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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
By popular request, a companion piece for Que Sera. And yes, there are supposed to be two 'r's in this title.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1442 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
AN: thanks to Capercaillie for the name J This is not going to be a song fic, since you already know the song, and it is Mal’s point of view on the same events as those Inara thought about in Que Sera.
Okay. So he’d rented the shuttle. (What a dumb idea. Who’s idea had that even been? Wait, don’t answer that.) And, naturally, being the captain of this here boat, he’d had to be the one to show the possible boarders around. Get them acclimated. See if they would fit in on Serenity.
So he’d done just that. He’d gotten himself spiffed up. New pair of suspenders and everythin’. He thought he looked pretty gorram good for the captain of a boat with a hide like Serenity’s. At least, that’s what he’d thought until SHE walked on.
Inara Serra. Companion. Most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. When he’d first clapped eyes on her, he’d felt like someone had sucker punched him, and Mal was very well acquainted with that feeling. However, he’d never before got it without the accompanying fist…. Figured. It really did.
She’d had that veil thingy on, hiding half her face. Only not completely hiding it, you know, just sort of… gauzing it. Making her skin all dark and mysterious beneath the veil, and making her eyes all the more bright and alluring. Then, that was her job, right? Being alluring? He bet she’d never had a hard day’s work in her life. Well, save for all that sweaty bedplay. Snicker.
And anyway, they’d traded words. Mal thought he’d been polite enough. Considering. She should have been grateful! He could have been a hell of a lot ruder if he hadn’t been trying to be nice. And that little pause, right after the phrase, ‘Because you want me’…. Ouch. Just long enough to get his stupid eyebrows to rise and somethin’ else to think pretty hard about rising, too, and then she’d just gone right ahead and continued her little spiel. Hadn’t even looked away from his face. Damn it.
Ooh. Wait. There was a word for women like her, one he’d thought of a few days after she moved in. Beguiling. That was the one. Miz Serra was beguiling. She had the awful power to beguile the hell out of him with nothing more than a bat of those long lashes. It was scary, was what it was.
Only he’d resisted. Of course. Malcolm Reynolds was a hardened criminal. He was a soldier. He could face torture with a grin, insanity with a cocked brow, Kaylee’s strange kitchen creations with a quip and a well-hidden napkin if it got too bad. He could resist Inara’s feminine wiles, her beguilement. Yes, sirree, he was not going to fall into her web.
It did kind of burst his bubble that she was just as good at hurling insults. His ego was often left writhing on the ground after some of her better attempts. It was disgusting how easy it was for her to reduce him to childhood, saying things like ‘Oh, yeah? Well… shut up!’ and then hearing what had just come out of his mouth and wanting to eat his own nicely polished gun. He tried to hide it. Waited until after she glided out to curse himself. Mal wasn’t sure how good his acting was, so…
And then there had been the whole Saffron thing. That had been interesting. What a time. It did kind of seem to fit his pattern of luck, though, didn’t it? Marry a girl, live with her for what, a day? And before ya know it, she’s tryin’ to drug you an’ steal your ship. Makes a fellow wonder if he really is that odious. (And yes, he did know the word ‘odious’. He read. Sometimes. Comic books. Shut up.)
So Inara had found him, called for help, and then fallen over her own self. He couldn’t believe she honestly tried to cover up the fact that she’d let Saffron kiss her. (And wasn’t that something he’d like to see!) Mal couldn’t believe she’d thought he wouldn’t be able to tell. He’d seen right through her tall tale there, hadn’t he? Showed her, it did.
Although… there had been something in her eyes right before he told her he knew what she’d let that hellbitch do. Something soft and warm and melty. Made him all gooey inside, but it couldn’t have meant what he thought (just for an instant) that it might have. Inara would never have looked at him all melty-like. He was too low for her. Just a petty thief, right? He cursed all the time. Wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, like some namby-pamby are-ist-oh-crat. He wore suspenders.
So he’d let it go. Put it out of his mind. Walked way whistling, satisfied that, just once, he’d gotten the better of Inara Serra for certain sure.
But then the desperate call from Nandi had come. Nandi, the badass, tough-as-nails bordello mistress who kept guns and knew how to use the word ‘ain’t’. Should have been the girl of his dreams. She wasn’t no fancy, too-good-for-the-likes-of-Mal Companion. She was smart, brave, loyal, beautiful… ah, go se. He saw it now, in retrospect. She’d been all the things Inara was that he’d just refused to see. And he’d slept with her. First time in a long time, honestly. It had been good. She’d been wonderful. But after, as she lay sleeping and he lay trying so very hard to sleep, he’d kept hearing her voice right before they’d really begun. “I’m not her,” Nandi’d said. “I’m not her.” And she was right. But it weren’t fair to Nandi to be thinking about ‘Nara at a time like that, and Mal had tried not to think about ‘Nara. He’d done fairly well at it, too.
Then he’d walked out of the room.
Seen her face.
It was like another sucker punch. She was damn good at those psychic whammies.
Mal had never felt so low in his life. In the millisecond before she got all cold with him, her eyes… the utter disbelief, the betrayal in those deep, dark eyes… it haunted him. The depth of her pain haunted him. He’d stammered out some kind of convoluted excuse, and she’d cut him off coolly, calmly, her face blank again. He’d felt sick.
