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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Standalone. Prompt: Leather. Simon, Mal/Inara. PG-13.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 2013 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Standalone. Prompt: Leather. Simon, Mal/Inara. PG-13.
Hi, Guys! It's been awhile since Bed and Wine—I missed y'all. This is a little standalone prompted by the lovely Leiasky, who was understandably tired of listening to me complain about the longer piece I’m working on now. Comments are love! <3 April
Sure as he knew anything, Malcom Reynolds knew that certain conversations would never take place on his boat. He would never teach Little Kaylee about the birds and the bees. He wouldn't ask Jayne for fashion pointers or challenge River to some hand-to-hand. He wouldn't speak the “w” word in front of Inara, at least not if he wanted to keep courting her, which he did even though she made fun of him for saying “courting.” (“I woulda called it screwing, but we ain't up to that yet” didn't go over so well either.) He was also fairly certain he wouldn't ever bring up the subject of Wash in Zoe's presence—not until she broached the topic first, and he was still waiting for that day some three months after the man’s dying. Malcom Reynolds wasn't a man to speak in certainties—the 'verse had too great a sense of irony for that kinda talk. And if his current situation wasn't absolute proof of those ironic tendencies, he didn't know what was. Because up until five minutes ago, Mal was pretty sure he'd never ask Simon Tam for relationship advice.
And yet here he was—sitting on the infirmary table and swinging his legs while Simon eyed him like one of those ranch hounds the neighbors' kids used to torment. A pretty, well-groomed pup with a fancy dog-school degree. Mal grinned at his own humor, and Simon sighed.
“I so enjoy our little visits, Captain.”
“Yeah? Me too. Maybe we oughta start a book club.”
“Or a poetry circle. River says you read Coleridge beautifully.”
Simon smirked, proud of himself.
Mal smiled crookedly.
“Don't you just miss the good old days when she was crazy?” he reflected. “Anyway, it's none of your business what your sister and I do on the bridge at night...all alone...for hours.”
Simon's face turned a pretty shade of pink but he merely nodded.
“Yes, Kaylee and I have discussed what you and my sister do up there. While we make love. In multiple positions.”
The men appraised each other silently for several seconds. Finally Simon groaned and raised a hand in truce.
“Okay, let's never, ever bring that up again.”
“Seconded. And you know I ain't actually...I mean, I am sorta with someone...You probably ain’t aware, but Nara and me are kinda…with the dating.”
Simon nodded seriously.
“I’m touched, Mal. Really, it’s flattering that you feel we’re close enough for you to share this privileged information about your personal life. Especially since everyone already knows!” He rolled his eyes.
“What? You knew!?”
“Only for the past three weeks.”
“I’ve only known three weeks! And I’m one of the people in the gorramn relationship!”
“Kaylee knew before you.” Simon shrugged an apology.
Mal’s eyes narrowed.
“Inara. She…those two are…now this is out of hand. Oughta be a rule against people…talking.”
“No talking. Good rule, Captain. I’ll make a note.”
“And you—you should know better! Shouldn’t be encouraging her...”
“Kaylee and I are close.” Kid looked smug now. “She tells me things.”
Mal huffed a laugh.
“Trust me, Doc. We all know how close you and my mechanic been getting. Wish you’d be close somewhere besides my engine room, but—”
“How did you know—I mean, I don’t know what you mean. That—we never—in the engine room…”
“Good save,” Mal said mildly. “Truly, your genius knows no bounds.”
Simon stopped fumbling with his ear long enough to roll his eyes.
“Let me guess: Inara?”
“No, actually.” Mal smirked. “You can thank your sister for this one. Girl’s a little too curious for her own good if you know what I mean. Tends to sneak about.”
“River saw us. When we were—oh, Dear God, I’m going to die. I think I’m actually going to die. No,” he said thoughtfully. “I’m going to murder her. Painfully.”
“No one’s dying by means natural or otherwise. Least not till you find me a new medic willing to work for the peanuts I pay you. Same goes for my pilot.”
“She and I are going to have a talk. A long, involved discussion about things like privacy and propriety and decorum and…other words that you’ve never heard of. Captain.”
“Hey! I’ve heard of ‘em. Well, some of ‘em. Just that they don’t apply to me. ‘Cuz I’m the captain.” He nodded as though that decided the matter.
“Forgive me, Captain. I didn’t realize we were all existing in Malcom Reynold’s fascist state.”
“And don’t be forgetting,” Mal agreed. “Anyway, you know I was just giving you a hard time before? Not teaching the albatross anything but spaceship piloting. And mostly she teaches me. But we’re just flying is all—well flying, and occasionally reading some very manly poems. I wouldn’t ever…with your sister—”
“I'd say I wasn't worried. But River's always had questionable taste. You should have seen her room at our parents' house.”
