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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE
Inara goes looking for Mal.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 3144 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
A/N: I guess I shoulda put this in part one, but I forgot!!! Takes place after Objects in Space, but before the 3 part comic Serenity, or the movie. No BDM Spoilers in this part.
Go back to the beginning: Part 1
Choices – Part 2
“Zhòu mà Mal, where are you?” cursed Inara as she made her way out of yet another seedy establishment, feeling like she’d need about a hundred showers to get clean again. She’d been to every saloon she could find within walking distance of Serenity, and still no sign of him. She was beginning to worry. And the streets would soon be unsafe for her to walk them alone. It had been early enough when she’d started her search, but now, several hours later, the sun was on the verge of setting, and soon it would be dark.
She stood and scanned the shops around her, searching for some clue as to where to look next. If she didn’t find something soon, she’d have to go back. God, what was she going to say to him, anyway? It didn’t matter, she just had to make sure he was safe, that he hadn’t gone and done something stupid and -- As her gaze traveled around the square, she stopped suddenly and turned back to a building she had initially skipped over, it’s neon sign flashing out an assortment of enticements. Something stupid, she thought. She crossed the street to stand outside ‘The Chapel of Love’, a low level brothel offering ‘Companionship and Christ’. Whoring and God, the two things he held the least respect for. Somehow she didn’t doubt that Mal would be inside.
Inara stepped through the door into an entryway draped with well-cut red and gold velvet. Three entrances clearly divided the house into its three purposes – brothel, saloon, and chapel. It was really quite upscale for an independent operation, though nothing compared to one of the Guild Houses, or even her own shuttle for that matter. But something about it bespoke pride and even honour in the place. It may be a whorehouse, but it was a respectable whorehouse.
Inara was jolted from her thoughts by the voice of a small, ancient looking man who emerged from the first door and, upon taking in her appearance, began yelling at her. “Huā qiào biăo zi, you are not welcome! Wài chū! Leave!”
“Láo jià, I am only looking for my friend. I think he might be here,” Inara said, taken aback at the man’s hostility.
“Wài chū! You are not wanted! We have an autonomous license. No interference! You go!”
“Qi. I’m not here from the Guild. I just want to find my friend—“
“What’s all the racket here?” interrupted a woman, obviously the one in charge, as she pushed her way through the curtains into the entryway. She was taller than Inara, her hair a dark brown that tangled around her face in wild waves, eyes piercing and keen and they regarded Inara coolly, seemingly as unimpressed by the presence of a registered Companion in her House as her doorman.
”Duì bu qĭ Honourable Mother,” Inara said, addressing her as she would one of her own House Mothers, eager to put this woman at her ease. “I came only to find a friend of mine, whom I think, maybe, is employing the services of your house.”
“You’re a Companion,” the woman interrupted, heedless of the rudeness of her action. In fact, Inara was sure she was trying to get a reaction from her with her bluntness. She smiled her most conciliatory smile, refusing to be baited.
“He a client? Stiffed you for your fee?” the madam asked, looking Inara up and down. “Don’t want no trouble here.”
“No, no, nothing like that. Just a friend,” assured Inara, forcing herself to be patient.
The other woman gave a short, derisive laugh, smiling without mirth. “Well, if this friend a’ yours is employin’ the services of my house, as you put it, I’d hardly think he’d be wantin’ to be disturbed about now, would he?”
“I—,” she faltered, not really considering before now just what Mal might be doing here, as obvious as it was. She straightened, lifting her chin a little higher to do her best to look this woman in the eye. “I only want to know if he’s here. I can pay--”
“Alliance credits? No thanks, honey. ‘Sides, don’t know what you’re used to, we keep a confidential client list here. Sorry,” said the madam, crossing her arms haughtily.
“Platinum. Enough to make it worth your while,” said Inara sharply, tired of playing.
The two women regarded each other silently, each taking the measure of the other. Finally, the woman nodded to Inara. Money was money, after all.
“All right. Who you lookin’ for?” she asked, dropping her hands to her hips in expectancy.
Inara sighed inwardly in relief. “His name is Malcolm Reynolds. He—”
“Reynolds!” the house mother interrupted with a laugh. “That hún dàn? He’s drunk as all get out in my bar. Ain’t taken the services o’ nothin’ but the bottle tonight. Didn’t want no woman nor preacher,” she added, noting the look of relief she saw cross the young woman’s face. She gave the Companion a thoughtful look. “You Nandi?” she asked.
Inara went still, the relief she’d felt at hearing Mal hadn’t taken to bed with any of the women of the house fading from her face at the mention of the friend she’d lost, and the obvious implication that Mal had spoken of her, here, to this woman. “No,” she said, forcing her voice to remain steady. “Why do you ask?”
The woman shrugged casually, her icy demeanor softening somewhat. “He’s been goin’ on about someone name a’ Nandi all day. Her, and some biăo zi called Nara. Don’t sound none pleased with her though.”
Inara gave her a sad and unsurprised smile. “Inara,” she corrected. “And,” she said, sighing, “that would be me.”
“Ahh. I see,” said the madam, finding she felt a sudden sympathy toward the young woman. “I am Gabr’elle,” she said, indicating her self and inclining her head slightly. “Owner and operator of the Chapel of Love.”
“Gōng xĭ,” said Inara formally, bowing back.
Gabr’elle smiled, both liking the Companion and feeling sorry for her despite herself. “Well, then, Companion Inara,” she said, “I suppose we’d best go round up that man of yours.”
“Oh, he’s not--” Inara protested but Gabr’elle held her off.
“Of course,” she said, her eyes telling Inara that she understood perfectly.
Chinese translations (as best as I could find - forgive me, I’m not Chinese)
Duì bu qĭ = forgive me, I’m sorry
Gōng xĭ = greetings
Wài chū! = go away from one’s present physical position
Qi = please(imploring)
Huā qiào = fancy
biăo zi = whore
Láo jià = excuse me
Go to Part 3A
Thursday, November 17, 2005 10:49 PM
Friday, November 18, 2005 12:20 AM
Friday, November 18, 2005 12:52 AM
Friday, November 18, 2005 4:57 AM
Friday, November 18, 2005 5:12 AM
Friday, November 18, 2005 10:23 AM
Friday, November 18, 2005 12:07 PM
Friday, November 18, 2005 7:27 PM
Saturday, November 19, 2005 1:23 PM
Monday, January 01, 2007 11:27 PM
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