BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

GOLDY

Colder Inside
Sunday, November 12, 2006

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


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2152    RATING: 8    SERIES: FIREFLY

Title: Colder Inside Disclaimer: Firefly owns me, and Joss owns Firefly Pairing: M/I. I'm predictable that way. Or possibly boring. It's hard to know. Summary: Mal/Inara and homemade ice cream, written once-upon-a-time for my lovely 2x2. Timeline: Post-Serenity, but no real movie spoilers. Rating: PG-13 Word Count: 1, 472

***

Inara applied her last touches of makeup, straightened her dress and foolishly let herself hope she could slip out unnoticed. She was near an hour early, but…

“Inara—”

Mal’s entrances were always very loud—with the door slamming, floor vibrating, him panting, grinning, and not even a little ashamed of himself. “Hey….” He stopped short, getting a good look at her. The good humour died in his eyes, his kicked-puppy expression replacing it. “You’re heading out? So soon?”

“Yes,” she said, her tone careful. She tried not to look at him too much. Looking at him could lead to coddling and promises she couldn’t keep. “I hate to be late.”

“I see,” he said, tone measured, telling her he saw through her. She braced herself for something harsh, but he only said, “Well, still got some time. Wanted to show you something.”

“Mal, maybe it would be best if I just…” she sighed, because he was already moving. “Mal—”

“First of all,” he said, turning his head to look back at her. “T’weren’t my idea. Simon and Kaylee wanted to do something for Zoe, cheer her up, look…”

“At what?”

He dragged her to the kitchen and pointed to the countertop. She leaned forward, peering into a large (and somewhat watery) brown blob. “Is that…?”

“Ice cream,” Mal said. “Homemade.”

“But how did you…?”

“I told you, it was Kaylee and the Doc.” She raised her eyebrows and he grumbled. “Alright, I got more’n a few trick left up my sleeve.”

Inara studied the brown mass. “It, uh… it looks delicious.”

“It is!” Mal yelped. He grabbed a spoonful and stuck it in his mouth. “S’real thing,” he managed, his mouth full of metal spoon and ice cream.

His grin was infectious and Inara found herself smiling back. “And are you planning to share with the lady?”

“Might muss up your dress,” Mal said, pointing a finger at her fancy-getup. “And that would be a shame.”

Inara glanced down at herself, suddenly reminded that she was dressed to meet a client. “I—uh—” she paused. “I’ll just… have to be careful.”

“Right,” Mal said.

A morose silence hung over them for a moment before Inara cleared her throat and reached for a spoon. “There’s nothing in here that will kill me, right?”

“Hopin’ not,” Mal said. “Ain’t like Serenity’s exactly the best place for ice cream, but…”

She carefully licked the corner of the spoon, aware of Mal’s gaze on her. She closed her eyes and smiled. “Mmm. Chocolate.”

It was a moment before he answered. “Chocolate substitute, actually. Ain’t got the coin for the real stuff.”

His voice was deeper than before. She took her time sucking the rest of the ice cream off her spoon, knowingly giving him a show, drawing it out as long as possible. The ice cream slid easily down her throat, leaving a cold path to her stomach.

When she finished, she dipped her spoon in for more, and met his gaze. She held it out for him, unconsciously holding her breath.

A small grin tugged at the corners of his mouth. He took her wrist in one of his hands and brought the spoon to his mouth. “Ain’t half bad,” he said, after swallowing.

“It is… surprising,” she said.

Mal frowned. “Could just take it away, then—see if Jayne maybehaps wants—”

She hastily dug in for more. “I never suggested anything like that.”

He grabbed the spoon from her and smirked. “Mal, don’t—”

Too late. He smeared the corner of her chin and cheek. “Oops.”

She did her best to look stern. “Now what will I do?”

“Hmm, could get you a towel—”

“Mal!” she said, grabbing his arm. “You put it there.”

“Guess I’ll just have to clean it up,” he said, leaning forward.

One of her hands tangled in his hair, and she smiled as his lips pressed against the underside of her chin. His tongue darted out, and his teeth scraped along the trail of ice cream. He pulled away and dribbled some more along her throat, not paying much attention to keeping her dress clean.

It would have been an ideal time to tell him to stop, that he would make her late, that things had gone far enough. But his lips were at her throat, and one arm slid behind her back, keeping her close.

He was feeling more possessive than usual. The ice cream was only an excuse to mark her in some way, make sure he was the last thing she thought of before leaving.

She encouraged him, panting loudly in his ear, pushing herself closer to him. The counter dug into her back, maybe hard enough to leave a mark, maybe hard enough to bruise.

“Mal—”

She didn’t know what to tell him. Her mouth opened soundlessly, lists of warnings and worries running through her mind.

He didn't notice.

Instead, he held out another spoonful of ice cream, and she took it. Her tongue darted out to lick her lips, and he leaned in to kiss her, tasting the ice cream in her mouth. His kisses were hard, teeth scraping and sucking on her bottom lip.

