The Morning After
Sunday, April 15, 2007

This a sequel of sorts to my first Mal/Inara fic Plan A Doesn't Usually Work. I'm sorry it took me so long to post but I had a really bad case of writer's block. Many thank yous to my beta Girlaskew and Jetflair, encouraged me just to write. After the first successful job after Miranda the crew celebrates with some of Kaylee's brew. Mal and Inara are left alone and just when Mal thought about saying something Inara passes out.


Inara cracked her right eye open just a little. As she opened both eyes the light hit her eyes and a throbbing pain shot through her head. “I must have had more to drink than I thought. I hope I didn’t embarrass myself. I’ve never lost control of myself in my entire life”. She mused.

Inara drew in a breath. “What's that smell?.” She thought. The aroma that hit her was undeniably male and was vaguely familiar to her very fuzzy brain. It was a mixture of musty wool from the blanket that covered her, perspiration, leather and a strong dose of stale alcohol.

As feeling crept up her cramped and aching body, she realized that she wasn’t in the small, utilitarian bed that had replaced her elaborate queen sized one with ruby silk sheets in her shuttle. She was sprawled in a very unladylike fashion with her legs sticking outside the blanket and she was clinging tightly to the top of someone.

She wasn't the only one in an awkward position. He was holding her in an embrace that pinned her half on him and half against the back of a sofa. Inara had been in many different positions when she awoke with a client but she had never been in this one.

She tried to remember what had happened, but the last thing she remembered last evening was taking a good sized swallow of Kaylee’s concoction and trying to put the mug on the table. After that memory there was none. I just hope it's not Jayne.

Inara tried to slowly twist out of the embrace. The more she moved the tighter his arms tried to grip her. It was soon evident that she couldn’t gracefully extricate herself with out waking him up.

Her dress was bunched up around her waist and as she moved it wrapped itself tighter around her until it was impossible to get up with out falling to the floor. This added to her consternation and an increasing sense that something was wrong. Suddenly nausea consumed her.

She stopped moving and twisting long enough for the wave of nausea to pass and then as her brain finally cleared realization hit her like a punch to the stomach. The smell, the arms. Mal was the person underneath her. She was relieved for a second then other questions entered her slowly clearing head. How did she end up on the sofa in Mal's arms ? More importantly, had she lost all her vaunted control and done something that she couldn't remember?

“Oh merciful Buddha, what have I done?” Inara thought out loud. She had been immensely attracted to the Captain the first moment she had met him but the rules of her profession wouldn’t allow her to act on her personal feelings. Instead, they had started this insane dance of theirs and had almost lost everything after Mal had slept with Nandi. Only by leaving Serenity and Mal had she been able to try to regain command of her emotions again.

And control was the mantra of a Companion. Without it she was lost and with Mal control didn’t exist. He was like a primeval force that swept everything into disarray and confused her. With him her emotions were in a constant state of change. He could make her laugh harder than she ever had, make her angry enough to kill him, and want to make mad passionate love to him, all in an instant.

At that exact moment Mal shifted his body a bit and both of his eyes blinked as they slowly opened. Inara found herself drawn to his face. As she looked at him her mind wandered from her thoughts and she found herself fascinated by his long eye lashes. She didn’t know a man could have such long, gorgeous lashes and it wasn’t long before she was gazing into both of Mal’s blue eyes.

“Morning.” His said, his breath was thick with the smell of stale alcohol, but his face turned to her with a grin that melted the quick retort she had on the tip of her tongue.

“Bet you got a gorram headache. I sure do. Kaylee’s brew sneaks up on a body real fast, especially if you don’t drink regular”

“I wouldn’t put it in those exact words but my head does hurt a bit.”

“Guess we both need some coffee.” Mal fumbled a bit as he untangled his arms from around her. After he got up from the couch he turned around and offered his hand to help her get up from the couch. She took his hand and as elegantly as she could, stood up.

Mal seemed to be in a ridiculously good mood this morning despite spending a night scrunched up, drunk on a couch. He still had that dammed grin on his face as he folded up the blanket and laid it on the couch. She wondered why.

As Mal stepped into the galley area to start the coffee, Inara saw that her dress was wrinkled, rumpled and in a general disarray. She was also barefooted. She smoothed her dress as much as much dignity as she could muster with her. She moved to the galley with Mal and finally found her slippers underneath the table after looking around a bit.

“I’ve got a headache and I really need to go to my shuttle and change, I’m a mess.” Inara started to turn and leave.

“Looks like we slept together.”

Inara stopped dead in her tracks and whirled around. Her brown eyes were blazing. Mal had a self satisfied smirk on his face which infuriated her more. “We what?”

“We slept together last night.”

Inara's face showed confusion for half a second before she straighted herself to her full height, fury blazing in her eyes.

“You hun dan! “ The words shot out of her mouth before she could think, much less think clearly. Her hands involuntarily searching for the nearest object. Finding nothing to fling at Mal all she could do was wring them violently in front of her in frustration. “I can't remember anything about last night, much less making love with you. I don't remember...” Inara almost shouted.

