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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Sequel to my "Forward Motion" series, and also references events in my "Family Dynamics" series. Post-BDM. -- Simon and River get closure, while River gives Simon some tough love. And Inara makes a choice she has to live with. Mal/Inara
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1176 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N: As promised, this is the last installment of Pursued, although there will be a short epilogue, probably posted in about a day. Thanks again to all who read and responded - and yes, for those of you who are interested, I have another series and some one-shots in the pipeline. Thanks for asking for more!
The cemetery was as ostentatious as Simon remembered and although he wanted to be disgusted at the sight of all the large and cumbersome tombstones, the only emotion he could manage at the moment was sadness.
He and River stood over their mother’s grave, hand in hand. They had been staring at the plot for a few minutes, standing close as a light, misty rain had started to fall. Simon watched River closely as she took in the scene before her, worried that it might be too soon for this, but she was strong and although he could see the tears pooling in her eyes, her gaze did not waver from the large stone tablet that outlined their mother’s life.
Quietly, she slipped her hand out of his and moved forward, walking up to the cold block of marble. Reaching out a slightly trembling hand, Simon watched as her delicate fingers outline each letter of their mother’s name: Regan Donaldson Tam. He watched as she did it over and over again and finally saw her shoulders shake with a heavy sob, before sinking to the ground in front of the stone, crying.
Simon was by her side in an instant, his arms around her shoulders. Pulling her close, he wrapped his coat around her trembling form. “She’s gone, Simon,” she choked out between tears, her face red with emotion.
Rocking her gently, Simon tried to soothe her. “I know, mei mei. I know.” He was fighting his own tears, but they weren’t for their dead mother. They were for his sister. His sister, who had lost so much already, who’d had to endure more than anyone, was now having to grieve for a parent who had left them so suddenly. Simon wished he felt worse. He wished he felt the same pain as his sister, the same anguish at standing over her grave. But the truth was that part of their life was one he had tried to forget. He had tried to rationalize that their parents had never really loved them. It made the separation so much easier.
“She loved us.” River made the statement and Simon’s heart broke a little more as he knew she was trying to reassure him.
In answer, Simon reached into his coat pocket and pulled out the folded letter that had arrived with the box a few weeks ago. Simon had yet to share this letter with his sister as he had wanted to wait until she was a bit stronger; now seemed as good a time as any.
Sitting back on his heels, he extended it to her and said, “This letter came with the package from home.” Gazing at the note with apprehension, Simon watched as River fought her urge to resist reading its contents. Finally, he said, “It’s from mom.”
With an even shakier hand than before, River took the letter and unfolded it slowly. Wiping her eyes with the back of her sleeve, she began to read:
My darling children,
My guess is that when you receive this, I will be gone. I want you to know that while the last year has been difficult, I do not fear death, but welcome the peace and salvation it will bring.
However, I do regret a great many things and while I realize it is not healthy to dwell on past mistakes, there is one in particular that I most try and atone for. River and Simon, it was never my intent, or that of your father’s, to hurt you so deeply. We never in our wildest imaginings could have guessed what the Alliance was capable of, and we never thought something so evil could touch our family. We realize that we were not the best parents. We should have been more loving, more caring, more compassionate, more forgiving … were I given the chance to try again, I would. I would go back in time and hug you both any time you cried, kiss away any pain, laugh at any joke, revel in any success … I would if I could, my darlings, please know that.
But since it is not possible and since I will not live long enough to ever make it up to you, all I can tell you is that I love you both. I have loved you from the minute you were both brought into this ‘verse and I have loved you for the entirety of your lives. Even when we were upset or hurt or angry with each other, my love for you has never wavered. And wherever I am now, know that my love is still just as strong and growing stronger everyday.
