Bedlam Part 8: Part of the Strange Bedfellows Series
Tuesday, December 6, 2005

No pulled punches this time. Mal and Inara spend a night somewhere in that fuzzy zone ‘twixt R and NC-17. Alright, I just had to get this one out. Hopefully you all had time to read 7 first (and 1-6 lol). As always, it’s Joss’s verse--I just borrow it. And Joss, if you’re reading this and you need an intern/assistant/coffee-getter/slave, feel free to give me a ring!


Bedlam: Part 8 By Kaynara

*** It wasn’t often Malcom Reynolds got this sort of reception. Hell, usually he was lucky to get any reception at all. A punch in the jaw was more likely. This--this weren’t half bad. He and River had brought Serenity in just after dark, landed her in a clearing ‘bout half a mile north of the Brandywine Township. “Malcom Ruttin’ Reynolds, you old son of a.” Mayor Parsons met them by a moonlit grove of trees--actually, the entire planet seemed to be trees. Inara leaned close to Zoe, taking her arm. “You’re sure they were friends, right?” Zoe smiled, patted Inara’s hand reassuringly. “ you remember the last time we had Everlift?” Parsons swayed slightly, as though he’d already begun the celebration. “I remember you teaching me how to inhale. Then I don’t remember much of anythin.” Parsons slapped him heartily on the shoulder. “That’s a boy. C’mon, see what the missus and I cooked up for you all.” *** Reclining in the grass, legs extended, Mal watched his crew with something akin to satisfaction. If a warm reception was a rarity, then this--all of ‘em well and fed and smilin’ mostly--was a gorram miracle. Simon and Kaylee were dancing. The doctor had dragged her out where the others were, insisting when she hesitated, blushed and said she didn’t know the steps. Mal watched him twirl her around in some high-society fashion. The pair looked a bit out of place amidst the Brandywine folk, who were simple country people in their plaids and denims. Still, she was beaming, her cheekbones cutting high in her face, her hair flying as Simon spun her about, dipped her low to the ground. If Kaylee was happy, things were right with the world. River was watching them too. She smiled when she saw Mal looking, waved at him across the way. She sat with Zoe in a patch of moonlight. Every few minutes, she bent her head close to Zoe’s stomach, murmured something softly as though addressing the baby. For all Mal knew, the kid talked back to her. Mal let his gaze swing over to Jayne. He was drinking, of course, telling a story that seemed to require a great deal of gesturin’ to a pretty girl with red curls. An older gentleman sidled up to them, not lookin’ too steady on his feet. “How’d you like a taste of my daughter’s wine, son?” the man entreated, clapping a hand on the red-head’s shoulder. “Jayne,” Mal called. He waited until his mercenary looked over, shook his head emphatically ‘no.’ Jayne looked confused, then relieved. “Not fallin’ for that one again,” Mal murmured. “Not falling for which one?” Inara asked. Mal looked up at her. Her cheeks were pink from the chill in the night air, her eyes bright. “Wondered where you disappeared to.” “I went for a walk. It’s beautiful here.” “Not a bad stretch of land. If one’s inclined to stay grounded.” “Will Malcom Reynolds ever be so inclined?” “Can’t rightly say. Not any time soon, I ‘spect.” He took a breath, rooted a wild flower out of the ground and brushed the petals over her chin. “That bother you?” “Not tonight,” she answered, which was enough for him. “Mal.” “Yep?” “I’m ready.” *** He didn’t want it to be in her shuttle. He’d make love to her there later, erase the old memories. Tonight was about new ones. She seemed to understand, didn’t protest when he brought her to his door. They climbed down his ladder. He went first, helping her down the last few steps. Okay, Mal. You’re gonna do this nice and easy. Treat her like those fancy crystal cups she keeps in her cupboard, like something fine and precious and priceless. “Mal?” He was staring. Ta ma de. “Yeah?” “I, well. I--” He grabbed her by both arms, pushed her back against the wall. If she was surprised, she covered it well. Damn well. Her fingers were twisting in his hair by the time he’d lifted her, held her up so their mouths were level, so her legs could wrap around his waist. “How in the gorram hell ain’t we done this before?” he muttered into her neck, his fingers working at the zipper of her dress. She was trying to unbutton his shirt, trying