Wash had been on Serenity for a month and still hadn't managed to make her laugh. It was a challenge to crack a chuckle out of the Captain but one he had succeeded in doing after three days so how come it had been a month and Zoe hadn't even smiled?
Another thing he didn’t understand was why Zoe seemed to dislike him so much. He had always been likable, or even just “tolerable” in the case of a couple of bunk mates in flight school. But Zoe didn’t even tolerate him. She just looked at him as if he was guilty of something but Wash had no idea what.
Wash sighed, thinking of Zoe, as he fiddled around underneath the control panel. The Captain and Zoe where out making a deal and Bester…well Bester was off being Bester in some dank place so it was just him and Serenity. He plopped his headphones in, figuring that no one would need him for take-off for at least another hour so a little bit of a distraction in the form of local radio was allowed.
He sat tinkering with everything that needed fixing on the bridge for a good ten minutes before he had done everything that needed doing. This wasn’t good. Wash had been planetside for three days now and his longing to get back in the sky was impossible to deal with…he needed another distraction.
It wasn’t something that could be solved with a nap or playing with dinosaurs or watching something on the cortex…he needed something to do. He had to find something to keep him going for another half-hour or so….
He was just about ready to consider calling Bester back as a last resort for something to do when his headphones started blaring something familiar. The song was a couple of chords in before he realised what it was. It was something he hadn't heard in a long time but as soon as did he was able to recall even every small lilt of the song.
A combination of him being planetside and him not having heard this song for a good while lead him to crank up the music to the loudest possible volume and within seconds he was dancing and singing along. He was completely alone anyway, no one would hear or see his rendition of “Like Pineapples and Algebra” and the song was only three minutes long anyway…so what was the harm?
What started off as soft and quiet singing accompanied by the occasional swaying of the arms soon became aggressive singing and a dance that involved more jumping and flailing that actual dancing. It was clumsy from the outside but it felt good just to be moving on the inside.
The song itself was something he only admitted to liking as a teenager, 13 year old Wash managed to see something meaningful in it. It was a song about Algebra being hard and a subject detached from emotion and Pineapples being bright and synonymous with the joys of summer. Not that Wash hated math as much as the singers in the song…sure it wasn’t his favourite subject but it was one that he was brilliant at. Listening to it now and hearing each verse get more and more cheesy made Wash smirk…this song was definitely only a guilty pleasure.
The song finished with a drumroll and a rising in bass guitar. Wash pulled the headphones out and wiped his brow with a smile of satisfaction. He needed to move and boy did he move (or flail...whatever).
He turned around from the control panel and screamed. Leaning against the door to the bridge was Zoe who stood with her arms folded, trying to hold back a smile.
“Erm…hi, you are back early!” said a bright red Wash as he tried to play it off as being cool.
“We finished up quicker than we thought.” Zoe grinned.
Wash smiled awkwardly, the embarrassment was still there but at least he had accomplished his mission…Zoe was SMILING and not a faint smile either. She was smiling from ear to ear and it was beautiful. If that’s what Zoe’s smile was like trying her best to hide it then boy did he want to see the smile in full. Wash thought that maybe he shouldn’t try so hard to get Zoe to smile…he was sure that if he was just his normal wacky self that something (hopefully less embarrassing) will work.
“So….I guess you saw that right?”
“Saw it, heard it, felt it” Zoe’s smile faded a little as she raised an eyebrow
“I’m sorry, it won’t happen again” Wash looked down at his feet, feeling as if maybe he was in trouble.
“Good. And if it does, make sure it’s something with a little less lyrics and a little more drumbeat.” The dancing and singing, much like the Hawaiian shirts and the dinosaurs, were a little goofy but something about his reaction made her a little less wary of their new pilot. He seemed a little more genuine and humble than the crazy shirts would suggest.
Wash beamed up at her, “Sure thing!”
“What’s going on up here?” Mal’s voice echoed as he walked up the stairs, “Is he givin’ you trouble?” Mal joked as he met them in the bridge.
“It was my –”
“No, sir.” Zoe cut him off before he started to ramble. She may have been warming to the pilot but the never ending babbling were something she wasn’t going to get used to just yet.
“Well, whatever you were doing I need to break it up, I need Zoe in the cargo bay to help me unload all these crates. I have a funny feeling the villagers will be calling the feds soon so Wash can you get us out of atmo in 10?”
“Sure thing, Captain.” He grinned eager to finally get back in the sky and even more eager to get out of atmo in 7 or less.