MAL (with some difficulty)I'm not... gonna say it...(turns to Wash)... again. Shipboard romance complicates things.
WASH For who? For you?
MAL For everyone.
WASH Yeah? Well, what about lo --(electric surge)...VEAAAHH!
MAL (fighting the pain)Ain't against it as a rule. But in a situation such as ours, tends to cause problems. Splits loyalties.
WASH(hmmmph)Know what I think?
MAL What? What? What do you think, Wash? 'cause I'm interested.
NISKA You make lie of my reputation...
MAL (to Wash)You were gonna say something to me. What was it?
WASH (woozily)Wha -- ? Oh. This "policy" you got against shipboard relationships... that's just you projecting your own intimacy issues onto everyone else.
NISKA I show you my reputation is no lie. Is truth --
MAL Yeah? Well that's just downright insightful. It surely is.
Niska nods to Torturer -- big ZAP. Wash coughs (maybe some blood?) Looks for a second like he doesn't know where he is;
MAL (cont'd) Or, could be it's a mite simpler than that. Could be I just don't think you're good enough for Zoe.
WASH (finally registers) I don't give a good gorram what you think.
MAL Don't you?
MAL See, I think you do care. Think you care quite a lot.
WASH You're wrong.
Niska nods. Pains ensues. Wash blinks helplessly and confusedly at Niska and Torturer. Mal presses on:
MAL You know me and Zoe got a history -- and I figure you gotta be asking yourself some fairly fundamental questions about the nature of that history...
Wash laughs weakly to himself, isn't buying it.
WASH You never slept with my wife.
MAL You know that for a fact, do you? You ever ask her?
More electricity. Mal rebounds. Wash not so much.
MAL (cont'd) We were together good long time before you come around, Wash. And she is a damn fine lookin' woman.
Wash rallies enough sass to respond, despite his weakening condition:
WASH Never happened... know how I know?
MAL How. Tell me, Wash.
WASH The whole "captain" thing isn't Zoe's trouble. It's the guy-she-never-slept-with thing. Hell, Mal -- I wish you had slept with her! Then at least she'd be over it!
MAL You want me to sleep with her? That make you feel better?
WASH It might!
MAL Imagine it'd do wonders for her, too.
WASH Screw you!
MAL Get in line.
ZAAAAP! Wash starts to go. He's cracking, starts to pass out, maybe never to come back.
MAL (cont'd) Okay. Gonna do it, then. Wash? Wash! First thing, we get back -- I'm taking your wife into my bed. Gonna get me a piece'a --
Wash's eyes SNAP OPEN he lets out a PRIMAL YELL.