flybywash: (face ferret)
You know how it goes by now: ask 'em anything, or tell me something I don't know about 'em.

Wash ([livejournal.com profile] flybywash)
Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie ([livejournal.com profile] q_in_training)
Mercer ([livejournal.com profile] mercurialist)
Sam the Shoulder Angel ([livejournal.com profile] its_a_robe)
flybywash: (dinnertime!)
The thing is, Wash isn't sleepy.

He's tired, sure, but that's just from the shock of going from there to here. Sleepiness? Not so much yet. It kind of makes sense, though, in a bizarre way. He wouldn't feel sleepy, not after that long...well. After.

His full strength may still be a ways off, but he's recuperated enough to stand on his own and navigate a ladder. So Wash presses a kiss to Zoe's hair, whispers that he needs some tea and he'll be right back, and slips out of bed.

A few minutes later, the kitchen smells faintly of chamomile.
flybywash: (the ghost months)
Inasmuch as it can be, it is quantified as dark and silent and empty. The edges between things blur. They don't seem to be there most times -- nor is anything else. Imagine the blank forgetfulness of deep sleep, and stretch it endlessly in either direction.

Dreams may interrupt it, but not very frequently.

What is there most consistently is a knotted length of cord woven through with wires. Sometimes, more often than the dreams but not with any regularity, the rough rope catches him, and he surfaces, becoming definable again. He can feel the boundaries, touch his fingers to the smooth plastic sheaths covering the wire (green and yellow, though he can't see it), realize who he is and how he got there.

Wash sees the sky -- if only in his mind -- and remembers.

It lasts until the breath he exhales carries him back down, and he slips away, drifting to fill the nothing with more nothing.







Until one breath he draws hurts. He remembers, and it's...

The definition to his arms and legs and self has never been this clear, and when he opens his eyes this time --

There is light.

Light, a solid deafening rumble, and something cold beneath his palms. Wash claps his hands over his ears to block out the noise (this doesn't hurt, but he feels every ridge, every hair, a sharp prickle of heat) and gasps again. There's too much: he has to shut his eyes.

On the kitchen floor of Serenity, back pressed to the wall and legs curled awkwardly to his chest, Wash continues to drag in ragged breaths as he whimpers subaudibly.
flybywash: (zoe/wash: in bed; asleep)
Wash doesn't know what wakes him up nearly an hour and a half before his alarm's set to go off. He'd like to think it's something other than the quiet, sinking knowledge of what day it is.

He knows it probably isn't.

Zoe's still asleep; he props himself on an elbow to watch her in silence. After a while, he smiles faintly -- it hurts a little -- and shifts his weight, enough to let him rest a hand on her hair and gently run his fingers through it. The knotted bracelet of ship's rope and wires is still fast around his wrist.

It's been six years of marriage and he still can't get over how beautiful she is; or how lucky he's been, to be able to do this almost every single day.
flybywash: (the ghost months)
They call it the ghost months.

It used to keep time with the moon of Earth-That-Was, and it used to happen every year. They'd tell stories of the dead walking the earth: ancestors returned to visit their families, ghosts sent to snatch the living back through the gates of Hell. They'd burn offerings, perform plays; they'd avoid weddings, water, and open spaces after dark.

They still tell the stories, but only once every seven years now, and for two months straight instead of the ancient tradition of one.

On Sihnon, fires burn bright on the streetcorners, kept in tightly tamped containers with narrow grates along the top. The only paper money this side of the system will ever see (available in packets from the vendor across the street, ten fake bills for one credit) gets tossed inside by passerby, a tourist novelty, a casual afterthought.

Beaumonde's known for its giant theater festival that spans the entire two months, one new play every day. Traditionally, only the best new drama debuts here. A work based on Sing Hua's three-act novels is slated to take center stage at the exact midpoint of this decade's festival, a time slot accompanied by an elaborate all-day buffet and one that's fiercely contested over for years leading up to it. Tickets have been sold out for well over a year and a half.

Nobody living in the Bellerophon Estates will claim to believe the myths, but travel over the vast ocean slows come nightfall anyway. Some even walk to the edge of their property, lean over to look down at the waters, and silently drop paper boats over the side before retreating indoors.

