Pretty ... pretty - chapter 16 - "Dilemma"
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sixteenth part of my Simon/Kaylee series, this one also focusing more on Mal/Inara. Inara tries to leave, but there are just things that keeps pulling her back.


AN: Thank you Inge for working with me on that MSN convo. I hope the Mal/Inara bits throughout the story are to your satisfaction. Direct continuation from previous chapter.

AN2: Those of you wondering if my sisters pregnancy inspired the story, it really wasn't what did. I found an interview on the net where Jewel was asked what she wanted to happen in the future for Kaylee and she had said plain out that she wanted Kaylee to have a baby. And for some reason this story just started shaping.

*** Dilemma ***

After what felt like hours of crying, of begging herself to get the strength to finish what she started, there was a knock on the door. She knew immediatly it wasn't Mal, as out of everyone on this ship, he was the only one who didn't have the courtecy to knock before entering a room. Her reflection was a mess. Eyes red and puffy, her cheek showing clear traces of the salt from all the tears that had run down her cheek.

- Inara, Simon called from the other side of the door. - Are you there?

Out of everyone on the ship, she hadn't expected the doctor to pay her a visit. She quickly tried drying her face from the fresh tear streams, as well as stretching out the crumbled parts of her dress. When she looked presentable enough, she went and opened the door.

- Hey, she said, gently. - Anything I can help you with?

- It's Kaylee.., he started.

This immediatly worried her.

- Is anything wrong? Is Kaylee allright?

- She's having Braxton Hicks contractions.

- She...she's h-having contractions, the usually calm companion stuttered. - Now!?!

- Braxton Hicks... They're false labor, Simon explained. - Often caused by stress.

Inara sighed in relief.

- Yes, she muttered. - She hasn't had a shortage of that lately.

- I'd be feeling much better if someone sat with her, Simon continued. - Keep an eye on her.

- I thought you would want to do that yourself, Inara stated, surprised.

- I don't think she wants me there.

- What makes you so sure, she puzzled.

- On account that Kaylee isn't speaking to me, Simon answered, sheepishly.

The familliar setting brought a smile to the woman.

- What did you do?

- She didn't like that I defined Braxton Hicks to be a mild discomfort in the uterus, the young doctor explained, grinding his teeth. - I was just giving her the textbook definition. How long you think until she forgives me?

- You've said worse things before, I highly doubt it'll take long, but I'll talk to her, Inara promised.

- Are you allright, Simon suddenly asked, seeing the red in her eyes.

- Leaving isn't the easiest thing to do, she admitted.

It was a good enough explanation for him. Not wanting anyone else to ask question she sat straight course for the engine room, figuring that Kaylee was avoiding her adoring husband. True enough the mechanic was found sitting in the hammock.

- I heard you were mad at Simon, Inara said, breaking the ice. - How are you feeling?

- Tai-kong suo-yo duh shing-chiouh doh sai-jin wuh duh pee-goo, Kaylee grumbled.

Inara smiled at the colorfull language. She saw the stool Kaylee sometimes used when working on Serenity, pulled it up to the hammock and sat down. Kaylee's somewhat sulking eyes turned to consern as she noticed the trace of tears on her best friends usually silky skin.

- What happened, she asked.

- I ran into Mal when I was leaving for my shuttle.

Kaylee raised her brow.

- What did he do?

- He kissed me.

The mechanic's eyes widened and a high pitched squeal left her. She inhaled sharply as she felt another one of those fake contractions. Mild discomfort... what was he talking about?

- How come you cryin', 'Nara? That's a great thing.

- It's just too many complications, the companion answered.

- Fei hua, Kaylee retorted. - I'm bettin' that kiss felt more right than anything else in the 'verse. When Simon kissed me, I felt that things were finally the way they were supposed to be.

Inara shook her head.

- It's not like you and Simon, there's more to concider than just what we might be feeling. Your relationship doesn't change who you are, what you do. He's still treating people and you're still working and tuning on Serenity.

Kaylee made a wordless objection, pointing to her stomach.

- That's just temporary. While waiting for the baby to be born, you might not physicly be able to do what you usually do, but it doesn't change who you are. For me it's a life choice. If I were to enter a relationship with Mal, he would ask me to quit as a companion...

Inara sighed.

- And he would be right to. And even though at times I wonder what it would be like to take that leap, I'm not sure if I'll be able to.

- Kaylee? Are you in here, cause... I... ah... um.., Mal stuttered, as he to his surprise found Inara sitting next to the mechanic.

