When I Said Go, I Never Meant Away
Thursday, February 1, 2007

Post BDM, Mal/River, after Only People In This Room Are You And Me. Mal confronts Inara.


Disclaimer: Go bother Joss and Mutant Enemy!

Yes, yes, to answer the question of my loyal readers and commenters- YES, I am going to make this a series, just for you. Be happy, you convinced me that I should.


He sat in Wash's old chair, alone on the bridge, frustrated as Hell. He slammed his hand down on the console, his mind made up. He would have to go talk to her, much as he dreaded it, it was inevitable. Better he initiated the contact rather than have her come crashing down on him unawares.

He had been avoiding her since the incident at breakfast, and he realized he couldn't put it off any longer. He had to say his piece, get this load off his chest.

It was late, everyone had gone to sleep hours ago, but he knew she wasn't sleeping. He knew she was sitting in her bed, awake and fuming.

Silently, he moved through the ship, like a ghost. He stood outside the door for some time, then when he could stand it no longer, he entered her shuttle.

He had been right, she was awake, but she wasn't fuming. It was obvious that two seconds before he had come in, she had been crying.

"I don't remember giving you permission to come into my shuttle." she said, managing to keep her voice steady, "Nor am I in any mood to chat. Besides, shouldn't you be off molesting little children?"

"I wasn't lying when I said I hadn't touched her." he replied.

"Right, when you said that she slept in your bed, you meant just that?" she gave a derisive snort of laughter, "Like I'm going to believe that."

"On'y thing that went on was talkin' and sleepin'." he defended.

"I'm sure that when I tell Simon, he'll see it that way." she looked up at him, a sneering look on her face.

"You're not gonna tell Simon." Mal said quietly.

"Oh, really?" she asked, her voice dripping with venom.

"Really. Wanna know why?" he asked, but didn't wait for an answer, "It ain't your place. You don't have that right. Also, there ain't nothin' to tell."

"Whatever you say, captain. I wouldn't dare disobey a direct order from a captain! I always do what I'm-" but he cut her off.

"Damnit, 'Nara!" he shouted, then lowered his voice so as not to wake the entire ship, "If you wanted me so ruttin' bad, then why the Hell did you leave?"

Inara was shocked into silence for a moment, when she found her voice, it was quiet, "Why didn't you ask me not to?" she asked, looking down.

He didn't respond for a while, "I tried to tell you. Not just then, other times too, but you wouldn't hear none of it. If you wanted me to ask you not to, why wouldn't you let me?"

Her voice wavered, "I... I was afraid... Afraid that I..." she stopped and looked back up at him, "Really, Mal, you didn't fool around with River?" she asked.

"No." he said, looking away. "There was a kiss... tha's all."

She sighed in relief. "I... I'm sorry. For yelling, and... for jumping to conclusions." she said.

He was astounded that she had apologized. "Well... apology accepted." he said, unable to think of anything else to say.

She stood, walking over to him. Placing her hand on his arm, she said, "And... I'm sorry for leaving too."

He looked down at her hand and then into her hopeful eyes. "I'm sorry I let you leave. But it don't change things." he said, and her eyes darkened slightly, "I said I didn't fool around with her, never said I didn't feel for her." He moved out from under her touch and toward the door of the shuttle.

"Mal..." Inara said, her voice full of despair.

He turned his head to look back at her, "Inara, I gave you a chance and plenty of openings to make good on it. All you had to do was say the word and I was yours. But there's only so much a man can take, and you pushed me well past that point. It was a slap in the face when you left, and it brought me to my senses. I'm not sure I can be with River, but she's willing to take a chance. Love is a leap, Inara, and you have to jump without takin' time to look." With that, he calmly walked out of her shuttle without looking back.

He felt relief and sadness as he walked through the ship and descended the ladder into his room.

A soft voice from behind him startled him as he unbuttoned his shirt. "You know, there's always a chance of falling when you leap without looking."

He spun around, his eyes barely making out the silhouette of River on his bed, "What'd I tell you about sneakin'?" he asked lightly, though his heart still felt heavy.

She smiled, but refused to get off subject. "Are you sure you want to leap if you might fall?"

