Bed and Wine: Part 12
Wednesday, February 1, 2006

A month after the Reaver attack, Kaylee still can’t forgive Simon. Mal and Inara finally get that date. Of course, it wouldn’t be Firefly if everything went swimmingly (that a word?)


Bed and Wine: Part 12 By Kaynara *** AN: I know I’ve said it before, but THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all your feedback. I really think FF fans are the best people in the world, even if this site’s been host to some conflict of late. Please feel free to e-mail or post suggestions. I know how the season ends, but we do have some space to fill between now and then.

AN2: I’m uncertain as to what exactly constitutes an R or NC-17 rating, but I’m guessing my story pushes some boundaries. I’m just pretending FF made the jump to cable--HBO, Showtime--since our "good" friends at FOX wouldn’t air this. Please don’t read this series if you’re uncomfortable with sex, violence or the occasional Spaceballs reference ;).

AN3: Special thanks to werealljustfloating, who knew we needed a Kaylee/River scene. *** Waking with Kaylee was its own special pleasure. Sometimes, Simon would be the first one up. He’d stretch against her and wait for her to stir, knowing her rounded body rubbing his as she came fully into wakefulness was reward enough for his patience . Kaylee, on the other hand, was less forbearing. Often he was roused from sleep by her lips, teeth, tongue. The morning after the wedding, he awoke to find his pajama pants tangled at his feet and her mouth trailing a warm, slippery path down his body. She was infinitely better than an alarm clock. The past month, he missed her every morning. And every afternoon. Every evening. Still, he was busy. Gideon kept him busy. Simon had easily healed the boy’s stomach wound--Mal always kept the infirmary stocked--but the head trauma somehow escaped his notice. He didn’t have the proper equipment to assess the injury, didn’t realize its severity until Gideon slipped silently into a coma the night after surgery. “River, I’m sorry,” he murmured when Gideon was stable, sleeping a deep and inscrutable rest while machines monitored his heart rate. “I should have run more tests, checked for signs of....” He trailed off as his sister crossed the room. She lay her cheek on Gideon’s chest, listened to him breathe. She smiled with her eyes closed. “Healing,” she murmured, met her brother’s eyes. “He was so tired, Simon.” “River....” He took her hand in his. “Can you see what happens to him?” “Remember your Magic 8-Ball? Father found it at an Earth-that-Was auction in Capital City. You loved that thing,” she said affectionately. “And you’re not a toy.” He squeezed her hand. “I’m sorry, River.” “ ‘Sokay,” she said with a long-suffering sigh. “I’m used to you.” *** She didn’t get her date for almost a month. She assumed he’d forgotten, his already-troubled mind overflowing with concerns old and new: crime, of course, finding new and creative methods to keep himself and nine others clothed and fed, playing daddy to Zoe’s baby (and a good one he was, a fact she knew surprised him). He worried too much, worried about Gideon even as he resented the boy for taking his albatross away. She’d seen him outside the infirmary late at night, watching through the windows as the pale-haired figure slept, chest falling and rising rhythmically as Simon pumped medicine into his veins through a myriad of tubes. She knew he saw his youth in Gideon, recognized his own damaged, post-Serenity Valley self. That very connection made him distrust the sick boy even as he empathized. In a way they were very alike. Mal had faith like that once, an almost holy belief in something other. They both fought losing battles against impossible odds: Sergeant Reynolds versus the Alliance, Gideon against the Reavers. Gideon was the man Mal worried he’d become: a cold, lonely figure without friend or family. But Mal hadn’t tread as far down that dark path as he feared. He couldn’t empty his soul of all feeling, not when Raven smiled up at him for the first time three weeks ago, when River tattooed the Chinese characters for Serenity on her hip, insisted on showing everyone at dinner. And though he’d never admit it, he worried about Kaylee and Simon as well. In a way, he felt culpable for Simon’s transformation, if it was that. Inara suspected the good doctor wasn’t so drastically altered. The man simply wasn’t a killer. Neither was he as pure as the others envisioned him. He came to Serenity seeking a safe haven for his sister, and