He’d felt cruel, and Mal did not like to be cruel.
And then Nandi had died, and Inara had cried for her, the horror at the death of a friend untouched by whatever she might have felt after seeing Mal leave Nandi’s bedroom. That had touched Mal so deeply he couldn’t say. That Inara would forgive Nandi, just like that, and hold no grudge… that was something brighter and better than anything Mal himself could have done. It assured him that he could never touch Inara, because he would corrupt her. He would bring her down.
It was a horrible feeling.
So they’d gone on like that, for the few days she stayed on. When she’d gone, his heart had ached so much that he’d closed it off. Whenever the crew brought her up, Mal sucked in his breath. Left the room if he could. The crew learned not to bring her up.
And Book. Book had gone as well, gone to Haven. Mal felt lost. He’d felt like his consciences had left him. Then, when the nightmare that was Miranda happened, and Inara came back, he felt almost guilty by the weight of his relief. She was back. Somehow, it would be okay now.
Unfortunately, he’d been wrong.
They were afraid. Both of ‘em. Afraid to touch, afraid to cross whatever line there was between ‘em. She had her whoring, he had his thievery.
That had been a major wall between them. Inara, his Miz Serra, was also Inara the Companion. Gorgeous, collected, talented. Funny, smart, elegant. She was the perfect Companion. She never had a shortage of clients. Even after the Miranda affair, her involvement in it had seemed to make her all the more desirable. She now had an air of mystery, of danger, around her name that drew men (and women) like flies to honey.
They’d played around the attraction between them. Mildly flirting sometimes, fighting like cats other times. On Kaylee’s birthday, though, that thing had happened. That thing with the kiss.
That had been… shiny.
He’d asked lil Kaylee what she wanted. She’d said something like, “Gimmee somethin’ that’ll make me smile, Cap’n!” So, naturally, he’d asked her what would make her smile. Inara had given him a somewhat dirty look, which he didn’t understand at all. What was wrong with askin’ someone what he could do? The woman was strange, that was all there was to it. Kaylee, being sly little Kaylee, had shot a glance between the captain and the Companion.
“Well,” she’d said, “it sure would make me smile to see you kiss ‘Nara.”
Inara’s expression? Priceless. So Mal had gone over, dipped her down (ha! Take that, Mr. Wing!) and kissed her on the lips.
He wasn’t afraid to admit that he was milking everything he could from Kaylee’s birthday present.
Only after he let her up, the old terror came back. What if she was horrified? What if he wasn’t a good enough kisser? No, never mind about that one, he knew he was a good kisser. But what if, what if, what if? So he’d done the manly thing. The thing any other male in his position would have done.
He’d ignored her for the rest of the night.
Which, now that he thought about it, was possibly not the most strategic plan.
Well, hey. Strategy had never exactly been Mal’s forte.
And they’d just… gone on like that. Flirt, fight. Flirt, fight. It was enough to drive a man as bonkers as River.
So one day, the old pattern had been continuing on its merry way. They’d been having a row ‘bout something or other. A client of Inara’s, a job of Mal’s. Didn’t matter. And he’d grabbed her. Grabbed her by the shoulders. Not rough-like or anything, but just to try and force his opinion through his palms and into her skin.
Skin-to-skin contact was a dangerous thing.
And, somehow, one thing had led to another. He’d pushed her up against a wall of her shuttle, looked down at her eyes. Was she scared? No. There was no fear in her face. Panic, maybe, but no fear. He’d kissed her, his mouth on hers, his hands running down her soft skin. She’d tasted like almonds and wine, a heady taste that made the room swirl. They’d taken each other, there against the wall, moving to the floor, somehow making it to her bed. Moving with each other, memorizing bodies and seeing how they fit together.
He’d slept there, not uneasy, in Inara’s bed. Her head had found its way to his shoulder, snuggling in like it was meant to fit right there. His hand had slid over the curve of her waist, up to her breast, cupping it there, their legs still entwined. They’d slept peacefully, the first peaceful night’s sleep he’d had since Wash and Book died.
When they’d woken, she’d stared at him. Their faces close. Hearts beating against each other.
“Well,” she’d murmured. He was mesmerized by her lashes. His hand stroked small circles around her nipple. “Kaylee will be thrilled.”
And Mal couldn’t help but feel that it was destiny or some such hogwash. An old song he remembered his mother singing came back to him, her soft voice ringing in his ear: “Que sera, sera… whatever will be, will be… the future’s not ours to see… que sera, sera.” Whatever will be, will be. And, as Mal kissed Inara again, the song ran through his head one more time. It fit, didn’t it? Que sera. Or, he thought with a smirk, fully accepting his new status as Inara’s, que Serra.
Friday, November 24, 2006 10:38 AM
Friday, November 24, 2006 1:10 PM
Friday, November 24, 2006 2:57 PM
Saturday, November 25, 2006 2:43 AM
Saturday, November 25, 2006 8:38 PM
Sunday, November 26, 2006 2:42 PM
Friday, December 1, 2006 4:51 PM
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