DISCLAIMER: Firefly characters are not mine, no money being made, no infringement intended. FEEDBACK: Printed out and re-read until the letters wear off at email@example.com AUTHOR NOTES: At the end.
"No." Simon stared across the heavy wooden table, mouth hanging open in a rather attractive manner. "No."
Wash nodded vigorously, eyes daring the doctor to believe him. "Yes. Full blood. But you can't go around mentioning it. Tippy-top secret."
"But - I mean - does everyone know? Does the captain?"
"Cap'in weaseled it out of him. Or Zoe did - you know, she never was quite specific about who found out first." Wash leaned back, finger tapping his lips. "It could have been Zoe, which means she told Mal first..."
Simon broke in. "Does Book know? Wouldn't that be an issue?"
"Of course it would - our Shepard has to bite his tongue enough around Inara. So he doesn't. And you can't be telling Kaylee."
"Nooo. Of course not." A vision flowed across Simon's mind's eye - a sun-struck Kaylee draping her hero-victim in wreaths of flowers. Or colored bits of spare parts packaging cut to look like flowers. Simon shook his head to dispel the uncomfortable thought. Better to think of his sister...
"Do - do you suppose that...it's something River picks up on?"
Wash raised his eyebrows. "And that's why she's so squirrelly around him? Could be. I'm serious, though. Don't go trying to explain it to her or anything. You can't talk about it. He's...sensitive."
Simon's mouth fell open again. "He's what?" As if the statue in Mudville had been easier to accept.
"Sensitive. You know. Because of the ears. His parents had them surgically altered, when he was a kid. And they cut them too short. Which accounts for the, you know, the -"
Wash abruptly broke off, eyes going past Simon to the aft passageway. Simon, eyes still on Wash, began to turn. A heavy blow to his shoulder rocked Simon back in his seat and drove a grunt from the young doctor. Oblivious, Jayne kept on walking, pausing at the cooling cupboard long enough to snag out the common pitcher of synthmilk. Ignoring the other two men, Jayne tilted his head back and drained the last third of the pitcher in three swallows. Setting the empty container back in the cooler, Jayne let out a long belch and shut the door.
Simon faced Wash again. "Accounts for?"
Wash gestured at the merc's retreating back. "You know. That."
"Yeah. Now, don't tell anyone. Zoe would kill me."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The 'tippy top secret' line is stolen from S. Andrew Swann's Specters of the Dawn. For the record, 'Tippy-top Secret' is a higher classification than 'Top Secret' (or 'Most Secret' for those across the pond) and all rabbits have Tippy-Top Secret clearance.
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