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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Shindig is one of my favorite episodes, though I do like them all. So much happens in Shindig for each of the characters even though it’s largely a Mal/Inara centric episode. I decided to fill in some plot gaps to that episode, but also elaborate on each of the characters’ thoughts.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 774 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
Disclaimer: All of Firefly belongs to Joss Whedon
She was dancing with Atherton, flicking eyes and all, but for those brief moments when her eyes flicked away, she was stealing glances at Mal. Discretely, of course, she shuddered to think of how Atherton would react if he knew she was eyeing another man on his time, but she quickly amended that thought: she wasn’t “eyeing” another man: Malcolm Reynolds could hardly be called even that. He was a low life, degenerate captain with a “spotty” reputation at best.
Atherton tells her a joke, something about Francesca Allemonde and the country club, to which Inara objectively giggles. He follows it up with a suggestive remark, which Inara also laughs at but quells him with a feminine plea to stop. He smiles and complies, and she takes the opportunity to flick her eyes once more. Mal is by one of the massive pillars talking stiffly with a count or baron of some sort. He stares back, stopping in his conversation, and she flicks her eyes back to Atherton.
This time she is found out. Atherton catches the flicking eyes. He candidly asks her what has drawn her attention and she covers by asking him who the man in the sash is. He tells her he is Sir Warrick Harrow and gallantly offers to introduce her to him. Inara can see what is quickly coming, and she attempts to politely deny the introduction, but Atherton insists. At this, she is instantly thrown off guard, her mind racing ten times faster than her feet. What will she say? How will she act? Of course if Mal were a client those questions would be easy to answer, but the thought of Mal as a client, well…laughable really, and why the hell did that come to her mind?
Indecision becomes her demeanor, a stiff, almost angry stance in comparison to the fluid, yet composed stance she had as Atherton’s escort. She can’t believe that her companion training has been offset by a backwater transport ship captain, but that’s a dilemma she’ll have to contemplate later.
A moment passes and they have joined Mal and Harrow, Inara trying so hard not to flick her eyes.
“Sorry to interrupt. Sir Warrick Harrow, I believe I know you from the club.”
Mal’s staring at her, which doesn’t make the whole situation much better, but he smiles, and that has to count for something.
She quickly smiles back. “Captain, this is Atherton Wing. Atherton, Captain Mal Reynolds,” she somehow manages to say with composure.
“Pleased to meet’cha,” he says as he shakes Atherton’s hand. It was nearly laughable to see these men behaving like this, sizing each other up, but Inara’s face remains a mask the whole time.
Mal quickly comes back to her, “Inara, I didn’t realize you were going to this party.”
Her composure breaks for the first time as she says “It’s the only party,” a bit too icily than perhaps she initially wanted to.
Mal quips stupidly on her remark in the most Mal-like way possible, and she darts her eyes away, in annoyance or maybe something else, maybe so she can avoid laughing at what he just said in front of Atherton.
Mal turns his head back to Harrow but his eyes remain fixated on her and Atherton. He’s the first of everyone there to notice Atherton’s harsh, possessive grip on her arm, even Inara.
“Ath. Can I call you Ath,” Mal asks candidly, but enough to irk Atherton. There is the slightest of pauses where she realizes exactly what Mal is doing. “Inara has spoken of you to me. She has made a point of your generosity. Given that, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind if I ask Inara the favor of a dance.”
This time Inara can’t stop her eyes from flicking to Mal. If they could speak, they would be screaming “What the hell do you think you’re doing!” at Mal above the quiet din of the party.
And Atherton is not a foolish man. He knows exactly what the captain has done. Social entrapment. This was the sort of thing Inara saw often from people who were born and raised in the plush lifestyle of the Core Worlds. Manipulation, in which one cannot deny another’s request for fear of a tarnished image. It was the last thing she expected from Mal.
Atherton can only smile and give his approval, and Inara’s mask most certainly crumbles. Mal was messing with an exceedingly jealous man.
But he chivalrously takes her hand after politely smiling, nonetheless. In truth she’s somewhat relieved, though she will act otherwise.
Because even though they’ve just joined hands, they had been dancing together all night.
Thursday, May 28, 2009 2:32 PM
Thursday, August 13, 2009 7:24 PM
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