He reached both arms around her and lifted her on the counter. She clung to his shoulders so as not to fall down. Her hands felt sticky and sweaty, and he was tugging and messing at her hair, dress, smudging lipstick, on purpose.

“Mal, Mal—stop—” she pushed him away, and he set his jaw, looking frustrated. “I have to—I’ll be late.”

Her voice was a whisper, and she ticked her eyes away, staring somewhere above his shoulder.

He put one hand on her cheek, thumb brushing under her ear. His voice was low. “Stay with me.”

“There’s a contract—”

“So what?” he demanded, forcing her chin around to look at her. “Inara…” he struggled, swallowing thickly. “What we got here is the real thing.”

She bit hard on her bottom lip, hands shaking. Her teachers told her. Taking a lover is complicated. Not forbidden, but problematic. It creates emotions that are impossible to control, reckless urges, feelings that can get in the way of a Companion doing her job…

She closed her mind against the voices of long ago. “I don’t—I don’t know,” she said.

His gaze hardened. “You telling me you can just… walk straight into another man’s bed? After what we got here? Like it don’t mean a damn thing?”

She shook her head. “It’s not like that.”

He snorted, but took a deep breath, visibly reigning in his anger. “Not asking you to give it all up. Just… this once.”

“Mal, please,” she said. “It’s always going to be this one time, or this one occurrence…” The small flare of hope in his eyes began to dim, and she pressed her forehead to his, trying to smile. “Okay,” she said. “I’ll send a wave and cancel.”

He let out a long breath, his hands resting on her knees. “You sure?”

Always up-and-down with Mal, back-and-forth, jumping from one contradiction to the next. “Sure,” Inara repeated, sighing. “There aren’t… many things left in my life I’m sure of. But…”

He went completely still, studying her face. “But?”

“I know that I want… to be here, on Serenity,” she paused. “With you.”

He relaxed immediately. This time, his kisses were less desperate, a little sloppier. Inara didn’t really have time to ponder if she’d just packed up her life and left it in a void, because there was ice cream to be had, ice cream melting far too quickly, and Mal kissing her all over the place. In the galley, no less, leaving her wondering when giving up her integrity as a Companion also meant losing her sense of propriety.

He was mumbling something now about regret, and not wanting to force her into anything. Certainly not somewhere Inara wanted to go—at least, not yet.

She cupped his face between her hands to get his attention. “How long before the others come back?”

He blinked several times, obviously thrown. “I—uh—”

“How long, Mal?” She gave him a look that said: I know you made them leave for this little ‘homemade ice cream’ charade.

“Hour, at least,” he said. “Why?”

“Oh, no reason,” Inara said. She stared thoughtfully at the ice cream container.

"Ai ya, what is it?” She let her eyes flick from the ice cream, to the kitchen table, and back to Mal’s face. He swallowed. “I—uh—I don’t know if that’s—”

“Simon and Kaylee have been sleeping together for three weeks,” Inara said. She paused deliberately before adding, “In the engine room.”

Mal grabbed the ice cream. “An hour’s plenty of time.”

COMMENTS

Sunday, November 12, 2006 4:58 PM

TAMSIBLING


Aww, that was adorable and had just the right amount of angst ... but you stopped before the good part! I love your Mal and Inara and the way he tries to push her into giving up her life and then regrets it immediately afterwards. Poor, conflicted man ...

Ever thought about doing a long story that deals with her choice and his?

Sunday, November 12, 2006 6:33 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh yeah...that's the stuff right there! Grade A quality Mal/Inara goodness, ice cream and angsty...the three major ingredients for some cracking good fic:D

Definitely lovin' Mal's methodology for getting Inara to cave...though I gotta wonder if it's like a drug to him. Ya know...addictive, wants to quit it but it feels so good, and sees how it messes with Inara's life?

;)

BEB

Sunday, November 12, 2006 7:54 PM

EMPIREX


I said it before, I'll say it again, I love your fic, Goldy, and I really loved this one...
****************************************
His gaze hardened. “You telling me you can just… walk straight into another man’s bed? After what we got here? Like it don’t mean a damn thing?”

She shook her head. “It’s not like that.”

He snorted, but took a deep breath, visibly reigning in his anger. “Not asking you to give it all up. Just… this once.”

“Mal, please,” she said. “It’s always going to be this one time, or this one occurrence…”
****************************************
Oh, the angst! Dear God, the ANGST!
I love it!

Monday, November 13, 2006 6:11 AM

TAMMYY2J


brillant you always write Mal and Inara so well

Monday, November 13, 2006 7:42 AM

AMDOBELL


Oooh, Mal, Inara AND chocholate ice cream? Could it get any better than this? Yep, it could have been a hell of lot longer! Delicious, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, March 21, 2007 12:17 PM

VALERIEBEAN


sweeter than icecream... and that's a tough sweetness to beat!


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