River, I wish so many things for you. You are the most beautiful, compassionate, intelligent girl I have ever known and I hope that one day you can again see the joy in this life, feel the happiness that was taken away. I hope that you have children of your own one day and I know that, if you do, they will be loved with a passion stronger than the stars. I know that you will continue to care for your brother, as he never could quite manage to take care of himself. And I know that in time your scars, your pain, will heal. I only wish I could be there to help.
Simon, you are already more than any mother could wish for a son. You are a brilliant man with more compassion than I ever thought possible and I have marveled at your ability to care for others so selflessly your whole life. You always reminded me of the kind of person I aspired to be and I only wish I’d had time to grown into the mother you could have been just as proud of. I know you will continue to care for your sister and I know that no matter how difficult your new life becomes you will face each challenge with a clear head and each joy with a full heart.
Please know that I will always love you and I look forward to the day when we can meet again and live as a family.
Love, your mother.
River lowered the letter, fresh tears running in paths down her cheeks. Biting back a sob, she again leaned into Simon’s embrace and he encircled her small form, holding her tightly. “She loved us,” River whispered, over and over again as she cried. “She loved us.”
It took until about the fifth repetition of the simple phrase for Simon to realize his sister was right, and for his tears to start to fall.
Within another week, they were able to again get off the ground. Mal had managed to find some work for them near Whitefall and when Serenity lifted off from Osiris, with River again at the helm, the entire crew breathed a collective sigh of relief. They all felt better riding through the stars.
Just a few days into their trip, River and Mal were on the bridge sitting quietly when a wave came through. Answering the beep with barely an afterthought, River flipped on the screen and her breath caught in her throat. Staring at her through tired eyes was her father. Glancing quickly to the readouts on her screens, she realized that the message was recorded and let out a slow breath.
Pausing the image, she waited for her brother to join her, before playing it from the beginning. As Simon entered the room, Mal quietly exited, not wanting to interrupt the siblings.
Standing behind his sister’s chair, Simon placed a gentle hand on her shoulder and could feel the tension that riddled her small form. Leaning forward, his hand hovered over the playback switch. Turning to face her, he whispered, “Let’s at least hear what he has to say.”
She nodded once and he turned the recording on.
“River, Simon, I hope this message finds you well.” His gravelly voice sounded gruffer than usual and both children knew it was from his grief. “I wanted to let you know that I received a message about a week ago from some of officials at the Academy. I thought you’d be interested in seeing it.” He paused and cast his eyes down to the floor, before again looking back at them. “I hope we will see each other again, soon.” His image winked out and was replaced by a simple, typed message, only a few sentences long.
Mr. Tam, Due to recent events and the discovery of certain illegal activities having previously taken place at the Academy, we would like to inform you and your family that both warrants for your children, Simon and River Tam, have been rescinded, effective immediately. Thank you.
Simon and River both kept re-reading the screen until they could have recited the words. Turning back to her brother, River flung her arms around his neck, holding him fiercely. “It’s over, Simon,” she cried to him, her voice breaking with happy sobs. “It’s over.”
At a loss for words, Simon simply held her back.
Simon studied the capture, he couldn’t stop looking at it. It had come in the box with a few other things that Simon remembered. But it was this small picture that had gotten most of his attention. As he watched it automatically replay, he had to wince at the pain brought on by the scene: it was taken the day before River had been sent to the Academy so many years ago. They had gone for a family outing and had taken this capture of their picnic.
Simon watched River most of all – she was happy, undeniably so and his heart ached to see her like that again. They had had such hope that day, hope that River would be taught all the ‘verse had to offer and hope that when she graduated she would do great things with her life. But his parents had made that impossible. Simon tried not to study them too closely; the longer he read his father’s and mother’s reactions the sicker he felt. Oblivious, that was the only way to describe them, in this image and every other aspect of their lives. Simon didn’t want to remember them as horrible parents, especially now that their mother was gone, but they were and that was the memory he would carry with him forever.
“You have to forgive them.”
River’s soft voice startled him. Glancing toward the door to his bunk, he saw her standing there, leaning heavily against the jamb. Placing down the slim screen, he said, “Mei mei, what are you doing up? It’s late.”
