Dream Sequence, chapter 5
Saturday, February 18, 2006

Inara pays Mal a visit at the coliseum, but fails in her attempt to free him and the others.


It seemed to Inara that it had taken an eternity to fly to the coliseum and gain an audience with the Master of Ceremonies. A registered Companion tended to gain notice and respect, but the man was having a busy night. Inara had disciplined herself not to look into the arena until the last possible second, for fear of her emotions betraying her. That one reluctant glance had told her what she most urgently needed to know; Mal was alive.

She curtsied delicately in front of the MC. "Thank you for seeing me at such an inconvenient time," she purred. "I have a rather....private matter to discuss with you."

"Of course," the man replied, a proud glow of privilege upon his face. "What may I assist you with, my lady?"

Inara glanced away demurely. "You see, not two nights ago I was set upon by a dreadfully degenerate man." She swallowed. "He laid his hands on me in such a filthy manner, and had it not been for my bodyguards, who knows what might have happened."

The MC was looking at her in rapt sympathy, the thought of laying his own hands on Inara consuming him. "Yes?"

"Well, sir, I do believe that man in the arena -" she pointed to Mal's bound figure "may be the very one who....inconvenienced me." She looked pleadingly into the man's eyes. "It would set my mind to rest if I were to be allowed to identify him. If I know that he has indeed met with justice, it would allow me to sleep so much better at night."

He raised his eyebrows. "What are you asking of me, my lady?"

"Let me go to him. Let me gaze into his eyes and satisfy myself that this is the man."

He considered briefly, then agreed. "Anything for you, my lady. I will escort you to the arena entrance. Do not dally, for it is no place for a delicate lady such as yourself."

"Thank you," breathed Inara, tracing her fingers lightly across his chest. "I shan't be long."

Inara's face was serene, her stride measured as she crossed the arena, her heart pounding. She came to a stop briefly in front of Mal as she entered his field of vision and met his eyes. She saw his widen in recognition and had to look away as tears threatened her.

She moved forward to circle him, reaching out as though to touch his face and slipping the painkiller she had brought along quickly into his mouth. She felt her body begin to tremble, and she knew she had to leave quickly. She touched her hand gently to the side of Mal's face and began the long walk back to the exit of the arena.

She had regained control of her emotions by the time she met the MC just past the gate. "Well, my lady?" he asked.

She shook her head in disappointment. "It was not him." She hesitated for a second before allowing a sly smile to creep across her face. "Those three men, they are not displeasing to look upon. Are prisoners ever sold as slaves in your culture? Forgive my ignorance."

The MC bowed. "Regretfully not, my lady. Surely you would not wish to keep such coarse company?"

She gave him a naughty grin. "I suppose not," she said, returning his bow with a gentle curtsy and taking her leave. ______________________________________________________________________


Saturday, February 18, 2006 11:26 PM


Hee, I love to see Inara putting on a good act. *g*

But what's with the "Shan't" and "gaze" and "for" and the other anachronistic bits of dialogue? A little too stilted, perhaps.

The rest, though, as I said, I enjoyed very much. :) The plot is tightening...

Saturday, February 18, 2006 11:40 PM


High society on a planet stuck in an ancient era and way of just seemed to fit, in my mind at least. ? ? ? Maybe not:)

Sunday, February 19, 2006 6:12 AM


Very good but *way* too short. Can't wait for more! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 4:49 AM


I agree, chapters are too short!

Good story, hard to pause to comment when there are more chapters waiting...

More decription would be good, I'm still a little confused as to what's going on. Where is Mal? Is he in the ring fighting?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 8:33 AM


I quite like this although I think it's a little harsh that Inara only brought a painkiller for Mal. Very mean on Jayne and Wash!

Also... the dialogue is fine, I agree with your reasoning!

Sunday, March 5, 2006 5:16 AM


eek!!!! come on, you gotta let 'em live!!! please?


Sunday, February 4, 2007 11:13 AM


That moment between Mal and Inara - very affecting.


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