Life's Too Short- Part Twenty-Eight
Monday, November 6, 2006

Inara and Kaylee have their girl talk.


Life’s Too Short- Part Twenty-Eight

AN: Sorry this is late; I just got back from camping in the mountains! (Beautiful weather.)

Disclaimer: In case you somehow failed to notice, this is fiction based on Firefly, and none of the main characters/places are mine. Duh.


Strawberries. That was the first thing Kaylee noticed upon entering the suite Inara had arranged for them. There was a bowl of fresh strawberries sitting on the table directly to the right of the door. Immediately, she felt bad that she was lusting after fruit when her boyf- her FIANCE!!! was out risking his life, but- strawberries! Inara watched with a tiny smile as Kaylee sucked her lower lip into her mouth and gnawed on it, eying the bowl of berries. She nudged the suite door shut with her heel and edged past Kaylee to place her bags in the bedroom to the right. “Go ahead,” she called over her shoulder. “Bring them in here. We don’t have anything to do tonight except lay low while the crew goes after that Tremain person.” Kaylee made a split decision and managed to wedge the bowl of strawberries under her elbow and carry her own bags into Inara’s room. The two women sat down on Inara’s bed and looked around. The room was done in soft, tasteful browns and beiges, with a few touches of crimson in the lampshades and blankets that brought out the edges of objects beautifully. The bed itself was large, soft and comfortable. There were two thick pillows propped up at the head, and the sheets were warm and smooth. The floor was not carpeted, but the varnished wood was covered by several plush rugs with simple patterns of geometric figures. The curtains matched the rugs, and through the crack in them, the skyscape was visible. Inara had clearly spared no expense. There was also a desk equipped with Cortex, blank captures and, oddly enough, pens and paper. The chair accompanying the desk looked comfortable. There were two paintings on the walls, and Kaylee thought that they were real! One was of a sunset over an ocean, the brilliant colors looking like they should clash with the softly toned walls, but not. The other was a quiet, peaceful forest scene. Kaylee had almost forgotten what a forest looked like. “This is such a pretty room,” she said. Inara smiled. “I know. I stayed here last time I was on Persephone… without a client, I mean.” “That must have been nice.” “It was. I got to tour the city here and just have fun, without having to meet anyone’s schedule.” Kaylee gave a sheepish grin. “You mean Mal’s schedule.” Inara grinned back. “He does have a complex about never leaving when he says he’s going to leave, doesn’t he? I’m constantly having- I mean, I constantly had to cut appointments short.” Since Inara didn’t stop smiling, Kaylee ignored the slip. “I’m sorry about that.” “It wasn’t your fault.” “Well, yeah. It was pretty much all the Cap’n’s fault. And speaking of the Captain, what’s going on between you two? Last time we talked about it, you were all, “Oh, no, I’m not ready for anything with Malcolm Reynolds!”, and now you’re kissing him goodbye?” “I’ll tell you all about my drama with Mal if you tell me what’s making you glow so much.” “What?” Inara didn’t fall for Kaylee’s innocent face. “Don’t ‘what’ me. You’ve got big news, and I want to hear it!” “You tell me first,” Kaylee agreed, unable to hide her excitement. She was so happy if Inara and her Captain were finally getting it together! Sure, Mal was Mr. Oh-God-They’re-Doing-It-By-Our-Food-Let’s-All-Start-Yelling-And-Having-Panic-Attacks, but she was pretty certain that he’d been doing a little hanky-pankying of his own recently. And, of course, it was about time that Inara owned up to lusting after him. Kaylee had been expecting this forever: Inara was a gorgeous, smart, talented, witty woman. She was the perfect counterpart to Mal, with his scruffy good looks, magnetic blue eyes and sharp, sharp sense of humor. (Kaylee loved Simon, naturally, but hey, a girl had eyes!) And her lost, lonely Captain had been in the woods for so long. In Kaylee’s opinion, it was high time someone (namely, the pretty ex-Companion) dragged him back into the light. Even if he was kicking and screaming, or whatever manly men like the Cap’n did when they got yanked places they didn’t want to go. “All right,” Inara consented. “But nothing either of us says in here ever leaves this room, okay?” Her words imbued a sense of girlishness and best-friend-confidences into the conversation that left Kaylee breathless and eager. “Agreed.” “When River first went missing,” Inara began, “Mal was so worried. He acted all angry and confrontational, but he was