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09 August 2008 @ 12:27 pm
Washathon Fic 3/3  

Title: Of Smuggling Jobs And Nifty Flying

Author: inkvoices

Giftee: sarahetc

Rating: PG13 (to be on the safe side)

Length: 7, 510 words

Summary: Mal has a good old fashioned smuggling job lined up, which shouldn't be anything to do with Wash, because he's fired.

Author Note: Set pre-series, after Wash has gotten rid of the moustache but before Inara has joined the crew.  You asked for Wash/Zoe or Wash/Kaylee, so I hope you don't mind that this turned into more of a pre-Wash/Zoe and Wash-Kaylee friendship (or one-sided Wash/Kaylee, if you squint).  I did my best with the techy spaceship talk.  As for your second request of Wash being recognised for having expert piloting skills and intense spaceship manoeuvresthank you, because pilot!Wash is love :o) 


Jayne ignored the endless blackness surrounding them that was filled with only a few spots of light.  Space was just space.  The condensation that appeared on the viewing screen of his helmet every time he breathed out was annoying though, and he had an itch on his left shoulder that he wouldn't be able to get at until this little adventure in the Black was over and he could take the suit off.


"We’re missing three panels off the topside," said Zoë.


"There's some exposed wirin' as well," Mal added.


"We have five panels left in storage, down in the bay," said Kaylee, "but I don't know what size or curvature they are, so you'll have to measure the gap and compare it to what we got when you get back inside.  What colour's the wiring, Captain?"




"Outside or inside?"


"I can't see the inside."


"Well that's good," said Kaylee cheerfully.  "Means nothin' might be broken as such, just frozen over and the like."


Jayne thought it would probably be easier if Kaylee came out and took a look at things herself, since she was most likely to know what was what, but no one would dream of letting the perky mechanic out here.  It wasn't all that dangerous, but still.  Kaylee was Kaylee and they had to keep that smile safe, and if he worried sometimes that he was going soft, well, at least he didn't go all gooey when faced with that smile like Mal did.


"Gouges, tip of the retractor dowel sliced off, three blades on the rotate spiral broken," Zoë listed.  "Can you double check, sir, and see if I missed anythin'?"


"Anythin' we can fix," said Jayne, "or we just hangin' around out here for no reason?"  He liked the comm. units built into the spacesuits a lot better than the other comm. units linked to the ship because they transmitted and received communications automatically, which was a hell of a lot better than wasting time trying to figure out what buttons to push.


"Not much we can fix, no, but we can close some of it up."  Zoë carefully detached the sealant gun that was hooked to Mal's belt and started squeezing a protective covering onto the exposed wires and anything that looked like it might fall off.  "Jayne, come and give me a hand holdin' the rim still."


"Shouldn't be much longer," said Mal.  "Then we'll stop at a fuel station, or Firly Space Station, and get this sorted proper."

"Then go get the rest of our money?" asked Jayne as he gradually moved closer.


"Then go get paid the rest of our money."




"Might want to think about renting out one of those shuttles as well, sir," said Zoë, still busy with the sealant.  Jayne reached out and held one of the split engine blades so it wouldn't float away if Zoë accidentally nudged it when trying to seal the thing in place.


Mal drifted closer to watch her cover the shorn off end of the retractor dowel.  "We don't need the money if we keep gettin' jobs like we are, but a little respectability wouldn't hurt, I guess."


"Will we be stoppin' somewhere with payin' passengers and lots of lovely supplies, Captain?"  Kaylee sounded excited at the prospect and Jayne found that he couldn't blame her.


"Had enough of Core planets for now," said Mal, "but we'll see.  Somewhere where they're rich enough to have law courts and companion houses at least."


"I had a ship full of companions as passengers once, before the war broke out," said Wash.  "Now that was one of my more interesting runs."


Jayne had heard the pilot's voice in the background when Kaylee was linked to the comm. system, because he was in the engine room with her helping write down what was broken with the engine and looking for parts they might have to fix it, but this was the first time he'd spoken to the rest of them.  He was useful enough, for a little man, but Jayne still didn't like him all that much for trying to kill them all.  Although he wouldn't complain if the man wanted to talk about companions.