The two who usually bickered whenever near oneanother, stared at each other in silence... and slight discomfort.

- I think maybe I should.., Inara started, getting up from the stool, motioning to pass him.

- No, I should.., Mal interupted, motioning to leave himself.

His hand brushed her shoulder, to stop her. There was a momentary tingle, instant putting their emotions back in high gear, remembering the brief kiss shared at the bridge. Inara jerked her shoulder away as if she had been burned. She couldn't let herself loose control.

- Why did you run, Mal asked, forgetting that there even was someone else than Inara in the room.

He had been pondering about that since he had pulled himself together. He had put everything he had in that kiss and for a moment it felt like she did as well. Then she had turned around as if she was fleeing for her life... As if he had done something terrible...

- I didn't... run, she croaked.

- Then what'd you call it?

- I regained my senses...

She sighed and tried to find words, but all she saw was letters jumbled together, ink on paper. They held no meaning anymore. How was she supposed to tell him anything, when her mind wasn't even all that clear?

- Mal.., she said softly, her hand briefly raised as if she meant to stroke his cheek in comfort.

- 'Nara, he interupted, taking a step closer to her.

She could feel his breathing on her.

- I... I never meant to make you run from me. I just tried to show you how I felt. An'...

His gaze was fixated on hers and he seemed to be struggling with whatever next he was about to say.

- I love you, he whispered.

Kaylee, not being able to controle herself let out a high pitched squeal as the captains words was spoken. She instantly covered her mouth, hoping she hadn't interrupted the moment, but she had. The two flew appart instantly, faces red, breathing heavily.

Inara was somewhat relieved for the interuption. She had suspected for a while of the captains feelings for her, but she had been able to hide away from it, as he had never told her. Now he had, and the situation was even more pulling her in. She couldn't ignore the fact that he had said it, but as she yet was at loss if to stay or leave was the right choice, she couldn't let him know that she infact was just as deep in it as him, if not deeper.

If only love was the question...

Mal felt naked, as he had just revealled the thing that lay deepest in his chest. It was meant to only be heard by the woman he loved and now he just couldn't leave the room soon enough.

As she saw him turn and leave the room, it was like her body took over her mind. Before she knew it she had followed him and put her hand on his shoulder, stopping him from leaving the hallway.

- Mal... I...

She didn't seem to know what to say, she just knew she couldn't leave it at that. He turned to face her. She was blushing, a rare thing for a woman of her trade to do. Her hand hadn't left his shoulder, even after he was facing her. His hand reached her cheek. This time he leaned in slowly. Savoring each and every tingle as he got closer to her. And she didn't back away.

The kiss had a meaning, a purpose. It started softly and grew in passion with every passing second. As the broke off slowly, he felt her slowly backing off. His hands immediatly held onto her waist.

- No... stay.., he murmured, his lips barely parted with hers.

- I have to, she whispered.

- Why, he asked, still dazed from the kiss.

- I can't depend on you, she answered.

This made him back a little bit more. The hurt in his voice was very apparent as he responded.

- If you say you can't trust me, I...

- I trust you Mal, I just can't depend on you.

- Shumma?

She sighed as she searched for the right words to explain the situation.

- I've never failed to notice how you don't exactly approve of my work. And I understand that you would want me to quit, it's just... what else do I have?

- If you're saying that you prefer whoring over...

- How can you do this, Inara asked. - How can you one minute proclaim your love for me and the next put me down like trash?

- What am I supposed to think? I ask you a reason for why we can't happen and you tell me it's 'cause of work?

Inara gritted her teeth in anger. He was surely making it a lot easier to leave.

- You may not like my life, but it's a part of me. It's what I do for a living. So say we do this. We get together, I stop whoring as you call it. What happens to me? Would I work for you?

- No.., he responded.

- So I'll just be living off you. You might be comfortable with these old fashioned views, but I'm not.

Mal watched her as her rage faded. Her eyes were sad and determined. He spotted a single tear rund down her cheek.

- How can we be together, she asked.

There were long minutes of silence.

- So you're really leaving, he asked, more softly.

- Shouldn't I?

He lost contact with whatever it was he was going to say next as he saw Kaylee appearing in the doorway, hand as always on the expanding belly, watching them. Her eyes were wide open, her expression simillar to a child who just whitnessed her parents breaking up.

- Kaylee, Inara spoke, softly.