scared out of his mind that something would happen to his little Albatross. I still can’t believe he’s read that poem, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, so something happened to him. I’m not sure what; he wouldn’t tell me. But it was something to do with River, in his head. Or a dream of her, or something. And apparently, what she told him made him worried that he wasn’t going to live long enough to… do all the things he wanted to do. So…” “So he went caveman, grabbed you and carted you down to his bunk to have his wicked way with you?” “Pretty much.” Kaylee burst into furious giggles, and Inara couldn’t keep herself from joining. It was as if, outside this room, all their own fears and worries and insecurities were waiting for them, but inside it, there was nothing but two women talking about men. “So…” Kaylee gasped, forcing herself to stop laughing, “So how was it?” “Kaylee!” “Well, I’m sorry, but I’ve always wondered!” Through another torrent of giggles, Inara whacked Kaylee’s head lightly. “Kaylee Frye, haven’t I told you that a Companion doesn’t kiss and tell?” “Well… you’re technically not exactly a Companion at this very moment, are you?” Kaylee was bargaining on Inara’s good mood keeping her from becoming morose at the reminder that her license had been put on ice, and her gamble won through. “I suppose that’s true,” Inara said, drawing out the words. “So? How was it? Was it good? Was Mal mal in the sack, or was he-” “Kaylee!” Kaylee stopped, blushing, but Inara went on with mock shock, “I had no idea you spoke Latin!” Upon hearing that it was her Latin knowledge Inara was exclaiming over, rather than her rather lewd curiosity, Kaylee shrugged. “I don’t. River announced to the crew that Mal meant ‘bad’ in Latin last year. Answer the question.” “It was… amazing. Mal is definitely not mal.” “On a scale of one to ten? I mean, you’ve got a lot to compare to.” Inara paused, considering. “One hundred,” she said finally. “It’s different, when it’s someone you… someone…” “Someone you love?” A grin was tugging at the mechanic’s lips. “Yes,” Inara admitted. “With my clients… You have to understand, I do love each of them. Just a little. In the time I have with them, I love them, and I never forget any of them. They’re all special, unique people and they all have places in my heart. But Mal… I really, truly love him.” “So you’re willing to admit it? Finally?” “Yes,” Inara said firmly. “I- I love him.” “Say it again. That was shaky.” “I love him.” “Again. “I love him! I love Mal!” “Whoo-hoo!” Kaylee whooped, hugging Inara. “So was that it, then?” “No,” Inara said slowly. “Oooh, tell me more!” “Well, the other day, when we were looking for information on the Cortex, we made love again.” Kaylee felt like she should blush, but she wasn’t, and Inara wasn’t, so she just felt happy that Inara and she could be so open with each other. “It was different. Sweeter. Tender.” “Awww.” “Be quiet, you. And he told me that he loved me.” “Awww!” “So, I’ve told,” Inara stated, turning the tables. “Your turn.” The ‘awws’ stopped immediately. “Um…” “You promised, my dear.” “Okay.” Kaylee took a deep breath, unsure what to say first. Engaged, or pregnant? Pregnant or engaged? Oh, the decisions. “I’m, uh, Simon, he, asked, um, it…” “Stop. Take a deep breath. No, don’t hold it, you’re turning blue. Let it out. Good. Now start over.” “I’mpregnantandSimonaskedmetomarryhimandIsaidyes,” Kaylee said in a rush. “What?” “I’m getting married, and I’m having a baby!” “Really?!” “Yes!” Inara drew Kaylee into a tight embrace. “Oh, sweetie, that’s so wonderful! I’m so very happy for you!” Kaylee was grinning. That had been easier than she’d expected. Inara was smiling too, though more subdued. Though she had told the truth, and was incredibly happy for the younger woman, there was something… Jealousy. Oh no, Inara thought, horrified. I’m jealous. And it was true. She was jealous of Kaylee’s ease, of Simon’s simple love. Of their child. Inara would never have a child with Mal. They would never have the normal, happy life that Kaylee and Simon could one day have. Simon and River, though still fugitives, were now being defended by several groups across the system. The Miranda tape had turned everything upside-down, and questions that should have been asked years ago were finally coming through loud and clear. One day, possibly sooner than any of them had hoped, Simon and his sister would be free. And Kaylee would be free, too. Mal, though, would never be completely free. Inara, too, would always carry the chains of her past, no matter how much she had clung to them. And even if they could leave Serenity behind, there was no pregnancy in Inara’s future. Ever. FLASHBACK

