Lost in the Woods (repost)
Monday, November 19, 2007

Just a little M/I angst. Mal helps Inara come to terms with a situation, about which she feels deeply conflicted.


Summary – Just a little M/I angst. Mal helps Inara come to terms with a situation, about which she feels deeply conflicted.

Disclaimer – Their not mine, I just use ‘em.

Note: This little ficlit isn’t related to anything else I’ve written, and some would say it’s not all that cannon either, but one never knows. The scene takes place 6-8 weeks after Miranda.


“’Nara,” Mal said rounding the corner into her shuttle. He had just poked his head in to let her know dinner was almost ready, but he stopped short when he saw her. She was lying on her bed in a crumpled heap. Tears were running down her face and from the puffiness of her eyes and the redness around her nose, it looked like she’d been crying for quite some time.

“Knock, Mal. It’s a simple concept” She fired her words at him like bullets.

Mal ignored her barbs, instead he walked in and sat next to her on the bed. He gently raised her chin so that she was forced to look into his eyes.

“’Nara, your crying.” It was a statement rather than a question. She quickly moved to hide her tears, wiping her face on the edge of the sheet that she held in her hand.

“Don’t,” he demanded. “Don’t stop crying just because I barged in on ya. Whatever it is, let it out. My Ma always told me if ya hold it in it’ll just fester.” He put his arms around her and after awhile she cried again. She wept for a good long while, and when it finally seemed like she had no more tears, he spoke.

“You don’t have too, but if you want to talk about what’s turned you into the Tridenthian Falls, I’ll listen.” The corners of her mouth turned up just a touch at his joke, but she didn’t speak for several minutes.

“I haven’t taken clients for a while,” she finally mumbled, her voice just barely a whisper, “Since before Miranda.”

“We all deal with hard times our own way, some of us need longer is all.”

“Then, there was the hooch night incident.” This time she looked at him as she spoke, although her voice was still barely audible.

“’Nara,” He gazed into her eyes. Her face was beautiful, even puffy with tears. He couldn’t stand the thought that he had been the cause her sadness. Not when it was the thought of her that now carried him through each day, helped him get past Miranda.

“I thought we decided that that night was the result of the many growlers of wine we consumed, I thought you told me I was to forget it had hap – Inara I’ll never forget, not for a moment.”

Inara smiled, and his heart beat harder in his chest as he waited for her to say something.

“I hadn’t been taking clients, and so I didn’t go for my physical.” She paused briefly. “I should have gone just after Miranda, I was due to go, the appointments had been made, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave. I missed my shot.”

He was a bit confused. He didn’t say so, but it must have shown on his face.

“My shot that keeps me from getting pregnant, I missed it. After our evening, I thought it wouldn’t matter, the shot was only a month overdue. But I started wondering, I started thinking what could happen.”

As she spoke Mal felt his stomach hit the floor and then get trampled on by the rest of his insides. He wanted to run away, not deal with this, but he would not. He would not be his father.

“’Nara? Are you saying your pregnant?” They were hardest words he had ever spoken to her.

“No,” she replied as she began to bawl again.

He was even more confused. While her answer had allowed his insides to return to their previous positions, the outcome had obviously not been what she wanted.

Cautiously he asked her, “’Nara? Did you want a baby?”

She continued to cry, finally choking out “I don’t know.”

Mal waited for her tears to stop, thinking that she would elaborate eventually. He was not disappointed, after a few minutes she gathered herself together, wiping away her tears with the corner of the bed sheet. But when she spoke, she looked at her fingers, fiddling with the cloth, rather than at him.

“I never wanted to be a mother. I loved my life. I loved my career. I loved being with people, caring for them, helping them. I loved the adoration, and the glamour. I loved the idea of being able to go anywhere, do anything I chose.

“If I had a child I would be forced to retire, and the father would be forced to pay my early retirement fee. It’s written into all contracts. Its one of the reasons I must show my papers if a client requests them. My shots are recorded, and I would never want to put any man in debt to the guild.

“But beyond the money, a child would change my life. Even if I wasn’t a companion, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I like to with a child in tow. I don’t want to spend several years changing diapers. Imagine raising a child on Serenity. I love this ship but it’s no place for a toddler. It’d fall off the catwalks, smash its fingers in the airlocks.”

She took a breath, gathering her thoughts before continuing.

