BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

KACIDILLA

Zoë's Promise
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It starts off as breakfast, but devolves into an argumentative discussion... Zoe and Wash, and some fun with River, too.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1304    RATING: 10    SERIES: FIREFLY

The egg cracked, the yolk slurping indelicately into the bowl. River watched the golden orb plop into the larger dome than its previous resting place and introduced it to the three other golden orbs, also resting luxuriously in the seemingly massive new home.

"Mischief, meet Trouble, Problem and Stumbling Block," she murmured into the bowl. The egg yolks eyed each other suspiciously. "Don't be rude. Play nice." None of them seemed inclined to begin the game, so she began to spin the bowl on the table slowly.

"Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posy..." she sang softly. She didn't want to wake the others. They were all nestled in beds, resting comfortably within their own rooms - unaware of her current position and curiosity. The yolks in the bowl grinned madly at her. Clearly, they were dizzy now. She picked up the bowl and took it to the stove. None of the others could wake up to see what she did next. It was cruel. It was horrific. It was fun as hell.

She took the fork she'd been hiding in her pocket and plunged it into Trouble's grinning eye and drew it into Stumbling Block's nose before curving it into Mischief's gaping maw and slicing it through to Problem's horror-ridden silent scream. She whisked the yolks together faster, faster and faster - until they were all one. No longer four separate entities, they were all assembled into one jumbled and confused --

"River?" Simon's voice shattered the silence. She dropped the bowl and fork on the stove, the combined energies of the four flung what they could and a piece of Problem's chin landed on River's forehead.

"What were you doing?" Simon asked. River looked around the small kitchen. Someone had been in here with knives - mincing an onion into minuscule particles and dicing capsicum and tomato and even a mushroom so fine the shavings were nearly paper-thin. A person had broken nine eggs into four bowls, leaving only three eggs left in the carton that still sat on the table. A fine dust of flour on the floor left the impressions of an absent-minded chef wandering from bowl to onion to bowl to tomato to bowl to the engine room to the kitchen again...

"We were going to play hopscotch next," River answered. Simon's face was still in that practiced mode - the one he hoped masked how shocked he was. The one she knew was taught in schools to doctors. The one she hated seeing on her brother's face. Inside, he was trying to judge how quickly he could clean everything up...outside, he was just staring at everything.

"We'll just...say we were making breakfast...for everyone..." Simon finally managed to say. "With all the fresh food we...only just picked up." Inside, he was preparing himself for the outrage from the Captain - defending her would mean he accepted the barely audible accusations from the crew when they only ate protein packs and dried meats over the next few weeks. She felt the weariness of his guilt - he hadn't been watching her as closely as he should have. She wanted to cry.

Moments ago, she had been in class...she had been on a playground with friendly faces and playing keep-away from the monsters no one else knew were really not monsters at all... Forever ago and a breath hence...she had been somewhere else, she had been someone else... Now she was here again. Now she was her again.

Now she was River again.

She ran from the kitchen, even as Simon called after her. He would clean after her. He would take care of her. She ran to the bridge and stopped at the door. Zoë was coming up from her bunk.

"I did it," she said. "I took out Mischief and Trouble and Problem and Stumbling Block and I put them in a bowl. I made them play a game and when they were dizzy, I made them into one."

"Shuh muh?" Zoë asked softly.

"Can't deal with mischief you can't swallow," River tried to explain. The words never came out the way they needed to. She should have tried harder to keep things together. The onion was to blame. It made everyone weep. "Problems and stumbling blocks are trouble unseen - why worry if the hen doesn't lay eggs?"

"River, honey, do you need something?" Zoë's voice was warm and her thoughts were concerns. River tried again, knowing it still wasn't going to fix anything. This crew was so slow in the mornings.

"Simon is making coffee," River said flatly. "But don't ask him why. He can't keep his story straight."

"I'll remember that," Zoë nodded. "You go on help your brother. I'll follow you in a moment."

