Rash

Tonight was quiet.

Wash was used to being alone in the cockpit, but he'd never felt this alone before. All his little dinosaurs were lined up in a row, staring at him with mocking eyes. He could read the accusation in their eyes clearly, and this caused him to snap. Wash swept them all off the controls, but scattering them on the floor hadn't made him feel any better. It actually made him feel kind of dumb.

"Can't tell- they're both screaming, they're both cold, they both need her." Wash sighed and turned around in his chair to look at the source of the voice. River stood uncertainly in the doorway. She looked torn. "Can she come in?" River asked.

"Not like there's anyone else taking up much room," Wash said.

River backed out, shaking her head firmly. "No, no, no, he isn't ready yet, won't let her in." She left quickly, still muttering to herself.

Wash sighed. Alone again. He'd been alone ever since Zoe died, and there seemed to be no changing that.

Tonight was quiet.

(.)

Tonight was quiet.

Mal wasn't complaining, though. He liked it quiet. When things were loud and noisy, then it usually meant that something bad was happening, and Mal didn't like it when bad things happened. Although recently the only thing that ever happened was bad, but Mal was half-hoping that with the Operative off their tail things would start to settle down.

He started slightly when he heard his hatch open. He looked over at the ladder and saw River climbing down.

"You know, lil albatross, people don't usually take too kindly to intrusions," he told her, half bemused and half annoyed.

She leaned against the ladder, studying him.

After a long, awkward pause, Mal tried again. "There a reason you're in my room?"

"Shh… she's looking," she sighed. "He's not ready- they're not ready. They need help, but won't let her help them. She'll be waiting." River climbed back up the ladder

Mal stared at the spot she had just vacated, long after she had left.

Tonight was quiet.

(.)

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