Because he loved her - Part 6
Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'd like to thank my fabulous beta-reader, Desertgirl you're the best! I will ask you for the last time to hold on to your seats!


Inara took a deep breath and began. “When I was five, my mother was diagnosed with a fatal condition. The doctors were quite optimist, they said she should come out of it since they caught it from the start, though that didn’t happen.” Inara paused and looked at the wall for a few moments before she spoke again.

“I was too young to understand what was going on. I thought things would always be the same; but then I saw my mother loosing her strength, and I knew something was wrong.”

“When she died, my father started drinking,” Inara muttered as if she was ashamed to bring this nasty family skeleton out of the closet. “The family business was going downhill quickly, luckily for all of us, my uncle was able to salvage it.

“My father hated me and blamed me for everything, he said I look too much like my mother and that I’m too much like her,” she paused again obviously gathering strength. “He hit me once or twice.” She waited for him to react, but he did not. Even this event, life shattering for a young girl, did change the way he felt about her, he had seen much worse.

“When my uncle noticed what was happening, I was six. He placed me in foster care for two years with one of his friends until he talked my aunt into taking me.” She snarled giving him a rare glimpse of her true feelings.

“Did I ever tell you my mother was a companion at one time, long before I was born?” Inara looked into his eyes. “I so wanted to be like her, so did Yvette “It took some of the best counseling in the core to help me realize my father was wrong and to help me accept my mother’s death. . What I learned through years of self examination is that I am alone in this universe. If I want things I have to get them alone. I have to do it my way and be independent even if it was not always easy. ” Inara took another deep breath. “I always deal with things alone.” There was defiance in her eyes.

“’Nara, you shouldn’t of blamed yourself if you looked like your mother, much less for your father’s drinking.”

“I know but sometimes my father’s words re-surface in my brain and they still hurt a bit.” Inara went to a drawer, pulled a capture out from a brocade box he once saw in her shuttle and brought it to Mal.

Mal smiled, it was Inara with a bundle cooing to a tiny bundle in her arms.

“That’s my mother and me,” she said, causing Mal’s head to snap up. “Yes Mal, that’s my mother.”

“When you said you looked like her, you wasn’t lying,” he said in awe. “So this is when you were a young’un, huh, before you got your curves an’ all?” he smirked, she was so tiny.

As if reading his mind, Inara said “Yes, I was born two weeks early so I was quite small.” she said, fondly putting it back in its place in the box when she had gotten it. Suddenly she turned serious, staring at him with disregard. “Despite what you think, I did not emerge from a fairytale. Living in the core does not prevent family problems; no matter how much the social services people try to prevent them.”

“M’sorry,” Mal said his voice full of regret at causing this outburst.

“Tell me about when you were a child,” Inara smiled trying to change the subject and lighten the mood in the room.

“Well, there ain’t much ta say,” he smiled. “I grew up on a ranch, on Shadow, my father was never around. I don’t know why, and I thanks to the alliance I guess I’ll never know.

“I went to school but that was never enough for my ma. She used ta say my father would want me to be proper educated.” He chuckled at the memory. “She sent me to private lessons after school with this guy from the core. An old teacher who had retired and had taken up residence about a mile down the road. The rest of my childhood was spent taking care of horses, and helping the men who worked with us.”

“Your mother must have been a great lady to tame Malcolm Reynolds,” teased Inara grinning.

“Yeah, my ma was one hell of a woman” he thought remembering her.

“She whupped me hard one time when I was just a youngster after she found out that I was stealing perfume for a girl that had been staying with that core bred tutor of mine.. I used to get her shiny things when we were sweethearts. I think she was six and I was seven. She was one of a kind, once, she challenged me to jump from a high truck when we bickered. She cried a lot when I broke my arm.” The smile vanished from his face. “She stayed less than a year, though. Without a word she flew away to the core never to be heard from again”

“What was her name?” Inara asked seriously.


“Mal I need to tell you something but I need you to promise not to be mad at me,” she asked warily.

Mal smiled, Up until this evening he had not known that Inara could turn into a frightened four-year-old; and although he was worried about what she was going to tell him, he knew he couldn’t hate her if he wanted to. “All right Miss Serra, spill.”

Inara went to the same bedside drawer and returned with a silver choker, a sweet dainty butterfly with pale blue and clear Austrian crystal wings dangling from it. Mal opened and closed his mouth several times but no sound came out.

Inara took the opportunity to explain. “My mother’s name was Celine. I was called that for years after she died. When I had to choose what name I’ll put on my companion ID, obviously I chose my given name. Mal please say something!”

“Gorramn hell!” he yelled bolting up from the bed.

Inara looked at him with intense fear, as though he was about to hit her. That look made him crumble; he never ever wanted to see that look on a woman that he loved. It was something he’d obviously never do. But her reaction wasn’t her fault. Life had been cruel to her too. Mal felt his heart melting, running down through his stomach causing it to flip flop as he watched Inara sitting there rapped in the white bedspread.

“I’m sorry ‘Nara. It’s just that the past ain’t a topic I often talk about. This is just, well, it’s a little overwhelming is all.”

“You don’t hate me?” she asked tentatively, still shaking a bit.

“No, I don’t. How long have you known this anyhow?”

“I figured it out shortly after I was boarded Serenity. I just couldn’t… just couldn’t tell you.”

“Hey it’s okay. I understand; but now I’d best let you sleep. You look like you might drop.” He tucked the blanket around her shoulders and started for the door; but Inara stopped him.

“Why won’t you hold me?” She stopped as if realizing what she had said, then tried to recover a bit, “I mean I never have nightmares when you hold me.”

As much as it amused Mal to see her ramble like this, he didn’t have the heart to let her keep going on. Instead he sat down next to her on the bed and began removing his boots. “All right, just don’t hog the covers,” he smirked


Told to hold on *makes innocent face* Hope to have surprised you…let me know if I managed!


Sunday, July 13, 2008 3:53 PM


Yes... very, very surprised. But pleasantly

Sunday, July 13, 2008 4:29 PM


deftly done:) the ending was geninely sweet -
Mal's voice coming through strongly in this chapter.
i liked the Inara details too - Celine, interestign name choice...

Sunday, July 13, 2008 4:29 PM


pardon the typos:(

Monday, July 14, 2008 11:44 AM


Wow! Nice twists ans turns!! :))

Monday, July 14, 2008 12:32 PM


Very good! Yes, I had guessed the father side of it, but the part about the mother suprised me. Wow, Inara must look much older than she actually is, and Mal must look younger. :) More please!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:51 AM


Yep they do =)


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Sun After Storm - Part 3
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