Sunday, March 5, 2006

Simon finds comfort and falls in too deep. Simon/Inara, Mal/Inara.


Title: Decorum (1/1) Author: Goldy Pairings: Simon/Inara, Mal/Inara Disclaimer: Just one fans way of exploring the fascinating dynamics between those onboard Serenity. Spoilers: Series and the BDM. Synopsis: What happens when Simon and Inara lose their perfect control and make a mistake? Rating: PG Word Count: 1, 667 A/N: So Simon/Inara fascinates because it’s perfect to the point of being clinical and sterile—which might not be the best way to describe it, but whatever. That’s what happens when you write weird-ass fic at 1:00am. But I also happen to be a diehard Mal/Inara fan, so this was kind of the result.


They never meant to lose control.

He and Kaylee had spent two blissful weeks together. They built a world of their own, inhabited by lips and hands and sex and happiness. The rest of Serenity faded into the background. Together, they could escape the horror of the last few weeks. If the memories from Miranda were too much, all he had to do was reach for Kaylee. She made him feel again.

Two weeks.

Until it came crashing down.

Love like theirs, based on sex and want was never meant to last. The crew had no trouble blaming him for their fall-out. Truth be told, Simon was content to blame himself. He was nearly a professional at it now, what with everything he’d been through with River.

But he never thought he’d lose control. Not like this.

Inara was the only person onboard Serenity who went out of the way to show him some sympathy. There was wine. Her kind and understanding smile. The incense burning low in the corner of her shuttle.

Light always seemed to twinkle on her hair, brightening her eyes. Inara was one of the most beautiful women Simon had ever seen. She reminded him of a life he’d given up long ago. She was books and music and high-culture, all finesse and grace packed into one person.

She smiled and he felt dizzy. The wine shook inside the glass. She coaxed the story out of him and he stumbled over his words, haltingly talking about his two-week life with Kaylee and the joy that came to a screeching halt when they learned it was all pretend.

Her eyes were sympathetic and it made him warm and his gut clench. Her shuttle was too small. The drapes were too red. The incense stung his eyes.

“It’s nice to have an entire conversation without the word ‘ain’t’ in it, isn’t it?” she said.

He ducked his head and nodded. It was. For the first time, he was comforted by the idea that he and Inara came from the same world. And like him, she had never learned to fit into this new one. This world full of thieves and coarse language and a moral code he could not grasp.

When they kissed, he was struck by how perfect she was. She was made of flawless skin and smooth curves. Her flesh was soft, her fingers gentle as they teased him.

“You should believe yourself worthy of more, Simon,” she whispered. “You’ve done so much.”

It had been too much wine. Too much pain. He only wanted to lose himself in her, in the kind of woman he would have been destined for, once upon a time.

She let him lose control.


Afterwards, they lay side by side, staring at the ceiling of the shuttle and letting their sluggish minds catch up to their bodies. He felt purged. Emptied out. Almost ready to try again. To take care of River. To withstand this never-ending life of blackness and despair.

That’s when Inara lost control.

She sat up and pulled her knees to her chest, her body crumpling. When he realized she was crying, he froze.

One more thing broken, ruined, I can’t do anything right, I can’t even be a gentlemen, I can’t even—

“I’m so sorry,” he murmured. “I should never have—I took advantage, it wasn’t right.”

Dread built and he wanted to follow his instincts and flee. But he pushed it away. Unlike the others on this boat, he was brought up to be proper.

“I’ll do right by you,” he whispered. “We can leave. There are many places in need of a good doctor. I don’t… I didn’t mean to cause you pain.”

She shook her head and pressed her fingers to her eyes, pulling herself together. “Simon, it takes two people to… if anyone took advantage, it was me.” She never looked at him. “But no one can know. Not—no one.”


“We took comfort in each other,” she said. Her voice wavered. “We’ve done nothing wrong. But I’m afraid there’s not many on Serenity that would see it that way. Believe me when I say it’s best for all of us if we keep this a secret.”

He wanted to yell—he was so tired of what the people onboard Serenity thought. He’d spent too long tip-toeing around, fearful of getting on the Captain’s bad-side, of Jayne’s, of Zoe’s. He was tired of it.

She sensed his hesitation because her voice dropped, becoming urgent. “Simon, please,” she said. “Promise me you’ll keep this a secret.”

He was already dreaming about her flawless skin, of the sympathy in her eyes when she looked at him. He could still taste her lips on his, teasing him until he wanted her so badly, it was like splitting in two. She’d numbed the pain for a while, enough to leave him wanting more, wanting her.