“Not quite feng shui?”
“Everything was purple.” Simon shook his head at the memory. “She even did the ceiling.”
“Well, you see the little one toting any paint cans, you come get me.”
“Captain, not to be...rude...but you don’t ever come see me unless you’re bleeding profusely. And even then I usually have to seek you out. Did you want something?”
“You mean besides pestering you?” Mal quipped. He sobered and drummed his fingers over the table. “Okay, Doc. You mighta noticed I ain't exactly good at asking for help. But, well, reckon we're sorta in the same boat now.”
“Was that a pun?”
“No. Just…both in reasonably new relationships with women could tear us new ones. And not either of us being blessed in the oral capacities—I mean talking, Simon; close your mouth. Anyway, seems fair call for camaraderie—”
“Stop. Just, stop...a moment. Captain, are you asking me—Simon Tam—for relationship advice?”
“Don’t get a fat head, it was you or Jayne.”
“I think I’m in shock. I need to sit down.”
“Yeah, well, you ain't even heard the best part yet.”
Mal slid over so Simon could join him on the table.
“You think of me as a leather man, son?”
Simon's eyes went wide.
“Really not ever.”
“Huh. Me either. Till t'other night when I was walkin' by the engine room and heard Nara say the L-word.”
Simon raised a brow.
Mal looked stricken.
“Sweet ye su, no. Leather. I think she's got designs to get me in some. Or else, maybe it's for her.” Strangely, he couldn’t say which option was the scarier just then.
“Captain, there's nothing wrong with...role-playing.” Kid sounded like a gorramn Core psychologist on his first day of marriage counseling. “It's a perfectly healthy expression of—wait, who was Inara talking to? In the engine room....”
Mal smiled, smug now.
“Kaylee...” Simon looked ill. “Do you think she wants me to...? Or does she want to...?”
“I'm right there with you,” Mal agreed. “Kaylee say anything to you? About me?”
“The amount of time we don’t spend talking about you, Captain, is astounding.”
“So nothin’ about Inara being…less than satisfied?”
“No. I mean, she said you and Inara were taking things slow, not rushing the sexual aspect— What?”
“Kaylee said that? Inara said that? Ren ci de fo zu, is nothing sacred on this ship?”
“Really, Mal.” Kid sounded almost sincere. “I think it’s nice. Sweet.”
“You call me sweet again,” Mal growled, “You’ll find out how sweet I ain’t.”
“Alright, alright. Before you get your suspenders in a bunch, let’s slow down. What exactly did you overhear?”
Mal figured this was by far the most miserable he’d ever been. It certainly beat out that time he got shot in the ass and spent a week on his belly while Zoe spoon-fed him Blue Sun rations and Wash changed his dressings. It was worse than last Thursday when Serenity was docked on Persephone and River decided to use her downtime getting felt up by a local kid with more hair than brains. She let Mal haul her back to the ship—let being the key word—but made him swear not to tell Simon. He planned on lording that one o’er her for a rainy day. Yep, this situation was the clear winner, outscoring even the time his former bride left him stranded in the desert after first relieving him of his pants. Actually that really wasn’t so bad. Inara’s face was well worth the price of the sunburn.
Simon was watching him expectantly. Mal groaned.
“Don’t know all the details, Doc. Just heard “leather” and “soft” comin’ from Inara’s lips, and how I was loath to try new things. Which I think is completely unfair, by the by.” Simon raised a brow. “Anyway, then Kaylee says something about black leather being sexy, and I did the manly thing and bolted. They were giggling!” he added defensively.
“I can see why you ran.” Simon rolled his eyes. “God save us from giggling women.”
“It was nefarious-sounding laughter,” Mal protested. “Evil genius stuff.”
“Yes. Of course. I’m sure they’re conspiring to get you into a leather thong as we speak.”
Mal groaned and rubbed at his temples.
“Hopefully she’s only buying you an outfit,” Simon mused.
Mal swiveled his head slowly.
“What do you mean?” he asked, pretty damn certain he didn’t want to know.
“You know. There are…accessories.”
“Like shoes and a swanky hat?”
“Like manacles. Or…implements of punishment. Aren’t you like forty? How is it you know nothing about this kind of thing?”
“I’m not forty!” Mal roared. He took a calming breath and tried not to shoot the doc where he sat. “Anyway, how is it you know so much about…this kind of thing?”
“I went to university.”
“Ah. Well, might not wanna look so smug. The way those two compare notes, I’m guessing you’ll be next on the makeover circuit.”
