Puppy Love: Part 6
Friday, December 2, 2005

Mal gets more than he bargained for in response to his question.


She backed out his grasp only to find her back pressed against the bulkhead. He stepped forward blocking any means of escape and invading her personal space. He repeated his question. “What do you want, Inara?”

“I- I want . . .”

“You.” The ethereal whisper came not from Inara but from around the corner. River seemed to almost materialize into being. She cocked her head to one side as though listening and her eyes lost focus for a moment. A secret smile bloomed across her face and her eyes fixed on them again. “She wants you. And you want her.” With that she disappeared again as silently as she had come.

Inara’s mouth hung open in silent denial. Mal stood just as speechless, rooted to the spot, eyes blinking slowly in disbelief. He shifted his gaze back to Inara hesitantly. “Well I, uh, that was . . .” Mal cleared his throat. “Bracing.”

“Yes, I-- I don’t know what to say.” Inara tucked her hair back behind her ears blushing brightly.

Mal scrutinized her expression closely. “She’s never wrong, ya know.”

“I know.” The silence between them lengthened becoming oppressive.

“We should probably talk--”

“Cap’n!” Wash called from the cockpit. “We’re being hailed.”

“Maybe later then.” Mal turned hurriedly away.

“Yes, later.” Inara turned just as quickly and headed in the opposite direction, hopeful that later would never come.


“River, honey, can you come out please? We need to talk about what you said earlier. You remember? In the hallway, with the Captain?” Inara kneeled in the cargo bay in front of the opening to one of the many ‘secret’ storage areas on board.

“What’d River say, ‘Nara?” Kaylee came down the steps, Lil’ Captain close at her heels.

“Oh, mei mei.” Inara stood stiffly as though the cold of the deck plates had sunk into her joints. A clammy fist of fear and dread closing itself around her heart. She sat back down on the bottom step and Kaylee followed suit. Haltingly at first then with greater ease Inara told her the short but traumatizing story. Realization that nothing would ever be the same spread through her and the fist tightened even harder.

Kaylee put a comforting hand on Inara’s shoulder but when Inara raised her head to look at her Kaylee was smiling brighter than a thousand suns. “Oh, ‘Nara, I know it seems bad now but can’t ya see how perfect it actually is? You want him and he wants you. Perfect. Now that the truth is out nothing stands in your way of happiness.”

In Kaylee’s eyes Inara saw a childlike faith in the truth to set everything right and free. A naiveté that she herself had never shared nor entirely condoned. The truth was at best a nuisance, her Companion training had taught her as much. When you’re with a client they don’t actually want to know the truth of you or how you feel. They simply want to be fooled, to be lied to even. A Companion who always tells the truth is a Companion out of business.

“River wasn’t wrong, was she, Inara?” It was more a statement of fact than a question.

Inara sighed and watched Lil’ Captain with eyes that had turned inward. “No, mei mei, she wasn’t wrong.”



Friday, December 2, 2005 6:17 PM



Continue, or I'll send some reavers after you. If I survive sending them. Dang it.

Anywho, the fact that River was the one who confessed everything was great. I think you did a good job with this.

Only complaint: TOO SHORT!!!

Friday, December 2, 2005 6:37 PM


Yeah guys, sorry it was so short, it seemed much longer before i posted it.

Saturday, December 3, 2005 6:45 AM


*happy dance* SQUEEEEEEE!!!!


Monday, December 5, 2005 12:17 AM


yay grey!this was good! you even have me and bellona squeeking and dance'n heheh! it was the best way, and for once i feel like just going up to river and saying "i don't have to say how thankfull i am... you already know" oh this is so nice, but i also have to say though that it was a bit on the shortish side but it was still good. i cant wait for the next bit!

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 10:01 PM


hehe awsome river was great her confesing what we have always wanted to hear

great work keep going Grey


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