Pairing: Zoe Washburne/Hoban Washburne
Fic Title: five stages of grief that zoe washburne never/probably/definitely went through (or, an elegy for a pilot)
Rating/Warning(s): NC-17 / sex, spoilers for Serenity
Genre: Angst, Romance
Special Rec: 23/30
Why This Must Be Read: Because like so many fans I was gutted by Serenity, and what happened to Wash. This is a painful piece about loss and picking yourself back up again, and as Zoe mourns her husband there is sadness, bitterness, but also hope.
A caress, like a tear sliding down her cheek, and then all at once, nothing. Like the airlock opened and oxygen got sucked out, and Zoe reckons this is what it feels like to be a shell, with an ocean of grief rushing through all the empty spaces. The moment hangs suspended, a vortex whorling in her belly, till it's almost like a bomb exploding in the soft cage of her body. She's containment for some core that's been burnt the hell out, and in the privacy of her loneliness, no crewmembers or hallucinations to peer in on her, Zoe gives up. Quietly, unobtrusively, with a little breath as her only announcement, she gives up.
Been so long since she could just be Zoe Washburne, wife, 'stead of Zoe Washburne, widow, warrior woman and first mate. Right now, it's all she can do to kneel back down to the floor and pick up the abandoned shirt, continue with her marital duties of folding her some shirts.
Ignore reality a bit more. And the rest of the time, keep chugging along as best she can. It's all anyone can ask of her, and it's all she can demand of herself.
Her hand grasps the soft, worn material and brings it up to her chest, then her face. There's silence as she breathes in the scent that's no longer there, the one imbedded in her mind so deep that whenever she passes by the engine room or sips some tea, the smell of grease and chamomile thrust her violently back into this place.
This place of mourning, of uncertainty and regret and memory lurking in all the shadows of a bridge that, when she closes her eyes, still glows red.
Zoe sits carefully on the bed where she and her husband once made love, keeps her ears pricked and body still.
And as the minutes wane on, each just another moment that she's living without him, Zoe leans her chin against her hands and tries not to hear his voice in her head.