- Remember the girl we helped have that baby, Kaylee asked. - She was so scared, thought she wouldn' come through an' you just said some things to 'er an' she did it. 'fore then I was terrified of giving birth, jus' seemed too difficult, you know? Up 'til today, I wasn' scared anymore.

The mechanic made her way past them and they were alone again. Inara turned to face Mal. His expression just as serious as hers.

- Kaylee needs you, he said, before she managed to open her mouth. - Stay... for her... I'll be out of your way.

With that he turned around left.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005 5:46 PM


That's so sweet! Aw, Mal proclaiming his love for Inara... spur of the moment, and so perfect for him.

That whole fight between Kaylee and Simon? Thank you it's not something serious! I can't stand another fight with those two (except your fic is nice and fluffy).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 6:16 PM


I swear you're getting better and better. I REALLY think you captured mal and inara very well here. they were in the moment and then it turns to a fight and you done good. I really want to read more! I don't know how far you plan on taking this fic but I just want closure, but by all means make it 50 chapters if u want, just make sure we get some closure pleeese. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 6:35 PM


I liked this. It's nice to see some other drama going on at the same time, as well as seeing the perspectives of other crew members towards Kaylee's pregnancy. And it's about time her hormones wreaked some mild havoc on her and Simon. Only natural.

Which interview with Jewel did she make that comment? I never heard that before.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 8:07 PM


SQUEAK!! Loved it so much! Mal and Inara have this great tension that makes for a really great storyline. This chapter was also very filled with emotion. Every character was vulnerable which isn't something that happens very often, especially with Mal and Inara.

Feed the hungry masses! Keep up the awesome work!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 11:07 PM


Awwww *applauds*

It's really great :)
And about the mns thing, any time :)(I love previews, how could I say no? :p)
Keep up the good work, hun!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 7:19 AM


*snuggles crew* aaw, you guys...


Wednesday, November 16, 2005 12:56 PM


Very nice last few chapters. I liked the Inara and Kaylee interaction. ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 2:17 PM


Im here..Im here..Im just not supposed to be online..LOL

I love the Braxton Hicks contractions..and Kaylee's colorful language about Mild Discomfort..LOL and then the mal and inara relation ship. You totally have that down!! It feels like an episode...

QUESTION- What did Kaylee say in chinese that Inara said was colorful? sounded familiar... :) chapter..okay since you've had your couple days off.. Its time to get back to 3 chapters in one day! lmao! You know you love writing these LONG chapters... ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 6:25 PM


Wonderful! I need more please!


You must log in to post comments.



Fun and Games - 2.4 - Hangover: Inara
A very late fourth part, but hopefully it's still a welcome one. Continuation of the Hangover saga, this time we'll take a look on how Inara's day went by.

Fun and Games - 2.3 - Hangover: Zoe
The late, but still welcome thrid of an eight part sequel to "Spin the truth", it's time to show how Zoe's day went by.

Damnit Simon
Yes ladies and gentlement, pigs are flying, misskitten is writing SMUT! Started out a different take of a sceene in OiS, but it grew out of porportions. Rated NC-17 for sexual content. And oh yeah, it's Simon/Kaylee, but you allready guessed that right?

Capt'n Meany
Ok, so I didn't post anything for Valentines day, but here's a one-shot for ya. Simon and Kaylee's been hiding their relationship. And Mal finds out.

Fun and Games - 2.2 - Hangover: Simon
Second of an eight part sequel to "Spin the truth", it's time to show how Simon's day went by.

Fun and Games - 2.1 - Hangover: Mal
First of an eight part sequel to "Spin the truth", each crew member's tale of the day after the game, this is how Mal's day went by.

Fun and Games - 1 - "Spin the Truth"
AU after "Objects in Space". In celebration of her birthday Kaylee talks the remaining crew on Serenity into playing a game.

Am I pretty?
Stand-alone post "Pretty ... pretty". Contains slightly changed BDM spoilers, you'll get it when you read it. Six year old Leilah wonders if she's pretty.

Pretty ... pretty - chapter 24 - "Home For Christmas"
Final chapter in my Simon/Kaylee series. The entire crew of Serenity returns to Kaylee's homeworld for christmas. S/K, M/I, W/Z

Pretty ... pretty - chapter 23 - "No more excuses"
Twenty-third chapter of my Simon/Kaylee series. This part is very much a Mal/inara focused one, she's run out of excuses, now it's time for Inara to make her final choice.