River quickly came in and sat next to him on his bunk, looking at him with those ridiculously large brown eyes. Simon was happy and sad all at once; happy that this nightmare might finally be behind them and sad that they, that she, had had to live through it all. Reaching up a gentle hand, he cupped her cheek.
River grabbed his hand with her own and held his gaze. Her eyes were strong and clear and Simon was grateful. “You have to forgive them,” she repeated, her sincerity evident through her unwavering gaze. Simon glanced to the forgotten capture, swallowing the bile that rose in his throat at the sight of his parents and the memory of what they had done – or rather what they had refused to do.
He knew his sister wanted him to move past this; to let his anger go, but he couldn’t. He had held onto it for years and he liked the fire it fanned in his belly. Looking back to her with sad eyes, he sighed quietly and asked, “Why?”
River gave him a trademark “little sister” look that almost made him laugh. Taking his hand from her cheek, she squeezed both of his hands in hers and answered, “Because, if you don’t, it’ll destroy you.”
Shaking his head, Simon pulled away from her and cast his eyes to the floor. “River, I can’t forgive them for what they did. What they did to you, I just can’t.”
“They didn’t know, Simon,” she told him quietly, still looking at him but making no move to resume their contact. She had known this would not be an easy conversation and she was ready for it. He just needed time.
Simon turned a disbelieving gaze on her and said, “How can you say that? Sure, they didn’t know when we sent you to that place, but I told them, mei mei. I told them as soon as I figured it out that you were hurting, in pain and they still refused to do anything.” Simon’s anger was on the rise and he clenched his fists at his sides to keep from screaming at the top of his lungs. The betrayal of that day, of the day his parents had called him paranoid and told him to stop looking for his sister was still with him and it still hurt.
“They didn’t understand,” River explained, still trying to remain calm in the face of her brother’s pain and anguish. She hated to see him so conflicted, so angry, but he had to work through this, and she would stay by him every step of the way.
His look of disbelief didn’t get that much better, so River elaborated. “They didn’t understand you and I, our relationship. They were jealous of us.”
“River,” Simon said, his voice an exasperated sigh, as he shook his head, certain she was again talking nonsense.
“Simon,” River answered him, matching his tone and forcing him to look at her. She reached out to grab his hand and he didn’t pull it away. “They never understood how we could be so close. When we were little, they never could fathom how we managed to finish each other’s sentences or communicate with barely a word. It scared them and it hurt them.” River turned her mind back to a time and place far away from the present. Just an instance, one of many, when Simon and River had both awoken in the middle of the night, scared by the same nightmare. Simon had come to her and stayed with her through the night. The next morning when their parents found them, they hadn’t been able to understand in the slightest how their two children could be bothered by the same dream at the same time. And they didn’t know why neither of them had come to their mother or father for comfort.
“It’s hard for a mother to face the fact that her daughter doesn’t need her,” River elaborated, her mind still replaying that scene from so many years ago. Pulling herself away from the memory, she squeezed her brother’s hand and met his gaze. “And it’s even harder for a father to realize that his son won’t rely on him. They just didn’t understand.”
Simon held her gaze, wanting to discount her theory, but knowing that he couldn’t. River wasn’t only hugely intuitive, she had been able to spend a few moments with their mother before she’d died, and he knew their mom had confided in her. He guessed some of what she was saying had been a part of that brief interlude.
Shaking his head, Simon muttered, “It still doesn’t excuse what they did. What they did to you.”
Sadly, River told him, “They didn’t do it Simon. The Blue Hands did. I know it’s easier for you to be mad at mother and father, but it’s illogical. They didn’t hurt me.”
“But they refused to listen to me,” Simon told her fiercely, turning and grabbing her other hand. She had to understand, she had to support him in his hatred; than it would be justified. “If they had just listened, we could have gotten you out of there sooner. You wouldn’t have had to suffer so much.”
