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FIREFLY: With Whom I Used To

raebird and sunbrae organized serenity_santa. I was assigned missjessica, who requested something including Simon/Kaylee & Wash.

Title: With Whom I Used To
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Firefly
Characters: Wash, Simon/Kaylee
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: The first thing to change is the denominator.
Notes: No spoilers

i. another nod to industry

On some days, when they're planetside and Zoe and Mal are out on a mission, Wash meanders, casual-like, into the engine room.

If he times it just right, Kaylee will be cracking open the engine's housing, wrench in hand, or maybe a blowtorch.

When she notices him in the doorway, after he clears his throat a couple of times, she grins.

"Hey, Wash." She pushes her goggles onto her forehead. "I was just soldering a couple of lines."

He steps inside, peers closely at the open panel. "Anything wrong?"

"You tell me." She sits back on her heels and watches him. "She flying all right?"

"Yeah." Wash puts a hand on the engine, strokes the metal with affection.

Kaylee nods. "Good. I'm just," she gestures with the blowtorch, and Wash skips back a few steps. "Just refining some things, is all."

"Shiny." Wash lets her get back to work, and wanders over to the other side of the engine. "Mind if I--"

Kaylee waves a hand. "Dahng rahn."

So he opens up a panel, and gets to work.


Three moons later, and Mal trudges into the hangar bay with a box full of spare parts.

Wash pauses to kiss Zoe, then peers into the box. "I hope this wasn't the job," he remarks.

Zoe squeezes his waist tight, then heads off to the bridge. "Fang xin," she calls over her shoulder, and then she's gone.

"Of course it's not the job," Mal responds, rolling his eyes. "We're not petty, Wash."

"But we're sometimes small-minded," Wash quips. Mal glares at him, and he raises his hands. "I kid."

Then Kaylee enters the room, and her eyes round at the pile of gizmos on the table. "For me, Captain?" She plunges into the box and emerges with a pair of compressor joints.

Mal chuckles. "Guy at the yard said a mechanic might want these."

"Did he have ruddy cheeks and eight reindeer?" Wash asks. Then Kaylee holds up a dull configuration of metal. "Is that a--"

"Convergent-nozzle," she confirms. "Barely used. Just a nick, as far as I can tell."

Wash takes it from her, peers closely. "Yeah, we could file that easy."

They go through the rest of the box, and never notice when Mal leaves the room.

ii. tooled in gold and the other is tinder

Four days after leaving Whitefall, Kaylee saunters onto the bridge. Wash turns his head, watches her as she circles the room, then settles in the co-pilot seat.

"What do you think of him?" she asks, eyes trained carefully on the fuel reading.

Wash considers dissembling, but he knows exactly who she's talking about, and she's fidgeting with the twine tied around her wrist.

"Smart. Kind of fancy." He pauses, considers. "Weird. Cute."

"Think so?"

Wash nods gravely. "Dashing, even."

"Now, you're making fun of me." Kaylee pouts.

"Hey, no." Wash spins to face her. "He seems decent. Weirdly devoted and intense, but we all have our quirks. I like dinosaurs."

Kaylee twists her mouth, rests her head in her hand. "I don't think the captain likes him."

"To be fair," Wash notes, "Mal doesn't much like anyone, aside from you. And you did get shot."

"By accident!" she protests. "Simon didn't mean for it to happen."

"They never do." Kaylee's pout deepens, and Wash relents. "But he seems nice."

"Yeah," she sighs. "He does."


After that, he keeps a close eye on Simon, because seeming nice isn't the same as being nice, and if he's wrong about Simon, he wants to help Mal and Jayne toss the guy out the airlock.

Well, he'll leave the tossing to them, but he'll definitely stand by and cheer them on, if need be.

At dinner, Simon passes the reconstituted peas to his sister first. He does not laugh at Wash's elephant moon joke right away. He wrinkles his nose when he drinks his tea.

These don't count against him, Wash decides. (Except for the joke, because come on. The elephant was nervous! That's funny!)

But on occasion, when Kaylee says something, Wash can almost see Simon forget his discomfort, forget his disdain.

And that's when Simon smiles at her, and Kaylee's returning grin is brighter than a comet streaking through the sky.

It's then Wash decides he doesn't really want to assist Mal and Jayne in doctor-cide.


iii. believing impossibly they have nothing in common

They're anchored on Bernadette, making a delivery for a very high-paying client. It's a night-drop, and Wash has nothing to do but wait.

He wanders to the mess, steeps himself a cup of tea. Idly, he considers adding sugar to the weak brew, but it would be a waste of supplies, and there's no telling when they can pick up more sugar, even the beet kind.

He's starting his second cup when he notices Simon hovering in the corridor. "You okay, doc?"

Simon looks startled, but he takes the step inside. "Wash."

"Yes." Wash tries to look as accommodating as possible.

"I was wondering if I could ask you something. Something personal."

Wash sets his cup down. "Only on Tuesdays and alternate Thursdays."

"Is that the answer or--" Simon frowns. "I don't understand."

"Tough crowd," Wash remarks to the air. He kicks over the chair next to his own. "Ask away."

Simon takes the proffered seat, takes about three and a half minutes of looking uncomfortable.

"So this question," Wash finally muses, "it's in English, right? I haven't missed any vital blinked questions, have I?"

"You're married," Simon blurts out.

"Yes," Wash replies. "That was an easy one. Hit me again."

"So you have some experience with..." Simon trails off, and he looks perilously close to blushing.

Wash stares at him for a second, then it clicks. "With women. Oh." He tilts his head. "You didn't learn that in doctor school? It's simple. When a boy and a girl get--no wait. I should have started with the crane."

Simon stands up. "Actually, never mind." He's already out the door by the time Wash calls after him.

"She likes you," Wash says.

Simon freezes, looks back over his shoulder.

"Let her know you like her," Wash continues. "It's that simple."

Simon nods, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. "Thanks."

Wash shrugs. "I impart wisdom whenever possible. Also, sarcasm."

He pours himself another cup of tea, and when he returns to the table, Simon's already gone.


A/N: Title, summary, and headings adapted from John Skuldt's Ballad of the Trail of Comets That Marks the Rust Belt from Above. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

Crossposted to serenity_santa and linked here.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2006 06:49 am (UTC)
This is... I want to say delicate... but I don't think that conjures up the fun I had reading.

Wash is wonderful. So is this.
Jan. 5th, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Aug. 28th, 2006 11:13 pm (UTC)
This is lovely! I think you've really caught Wash's voice here, which is a major obsession for me. Light-hearted and sweet :D

(I was linked to one of your other stories from somewhere then browsed through your Firefly entries - howdy!)
Oct. 30th, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it.
Dec. 18th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
lol you're great!
Dec. 18th, 2006 01:06 pm (UTC)
*g* Thanks!
(no subject) - invisibleshrew - Nov. 17th, 2007 08:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 21st, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
Ahhh! Wash is so full of cute in this! Great job characterizing him, it was lovely. <3
Mar. 6th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
YES!!!! Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. Oh, WASH! Brilliant.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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