Stolen Moments
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mal/Inara. And waking up. And the fluff. Oh, god, the fluff.


Title: Stolen Moments (1/1) Disclaimer: In here you will find sunlight and happiness. Therefore, I am not Joss, and do not own Firefly. Pairing: Mal/Inara Word Count: 1, 531


His thumb traces over her back, dipping into the crevice of her spine. Sun drifts in from the shuttle’s cockpit, creeping closer to the corner of the bed. It’s strange for him, being planetside, but Inara’s soft breathing tells him she finds it soothing. He continues tracing the column of her spine. She’s all white, soft skin, Inara. Like a sheet, a freshly laundered sheet, kind that you don’t want to lie in or else it’ll get messed up. He grins, glad she can’t read his thoughts.

Her sheets are red (he doesn’t like to dwell too long on that, thoughts go other places, not so good places), and covering her buttocks. Which is disappointing. Not quite high enough to cover the mole, though. The tiny brown thing just over her right buttock. She calls it a beauty mark (no different from a mole in Mal’s mind, but he’s careful not to share that with her after that first time). He traces it with his fingers, liking that part of her, had liked it from the moment he’d discovered it.

Inara’s hands are curled up under her chin, pressed together like she’s saying a prayer. Her nails are peach coloured, the paint starting to chip at the edges. Her hair splays down along her shoulders and back.

He swears he sees a smile beginning to curl at her mouth. It gives him leave to bend down and kiss the back of her neck. She likes when he does that, and she’s smiling in earnest now, hands unfolding, body stretching out as he moves from neck to cheek to chin.

It’s all going along well until she plants two hands on his chest and pushes him backwards. “Morning breath,” she explains, completely serious, like she hasn’t just taken out his ego and stomped all over it.

She always knows what to say, his Inara.

“Yeah? So?” he moves back again, and she doesn’t protest. There’s some disapproving grunts, but his lips are on her throat again and her hands are in his hair.


What?” He blinks rapidly several times to show his consternation. “It could be sweet, y’know. The sharing of morning breath. Romantic.”

Inara makes a face. “I don’t think so.”

“Aww, come on now, ain’t so bad—”

He moves forward to meet her mouth before she has time to protest—and, okay, it really is that bad—but it’s still sorta romantic. To him. The kind of thing that separates him and her from her and all of her others.

Still, he thinks it wise not to kiss her for too long. She’s done her complaining (today, anyway, the whole thing’ll start again tomorrow—it’s practically a routine for them now). Her chin rests on his shoulder, one arm wrapped around his middle, which makes it easy to nuzzle her neck. She doesn’t have all that perfume on yet, he can smell the leftover sheen of sweat from last night

“You hungry?”

She doesn’t so much answer as begin sucking on his earlobe. It’s a mite ticklish. Ear’s been extra-sensitive ever since Niska… well, anyway.

He decides to take it as a yes.

“Could go get us something. From the galley. I don’t reckon anybody else is up and around yet.”

She has to stop the ear-thing to answer, and he really cannot say if he is disappointed or not. “What’s gotten into you?”

Not exactly the answer he’s expecting.

“I got very basic culinary skills, matter of fact,” he says. She pulls away and looks at him, all extra-inquisitive and it’s enough to make him fidget. “Well, I do.”

“That’s not what I mean,” she says, those eyes still staring into him. “You’re just not usually so…”

“What?” he says.

She sighs, casting her eyes away. Her forehead crunches up while she thinks, and he can practically hear her going through a list of words, trying to find the most delicate one.

“Playful,” she finally says. She meets his eyes again, challenging him to find issue with her wording.

“Playful,” he states. “And this is bad because…?”

“It’s not!” she says hastily. “Mal, I don’t mean….” She lets one hand rest on his cheek, and does her inquisitive-stare thing again, and if he keeps looking at her, he’s liable to spill any-damn-thing she wants.

So. He studiously looks at the rumpled sheets.

Inara’s voice is soft as she continues, “It’s not bad, Mal. It’s nice. I just—I feel like you’re about to go out on one of those jobs that ends up with you shot—or tortured… or not coming back at all.”

Her last few words are almost a hush, and it makes him feel guilty inside, even if it’s not true.

Still staring at the bed sheets, he says, “It’s not that. There is something… but it ain’t that.”


He sighs. “What if we left?”

Her fingers absently trace the edges of his mouth. “What do you mean?”

He takes a moment. Just because he’s thought the words don’t make them easy to say. “What if we left Serenity?”

He can finally look at her again. She opens her mouth, closes it, and stays silent. Her eyes are troubled, and she moves closer to him, her free hand resting on his shoulder.

“I just mean…”

“Serenity’s our home.”

“I know.” It comes out sharper than he intended and she presses her lips together as if steeling herself for bad news. “But it don’t stop it from being dangerous. Dangerous in ways that’s gonna get one of us killed, sooner or later. And I don’t… I can’t have that. Watched you walk off this ship once, and I ain’t ever gonna lose you again.” He pauses, swallowing thickly. “Been doing this life a long time. Thing is, seems like I finally got something more important. Can’t help but think we could wake up like this everyday, without having to worry ‘bout scraping by with our limbs intact. Could find us a square of land, far enough away from the Alliance to try’n make it work. Won’t be perfect, but it’ll be…”

He falters because her eyes have gotten wet, and he’s immediately wracking his brain to try and figure out what he said wrong.

