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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
sometimes, we have connections with people that never seem to go away. and sometimes... stuff from my life filters in to the lives of my fireflies. a one shot of girl talk and torch bearing.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 814 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
“I could just fall asleep right here.”
Inara slipped her comb through Kaylee’s thick hair and smiled. “Go ahead.”
“Nah. Got stuff ta do eventually.” Kaylee breathed deeply and let it out. “’Sides, if I was asleep, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy gettin’ all pretty like this.”
Inara laughed and gathered Kaylee’s hair into her hand so that she could comb the underside. Combing Kaylee’s hair was so… soothing. It was just as therapeutic… maybe more so… for Inara as it was for Kaylee. Inara tipped her head to the side and slid the comb through again.
Kaylee was holding something in her lap; Inara could just see it. It looked like a piece of paper, old and soft from handling, with deep creases cutting it in quarters. It had been folded and unfolded so many times that it looked to be held together by sheer will.
Kaylee folded it, then unfolded it again and looked down at it.
Inara lifted her hair up off of her neck and twisted it.
“You know my brother? Aeric?”
Inara smiled. “Of course. You’ve spoken of him before.”
“He was older than me. Four years.” Kaylee paused. Her head tipped toward the paper again. “Did you have any brothers?”
“I didn’t have the pleasure. I had one sister, but she was much older than I was.”
“Mmm.” Kaylee sighed. Her thumb slid along the edge of the paper. “I carried the biggest torch for his best friend. I mean, I guess that’s only natural, him bein’ over all the time. I was seven, the first time I met ‘im. He was ten. Year younger than Aeric. I thought for sure I was in love.”
Inara let Kaylee’s hair fall against her shoulders, heavy and glossy. She considered it for a moment, then decided on a complicated braid that had been popular back in her academy days.
“When Aeric turned 18, there was a call to settle a new moon—Titania. He left. Josh—that was his friend’s name, Josh—wasn’t of age yet, so his ma wouldn’t let ‘im leave. So he was stuck at home, just like me. We got to be real good friends.
“I thought I was in heaven, yanno? I mean, daydreamin’ about ‘im for seven years, an’ then he finally seemed to realize I was there.” She folded the paper again. “Real good friends.”
Inara smoothed a lock of hair in place. “So what happened?”
Kaylee shrugged. “Nothin’. He volunteered for the Independents right near the end’ve the war.”
Inara’s hands stilled for a moment.
Inara let out her breath as softly as she could and resumed braiding.
“Aeric sent me a letter few months back sayin’ Josh was gettin’ married ta some prairie harpy.”
“Oh, mei mei. I’m sorry.”
Kaylee shrugged. “I went through my mournin’ period.” She opened the paper again. “Found this in the engine room, though, when I was cleanin’ up. It was tucked in a book on the Furie 135 engine.”
Inara tied a ribbon on the end of Kaylee’s braid and moved to sit next to her. Kaylee handed her the paper.
The writing on it was barely readable, it was so smudged and faded.
You made my last year here so nice. Thank you for being my friend. I’ll miss you so much when I go, but I’ll never forget you. Be good. Love, Josh.
Kaylee sniffled. Inara looked over at her and wiped a tear off of her cheek with her thumb. “Oh, mei mei.” Inara opened her arms and Kaylee turned to her, burying her face against her neck. Inara stroked her back slowly.
“I don’t know why I’m bein’ so gorram silly about the whole thing. It ain’t like I’ve seen him in the past five years or nothin’. And it ain’t like I’m alone. I just…” She sniffled again.
Inara pulled back and smoothed the tears from Kaylee’s face again. “You’re not being silly.” She smiled. “Love is a strange thing. Sometimes, we have connections with people that just never seem to go away. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been or how far away we go; we never lose those connections. Sometimes, you just can’t stop loving someone.”
“Inara, we’re hittin’ atmo in—“ Inara looked at the doorway. Mal was standing there looking at them, frozen mid-sentence. He cleared his throat. “Well I can see I’ve interrupted some woman time.”
“This is why you need to knock.” Inara dropped her hands from Kaylee’s face and took her hand.
Mal looked at her. “You makin’ my mechanic cry?”
Inara looked over at Kaylee. She was smiling—not quite as brilliantly as she usually did, but she was smiling. She looked at Inara.
“Thanks.” She reached up and touched her braid. Inara handed her back her letter and kissed her cheek.
“My door’s always open for you, Kaylee. Any time you need to talk.” She smiled. “About anything.” She turned toward Mal. "The same does not apply to you."
Kaylee squeezed her hand and stood. “’Scuse me, Captain. I’ve got a boat ta hold together.” She slid past Mal. “You plannin’ on gettin’ me some new Windam spikes when we touch down?”
Mal turned to call after her. “I just might, if you act real nice until then.”
He turned back to Inara. “Girls. Always expectin’ ta get somethin’ pretty.” He let himself smile a little—the smile that made his eyes crinkle in the corners.
“We’re hittin’ atmo in about five minutes.”
He turned and walked out, sliding his hand along the door frame as he did. Inara swallowed hard and went to dress.
Monday, July 03, 2006 6:46 AM
Monday, July 03, 2006 3:02 PM
Wednesday, July 05, 2006 5:20 PM
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