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nitro_is_ace wrote in milliways_bar
Slowly, the front door opens.

Usually, when the door opens to this particular spot, only one person comes through, or at best, one person and a dog. Today, two people return to Milliways, both looking as if they have gone through a war. Jack Harkness and Ace will never get medals for what happened on the gamestation, but there was a victory there nonetheless.

Ace had made a beeline stright back to the bar once in flight, and as the pair of split up and head their separate ways, Ace wanders over to the couch by the fireplace and plops down onto the cushions.

And stares.

A bit blankly.

It's been a long day.

(Ooc: Only Ace here, and she might be a bit odd at anyone who pokes.)

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A little while after that, the front door opens again.

Wash hesitates, for a good long while, before slipping inside, closing it behind him as he searches the bar.

When he sees Ace -- and no Niska -- he relaxes by a fraction and offers her a small smile, with an even smaller wave.

For a bit, it's like she doesn't see him. Perhaps she doesn't. Perhaps she's still seeing Daleks and contestants and that hellish Gamestation.

Then she blinks.

And blinks again.

There's a tiny wave.

Like she's still wondering if she's really here, or if she's... what? Somewhere else? This would be an odd definition of heaven. An even weirder one of hell. Purgatory, that fits. Kinda.

Okay, this? This is not good.

Wash's smile fades. Carefully, he makes his way over to the couch, resting his hands on chair backs and tabletops and the sides of booths as he goes. The cushions bounce a little as he plops down.

"Everything shiny, xiăo mèimèi?" he asks, watching her as he puts his elbows on his knees.

"Shiny like not dead shiny? Oh, very shiny." There's a strong note of cheerfulness in her voice. Or is that hysteria? She's smiling, isn't that good?
"I think. It could be unshiny. Deshiny? Shineless. I'm not sure." Daleks don't have a stun setting, that much she knows.

She knows other things too. She just doesn't know the most important thing.

He's paling a little now. Cheerfulness, it could be noted, doesn't usually involve babbling at quite that pitch, and --

Not dead, she said.

"What happened?"

He's staring.

"Daleks. Daleks everywhere. They're supposed to be dead. Very unshiny. But they're like cockroaches, except they dont' scuttle. And they're even harder to kill, didy'know that? Humans are easier. Too easy. They killed all the civilians. I thought they'd be safe, but they ambushed them. Ambushed me."

The fire catches her attention and she stares at it instead of Wash.

"Didn't obey orders."


When Wash finally speaks, and it's quite a while before he does, it's something very quiet and probably very rude in Mandarin.

He reaches for her hand, clasps it in a gentle squeeze.

"But you're here now."

It's weak, as reassurances go. But it's all he can offer.

"Yeah, here now. If I'm not dreaming. I don't think I am." She muses, her grip on his hand tight.

"Do you think She'll be mad? I didn't say goodbye. Don't remember that, anyway. Don't remember how it happened."

"She -- "

All color's fled from his face.

She'd just said she wasn't dead. She said.

Unsteadily, "She wasn't when I didn't."

And both hands around hers now, likely tight enough to hurt, eyes wide and too bright.

"Oh. Good." She sounds distracted, all of her thoughts bumping into each other in a disordered fashion as interrupted thought processes try to settle back down again.

"S'not good t'piss off Endless. Even unintentionally. Though maybe I'll be sending her my hands?" The last turns out as a question, and she gives Wash a sidelong look. Ow.

Wash looks down, notices, and immediately lets go.


He doesn't look up.

She hugs him instead. She certainly doesn't feel dead, with a hearbeat and all.

But does that count in Milliways?

"What for? You weren't there. Daleks' fault. Or mine. Didn't watch my back. Don't know who to blame the rest of it on." You aren't supposed to just wake up from being shot by a Dalek. Ever. It doesn't happen.

Except when it does, evidently.

Wash isn't the only one to hesitate and look around before stepping all the way into Milliways.

But when Zoe sees the two of them, there's no hesitation, only a concerned questioning look as she reaches them.

Gently, "Hey."

Wash is hugging Ace back as tight as he dares, eyes shut firmly and breath a little uneven.

When he hears Zoe, he opens his eyes and looks up. They're still shining; the smile he gives her is more of a twitch of the mouth, automatic.

"Hi, baby."

Ace looks up, the pattern of tread from the gamestation deck plating still outlined on one cheek where she had fallen, the vaguely unpleasant smell of gunpowder and explosives mixed with the more decidedly unpleasant smell of flashburned refugees still following her.

The coat looks entirely too big for her right now.

"'Lo Zoe." The smile is real though. Maybe not entirely all there, but it's real.

As real as she can make things be at the moment, anyway.

There's room enough for Zoe on the other side of Ace--a bit of a squeeze, thanks to the bulge, but comfortable enough. She settles into it, one arm going around Ace's shoulders.

"Ace, what the hell happened?"

"Daleks. They were goin' for Earth again. Lots, and lots, an... lots an lots of Daleks."

It's warm here. Warmer than on the gamestation.

"Lots of Daleks." Then she smiles, and it is a very sharp, ferocious smile. "There were less Daleks before the end."

That earns a somewhat more genuine smile from Wash, however small and wobbly it might be.

He moves back, taking her hand again: carefully this time.

And he doesn't say a word.

Zoe can't help but smile in response to that, as well.
How many of them can we make die?
It's not pretty.

She doesn't know too much about Daleks, but enough to know they're bad news. She squeezes Ace's shoulder gently.

"That's our girl. You gonna be okay, or should one of us be headin' back home t' see if Simon's busy?"

"I'm shiny. Or unshiny. We were discussing that. I'm not sure how to tell. I should know, right? I should know." She repeats, as if to convince herself. She flew here, in her own TARDIS, she remembers that.

Unless she dreamed it. Or made it up. The human mind is excellent at making up things to hide the truth.

Or maybe it is the truth.

Maybe she wants both sides of the argument to shut up for a while.


"You would."

He's nodding, a bit, and sounds as if he's not entirely aware he's speaking out loud.

It's a small, foolish hope.

His gaze is back on their clasped hands.

"You'd know."

Somewhere in the last few seconds, Zoe's caught on.

That would likely account for the fact that she's also gone pale.

Her arm tightens around Ace, and her other hand settles on Wash's wrist.

"...Oh, honey."

She's not even sure which one of them she's talking to.

"I think it's alright. I'm pretty sure. I... think. Therefor I am.


She just wishes everything was a little less wobbly. She also wishes she could pretend the last day or so was a dream.

It will be a dream. Probably for the next week or so. Or more. Fun times.

"Shi a. Yeah."

With his other hand, Wash reaches up to stroke her hair. He swallows, hard, then takes a deep breath.

"You can come stay on board with us tonight if you want. If it'll help."


Zoe smiles again, but it's weaker this time.

"Still got that bunk set up."

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