in the months after proved he’d do anything and everything to shield her from harm. His love for Kaylee pushed him to the same desperation. Still, Inara had hope that the boy would come back to himself. As puritanical as Mal was with such things, Inara knew he wanted both Kaylee and Simon to find happiness. He wanted all his crew happy, and for fleeting moments believed himself deserving of such pleasure. Apparently this date idea had taken root in his brain, for he brought it up after dinner one evening, when the two were alone on the bridge. He’d held her in his lap, casually nuzzling at her neck while they watched the universe drift past. She was wearing one of her belly-baring tops, and his fingers played gently over her skin. He told her a story from the War, one of the happy ones about crashing the wedding of a four-star general’s eldest daughter. “You ain’t lived till you seen Zoe do the male vocals from Summer Lovin’ with four shots o’ Absinthe in her.” “I’m guessing she didn’t perform that duet all alone,” she teased. Mal smirked. “I made a fair Sandy,” he admitted. She listened to his tales, careful not to probe overmuch. Mal rarely spoke of his past; she didn’t want to pry past his comfort zone. “How ‘bout you?” he ventured when they’d been silent several moments. “Somethin’ tells me you got a galaxy of tales in that pretty little head.” “What kind of story had you in mind?” He shrugged. “I’m easy. Though keep in mind I’m the jealous sort.” “Oh, well, in that case....” She smiled. “Maybe it’s best that you ask the questions. I wouldn’t want to overwhelm you.” “Cupcake, you implyin’ that I can’t handle--” He stopped, switched tactics as her meaning became clear. “I can ask you stuff? Anythin’ my heart desires?” “Depends. What do I get from this arrangement?” He leaned close to her ear, whispered something intriguing enough to make her shiver. “Mal,” she murmured. She stroked her nails through his hair, shifting in his lap to kiss him. He kissed her back, easing her lips apart to stroke her tongue. “Hold on.” He pulled away, dragging in a breath. “Quit tryin’ to change the subject.” She rolled her eyes. “Three questions. And after, you let me give you that massage. You’re all knots,” she chided, running her fingers over his neck. “Then I get to give you another massage.” “What you did last night was not a massage, Mal.” “Don’t quite recall you complainin’. Lest those pretty little whimpers were a sign of displeasure.” “Mal!” “And she calls me the puritanical one. Okay, first question: how’d your parents call you when you was just a bitty thing.” She smiled, surprised by the question and its innocence. Mal would always surprise her. “My father called me his little gypsy,” she admitted. Mal nodded, as though her response pleased him. “Next one. Let’s see now. Well, thanks to our resident psychic, you know a disturbing amount ‘bout my first time. Think I’m entitled to a few embarrassing tidbits ‘bout yours.” She hesitated, unfazed by his question but wise enough to know he’d dislike its answer. He wanted to hear something innocent, sweet in its naivety. He wouldn’t approve of the truth. Still, she refused to lie. “My first time was at the Guild, Mal. I was sixteen.” “You--your first time was with a client?” She could tell he hadn’t expected this, was sorry for asking. “No. The Guild doesn’t license inexperienced girls. Companions warrant such high fees because of the years of training they undergo. Each is painstakingly schooled in grace and restraint and ritual. Technique. Clients expect nothing less.” She let him come to the conclusion himself, hoped it would be less jarring that way. “They made you learn lovemaking in a classroom,” he said quietly. “No one forced me, Mal,” she reminded impatiently. “And the instructors were kind. Gentle.” “Ta ma de hwoon dan.” “You’re getting upset over things long past.” “Still ain’t right.” “I don’t want your pity, Mal.” “Inara.” He looked surprised. “You got nothin’ but my respect.” She smiled, threaded her fingers through his. “Come to bed, Mal.” “Hold on a minute, I do get one more question. We’ll be settin’ down on Beaumond early next week. You fancy havin’ a meal with me, Miz Serra?” *** She caught him staring once, twice. Watching from the catwalk while she and the captain play-wrestled in the cargo bay. Leering at her across the table, turning quickly into his soup when she noticed. And yet he avoided her, went out of his way not to touch as they passed each other in the hall. She knew Caroline stopped spending