BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

ARCADIA

Over the Hills and Far Away - Ch 15
Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Set after OIS. Much to Inara’s chagrin, Mal accepts a job offer that takes Serenity far away from New Melbourne and to an unremarkable moon called Three Hills... In the aftermath of their intense altercation, Mal and Inara attend the final landowner's event, the Three Hills Ball...


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2134    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Ch 15

Book rarely let his hair down. The last time he had, River had reacted less than… well, she hadn’t liked it, which is why Book was surprised to see her when he turned around. She was leaning in his doorway, arms crossed over her chest. She had a carefree look about her that made him want to smile. “River. Hello.” He pulled his hair back swiftly behind his head. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Simon needs you to watch me tonight,” River said quickly, crossing the room and plopping down on the bed as if it were her own. “Only, he’d like it best if he doesn’t have to ask. He’s nervous. Scared of asking too much. Quite a boob. I figure we can tell him we decided to have a girls’ night out. Do nails. I can braid your hair.”

“River…” Book was taken aback.

“I know you’re not a girl,” River interjected quickly. “But I can still braid your hair.” She jumped up suddenly. “We’ll do the braiding after the dinner. Don’t worry,” she said smiling, “I didn’t forget. I’d rather go to the ball, though. I like to dance.”

“River, I never…”

She waltzed out the door, her arms up, doing an exaggerated three-step.

“…I never told you.”

~*~

The shuttle looked smaller, somehow, with all of Inara’s fabrics taken down. Kaylee thought it would look bigger, more open. Really, though, it just looked lonely. “Have you decided what you’re going to wear?” Inara asked. It was sweet of her, trying to distract Kaylee from everything that was going on, but Inara was not up to her usual standards. Even thoughts of Simon and their upcoming dinner couldn’t pull Kaylee’s thoughts away from the crates and boxes scattered about the floor, each filled with Inara’s things, nor could they stop her from frowning at the slightly deflated undertone in Inara’s voice. Kaylee’s seen Inara upset, seen her mad, seen her feeling all sorts of emotions, but she had never seen Inara like this, never heard Inara sound so defeated.

“I… well, nothin’ too fancy,” Kaylee said quietly. “I mean, we’re goin’ to dinner in a bar on Three Hills… ain’t exactly a Sihnonese Ball.”

“That doesn’t mean you can’t look your best,” Inara said with a small smile. “Maybe I can help you with your hair before you leave.”

“Really?” Kaylee asked, experimentally taking her hair in her hands and holding it to the back of her head. “Sure you got time? I mean, you got that party tonight…” Kaylee cringed the second she brought it up. Kaylee knew Inara wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. She hadn’t said anything, but it didn’t take a genius, mechanical or otherwise, to figure out that the Three Hills Ball would be awkward. An evening dancing with Gilbert Crane, chatting with Mal and Heather Zagorska… Kaylee was so glad Mal wasn’t asking her to go. She wouldn’t have the heart or stomach for it.

“My own preparations shouldn’t take overly long,” Inara said, thankfully without hurt in her voice, but without too much interest either. “Besides, I’m not leaving until almost a half an hour after you’ll be gone. I’ll have plenty of time to get ready.”

“Well… okay, then,” Kaylee said quietly. “Think I should… wear it up?”

“If you’d like,” Inara said. She turned to Kaylee. She smiled, and for the first time all day Kaylee was certain she meant it. “Thank you for helping me, Kaylee. I know that this has been… a trying experience for you. I never…” She stopped. She took a deep breath, and then continued. “I’m sorry, Kaylee, that this hurts you so. I never meant for my leaving to hurt anyone, you least of all. My only regret in all of this is the pain I’ve caused you.”

Kaylee felt something hitch in her chest. “Why do you have to go, ‘Nara?”

“I…” Inara looked up at her, and Kaylee could see her pain and the confusion in her eyes. “I…” Inara couldn’t, or wouldn’t speak. Instead, she crossed the room and pulled Kaylee into an embrace. Kaylee’s chest hitched again. She could feel tears welling in the corners of her eyes. She put her arms around Inara and let herself begin to cry.

~*~

River waited until Kaylee left the shuttle to enter. She didn’t knock, but she was nice and loud and she knew Inara knew her sounds, and that was like knocking. If you can listen the right way, River found, sound was like a finger print, it only belonged to one person. This was an Inara lesson. She knew footsteps, and so River followed them and found them too.

