Title: Dreaming of Belief
Date Posted: 19 January 2006
Author: Van Donovan
Pairing: Mal/Wash (implied Wash/Zoe)
Word Count: 1,122
Rating: PG-13
Notes: no movie spoilers although the first 25 have movie spoilers, written for LiveJournal's 50 one-sentence challenge: Mal/Wash


#26 – Goodbye – Wash hadn’t said goodbye to Zoe when he left to do the job and he regretted it, but he was glad that if he had to die at the hands of Niska he’d at least have Mal by his side.

#27 – Hide – He knew Niska was going to take Mal’s ear (or worse), as soon as the old man started talking about refunds; but after being tortured half to death beside Mal, he couldn’t stand to watch, so he hid his head behind the door and cried at his own weakness when Mal screamed.

#28 – Fortune – It was love – Mal’s and Zoe’s -- that had gotten him through the torture at Niska’s Skyplex alive; he was determined to see that Niska wasn’t so fortunate.

#29 – Safe – Safe on the shuttle again, held in Zoe’s arms, Wash felt his pains and fears ebb away as he remembered Mal screaming, and the way the captain had kept him awake so he wouldn’t succumb to the torture; something inside of him changed regarding Mal in that moment.

#30 – Ghost – When they got him back, Mal was sheet white and looked deathly but for the angry red welts and blood splatters on his chest; when he walked, supported by Zoe and Simon, he seemed to drift and stumble like a drunken ghost, and Wash found it made his heart ache to see.

#31 – Book – Mal had never been easy to read -- he wasn’t an open book like Wash was -- but seeing him lying bruised and broken in the infirmary, yet keeping an ever vigilant eye on his pilot confirmed everything Wash had ever suspected.

#32 – Eye – Mal’s eyes were the deepest dark blue Wash had ever seen, and he figured they were such a deep color because they held behind them such deep secrets; recovering in the infirmary together after their ordeal, Wash swore to himself that he’d venture into their depths someday soon, and learn to swim therein.

#33 – Never – Since he had met her, Wash had never kept anything important from Zoe, but these feelings for Mal that were blossoming inside him he kept to himself.

#34 – Sing – It was a strange thing to think, that any good would come out of almost being tortured to death, but when Mal regained consciousness after the Dermal-Mender repaired his ear, Wash’s heart began to sing in a way that could only be classified as composed from pure joy.

#35 – Sudden – The way Wash found himself now thinking of his captain was sudden, but he could tell that his feelings weren’t unfounded and that, most likely, Mal even wanted to reciprocate them and never had because Wash was so very married, and Mal respected that.

#36 – Stop – A few days after their rescue, Wash stopped Mal in the corridor with just the look in his eyes and a soft, welcoming smile.

#37 – Time – The second time he stopped Mal in the corridor he did it by lightly brushing against him as they passed; conflicted, Mal looked back over his shoulder at him and Wash did the same, smirking knowingly back at him as he continued his path in the opposite direction.

#38 – When Mal found him out washing dishes alone one night after everyone else had gone to sleep, he just silently came up beside him, put his hands into the soapy water and never said a thing as their fingers slipped along and brushed together as they cleaned.

#39 – Torn – Wash thought he’d be torn between being loyal to Zoe and wanting Mal, but when the dishes were rinsing under the faucet, he turned like it was second nature, and just captured Mal’s mouth in his own.

#40 – History – Wash had a history of getting caught kissing Zoe in relatively inappropriate places and he didn’t want to ruin this if Kaylee accidentally walked by; pulling apart slowly from Mal, he nodded meaningfully toward the crew quarters.

#41 – Power – Wash had always assumed being captain of Serenity was a power trip for Mal, but when he had undressed him and saw him yieldingly laid out on the captain’s bed, scars and bruises tracing up his body like fancy lattice work, he knew in a heartbeat it was a title he struggled with, and probably resented most days.

#42 – Bother – They kissed and made love in the soft light of the overhead lamp, not because Wash didn’t want to bother turning off the lamp, but because he wanted to see and memorize every single aspect of Mal’s body this one time.

#43 – God – Wash knew Mal was not a man of faith but, clinging to him that night, covered in a sheen of sweat and barely able to breath, Mal kept moaning to God and, in the end, Wash thought maybe he’d found Him again, if just for a moment.

#44 – Wall – During the day there was a wall between Mal and the rest of the world, a wall he never let down for anyone, but that night Wash saw to the core of his captain, stared into his deep blue eyes and found he didn’t want to swim there after all: he wanted to drown.

#45 – Naked – Afterward, they cuddled in a way that Wash hadn’t ever imagined they could: Mal curled into him tightly, and he stroked the captain’s hair gently and listened to him murmur words of thanks over and over; Wash bet no one had ever seen Mal so naked and vulnerable before.

#46 – Drive – The beauty of that night was the pure lack of a malicious motivational drive behind it: Mal did not want Wash for his own, or to break up his marriage to Zoe; Wash did not want to cheat on his wife; it was simply a need for love and compassion being filled in the most open way.

#47 – Harm – Wash stayed that night with Mal, watching over him to make sure his dreams didn’t harm him; for the first time in years, Mal slept without fear.

#48 – Precious – Wash recognized how precious the moment they were sharing was and he wondered, even if he had a capture of them together, if it could ever be recorded.

#49 – Hunger – In the morning, when Mal awoke and looked up at him and smiled in relief like he’d thought the previous night had only been a dream, Wash saw a fresh hunger growing in Mal’s eyes: he’d found a new zest in life.

#50 – Believe – They left Mal’s bunk and Wash went back to his wife without a single regret because he knew that he had saved Mal, and looking at Mal he could tell the captain believed in life again.

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