River turned and left, her thoughts already moving on to other topics. Zoë watched the girl go before heading to the bridge and her husband. He jumped up with barely contained excitement as she came to stand next to him.

"Well?" he asked, his eyes darting to the small box in her hand. "Anything?"

"It came up negative," she said, showing him the box and the small pregnancy test within. His face fell as he read the box and the stick again and again. She hated this part the most. His disappointment...and her...own mix of emotions.

"Oh," he said quietly. "Well, that's...I mean, I'm sure that you..."

"We shouldn't really be disappointed," Zoë said softly. "We're not exactly ready to have a baby."

"We're not or you're not?" Wash asked, immediately regretting it.

"We are not," Zoë replied evenly. "We have nothing saved, we can't have a child on this ship - not with the way things are and, I've said it before--"

"Nothing is going to change," Wash nodded. "Not even the argument. Look, I just want us to...be open to it. I mean, we can't plan on leaving because every time we start to, you come up with mischief that no one can swallow. We can't plan on problems and, and stumbling blocks that we can't even see yet! Having a baby would bring its own troubles. I promise. Our baby would cause terrors of a new--what?" Zoë's face had taken on a strange look that Wash wasn't sure he had seen before.

"Were you...did you hear River before?" she asked her husband.

"What, was she talking nonsense again?" Wash snorted as he turned back to adjust a dial slightly. "You also can't decide that we would have a child who talks crazy just because the only child you've seen lately actually is crazy."

"I'm not saying any of that..." Zoë tried again. "I just don't think we should rush into starting a family."

"Who is rushing?" Wash asked impatiently. "We've been putting this off - You've been putting this off at every chance you get."

"We don't have anything saved--" she pointed out. He interrupted.

"Because you keep insisting we put money towards keeping the ship running when jobs are scarce." She took a breath to stay calm.

"Jobs are scarce right now," she answered.

"We're headed to a job right now," he insisted.

"We won't be there for a week yet," she reminded.

"We have all that time to try again," he suggested.

"We'll still need to get paid for the job," she retorted.

"We can try and try again," he smiled.

"We don't know when we'll get another job," she sighed.

"I know a terrific way to pass the time," he leered as he leaned in for a quick kiss. She laughed against his mouth and kissed him back. The argument she had feared faded and she relaxed into her husband's arms. She knew that no matter what she said or did, he would always have an answer - and someday, they would have a child together. Perhaps even two or - she smiled as he tightened his hold on her - possibly even three. She just knew what she'd call them - Problem, Trouble and Mischief.

She wondered vaguely how Mal would take it when he found out they were trying...

"Breakfast is ready," River said from the doorway.

"Breakfast?" Wash said, perking up. "Is that what I smell?"

"He claims they're omelets," River sighed. "Scrambled omelets."

"Breakfast!" Wash smiled, tugging on his wife's hand. "With real food! We can pretend we eat actual food instead of protein dust and dried kumquat!"

"I'll be there in a minute, I just need to..." she indicated the small pregnancy kit in her other hand. He nodded.

"I'll save you a plate," he promised as he followed River down the hall. She laughed and watched him go before looking down at the kit in her hand once more.

Maybe someday...

COMMENTS

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 5:47 PM

KATESFRIEND


Loved reading one of your lovely fics again. Your insight into River's feelings was eerily accurate, and Simon's relationship with her was wonderful and warm and brotherly and exhausting. Loved the peek into Zoe's and Wash's private life. Missed your writing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 6:44 PM

EBFIDDLER


Nice story! Loved River's antics with the eggs, and Wash's echo of it later. (Even if on HoG, it was Wash who was reluctant, and Zoe who was pushing it, I don't mind the reversal here as it makes a good story.) Nice Wash and Zoe banter. Good to see you posting something new -- odd coincidence as I recently read something of yours that popped up on the random quotes, and here you are posting again. Hope you have more.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012 1:45 PM

AMDOBELL


River actually made more sense than Wash at one point! That made me laugh. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"


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