Was this what it felt like to be one of her clients? To have Inara for only a day, not more, was this what it felt like to watch her leave? If it was, it was no wonder she was so sought after…

“Simon…” she said, another tear dripping down her chin.

Outside her shuttle, it would be nothing but River and the cold metal of the infirmary. His entire existence was bottled up and trapped in a world he didn’t belong to.

But Simon was proper.

“It’ll be best if no one knows.”

Her smile was that of relief. She leaned over and kissed his cheek. “Thank you.”

That was it.

He would never have her again.


Simon tried to patch things up with Kaylee—and failed. He tried to look after River and she pushed him aside, continuing to improve, to not need him as she once did.

He felt consumed by Inara and relived their moments together with a feverish intensity he did his best to hide.

She was fond of him, he knew. He read her regret in every glance they made, in every strained sentence they spoke to each other.

But she would not have him again. He was too much like her clients. The very thing that drew him to her—his old world—repelled her from him.

He prowled the ship in an exhausted-haze, unable to sleep, unable to stay still. Back and forth over the worn floor and the walls that never changed. The same colours—browns mixed with yellows and blacks.

The sound of Inara’s laughter drew him towards the mess. He stopped outside the entrance, hidden in the shadows. She and the Captain were sitting in the lounge area beside the infirmary. Close, but not touching. Two mugs lay forgotten on the table in front of them. Tea? Something else?

The Captain was gesturing and grinning, setting her off into higher peels of laughter. She tried to be graceful, but couldn’t quite manage, her body shaking with gasps of air.

Simon had never been able to make a woman laugh.

It was an ability the Captain seemed to be able to use with flawless ease. Simon had always thought the Captain’s brand of humour made him an arrogant smart-ass. He once believed Inara would say the same.

Inara’s laughter abruptly ended. She and the Captain were looking at each other, no longer smiling, their eyes searching each other’s faces in a way that made Simon feel sick. He didn’t want to be here. Watching this. He didn’t want to come face to face with the reason why his night with Inara had to remain forever a secret.

The Captain reached out and brushed her cheek. Simon watched her mouth his name.

And then they moved together as one, frenzied and uncoordinated and nearly bashing heads. Simon knew it had to be their first kiss—it was too much like the snap of a gun, the moment where the trigger is pulled and the first bullet comes out. They kissed and moaned and gripped each other and made babbling noises that didn’t amount to anything more than nonsense.

It didn’t last because Mal pulled away. Their faces were still close together, but now they were snarking at each other, trading heated words, and—oh, the hurt—Simon could see the hurt on both their faces. He didn’t know why they insisted on doing this to each other.

Mal was dissatisfied because he stood up and Inara’s head drooped helplessly into her hands. Simon fought panic and told himself to leave—if Mal caught him staring, he didn’t know what he’d say. He thought he might break his promise to Inara. Taunt Mal with the knowledge that he’d been there first.

But—no, this Inara was different than the one he’d had. This one was all hardened edges. She was pleading for Mal no to go, to stay, not to leave it like this.

Give me a reason, Inara.

Simon stayed where he was, frozen, and spying, watching this intimate moment play out in front of him.

His propriety was dead.

Give me a reason.


And she did because she looked up at him, met his eyes, and her lips formed those words Simon knew would never belong to him.

I love you.

It worked because Mal went flying back, nearly on his knees, kissing her face all over. Simon didn’t know who was gripping who more tightly or who was saying what. Did promises really mean anything?

They were raw.

They were out of control.

They were… never supposed to… they seemed to defy all logic.

Simon left them in the mess, noting it down as one more secret he would have to hold. Like that night with Inara, he was never there. It never happened.

There was nothing left to him but his shell—the appearance of a doctor in control. Proper. Clean. Rich. Even in the blackest of space.

And now—the only one who still hadn’t found his place onboard Serenity.


Sunday, March 5, 2006 5:01 PM


interesting. i like this take on Simon. kinda sad, but i liked it.

Monday, March 6, 2006 1:40 AM


Excellent take on Simon's feelings.

Monday, March 6, 2006 12:33 PM


Loved it.
like the others said: wonderful and you really did a great job portraying Simon!
*gives poor Simon a hug*
(and Yay for the Mal/Inara-cuteness)

Sunday, April 16, 2006 8:21 AM


yup, that's weird-ass, right there. but a good weird-ass.


Saturday, October 21, 2006 9:13 AM


Ouch, poor Simon. Whole thing is just sad, but so well done I just couldn't tear away.


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