the night in his bunk. They still coupled--sometimes River listened--but it was hurried now, a fast and frantic joining. He no longer kissed her on the mouth. The captain’s sister wanted to leave, return to a world. Mal tried to convince her to stay, but she was insistent. “I miss land, lakes, rain. I miss day and night. And horses.” “You want a pony? I could do ponies. Hell, we had a whole herd in the bay once.” “Malcom.” She pet his face lovingly. “I expect to see you every Christmas.” “If I’m makin’ the trek to Boros, you best prepare some of Mama’s fine apple pie.” “I could be persuaded. Assuming you’ve a chubby niece of nephew for me in tow.” The captain had winced, glanced over his shoulder as though expecting Inara to overhear. “Took me some thirty-odd years to get a date, Carly. ‘Haps you can give me a bit more time to work out the rest.” River could see Caroline riding, the sun painting golden lines through hair the same shade as Mal’s, the breeze lifting her long ponytail, whipping it around her head as she raced. She didn’t worry about Caroline. Not like Kaylee. River knew what nightmares could do to a person. During the day, Kaylee wandered Serenity like a ghost, her sparkling eyes turned hollow, her pretty face pale. River could feel her fear of sleep, knew she dreaded those long hours between midnight and waking. In her dreams, she battled back her memories; in her waking hours, she inhabited her dreams. And River could empathize, knew what it was to feel broken, dysfunctional. Walk like a girl, tickle Raven’s toes, fix things, drink water. Remember to smile at the captain; make it look real. Neck aches from arching your back beneath the engine. Don’t show pain in front of Simon, don’t wince or roll your shoulders. Ask about Gideon at dinner; it’s polite. And River: give the girl a big hug again today. Don’t let her think she’s to blame. In Kaylee’s dreams, River watched her brother die. The Reaver dart pierced through the fabric of his shirt to penetrate sensitive flesh, numb him from the waist down. He collapsed forward against the glass, trying to hold himself upright with sticky red hands. Kaylee would pound at the cell doors until her own knuckles bled, until the slim silver ring slid wetly to the floor. Then the Reavers came, some without countenance: a blur of teeth and claws. Some studied her with Jubal Early’s eyes. In the end, she was left alone with a gun, the small silver pistol Mal pressed into her palm. When Kaylee dreamed these things, River woke crying, silent salty tears dripping down to wet her lips. “Never asked for a sister.” “River.” Kaylee sat up in the hammock, pressed a hand to her chest. “For a minute there, I thought the cap’n’s space monkeys was finally come for me.” “Liked the games I had with Simon.” River climbed into the hammock beside Kaylee, lay down gently so as not to overturn them. “Thought a sister would wanna play dolls, girl games.” She made a face that showed how she regarded such things. “What kinda games did you and Simon play?” Kaylee asked, turning to face her. “Fought the gorramn Independents.” River’s face turned serious. “Don’t tell Mal.” Kaylee smiled. “Won’t.” She mimed crossing her heart. “What else?” “Played doctor. Not the fun kind,” she added when Kaylee raised a brow. “Sometimes I came down with Plague behind enemy lines. Simon had to save me.” “Yeah, he’s real good at that,” she murmured. “Never asked for a sister.” River smiled and slid her hand through Kaylee’s, traced a finger over the simple band. “Glad to have her though.” Kaylee smiled sadly, her eyes filling. “Wedding was real pretty, honey.” River raised a brow, flashed Kaylee a knowing glance. Kaylee hooted a laugh, her first genuine chuckle in some time. “Sorry, sweetie. For a second there, I forgot who I was talkin’ to.” *** “Don’t trust him, Sir.” Mal nodded, eyes on the blank screen of the cortex. Three weeks and no word. “No, don’t reckon I do either.” He lifted Raven from her mama’s arms, held her so her chubby legs walked over his lap. “He sold us out, Sir. First to the Tams, then to Gray. Kept River away for months.” “How ‘bout a smile for the captain?” The baby leaned forward, knocked her mouth against his in an awkward kiss, her tiny fingers reaching up to clutch at his cheeks. Mal laughed, hugged her against his chest and rubbed small circles over her back. “Captain?” “Don’t disagree with any o’ that in particular, Zoe. Still, boy did save our lives back there. Brought the albatross back safe and sound to boot.” “Still don’t