On Serenity, they hold a moment of silence, and nobody finishes their entire meal or cleans up the dishes after dinner.

In Wash and Zoe's bunk, Wash falls asleep within minutes of his head hitting the pillow.
flybywash: (philosophy of flight)
It's quiet here.

He's used to quiet, and he's used to finding ways to break it when he's left alone on the ship. It's harder this time; nothing seems to mask it entirely. Places echo where they shouldn't echo. It's like Serenity herself's gone silent in respect after their visit to her namesake.

He makes sure Inara can get Mal settled in, checks on Naomi -- still fast asleep, exhausted from her busy day of hanging out with her dad -- and slides into bed next to Zoe.

And then Wash just lays there, staring at the ceiling with an arm around her waist.

She's okay, in spite of the set to her shoulders when she came back on board. Mal's...not, exactly, but maybe he will be in time, after this. There's catharsis to be found in returning to a place that scarred you deeply and facing it down without flinching: in proving you can do it.

(There were no fragments of glass or wood or metal when he went back onto the bridge for the first time. He still remembers that the clearest out of every other moment in that morning.)

He sighs and turns his face into Zoe's shoulder, shifting slightly.

If I had the nerve to go back to Jethro, I think I would.

What he told Mal at Southdown Abbey all those months ago hasn't changed, and it never faded. It's just gotten a little louder in tonight's silence.

I want to.

It'll be coming up on a year now, he realizes, given a few more months. Are the grave markers they left behind still there? Is his?

Wash closes his eyes and listens intently to his wife's breathing; and after a while, it lulls him into an uneasy sleep.
flybywash: (curious)
Iiiiiit's inventory time!

If only that were half as exciting as the narration implies.

Datapad in hand and stylus behind his ear, Wash sticks his head into the infirmary and asks, "Simon, you got your check sheet done yet?"
flybywash: (*headdesk*)
It's late. Naomi's having a fitful night, but it seems like she's finally settled down for good.

Her parents? Not so much yet.

Wash falls back onto the bed with all due melodrama, seizes a pillow, and claps it down over his eyes. "Nnnnngh."
flybywash: (listening; worried)
You know, with the way the bad goes in constant cycles around here, Wash is mildly surprised it hasn't overlapped before now.

It's as good a reason as any why it's taken this long to visit.

Naomi's nestled in her sling; a box under one arm and his cane in the other hand, Wash scrambles and juggles for a couple of seconds before he knocks on the door of the Tonks-Wrangle flat.

"Anybody home?" he calls.
flybywash: (stressed)
He's hardly left the bridge since they lifted off from Beaumonde. Too many variables to track has made it way too much of a risk to stick Serenity on autopilot and leave her be, not for more than the time it takes to get some food or steal an hour's nap.

It ain't fair to leave all the baby care to Zoe, though. Not for this long.

(And it's unfounded, this far out in the black, but he doesn't like sitting in the pilot's chair with his daughter resting against his chest, her tiny hands bunched in a patch of shirt just over the thick scar that hasn't faded or smoothed out one bit.)

So he's on a couch in the kitchen lounge, buzzing with a hollow, detached energy that marks the weariness of a thirty-six hour adrenaline rush, with Naomi fast asleep in his arms.

Lucky kid.

Wash really wishes he could do the same right about now.
flybywash: ([serenity] in space)
The whole time they're performing their final descent to Muir, Wash keeps expecting something to go wrong.

It's not just the typical 'this is Serenity, of course something's going to go wrong' paranoia, either. It's been six months since their stay at Southdown; six months of waves back and forth, of grudging explanations why work isn't taking them out toward the Athens system. He's gotten used to disappointment. It's having things go in his favor that's such a weird and unexpected experience.

It's a good thing the docks outside Dunbar don't have any quirks to their docking protocol, because with the way Wash rushes through the landing and shutdown checklist, he'd completely miss it and get them shot out of the sky.
flybywash: (zoe/wash: in bed; asleep)
Keane and Phoebe's guest room -- which Annie matter-of-factly gave up in favor of the sofa, claiming she'd "take it back when I've got a kid thumping around inside me, too" -- is a good deal more spacious than Wash and Zoe's bunk, but with a bed that's just a little too narrow to sleep two people comfortably.

