Only People In This Room Are You And Me
Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Post BDM, Mal/River, the story after Copper For A Kiss.


Disclaimer: All rights to Joss and Mutant Enemy.

I'm somewhat hesitant to post this, I'm not sure I like it. I don't think it's the best it could be, and it was mostly written due to the popular demand for a continuation after Copper For A Kiss. It seems to be growing on me though.


He yawned sleepily, strectching his arms above his head. When he brought them down again, they came down on something soft and warm- something that wasn't usually in his bed. Furthermore, he realized this warm thing was nestled into his bare chest, breathing soft little puffs of warm air onto his skin, making it tingle.

She snuggled into his chest, stirred by his movement. Her hand came up to rest half-fisted in front of her face.

Looking down at the still sleeping form of River, he remembered why she was in his bed. She had come to his room in the middle of the night and they had had a nice little chat, and then... a nice little kiss.

He smiled to himself, relaxing the muscles that had been tense- due to the unfamiliar sensation of waking up and finding something unfamiliar. The smile widened when he realized how good it felt.

Leaning his head down, he planted a soft kiss on the top of her head. Stretching her legs to their full extent, a smile began to play across her lips. The sudden sensation of cotton and skin running down his leg gave him a small shiver, not one of particularly bad nature either, but then that depended on what one was considering bad.

"I can hear you..." she said playfully without opening her eyes.

He chuckled, "I guess I'll have to watch that, then." he replied, "Because it would be all kinds of unsettlin' to be thinkin' less than cleanly thoughts at the dinner table with you listenin'..."

She lifted her head up and looked into his eyes, "How is that different from usual?" she asked, deadpan.

His face burned slightly, and she started giggling. He sat up, causing her to fall off of his chest. Then, he pulled his pillow out from behind him and gave her a whack upside the head with it. She was giggling histerically, and he was laughing too. Dropping the pillow, he proceeded with the tickling.

"Ok!... Ok!" she said in between giggles, "I give up! You win!"

He stopped, laughing hard. She sat up, grinning mischeviously.

"Fell for it!" she said, tackling him around his middle, and giving him a dose of his own tickling medicine.

"Oh, you little-" he said, wrapping his big arms around her, holding her immobile. Her laugh died down to heavy breathing.

For a moment, she just stared into his eyes silently. He knew she was listening to his thoughts. His arms relaxed. Without warning, she kissed him. He lost himself in the softness and sweetness of that kiss.

When she withdrew, it was like the oxygen had been sucked from the room. Sighing, he put his head into his hands.

Her light touch was on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, River, it's just... There are plenty of men your age out there... I feel like I am doing something wrong..."

"Is it wrong to follow your heart?" she asked him. "She doesn't want someone her age, she wants you. You want her too. She knows it. Send her to Hell for sinning, as long as she goes with you."

He smiled, "It's not fair, you in my head." he said, looking back at her. "Gives you an unfair advantage. You know that I want you, an' you know I think it's wrong."

"It's not wrong to love. It's not wrong because of age either. Old enough to understand it, old enough to know what I want. If we waited two and half years, 'til I was twenty, you'd have no problem then. Little bird wants to fly, wants to feel what it's like to be in the sky. Time she learned how from someone who wants to teach her."

He kissed her forehead, "You are hard to argue with."

She smiled, "It's one of the things you love about me."

He laughed, "True." He looked past her to his clock, "We better go get some breakfast before it gets cold." he said, then he added as an afterthought, "And before big brother gets worried."

Her face took on a more serious expression as he pulled a pair of pants up over his boxers- which he had been sleeping in, "Simon won't understand."

"'Spose not." he said, now buttoning up a freshly drawn on shirt. "Guess we'll worry about that when we come to it. I'm in no hurry to get decked."

She smiled, "Then we won't tell him. It'll be our secret."

He glanced at her, "That's up to you."


She acted as normal as possible when they entered the dining area. Got herself a dish of food and sat down across the table from him.

Simon and Kaylee were almost finished eating their breakfast, and were deep in a conversation, while Zoe ate quickly and silently staring off into space.

