Say Hello When You're In Town
Thursday, March 23, 2006

Faces from the past, weather that's not perfect. Mal, Inara, a drabble of somber flavor.


Not so very fluffy. Mal. Inara. Rated G. Set post-BDM.

------------------------------------- Say Hello When You're In Town -------------------------------------

Grey skies. A drizzle in the air, so light it was almost a mist. And cold. Cold that creeped up the sleeves of one's arms all the way to the back like a ghost touching.

But the grass was so green it nearly blinded the eye, screaming with life. Here, of all places.

Only in the Core...

She didn't startle, exactly, when he laid a hand on her shoulder. Must have expected him. Not like he took pains to stay hidden since getting out of that rikshaw.

Paid an arm and a leg, too. "Follow that one," like a cheap flick off the cortex.

Not like there was a lot of cover here, neither. All grass and paths of snowy white.

He hadn't known what to expect. Wasn't this.

"We're going where?" Spoken too quick, voice too rushed, something... something... Wouldn't meet his eyes over the table.

"Next stop Sihnon. Best update your fancy dress shopping list."

Stared into her tea like she couldn't see the tiny ripples from her shaking hands.

"'Nara? Something wrong?"

Never did answer.

She had ought to be shivering, thin coat like hers. Maybe some fancy insulating Alliance fabrics.

Or maybe she was beyond the cold, staring down. Her hair was hanging loose and curling in the too-wet air. Nothing like refined.

His free hand went up to her other shoulder. Thumbs took to drawing circles, gathering moisture on their pads.

She didn't pull away.

He shuffled closer, a step, so he could speak it into her curls.

"Was yours?"

Felt the nod against his lips.

"Goin' someplace?"

He'd been waiting for it. Twitching, might say, with the possibilities. Could be anything she left behind. Anyone.

Floated right past him, down the ramp. "I have an appointment."

"Not exactly dolled up." Simple dress. More shockingly, sensible shoes, solid and leather. Clean, of course. "Clients less picky in the center of civilization?"

"In two hours I'll be back."

Found his coat quick enough not to lose her in the crowd.

"He wasn't... planned."

She sounded just like this un-rain. If he laid fingers against her throat, he conjured, he wouldn't feel none of her voice coming out.

Came easy, though, when he pulled her closer, cheek to hair and peeking down over her shoulder. Spying on her past.

"Don't expect he was."

There were flowers, at her feet. She'd dropped them like she didn't know what to do with a patch of dirt wasn't garden.


He wrapped her up in his arms, played at being a blanket and she whispered for only him to hear.

"It's not unheard of, for Companions. We came to an arrangement, the father and..." The sentence somehow ended there for a while. Faded out while he tried to blink back pictures behind his eyes. Minute later, she found words again. "It's not unheard of. But it was kept quiet, mostly."

Skin of her hand was icy when a finger tip brushed over. He pulled back to unbutton his coat. Not to take it off, just to package her up closer to his skin, so his insides could stop trying to die at the way she wasn't moving at all.

"What happened?"

Didn't take much, way she leaned back against him, to imagine her all cumbersome and big. Heavy with something moving, new and terrifying.

"He died at four months." Calm, so calm. Cold. "No reason."

Wasn't holding her too tight, he wasn't. Just didn't have a way to keep from trying to pull her into his body.

"Sometimes that just happens."

"Hmm." More of a rumble than a response but she could feel it fine, he guessed.

The image wasn't flickering, not like Wash's. Still and entrancing.

Shock of black hair. Pink and chubby. Big almond eyes a little narrowed, like a glare.

He knew that look. Was hers.

~Liang Dylan, 2515~

Didn't have to ask, anymore, why it was she had to leave the entire planet behind.

Kissed her cheek instead. Felt like needing to be one person with her.

"Dylan. You pick that name?"

She nodded. He could feel her smile through something like a sigh.


An icy cold hand felt around for his. Squeezed like how much it hurt.

"I know."

- END. -


Thursday, March 23, 2006 8:50 AM


oh sad...touching...

me loves.

Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:47 AM


This is a realistic and elegantly dealt with possibility for Inara's abrupt departure from Sihnon. You have a wonderful sense of the relationship between these two and a well thought out style of writing. I am not a Inara/Mal shipper but I shall make a point of reading your stuff from now on just because you tell a good story.

Thursday, March 23, 2006 3:15 PM


This was beautiful.

Thursday, March 23, 2006 4:42 PM


So very poignant. I love the image of Mal wrapping his arms around her, being her blanket, and then finding it so easy to imagine her pregnant... I see them in the same pose in his imagination, with her rounded belly cradled between his palms... sigh...
Sad and lovely...

Thursday, March 23, 2006 5:28 PM


Just. Wow.

Very nice.

Friday, March 24, 2006 12:26 AM


Very beautiful. It explains a lot about Inara.

Friday, March 24, 2006 2:23 AM


Thank you all for the lovely feedback. :) It's very rewarding and highly flattering!

Friday, March 24, 2006 5:55 AM


I love how he follows her. It's such a Mal thing to do, and I just sighed when he wrapped her in his coat. great story.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 12:47 AM


truly wonderful.



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