Disclaimer: Firefly and related terms and characters do not belong to me. Not for profit.

Notes: For Whedonland's Browncoat rewatch challenge fic. Missing scene for "Serenity", prompt "shopping on Persephone"

Summary Takes place just after leaving Persephone and before Mal gives his "welcome" speech to the passengers; Zoë and Wash discuss their new travel plans.

"So, we're really going to Whitefalls?" Wash asked.

Zoë, sitting in the co pilots seat, and examining the allosaurus, said "If the pilot doesn't know where we're going, we are truly screwed."

"You know what I mean," Wash retorted. "I can't believe Mal wants to go back there. Patience shot him."

Zoë nodded and put the plastic dinosaur back down. "That's true."

"Shot him," Wash went on, unable to let this fact go. Sometimes he thought he was the only sane one onboard – and he was the one who liked to play with toy dinosaurs. "I remember it well. There was blood. Lots of gushy blood."

His wife said nothing. She could say a lot when she was being silent and right now she was wordlessly saying "Yes, there was blood, but he lived, and we're still going to Whitefalls so there's no point going on about it." Wash sighed.

"He almost died," the pilot said. This seemed highly relevant to him; the in-aptly named Patience wasn't someone known for her restraint. He really didn't want his wife going up against the sharpshooter again. It might be Zoë who got shot this time and then Wash would have to go and be heroic and most likely get himself killed.

"I soon got the bleeding under control." Without a doctor onboard Zoë was often forced to draw upon the basic field first aid training she'd had during the war. She picked up the stegosaurus and moved it so that it was hiding behind the oblivious allosaurus.

"And the infection? Because selling all our antibiotics had seemed like such a good plan at the time? He was delirious for days! He kept talking about taking me shopping on Persephone. Promised to buy me a pretty red hat. Said I'd look darling in it."

Wash had taken his turn to watch over the captain during his fevered dreams. There were things he'd heard during his vigil that he'd tried very hard to forget about since, but the red hat had stuck firmly in his mind.

"We've been to Persephone about ten times since then, including today, and Mal has never once taken me shopping. He's never bought me a red hat. Or any hat. Or anything even resembling a gift." Wash gestured empathically, knowing he was rambling. It wasn't that he wanted Mal to take him hat shopping (it would be creepy and weird), it was that he was frustrated with the all too common situation they now found themselves in "We're hardly ever allowed to shopping at all. Just re-fuel, exchange cargo with Badger, and off we go, like as not with the Alliance on our tail. Then off to certain doom at Whitefalls, just to finish the day off with a bang!"

"You worry too much," Zoë said, getting to her feet. "The captain will be ready for Patience this time. Look, we're briefing the passengers in a minute. I have to go."

"I'll be there in a moment," Wash said distractedly.

As Zoë turned to leave he pulled at her sleeve and looked at her imploringly. "At least wear body armour," he begged.

Zoë leant over and kissed him on the cheek. "That, I can do."