"The ladies were the nice, polite sort, but they never sounded insincere, and every single one of them was a knockout.  The men too.  Not that I was looking at the men.  Or the women.  Much.  You can tell me to shut up now."


Zoë obliged. 


"All this talk of expandin' Serenity's crew," said Mal.  "Don't think I've forgotten it is, in fact, already bigger than it should be.  Wash, didn't I fire you?"


"Several times, I think," said Wash cheerfully.


"So why the hell are you still on my ship?"




"He didn't sound angry when he said it though.  You think I'm safe?"


Kaylee smiled as she rethreaded the dual volume capria through the central engine coil and tightened the bolt.  "He likes you."


"Really?" said Wash sceptically as he held out a mark 58 screw. 


He was sat on the rusty floor of the engine room surrounded by boxes of small spare parts and several larger pieces of machinery left over from Kaylee's various remodellings of Serenity's inner workings.  Hopefully there'd be enough parts to go about repairing the damage to the jet engine, or at least to contribute to it so they wouldn't have to spend too much on the rest of the parts.


"Well, he thinks you're a really good pilot."


"And insane."  Even though Wash thought Mal was insane he didn’t like that Mal thought that he was insane, which was kind of insane itself.


Kaylee wiped her forehead with the back of her left hand and took the screw.  "I was thinking of what to do next when the dining area is painted.  Think that's all the ship decorated that the Captain will let me do."


"I was planning to ask you if you'd take me on as your next project."  Wash grinned.  "Was gonna ask you to make me less annoying."


"You're not!" Kaylee protested, which made him feel almost as good as Zoë's warm hand in his hair had earlier.


"Sealant applied," said Zoë over the comm. system. 


"Think we're done," said Mal and Jayne grumbled, "About time."


Wash rummaged through Kaylee's screw box looking for a 72, which was one of the parts they were going to need to fix the damage outside.  Kaylee was meant to be helping him look for parts as well, but she kept getting distracted by what the others were saying on the comm. and the alterations she spotted that could be made to improve the main engine.


"You know, Zoe watches you too," she said suddenly.


"So does Mal," Wash joked.  "He keeps coming up to the bridge at all hours, to check I'm not pulling a crazy stunt that'll cause me to crash and kill us all."


"Like flying though a laser blockade?" Kaylee said with a smile


Wash pulled one of the larger pieces of machinery onto his lap and started taking it apart.  "Or an asteroid belt."


Kaylee shuddered.  "Now that sounds scary.  I'm glad we didn't have to do that."


"What would you say," he asked cautiously, keeping his eyes on his hands as they unscrewed a valve, "if I said you already had?"


"Coming aboard," said Mal. 


"Airlock open," Zoë told them.  There was a pause and static on the comm. system before she continued with, "Airlock closed.  Regulating.  All clear."


Wash added the valve to a box of other valves, of all different sizes and shapes, and began to dismantle the carriage.


"I've been thinkin' about an inter-engine fermentation system," said Kaylee.  "For my next project.  I thought some alcohol might come in useful." 



Fanartist in trainingkath_ballantyne on August 9th, 2008 12:35 pm (UTC)
Shiny *g*

inkvoices: F:kaylee shinyinkvoices on August 11th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it :o)
sarahetc on August 9th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Kaylee smiled as she rethreaded the dual volume capria through the central engine coil and tightened the bolt. "He likes you."

Whatever that is, it sounds awesome.

