Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Nandi didn't die. - Short, unfluffy, free for all ages.


Written aaaaaages ago in June '06 for a drabble prompt by 2x2.

Free for all ages. Unfluffy. "Heart of Gold"-AU. Nandi didn't die.

----------------- Greyscale -----------------

The imprint of her embrace stays a few minutes, long as she can bear to watch her walk away. Tight. Believe me, I'll be fine. And she meant it, too. Always did, Inara. Like riverwater passing through.

It pricks like tears in her eyes, but the air is too dry and turning her head she knows that she's the luckier one for having lost that particular struggle long ago. Malcolm Reynolds is doing an admirable job of not looking at anything but an unwashed cup of coffee.

They're alone for a minute, silent, while his people gather for leaving, her girls start cleaning up their dinner. Little Jonah's wailing somewhere. Safe. Saved.

"I'm sorry."

He looks up startled like a boy. Like all the boys.

"Don't much know what you got to be sorry for." Like all the boys, he swallows. "Should be me that's apologizing."

They both know what he's talking about. Only people in this room is you and me. The lie she was looking for. That's what she learned, at the House. Eyes closed tight like rice wine and imagination. It's not using, if it's offered willing. Not really.

Not that he believes it.

He thinks he's so old, but he's barely more than a child, in his way. She can't help but love him a little bit, for that startling flash of purity he's hiding away so close.

"I thought I was doing you a kindness." Offered up like the condolences they are. "If I'd known... Not much of a way to repay you for your help."

Both of them.

He chances another glance at the cup before stumbling on, scratching out what he's been wanting to ask since morning. "What you said before, 'bout Inara..."

It'd be a cruelty to let him finish.

"You're a good man, Malcolm Reynolds." Good and bad. Just enough of both to earn and lose him more than she ever could, from her. "Don't think she doesn't know that. Don't think it's that."

Her hand on his shoulder, the pity in her smile. They tell him about traces in the snow and trying to stem a stream with bare hands.

Something fades in his eyes, barely stillborn light that it was.


There's a dread to his posture when he nods and turns.

He's bracing himself.

She watches them walk, long after they're gone.

- - - END.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008 2:09 PM


Oh so very sad but beautifully written. Personally, I always lamented that Nandi died because she is actually a better match for Mal than Inara is if only because she is truthsome in going after what she wants while Inara ties herself up in knots pretending she doesn't want him. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, April 9, 2008 5:58 PM


Some great lines here, especially, "What you said before, 'bout Inara..." and, "Don't think she doesn't know that. Don't think it's that."

And poor Nandi to realize what she and Mal did will have major repercussions in regards to Mal’s and Inara's non relationship. And her knowing that Mal is in for a whole lotta hurt because she knows Inara well enough to know she’ll run. It’s so sad for all involved and carries the tone of the show, masterfully.

Excellent piece.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008 7:43 PM


Thank you for commenting, you two! I'm glad you like it!

Ali - well, to be fair to Inara, Mal calling her a whore is about as counter-productive as it gets in demonstrating his respect and affection, you know? Can't blame Inara for doubting this could end well. And she is pretty consequent about it all. ;)

Platonist - It's just such an inspiring constellation! Isn't it heartbreaking how Joss managed to wrap all that pain in a package actually consisting of nothing but love? Mal loves Inara, Nandi loves Inara, Inara loves Nandi AND Mal, and the fear of all three leads to this disaster. *sigh*

So, thank you again!

Thursday, April 10, 2008 10:58 PM


really enjoyed - worth expanding i feel!

Monday, April 21, 2008 4:35 PM


A very nice idea, but did bring a tear.

Friday, January 9, 2009 11:59 AM


"It'd be a cruelty to let him finish."
--That's a wonderful observation. Feels like the very thing Nandi would think.

"Eyes closed tight like rice wine and imagination."
--Now that is beautiful! I adore this line. Very poetic.

That's a very insightful passage of writing.


You must log in to post comments.



Can't look, can't look.
River, Mal, post-movie, unfluffy. - Kinds of memory. Out of nowhere. Every war, every side.

Basic Skills
Inara is organising her drawers. - Very short moment in a young student's day. Free for all ages.

Do you know what a Grizwald is?
Post-Serenity, Mal, Inara, fruit, contemplation. 2x2 made me do it.

Nandi didn't die. - Short, unfluffy, free for all ages.

Job Hazard
Crack-fic. With a chubby little crew. Set anytime. Because Mal has a bad temper and worse luck. Free for all ages.

Signed up for.
Tran-qui-li-ty. - Inara. Kaylee. Pre-series. Short and sweet. Free for all ages.

The Calm
Before the storm. - Inara. Post-movie. Quiet drabble of introspection. Free for all ages.

Data For Storage
Inara and the art of observation. Jayne and the art of being Jayne. - post-movie, quiet, free for all ages. Written back in April '06.

The common denominator is woman. - Spastic poetic voice takes on Zoe and Inara. Short, a bit abstract. Free for all ages, no spoilers.

Slice It Forward
Mal/Inara/Cake fluff. There might be metaphorical meaning hidden inside, but I won't tell if you won't. Rated C for cake, cute and calories.