not to fall on the floor. “Sheer strength of will. Or perhaps, sheer stupidity.” He got her dress down to her waist. Her slip was nearly sheer, a soft silvery gray today. He eased her down to the floor. “Okay. Wait.” She watched him, eyes huge, hands posed on his shoulders, where she’d been about to slide off his shirt. She looked so innocent standing there. He realized he didn’t know her true age. Some days she could flatten him, make him feel like a child with one haughty glare. Sometimes, like now, she looked about eighteen. “I wanna take you to bed. Not, you know, ‘gainst the wall.” She slid her hand into his--funny, that they’d never held hands, funny they hadn’t done so many things--and led him toward his bed. She sat on the edge and scooted back. She lay down against his old army blanket, pulling him down on top of her. “Oh, wo de ma....” Propping himself with one arm, he let his more streamlined body conform to her curves, settling against her breasts, intertwining their legs. He kissed her hair, her temple, found her lips. She tasted like sweet wine and promise. He felt himself growing hot, hard, and moved to her neck, bit lightly at the curve of her throat. Her breath came quick and heavy in his ear. She slid her mouth around his ear lobe, sucked until he groaned. Her hands moved over his chest, inner arms, reached around to run down his spine. She pressed a single hand flat against the front of his pants. “Whoa. Uh uh, keep those pretty hands at your side, darlin’. Or if you prefer....” He lifted her arms over her head, wrapped her fingers around the bed posts. “I’m not permitted to touch you?” Inara raised a brow, amused. “Do you have some odd sexual perversions of which I’m unaware?” she asked innocently. “No odder than the next fellow, I ‘spect.” “Then why...?” “Hey, who’s the captain here? Quit bein’ so ornery, woman.” She bit her lip to hide a smile and sat up on the bed. “You know Mal, once we’re...I mean after we’ve....” “You approachin’ the vicinity of a point?” His mouth grazed over her knee, lips sliding around to the hollow on the other side. What do you know, Wash had been right. “I’m trying to think of a term you won’t find...jarring.” Truly, she was just trying to think at all, with his mouth working the underside of her knee that way. “I’m a reasonably mature, fully grown male. Try me.” “Alright. After we’re...lovers,” she began hesitantly. He lifted his lips from her thigh. “Lovers?! Ai ya, wo de ma, Inara! Just kiddin’. After we’re lovers...?” “You should know that I don’t intend to take orders from someone with whom I’m sleeping.” “Gorramit, woman, you never took orders from me when we weren’t sleeping together.” “I did occasionally--when I agreed with your judgment. But lovers should be on equal footing, Mal. Decisions should be made as a pair.” “Well, then, it’s a good thing we ain’t lovers quite yet.” His voice softened, his eyes turning serious. “Lie the hell down.” “Do I get to know why?” she mused, but obeyed, letting her head fall softly against his pillow. “Prolly best you keep your hands to your own self, least till I develop some restraint wherest you’re concerned.” “And?” She watched him slide over, hover above her. “And.” His eyes burned into hers, blue ice and sincerely serious. “And I wanna watch you lose yourself...lose yourself then come back to me again.” She held up a hand to his chest, halting him. “You’re feeling sorry for me. Because of the things I told you that night on the bridge.” “Inara. I’ll be first to admit I ain’t thinkin’ perfectly clear just now. But one thing I know, this sure as hell ain’t about pity.” His hand cruised over her stomach, moving up to the straps of her slip. Embarrassed, she felt herself tremble. “My makin’ you nervous, Nara?” he asked, not sure how he felt about the idea. “Of course not,” she said dismissively. But she did it again when he lowered the first strap, brought his lips down to the curve of her shoulder. “Never thought I had it in me to shake you up this way. It’s okay,” he added before she had the time to get touchy. “I’m more ‘n a little nervy my own self.” “At least I’ve already seen you without your clothes.” She smiled. “No surprises.” “Oh, I’m thinkin’ there might be a few.” He lowered his head to her chest, opened his mouth between the vee of her breasts. “Mighty pretty slippy thing.” He licked along the point where fabric met skin. “What do you call this stuff?” “Silk chiffon,” she said all in one breath. “Uh