like it, Sir.” “Well, sure you’ll get the chance to throw this all in my face later. When I’m wrong, and the boy cuts our throats while we sleep.” He hesitated. “Don’t ‘spose you’ve any personal reasons for wantin’ the lad off ship?” “Not sure what you’re implying, Captain.” “Don’t make me say it.” “Had an itch, Sir. Sometimes that’s all there is to it. Surely you remember.” Indeed, he did. He remembered his need after the War to touch and be touched. Physical comfort, warm living flesh. He owed Mayella a debt for all those dreamless nights. He hoped she was alive to see it repaid. “No word from Bellerophon, Sir?” Zoe said softly, retrieving her daughter from his lap. She could read him too well, that one. Almost as good as his albatross. “Nothing yet.” “Her people live past the outskirts. Doubtful the Reavers made it that far.” “Hmm,” he grunted, eyes on the screen. “Should go on to bed, Sir. Think you’re girlfriend’s lookin’ for you.” Mal met Zoe’s gaze, shook his head. “You ever gonna quit teasin’ me ‘bout the girlfriend thing?" “Don’t seem likely, Sir.” *** Inara ran a wide bone comb through River’s tangled locks. She brushed until the shoulder-length bob shone smooth and sleek in the lamplight, gathered it all back with a clip. “Needed change, rebirth,” River said suddenly, answering the question Inara never asked. “Sorry.” Inara just smiled. “Well, it looks lovely. I especially love the side bangs.” She tilted the girl’s head gently. “I should let you style mine.” “Captain likes yours long,” River said knowingly. “I know.” Inara hesitated. “Perhaps you could come visit me tomorrow. We’ll have that raspberry tea you love so much. We’ve a great deal of catching up to do.” “Simon wants you to talk to me.” “Yes,” Inara admitted. “But it isn’t just for him. I missed our chats, sweetheart. You left us a girl and returned a beautiful woman. I want to hear everything.” River smiled sadly. “You don’t.” “Honey....” “Time for Raven’s bottle. Zoe said I could feed her.” “She loves her Aunt River,” Inara said warmly, patting the girl’s hand. “Wash wants me to tell her a story tonight.” She stood, frowning. “Silly story. Fallacious. Humans and dinosaurs never walked together on Earth-that-was." “I--Wash can be silly,” Inara agreed, starting to feel dizzy. Conversations with River tended to take fast turns for the disorienting. “You’ll join me tomorrow? Tea and cookies?” “Mm. Jayne’s coming.” “I--Jayne’s coming here?” In all Inara’s days on Serenity, Jayne had never graced her with a personal visit. Actually, she admitted, there had been one visit, a mutually-embarassing incident that occurred shortly after Inara joined the crew. Though Jayne wasn’t one for discretion, he never mentioned the encounter. Inara appreciated that fact and returned the favor. “Jayne.” She set a friendly smile on her face, motioned for him to sit. “Can I help you with something?” “Well, had a question could use a woman’s wits. Zoe’s not exactly the feminine sort and River’s...well, don’t ‘spect those months away made the witch any saner. Seein’ as Kaylee’s lookin’ three shades of dead lately, that leaves you.” “That’s touching, Jayne.” “Naw, ‘taint about touching, Nara. Can assure you Jayne Cobb don’t got no problems in that department. ” She decided to ride right over the last part, unsure as to whether he was kidding. “What did you want to ask me, Jayne?” she inquired cooly. He leaned back in his chair, stretched his hands behind his head. “Well, ‘spect you know ‘bout me and Carly havin’ intimate relations.” Inara had to employ companion-training to keep a straight face. “I, um...Mal said she was leaving.” “Seems eager to be off this heap.” When he was silent several seconds, she put a hand on his knee. “Do you want her to stay?” she asked gently. “Ain’t perfectly certain.” “Be certain, Jayne. Don’t ask her to give something you’re reluctant to take.” “Guess you’d know ‘bout that.” But he said it gently, without ridicule. “I guess I would,” she said quietly. “Guy like me, gorramn ship’s merc--hell, I know it’d never work. Not that I’m all that hard on the eyes-always did just fine with the whores.” He hesitated, shrugged his shoulder in Inara’s direction by way of apology. “Still, gen-u-ine classy lady like Caroline ought have better. She deserves better.” “And you think you’ve that right? The right to determine what’s in her best interest.” “She ain’t you, Nara. And I sure as a steamin’ heap o’ niou-se ain’t Mal.” Jayne might never be brilliant like Simon, a singular genius like River. But he