Sunday, June 4, 2006

It’s light-ish and kind of fluffy. It's also Mal/Inara because I am an unashamed shipper. (Credit due to Kaynara for the idea and 2x2 for the motivation.


Title: “Tea?” Author: Taya Word Count: 738 (It’s only short folks) Rating: PG Spoilers: In this piece of fluff? No. Pairing/Characters: Mal/Inara. Disclaimer: I own nothing. If I did I would not be living off a student loan in uni accommodation with no heating!

A/N: I promised 2x2’s muse a little present and I think some light bickering and of course, ‘tea’ should just about cover it. It’s light-ish and kind of fluffy. Thanks to Kaynara who is unwittingly responsible for the plot bunny that dragged this in. Cross Posted to Mal/Inara livejournal community



“Inara, I think it’s long past the time for me an’ you to be having this talk.” He looked at her meaningfully.

“Mal, I…” She hesitated, uncertain.

… No response.

Absolutely nothing.

“One of us needs to talk cupcake.”

“Right, I… Can you not call me that?” She looked at him; nose wrinkled slightly in disgust but getting nothing but a boyish smirk in response.

“What? You mean, while we’re tryin’ to be all serious?” Mal looked decidedly bemused. “How bout after?”

She paused, turning to face him fully. “How about never?”

He laughed, “Hell ‘nara there ain’t nothing wrong with a little nickname.”

“I don’t need a nickname Mal, and I certainly don’t need ‘Cupcake’. Now if you don’t mind, perhaps we could get back to the issue at hand.”

“I just think you could stand to loosen up a little, ‘sides, it’s cute.”

Inara glared in response. “Malcolm Reynolds, I am not trying to be ‘cute’ and I certainly do not need to ‘loosen-up’. I am simply composed.”

Rolling his eyes, Mal muttered under his breath, “That’s one word for it.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re excused. What did you do?” came the infuriating reply.

“I think you’ll find Mal, that I did nothing. You are deliberately being contrary.”

“Hmm, yes, it is something of a skill. I try not to provoke you too often.”

“Then clearly you’re not trying hard enough.”

“Oh, I’m trying Cupcake, believe me. I just don’t seem to be having all that much success.”

“Well perhaps practise will make perfect.”

“We live in hope. Of course, hopes are rarely grounded in reality” He picked up a small ornament and juggled it in a casual fashion.

“You’re impossible.”

“I’ll have to thank Santa.”

“What?” Her confusion was evident.

“Well, it’s yet another one of my gifts. Can I help it if all Santa brought you was lumps of coal as a child.” He smirked again, challenging her with a furtive glance. “Maybe you were naughty.”

Taking a deep breath Inara decided not to take the obvious bait. Sliding on a mask of cool composure, her voice became smooth and silky once more. “Really Mal, I thought you wished to have a conversation.

He slumped down onto the cushioned couch, momentarily defeated. It was, after all, the kind of game which was only fun if both sides were playing. On this occasion, however, it might be worth soldiering on. Mal always did enjoy a challenge. Raising his head with a trying grin he persevered. “I keep tellin’ you Princess, we can talk all you want. You jus’ seem awfully fixated on names all of a sudden.”

The momentary flash in her eyes let him know he was winning.

“Honestly Mal, it’s like you’re naming a little girl. I do not belong to you and I already have a name.”

She realised her mistake to late to prevent it and his expression darkened, eyes glinting furiously.

“I am well aware you ain’t mine ‘Nara. As we both know, a petty thief like me couldn’t afford a … ‘lady’, like yourself.”

Now it was her turn to get angry. The way Mal had spat the word ‘lady’ contained more derision than a thousand ‘whores’. “No Mal, that’s true. Nor are you particularly suited to my taste in clients. You have a rather ‘unique’ way with words. Not something that is high on my list of requirements.”

“Funnily enough, that doesn’t really bother me. Your clients may have a mask of civility, but that’s all it is. Take that mask away and they’re just men. No better or worse than any man from the rim.”

There was silence then as his words reverberated in her mind. The anger dissipated as the truth, unvoiced for so long, revelled in its newfound freedom.

With a sigh, Mal leaned back into the cushions and Inara relaxed her stance. Neither looking at each other but both suddenly found something apparently invisible to be remarkably fascinating.

“We… we should talk.” Mal eventually spoke.

“Yes,” she agreed. “We should.”

But somehow, the words concealed themselves and as Inara gracefully sat opposite Mal the only thing she could think to say was…

“Mal – would you like some tea?”

“Tea?” The word was alien, unfamiliar.


“Umm, sure.” She busied herself with the simple task eventually handing him the delicate cup.

“Thanks” he ginned then and caught her eye. Under his breath he murmured… “- Kitten.”

*************************** ~end~ ***************************

Like it? Don't like it? Leave comments and feel free to make suggestions. I won't be offended, I promise. -Also, as this was unplanned I have no beta. If I missed a spelling/grammar/typo mistake or something doesn't sound right I would appreciate the heads up!



Sunday, June 4, 2006 4:53 AM


Oh this was just excellent. I could very much see the actors in my head saying these lines.

You've got Mal and Inara down very well!

Thanks for the great giggle so early in a VERY hot morning!

Sunday, June 4, 2006 4:57 AM


AWWW I loved that! The banter was spot on and the end made me giggle. Mal just seems apt to infuriate Inara at every turn but they are so hilarious when a good banter is going! Nice Job! I love Mal/Inara too, nothing to be ashamed about!

Sunday, June 4, 2006 6:16 AM


Yep, you definately have these character's voices just right. You caught them at their snippy best!

Thanks for the giggle!

Sunday, June 4, 2006 6:42 AM


cupcake :-)

Kitten :-)

This was fun. You have a good ear for their banter. I eagerly await more.

Sunday, June 4, 2006 9:44 AM


Oh...oh....this was hilarious and spot on, Tayeatra! Can totally see Nathan and Morena just laying each other out with this dialogue!

And Inara should try to give Mal his medicine by trying out some schmaltzy nicknames to piss him a sequel to this perhaps? *wink*


Sunday, June 4, 2006 9:47 AM


Thanks for the comments guys. Glad you liked it. You should definitely check out Syzg's sequel! He embraced Kaynara's challenge with an impressive result!

Sunday, June 4, 2006 10:31 AM



Such fun! That Mal, he can be *so* infuriating!! *G*

My muse is tickled! Thank-you so much for this! Heee!

Sunday, June 4, 2006 8:40 PM


Mal is such a stirrer!

You captured both of them wonderfully and their relationship.



Monday, June 5, 2006 10:49 AM


Reading this, all I could think of was how similar this argument was to the many that I have with my own husband. He's just about as infuriating as Mal. :)


You must log in to post comments.



It’s light-ish and kind of fluffy. It's also Mal/Inara because I am an unashamed shipper. (Credit due to Kaynara for the idea and 2x2 for the motivation.

This is not what I was going to write. It's fluffy and not at all like me. It's also Mal/Inara because I'm an unashamed Mal/Nara shipper. My first Fanfic- well, Ficlet really.