“The damage was done, Simon,” River said, reaching up and placing a light hand against his cheek. “You came for me as soon as you could and that’s all that matters.” She watched her brother’s eyes fill with tears and saw the first ones start to trail down his face. Wiping her thumb across his cheek, she caught the first few drops and whispered, “You have to forgive them.”
Simon held her gaze, but refused to give in. Unable to speak as his emotions had gotten the best of him, he shook his head and dropped his eyes to study the bed. River knew this battle was far from over. Trying a different tactic, she asked, “For me?”
The pain that reflected in his eyes as he snapped his gaze back up to look at her made River’s heart thud in her chest. She knew he would never readily deny her anything, but this was something he could not and would not do. Shaking his head again, his voice broke as he said, “I’m sorry, mei mei, but I can’t. Not even for you.”
River cried silent tears along with him. She didn’t want him to be in so much pain, but she wanted even more for him to move past this hurt so that he could lead the life full of love he was meant to. She had seen a glimpse of that life and she wanted it, for Simon, more than she had ever wanted anything for him before.
Taking a deep breath and knowing that her next statement could be unforgivable, she said quietly, “For Kaylee?”
She had thought that Simon couldn’t look more pained, but she’d been wrong. He recoiled from her as she said the words and River bit back a sob. She didn’t want to make him do this, to make him see how damaging his hate was, but she would. If only to make him realize that the hatred wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth sacrificing his future for.
“What,” he whispered, his voice shaking from both sadness and disbelief.
“You love her,” River said, watching as Simon nodded, still uncertain as to how this affected his girlfriend. “And you’re going to marry her someday.”
It was a statement, not a question, but Simon still clarified. “I hope to, yes, if she’ll have me,” he finished quietly, his voice trailing off as he put into words one of his deepest insecurities.
River smiled then and thought, he still really is a boob. “She will,” she assured him, thinking on the moment when Kaylee would literally make him the happiest man alive. “She would marry you over and over again for the rest of her life, you don’t have to worry about that.”
Simon met her happy eyes and had to smile slightly. He knew River spoke from a place of clairvoyance and that bolstered his confidence just a tad. If River could see that aspect of his future that clearly, than maybe there really was a happy ending in all of this.
“And you’ll have children,” River continued, knowing that it was probably detrimental to share so much of the future with Simon, but knowing it was imperative to make her point. “A beautiful boy and then a beautiful girl,” River explained, delighting as his eyes widened at the prospect. She knew her brother and how much he wanted to have children some day and the idea of two scared him and elated him all at once. “And another boy,” she finished suppressing a giggle as she thought for a moment Simon might actually pass out.
“River, how do you—" His voice was steadier now, some of his earlier anger forgotten. River stopped his question with a finger on his lips. “I’m a reader, remember,” she asked him, comforted by the knowing smile she got in return.
Taking her hands, Simon grew serious once more and asked, “What does this have to do with mom and dad?”
River’s own expression sobered as she tried to think of the best way to break this news. Taking a deep breath and swallowing past the sudden lump in her throat, she told him, “You’ll be like him, if you don’t move past this.”
His eyes widened in shock, but River forged ahead, afraid she might lose her nerve. “Your children deserve more that Simon, Kaylee’s children deserve more. They deserve to have a father who loves them unconditionally, who shares one of the biggest hearts in the ‘verse with them,” she told him, reaching up to place a light hand over his chest. “They deserve to have a father who is as compassionate, caring and loving as the brother I know. But if you hold onto this anger, it’s going to color everything you do as a parent, and your children will one day end up hating you, just as you hate father.”
A choked sob escaped Simon’s lips and River reached out to comfort him, but he backed away from her. Pain etched into his features, he whispered, “I don’t believe you.”
