None of it means a damn thing
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

During the series, OiS, standalone, when Inara tells Mal she's leaving, there's so much left unsaid.


The usual disclaimers. Joss owns everything (including your soul, don't underestimate the boss man) and Mutant Enemy blah blah blah, you get the picture.


"I put out a few waves to some old acquaintences." Inara told Mal, as the two of them stepped onto the catwalk. "I may even be able to find something in New Melbourne, if you need the shuttle free." she went on. It'd been a few days since she'd told Mal she was leaving, but she hadn't been particularly motivated to make haste about it. Some part of her still hoped that there was a reason to stay. Or even a passing fancy. If only someone would stop being so stubborn.

"Just gonna be there long enough to pick up cargo." Mal replied. Any excuse to keep her on the ship for longer, even if it was torture every time she was near. He knew he'd hurt her bad and he thought that was why she was leaving. He just couldn't bring himself to ask her to stay. It wasn't as if he hadn't tried, but when he wasn't choking on the words, she stopped him. It was best to just make a clean break. No need to drag it out any longer than necessary. But there was no need for her to get off as soon as New Melbourne, either. "You know, the only thing you're gonna find in New Melbourne is fish, and fish related activities." he told her, "So, unless you got the overwhelming urge to gut sturgeon-and, who hasn't occasionally?-" he half joked, trying to keep things light between them.

"But it's a layover point for almost every planet this side of the system," she cut him off. It needed to seem urgent. Maybe he would panic and accidentally let the truth slip out in that chaos he liked to call a mind. "I could-" she took a deep breath, "I just don't want to draw this out." she said softly. Come on, Malcolm, you have the loudest mouth in the black and you can't summon up the voice to make one teensy little request of me?

"Have you decided when you're going to tell the others?" he asked, dashing her hopes. Why did he have to be such a fool?

"I-No." she sighed, "I appreciate you not saying anything-" She hadn't told the others yet because she was still hoping she wouldn't have to leave. All she needed was a reason.

"Well, I don't." he said. If she was going to go, he wasn't going make it any easier on her. The others would definitely be sad to see her go. Kaylee especially. "So make up your mind." he said. And stop messing with mine.

I have made up my mind. I was just hoping you would change it. Apparently, crime is the only thing one can count on you for. Do you know how infuriating you can be sometimes, Malcolm Reynolds? All I want for you is to tell me the truth. Tell me that you want me to stay. Ask me to stay. Just a simple request. How hard can it be? Just ask me not to go. I'll resist, but only because I want you to convince me to stay. Whatever this is, whatever we've been doing, it's just not good enough anymore. I can't take it any longer. If I'm going to stay, you're going to have to give me a reason. I'm a big girl, just tell me.

What do you want me to say? That I love you, or that I care? That it kills me to see you walk away? Which is more frightening? Me asking you to stay or me letting you go? Which hurts worse? I know I sure ain't feeling so great. Feels like someone's stuck a knife in my gut, but instead of just pulling it out like any decent fellow might, it just keeps twisting and twisting, hoping I'll die from the pain. And that's not even the worst part, 'Nara. The worst part is looking down and seeing whose hand that is. The worst part is that it's your hand. And you don't even care. None of it means a damn thing.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008 9:07 AM


Very beautiful and very moving. Only Joss knows if this was the real intent for his characters in this scene, but I think you came mighty close.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 10:46 AM


You really have hit the character of Inara on the head with this short piece. It beggars belief how Inara internally is cursing Mal for not saying what she wants to hear when she was too much the coward to let him confess his feelings for her when he tried to tell her, choosing to run away instead. The woman blows hot and cold, no wonder the Captain never knows what to think or how to take her actions and moods. If she can't be honest her own self she can't expect to leave it all up to Mal. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 12:40 PM


Well, I really like what you've written here and it shows a lot of growth in your writing. I peeked at your other posts.

It's hard for me to judge this character, especially in light of what Morena said recently about Inara. That she is dying. "Just tell me, I'm a big girl" packs a humdinger of a punch if you watch, within that context.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 6:38 AM


I doubt even Morena knew what Joss had in mind, and I think this is close to the truth. Lovely piece, thank you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011 4:59 PM


I like this interpretation of that scene. Two people who have such a hard time telling each other what they really think, what they really want of the other, full of passionate feelings that they are unable to express.


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