Wash isn't really noticing this right now. For one thing, he's fast asleep.

For another, the bed feels just fine when it's missing its other occupant.
flybywash: ([comic] stargazing)
The door slides back with a clank. Wash steps down into Serenity's front hall, Tonks not far behind. There's a second's wariness on his part as she passes over the threshold -- that gŏushĭ with Crowley only happened because the demon was still alive five hundred years later, but hey, you never know when you'll be dealing with sudden wacky time travel issues again -- and then he shuts it behind her, quickly pulling it open again to reveal the bridge.

"I just gotta check the helm really fast," he says as he steps back up, smiling. "You can come take a look if you want."
flybywash: (wash. in pez dispenser form!)
What about your characters makes you want to continue to play them, what brings you joy from them? Not what originally drew you to them, but what makes you keep them through all the purges, dramatic moments, nervous breakdowns, late assignments, finals week, thesis/research projects, etc.

Read more... )
flybywash: (neutral)
It's turning into yet another late night on Serenity. He's checked the course as many times as he can, done a couple of fuel-conserving tweaks on it, and wrapped up part forty-eight of The Rolling Plains of That Grassy Place. (Oscar died a horrible death at Crichton's stubby little hands. It was very sad.)

So now Wash is sitting on the cargo bay catwalk with a stack of paper scraps. The spaceball hoop's winched down a few feet, and he's aiming some neatly-folded paper airplanes through it.
flybywash: (disappointed)
[After this.]

They check and re-check that Ace is comfortably settled in before returning to their own bunk. Wash scoots down the ladder first, hopping down each rung on his left foot, hands tight around the frame.

He's gotten good at it over the past six months.

Once he's reached the floor, he makes a beeline for the sink, fiddling with the latch a bit before pulling it out and switching on the faucet.

And then he just lets it run; and, after a moment, scoops up a handful of water to dash across his face.
flybywash: ([serenity] inside: bridge)
Wash sits on the steps leading down to the bridge foredeck, feet splayed wide, one arm settled loosely atop his knees.

The yoke's locked in place. The autopilot light gleams.

A bottle of wine that some person or other swiped from Milliways -- he doesn't know who, and doesn't particularly care -- rests next to him. Every so often, he picks it up and takes a swig.
flybywash: (tired)
The offered reassurances that he'd sleep in a real bed for once?

Wash kind of lied.

Awake since four in the morning UAPT, charts scattered about and coffee long gone cold at his elbow, he's pillowed his head in his arms, fast asleep at the kitchen table.

Every so often, there's a gentle snore.
flybywash: (flying)
[From here.]

They break atmo ten minutes later, flames licking at Serenity's nose before they drop into the cool, bright silence of the black. Wash lets go of the controls and drinks it in, letting out a slow breath, leaning back in his chair --

Wait.

Wash frowns. Wiggles the chair around.

It doesn't feel right.

He looks out the windscreen, and is met with an uncertain, unwelcome wariness that he can't place -- the briefest flash of red that he blinks back with a minute shiver.

After several minutes, he gets up, switches the controls over, and crosses to the co-pilot's chair, tumbling into the well-worn fabric with an audible sigh.

There. He leans his head back. That's better.

Some time later, he checks their band trajectory and engages a wave to Bentley Aeronautics.
flybywash: (won't someone PLEASE think of the geese?)
Ask 'em anything:

Wash (Firefly/Serenity)
Mercer/Hermes (Greco-Roman Mythology; [livejournal.com profile] mercurialist)
Rosencrantz (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead; [livejournal.com profile] spinningcoins)
Sam the Shoulder Angel (The Emperor's New Groove; [livejournal.com profile] its_a_robe)
Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie (Veronica Mars; [livejournal.com profile] q_in_training -- she hasn't entered yet, but hey, why not. *g*)
...and, because retirement hasn't shut him up entirely, Roger Davis (RENT; [livejournal.com profile] fenderfrontman)
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