“You don’t have to,” River said sadly, keeping her distance. “But it’s the truth.” When he didn’t say anything else, she continued. “All they’ll know about our parents is what we tell them, Simon, the stories we share. If you still hate father then everything you say, every memory, every moment will be tinged with bitterness, a bitterness you won’t be able to hide. And that’s not fair, not to us and not to them.”
“Not fair,” Simon bit out, his anger boiling over as her words registered. “Not fair? River, because of their ignorance, they kept you locked away in that hell, letting those sadists run tests and experiments on you, almost driving you insane. Why should I care what my children, my future children, think of our father? I want them to hate him!”
Simon had risen and now paced hurriedly around the small room, his hands clenched at his sides, his face no longer conveying pain, just hot anger. River watched him and felt her tears drip down her face. She had hoped this would be easier, had hoped that now, after their mother’s death Simon would be open to hearing these words, would be open to forgiveness; she had been wrong. But she would not give up.
Rising, she stood in front of him, blocking his path. Simon met her gaze with furious eyes, but River did not flinch at the sight. She had seen her brother angry plenty of times and she knew she could handle it.
“This isn’t about what they did to me,” she told him, getting a shocked, but still angry expression from him. “This is about what they did to you. Mother and Father betrayed your trust, they turned their backs on you and that’s what you cannot forgive.” His gaze sunk to the floor and River knew she’d struck a nerve. Keeping the strength in her voice, she said, “They made a mistake Simon, a big one, but if you keep harboring this anger and this pain, then it’s a mistake you’re going to repeat, over and over again.” She paused and waited for him to say something. The tension in the small room was unbearable and so, trying to lighten the mood, River said quietly, “I would expect a much better learning curve from the top three percent.”
Simon made a sound that seemed to be a chuckle, but when his shoulders refused to stop shaking, River knew it was a sob. Falling against her, he wrapped his arms around her back, burying his face into her dark hair. River held him back just as firmly, supporting his weight. After a few moments, she guided them back over to the edge of the bed and they sat again. River whispered soothing things to him as he continued to cry and she could feel the wall in his mind break away as the tears cleansed him of his anger and hatred. The feeling of relief brought tears to her own eyes and River cried with him, knowing that, now, they would have the family they were meant to; him, her, Kaylee and those beautiful children they had yet to meet.
Mal had done his best to stay out of Inara’s way the past few days. It hadn’t been easy on him or her, but it had been necessary. As soon as they had lit out of Osiris, Inara had placed the call she’d been dreading and just this morning she had gotten the answer she’d feared. The Guild would not grant her the resignation request she’d submitted, meaning she would lose her standing with them all together.
It was one of the highest levels of shame for a Companion and Mal hated the way it plagued her actions, her thoughts, her movements. He could tell that she was in pain and he wished there was something he could do. But she had asked him to stay out of it, and so he had.
However, enough was enough. After the third day of watching her mope around and try to pretend that everything was fine, Mal decided it was time to brave her wrath.
Walking into the shuttle they had been sharing, Mal saw a few empty boxes dotting the landscape. Inara owned almost all of her companion-y things, but she had been slowly packing some of them away over the past week. He figured it had something to do with painful memories, but as she had refused to talk with him about it, it was only a guess.
Emerging from the cockpit carrying a few more empty boxes, Inara started at the sight of him, standing in the middle of the room with a confused look on his face. Resuming her task, she asked him coldly, “What are you doing here?”
“I came to check on you,” he told her truthfully, walking to meet her where she took a seat on the couch. She reached out to the small table in front of her and placed a few tea cups into her lap. Pulling silk scarves from her side, he watched as she began to wrap each of the delicate glasses with great care, placing them in the box at her feet. “How are ya?”
“I’m fine, Mal.” She gave him a rote answer, the same one he’d been hearing for the past few days. But he caught the change in her eyes and noticed, now that he looked more intently, that her hands were shaking. Reaching out, he placed his hand over hers, forcing her to stop her movements. Glancing up to him, her eyes were wide, but clear. “I’m fine,” she told him again, her voice barely a whisper.
