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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Something happens, something changes and Jayne has a choice to make. One Tam has to be left behind on Ariel.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 842 RATING: 0 SERIES: FIREFLY
Warnings: Altered timeline from 'Ariel',
Time period: ‘Trash’
Thanks to lvs2read for the great beta and thunder_nari for the great beta and spurring me on.
“Is this where I’m meant to remember the adage ‘There’s no honor amongst thieves‘?” Inara smiles slightly, ignoring the veiled threat that is sweetly disguised and hinting. She’s poised and serene despite her own inner turmoil. Her outward grace only marred by the gun she has pointed at Saffron.
She still can’t understand what actually possessed Mal to try working with this woman, not only can Saffron not be trusted but Inara suspects there isn’t one person in the whole ‘verse who actually knows her. The real her. Not the fronts she keeps putting up. At least Mal was sensible enough to recruit her in case Saffron did try to double cross them. Perhaps she shouldn’t have accepted, should have let them get burned and perhaps learned. But they’ve had nothing but a run of bad luck over the last few weeks, embarrassing or demeaning jobs, and the crew could do with the morale boost. And a small part of Inara feels guilty knowing her words spurred Mal on. Wwho would have guessed that the word ‘petty’ would have such a big impact on him
“Honor?” Saffron laughs, not bothering to disguise her amusement. “There’s no honor anywhere, no matter how much coin you have.”
“So why covert it then?” Inara challenges her, “Why strive for more and keep playing with people's hearts, ruining their lives?” It’s what she can’t stand, Companion skills-Guild learned and earned skills-used in such a vile manner. For trickery.
“You know we could debate this all day, but I think if you were going to shoot me, you would have done so already.” Saffron smiles winningly and takes a step forward, closer now, not enough to touch but too close for Inara.
She calmly fires a shot into the bin and watches Saffron jump back away from the small smoking pot. “I think you don’t know me as well as you think you do. You can’t play me.”
“No?” Saffron’s smiling again and suddenly Inara’s not so sure. The smile's smug like the woman’s just remembered something important, something she can use.
“No.” Inara straightens her skirt. “Now, as I’ve told you, I’ve done my part of the job and-“
“What was your cut?” Saffron’s all sweet and staring up at her now, feigning curiosity though, really, she’s working things through in her mind, thinking of the best way to play this. Only reason she hasn’t before is that she was waiting to use it. Gather a ship, a few men–maybe–and then play the game. That’s what Monty had been for-gathering the ship, his take, whatever else she could along the way,
“Excuse me?” Inara can’t quite believe what she’s hearing, what she’s seeing. Last ditch pathetic attempt at seduction, converting, or perhaps something more?
“Your cut?” Saffron rolls her eyes. “Of the job?”
Inara bristles at the patronizing tone, fingers reaching for the remote to slam shut the bin lid, but Saffron’s standing straighter now, saying words that make her blood run cold.
“It must be quite substantial after all, or you’d have turned in those fugitives weeks ago.” Saffron sees Inara’s pause, smile catlike as her confidence returns. She’s shown her hand sooner than she would have liked, but she can work with this, turn it to her advantage.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Quickly Inara puts on an air of confusion, but it’s too late and they both know it.
Besides which, her denial is redundant. Shortly after being tracked down by Malcolm Reynolds, Saffron noticed the ‘at large’ broadcasts over the cortex. It didn’t take her long to place Simon and River as those aboard Serenity and though she knew information held a wealth of reward, she wanted more. Wanted it all and was willing to get in on the game to get the bigger payoff.
“The Tams, I believe? That doctor of yours and his sister?” Saffron shakes her head, “Odd pair. The girl wanted him to marry her if I’m not wrong. Strange what people from the Core get up to.”
“What do you want?” Inara’s tense now, unsure what to do in this situation and wishing Mal was with her at that moment. Mal, or even Zoe, someone who’d know how to take these threats. Saffron herself isn’t a problem, but with River’s safety at stake and Simon already lost to them, Inara isn’t willing to let her be at risk. She’s become very protective of River, so much more so with Simon missing.
“The Lassiter.” Saffron shrugs, “Isn’t that a fair trade? It’s worth more than the two combined and will look great on my bedroom wall.”
Her sarcastic lilt annoys Inara, grates on her nerves and pushes the protective instincts that little bit further. She can’t–no won’t–give Saffron the Lassiter. Not only out of principle, but the crew are counting on her, all of them not just River, and Inara knows there’s no way she can let Saffron go. Even if they did make the trade she’d only be back later–after River, or wanting something more.
Saffron’s moving closer now, believing she’s won, backed Inara into a corner and that the Companion’s too out of her depth to do anything about it. But then a steely look comes into Inara’s gaze, a small smile plays around her lips and, as she points the metal in Saffron’s direction, she feels pain shoot through her head to her toes, seconds before she falls into darkness.
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