serendipitous : firefly improv

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Disclaimer: Firefly and all related elements, characters and indicia © Mutant Enemy Productions and 20th Century Fox Television, 2003. All Rights Reserved. All characters and situations—save those created by the authors for use solely on this website—are copyright Mutant Enemy Productions and 20th Century Fox Television.

Ugly Boys
by dafnap

Skin all cracked, dry and stubbly. Runs his fingers down the side of his face and tries to wipe of the black smudge at the base of his chin. Fingers barely scrape at it, barely wipes anything away. He takes two more swipes at it but he knows it's useless; he gets this off another one will appear by morning. Sighing, he dips the razor back into the tin of soapy water, swirling it around—getting it all shiny and clean.

Brings it back up to his face he drags the razor down the right side, down the scars that will heal and a few that won't, no matter how hard he tries. Zoe doesn't ask why he bothers to shave, not when there are bombs and air raids to worry about. She says it's a waste of time, waste of water and he just rolls her eyes, "Gotta make myself pretty," he would smile, dragging the razor across his jawline, "God wouldn't want no ugly boys doin' his work."

Zoe would just shake her head (or smile, or sigh but the answer would always be the same), "Don't matter if you're clean shaven with a hole in your head sir."

Dipping the razor back into the water he would laugh roughly, and she would leave, off to shoot something, somwhere. The sharp edge would ring against the side of the bowl, "Yeah," whispering to no one he brings back up the razor and presses it against his throat, "Yeah," dragging up against his adam's apple and up the side of his cheek until it's barren.

Slipping the foamy edge back into the water, watching the soap swirl in the tin he glances back into the mirror and doesn't like what he sees.

...picks up the razor again and takes another stab at changing the man in the mirror with his black smudges and the blood that never washes out and the specks of bone and ash that blend into his hair. Takes another stab at makin' himself clean.

God don't want no ugly boys.

Another dip into the tin, another swipe at his face, five minutes out of a 24 hour day. It'll come back tomorrow, the stubble and the grit and the black, and tomorrow Zoe will shake her head (sigh. laugh.) when he fills up his tin with recycled water and soap; and his razor will clank against the metal and drag down his face: it'll come back tomorrow.

It always does.

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