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Title: Bad For You
Author: Scrunchy
Rating: PG
Pairing: Wash/Zoe, Wash/candy
Disclaimer: These folks ain't mine. All I got is sky, and you can't take it from me.
Notes: I've never had a story based on Altoids before. Thanks also for to slodwick for the beta, and for talking me out of my mutinous shirt. And whoa, I think I just slashed us. Also for fox1013, who while calling me a whore, got me thinking about Firefly again.

Wash did it when he went into town to restock supplies. Not every time, just now and then. Captain had somehow gotten the perception that Wash wasn't the greatest negotiator when it came to haggling, and for the most part he was right, but Wash didn't mind. Mal wouldn't notice the small coins, the five or ten missing from what Wash should have paid for food or parts. He probably wouldn't have minded too much, either, but Wash liked the intrigue. After the skyplex incident, he wasn't planning on jumping into the fray again, so he got his vicarious thrills here, in a storefront on Persephone, buying a handful of sweet ginger candy. The little bag of deep amber drops would last him a long time hidden in a drawer in the cockpit.

On the long dusty ride back to the docks, Wash enjoyed a piece of the candy. It was sweet on his tongue and spicy at the back of his throat. It had been three months since he'd been able to get himself something to satisfy his sweet tooth. Three months of reconstituted proteins and grayish preserved vegetable material made it really difficult for him to maintain the slightest sense of happiness. Even Zoe had commented on his attitude. His stomach wasn't happy with him, and his tongue was downright kuang qi de 1 with grief. The candy dissolving in his mouth was an instant restorative, and he hummed around it as the mule bumped along towards Eavesdown.

A week or so down the road, Wash walked towards their bunk in the middle of the night. He'd reset course earlier that evening, but something had been off and he had to manually reconfigure the navigation data to keep them from spinning off into nothingness. It was quiet and dark in Serenity's belly; a slow, even clank told him Kaylee was still puttering around in the engine room. It was comforting, like a heartbeat

Their bunk was silent when the hatch creaked open, and Wash took care to move quickly down the ladder. Zoe slept soundly so rarely that he hated to wake her. With both his feet still on the bottom rung, the lights switched on and Zoe stared at him from the other side of the ladder.

"Gyeahhhhhahaha ... hi honey," Wash slid off the rung.

Zoe leaned around the ladder and kissed him. She was warm, sweet and spicy on Wash's tongue. He pulled back fast and raised an eyebrow at her. Her hands were fisted in the fabric of his shirt.

"I got your candy." She nodded her head over to where the little bag lay open on a shelf. Wash had just thought he'd finished them without realizing it, or that they'd fallen behind the drawer. It'd happened before.

"Are you gonna' kill me now?"

"Kill you?"

"For embezzlement."

"You bought this with Captain's money?"

Wash sometimes wondered what it'd be like if it was Zoe who had to take him out for whatever reason. Now he knew. In his own quarters, pinned in place by his wife, with his stupid shirt in her hands.

"How much?" she cocked an eyebrow.

"Five copper," he cringed.

Zoe let go of his shirt and chortled a little laugh.

"That ain't nothing. And if it keeps you happy ... I got no issue with it. Just share, husband." She had the most beautiful smile in the entire universe. Wash would bet his very life on the truth of that fact. She pushed his shirt down off his shoulders and pulled him towards the bed.

He kissed her, and she was better than candy.



scrunchy 2004