BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

SHINYTRINKET

NOTHIN' IN THE VERSE - PART I: Chapter 8
Sunday, September 10, 2006

Takes place after "War Stories". Mal is having trouble sleeping after being tortured. A passenger aboard Serenity discovers an old friend - and makes a new one.-------CHAPTER 8: Inara is back and has a contact for a job.


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 1273    RATING: 8    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimers: Everything belongs to Joss, except for one character of my creation.

**Mousing over the Chinese should reveal the English translations on most browsers. If not, translations follow the story. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Inara!” Kaylee cried, running up the stairs from the cargo bay to the catwalk. She threw her arms around Inara’s neck, enthusiastically greeting the Companion as she emerged from her shuttle. “Missed you like crazy!” Inara smiled a welcoming smile and hugged Kaylee in return. “Missed you too, darling,” she said. She descended the steps into the cargo bay where the rest of the crew was gathering, Kaylee’s arm around her shoulder affectionately as she peppered Inara with questions about her week. “Hey, Inara,” said Wash, who was tinkering with the mule, trying to ready it for whatever job Inara potentially had for them. The crew was enthused about the possibility of a job, as transporting Alex to Zargon was the most lucrative thing they had come by in awhile; and despite the fact that the transport involved extra fare, it still could not come close to bringing in what a good cargo or smuggling job would do. The mule, however, had been loaded with explosives and detonated inside Niska’s Skyplex during Mal’s rescue, and, because of that, was scorched and barely running. Inara touched Wash’s face, running her fingers over the bruise above one eye. “You look better than when I last saw you,” she told him. She had departed for a week to help train Companions on Paquin shortly after the kidnap and torture at Niska’s hands, and Wash and Mal had both still been pretty banged up when she left. “Hey, you get your hands off my man!” Zoë yelled teasingly to her as she came into the bay. Inara smiled up at her. “How are you, Zoë?” Alex was in the doorway to the passenger dorm observing the crew as they greeted Inara. Shepard Book walked up beside her. “Good morning,” he said in his melodious voice, tying his hair back as he came to stand next to her. “‘Morning.” Alex gestured into the bay. “Who’s that?” “That’s Inara,” Book said. “She rents one of the shuttles.” He leaned into her and dropped his voice a notch as he said, “She’s a registered Companion.” Alex looked at him in surprise. “What’s a Companion doing on this boat?” she asked. “Expanding her client base,” offered Mal, who had come up behind them as they talked. “Or, as I call it, ‘plumbing the depths of the cesspools of the Outer Rim’.” He ascended the stairs. “How ya doin’, Inara? Have a profitable week in the artistic Mecca that is Paquin?” Inara turned her dark eyes to him. “Hello Mal,” she said. “Yes, I had a very profitable week. And you?” Mal opted to ignore her question. “Glad to hear it,” he said. “Rent’s due tomorrow.” He patted her shoulder as he passed her and approached Wash. “Figure out what’s goin’ on with the mule?” “You mean, other than the fact we blew the hell out of it trying to get you away from Niska?” “Yeah, other than that.” “Well, it runs, but it’s touchy. Might wanna replace a few parts, make sure it’s gonna be reliable if we need it for the job.” “Trouble is, we need the job to afford the parts,” Mal replied. “Just have to make do.” Inara turned to Kaylee, frowning slightly. “Mal looks tired.” “He’s not sleepin’ good,” Kaylee told her. “I found him in the lounge when I got up this mornin’, and I’ve heard him up a lot in the night. Sometimes he yells; I think he has bad dreams.” Inara’s eyes followed Mal . She looked worried. “I made Simon look at him yesterday, and he didn’t find nothin’ wrong, but Mal wouldn’t let him finish the checkup. Alex thinks he’s havin’ some kinda trauma from the Niska thing.” “Alex?” “She’s the nurse we’re takin’ to Zargon. That’s her.” Kaylee pointed to the stairs, where Alex stood talking to Shepard Book. “She was in the war—said she knows about torture and stuff.” “Well, I hope she can help,” Inara said. “God knows he won’t let any of us get that close—maybe if he knows she’ll be gone in a few days he’ll open up to her and not think he has to put on the tough guy act.” “I’m hopin’,” said Kaylee. She cocked her head, considering something. “Strange, but I almost think he seems a little better this mornin’, even though I found him in the lounge like that.” She smiled at Inara. “Maybe he’s glad you’re back.” Inara rolled her eyes, but did not look disappointed at the suggestion. “So, Inara,” Mal called to her from across the bay. “Tell us ‘bout this potential job.” “Well, this should be convenient for you,” Inara told him. “I would like to go as far as Verbena with the ship. I have some clients lined up there that should keep me working while you’re gone, if I can meet up with you again on your way back.” “Sounds doable,” Mal said. “I have an acquaintance on Verbena that is interested in having some cargo picked up and transported, I think to Three Hills or one of its moons, I don’t know the details. He said it should be on your way.” “Then let’s get us to Verbena and meet this friend,” Mal said. He turned to Wash. “Work your magic, Wash, and get us on our way.” He turned and headed up the stairs toward the bridge. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go to Chapter 9. Back to Chapter 7.

COMMENTS

Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:01 AM

VAUGHN28


Nice to see another chapter so soon!!

Nice observation chapter. Inara would be one to notice what's wrong.

I can't wait to learn more about the job and how Mal is going to get fixed.

Sunday, September 10, 2006 7:36 AM

AMDOBELL


You know, it does sound a bit of a thin excuse when Alex asks what a registered Companion is doing aboard Serenity. Never thought of it quite that way before. I'm hoping Inara's little job isn't going to bring more pain than payment. Can't wait to see what happens next, also hope for longer chapters. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, September 13, 2006 2:09 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oooh...Inara's back. Hope there will be some Inara/Alex interaction about Mal;)

BEB


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