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30 January 2006 @ 11:00 pm
Mal/Zoe : Seven Stages  
*wibbles* My first foray into the Joss Whedon 'verse, I'm incredibly nervous about this but I hope it's alright ♥.

Title: Seven Stages
Length: 505 words
Fandom: Firefly
Disclaimer: Don’t own the Joss ‘verse, sadly :(
Pairings: Mal/Zoe, Wash/Zoe
Rating: PG-13 (implied sexual themes)
Summary: The overwhelming loyalty – lust - he feels, will be his comeuppance.
A/N: SPOILERS: for Serenity. A little bit abstract, a little bit vague. Beta’d by the wonderful mezzaling. Any other mistakes are my own :D

Feedback is <3

Seven Stages


They document her husband’s death upon the ever-growing list of the unexplainable. Alongside abstract words and incredulous labels of everything that is not part of their world:

Geography – of scar and wound.

Country – of origin and birthplace.

Border – of principle and weapon.

All nuances of little meaning, of little worth and of little sense.

All scruples entirely avoidable, if one tried in earnest.

He should not have died, she knows this.

The fault is hers and hers alone.


Zoe grieves for a man that was.

She mourns through unconventional means of the damned.

She suffers through strange ways of the unknown.

She laments through fruitful plunder of the heist.

It is all she refuses to acknowledge, refuses to know.

Somehow, it is enough: she ignores, she succeeds.


They barter subtlety; they draw lines.

She compartmentalises the mayhem and the mishaps.

He buries the happenstance and the has-beens.

And together they confess, in the unlikely sanctuary of metallic hull, of loss and of ruin.

It is quiet: a thunderous silence imbued of heaving whisper and unearthly prayer; punctuated with pillaging mouth and fumbling grasp.

They strike a deal; they make a vow.

They never speak of this again.


Mal aches for a woman that is.

He yearns with a shameful passion spun of cloying need to comfort.

He desires with a criminal urge born of sordid longing to protect

He craves with an insatiable hunger derived of a must to divest of pain.

But he does not understand how to act upon the principle, how to approach the notion.

The overwhelming loyalty – lust - he feels, will be his comeuppance.


They suppress their want; they swallow their pride.

She operates under orders, fuelled by a staunch pugnacity that has barely surfaced.

He issues those commands, aware of her conflicting inclinations for revenge and discipline.

And together they duel, under the lucid shroud of ceaseless sky, with fury and regret.

It is a bemusing battle: an archaic strength propelled by her throwing him off-balance; a sporadic bout of rage from him rattling her weary bones.

Apology looms unvoiced; reason lingers unconvinced.

We couldn’t save Wash. We haven’t saved each other. I can’t save you.

As always, it is forgotten by morning. They are business people, after all:

Certain protocol must be adhered to.


It manifests as a growing penchant for friction and zealous greed.

It results in a graze of unbecoming stubble against velvet skin.

It ends in a cyclonic salute of bitter words and tender release.

Sadness, it seems, is objective in the arms of another.


They reach an agreement; they endorse a compromise.

She is no longer troubled of disrespect or of pretence.

He is not consumed by an eroding sense of self-reproach anymore.

And together, through simple devices and resolute treads, they learn to hope.

Zoe does not grieve, as per say. She never lost Wash, he is still with her.

You’re going to be alright, my Autumn Flower.

I know baby, I know.

Perhaps this is acceptance.
Sarah: malcapnzoe on January 30th, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
I thoroughly enjoyed this work. Fantastic!!
arachnophobic;: { firefly ; let's get married! }ishibishispider on January 30th, 2006 09:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Amazing
Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed it ♥
apple juice, man, fucking delicious!: they are the generation - bluerosefairybluerosefairy on January 30th, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
We couldn’t save Wash. We haven’t saved each other. I can’t save you.

That, right there? Was my "oh" moment. Every story should have one - a moment where you have to stop reading and go "yes, that's exactly how it is".

Loved this. Sparse, stark, and so very Mal and Zoe. Especially the "guilt" section. I think that's my favorite bit.
vikkers on January 30th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)
Definitely agree...
you said it. definitely an 'oh' moment. awesome. there's not enough of their relationship explored in the fiction i've seen here, and i'd love to see more of it...excellent.
arachnophobic;: { carl bengtsson ; we're going down }ishibishispider on January 30th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Definitely agree...
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it :D. I agree, there's not enough Mal/Zoe out there, but hopefully there'll be some more out there soon ♥
arachnophobic;: { fashion ; ignore the smoke }ishibishispider on January 30th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very much! I'm very glad you enjoyed it!

That, right there? Was my "oh" moment. Every story should have one - a moment where you have to stop reading and go "yes, that's exactly how it is".

This makes my heart squeal! I love it when I get feedback like this, it makes me feel like I've achieved my purpose as not just a fanfic writer, but as a writer overall :D
ladyglorialadygloria on January 30th, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
Never been a Mal/Zoe fan...but this...this is just incredible. Bravo!
arachnophobic;: { angela's ashes ; ZOMGZ }ishibishispider on January 30th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! Even though you're not a Mal/Zoe fan, I'm glad you appreciated this ♥
{oh these tumbled stars}tumbledstars on January 30th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
Lovely piece... loved the organization and the simpleness. Sigh. You are just so... you... ♥
arachnophobic;: { cintia ; painting charcoal faces }ishibishispider on January 30th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you dear! Ssdjkfhsdfk you are always so supportive ♥!
{oh these tumbled stars}tumbledstars on January 30th, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)
Of course I am! I love you :D
Kaitlynfrodolyn on January 31st, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
fantastic, brilliant, this is a concept i have been playing with, the seven stages of grief, but i really adore this, kudos.
arachnophobic;: { alias ; blow me away }ishibishispider on January 31st, 2006 04:54 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! The idea struck me and I was just compelled to use it. I'm glad you enjoyed this ♥
Meghansupermeghan on January 31st, 2006 04:14 am (UTC)
Wow, this is really good! I don't like fic, but Wash/Zoe, I had to read. Also, using the stages of grieveance is a neat idea. I was reading about them just today (in Michael J. Fox's autobiography, but STILL).

This is very beautiful and poetic. The one thing I would change is to put a comma after "alright" in "You’re going to be alright my Autumn Flower."
arachnophobic;: { natalia ; gone with the wind }ishibishispider on January 31st, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
Thanks very much! MICHAEL J. FOX ♥! I love him so!

Ooh, thanks for pointing that out. I'll go correct it :D!
paper/snow/silver/goldjeauexe on February 2nd, 2006 06:12 am (UTC)

That was awesome...

And I don't know what you were writing about, but it was TEH awesome ♥!!
arachnophobic;: { cedric/hermione ; don't leave me }ishibishispider on February 3rd, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC)
Aw! Thank you darling ♥
Cheryl McC: attitudemgsmurf on February 7th, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC)
This was much more a poem than short story, and wonderfully done. Will have to re-read sometime to grasp the other layers and meaning beneath.
arachnophobic;ishibishispider on February 10th, 2006 07:59 am (UTC)
It was more verged towards a poem, I'm glad you liked it! Thanks very much :D
Sounds like "Kay-nuh"razycrandomgirl on May 24th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
my "Oh" moment "You’re going to be alright, my Autumn Flower.

I know baby, I know."

I actually turned away from the computer screen, because my heart was hurting. ;)