And then it was the end! And then what happened? Will there be a sequel? Obviously he sticks around, but ooh. What a tantalizing slice of life here. The flying was exciting and beautiful and I feel like I got two-for-one there. And the techy spaceship talk everywhere, all over the place, is just wonderful. I love this story. Thank you very much!
inkvoices: F:wash pilotinkvoices on August 11th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what it means, but I liked making up the words. *grins*

You liked it that much you'd like a sequel?! *happy dance* I'm so pleased you enjoyed it! Heh, of course he sticks around - he has to marry Zoe! lol

I love pilot!Wash and I was excedingly happy that you requested a showcase of his amazing flying. I loved being able to write that, even if I wasn't sure if it was run-on much. The techy spaceship talk was more of a worry, so I'm glad that worked! I asked a few friends who know miles more about physics and engines and engineering than I do for help in figuring out how to make it work, and how to make the broken engine et al believable. One replied with a long message saying, basically, 'the show is not real. It doesn't work.' 'Okay,' said I, 'I'll lie then.' That's fiction, right? ;o)

This is me grinning so very much right now because you liked your gift fic. :oD
dancingotter72: you wanna flydancingotter72 on August 11th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
I will second the sequel request! Wash fic is my favorite and I could really hear him in your dialog. More please!
inkvoices: F:wash washtowninkvoices on August 12th, 2008 01:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it :o)

Heh, I guess I'd best get writing then. *grins*
sarahetc on August 14th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
Hell yes I want a sequel! Who wouldn't want a sequel?! More flying, more tech talk! MOAR WASH PLZ.

I've found that, when writing about spaceships, it's best to make the vocabulary realistic and leave the physics alone. Lie through your teeth, but make it entertaining. :D
sugar_fey: bunnies!sugar_fey on August 11th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Ooooh! Techy spaceship talk! Capers! Wash flight! I adore!

I'm so seconding requests for a sequel. This is too good to just leave there!

I really, really love the scene from Part 2 where Zoe ran her hand through Wash's hair. It's a small gesture, yet it was very sweet and quite touching, plus it suited Wash and Zoe's current status perfectly. Of all the Wash/Zoe moments I read during Washathon, that has to be one of my favourites.

This fic makes me grin like an idiot. More, please?
inkvoices: F:WashZoeLoveinkvoices on August 12th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I loved being able to write pilot!Wash.

I wanted a 'moment' between Wash and Zoe, but it seemed such earlier days for kissing or anything really showy when all they'd seemed to so was have a 'talk-shut up' interaction in the fic so far, so I tried to aim for something that could be Zoe giving in to the touching or could just be comforting, depending on how either character or the reader wanted to see it. I'm glad it worked!

And I'm pleased you enjoyed it! More? *blinks* Well, guess i'm going to have to get writing.
leven_kemalleven_kemal on August 15th, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
Wonderful story! It's very episodic in feel, what with the caper going south, and the dead-on characterization, and Firefly banter at its best.

The technobabble was fun, as was the Jayne/grenade pairing, and Wash's piloting was fantastic! I liked how both Mal and Wash felt that the other was crazy. (They are both kinda right.)

I especially liked how Mal fired Wash, and then, Zoe, very sensibly, unfired him.

Thanks for the very fun read!
inkvoicesinkvoices on September 3rd, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so very pleased you thought it was episodic, because I kept trying to bear that feel in mind. And all your compliments make me smile a lot. :oD

Jayne/grenade? *laughs* Oh, please don't send little plot bunnies like that my way.

Wassh can fly! I loved that sarahetc requested pilot Wash and I spent ages rewatching the flight scenes from the serise because I was so happy I got to write one!

Thank you for the lovely compliments!
Chinook McMutton Z: Kayleeczgoldedition on August 16th, 2008 10:14 am (UTC)
Lovely fic! The technobabble brought me great joy, Jayne and Kaylee were both priceless in this and everyone was so well characterized. You do a great job at writing dialogue between all the crew members and keeping it both fun and believable. Also, guh, you can't leave it there! I'm siding with the others and demanding this story progress beyond hair-touching at some point. ;)
inkvoices: F:WashZoeLoveinkvoices on September 4th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I worried over the technobabble and ended up going for things that sounded technical and logical rather than might actually work, so I'm glad you liked that. And Kaylee is one of the character's whose characterisation I struggle with most, so I'm pleased you liked her in this, and the dialogue - I like dialogue :o)

Heh, there is sequel-writing going on, but I don't know if they'll be serious Wash/Zoe I'm afraid, since I figure the caper needs finishing and the ship needs fixing, so they might be a bit busy... ;o) Wow, the enthusiasm for more, though, makes me smile a hell of a lot!