He sat down next to her on the bed, his shirt half unbuttoned. Taking one of her small hands into his two larger ones, he replied with, "Darlin', it's better to leap and fall than never to leap at all, because there's always that off chance that you will fly instead."


Thursday, February 1, 2007 6:44 PM


I come over here in the hopes and slight chance there might be some shiny Mal/River fic here. So you can't imagine my delight when I found your stories.
I, of course, read all 3 of them before commenting and have to tell you I'm loving it.
You're doing an excellent job with your storyline and I will add that I too hope that this turns into a series.

Thursday, February 1, 2007 9:25 PM


Well, much as I generally ship Mal/Inara...Mal's got a mighty big point here: he tried repeatedly to indicate to Inara he gave more than a mere shit about her, but she kept backing off. Eventually, a sane person cuts their losses and finds another opptunity after some careful consideration. Guess she's gotten too used to guys still wanting her after being coy with them:(

Still...I am glad Mal bucked up the courage. Neither Mal or Inara were innocent in their emotional drifting, but Mal needed to make it clear that he had to move on or become even more stuck in the past, and that he cared about River enough to take things slow:)


Thursday, February 1, 2007 11:22 PM


Oh I am giddy at the prospect of a nice, long, fluffy series ... Okay, you can add some angst, but let's have some good fluff too, dong ma?

The only quibble I had with this is that I don't think Inara would say "fooling around." She sleeps with men and women for a living - she'd say sex. But otherwise, I thought it was perfect and man am I looking forward to more!

Friday, February 2, 2007 12:20 AM


I really thought the conversation between Mal and Inara was great, a long time coming but needing to be said. Love the notion of Mal and River taking a leap but hopefully both will be looking where they are going and taking things slow. Also, I wish that River would tell Simon, fireworks be damned, because he is not going to be able to accept this and will jump to all kinds of unsavoury conclusions that may bring the hopeful couple more angst and pain than they can currently imagine. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Friday, February 2, 2007 2:07 PM


Contrite and way to simple for M/I. These are mature, complex, and guarded characters. You've written them like fickle Jr. High students. Mal feels just as confused and responsible for Inara's leaving as Inara does.

At this point, having Mal say "I gave you plenty of chances" or "I'm moving on" is spiteful and makes his love for ANYONE seem meaningless.

Saturday, February 3, 2007 9:22 PM


There could have been more between Mal and Inara, but I still like the wayyou handled it. They both knew what had been going on; they didn't need to hash it all out.
And I adore Mal/River; going to go read the next part right now...

Sunday, March 18, 2007 11:56 AM


Thank you so much for the story line. It's a different twist but I do like your writing very much.


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Chinese Phrases
I always have difficulty finding the Chinese phrase I'm looking for, so I've compiled a list. I thought it might be helpful to everyone else too, so I wanted to share it :) I'll update it every time I find a new phrase, feel free to add your own in the comments.

War Stories: Assembly
This is the seventh of a series about the Unification War. (As if it needed to be said) Pre-BDS. Our Big Damn Heroes get ready for a fight. Motivations are revealed, certain words are exchanged, certain fists, new feelings emerge.

Someone to Watch Over You
This is the sequel to "His Something." River keeps her promise.

The end of a Silee romance and the beginning of a Jaylee. Post-BDM.

Memoirs of a Companion: Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Post-BDM. Our companion takes time getting to know Dylan, a promise is made. Part 2:

Memoirs of a Companion: No Yume-Dochu
In Japanese, "no yume-dochu" translates to "the dream parade," which was a costumed parade that the oiran of 19th century Japan once performed. For a time reference, this is post-BDM, in the aftermath of the Miranda broadcast. Part 1:

War Stories: Reinforcements
This is the sixth of a series about the Unification War. (As if it needed to be said) Pre-BDS. Our Big Damn Heroes find strength in numbers. War racketeering is attempted, insights and options are explored, (someday) lifelong friends meet for the first time.

If I Kiss You Where It's Sore
Post-BDM. Slash. Inspired by "Better" by Regina Spektor. Some wounds need more help than others, and some secrets just can't be kept.

A Slinky Dress
Just another standalone, post BDM. Zoe finds something unexpected.

Something I Should Have Done
NC-17, just something random to tickle your... fancy... right... er... fancy. Yes. M/I. Set at the end of Heart of Gold, something Mal should have done...