“Are you sure you want to do this?” “I have to, if I want to go as far as I do.” “I know that, but… this is permanent. It cannot be fixed, even with today’s medicinal faculties.” The House physician, Moira Lafferty, laid a hand on young Inara Serra’s shoulder. The twenty-year-old was such a promising student, and was sure to go far, but Moira was never easy with what she sometimes had to do at the Companion House. “I am aware of the ramifications of this surgery, Dr. Lafferty,” Miss Serra said politely. Her fresh, beautiful face was serene. “But if I want to become House Mother one day, it must be done. I cannot risk anything more than what has already happened.” Moira Lafferty, had, of course, heard the story. Inara Serra, Sam Hewitt, a pregnancy, an accident, the boy’s death, very tragic. And no baby. Of course, the child had not been carried to term. And she had to admit, she respected the young woman for how far she had risen from that disgrace… and how far she was lined up to go. This woman, hardly more than a girl, could very likely be the House Mother in ten or fifteen years. But still, Moira wasn’t sure about this. She hadn’t known Miss Serra before the incident two years ago, but the calm, stately, too-mature woman she saw before her now was not the kind of person to fall madly in love and get pregnant to a servant boy. Something had been lost in those two years, and Moira was not sure if anything else should be taken from this girl. “Are you completely sure?” “Yes.” “You will never be able-” “A House Mother is a mother only in the metaphorical sense, Dr. Lafferty,” Inara said. “I will not need babies where I am going.” END FLASHBACK She had been so certain, Inara remembered as she hugged Kaylee. So young, so determined, so ready for the future. Now, though… the thought of having Mal’s baby did not fill her with the stark terror it would have even a year ago. Now, it filled her with a sort of yearning that was completely unfamiliar, or that had been shoved deep beneath the layers of her consciousness over a decade ago when she lost that first- and last- baby. But there was nothing that could be done, so Inara squeezed Kaylee tighter, and resolved to be a mother vicariously through the younger woman as much as possible, and to support her in everything she could. This thought made her smile, and Inara pushed back her wishful thinking and focused on what was real.



Monday, November 6, 2006 11:14 AM


Oh, poor Inara, but shame on the guild for allowing her to do that ... I had a feeling she would have taken drastic measures, but what will Mal say? He already is a father, at least to River and kind of to Kaylee, one has to wonder if he wants a passel of his own ...

Keep updating, please!

Monday, November 6, 2006 2:49 PM


Very fine and I could so imagine Inara and Kaylee having this kind of conversation and the excitement of sharing their news with each other but oh, that is so sad that Inara made sure she could never have children again. Surely though she could by artificial insemination? I mean, she still has a womb *dong ma*? Or if not, if she still has eggs they can be carried by a surrogate to bring any baby to term. Okay, so I am reaching here, I don't know how dastardly you are intending to be over this and can't wait for the next part! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 3:38 AM


I'm planning on waiting to see how many people yell at me to give Inara a baby and then deciding what to do....

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 3:07 PM


Umm...I will be clear up front and say: GIVE THEM A BABY, GORRAM IT! Unless you want Inara to have had a hysterectomy to ensure her "future" as Madrassa's House Mother...give her a kid with Malcolm. I think it would do wonders for allow them to move on from their complex pasts :)

Still...gotta love female gossip. Especially when it gets juicy! Though I still gotta wonder if Inara would be quite this forthcoming even by this point, since she's only recently had her licence yanked. Oh well ;D


Thursday, November 9, 2006 5:48 PM


Keep in mind that Kaylee is possibly Inara's closest friend, and she is (though she definately doesn't want to admit it) confused and a little scared by her feelings for a certain ornery captain. Maybe she wouldn't be so forthcoming in the show (because that would be too easy, wouldn't it Joss) but this is my story, damn it! :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 6:01 PM


I've never been able to decipher conversations between two wmoen. For your excellent translating, I give you a 9.8

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 6:03 PM


"wmoen" should be "women". sorry


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Life's Too Short- The End
Well, here it is. The last chapter. Warning: character death, but anyone who's read the rest probably already knows that.

Life's Too Short- Part Twenty-Nine
Mal, Zoe, Simon and Jayne prepare to start the Big Damn Rescue, and what in the 'verse has River been up to?

Life's Too Short- Part Twenty-Eight
Inara and Kaylee have their girl talk.

Life's Too Short- Part Twenty-Seven
Kaylee and Inara leave the ship, and the rest of the crew heads off to find Kyle Tremain.