huh.” He slid two fingers under the straps, pulled the material to her waist in one swift movement. She closed her eyes, wanting to cry, afraid if she did he’d misunderstand. He stared down at her, skin lit by the warm glow of the lamp light. Good God. How the hell had he kept his hands off her this long? “Good God, how the hell did I keep my hands off you this long?” he asked aloud. She smiled, felt her face flush pink. What was wrong with her? It wasn’t as though men never praised her naked body before. This man had never praised it before. “Inara.” He moved his mouth against her, sucked till her nipple was hard against his tongue. He moved his head over her chest, his hair tickling the sensitive skin. She wanted to fist her hand in it, feel the soft strands between her fingers. But her arms were restrained at her sides by the straps of her slip. “Bao bei. Tian de ma,” he murmured. His mouth moved lower, her stomach dipping as he breathed warm air against it. He found the straps of her slip, sat up so he could drag it all the way down her torso, over her legs. He let the fabric fall in a silky pool on the floor, turned back to her. She was losing it. All her companion training, right out the proverbial window. She’d been taught the importance of control, pace, timing. Never had she been taught love. And she knew in that instant, as he slid on top of her again, as she felt him press into her, hard through his trousers, her remaining swatch of gray silk. She knew she loved him, just as she knew she couldn't tell him. “This okay?” He met her eyes, his own a question, his fingers curling under the edges of her underwear. “My goin’ too fast?” “Yes,” she said, not expecting him to ask. “I mean, no. No.” “You’re beautiful. Never seen anything in the whole of this gorram ‘verse so absolutely beautiful.” He pulled the silk panties over her knees. She blinked, opening her eyes. “Thank you.” “You’re mighty welcome.” He slid a hand between her legs. And suddenly she didn’t hear anything. He used two fingers to tease her, stroking gentle lines up and down. Soft, feather brushes of pleasure. After a few moments, his hand stopped its leisurely up-and-down trail. A single finger tip began to move in slow, concentric circles. She was tingling, shivering. Then he lowered his mouth to her. At the first lap of his tongue, she started to shake. He lay one hand on her tummy, felt it quiver, felt her quiver. He slid two fingers inside her, testing her reactions, learning what she liked. Did she even know? Had anyone taken the time to teach her? Mal’s hands, Mal’s mouth. She wanted to whisper his name, moan it. She bit down on her lip. Mostly, she wanted him in her, a part of her. “Inara,” he said without removing his fingers. She opened her eyes, saw into his blue ones. She saw lust, a plea for trust. “Let go.” And she did. He gripped the outsides of her thighs, used his tongue to take her higher, closer, pushing until she could bear it no longer. She felt the heady, heavy release in every pore of her body. He rested his head on her stomach, held her until she stopped quivering, till her breathing slowed. “You okay?” “I’m getting there,” she breathed. “You’’re very good at that.” “I’m not half bad,” he agreed. He moved up to lay beside her, tugged her against him. “I could get used to this. Holdin’ you all wet and naked-like.” “It hardly seems fair. You’re still wearing an awful lot of clothing.” Her fingers played down over the front of his trousers. “Perhaps we should do something about that.” “Woman, I can tell you’re gonna be nothin’ but trouble.” He let her slide on top of him, though the sight of her seated above his hips, all golden and glisteny in the lamp light, ‘bout killed him. She unhooked his belt, set the holster on his bureau. She lowered the zipper with aching slowness. Hopefully, he’d think she was being coy. In truth, her hands were shaking too badly to move much faster. Gently, watching his face, she slipped her hand inside his pants, circled her fingers around him. She loved what she was doing to him, loved how his eyes drifted closed and how he groaned out something inaudible in thick, slurred Mandarin. Sliding down his body, she tugged at the cuffs of his pants while he watched, transfixed. She straddled him again, fearful, trying to hide her fear with bold gestures. She slid her hand inside his undershorts, felt him shudder beneath her. “Inara--” Ignoring him, she lowered her mouth, pressed