understood more than anyone gave him credit. “If you can’t give her your soul, then let her go. Anything else would be a cruelty.” Jayne nodded. “Was thinkin’ the same thing myself, minus the fancy wording. Still good hearin’ you say it, Nara. Don’t take this wrong, but you got a good moral compass for someone trained as a whore.” “How could I take that wrong?” Inara replied dryly. “Now, if you don’t mind, Jayne, I’ve some things that need attending.” “Sure, Nara.” He hesitated at the foot of her ladder. “Gorrammit, I’m gonna go all manner o’ mad we stay on this boat much longer. Mal say how soon we’d be dockin’ on Beamonde?” “Early afternoon, I believe.” “With any luck, I’ll be pissed outta my head by tea time.” “You should take Simon out for a drink,” Inara murmured. “Ye su knows the boy could use one.” *** “This...this is absolutely terrible.” Simon poured another shot down his throat. “I think it’s growing on me.” “That’s the spirit.” Jayne signaled the barkeep for a refill, figuring another three and he’d have more than made up for the rather disconcerting dream he had ‘bout the doc’s little sis. In his dream, little witch was fighting more o’ the gorramn Reavers. And she was wearin’ leather. “Don’t you got some lame-ass story ‘bout Moses gettin’ sauced?” Simon blinked, trying to keep Jayne in focus, wrap his spinning head around that last remark. Sometimes Jayne made his sister seem like the coherent one. “I’m fairly certain the ancient Egyptians never drank this go suh,” Simon said, finally making the connection. “And here I was hopin’ for a little book-learnin’ along with my brew.” “Why *did* you invite me, Jayne? Not to be blunt, but we aren’t exactly...well, if I may speak candidly...?” “Be my ruttin’ guest.” “To be...brusque...well, we don’t actually like each other, Jayne.” “That ain’t hardly news, Doc. Though, at the moment, I might be the one hates you least. Well, barrin’ little sis, naturally.” “Naturally,” Simon agreed, pushing Jayne’s hand aside when he went for his wallet. “This round’s on me.” “Thanks kindly, Doc.” Jayne clinked his shot glass against Simon’s, spilling half his own drink in the process. “Course, Lil’ Kaylee’s in a state, wonderin’ what happened to the man she married and blah blah. And, naturally, Inara takes her side the way womenfolk always do.” “Naturally,” Simon repeated. “Inara hates me?” “Well, don’t take it personal. Just that she and Kaylee’s awful close. You know how girls can be....Now, Mal--Mal’s all manner o’ pissed at you. Zoe too, bein’ the cap’n’s dutiful ole lap dog.” “I wouldn’t call Zoe a...wait, Zoe hates me too?” “Well, you know how the lot of ‘em feel ‘bout Kaylee. Not like folk really take to you.” “You do have a point,” Simon admitted. He took a shot. Revolting. He washed it down with another. “Perhaps it’s your first. Maybe we should get a capture.” “Doc, you gettin’ ironical with me?” “Jayne! Of course not.” Simon squinted hard at his left hand, realized he could still make out the gleaming band of silver around his ring finger. “If it’s all the same to you, I think I’ll order us another round.” “Gorrammit, Doc, slow up; you’re makin’ me look bad.” Jayne downed the rest of his drink, punched Simon none-too-lightly on the shoulder. “And quit bein’ all snide. Ain’t exactly nice since I done brought you here as a favor.” “Let me get this straight: You, Jayne Cobb, are going to do me a favor.” “I am,” Jayne agreed magnanimously. “Well? The suspense is killing me.” “Way I figure it, Doc, you and me got one thing in common.” “We’re both just a little inebriated?” “If that means tanked, then we got two things in common. First is we both humped ourselves but good when it comes to a certain sexy mechanic.” Simon blinked, trying very hard to focus now. “Kaylee?” He wished she were here right now so he could throw himself on her lap, beg for forgiveness. Some part of his brain realized it was probably a good thing Kaylee wasn’t here to see this. Jayne was talking, drunken ramblings mostly. “ for myself, ain’t got no chance with her no more. But you, on the other hand. Hell, Doc, she likes you for some godforsaken reason. Likes the gorramn bun things you say and how you treat her right. Girl like her prolly never been courted before. Growin up way you did, all fancy-pants, gave you the advantage there. Have to be pretty gorramn dumb to let a girl like her get away. Bigger boob than you, even. Don’t gotta be no top three percent to see she’s somethin’ special.” “Should never’ve told youz guys the three percent