Wisdom That Holds
Sunday, July 30, 2006

River and Inara share a moment. Post-series.


Written for a prompt by hjea back in March.

River. Inara. Future fic, post-movie but nothing actually spoilery. Not aaangsty per se, but not totally fluffy either. Rated G.

------------------------------------------ Wisdom That Holds ------------------------------------------

There are flashes of green and white-bright light.

"Catch me, catch me if you can!"

Inara dreams of naked feet on the grass and slipping in hidden puddles. Child bruises and stains and Timothy Naveed stumbling and rolling over her.

"Tag," It's a nice dream. "You're it!"

The smile spills over onto her sleeping form. Beauty in the memory. She felt it more than the others, even then. Capturing the essence of peace. Mark of the Companion.

River's spider fingers are tracing patterns on the blanket. The handwritten signature of a man 900 years dead who wrote a library about the intricacies of human folly. She's been here for hours. Contemporary literature invisi-covers the windows of the room she hates.

There is stirring on the bed. Inara is fighting her way to the present.

"Welcome back."

She bestows a kiss, because that sounds pretty. Bestows rather than gives or leaves or presses, and it's supposed to be pretty because it was instructed as such.

"Give my wife a kiss for me, little one."

Pretty is always implied.


The hand is shaky, reaching up to tangle in her hair. Stringy, long. Never took to being brushed and there aren't ties in the 'verse she will put on herself.

"I love you."

It's not the thing that will unconfuse Inara, but it's the thing she has waited hours to say.

Sometimes people move in ways she can't predict and it's as close to wonder as River can come without the stars. Move to save her. Move to hurt her. Move so fast to throw themselves in front of Simon.



"Swelling's gone down."

Inara frowns and radiates questions visual and otherwise. Focus, River, focus on the flow.

"Where the Captain hit him."

Wry smile. They share one. Connection like normal, like she's been rehearsing since he pulled a needle from her forehead and made her trust again.

She gets up for the glass of water Inara wants so very bad and tries not to whimper in relief.

"They'll be back in an hour. Delay on the job."

Dispose of the body secretive. Man shot you. Man died. Man is swimming. With the fishes. With the devils. With the rocks and the plastic bags and the...

It's very improbable that elaboration will lead to good results, so no elaboration shall be attempted on the delay.

Inara drinks in small sips.

She will have to get Kaylee soon. Kaylee doesn't take bullets well, no matter if they're in her or others. Worse since Jayne.

Stab. Feel. Can't not.

Plastic cups fall just as quickly in vacuum as feathers. There is a difference with air.

Blink. Splash.

Clatter, roll, stillness.


Inara doesn't even startle. They know how to watch her now.

"It's alright, meimei."

Feet in a puddle.

Slipping in the grass.

Skirt of her dress wipes well. The wet drags on her skin. It's good to be anchored in the older senses.

"Kaylee wants to see you. Weep over you in gratitude. Make you an unstable cake."

Too much. She is not supposed to make Inara laugh because the laughing hurts the stitches and yet she's showered with warm happy.



She wears a special smile. Because she anticipates the sentiment before the words and it's double the pleasure for feeling and knowing.

"You're welcome. I love you, too."

It's the difference between flying and falling and feathers and cups.

- - - END.


Sunday, July 30, 2006 8:51 AM


Wow this is so amazing, it's like being inside River's head. So confusing, but yet so perfectly natural and right. (Kinda) I don't understand it completely, but I'm willing to ignore that. This is one of my favorite pieces of yours.


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