Seeing her distress Mal started laughing. Softly at first, then louder and louder until he was almost doubled over.”I'm sorry,..” he could barely get the words out between the gales of laughter. “Nara , nothing happened. You did start burrowing yourself into my arms and made all sorts of nice sounds but you must have had too much of Kaylee's brew. Before I knew it you were out like a light. Not to say I wasn't sorely tempted, you being all lovely and all, but I just couldn't resist pulling your leg a little.”

Inara felt herself losing what little control she had. The man IS psychotic. A day ago he was brooding and stomping all around Serenity like an ogre and today he was joking about making love with her. He was just impossible. and her hand found a dish from last night sitting innocently on the long wooden table. Before he knew it Mal was dodging the dish as it flew within a fraction of an inch of his head and then crashed into the cupboards behind him.

“Ain't no cause for dish flingin'. You should 'a seen your face. For someone that sets such a store on control you ain't got much left.”

“No I don't having anything left. All the things I've spent my life striving for are gone. I don't know where I'm going or what I'm going to do. I'm no longer in control of my life and it scares me.” She shouted at him. Tears started to appear at the corner of her eyes.

“Don't be scared. You've got a lot left to do in this 'verse. We've all had a hard time lately and I can't forgive myself for some of them. Listen, You've got the shuttle for as long as it takes for you to decide what you want to do. And you've got Serenity.” Mal stepped forward and held Inara in his arms as she started gently weeping.

After a few seconds she looked up into his eyes and what she saw there didn't scare her now He gently wiped some of her tears off with his fingers. A small smile started to appear on her face. “I appreciate your offer of the shuttle. I still don't know what I'm going to be but I'll need some of the things that I left at the Training House...”

At that same moment Mal felt as if a cloud had lifted from his shoulders. Maybe not all the clouds but it was becoming partly cloudy and he could see some rays of sunlight. “We'll figure out a way to get them to you. Just let me think a bit.”

The temptation to push things further and kiss her almost overwhelmed him again but he quickly decided to take things slowly, very slowly.

She pulled away gently, and started to softly smooth the skirt of her dress with both hands.

“The crew will be up soon. I'd better go and change”

“We need to talk 'bout things” Mal said with a slight smile on is face.

“We do.” Inara replied with a radiant smile. “I think our next conversation will be very interesting.”

“I'm sure it will.”

Inara turned and walked toward her shuttle.

Mal looked into his mug and feeling just a bit hopeful for the first time since ....well he didn't know when, said to no one in particular said .“It's gonna be a good day.”


Sunday, April 15, 2007 12:24 PM


I hope it is going to be a good day. With Inara's penchant for mercurial moods you never can tell. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 7:16 PM


Hmm...gotta say that I was impressed overall with what you put down here, ncbrowncoat. It was punchy, expressive and had a clear Mal-Inara dichotomy.

However, I gotta say that - to me - things went a bit OOC after Mal made his joke about sleeping with Inara. Inara went up too easily, even for a post-BDM state of being...and Mal was too easy-going and blatantly compassionate in response. It just felt weird to see these two have an emotionally-charged conversation without a lot of the charge. Just felt kinda underwhelmed.

Still...that's just me being strange. I am sure that the feedback you get after this will be all kinds of praise-filled. And besides...Mal/Inara snark and wit is a rather challenging task to take on, I suspect...even for Joss;)


Monday, April 23, 2007 4:57 AM


this was brillant


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Quick fic done at the request of a friend as a Christmas present. Enjoy!

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All I want for Christmas is a Pony and a Plastic Rocket
I was getting a nostalgic as I reread some of my first fics and decided to repost the the first two since they concern the holiday season.

I also resisted the urge to rewrite them so here it is in all it's glory.

The Last Christmas Present
I was getting a nostalgic as I reread some of my first fics and decided to repost the the first two since they concern the holiday season.

I also had the inclination to go back and rewrite the fics but I resisted the temptation. So here it is, in all it's glory.

Veteran's Day
Just a scribble I quickly wrote down. Mal muses on Veteran's Day in the quiet of the night.

Well, here it is. An attempt at Mal and Inara post BDM, after Serenity has been fixed, but before their first job.

I've also wondered about Inara's background and I basically took Moreana's comment that being a Companion was a "family business" and let my mind construct a back story.

Many thanks to Phyrelight and Taimdala for the Beta workd

Apple Pie
I'm back! Many many thanks to Phyrelight who provided a quite a few suggestions and helped me take this little fic beyond just scribblings on a scrap of paper.

This takes place just after Heart of Gold but before Inara leaves the ship for the Training House.

Spring Fever
Another "Young Mal" story.This was just something that wouldn't get out of my head. It was warm and gorgeous today and this sort of wrote itself. As a result, it's unbetaed so all the mistakes are mine.

Dear Mal
This has been on my hard drive since Christmas but real life and my Mom's broken hip kept me from finishing it.

Thanks to MissWhatitis for the beta and a bit of inspiration when I thought I should trash this.