Jayne had apparently already finished, and was sitting on the couch sharpening a knife. Glancing up at her, then back down at the knife, he set them down thinking better of it. He was remembering what had happened last time.

She tried not to, but she kept glancing up at Mal and grinning. He pretended to stare off into space like Zoe, but every time River looked, he was hard put to conceal his grin.

To accomplish this, he began to talk to Zoe, who was sitting beside him. Simon and Kaylee finished, then wandered off to do who knows what. Zoe made some excuse and left to be alone, she did that a lot lately. No one blamed her, she was healing. Glancing at the couch, she found that Jayne had slipped off unnoticed.

They stared across the table for a moment, then she moved to sit next to him. "You're doing it again." she said, looking at him.

"This ain't the dinner table, it's the breakfast table." he replied with a grin.

She laughed lightly at this, "Oh, I see. Then what Simon and Kaylee did on the dinner table last night has no relevance right now because this is the breakfast table?" she asked, managing to keep a straight face.

He looked up and scooted back, "On the table?" he asked incredulously, "That we eat off of?"

She was laughing at him again, "Fell for another one."

"Oh, ha ha." he replied, resuming eating. "But seriously, they didn't do anything on the table, right?"

"Nothin' but eating." she said. "Not proper for anything else."

"Right. Your brother wouldn't do something so improper." He said, convincing himself and shaking the images out of his head.

"He walks a strange walk." she agreed.

"That he does." Mal replied. "Though if he knew that you slept in my bed last night, I'm sure he wouldn't hesitate to go very improper on me." he said with a chuckle.

Neither of them had realized, however, that there was one person who hadn't eaten yet.

River noticed the appearance of Inara's thoughts too late, the damage had been done. So much was pumping through Inara, it was giving River a headache, and she rested her head on her hand.

Mal looked up and saw Inara in the doorway. Her cool and almost unfeeling demeanor was a surefire hint that she was livid with rage.

She came down the steps and into the dining area. "Your crimes just keep stacking up, captain." she said in an icy tone, "I never thought child molesting would be added to the list."

"What? No." Mal said looking at her. "Wo zai qianshi yiding redao shenme ren le ba... There was no molesting."

"Of course not, captain." Inara shot back.

"The lady tiger is on the prowl. Don't you know that girl cats fight harder than boy cats? The captain would never do anything to me against my will, nor would he be able to." River interjected.

Inara gave River a look of pity mixed with hatred, then turned on her heel and stormed off without breakfast.

Silence fell over the table for a long while. Finally, River spoke, "I can never be her. Can only be me. Broken as that is, it's what I am. I'm the sad nut that fell from the tree, I can never be part of it again. I can only grow into my own tree."

Mal looked at her, realizing that his flame for Inara had almost burned out, she had thrown icy cold water on it the day she left. The flame he held for River was near as tall as a bonfire. The words he'd said to Nandi seemed to apply here, "Only people in this room are you and me." but this time he meant them in a different sense.


Wo zai qianshi yiding redao shenme ren le ba... -I surely annoyed someone or other in a past life, didn't I...


Wednesday, January 31, 2007 9:15 PM


Nice continuation for both Mal and River. I do feel bad for Inara, but I'm glad that Mal was able to ease River's worry.

Can we see more please? Maybe - *gasp* - a series?

Thursday, February 1, 2007 12:56 AM


I don't feel bad for Inara for the simple reason that she can't make up her mind what she wants and when she does, does not have the courage to be honest about it and go for it. But, if anyone else comes close to having what she secretly longs for she gets intensely jealous and acts betrayed. Happened with Nandi and now it is happening with River. I would have thought she would have learnt by now. As for the River and Mal dynamic I could see it developing, slowly over time. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, February 1, 2007 1:15 PM


It's certainly one of the big issues, Inara's inability to commit to a feeling or decision relating to Mal. Now I admit Mal ain't innocent of similiar issues...but the amount of mindfucking and emotional over-reaction doesn't really help her case any. And I'm a Mal/Inara shipper!


Anyway...definitely wouldn't mind seeing this as a lengthy series, with Mal and River learning about one another and coming to the point where it ain't quite as wrong as it probably is right now:D



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