Shaking his head, Mal cupped her cheek in his hand, and said, “No, you ain’t. And I can’t for the life of me figure out why you can’t admit that.”
Inara read the concern on his face, the sincere confusion at her inability to confide in him, but it didn’t change the fact that she did not want to talk about what was happening. Her life was in a tailspin and she knew if she admitted that to Mal he would bluster and balk and take it as an insult, and Inara couldn’t handle that right now. She was barely keeping herself in one piece, her heart breaking every time she packed away more of her things or thought of the scathing letter she had received from the Guild. Those who had once been her friends had turned their backs on her with barely a second look and that stung Inara more deeply than anything. They hadn’t even tried to understand, hadn’t asked her once if she was happy or if this new life with Mal on his ship was what she wanted. They had just passed judgment like they always did – like she had known they would. But that didn’t make the sting of it any less painful.
She couldn’t share that, any of it, with Mal, she just couldn’t. It wasn’t fair to him and it would only serve to make him feel worse. “Mal, there’s nothing you can do. Just give me some time and I’ll figure it out.” She tried to smile at him, but he could see right through it. Continuing on she said, “In a few weeks everything will be back to normal.”
“Now that’s an even bigger fib, if I ever heard one,” he told her, his voice growing a bit harsh in the process. Slumping back against her sofa, he said, “Nothin’s gonna go back to normal if you can’t tell me what’s going on.” Rubbing a hand through his hair, Mal stared at the ceiling as he said, “I may not know too many things, but I know that we don’t stand a chance if we ain’t honest with each other.”
Rising to go, Mal didn’t know what else to do. Stopping at the shuttle’s door, he turned back and added, “And I just want to go on the record right now as sayin’ it wasn’t me who was less than truthful.”
He turned again to leave, but Inara knew she couldn’t let him go, not like that. And so, taking the biggest leap she had since she’d first admitted her feelings for him all those months ago, she spoke. “I’m scared.”
Mal stopped dead in his tracks at the sound of her small voice. Looking back at her, he saw that a few tears had made their way down her face, but she still sat ramrod straight, refusing to crack. Leaning against the door’s edge, Mal crossed his arms over his chest and waited for her to continue.
“I feel like my life is falling apart,” she told him, not daring to look at him, certain she could not handle the look on his face. “I feel like I’m losing this huge part of myself. And once it’s gone, I won’t know who I am. I won’t know who to be, how to behave.” Finally turning her tear-streaked face in his direction, Mal’s breath caught in his throat at the sheer pain and terror etched into her beautiful features.
Unable to stay where he was, Mal felt his feet propelled across the room, bringing him to her side in a second. Kneeling in front of her, he took her hands as she continued, her voice now breaking with the intensity of her emotions. “I want a life with you, Mal, truly,” she told him, her eyes begging him to believe her words. “But this is my life that I’m packing away, and I just …” she trailed off unable to continue, and Mal pulled her to him, wrapping his arms around her shoulders as her body finally shook with sobs.
He tried to be soothing, tried to tell her things to make it better, but he didn’t have the words and he felt like a fool for pretending. “’Nara, I,” Mal stuttered for a moment, uncertain of what to say. “I can’t believe I’m actually gonna say this, but,” he cleared his throat and pulled away from her slightly, so he could look into her eyes. “I love you, but if not being a Companion is going to make you this unhappy … Well, I can’t do that to you, bao bei. I don’t want to cause you this much pain.”
Inara cried harder at his admission realizing, not for the first time, that he was an honorable man who did truly love her. Fisting her hands into his shirt front, she said, “No, Mal. I want to get through this. I want us to survive this, because I know that what we have is too precious to let go.” Reaching out a hand she gently ran her fingers down his cheek and his eyes shut in response to her touch, a slight sigh escaping his lips. Inara continued, “These last few months are truly the happiest I’ve been and every time I’ve tried to leave this ship, to leave you, I can’t. I always come back, because this is my home.” She paused again a fresh wave of tears welling in her chest. Mal was again looking at her, his bright blue eyes clouding with concern for her. “You are my home.”
