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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
Mal does a job for free and it costs him more than he knows.
Belongs to somebody not me. Blah blah blah, yackety schmackety. Please to give feedback. Good. Bad. Whatever.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1561 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Inara has been sitting on the bridge when Mal finds her. This iss a singularly remarkable thing, as it is well enough understood that the bridge is his domain, not hers. He wonders if he’ll have to start asking her to knock.
She is sitting, barefoot and cross-legged, in Wash’s chair. Again, a singular event, as only two people had sat in that chair since that day. Zoe and River. Even Mal takes the other chair by force of habit.
But there she is, staring out at the rain. Even though she never turns, never moves when he enters, he knows she senses him, is waiting for him.
Softly, so he almost doesn’t hear. “Is it done?”
“Yeah. Job’s done.”
No need to go over what got done, nor what had led up to it. She’d lived through it it, he’d seen the aftermath of it and the doc had to clean up after it. No need to involve anyone else.
Still, a promise was a promise. He’d sworn that the man who did it would pay for it. Malcolm Reynolds is a man of his word, at least as far as she is concerned. A foolish man, a conflicted man, but one of his word.
No need either to name names. Mal had long ago forgotten the name that fellah’s momma gave him. He had simply become “The Job.” Made it much easier not to give a ruttin’ gorram.
Besides, there is the bitter irony of him having to do the job that her precious Guild wouldn’t. At least not any more. His mouth turns up at one corner in a grim smile at that thought.
Least they coulda done was tell her beforehand.
Sadly, like so much of the Alliance’s doings, she never saw it coming until it was too late to be done for it. They’d left her to twist because she had become an inconvenience…an embarrassment…to them.
And thus it is once again left to Mal to tidy up the mess somebody else made. River. Wash. Inara. He wonders how much longer he’ll be willing to do clean-up duty.
She turns around to face him, finally.
“Is it really done?”
He’d laugh and make a cutting remark if he didn’t know the driving force behind her fears.
“Really most sincerely done and six feet under, sweetheart.” He gives a half-smile. “Hell, I even paid the undertaker to bury the bastard. ‘course it was the cheapest pine box in the joint, but it’s the thought that counts.”
A sad smile on her lips, almost enough to make him want to kiss the corners until they would turn up further. “You are a thoughtful man, Malcolm Reynolds.”
He looks down at his boots so she won’t see him blush in the dim blue lights. Road best not traveled, not after what she went through. He’s learned – oh, how he has learned – to suppress his desires when it comes to her. Stuff ‘em down all the way to the toes of the boots he’s currently eyeballing.
Works mostly, save at 3 a.m., when his subconscious invades his dreams with nightblooming jasmine and silk and crimson lips on parts of his body that haven’t had that for far too long.
Also best not to let slip the almost feral pleasure he took in the job itself. A sort of pleasure that, were he a man wired somewhat different, could be not unlike those desires he’s learned to deny himself. Malcolm Reynolds considers it a fortunate thing he ain’t wired that way.
As it is, he went and made the job personal – something he never does. Made it personal because it was her. Because of the bruises and the cuts and the…other things. Sure, if it had been Kaylee, he woulda done the same thing. But somehow because it is Inara, it hits him that much harder. Hit the other fellah harder too.
Inara unfolds herself from the chair, letting the blue silk nightgown whisper down bare legs. Mal wishes his hearing is not so good.
“What can I do to repay you, Mal?”
He notes that her game face is back. He knows the difference now because he’s seen beneath it. Deep breath.
“Consider it a freebie, darlin’. Sumbitch needed killin’. Just helped him through death’s doorway.”
She looks almost relieved. As if she is willing to play the part just for him, but take no pleasure in it herself. Throw herself on that sacrificial pyre because she thinks it is what he wants.
He turns away, lest she catch the flash of anger directed not at her but at the now cold son of a whore lying on a slab. Not just for what he actually did, but for killing off the possibility of those desires living somewhere other than at the toes of Mal’s boots.
He still can’t look at her.
“Not like this, darlin’. Not because you owe me or you feel beholden or you wanna prove summat to yourself.”
“Don’t you want…?”
At this, he turns around and finally gets angry at her. Mal has to take a step back because the things he wants right now are far too close to what that other guy took by force.
“You know damn well I do. But not as coin. That’s what he wanted.”
She looks small and scared, and he wants nothing more than to soothe her and tell her it will be alright, even if it won’t.
He turns to leave.
“When it ain’t just a job.”
Tuesday, October 07, 2008 5:07 AM
Tuesday, October 07, 2008 6:42 AM
Tuesday, October 07, 2008 2:56 PM
Wednesday, October 08, 2008 9:41 PM
Monday, October 20, 2008 1:37 PM
Saturday, January 24, 2009 1:33 AM
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