“Sit down, mei-mei,” Inara said, not turning around, as River entered. Trees don’t turn around. Rocks did sometimes. Trees have roots. Rocks go away. But it wasn’t always fair that rocks had to move for trees. It would be better if a tree could move, too, and then they could sail the black together. River could see the unfairness of it all. For a moment, she was ready to weep. Inara turned around. “Mei-mei,” she said, crossing the room and smiling warmly. She took River’s hands in her hand, and with the other pushed the tears out of River’s eyes before they could fall. “No need for tears.”

“Don’t mean to,” River whispered as they both sat down. “The tears aren’t mine. They’re yours. I borrowed. Hope you don’t mind.”

“I…” Rocks know what they are made of inside, but sometimes they forget and need to think on it for a while. Trees carry memories inside them that are hard to touch, but never leave you. Inara squeezed River’s hand when she spoke. “I don’t want you to cry because of me, River, and I certainly don’t want you to cry for me. I’m not leaving just quite yet, and when I do I want it to be a parting of joy, not sorrow.”

Rocks don’t have memories like trees do. Trees can’t help but carry all the memories, but sometimes rocks are allowed to forget, or at least to turn memories around. River threw her arms around Inara. “You hold Kaylee when she cries,” River insisted, squeezing. “You hold me when Simon’s not there and I wake up screaming.”

“River…”

“My arms are in the right place,” she whispered. Wind is different from the rocks and trees. It touches them all the time, but it never stops moving. Sometimes, they don’t even feel her but she never goes away. “You can cry, now. I’ll never tell.” River held on, waiting, waiting so long while she felt it all. Pain and sadness, mixed with love, but the frequency was wrong and Inara needed to cry tears out to fix the balance. They wouldn’t really fix it, but the tears would help to wash the wounds a little, help to start putting things back so the river could flow and the sky would be clear and beautiful. She waited, arms around the older woman, as Inara’s inhalations began to grow frequent and shallow.

Knocking. The shuttle door had its own footsteps, a slight creaking when it opened. Inara and River pulled apart before the next fingerprints stepped in. “I hope I’m not intruding.”

“Not at all, Shepherd.” Inara was on her feet. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

“I just came by to collect River. She had humbly agreed to escort me to dinner this evening.”

“How lovely. I have no doubt our River is an excellent dinner partner.”

River listening to their voiced, but the words didn’t matter much. She let herself be taken by the hand and led away, hearing her own near-silent fingerprints as she went. “Do you need to put on shoes, River?” The dirt would make her toes dirty. She wiggled them and waited. “Apparently not.”

~*~

Jayne arrived at Adelina’s one hour before sunset. She kissed him in the doorway and ushered him inside, where Tuck and Lenny were sitting by the kitchen table, holding a piece of paper between them. “Your boys got smarts,” Jayne said, looking at them. Adelina wrapped her arms around his wasted and smirked.

“They got smarts when they want them,” Adelina remarked. “Mostly, though, they don’t use them.”

She untangled herself from his body and walked into the kitchen. Jayne, unsure of what else he was supposed to do, followed. “What you got there, boys?” Adelina asked sweetly.

“They handed them out in school,” Tuck, the elder boy, said, handing the paper to his mother. “Fireworks. Tonight.”

“Fireworks?” Adelina repeated. “Well, ain’t that dandy?”

Jayne frowned. “Mal didn’t tell me ‘bout no fireworks.”

“Read the paper,” Tuck said with an eye roll. “They just planned them today.”

Jayne took the paper from Adelina’s hand, mouthing the words as he read, line by line. “Don’t seem right.”

“It’ll be fun!” Lenny screamed. “Mama, can we go see ‘em!”

“’Course we can,” Adelina said. She smiled at Jayne, and took his hand. “Lenny’s right. It’ll be a hoot. Good times.” Jayne curled her fingers around hers, but he didn’t hear a word she said. Mal would have known about fireworks. He would have factored them into his plan. Then again, the plan didn’t matter any more. The job was called off. Jayne grinned at Adelina. It was going to be a good time.

~*~

Simon found Kaylee sitting in her hammock in the engine room. Her hair was pulled back, held together with ornately decorated chopsticks that had glossy, purple butterflies on them. Inara. She explained both the rich hair decorations and the torn expression on Kaylee’s face. “Hey,” Simon said quietly. He wasn’t sure if that was the right way to say hi. It seemed strange to make his voice sound as excited as he felt given Kaylee’s mood, but he felt equally strange not being cheery because he was afraid that she would think he wasn’t excited, which he was. She had a tendency to be critical of his awkwardness.

