Crop Circles -- Six
Thursday, November 10, 2005

Wash and Zoe's envelope revealed.


“I don’t know what you were complaining about earlier. It’s really nice out here.” Wash had been expecting an oven, but the evening was pleasant with a light breeze that, as Wash looked on, stirred Zoë’s hair.

Zoë nodded her head and said, “It’s cooler.” Wash realized she was too busy looking around to enjoy the evening. He was familiar with that look. It saw everything, everywhere. That look had saved him from Niska and was obviously what had kept her, and probably Mal, alive in the war. Wash found it disconcerting, at times, to be with her when she was looking that look.

“You can stop looking,” he whispered to her. He knew she would hear him, no matter how softly he spoke. Sometimes whispering got her attention more effectively than speaking aloud.

She blinked a few times and then gazed at the sky. “Sorry, love. Old habits.”

“That’s okay. Sometimes you need them. Just as long as you come back to me.” Wash squeezed her hand, amazed, as always, that it was his hand she was holding. How’d he get to be so lucky? “So, what do you think is going on?”

“Don’t know. This is too easy.” Zoë’s gaze traveled from one building to the next and down each side street, lingering on each person they passed. “Check that note again; maybe we missed somethin’.” She knew they hadn’t, but it kept Wash busy while they walked.

Letting go of Zoë’s hand, Wash pulled out the note Flaherty had left for them. “’I loved your dinosaurs. Please go to the following house and have a nice evening. Flaherty.’ Then it has directions to the house.” Wash raised the note above his head in the dying sunlight, trying to find something, anything, more on the paper. Nothing. He put it back into his pocket. “You know, that just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t think he even saw the dinosaurs.”

“Probably he heard us talkin’ about them sometime.” Zoë and Wash had talked with Mal about the note. They had all agreed that it would be worth checking out, but Zoë would take a com unit just in case. Zoë always became apprehensive when things didn’t go as expected, and the note was definitely something not expected. Once Wash had finished zipping the note into his pocket, Zoë reached out and reclaimed his hand. “It’s nice to be out of the ship for a bit-—the both of us, that is.”

“Yeah. I can’t even remember the last time we just went for a walk.” Wash stopped and pulled Zoë into his arms. “We gotta go on more walks!” After planting a rather loud kiss on his spouse, Wash pulled Zoë down the lane toward their destination, a small house set apart from the others with a vegetable garden to the side.

Upon entering the house, Wash and Zoë found themselves in a tiny, well-appointed room. They were met by an old man who smiled and said, “You must be Mr. and Mrs. Washburn.” Zoë looked at Wash, one eyebrow uplifted.

Wash grinned and turned back to the old man. “Yep. That’s us.”

The old man indicated a cooking alcove to one side. “Grub’s over there.” He then waved his hands around in the air. “You have the run of the whole place, much as it is. You should be able to find everythin’ you need, just poke around. If there’s somethin’ you want that you can’t find, that’s just too bad.” He chuckled to himself as he walked out the door. He turned back to Wash and Zoë and flashed a rather lecherous grin. “Have a nice evenin’, y’all.”

Zoë watched the old man leave and turned to her husband. “Wasn’t that the same thing, word for word, that Flaherty said as we were leaving the ship?” Zoë’s voice became hard and the look returned. “I don’t like it.”

“Hey, before we go crazy, let’s enjoy this a moment. We can figure out what’s going on later. Right now, we’re alone. Alone. Just you and me.” With that, Wash grabbed Zoë and dipped her, no small accomplishment considering how tall Zoë was, and gave her another loud kiss. “Let’s just enjoy this.”

“Do we know for sure that we’re alone?” Zoë turned her head to the side, her hair cascading to the floor, and looked pointedly at the other door. “I think we better check things out before we get too relaxed.” With a nod, Wash pulled them upright and let go of Zoë. She walked over and opened the door. “Wash?”

Wash moved quickly to her side. Looking past Zoë, he understood her tone of voice. Before them was a dimly lit room, small glow bulbs scattered about. The room, larger than the one at the front of the house, had rich colors and textures covering every surface. Large and small geodes sparkled in the dim light and small stone carvings of elegant grace were everywhere. Closing the door behind them, Wash reached out for Zoë’s hand. Slowly, mesmerized, they walked through the room. At one end of the room was a very large bed covered with more pillows than anyone really needed. As Zoë brushed her fingers over a figure of a running horse, Wash suddenly ran and jumped onto the bed and sank into the pile of pillows, laughter erupting from him. Zoë couldn’t help but smile.

“Wash, honey. We’re not done checking things.” Wash looked across to a shimmering curtain at the other end of the room. He began to climb out of the pillows but didn’t quite make it and fell to the floor. Zoë actually whooped with laughter.

“Well, don’t just stand there laughing at me, woman! Help me up.”

Once Zoë had extricated Wash from the pillows, they found it difficult to regain their composure; there was something magical about the whole room. Their arms wrapped around each other, they crossed to the curtain and pulled it aside. There, to their utter amazement, was a large tub filled nearly to the rim with water.

“Honey lamb,” Wash sighed. “We got ourselves a bath!”


Friday, November 11, 2005 11:10 AM


I'm with Zoe on this one, as perfect as this seems when something is too good to be true it usually is! Fingers crossed we don't hear the other shoe hit the deck. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me


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