thing,” Simon slurred. Parts of this sounded important. He wished he hadn’t drank so much, regretted it now. Perhaps he should have another drink to calm his nerves. “C’mon, Jayne,” he said, sliding unsteadily to his feet. “We goin’ someplace, Doc?” “Gotta go see a ship about a girl.” “How come I gotta leave?” “I need a wing man.” *** He took her to an outdoor cafe with tablecloths and candlelight. He even pulled out her chair like his mama taught him. “You ever been on a date before, darlin’?” he asked after, when they lingered over drinks. “A few hundred,” she answered, amused. He raised a brow, and she rolled her eyes ceiling-ward. “No numbers. Sorry.” He nodded, mollified. “I meant--don’t get all tetchy now--the kind where alls they pay for is dinner. Dessert not inclusive, if you catch my drift. You ever been on one o’ them?” She sipped her wine, toyed casually with the stem of her glass. “Mal, imagine I’m a delectable chocolate mousse.” “Like the big thing with antlers?” He lowered his voice, leaned over the low-burning flame. “Is this, like, a role-playing game?” She took a breath, reminded herself that they were in a semi-respectible restaurant: the sort of place that would frown upon vulgar displays. Also, she wasn’t entirely sure he was kidding. “Alright, Mal. Imagine I’m a cookie.” “I’m really more of a cupcake man myself.” He grinned, reached over to squeeze her hand. “Cupcake.” “Mm-hmm. If you ever want another cupcake, I suggest you cease trying to infuriate me.” “Honest, Inara. I don’t hardly gotta try.” She let him kiss her palm, graze the inside of her wrist with his teeth. “What’s past is past, Mal. Isn’t that your philosophy?” “That it is. Alls I meant was this is sort of a first--for both of us, I mean. This whole dating thing...ain’t half bad. Get to sit out here with a pretty girl, enjoy the candlelight and fine local wine, some new constellations and that funny fella playin’ the dulcimer.” She smiled, flicked her finger over his wrist, feeling his pulse jump. “You wanna come home with me, Miz Serra? I’ll show you my ship....” She giggled, a response she would never have allowed herself with a client. Of course, Mal wasn’t exactly her typical clientele. “Like I’ve never heard that line before.” “You ain’t never heard it from me.” He rolled his eyes at her delicately arched brow. “Well, okay. But you’re the one wanted to role play, Nara. I’m just tryin’ to keep up.” Inara huffed out a breath, trying not to stab him with her salad fork. She sighed and set down her wine, decided to play along. “Perhaps I’m not much impressed by ships, Mr. Reynolds.” “Well...well, mine’s special, see. She ain’t just your vanilla-sorta sailing vessel.” “Every man believes his ship to be something special.” “Mine really is. Got a lot of love in her, can see it in every beam and plank.” “Yes,” she said, forgetting the game. “Serenity is home to me in a way the Guild never was.” Truly it was mystifying. She’d spent nearly half of her twenty-six years as Companion. How bizarre that she felt most herself on a floating Firefly, part of a family of travelers so removed from her old life as to be almost foreign entities. And yet it all seemed so natural, not often easy but right just the same. “C’mere.” He motioned her over with a nod. She glanced around the crowded outdoor patio. “Mal....” “You gonna come willing or do I gotta carry you?” Inara rolled her eyes--dating Mal had to be bad for the corneas--but set down her wine, strolled over to his chair. “Did you want something, M--?” He tugged her down into his lap, took his face in his hands and kissed gently. “Drives me wild-like hearin’ you talk ‘bout my boat.” “Serenity.” She whispered the name near his ear, ignoring the stares they were inviting from the other diners. “Oh, Baby. Say it again.” She smiled, kissed his lips lightly. “Mal, you’re--Daddy.” “Okay, I know I been pushin’ it with the pet names. But that’s a mite disturbing, darlin’. Bad enough when River calls me D--” Mal blinked, finally realizing that Inara’s eyes were elsewhere. “Hey. What are we lookin’ at?” She stared as though transfixed, her figure gone rigid on his lap. He followed her line of sight to an older fellow, medium build with hair like midnight and narrowed brown eyes. “Inara. You, uh, you know this guy?” His hand reached automatically for his holster. “No.” Inara shook her head slowly. “No, Mal. I don’t believe I do.” “Captain Reynolds.” The older man extended a hand to the younger one holding his daughter. “Vern Serra. I’m Inara’s father.” ***