Apparently, though, Kaylee was not reading into the tone of his voice nearly as much as he was. “Hey,” she said quietly. Then she turned, starting to smile. “Is it already time ta’ go?”

“Just about,” Simon said. “The sun’s setting. It’s pretty…”

“Pretty?” Kaylee supplied.

“Yeah…” Simon managed. He held out her hand and helped her from the hammock. “Are you ready?”

“Yeah, Simon,” She said, straightening her floral pink skirt. “I’m ready. Let’s get dinner.”

~*~

She pinned up the last of her curls in dragon encrusted clips. They were as rich as full of life as always, but the hands that pinned them felt dead. She looked at herself in the mirror, unable to practice her smile as she painted on her lips. Red lips. Fire she could no longer feel. The slipped into her kimono, red and golden like a queen’s. It had stood out even in places where queens were commonplace. On Three Hills, she imagined it would look ridiculous. She didn’t care. It was her oldest gown, her very favorite gown. She only wore it on the most special occasions. She figured that this time was as special as any.

On a whim, she opened her top drawer. It was filled, now, with only the most basic essentials. Extra hair clips, assorted make up, the wooden box with the black syringe that she could never pack away, and spare incense of every kind. Thinking of Heather’s pranks, Inara pulled incense out of a black bag and put two sticks in her bag. It was unnecessary. She’d never had to use these sticks, not once since she’d bought them. She didn’t think about that until later. Putting them in the bag was done out of sheer instinct, intuition she tried neither to understand nor explain.

Mal was waiting in the cargo bay when she emerged from her shuttle. “Took you long enough,” he said.

“No it didn’t,” she said. “I’m exactly on time. You just want me to feel badly.” He was wearing the same suit he’d worn to the failed luncheon. She didn’t tell him this was tacky. She couldn’t.

Heather Zagorska and Gilbert Crane, their respective escorts, were dressed perfectly. Gilbert was wearing a simple black tuxedo. Heather wore Inara’s cream colored dress and her Yellow Topaz necklace. This could be considered tacky as well, since Heather had worn it the day before, but the necklace was beautiful. It complimented the dress. Inara had never thought to pair them together before.

~*~

Inara took a deep breath, unnoticeable through her nose, trying to remind her body not to be stiff. She’d easily attended a thousand parties with a thousand clients in her time as a companion. On most nights, it came to her as naturally as breathing, but with all that had happened, Inara couldn’t help it. She knew that she was better than this, that she had more self control, but she could find the motivation to use it.

The effects of Heather’s tea had long since faded, leaving her feeling headachy and dehydrated, but the consequences of the actions she’d taken while feelings its effects were still hitting her, over and over and over again like waves. Every hour or two, she felt she was getting better. She could feel clear and collected and think to herself that somehow, she could be happy again. And then it would hit her. Mal’s words. Their tears. Oh god.

Those tears cut into her physically, small cuts that bled tiny pieces of her heart until her heart was gone. Mal had said she didn’t care for anyone but herself. He had been wrong when he said so, but Inara feared he was right now. She felt that there was nothing inside of her, no person left. At the same time she felt as though the tiny pieces of her soul that had been left behind were crawling under her skin, caged and relentless, and being stiff was all she could do to keep herself from exploding. She couldn’t feel anything, but she couldn’t stay still.

Years of training were her saving grace. A deep breath, and it momentarily eased the fluttering feeling in her chest that she could not quite suppress. A tilt of her head and a small smile and she could express warmth and interest she no longer had. These weren’t new tricks. They were the tricks she used always, they were tools that let her do her job. Now, they kept her talking when she had no voice. They kept her smiling when she had no joy. They kept her walking when she’d rather fall.

But they were just tools, only as good as the person wielding them. Inara could use them perfectly. She knew she could be perfect, but she wasn’t. She just wasn’t. So now her body was stiff. Her shoulders were tense. She was rigid, like a doll, not a person, and certainly not a woman. She hung onto Gilbert’s arm, smiling open and warm, but she was stiff. “You don’t need to feel badly,” Gilbert whispered softly as they walked away from greeting an elderly couple. “It’s not your fault.”

