"If Someone Told Me" - Companion Inara Sera
Saturday, December 7, 2002

Why they came to Serenity, why they stay


Ask me a year ago if I would be having these thoughts, and I would have told you "no." A Companion is an honored profession. We are cultured and educated since early childhood to be the perfect woman, skilled in music, dance, appearance...and yes, techniques of sexual pleasure. Wealthy men (and a few women) pay large fees for my company. I am not bound by the dictates of most polite society women. Marriage is a way to insure paternity of the children so that the family line can continue, and to cement business and social alliances between the families. Save for the poor or working classes, it is for business. In such an arrangement, a Companion provides pleasure, a necessary respite from the demands of commerce. I am quite wealthy, and have my pick of a diverse client base. Contracts are simple, and I have autonomy. When has it changed? I had never questioned the honor or the need for my profession until recently. I rented the shuttle on Serenity. Simple business arrangement. I needed a way to get from planet to planet, especially on those my services would be needed most. This ship was willing to fly to those destinations. What was odd was that most vessels would be honored to accommodate me. Malcolm was a tough sell. I could tell he wasn't from my world. His plainspoken frontier dialect, the way he spoke of the Alliance, and the simplicity of his ship said that right away. I wasn't under any illusions, either - I knew Serenity would be used for smuggling. I figured that would tip things in my favor. He listened patiently to my caveats and conditions of contract with only a raised eyebrow. Using charm didn't work, either. He saw right through it, called me a whore, and I would have walked out right then. I'm not entirely certain why I didn't. Perhaps I would have if I hadn't been so intrigued. You see, usually men fall over themselves in my presence and Mal was a challenge. He was perfectly willing to uphold my conditions, so long as I paid what he asked for in rent. Since we were able to hammer out a deal, Mal has treated me like a crewmember. He's made no attempt to hide what he thinks of my profession, and I've brought to his attention some of the less-than-legal things he does. Yet, I can see that he respects me. It's something I'm not used to. I'm used to jealous looks from wives, possessive stares from men, and the eyes of clients, either tense from work or hazy with lust...I'm used to being a profession, not necessarily a person. And to see the others - Zoƫ and Wash demonstrating that marriage needn't be another business arrangement; the Shepherd with his books and his thoughts; Kaylee, who looks up to me like an older sister; Jayne's rough and quirky manners; and poor Simon and River. Simon looks just as out of place as I do, knows and understands my world. Had he been a little older, his family probably would have found a good society wife for him, and he'd be on my client list. He threw it all away on something that no one in our world can afford - sentimentality. Right now, I'm sitting in the mess hall, a data pad of poetry in my lap as River braids my hair. I fear the poor girl is quite mad, but she does have a good heart. Repetitive tasks calm her. "You're thinking again," she says. "Thinking of why you're here?" How does the girl do it? Shepherd sometimes calls her a lost angel. Oftentimes, she does seem to be part of another world, knowing things the rest of us can't while our ways of perception are just as alien to her. She ties a ribbon into my hair and gets up, shuffling towards the door. She pulls her ratty shawl around her. Just as she gets to the door, she turns around and says, slowly and so quietly I strain to hear. "We care about you. That's why you're here." Then, she is gone.


Monday, December 9, 2002 12:23 PM


That was excellent character insight on Inara. The "We care about you. That's why you're here" from River was pure genius. It weaves into her personality perfectly and I can easily see Inara like that on the show, if not already.

Saturday, December 28, 2002 7:21 AM


Great fic. I like your writing style.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003 2:46 PM


I loved the weave of Inara's thoughts and the take on why she decided to rent the shuttle in the first place. Would have liked to have seen a mention of the fact that she had fallen in love with the ship but that aside this was perfect for her. And River at the end put the cap on it in the most elegant way. Seeing right through the excuses and pretensions to the basic singular fact. I thought that was neatness personified. Many thanks, Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Sunday, December 14, 2003 5:21 AM


I like the little tie-in to "Shindig", the whole thing about profession and herself.

I also like what River says at the end: "We care about you. That's why your here."

Keep writin'!


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