Her chin trembles. “Mal—”

She’s got both arms locked around his neck. Breathing is momentarily an issue, but she relaxes her squeezing and sniffs a few times. Her hair mashes up somewhere between his neck and his nose. The sluggish part of his brain finally wakes up and realizes that she’s still completely naked, and that all those bits are all up against him and it’s not… bad.

She pulls away and gives him several kisses that are more wet and awkward than anything else. Still, he’s not minding much. Her fingers tickle along the back of his neck and she’s beaming when she pulls away.

He doesn’t know if she’s thinking about Wash. How it could’ve been had Zoe and Wash taken their leave all those times they had a chance. Might be selfish of him, being the one to walk out on Serenity. Still, he knows he won’t sit around and wait for the ‘verse to make a messy end of them.


She takes a controlled breath. “I think it’s a good idea.”


It’s strange, feeling both excitement and dread in nearly equal measures. It results in his mouth hanging open like he’s trying to impersonate a bullfrog.

“Yes, Mal. I always thought…” she trails off. “There’s lots to do, of course. It will take a tremendous amount of planning—”

“Whoa, now, never said it had to be this minute!” She laughs, looking a little relieved by his protest. “‘Sides, more important things to contend with. Like you being naked.”

“Hmmm,” Inara says, staring speculatively at the patch of sunlight steaming in. “You said you’d make me breakfast.”

“Uh—yeah… but—”

“We could have breakfast in bed,” she suggests mildly, trailing one finger along the edge of the sheet. She raises her eyebrows and meets his eyes.

He perks up, but before he has time to reply, the communicator buzzes. “Captain, might be best you be in the bridge. River’s gonna try and bring her to life.”

Zoe disconnects before Mal can answer. He heaves a sigh. “Inara, I’m gonna have to—”

“Play captain,” she says, lying back against the pillows and covering herself with the sheet. “Go on.” She pauses. “And, dear? Don’t forget your gun. You know how intimidating it makes you look.”

“That’s right,” he says, choosing to roll out of bed (not exactly graceful, but it’s effective). The part where he lands in a heap on the floor is an unforeseen consequence, but he’s up again and brushing himself off in a manner of seconds, manliness more or less still there.

He doesn’t rightly know how long it’ll take them to follow through on this plan of theirs (but talking about it seems like an all-important first step). Still, he decides it would be wise to savour being Captain as long as possible, even if it means inconvenient wake-up calls and sardonic cracks about his gun.


A/N: I know that Mal leaving Serenity isn't exactly a popular idea, but I've always thought that, should Inara choose to give up her life as a Companion for them, then it would be up to Mal to make the next sacrifice. (Because they can make it work, damnit! *g*)


Wednesday, October 11, 2006 1:03 PM


Oh, I like the fluff - especially M/I fluff. Something about Mal ruminating on how beautiful Inara is and how special just makes me all bibbledy!

More please!

Thursday, October 12, 2006 1:56 AM


Mmm, while I really love them being together I hate the idea of them leaving Serenity. Seems all manner of wrong to me or maybe they'll think about it and try then realise the place they are happiest is the one they've already got. With the friends who have become family kept close. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, October 12, 2006 3:44 PM


I love it when you post a new fic, Goldy. It's like unwrapping a present!

And ITA about the "making it work" part. Oh, how I love Mal/Inara fic!

Saturday, October 14, 2006 7:03 AM


Glad to see them happy together!

Saturday, October 14, 2006 11:04 AM


Ya know...I think you're on to something here, Goldy. It's hard to fathom, but I do think that this could have been a scenario for a later season (if FOX hadn't lost a shitload of IQ points by dumping the show)...though they would have come back eventually;)

And Mal's ruminations about Inara early in the morning? Sheer brilliance:D


Thursday, October 19, 2006 1:40 AM


I believe they can make it work, too! Great story. I admit my heart did a tiny lurch at Mal's suggestion, it was so the right thing to do.

Really nice story.


You must log in to post comments.



Goodnight and Goodbye (2/2)
The Second War of Unification has started. Where does the crew of Serenity go next? Darkish. M/I, various other pairings.

Goodnight and Goodbye (1/2)
The Second War of Unification has started. Where does the crew of Serenity go next? Darkish. M/I, various other pairings.

Shades of Something New
Little glimpse at Mal and Inara pre-series.

Colder Inside
Mal/Inara. As usual, things are complicated - but this time, there is ice cream.

The crew dresses up as pirates for Halloween. Yes. Really. M/I, S/K.

Finding Precision
"That was the night she told them she was leaving." Post-OiS. Simon/Inara.

Stolen Moments
Mal/Inara. And waking up. And the fluff. Oh, god, the fluff.

"Mal had lost everything once before." What happens when he loses everything again? Dark fic.

These Are the Maybes
Inara thinks about her future.

Missing Pieces
"Sometime during the last few months, Inara had become well acquainted with sacrifice." Mal/Inara. And trying to make it work.