She smiled at him now, as genuine as she could possibly be. “Yesterday returning from the tea ceremony I was not myself. I used my own growing discomfort with the situation as a reason to put my companion training aside and become overly attached to the situation at hand. For my actions, I am sorry,” she said quietly. “But as to the business between Ms. Zagorska and Captain Reynolds, their choices are their own.”

She curtsied gracefully at a passing gentleman. Gilbert tipped his hat awkwardly and they continued walking. He swallowed heavily, and tried to smile, but Gilbert had neither Inara’s years of training, nor her innate talent for guiding a conversation. Inara could read him like a scroll. Gilbert was nervous. She could see sweat pooling by the collar of his jacket. He was pale. His hands felt clammy. Inara had thought, initially, that it was the awkwardness of the situation that made him feel so out of sorts. It was, after all, making her feel out of sorts as well. Now, however, she was beginning to see this was an error. Gilbert was nervous, but it had nothing to do with having Inara on his arm.

It was in that moment that Inara’s shoulders began to loosen, her movements becoming light and fluid once more. Companion’s trained for years to push away their own emotions so that they could best concentrate on their clients. Inara had found, for better or worse, that the training had proven to be enduring. However consumed she was by her loss and anguish over her fight with Mal, her pain over all that had happened since Nandi’s untimely death, Inara’s training took over. In some ways, she ceased to be Inara and became the companion.

“I… I’m glad, then, that you don’t…” Gilbert swallowed again. “I’m just… I wouldn’t want you to blame yourself for something you can’t…”

She moved her hand from his arm to his shoulder, turning him slightly so that he could look at him. “Gilbert, allow me to assume you, I am perfectly at ease,” she said soothingly. “The only unhappiness I am feeling in this moment stems from your own unhappiness. How are you feeling Gilbert? This rather abrupt change in plans couldn’t have been easy for you.”

“Well…” He turned away from her, squirming, his voice growing thin, “it was… umm… it was a shock.”

Inara nodded sympathetically, systematically running through the list in her mind. No eye contact. A change in tone of voice. Unusual body language. Gilbert Crane was lying.

~*~

“Oh, geez…”

Heather’s voice pulled Mal out of his reverie. When he had arrived at the Ball, he had had every intention of playing the part of the gentlemen. After that, he at least decided he would be polite. As the hours passed, however, Mal was becoming increasingly less willing to play the part of the eager and loving fiancé. He wasn’t getting paid any longer. He had no reason to invest a moment’s effort into keeping Heather’s folk appeased- their façade intact, and every reason in the ‘verse to be thinking about something else.

Or, rather, someone else. Mal followed Heather’s gaze. It seemed to that the object of his ponderings was ushering a rather baffled looking Gilbert Crane into a hallway. She looked… graceful. He couldn’t understand how, given everything and standing next to Gilbert to boot, she still managed to look like she was walking on air…

“I hope they don’t do it again,” Heather said, her voice scratchy.

Mal stopped. He turned to Heather, eyes wide. “Biàn bù dǔ fó – you, you know about that?”

Heather rolled her eyes. “He’s my boyfriend, Mal. Of course I know. I told him to,” Heather said. She was smiling, like it was some sort of joke. “It was the only way I could get him to get over himself. One night with the butcher’s son, and he just never shuts up about it. ‘How could you do this to me, Heather’; ‘But we’re in love, Heath.’ I figured, let him have someone else for a night, and he’ll understand what its like. He’ll get over it. And I was right. He hasn’t spoken one word about infidelity since.”

“You… you…” Mal couldn’t speak. His mouth wasn’t working. He couldn’t make his tongue move, and his jaw seemed to be unhinged.

“Yeah, I told him to sleep with her,” Heather said, impatient. “Not the most conventional thing, I know, but it worked.”

“I…” his tongue tripped over the words. He barely knew what he was saying, “I said… Inara wasn’t supposed to sleep with him. It wasn’t in the deal. And when I saw that she had I said….”

Heather’s face lit up like… lit up like a gorram flying chandelier. “Oh, Captain *Reynolds*,” she said quickly, smiling like a sly cat. “You know, I’d forgotten why I had hired you in the first place, but now I remember. You’re the stuff stories are made of. Yelling at a prostitute for performing her trade?” Heather was laughing. “You’re crazier than I am. And believe me. I’m pretty nuts.”

