Play A Player
Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A fluffy Mal/Inara drabble, set right after "Trash". -- Response to the prompt "None of it means a damn thing."


This was written for a random prompt challenge at my lj, and I like it enough to share here. *g*


~~ Set right after "Trash". Rated PG Fluffy. Prompt: Mal/Inara. None of it means a damn thing. ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Play A Player ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She sat on the floor, legs folded and eyes closed, obviously meditating.

Perfect timing, in other words.

Mal strolled in with a bounce to his step, thumbs hooked through well-worn suspenders.

"So, Inara..."

It was a little disappointing when she didn't startle. Indeed, open eyes didn't seem to be a requirement at all. She just remained as she was.

"Are you dressed again?"

He chuckled, planting himself a few feet from her in a solid, haughty stance. Trying to stop bouncing on his heels.

"A Companion oughtn't be shy of a body in its natural state of undress, now."

Serenely, she raised her brows. "And I am not."

Well. No need for idle palaver.

"You see..." The pause was very deliberate. "I had myself a little chat with Saffron on the way to Haymer's floaty island."

And Inara frowned, eyes still closed. For a split of a second only but it was worth a triumphant grin because he knew she'd hear it in his voice.

"Turns out, I was a little off track in my assumptions regarding her previous stay aboard this ship."

Now she looked at him. All calm in a way that could only mean she really wasn't.

"Were you?"

He nodded. Once. Waiting for her to go on.

She just blinked back at him. Not playing.


"Ain't nothing to be ashamed of, Inara." He added a little whine to his voice. The irritating kind. "I'm a pretty fella. S'lots of women woulda taken advantage of the situation to kiss me."

Oh. He baredly contained a gleeful giggle, watching a blush creep up her face. This was good.

But instead of sputtering, she just stood up, all water-like. And shrugged. With one shoulder.

"It's not like the feeling is entirely unreciprocated."

Not according to plan. Time to... be outraged.

"Come again? You think I wanna kiss you?"

Another shrug. "I'm a pretty woman."

One that knew how to ruin a good smug grin.

"I'm thinking you're overestimating your wiles here."

She stepped a little closer. Infringed on space that was personal. His.

"Am I?"

Red-painted lips twisted up into a kind of disbelieving smile that still managed to look innocent and he wondered what it was about him that walked into these traps. There were normal women in this 'verse. On his ship, even. And here he was, actively being made befuddled.

And still she was stepping closer.

"I can read body language, Mal. I know you want to kiss me." She blinked. "Occasionally." Yet another shrug. "It's not abnormal."

He coughed. Suavely.

"And that's where you'd be wrong, 'Nara. You misinterpret body language, seems to me."

Right. That could happen. Probably.

"Then why are your pupils dilated when I'm this close?"

This close being where she could easily see pupil dilation occur. Which was entirely unfair.

"Just tryin' to see ya better." He nodded along with the words.

Her eyes just looked calm and deep brown like precious chocolate. And amused.

"Shallow breathing?"

Shoulders were squared. "S'warm in your shuttle."

She licked her lips. So did he. His own lips, that was.

Suddenly her hand stretched out on his chest and it took a smalll amount of effort not to jump.

"Elevated heartbeat?"

Her voice sounded... liquid somehow.

A swallow wouldn't be out of place, he decided. "Just afraid you'll hit me again."

Which was a good answer because she smiled without any malice in it, for a second and he did the same. For a second. Before she looked at his mouth. For more than a second.

If it was warm, theoretically, a second swallow would also be entirely appropriate.

And it was warm. Kinda. Said the sweat at the back of his neck.

She had really pretty eyelashes, if one took the time to study them.

"The way you seem to stop talking..." She looked back into his eyes. "... when I am this close."

Took him a moment to realize he should disprove that theory.

Took him longer to come up with an actual answer.

"None of it means a damn thing."

Sounded awfully hoarse, to himself.

She just nodded, so very slowly, eyes still locked on his and smile in place, all soft-like and with her skin glowing golden in the candle light like something not quite from this world.

And then she suddenly stepped back. Snap. Four feet away and cheerful smile in place and... whiplash.

"My mistake, then."

He stood. And processed, while she seemed to move about at unnatural speed. Gathering up her little mat, slipping on her shoes, stepping around him at some distance.

"I believe it's time for dinner, Captain."

And out of her shuttle she walked.

He turned a bit from staring at the space where she'd been seemingly three seconds ago.

His voice held a note of what he would vehemently deny was whining.


Gorram. Wiles.

- END. -


Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:08 PM


"He coughed. Suavely." Oh, Mal...

Cute story. I feel nice and giggly.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:13 PM


Ahhh! What a tease you are AR! You're worse than Inara! Write another one where they finally kiss, I'm dying here!

Which is to say... Whoa. Good drabble.

And go Inara for turning it back at him.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:37 PM


I love this!! Inara torturing Mal is just something that I adore! Great Job!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 12:37 PM


Very nice.
I too giggled at the 'suavely' comment!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:23 PM


hehe. that was giggly, and wonderful. thank you. I can't stop smiling!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 1:53 PM


I could so see Inara doing this. Oh yeah, feminine wiles abound. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 2:11 PM


Oh!!! Ho ho!!! That was so wonderfully clever.... Oh, Inara! You don't play a player indeed! I just LOVED how she turned his smug little revelation right back around on him... I could *see* that 'Whuh? That wasn't supposed to happen' moment so clearly, hee hee!!!

Loved so many lines, like:

<i>Red-painted lips twisted up into a kind of disbelieving smile that still managed to look innocent and he wondered what it was about him that walked into these traps. There were normal women in this 'verse. On his ship, even. And here he was, actively being made befuddled.</i>

Sooo wonderfully Mal...

Happy sigh....

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 2:14 PM


Perfect voice, timing, interaction. The only thing that I really like about this ship is the games they play with each other. This is an oh so very good beginning to what I hope are many more tease fests. Excellent!!! It was hilariously written as well, hot and bothered comedy gold.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 5:46 PM


Weeeeee! Nothing like commenting on the same awesome story in two places! Love, love, love!

Red-painted lips twisted up into a kind of disbelieving smile that still managed to look innocent and he wondered what it was about him that walked into these traps.

A good question indeed. Wonderful drabble!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 6:55 PM


holy moley, i break my noncommentating days to say WOOT!

super shiny, mate.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 12:43 AM


Well, this is a nice role-reversal of "Our Mrs. Reynolds," and it's only fitting that it should come at the end of "Trash." Poor Mal. You know, if Saffron was ever to be serious about Mal, between her and Inara, I'm sure he'd just about swear off women with all the wiles he'd be caught in.

Very cool story. Gave me something to smile about before going to sleep.

Sunday, May 28, 2006 6:43 AM


"Gorram. Wiles."
yes...wiles *cough cough*


Tuesday, November 14, 2006 4:56 AM


That was brillant Inara using her wiles on Mal i could really see this happening on screen


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