“What a comfort it must be, having friends to drag down with you.”
“Oh, yeah,” Mal agreed, grinning. “Seriously, you got any bright ideas Dr. Top Three Percent? Some way we can come out of this with our ladies and our dignity both?”
Simon looked serious.
“We may have to choose.”
“There you are.” Inara peered into the infirmary, all loose curls and smiling, and Simon just about fell off the table. Mal felt his lips curving, as tended to happen around her these days. She'd taken to wearing pants instead of her usual dresses, at least for around the ship, and he couldn't say he minded the change. There was something about seeing those womanly curves emphasized that made him hot in places he'd rather not think too long on. At least not before they were at the point of her attending to those places personal.
She crossed the floor, her ballet slippers whispering over the tiles, and laid a hand on his thigh. It was a casual touch—warm and familiar—and he had a sudden urge to hug her. Ai ya, he was turning into a hugger. Damn.
“I've been searching the ship for you,” she said lightly. “Hi, Simon.”
“Somethin’ you’re needing, Nara?” Mal prompted.
“Just your body.” She wasn’t wearing make-up. Bare, she looked younger, softer, more his. He was so caught up in looking he almost missed her next words. “I need to take some measurements.”
Suddenly, he was boiling under his clothes. Casual-like, he tugged at the collar of his button-down and forced air through his lungs.
“Measurements?” he echoed her, throat dry.
“I promise minimal pain,” she teased. Eyes like the nighttime twinkled in a face to outshine the prettiest day. His uncommonly beautiful girlfriend-person—the woman who saw fit to kiss him free of charge, snuggle on his lap gratis when others would have paid dearly for the privilege—slid a tape measure from the pocket of her silky-looking trousers and let it unravel onto the infirmary floor.
Simon made a choking sound, and Mal shot him a dirty look before easing off the exam table.
“Hold on,” he began, and hoped she missed the way his voice lifted on the last syllable.
“Don’t be a baby,” she instructed, eyes swirling. She stepped nearer and looped the tape around his chest, pressing close to read the numbers.
She smelled damn good—like oranges and something else: cinnamon maybe—and he wondered if that wasn’t a part of her master plan. How could he say no when just inhaling her was enough to get him half hard? He wondered at something else too, why oranges and cinnamon suddenly made him hard, but that was a question for another day.
Apparently satisfied with Mal’s pectorals, Inara lowered the tape to his waist. He made an effort not to die and deliberately refrained from looking at the doctor. If he looked and the doc cracked a smile, Mal would be forced to shoot him. Kaylee would likely be a mite ticked if he shot her boyfriend, and Kaylee angry was kinda scary.
“Just a couple more measurements,” Inara assured.
She glanced upward, and her smile faltered when she saw his expression.
“Is something wrong, Mal? You look sort of queasy.”
“Inara.” He stared at her, dumbstruck. “You think now’s a proper time to be doin’ this?”
She blinked, and let him take her aside by the wrist.
“I—I’m sorry.” Her eyes were round and just starting to glimmer with concern. “Am I disturbing something?”
“I ain’t judging. If you want me in leather, you got me. Not exactly my thing…still, reckon I'd do anything for ya. Take all the measurements you need. But do it in the shuttle, okay? Not, for Buddha’s sake, in front of him.”
He looked at Simon, who looked absolutely horrified.
“Mal.” Inara shook her head. “If you don't want a leather jacket, I won't buy you one. I just thought...your old coat is getting a little worn, and I know it has sentimental value. I thought you might want to retire it before it sustained any worse damage. But if the idea is so offensive—”
“A coat? You were gonna get me a leather coat?”
“Yes. I meant it as a surprise.” Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully, amusement starting to gleam at the edges. “What did you think I was measuring you for? A corset?”
She snickered but sobered rapidly when she saw his face.
“I, uh, well—” Mal started.
“So Kaylee isn't really into leather?” Simon blurted.
“Relax, Mal.” Inara laid a hand flat against his chest. “I see you more in lace.”
Straight-faced, she sailed toward the door. On the threshold she paused, those silken curls that could drive a man to his doom whipping over her shoulder as she turned.
“Oh, and Simon?” Her smile was delicate. “Kaylee does like leather....”
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 3:22 PM
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:03 PM
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Thursday, September 21, 2006 12:41 AM
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Thursday, September 21, 2006 7:17 AM
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Thursday, September 21, 2006 11:33 PM
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Friday, September 22, 2006 11:20 AM
Friday, September 22, 2006 11:58 AM
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 12:35 AM
Friday, December 1, 2006 7:16 PM
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