When Wash comes up to him, York doesn’t expect much. For the most part, Wash is quiet, personable, but it’s late enough he’s surprised that the guy does, and sits next to him, like he’s got something to say.
“…Okay, man, out with it,” York laughs, bumping his shoulder against Wash’s with a little grin, giving him a raised eyebrow. No one does something like that without a reason, and he has a feeling it’s nothing terribly simple.
Wash doesn’t say anything at first though. How does he? It’s not like he can just go out with it right there, because York’ll laugh him out of the room in the most well-meaning way possible, but still.
God, this was just a stupid idea. He stands up with a heavy sigh, shaking his head, lips in a thin line. “Don’t worry about it, forgot what it was. I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?”
He’s all set to go, all the way up until York grabs his arm, and really, by the end of it, all he can think is how much that asshole owes him.
She turns around when he catches up to her, and Wash slows his jogging, matching his pace with hers, his hands in his pockets, just watching her with a little dorky grin, disregarding the way she just gives him this narrow-eyed look, suspicious.
“…Ease up, I’m not—”
“What do you want, Wash, I have things to do.”
“I— you know. Just wanted to say it’s a good day for weather.” No. That’s not— “I mean uh. A good weather da—”
Connie turns down the next hall with a sigh and a shake of her head, leaving Wash to watch her go.
The next time he tries it’s with York’s instruction and the assurance that no, this totally works on any girl.
Connie’s reading in a corner away from everyone else like she normally does, and he stands next to her, clearing his throat awkwardly, pleased that she doesn’t just shut him down like she did last time.
“That shirt’s very becoming on y—” he starts, and watches her stand up, giving him a thin-lipped look, pushing her book into his chest and walking off, making him a solid two for two right now.
Maybe York just isn’t giving him the right ones with the right starts. Maybe that’s it. He goes to York again, and comes back with a different set, not sure if it’s really gonna work.
They’re on mission in two hours and it’s not the time to do this, but damnit, he wants to all the same and he meets her in the gear room, grabbing his guns, doing prelim check-ups and glancing over at her.
“What is it, Wash?” Connie asks, barely looking at him, stripping her gun and working on the individual pieces, hair hanging in her eyes.
“Can I have your number? I lost mine.”
( this one always works, dude. )
The look she gives him could make paint flake, but she just huffs out a sigh, puts her gun together and scribbles something down on a piece of paper, shoving it into his hand on her way out.
“Didn’t think that anyone could lose the commlink number, Wash, but there — good job.”
She’s gone before he has a chance to tell her that’s not what I meant.
“Do you come here often?”
Connie just looks at him, disbelieving, like she can’t understand why he’s saying something so retarded, and by the way his expression changes, he realizes it too.
“…Yeah, uh. Never mind.”
It’s after a meeting she finally lets him talk, and it’s only because they’ve been sitting in companionable silence this whole time, shoulders barely touching. It’s stupid, really, but it’s comfortable, and the couch isn’t all that big so the room is limited, but neither of them seem to mind.
It’s not a surprise to her, though, when he finally shifts his weight a little, and inhales, but doesn’t say anything.
“…Why didn’t they call you Tennessee?” he asks finally, and the look she gives him is just as bad as the last one, only worse, when she smiles that patronizing little smiles she gets when he’d defended the Director.
“You’re — it makes sense, right? You’re a ten and I—”
To be fair, the timing is probably the worst there’s ever been, because that furious look she gives him makes him realize that meeting they just got out of knocked her down out from 10 and Tennessee took her place.
you’re a moron.
“Wait, Connie, that’s not what I—”
To be fair, he’s almost expecting the black eye she gives him, her knuckles slamming into him and he takes two sharp steps back, hissing. It’s nothing as bad as he’s had, but it still hurts like a bitch, and maybe it’s a little deserved, maybe not.
“That’s not what I meant,” he tries, and gets as far as reaching out before she punches him in his nose for good measure, too, and he takes the hint, tipping his head back and going to find some goddamn ice.
See, the thing about it is that he just hadn’t realized that Wash was really using them. He hadn’t. It wasn’t like he was trying to set him up for failure, he thought the poor bastard was kidding and — Jesus, was anyone really that dumb? ( Apparently, yes. )
York drags his hand over his face with a sigh, just looking at Wash for a long moment, before shaking his head.
“What! You gave these to me!” Wash practically shrieks, swinging a hand out, gesturing wildly. “I trusted you, man! None of these worked!”
…Well. Somehow, he has the feeling that, yeah, I was joking! isn’t going to be an option to say right now, when Wash’s face looks like someone beat him up.
He’s gotten this far. Can’t get any worse.
“I’m telling you, man, that last one works.”
The look Wash gives him is utterly disbelieving, his hands jammed in his pocket, that stubborn tilt to his jaw, half embarrassed— York can tell, and he feels a little bad, but the words slip out before he can ever hold it back.
“C’mere, Wash, okay, I’ll prove it works.”
He remembers the one that gave Wash the black eye and the bloody nose, of course, and he drags him off to the room down the hall, half-laughing when Wash’s feet almost stumble when he realizes where they’re going. At least that much is still a secret, then.
“…York, you don’t have to do this.”
Yeah, he’s gonna owe him after this, if Wash thinks that he’s sacrificing himself for the greater good or whatever, but right now, it’s too hilarious for words. He places Wash right behind the corner and tells him to stand right there, out of sight, and heads up to her door, knocking four times, grinning when she opens it.
“…What are you doing here?” Carolina drags a hand through her hair, squinting at him with a little frown, the door barely open, but enough for Wash to see. It’s late— she has a early morning meeting which is why she’s sleeping, and York is suicidal, Wash is certain of it.
“Why didn’t they name you Tennessee, sweetheart?” York starts, and Wash grips the wall, already ready to go get the ice for York’s black eye, because if CT had responded this badly, then Carolina was going to punch him through a wall.
“—York, cut the bull—”
“I mean, you’re the only ten I see here, sugar, it only makes sense.”
And Carolina just. Doesn’t punch him. She looks at him, that patiently irritated look that she gets when one of them says something utterly retarded, and then jerks a hand in York’s shirt ( here it comes— ) and then just drags him in the door, slamming it shut behind them, leaving Wash staring at the closed door, wondering how the fuck he got a black eye for his trouble and York got dragged into the boss’ room.