light, wet kisses against him through the fabric of his shorts. He started to shake. She was kind of shaking herself. She let her tongue slip through the opening, grazed the skin once, twice. She was reaching for the waistband when she felt him grab her by the shoulders, tug her under him. “I think we’re gonna have to hold off on that part, darlin’. Not that you’re not...pleasing. Hell, you’re just a little too pleasin’, if you follow.” “Why won’t you let me...I want you to feel the way I did, the way I do--” “Oh, that’s still the plan. Just thought we’d do it proper the first time.” He shrugged. “Nice to be traditional now and then.” “Mal Reynolds--a conformist? I never thought I’d see the day.” “Trust me, I’m shockin’ my own self.” He stood, slid his shorts over his legs. “Don’t gape now, you’ll make me self-conscious.” She smiled, wanting to touch him, clutch him by the back of the neck and pull his head down to her chest. He rummaged in a drawer, held up the package for her to see. “Expecting to get lucky tonight?” she asked sweetly. “Figured it was bound to happen sooner or later. Only been, what, two years or so now? Pinched these from the Doc’s room the other day.” “Thief,” she said around a smile. “Was hopin’ that’s what you liked ‘bout me.” “It’s growing on me,” she admitted. He hovered over her again. Bending her knees up, he settled himself between them, kissed her soft and slow. “Closin’ in on the finale here. Any last-minute doubts?” “Only about a million. And, yet, I can’t think of a single one.” She felt him edge closer, sucked in her breath. He lowered his head to her temple, touched her lips gently, the way a lover might. “This...this feels real good to me, Nara.” “Mal....” She had to stop, her voice was breaking. He slid two fingers over her, waiting until she trembled, till he knew she was ready, and then pushed inside her in one swift movement. At first, it was all so achingly sweet. He nuzzled against her breasts, her throat as he slid in and out in long, smooth strokes. She smoothed his hair, kissed his lips when they hovered near her mouth. Then he began to move faster, shifting slightly, tilting his movements in accordance with the sounds escaping her lips. She started to shiver, clasped him tightly, digging her nails into his back. He lowered his hand to the spot where their bodies were joined, touched her. She made a sound like like a whimper, felt him kiss her cheek. Her whole body was shaking, reacting without her control. She felt herself topple, felt herself fall. He was starting to lose himself. All he could feel, all he could sense was her. She surrounded him, the black of her hair, the scent of the lavender on her skin, the tightness of the body that held him, wreaked havoc on him. He came just after she did, shook, shivered, soared. For several moments neither of them spoke. They breathed in unison, their chests falling and rising rhythmically. He could stay like this for hours, wrapped in her, holding her. Worrying that he’d break her rib cage that way, he rolled off. Now would come the awkwardness. She knew this, had been around the sexual act enough times to see it, experience it. Most men reacted in exactly the same ways. He’d panic over what to say. She’d bite her lip, for fear of saying the wrong thing, frightening him. Then he’d make some excuse, the crew, the ship, Captainy affairs needing his express attention. The one thing she hadn’t expected him to do was what he did. “Huh.” He leaned over and grabbed her around the waist, tugged her up and on top of him. “Yep, I was right. That’s a whole hell of a lot better.” He pressed a kiss to her hair, gave her a light hug that made something deep inside her crumble. Within seconds, he was snoring softly, his mouth inches from her ear. Some things, she mused, never change. And others.... He looked so peaceful this way, so beautifully, achingly innocent. Inara rubbed her lips lightly over his and watched him sleep till her eyes grew heavy. When she woke next, the room was dark. He’d covered them both with a blanket some time during the night. Now he slept with his head face down in the pillows, one arm draped possessively over her waist. Lucky you, you found a cuddler, Inara told herself. She told herself she wouldn't think about the future, the rest of it, until morning. This night was for hope. *** My first foray into the heady realms of the literary love scene. Hope I did okay. Leave lots o’ feedback! ~April (Kaynara)


