A Cool Autumn Day
Friday, September 29, 2006

Inara thinks back on her first kiss.


Word Count: 375 Characters: Inara, Nandi Spoilers: Heart of Gold Rating: PG A/N: Written for the LJ community ff_friday's challenge #2 – a first kiss.

Title: A Cool Autumn Day By: 2x2

Her first kiss wasn’t from a client.

Nor did it come from a boy, or even one of her teachers.

Her first kiss came on a cool, autumn day when she was barely fourteen, not yet a Companion. The sky that day was a brilliant blue, the cobbled streets of the lower city sprinkled with the rusty orange and fiery red of fallen leaves; her hand was held tightly as she was pulled along - a rare moment of freedom, stolen and secret - breathless with fear and excitement.

What she remembers most are the lanterns, red and gold, hanging everywhere, their wishes of luck and long life splashed across them in black Chinese characters, warm light spilling from their candles in celebration of Emperor Sato’s birthday.

And she remembers standing on the hills under the bare-limbed trees, the two of them laughing in giddy excitement as the parade made its ponderous journey toward the Castle below them, the great lions and dragons winding amongst the spectators, cymbals crashing, dancers dancing.

And most of all she remembers Nandi pulling her close, lips suddenly pressed to hers in more than a chaste, friendly greeting.

Much more.

A moment of surprise, she remembers, of eyes meeting eyes, cheeks flushed, breaths coming fast and hard. And then Nandi’s smile - looking as always as though she were on the verge of laughing at her own clever antics – and her own shyer one as she let the other girl take her hand again, the action holding a greater meaning for them both this time.

They’d spent the rest of the afternoon with arms around each other’s waists as they explored the city streets they’d been, as students, forbidden to travel. But Inara remembers nothing of what they saw or did. Only that there had been another kiss, stolen that night before bed, long after they’d both been caught and punished for their disobedience; one that had held her regret and apology, and Nandi’s sad understanding and acceptance.

And now, years later, it is nearly fall again as she places a last kiss from her fingertips to the stones that lie beneath the tree that shelters her first love’s grave.

The birds sing, and the sky is brilliant and blue.


Friday, September 29, 2006 9:45 AM


Oh wow...way to make Mal's decision to sleep with Nandi that much more painful, 2x2;D

Definitely could see this as something Joss & co. would that means you're definitely doing something right. In you own special way, of course;)


Friday, September 29, 2006 10:12 AM


this is shiny! love the description. very yummy. nice one! -x-

Friday, September 29, 2006 10:12 AM


this is shiny! love the description. very yummy. nice one! -x-

Friday, September 29, 2006 10:12 AM


this is shiny! love the description. very yummy. nice one! -x-

Friday, September 29, 2006 10:12 AM


this is shiny! love the description. very yummy. nice one! -x-

Friday, September 29, 2006 10:12 AM


this is shiny! love the description. very yummy. nice one! -x-

Friday, September 29, 2006 10:12 AM


this is shiny! love the description. very yummy. nice one! -x-


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History of an Object
There’s no reason to keep it, damaged as it is. Save one. Doesn’t matter that it’s finer than any other cup on the ship, even with the crack. Doesn’t matter that it would never hold liquid again without some of it seeping through. Burning your fingers. Was only one reason he still has the cup.

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“Dead ’re in my head tonight,” he said finally. “Can’t get ‘em out. Don’t got the booze or the bar to distract me. Don’t know why I’m here ‘cept I don’t think I can go through it alone.”

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She let out a breath, saying nothing for a long moment before she raised her eyes again. “There are some things I want you to know,” she said softly. “Things I want you to understand.”

Much as he wished he could ignore it, he could see it was important to her that he know whatever it was she wanted to tell him. He knew he wouldn't have let himself see it in the past, but that weren't where they were anymore, or at least, not where they wanted to be, either of them. Their relationship had changed, was changing, and he weren’t so stupid he didn’t recognize that. He didn't know that he wanted to know it, much less understand it, but she was reluctant enough to talk about any aspect of her life as it was; could be he might ought not stop her when she wanted to.

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“I… You can’t be that lucky!” Mal moaned as Inara beat him again, laying out her cards with a flourish.

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"I feel like-," she started.

"This is-," he said at the same time.

They looked at each other. "Awkward," they both said, laughing lightly.

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Loved and Lost
Love’s the biggest kind of hurt there is.

And I wouldn't trade that love for nothin'.

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He felt the first trembling shudder go through her, heard her breath hitch and felt her fingers grip his skin; knew it was comin', the wave that was cresting the walls she'd built to hold it back, whatever it was. Knew they were about to come crashing down around her. The first sob still hurt though, still lanced through his heart like a searing hot blade to hear her make that sound.