Jul. 30th, 2006

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.

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flybywash

January 2007

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