Prompt: writerverse challenge #28 november table of doom
Lyric(s): And yet, my heart will not despair/ For it’s there/ Just a memory away” (“Once I Was Loved” from The Slipper and the Rose)
Word Count: 251
Pairings: (past) Wash Washburne/Zoe Washburne
Warnings: spoilers through Sernity (set post-Big Damn Movie)
Summary: She hadn’t known, when Wash died.
Note(s): originally posted to the writerverse wv_library
Memories of Laughter
She hadn’t known, when Wash died.
Zoe wasn’t usually one for giving in to impulses, but one morning she’d just looked at the pack of tiny pills— and hadn’t taken one. But then Wash had died, and Zoe had felt so hollow that it took her almost three months to realize it was actually the opposite.
A child. Wash’s child.
“You’ll need to take some vitamins,” said Simon, when she’d gathered the courage to have him confirm it. “But everything seems healthy.”
Mal was quiet when she told him, upset at having temporarily lost his best gunhand, but unable to begrudge her this last bit of her husband. “I want you back, soon as your cargo’s unloaded, hear?” he said, and she managed a smile.
Inara made her tea, not the fancy spiced kind she’d poured for her clients, but a mild soothing blend, and the two women sat in comfortable silence until it was gone. Jayne grunted that she’d be a “good ma” and pretended to know nothing about the tiny knitted socks in the next package his mother sent. Kaylee shyly showed her the crumpled plans for a shipboard baby crib, then squealed with delight when Zoe quietly asked her when it could be built.
River put a small hand to the first mate’s still-flat stomach. “She will make you laugh again,” the girl said.
And months later, when Zoe held his daughter, their daughter, she felt it bubbling up and out, a gentle burst of clear, bright laughter.