Sign Up | Log In
BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
Malcolm Reynolds has said goodbye to many things during his long life: his home, his God, his compassion, his hope, his crew, his boat. However, this is the hardest one of the all.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1189 RATING: 8 SERIES: FIREFLY
Title: We'll Go Walking On The Beach
Originally posted in LJ community 31nights
Prompt: 70. "300 days, I've counted, almost a year. A year of missing you." Leaves' Eyes - 'A Winters Poem'
Rating: PG for aw-sad
Notes: This is set a hella long time after the series and movie and everything else ended. Inara and Mal have settled down, but now it's time to close up shop. We've all read this story. Hell, we've all written this story. Its not the most amazing thing I've ever done by any means, but sometimes that's not what matters. --- Dedicated to Eva Mae and Bill Roes.
In a month, it would be a year. Three hundred and thirty-four days had gone past. For three hundred and thirty-four nights, he had tried to save her in his dreams. Each time it was a success. Each of those nights, he was a little faster, a little stronger, a littler smarter, and she was still alive.
Not that it mattered. Faster, stronger, or smarter, none of those things mattered on that night. She just slipped away. The doc wasn’t even around to scream at. Simon had said she would be all right for the night. He had told Mal that the two of them deserved a night without his crowding them. Mal hadn’t been sure, but Inara had agreed. Part of Mal thought she just wanted Simon to spend sometime with Kaylee. The boy had been working himself to death checking read outs, tweaking machines, and fiddling with all the things Mal had never been able to master. The doc had brought Kaylee and himself to Shadow months ago. Simon had appeared with bags of what Mal had hoped to be saving grace. The respirators and supplements kept his girl alive but only barely.
Simon strode out of the room after he had brushed a hand across Inara’s face. “I’ll see you in the morning, mei mei.” Inara attempted a smile and sunk into the pillow further. Mal shook his head as he watched the doc leave. He tried to start up casual conversation. He knew it was a failed gesture. He and Inara had never been able to just “talk.” They had to yell or scream or flirt or whisper sweet nothings. They were dynamic together. They couldn’t ever do anything casually.
“That boy was always a little too pretty. Age’s been too damn nice to him.” Mal shifted closer to Inara on the old rope bed. It shrieked out a protest, but held both their weight. It always had. It had held their weight and the weight of their children for more nights than Mal could count. Even now, so many years later, they had never married, but if they had, this would have been their wedding bed. The damn thing was as ornery and stubborn as both of them. It was no wonder Inara loved it so.
Mal cupped her hand gently between his. Despite the disease, Inara had aged gracefully. Her dark hair held regal streaks of silver, and friendly laugh lines creased around her eyes and mouth. Mal believed that he on the other hand had seen his best years long ago. His hair had gotten coarse and gray, and his face had gotten thin and lined. Mal kissed each one of her knuckles softly. Inara looked wise; he just looked old.
And yet, she was still the one who was dying.
Inara curled her hand around Mal’s and smiled. “I have always loved your calluses. You can tell a man’s worth from his hands.”
“Always thought it was his work, darlin’.”
She raised her shoulders weakly and shut her eyes, “I can tell your worth.” A sliver of extra pressure was applied to Mal’s hand. “Lay with me.”
He swallowed hard. “Can’t, darlin’. You gotta keep layin’ with all those tubes. You gotta perk up ‘fore I can take their place. But don’t you worry, ‘Nara. Just a bit longer, then we can go see Izzy at Madrassa. Go out and see Caitie’s crew. She’s makin’ a damn good livin’ out in the black. Soon enough-”
“Mal,” she breathed out his name. The sound sent shivers down his spine and seized up his heart. “No, we won’t. They’ll be no more riding horses, no more walking the land.” She held his hand softly. It was all she could do. She had spoken so much the past few days. There was a glimmer of hope in Mal’s mind that she might be getting better, but her words, the glow in her eyes told him otherwise. He tried to ignore that though. He wasn’t ready to let her go yet. “Lay down with me, bao bei.” She tried to smile, but she couldn’t. Mal knew anyway. He could tell if she were smiling miles away. One of her smiles, he could feel in his bones. “Tonight’s our last chance.”
He squeezed his eyes shut. He wouldn’t believe that. It wasn’t going to be their end. But the way her fingers slipped from his palm, he could only find himself nodding, standing from the bed, and slipping the machines out of her frail form. He was killing her, but he had never been able to tell her no. When he rested on the bed, he curled beside her. He gathered her in his arms and breathed her in as deeply as he could begging that he would never forget her smile, the way her hair smelled, the curve of her jaw, the way her glares burnt him, the twinkle of her laugh, the softness of her thighs. God, for the first time in decades he prayed, don’t take her from me.
“I love you, Mal.” He didn’t know if she spoke those words or if he just knew. He nodded to her, kissed her forehead, and waited. Her breathing lagged as she fell asleep and then, without fanfare, it stopped.
It had been three hundred and thirty-four nights. Every one of those nights he wished he had saved her. On this three hundred and thirty-fifth, he realized he had.
Friday, August 18, 2006 12:30 PM
Friday, August 18, 2006 12:54 PM
Monday, August 21, 2006 6:24 PM
Monday, October 02, 2006 6:30 AM
You must log in to post comments.
OTHER FANFICS BY AUTHOR
All FIREFLY graphics and photos on this page are copyright 2002-2012 Mutant Enemy, Inc., Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.
All other graphics and texts are copyright of the contributors to this website.
This website IS NOT affiliated with the Official Firefly Site, Mutant Enemy, Inc., or 20th Century Fox.