“It’s just, since Miranda, since Wash and Book, since the Reavers. My life, the status and skills I have worked so hard to attain, don’t seem important anymore. It just doesn’t seem worth the trouble, it just doesn’t seem” she paused as if unable to put her feelings into words.

“And then once I realized that I had missed my shot and what that could mean since our evening, I started thinking about the possibility. I thought about how wonderful it would be to hold a little baby in my arms and know she was made from my love. I thought about hearing her laugh and call me mama. I imagined her hugging me and kissing me goodnight. I wondered what it would be like to hear her first words or see her smile.

“Forgive me, but I wanted that.” She paused for a minute and then added “I want that.”

“’Nara, if that’s what you want, I’ll find the way to pay that fee. Then you’ll be free to…” He did not finish his sentence but instead added, “And you don’t have to choose me, though I’d be honored if ya did.”

“No, Mal” She paused and for a moment and he was worried that she did not want to have his baby, that she would choose another. But the way she held on to him, he suspected that was not what she meant. “I, I don’t know what I want. I want a baby, and I don’t. I’m so…”

“Lost,” he finished for her. “It’s ok to be lost ‘Nara, most of us just wander around through the bushes hoping we don’t trip and fall on our faces.”

He held her long into the night without saying another word. At some point they scooted back on the bed, so they could both stretch out. She cried a little more, and then fell asleep. Eventually, he could no longer keep his eyes open either. As he drifted off to sleep, Inara cuddled in his arms, he imagined what it would be like to have a baby cuddled in between them.

. . Comments posted before the evil hack…….. ………… Leiasky Monday, September 17, 2007 - 11:52 . Hmm. Interesting direction with Inara not wanting children, and then not being sure after she told Mal that she was pregnant.

I do like that if she did get pregnant, the man would have to pay guild fees and she would be forced to retire. You should explore that more, even if it doesn't involve Inara but someone else she knows in the guild. . ……………. . BrownCoat2007 Monday, September 17, 2007 - 16:39 . *wipes a tear* wow... that was... sweet... and it didn't seem OC to me at all... is that strange that I could see something like that happening in the series, if they were to continue it, after Maranda?? You should really look to continue this line of though (i.e. PLEASE WRITE ANOTHER CHAPTER . ……………. . Katesfriend Monday, September 17, 2007 - 17:38 . Starting a baby boom after a traumatic event seems to be human nature's way of saying that life goes on. Glad to see they're all still human! . ……………. . blkhero69 Monday, September 17, 2007 - 18:22 . Quite a heart tuggin' piece o' lore. I agree with that bit on the Guild enforcing early retirement fees seemin' well thought out. Didn't quite sound like da Inara I knew, although I dont much bout women, let alone a Companion. Much obliged to the author for provided me a bit of my Firefly fix though

Keep flying …………. . KiMbEr Monday, September 17, 2007 - 21:27 . This was real wonderful! It's so shiny that Inara finally realizes the truth of things and that she and Mal want a baby together :) And I perfectly agree with BrownCoat2007, this DOES deserve a new chapter *pleading grin* Pleeeaaasssee :D . …………. . AMDOBELL Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 00:17 . Leiasky, the way I read this Inara 'thought' she was pregnant because she was a month over due then found she wasn't hence the tears and the not knowing what she wanted. I feel this reaction would be entirely in character for Inara especially after Miranda shook her moral compass away from the dogma of the Guild back to the more wholesome one of allowing herself to love and be loved rather than for the coin it would bring. She is finding herself and it would be so lovely if she and Mal got to the point where they could admit that and bring a baby created in love into their little world. A blessing not a burden. She's getting there but not there yet. Ali D :~) You can't take the sky from me . …………….. . Colt999 Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - 06:28 . “Knock, Mal. It’s a simple concept” Sounds just like Inara. The retirement fee is very cool. Great story. Thanks


Monday, December 31, 2007 9:43 PM


Hiya, lovelly fic. I think i have read the one that comes before aswell? Either that or it fits perfectly after another fic i read a while back. Anyway i was wondering would i be able to borrow the guild fee thing? I'm not sure if i will use it for that reason i just like the idea of that and i might throw it in the backround of my Series a little later on.

Otherwise, i think i want to go read some more.!!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008 7:26 AM


I enjoyed this and I like the way you kept both characters...well, in character! I could completely see this happening between them at some distant future point in their complicated relationship.

Thanks for sharing!



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