Bits and Pieces
Monday, August 7, 2006

M/I. Fluffy. With tea.


Title: Bits and Pieces Keywords: Inara, Mal/Inara, post-BDM, fluffy. And, yes… there is tea. Prompt: Inara – blush. Words: 605 A/N: This came out... oddly different than what I was imagining. And all OTPish and smooshy. You've been warned. *g* Originally written for the lovely cathiexx over on livejournal.


You have to learn to control yourself. Flattery. Compliments. Men will do anything to possess you. Own you. You must turn the tables on them. Companions always control whatever situation they may find themselves in.

Control was the first lesson. And the last.

You’re such a beauty, Inara.

Inara wanted to see the world.

React to praise in the way a client desires. His needs come first.

At fourteen, Inara learned how to blush. She had to have perfect timing. Suppress instinct. She spent long hours meditating, seeking to truly understand her body.

Blushing could be bestowed as a gift.

It could also be a weakness.


“I made tea,” Inara said, stepping onto the bridge and holding up two mugs as proof.

Mal turned around in the pilot’s chair, posture relaxing when he saw her. “Tea?”

“No wiles, I assure you,” she said.

“Hey, now, that thought never crossed my mind.”

“Of course not,” Inara said. She handed him one of the mugs. “Anything out there tonight?”

“Lots and lots of stars,” Mal said. “Not another ship in sight. Flying—”

“Under the radar,” she finished, arching her brows. She knew he hated when she used her haughty-voice.

“It’s almost like you know me.”

“I should hope so,” Inara said.

He shifted, and took a sip of tea. “Kinda cold in here, ain’t it?”

“Would you like me to get you a blanket?”

Mal rolled his eyes. “Don’t think it’ll help, overly much. Say—” he pulled her down into his lap with his free arm and she barely managed to hold her mug steady. “That’s lots better.”

“Doesn’t this count as sexual harassment in the workplace?”

“I’m thinkin’ you and I are long past that,” he said, bending down to nuzzle her neck.

She squirmed, trying to get comfortable. Why is it they could never cuddle in someplace resembling normal? Like a couch. Or even a bed. With satin sheets and pillows and—

“Tea!” Inara said warningly, as his mug came dangerously close to spilling all over her lap.

“Sorry,” Mal said, pulling it back. “Black looks peaceful tonight, don’t it?”

Inara barely glanced over. “It looks like this every night, Mal.”

He was in a good mood because he barely reacted to her less than interested reply. “Hey, you got engine grease on your cheek.”

“I… what?” Inara lifted a hand to her cheek. “I do not!”

“Do at that,” Mal said. He lifted a hand to her face and let his fingers smooth it away.

“That’s… that can’t…” Inara fumbled, horrified. “Kaylee said all I had to do was hand her a wrench, I didn’t realize…”

“Ain’t so bad,” Mal said. He met her eyes, his lips curving into a half-smile. “Makes you seem like you’re at home.”

Inara blushed, unnerved by his intense stare. She hurriedly bent her head to take a long sip of tea, waiting for the heat to recede from her cheeks.

“Yup,” Mal continued, oblivious. “One of the crew now. Gonna have to start obeying orders.”

Inara regained her composure. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but no one on your crew obeys your orders, Mal.”

Mal shrugged. “Just sayin,’ is all.”

“Does this mean I get to partake in the smuggling?”

Mal frowned. “Didn’t say that.”

Inara sighed and leaned against him. He pressed his cheek to the top of her head, content to let silence envelope them.

This little ritual of theirs was throwing her world off kilter in frequent and disturbing ways.

Of course… Inara pulled her mug of tea closer. It didn’t mean she couldn’t bring parts of her world with her.


Monday, August 7, 2006 6:40 PM


I really like the M/I dynamic you have here.

This line made me giggle out loud though!

>Inara regained her composure. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but no one on your crew obeys your orders, Mal.”

The first section of this reminded me of the film Dangerous Beauty.

Nicely done little piece.

Monday, August 7, 2006 10:04 PM


Aww I just love Mal/Inara and what you have here is just so sweet! I love that she wants to partake in the smuggling but he is not ready for her to be apart of that life. The engine grease ont he cheek, so very cute! Great story!

Monday, August 7, 2006 11:39 PM


This is so nice! Excellent dialogue, and his world/her world issues well-handled . . .

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 12:24 AM


What a lovely quiet moment between Mal and Inara, a taste of what it could be like without all the barbs and insults. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 2:51 PM


...i like this's so sweet and really well-connected to the characters. i like it. very much. :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 10:14 PM


one of my first reads after a long break . . . awwww fluffy fun! yay!


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