across Allan's face, switching off the autopilot, Allan gripped the yoke in his hands. At the proper moment, Serenity executed two precise barrel rolls before settling back on course. His fun over, Allan reengaged the autopilot.

Wash smiled. He was beginning to like this guy. Turning to the mat, Wash looked down at little Sara. Suddenly the little girl stopped her playing and looked directly at Wash. Almost as if she could see him. A smile crossed the little girls face and she picked up a stuffed stegosaurus and held it out to Wash.

Eyes wide and jaw agape, Wash tentatively reached out for the toy. As his hand passed through it. Sara giggled.

“And what are you laughing about little girl o' mine?” Allan said as he walked over to the play area. Wash jumped out of the way making Sara giggle again.

“Daddy,” Sara said clearly. Allan picked his daughter up, kissing her forehead

“Unca Wash,” She said, pointing right at Wash.

“What did you say?”

“Unca Wash.”

Allan shook his head. For just a moment, he thought he saw a light haired man wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Allan rubbed his eyes. Need more sleep, he thought.

“Wanna help daddy fly the ship princess?”

“Fly 'renity,”

“Thats my girl.”

Making sure the controls were locked out, Allan sat in the pilot's seat, Sara in his lap. Scooting the seat up to where Sara could reach, she gripped the yoke in her little hands and began to move it about. All the while making whooshing noises. Even Wash had to laugh.

“Unca Wash funny.”

“Now where did you hear that name?”

“Probably from me,” River said as she entered the bridge.

“Auny River, flyin 'renity,”

“I can see that little one.”

“You letting my little girl fly again?” Zoë said with a smile as she entered the bridge.

“Momma, me flyin.”

“That you are baby.”

Wash leaned against the bulkhead as he watched the exchange. His heart seemed to be breaking. River gazed at him and smiled. How could she smile at a time like this.

“Sara said something strange,” Allan suddenly said.

“What's that baby?” Zoë asked.

She pointed into the corner and said...”

“Unca Wash,” Sara finished. Then went back to 'flying'

“How... I mean she couldn't know that name.”

“I know.” Allan replied. “Weird.”

“Children are very preceptive,” River said quietly.

“You tellin me Sara is a reader?” Zoë asked.

“No... She isn't. Sara is just very preceptive. Especially considering her intellect.”

“But how?”

“I've... Just been thinking about Wash a bit lately. I might have been projecting and Sara picked it up.” River lied.

“Oh,” Zoë said. “Actually I have been too. I wish he could see Sara. His birthday is coming up and...”

“It's okay Zoë,” Allan said as he squeezed her hand in support, “I know you still miss him. Just like I miss our daughters namesake. The people we love and lose make us what we are today.”

Suddenly it hit Wash. This is what the closure was. He saw that Zoë still missed him. Even though she went on with her life, she still missed him. Zoë was happy with a good man and a beautiful little girl. Wash was glad Zoë was happy. He did like this Allan guy. He had made a good home for Zoë, their daughter and the rest of the Serenity family.

Wash couldn't have asked for more.

Suddenly Wash found himself back in the middle of the grassy meadow.

As he left, he didn't hear Sara's , “Bye, unca Wash. Luv you.”

Standing in the meadow, Wash heard someone behind him, “Hi Ming.”

“Hello Wash.”

“Thank you for letting me visit.”

“There was a reason we sent you.”

Wash's smile faded a bit, “What was that?”

“You're going to be a very special spirit.”


“Yes... sort of a guardian for a certain little girl.”

“Sara,” Wash said.

“Yes. Some time in the future. Sara will need a helping hand. We want you to help her.”

“How can I do that?”

“Do you remember back to your flying school days when you were in trouble and it seemed like someone was whispering in your ear what to do?”

“I do vaguely remember something like that...”

“That's what you will be for Sara. Just like when it's her time, she will do the same for someone else. Inspiration.”

“I like the sound of that,” Wash said with a smile.

“Welcome to the club,” Ming said, responding with her own smile.

“Tell me one thing... Who was my... inspiration?”

“Allan's Grandfather.”

The End


Monday, October 20, 2008 5:20 PM


*sniff, sniff* Truly wonderful.

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:48 PM


Lovely. Truly lovely. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 3:48 AM


A very nice tribute to our Leaf in the Wind, and a very nice explanation to those times when someone does whisper in our ear. Thanks!


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