Tuesday, December 6, 2005 7:07 PM


“Closin’ in on the finale here... did fantastic girl! i loved it. It was very well done and very tasteful. It's very easy to go over board on love scenes *speaking from personal experience in writing them and reading them* and you didn't.

take a bow, my dear!

*aaww i want a cuddly mal for christmas.**

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 10:15 PM


Oh YAYness! I love it thank you! please continue!

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 12:46 AM


ahhhh.. what a lovely thing to wake up to!! I'm so happy I decided to try and sneak in a fic before getting ready for work this morning!

That was very nice... I liked seeing Inara a bit nervous, I always thought she might be, with her heart involved... also felt the very poignant line

"And she knew in that instant, as he slid on top of her again, as she felt him press into her, hard through his trousers, her remaining swatch of gray silk. She knew she loved him, just as she knew she couldn't tell him."

tear right through my heart... so very sad, and so very Inara....

I'm really enjoying your story. Can't wait to see where things will go from here. They WILL continue, won't they??!

Great work.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 1:38 AM


That was gorgeous.

You kept them completely in character, kept the descriptive interspersed with their thoughts and dialogue, and then you gave it all a very fresh shake! No cliches! Yay! The originality of it, the particulars of their movements, choices, clothing interaction even, they made the whole thing read very real and personal and that's what makes it flaming hot .


Wednesday, December 7, 2005 5:34 AM


Hey guys,

Didn't mean to leave you hanging--TBC in part 9. As usual, thanks for all your kind words!

April (Kaynara)

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 8:49 AM


Very good!! Nothing like a Mal sex scene to get me going in the morning!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 9:15 AM


You did an amazing job! Wow! I give it a ten!

Wednesday, December 7, 2005 11:49 AM


Great job, hun! Now let us have more! lol

Thursday, December 8, 2005 7:12 AM


*high-pitched squeaky sound* so happy!!!


Saturday, December 10, 2005 6:31 AM


Aww - how sweet!
can't wait to read the next one, good job.

Saturday, December 10, 2005 11:18 AM


Sorry, no time to leave "lots". Got an urgent appointment with my man after reading THIS pile of steaming pleasing authorship.

First time writing this level of shiny kink? Would never have known, truly, it was done so well.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 4:50 PM


I feel bad for not leaving comments on the other parts - I'm really enjoying this story. It's got everything I like in a Firefly fic, and as a Mal/Inara shipper, I loved this section. I think your inexperience with writing sex scenes really worked for you - the whole thing felt very fresh and original. I don't think I've read one before that had the principle characters talk so much (and I mean that in a good way). Rather than a Standard Sex Scene (tm) you gave us a Mal and Inara sex scene. This was completely about them - their reactions, their insecurities, their pleasure. The authorial voice didn't enter into it much, which made it sweet and sexy as hell.

I was a little worried at the tone you've taken with Inara; you've made her seem very fragile when it comes to sex, and I'd assume, given the breadth of her professional experience, she'd be anything but. However, you pull it off with aplomb. I think the sequence in which Mal gives her oral sex is the most telling: it's probably one of the few things she's not experienced and their interaction was particularily sweet. You've really made Inara into a very sympathetic and complex character, and I've read a lot of fic where she's cold, cynical and even hostile towards Mal's sexual attentions. This was a wonderful change of pace, and I had to break my silence and tell you so.

Great work, and I'm off to read the next part.

Friday, March 31, 2006 7:16 PM


I know I am really behind here, but i am totally enjoying this series and plan to read the others. You really have a talent for writing and a gift for writing these characters.

I love your Mal/'Nara.
You're my shiny new fav!


You must log in to post comments.



Water, Water Everywhere
This is a sort of companion piece to the first section of Two Times They Were Wet and Cold. It's also sort of crack!fic. While Mal and Inara were having a pleasant dialogue in the cargo hold, Kaylee and Simon spent some time getting to know each other in a broom closet. Takes place during the series. PG-13.

Stumbling Along
Post-BDM. Mal makes a delivery on a familiar moon. Inara reflects. M/I. PG-13

Two Times They Were Wet and Cold
Two things that never happened to Mal and Inara. X-posted to LJ for the Truthsome Ficathon.

Shore Leave or That Youthful Feeling
Post-BDM. The crew visits a drinking establishment on Beaumonde—no, not that one. Shameless Mal/Inara fluff ensues.

One-shot set after OIS. Kaylee/Simon. Response to the prompt: “Simon bent Kaylee over....”

Past and Present
Fluff-angsty little standalone. Post-BDM. Mal/Inara. PG-13.

This is a standalone set preseries (no Simon, sorry, Leiasky). I have no idea what kind of introduction to slap on this thing, so I'll just say, enjoy! Special thanks to Ann for curtailing the worst of my rambles. NC-17. Comments are love!

Just Another Day
Just another day on Serenity. Preseries. PG-13. Happy September 30th.

Standalone. Prompt: Leather. Simon, Mal/Inara. PG-13.

Bed and Wine: The Epilogue
Huh. That went well....