TBC in Part 13. Leave feedback!


Wednesday, February 1, 2006 4:43 PM


Holy macaroni that was a great chapter! The River and Kaylee moment was much needed and well done. Also really loved Simon and Jayne getting sloshed together, and I can't wait to see what happens with Inara's dad. Great job :-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 5:20 PM


I needed a good inara/mal chapter :-D Very sweet but yikes! 'Nara's dad? Are we going to get the protective dad thing going on?

Love the Jayne/Inara interaction. very well characterizted.

gotta see a ship about a

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 7:25 PM


Ah, another great cliffhanger, those two never seem to get their moment of peace and quiet do they?

As for the Kaylee/River scene, I'm so flattered that you listened to my suggestion! And I loved it, it was very touching how River was the only person who could reach Kaylee. Maybe it's because she doesn't seem to get the idea of 'personal boundaries', or maybe she just finds it easier to relate to people in pain, eitherway I'm glad to see these two bonding somewhat.

Also loved the Jayne/Inara scene, never imagined he'd come to her for relationship advice, that's character developement for you I guess.

And Mal seeing something of himself in Gideon - that's a great parallel that I hadn't noticed before. As for the Simon/Jayne drinking session, can never get enough of those, sometimes it's all you can do to drown your sorrows! I hope he doesn't do a 'Simon' and put his foot in it with Kaylee again - actually I do cos that's another thing we can't have enough of!!!

Keep up the good work Kaynara, this story is the most entertaining one I've read on here and the one that feels the most true to the series.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 11:02 PM


Tianna! OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD! HER DAD! AND SHE IS ON MALS LAP! GHA! I actually sqeeked when i read that bit, and i had to clap my hand over my mouth... Great i woke up my folks! I have to go now, but i have to say this was good, i like the idea of mal and inara play-wreseling! made me smile big time, oh oh i loved this i loved Drunk simon, and jayne asking inara for advice is cool, the way he gose about it almost makes him deeper or something idont know just better but still him. thank you so much!

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 11:08 PM


gha that last anonymous was me i just thought i was signed in -OldSoul1987

Wednesday, February 1, 2006 11:10 PM


Man you sure have a way with cliffhangers!
I'm lovin' havin' River back aboard.
Kaylee and Simon need a little fixin' but that's married life, I guess.
How cute are Inara and Mal? Havin' Inara's past come up is a shiny mix to this story also.
Can't wait for some more.

Thursday, February 2, 2006 12:32 AM


Gorram it with your damned cliffhangers. That's just mean.

I love how well you're writing River and especially her observations of Kaylee, mostly though, I just love mall/inara.

Please type quickly.


Thursday, February 2, 2006 1:41 AM


*Ai ya*! Inara's pa???? Uh oh, don't think this bodes well for a first date. If Inara's reaction is anything to go by at least. I loved Simon and Jayne getting liquored up and it seems a little home truth is just what Simon needs - hope he uses it wisely with healing the breach with Kaylee. Shiny! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, February 2, 2006 2:00 PM


oh boy! oh boy!
*jumps up and down*


I love little Raven!!! hehe
*huggles Raven*


*huggles the whole crew* xD

Thursday, February 2, 2006 2:57 PM


Once again, very good, I agree this fic is the most true to the series of all that I've read.

Great twist to "resurrect" Inara's father. Of course this will hopefully get us back to the mystery of Blue Sun?!?

Can't wait to see Simon and his wing man get back to Serenity!

Please post soon!

Sunday, February 12, 2006 3:50 AM


“You ain’t lived till you seen Zoe do the male vocals from Summer Lovin’ with four shots o’ Absinthe in her.”
oh, i would pay REAL money to see that!!!
and inara's dad catching her on mal's lap, eh? ooh! awkward!!!



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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....