Word count: 500+
Warning: Might be a little too close to baby!fic for some.
Summary: Set sometime after Hearts of Gold. Part of Zoe and Wash's on-going conversation about family.
“There's this thing about pilots. You might have noticed it.”
Zoe drew one leg up, setting it over Wash's thighs as she nestled her head against his chest. “What?” she drawled, feeling lazy and languorous after her fall. “That they wanna talk when a body is tryin' to fall asleep?”
“You've sexed up enough pilots to discover this as a general trend? Ow.” Rubbing the ache from his just-tweaked nipple, he continued, “No, actually, I'm referring to our sense of timing.”
Crossing his legs at the ankles, he set his free hand behind his head. His other arm cradled Zoe to his side. “Well, good pilots have it. And I would say that I'm a good pilot. Wouldn't you?
“Tolerable,” she said dryly.
“No, I'm tolerable as a husband, barely. But I think I can say, with all modesty, that I'm a good pilot.”
“Which gives you this timing thing.”
“Wash, have to say, as you're chattering on an' on while I'm attemptin' to get some shut-eye, that I'm not too impressed with your particular sense of timing.”
“That's because you're caught up in the short term. I'm working with an eye on the long term.” His hand came out from behind his head to sketch out arcane shapes in the air above them. “A universal sense of time even. Space too.” He nodded. “That whole continuum.”
Lifting her head, she made a fist of the hand resting on his chest and set her chin upon in. Now looking at him eye to eye, she raised one interrogative brow.
His hand came down out of the air to rest a moment on her shoulder. Then it slid down, his wrist twisting as his fingers went to her armpit, their tips finding the tiny lump beneath her skin. Her contraceptive implant.
Eyes fixed on hers, he said, “I think it's time to get rid of this.”
Her chin came up off her fist, both her brows rising as she stared at him. “Wash?” she murmured.
“You could ask Simon to do it,” he replied, reaching up to push her hair back from her face. “Tomorrow even. Or, if that's getting someone a little too close to home involved – not that I think he wouldn't be completely discreet – we'll be setting down on Persephone the day after. Could go to the clinic there.”
“Are you sure?”
“Very.” He quirked a sideways smile. “I'm also scared completely out of my mind, but that's just my common sense talking.”
Her gaze roved over his face and found not a trace of doubt in his expression. His honesty impelled her to say, “Just so you know. I'm scared too.
His eyes widened in astonishment. “You are?”
Instead of answering directly, she laid her head back down on his chest. She listened to his steady heartbeat for a moment before saying softly, “Heard my mama talking with her sister once, over tea at the galley table. Said having a child was like having your heart walking around unprotected outside your body.”
Wash grunted, then said, “Might know a little bit what that feels like.”
She ran a soothing hand over his side and belly. “I'll ask Simon. Tomorrow.”
He drew in a deep breath then let it out in a shaky gust.
“Shiny,” he said.