The Moustache Offensive

Spoilers- Out of Gas and Our Mrs. Reynolds, just little things relating to Zoë and Wash.
Disclaimer- Characters and settings belong to the Joss, I merely write to escape my uni woes.
Note- thanks go to Lucas Harper for the title and GrayMatter for the beta-ing.
Translation: O, zhe zhen shi ge huai le de jin zha- Oh, this is a happy development

Hoban 'Wash' Washburne stared at the Firefly docked in front of him with a critical eye. It was old and slightly beat up but the old girl had some class to her. He had to admit, he had a weakness for Fireflies. They flew well, a pilot even half awake could keep one in the air, and the parts for them weren't all fancy, you could take junk parts and put 'em in and the things would run forever. They were good for smuggling too; Fireflies had a thousand and one hiding places.

Wash put his hands in his pockets and rocked back on his heels. He'd been offered plenty of jobs. A couple of people had been actively pursuing him for a while, buying him drinks, women and fancy new doodads. The Alliance had offered him a particularly attractive package. Really attractive, if he didn't think a little boring. Flying trade ships and cruisers through space, tracking down scavengers and giving them a slap on the wrist, please. The only worse would be to be grounded. Plus, the whole uniform thing? It just wasn't his thing and they would have made him shave off his moustache! He loved that thing, been cultivating for about two years now. There was no power on this green earth-that-was replica that could make him shave it.

Wash pulled his hands out of his pockets and walked around to the open cargo bay. A woman stood in the middle of the bay, a large pair of industrial earmuffs covering her ears as sparks sprayed around her, a medium sized jackhammer in her hands.

Wash blinked. "Wow!"

She looked like an angel, all that hair tumbling down her back. And then there was her legs, and her… lower back. Wow.

"God, I hope you're one of the crew."

Moustache twitching, Wash walked up the ramp. He reached out a hand towards the woman's shoulder, trying to get her attention.

Suddenly she tensed. She dropped the jackhammer she was working with, throwing it off to the side. As quick as a rattlesnake, she reached behind her and grasped his hand. She stepped back into him, leant down and threw him over her shoulder.

Wash crashed into the hard grating. "Wha?" He stumbled to his feet.

The woman stomped over to him, still wearing her safety goggles and earmuffs. Her face was drawn in a fearsome expression, and yet it made her all the more attractive to him. Before Wash could even open his mouth she drew back her fist and let it fly.

Suddenly everything was warm and fuzzy. Wash felt like a wooly blanket surrounded him. And, hey, look it was getting dark. Good time for a na-


Captain Malcolm Reynolds bounded down the stairs and into the cargo bay. He looked curiously at the lump his first mate was bent over.

"Whatcha got there, Zoë?"

Zoë straightened, near standing at attention. "Trespasser, sir. He attempted to attack me from behind."

"And you knocked him out?"

"Yes, sir."

Mal ran a hand through his hair, suppressing a laugh. "You look gorram ridiculous. Makes me feel like I'm looking inna fish tank."

Zoë removed the glasses and earmuffs. "Sorry, sir."

Mal grinned. "Don't bother me none. Been stuck on this rock for longer than my likin'. Could do with some amusement. Now, let's see who this fella is."

Mal riffled through the unconscious man's clothing, pulling out his papers and ident card. A scowl crossed his lips. "Gorramit, Zoë. Hoban Washburne. It's the pilot and you done knocked him out cold. He musta been tryin' to get your attention."

Zoë shrugged, unapologetic. "He looked shifty."

Mal scratched his head. "Hafta admit that moustache does make him look a mite-"

"Idiotic?" Zoë suggested.

"Well I was gonna go with different. 'Course I like him more'n you seem to. Seeing as how you knocked him out!"

Zoë scowled. "The moustache is what he uses to hide. Doesn't want us to see the real him."

"Hell, Zoë, you're sounded like one o' them psych counselors from the recruitment office back in the war."

Zoë stubbornly shook her head. "Just known men like 'em, sir."

"O, zhe zhen shi ge huai le de jin zha,"Mal muttered under his breath. "He's a pilot. We need one. All's you gotta do is let him do his job."

Zoë made a face. "The moustache is ugly, sir."

Mal titled his head and examined the aforementioned lip ferret. "Ain't gonna be disagreein' withya there. But still we need him. Let's get him up to the infirmary. Hopefully he should come around soon, and he won't hold it against us."

Mal slid his arms under the man's shoulders and motioned for Zoë to do the same with his feet.

Zoë sighed, but was the ever dutiful solider. "Yes, sir."


Mal leaned into his chair, savoring the last of their fresh food. He looked over at Bester, who had his head down over his plate as he shoveled food into his open maw. Boy finally had them in the air again, and it sure did feel good.

Speaking of being back in the air. "Zoë, why don't you take some o' this food up to Wash 'fore it all gets ate?"

He gave Zoë a look to indicate that it was more of an order than a question. They was all gonna be on this ship for quite some time, and confined places had a way of making emotions more intense. He couldn't stand by and have members of his crew hate each other.

Zoë sighed and pulled the spare plate towards her, piling it with fresh vegetables and the small pieces of steak the pilot had brought with him. "Yes, sir."


Wash looked over his shoulder as he heard footsteps upon the steps to the bridge. A bright smile crossed his face when he saw Zoë.

"For some reason I thought you were avoiding me."

Zoë's face remained set. "Perhaps because I was."

"Ah." Wash looked thoughtful. "So why are you here now? Could you no longer resist my charms?"

"Captain ordered me." She placed the plate on the console, right beside some plastic dinosaurs that had miraculously appeared. "You best enjoy that. We'll be back on molded protein before long."

Zoë turned to leave.

"Going already? I thought perhaps you might join me. Food always tastes better with a beautiful woman."

"Captain ordered me to play nice. He never said I had to be friendly."

Wash swung the pilot's chair around to watch as Zoë walked away. "Is there nothing I can do to make you like me?"

She didn't even pause. "Not likely. You could try shaving off that gorram ugly soup strainer though. See where that gets you."

Wash grinned. "Consider it done!"