Getting Serious

Summary: The first time Mal finds his first mate making out with the pilot, none of them are quite pleased about it. Wash/Zoe.

A/N: I just finished the series, including Serenity, and so I'm using Wash/Zoe fluff in order to cope.

In retrospect, they probably should have tried for more patience. As it was, they'd only made it to the hall outside her bunk before the kissing started. Wash couldn't help the urge to push Zoe against the wall and kiss her, good and plenty.

He was only a man, after all, and she didn't seem to mind.

So that's how Mal found them, his first mate and pilot, passionately kissing just outside her bunk.

"Excuse me," he interrupted.

The pair turned around to look at him, with both embarrassment and...was that a shade of annoyance on Wash's face? Well, he guessed he'd find out.

"Okay, so I know I never mentioned this, mostly on accoun' of I never thought any of the women on the ship would give the men a second look," he said, "and I sure as hell didn't think this could happen – " he gestured to the couple.

"Hey!" interjected Wash. "I'll have you know, most women find me to be – "

"But there's no romance between crew," Mal said, talking over him. "It causes problems. You understand. So, you best be getting back to your own bunk, Washburne."

Wash was about to reply indignantly, but Zoe beat him to it, her voice icy. "Seems to me, Sir, that since you didn't mention it right at the off, and since me and Wash already got somethin' started here...well, I think you just oughta mind your own."

Mal looked mildly taken aback. "Zoe, it ain't nothing personal. You know that. But emotions run high out here, and relationships complicate things. I don't want anything getting in the way of doing what needs to be done."

"Then I'm guessin' you should just throw us off at the next stop – " argued Zoe.

"Wait a minute," Wash tried to interject, but both the Captain and Zoe ignored him.

"- because we're not gonna throw this away just because you don't trust us to be professional regardless."

Mal looked from Zoe to Wash. "I didn't realize it was that...serious."

"It is," she replied coolly.

Mal looked as if he didn't know quite what to say, then finally replied. "Fine. Just keep the, ah, affectionate displays to your bunks. Or at least somewhere else I won't be."

"We can do that," assured Zoe.

"Alright," replied Mal. He shook his head dazedly, then walked away, as if he didn't know quite where the conversation had gone wrong.

Wash turned to look at Zoe. "Um, Zoe, we've only been dating for a few weeks. When you said, 'serious,' what were you – "

"Calm yourself, Wash." she said. "I just wanted to shake him up, remind him he can't tell us everything he wants us to do. Or not do."

"Ooh, defying the Captain. Sexy. Let's continue, shall we?" Wash said excitedly, and moved in to kiss her again. As he was doing so, she reached out and pressed the button to open her bunk.

When it was open, she pushed him lightly away. "G'night, Wash. We're not that serious yet," she smirked.

Wash shook his head at her. "Oh you sly she-devil. You minx! To toy with my affections with such cruelty, such –"

She interrupted with a hard, breath-taking kiss. Then she pulled away, but pressed her hand gently to his face. "I promise it'll be worth the wait."

He sighed exaggeratedly. "Okay. Then wait I shall." Then he became more serious, sincere. "Goodnight, Zo."

"Goodnight, Wash," she said, retreating into her bunk. She gave him one last smile for the night, and he watched her until the door closed again, blocking her from view.

After a long moment, Wash set off for his own bunk, feeling elation and excitement for the days to come.

A/N: Reviews greatly appreciated. :)