Friday, April 28, 2006

Mal. Inara. Set mid-series, no spoilers, no plot. Fluffiness with no nutritional value in spite of the occurence of a big science-y word. Written for a dare by youngcurmudgeon, who one day will know better.


Pathophysiology is the study of the disturbance of normal mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions that a disease causes, or that which causes the disease. An example, from the field of infectious disease, would be the study of a toxin released by a bacterium, and what that toxin does to the body to cause harm, in cases of sepsis. Another example is the study of the chemical changes that take place in body tissue that is undergoing inflammation.

Because I was dared with a dare.

Mal. Inara. Fluffy and not particularly smaaaht. Set during the series. Free for the kids.

---------------------------------- Pathophysiology ------------------------

Much to his vexation, he can never be certain if he has been in danger until it is already too late.

Symptoms and treatment are the only things at his disposal and it is only due to his heightened sensitivity that he is even able to differentiate between this particular affliction and, say, the process of being honestly persuaded or a sudden onset of the flu.

Not entirely fair.

Thus, he reasons, it is not uncalled for to react with some vehemence when he feels himself affected.

And he feels himself affected, right now.

"Please, make yourself comfortable."

There is, for one, the undeniable sense of foreboding that starts up in the back of his head, shaped like a low buzz of distraction. Similarly, the slow paralysis that sets in at the rising of fragrant tea steam.

It's expensive tea. Fruity with a hint of... something bland and soothing...

The contemplation of tea origin is, among others, the most alarming sign of peril and it causes him to shift in his seat, ripe with suspicion.

She smiles one of her most contagious smiles and lowers her voice to an unnervingly gentle hum.

"It's nice to have a little company."

His brow twitches through the slow tingle of flattery.


There's the anticipated sweat gathering at the back of his neck, matching the profile rather beautifully. The fact that she is sitting too close, just a little too close for a cordial chat, is a dead giveaway, too.

"Spending so much time in the Black without setting down on any planets, well, it gets a little lonely."

Subtle, certainly, a very clever and indirect way of approaching the current situation. Not confronting, no, creating a suggestion of intimacy, doing odd things to his pulse and luring him into switching around his schedule to suit her.

"That so?"

And she has her hair down. Hair, he is confident she knows, that has communicative powers on its own, of the most devious and attention-dividing sort. It looks soft. Makes you think about how soft it is.

Makes a person want to please the owner of the soft-looking hair.

"Strangely enough, it is. I appreciate you stopping by here to talk."

In combination with the encouraging smile, it leads straight to the final and fatal stages. Confusion, compliance, submission.

He is a mere hand's reach away from dizziness and speech disfunction.

Time to counteract.

Time to jump to his feet and stumble back to a safe distance, closer to the hatch than this infestation of a couch.

"What did I tell you about using wiles on me?"

And it works like a charm. She stops the smiling and the air of familiarity and reverts to safer ground.


Like a splash of water, it washes away some of the effects. There is relief and a small measure of triumph.


Which have all but deserted the shuttle now, judging by the mix of digust and pity that has replaced all that friendliness. "You are paranoid, Mal. I was being social."

Only the tea remains but it's harmless, all by itself.

"Right, well, you go on bein' social by yourself while I take care of captainy business and if you're ready to tell me plainly what you want, then you can come talk to me."

A certain amount of hand-waving and finger-pointing cannot be denied, but all of that falls under the category of vehement reaction. It's just his body fighting back.

She shakes her head, grabs his tea cup and empties it into a sink.

Which is apparently his cue to make good on his word and leave.

Well.. good.

He does that. Stomps a little on the catwalk to make sure she can hear him walk away in greatly unaffected and unregretful personal condition, free of manipulation or persuasion or any such things she may have had in mind back there.

The worst thing, he figures, about recovering from a case of Companion-born wiles is the sense of dissatisfaction.

Disappointment at having successfully escaped.

- - END.


Saturday, April 29, 2006 12:07 AM


Hi-larious. I could *so see this playing out exactly in this fashion and you can almost hear Mal thinking through what Inara is trying to do to him. Oh yeah, them wiles, will get you every time! Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, April 29, 2006 4:05 AM


Ha . . .poor Inara. And poor Mal. This is dead-on.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 8:35 PM


ROFL....this is so a missing scence from any of the episodes! I can just imagine this happening between the two of them, and both are disappointed that things didn't work out;)


Sunday, April 30, 2006 12:31 PM


*giggle* Oh, man...they are sooo hopeless. But that's part of why we love them so much! ;)


Monday, July 3, 2006 8:18 AM


he loves it, really. can't get enough of them wiles!!


Thursday, February 14, 2013 7:14 AM


Found this today on the random fic link. Only one response is applicable: yay!

He needs a doctor, and I don't mean Simon. Or maybe a nurse?

I like the language here. There's a way it flows, and Mal here kinda reminds me of a fast-thinking moonshine bootlegger of some sort. Which he kinda is, so it fits.


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