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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
Next in series. More 'how, who and why' in relation to Inara and the Guild.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1023 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
I appreciate and count on OC-forebearance.
Bao-Zhi deposited Ling-Ling in the entrance hall of her mother’s mansion on Wuxi and turned to go without a word. It was the final insult.
“Say ‘Good Evening’!” Ling-Ling demanded furiously. “And excuse yourself properly!”
“Good Evening, Miss Tang,” said Bao-Zhi complacently. “Please excuse me. I am going to attend to Mr Edward’s business.”
“It is not ‘Mr Edward’!” Ling-Ling snapped. “It is Mr Tang!”
“Very well,” Bao-Zhi replied, before disappearing out of the front door.
Ling-Ling burst into tears. Nobody respected her! The party was going on without her, and no-one would miss her, no-one!
Edward was hurrying down the stairs. “Darling!” he was saying.
She pulled away from him when he tried to hug her.
“Why did you have to drag me away like that!” she cried.
“I just thought you must have forgotten our arrangement to meet here,” Edward replied mildly.
“No you didn’t! Do you think I’m stupid? And do something about Bao-Zhi! He is so insolent!”
“Oh darling, don’t make such a scene. You can’t expect people to respect you if you behave like a child. Servants are not deaf and blind, you know.”
“Oh really? Well, he called you ‘Mr Edward’ just now!”
“Oh nonsense. Now come on. Mother’s looking forward to seeing you.”
“No she’s not!” Ling-Ling cried, running towards the stairs. “No-one is! And I don’t want to see anyone! Leave me alone!”
She ran up the stairs and to the bedroom that was kept for her, where she threw herself on to the bed and wept.
During the night she awoke to a silent house, feeling disoriented and hollow. She made her way to her mother’s room and climbed into bed with her.
Edward and Mrs Tang were discussing her when she woke the next day.
“I’ll speak to Zohra myself,” Edward said. “She’ll find something for her to do. Something like what she does now.”
“You can’t just send her away,” replied Mrs Tang, who was sitting up in bed.
“What choice is there? Inara Serra will have made the connection between Lang and us, all because of Ling-Ling’s inability to control herself.”
“It doesn’t matter if she has. What will she do? Madrassa is finished. She has no influence anywhere else. The political landscape of the Guild has completely changed since she’s been away.”
“We’ve miscalculated when it comes to her before.”
“What if she goes to the police?” Edward asked.
“With what? What does she actually know?”
“First, that she was approached by me after Tasmina Sharre’s death, and asked to front the House for us.”
Mrs Tang smiled. “Yes darling, but you didn’t put it like that, did you?”
Edward continued without acknowledging his mother’s interruption. “Secondly, that Lang told her she was dying. That his ‘treatment’ was something else altogether. And now thanks to Ling-Ling she’ll have grounds for suspecting that I had something to do with it.”
“And it’s only a matter of time before she learns that the police were interested in the departure of certain Companions from Madrassa.”
“Yes, but what does it add up to? That Lang was poisoning her and he is a friend of yours. As for the Companions – I don’t see how that connects to you at all. And Inara – we’ve seen what she’s made of. She ran away.”
There was silence from Edward while he pondered his mother’s words. “But she’s back now. And I still think it would be better if we moved Ling-Ling from Madrassa.”
“Oh leave her be,” Mrs Tang replied, patting Ling-Ling’s head. “She’s not doing any harm. And she loves it so.”
Ling-Ling froze under her mother’s touch. And yet she was sweating heavily at the same time – under her arms, between her thighs, at the back of her knees. What was this horror that was unfolding in front of her?
“We should stop discussing it anyway,” Mrs Tang continued. “She might wake up.”
“Well, I think it would be just as well if she did. She can’t be babied forever. And I’m sorry mother, but I can’t see the situation improving. She adores Inara. Never mind about Inara talking to the police, the real worry is Ling-Ling talking to her.”
‘I can hear you,’ Ling-Ling mouthed, with tears in her eyes.
“She directly disobeyed me by going to this party. She gave me her promise and she broke it. And I can only imagine how much Inara worked on her to make her do that.”
Had Inara worked on her? Had she? Ling-Ling asked herself. She heard her mother sigh.
“Let me talk to Zohra,” Edward said. “She can find her something on Londinium in one of the legitimate concerns, where William and Edward can keep an eye on things.”
“Well. All right. See what Zohra suggests,” said Mrs Tang with another sigh.
‘I can hear you,’ Ling-Ling mouthed again, this time as though she was shouting it. She sniffed.
“Darling?” Mrs Tang said, leaning over her.
Ling-Ling gave the smallest whimper.
“She’s awake,” Mrs Tang told Edward, who nodded blandly by way of reply. “Darling, how are you feeling?”
Ling-Ling pushed herself up to sitting in one sudden, angry movement. “You’ve been talking about me!” she cried.
“Yes darling,” said Mrs Tang.
“Well? I don’t want to leave Madrassa!”
“Oh darling. We don’t want you to leave either. But things are getting” –
“I heard! ‘The servants aren’t blind and deaf you know, Ling-Ling’,” she said, waggling her head as she mimicked her brother. “And nor am I!”
“You see?” said Edward. “It will only get worse” –
“Edward, don’t upset her,” reproved Mrs Tang, before turning to Ling-Ling again: “Now darling” –
“I’m not listening!” Ling-Ling cried, as she jumped from the bed and ran from the room.
Edward looked after her. “I’ll make sure she doesn’t go back to Madrassa,” he said, rising with a long-suffering air.
Monday, May 3, 2010 12:23 PM
Monday, May 3, 2010 4:10 PM
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 11:55 AM
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 5:06 PM
Friday, May 7, 2010 4:32 AM
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