He again pulled her into a tight embrace, touched by her words and her ability to still spin him about. He didn’t care, not as long as she was his and they were together.
After a few more moments, Mal pulled back from her and saw that her tears had stopped and some of her sadness had seemed to fade. “What do you want to do, ‘Nara,” he asked her quietly, fearing her answer, but knowing it was only fair to ask the question. “Tell me and I’ll do it.”
Inara thought about it again as she had been for the past week. There weren’t too many options she could come up with, but there was one that seemed highly feasible. Although she doubted Mal would think so.
A fire again in her eyes that scared and excited Mal all at once, she answered, “Give me a job.”
That was not what Mal had been expecting and the consternation radiating from him only served to prove the point. Pressing on, Inara said, “Make me a part of this crew and give me a job. I don’t care what it is, but if this is going to work, I’ve got to be useful. I’ve got to be able to help you and everybody on board. Give me a job.”
Mal thought on that for a moment and read the determination in her gaze. It was just one of the many reasons he loved her. Leaning forward, he pressed his lips to hers, again wrapping his arms around her and hugging her tightly to his chest. Inara snaked her arms around his back, delighting in the feel of him against her, of the warmth that radiated off of him and through her. Every time he touched her, every time they kissed, every time they spent even a moment together, Inara knew she’d made the right choice – the only choice.
Pulling back from their embrace, Mal leaned his forehead against hers, still delighting in the flush he’d managed to bring to her cheeks. “So, I gotta give you a job, huh,” he asked huskily, his lips working their way across her cheek and down her neck. She leaned into the motion and tilted her head back to make it easier for him.
Almost forgetting the reason for their little discussion as he continued to nibble on her skin, she murmured, “Uh-huh.”
“Well,” he murmured, his voice muffled as he gently pulled the strap of her gown off her shoulder and started to shower that part of her skin with kisses. “We have always needed a cook.”
Inara smiled slightly, knowing he was serious and knowing that she should be insulted. But he spoke the truth. None of the rest of them could cook worth a damn, except for Kaylee. And while it had never been one of Inara’s favorite pastimes, it had come with the whole Companion package. Still …
Running her fingers in his hair, Inara jerked his head back none to gently and got a startled, “Ow!” from him in return. “What’s that for,” he asked, genuinely confused.
“Did you think that your activities,” she said, pausing at the word, “would allow me to overlook that fact that you just made a completely sexist and pigheaded remark regarding women?”
“Wha—" Inara almost giggled at the look of pure befuddlement on his features. Taking another moment to see if he could puzzle it out on his own and when he again came up blank, he asked, “What?”
By now, Inara could not contain her laughter. Bursting out a loud belly laugh, she had to cover her mouth to stifle the sound and watched with delight as Mal’s expression changed from baffled to annoyed to mischievous. “Oh, I get it,” he told her, pulling her up and slinging her over his shoulder so he held on to her feet. “You’re playin’ a joke on me, are you?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Captain,” she answered him in her best innocent tone, all the while trying to catch her breath between giggles.
“Oh you don’t, do ya,” he said, his tone just as playful as hers as he dropped her, none to carefully onto the bed. He moved to shut the door and in the time it took him to cross the room and get back again, Inara had managed to undress and sat regarding him through heavy lashes with a look of pure demureness.
“Captain Reynolds, I would never play a joke on you,” she told him, her voice again the embodiment of sweetness.
Not saying another word, Mal approached her beautiful body and made it his mission to make her laugh, sigh and moan with pleasure for the rest of the night.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006 3:44 PM
Wednesday, May 31, 2006 3:45 PM
Wednesday, May 31, 2006 5:46 PM
Wednesday, May 31, 2006 11:35 PM
Friday, June 09, 2006 8:31 AM
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