Title: In the Captain's Eyes
Date Posted: 7 January 2006
Author: Van Donovan
Pairing: Mal/Wash, Mal/Wash/Zoe, Wash/Zoe
Word Count: 959
Rating: PG
Notes: contains some BDM spoilers, written for the 50 one-sentence challenge on LiveJournal: Mal/Wash. #26 - 50 are here.

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#1 - Motion - Mal realized he'd never taken Wash seriously until he saw him in full-blown action for the first time, concentrating intently, flying Serenity flawlessly even though their stabilizer was offline and Bester had no idea how to fix it; Wash under pressure was poetry in motion.

#2 - Cool - It was infuriating the way the new pilot sometimes tried to act like he was some cool, suave, ace pilot when he was around Zoe but, in a way, Mal found it unsettlingly appealing.

#3 - Young - Wash took him out off-roading on the mule when they got to Paquin; he clung to Wash's waist as they rode the wind, the dunes rising and falling beneath them, and he laughed and felt younger than he had in years.

#4 - Last - The last thing Mal had expected to see was Zoe and Wash kissing in the galley late one night; he reeled away quietly, in disbelief.

#5 - Wrong - He locked himself in his quarters for a day, feigning sick and getting away with it because they had no shipboard doctor, and tried to convince himself that it wouldn't be wrong to try to intervene between his first mate and his pilot.

#6 - Gentle - Mal easily watched Wash when he flew Serenity, but it was bad for him because he saw how gently Wash handled her and it made his mind wander and he knew he shouldn't let it.

#7 - One - There was just one thing occupying Mal's dreams, every night, and he did everything he could to not think about him when he laid in bed and tried to sleep.

#8 - Thousand - He asked Wash about the dinosaurs, just to have something, anything, to talk to him about, and learned about a thousand new tidbits of useless prehistoric Earth-That-Was trivia he had never been interested in before; in the end he felt guilty for using the dinosaurs to get closer to him.

#9 - King - "You're like an over lording king bent on total domination of his crew and Wash is the pathetic, cowardly queen by your side!" Bester shouted at him as Mal led him off Serenity for the last time; the comment made Mal grin a big, shit-eating grin of amusement, which just infuriated Bester even more.

#10 - Learn - Mal learned abruptly that it wasn't any good for him to be on the bridge when Wash was flying in just his tank and flight vest; it showed.

#11 - Blur - Zoe asked for his permission, so she could marry Wash, and the rest of the day had just dissolved into a blur as he reeled over the unexpected question.

#12 - Wait - He told her to wait -- ordered her to -- and said it was too soon; she got angry and demanded to know what she was supposed to wait for and he couldn't tell her, just like he couldn't tell him.

#13 - Change - Mal tried to get her to change her mind but she was stubborn and refused to yield; worse, she got angry with him for being so irrational; they'd never been angry at one another before.

#14 - Command - He told Kaylee she was imagining things when she asked him what was wrong; he hadn't realized his lack of command over his emotions on the subject had become so transparent.

#15 - Hold - Maybe Wash knew, and maybe he didn't, but the next time Mal was on the bridge with him their eyes met and Wash held the gaze until Mal looked away, flustered.

#16 - Need - "I need you on this boat, not off splitting loyalties and making babies," he told Zoe darkly, and his eyes betrayed him and showed her his pain.

#17 - Vision - "Think you lost sight of things, sir," she icily replied, "'cause this ain't about what you need; it's about what he and I need."

#18 - Attention - Wash got their attention when he appeared in the doorway of the cabin, cleared his throat and said, "Now kids, am I going to have to start grounding people to their bunks without supper to stop all this fighting?"

#19 - Soul - That night Mal bared his soul to his first officer and her fiancÚ and they didn't laugh at him.

#20 - Picture - It hadn't happened like he'd pictured: he awoke in his bunk with Wash's back pressed against his stomach, his own arm casually draped over the other man, and Zoe pressed against his back, spooning him like she owned them both; and maybe she did.

#21 - Fool - He made a fool out of himself at their wedding, dressed to the nines in his best suit, and laughed and joked as hard as he could to keep the engulfing loneliness at bay a little longer.

#22 - Mad - They loved each other fiercely, that much was clear, so he stepped aside because he knew he wasn't worthy of that sort of love anyway; but when they argued he couldn't help but get mad because they had such a precious thing and he didn't want to see it wasted.

#23 - Child - After Petaline, Zoe started talking about children with Wash and Mal found, despite his general misgivings on kids and his vague, lingering jealousy, he wanted to see that child; he knew it'd be beautiful.

#24 - Now - He looked at Wash's empty chair now, the hole punched clean through it as big as the one now in his heart, and wondered how Zoe could possibly survive when he felt like that.

#25 - Shadow - It could be called a pale comparison because he hadn't been sitting right there, watching, when Shadow was destroyed but it still felt like his world had been extinguished again.



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