Mal’s entire being was on fire. Heather Zagorska was a child, he realized suddenly. She was a child, and she acted childishly. Not as childishly as he did sometimes but… it was her fault. In a round-about way, it was all her fault, everything. If it wasn’t for Heather, Mal wouldn’t have been on Three Hills in the first place. If it wasn’t for her stupid jobs, Mal and Inara wouldn’t have bickered so much. If it weren’t for Heather telling Gilbert to sleep with Inara than he never would have, and then Inara wouldn’t… Mal could feel the heat pouring out of his own skin. “You’ll be wanting to hold your tongue, now,” Mal cautioned, his tone low.

“Oh, do I?” Heather asked with an eye roll. “Just because you can’t behave nice in front of hookers doesn’t mean I have to shut up. You’re a big boy, Mal. Just deal with it.”

“I said, you’ll be wanting to…”

“No, you’ll be wanting to hold your tongue,” Heather interrupted. “Since apparently you can’t use it very well when you talk to young ladies.”

For a moment they stood there, in the middle of the crowd, facing one another. Then, Mal left. He didn’t know where he was going, of who he would be offending by going there, he just knew he had to get out. He could see people staring, hear Heather’s strangled cries of “where are you….” But he didn’t care. Malcolm Reynolds didn’t care. He needed to be gone.

“Whoa, son,” Someone grabbed his arm. Made him stop. Mal looked up. Morris Kentdale. Perfect. “Where you hurryin’ off to?”

“Don’t know,” Mal said, shaking off the older man’s grip. “Don’t care.”

“Well, if that’s the case, why don’t’cha come with me for a spell?” the older man offered, throwing his massive arm over Mal’s shoulders and pulling him in a different direction. “Never did give you a tour of the ol’ – well, new – factory, did I? Imagine the party will get along just fine while we rectify that situation, don’t ya think?”

Mal cast a glance behind him. Inara. He didn’t know where she was now, and he desperately wanted to. He wanted to see her on the dance floor, twirling about, or sitting at one of the tables with the other women, talking up a storm, He wanted to hear her laugh or see her smile. He wanted… but she wasn’t there, and even if she was, everything he saw would be an illusion, a dream. She wouldn’t really be laughing or smiling. She might really be dancing but it didn’t matter. It just didn’t…

Mal turned to Kentdale. “Yeah,” he said, “I reckon everyone will handle themselves just fine.”

~*~

“Gilbert, it’s all right,” Inara said in her most patient tone. “Why don’t you just sit down a moment, and I’ll fetch you some water. Just sit down. It’s all right. Everything’s going to be all right.” She had him sitting on a bench outside of the gentlemen’s restroom, his collar undone, head between his knees. She had expected him to be uncomfortable, but not to breakdown. People didn’t breakdown because of lies, not unless they were big lies. Big, bad, lies. Inara clutched her bag in her right hand, rubbing his back with the other.

“It… this isn’t… I never wanted any of it,” he whispered. “I never had a choice. The mayor and the s-s-senator made one choice and Heather made another and… I’m sorry… I’m so, so sorry….”

“Gilbert, you have nothing to be sorry for…”

“But I do,” he cried sharply. “I do… I do…. And it’s not fair to you…. You’re beautiful and kind, and-and I didn’t think you’d come for this… I asked Heather to drive you both away so you wouldn’t come for this….”

“Its okay, Gilbert, its all right,” she whispered softly. “Whatever’s wrong, whatever’s happening, we can handle it together. Just tell me what’s bothering you. Tell me what’s on your mind.”

He looked up at her, blue eyes quivering. She could see it in every inch of his body. Shallow breathing. Shaking hands. Quaking lips. Sweat pouring down his neck in buckets. Pale, clammy skin. Repeated grimaces, as if Gilbert was in pain, but he wasn’t in pain: Gilbert Crane was afraid. He was utterly terrified. He looked at her like he was facing the end of the world, like he was standing at the edge of a dark abyss with nothing to grab onto. Inara tried to breath through the sinking feeling in her stomach, but she couldn’t.

“We really did try to drive both of you away. It was the plan all along, ever since Heather contacted you, since before you even landed,” Gilbert said, looking her in the eyes. “Using you as an excuse to bail on the job wasn’t part of the plan, but when the opportunity presented itself, we both agreed it was for the best. We thought your captain would leave in anger. Leave Heather high and dry to attend the ball alone, and take you with him. I didn’t want you to come. I didn’t want either of you to come.” Inara took Gilbert’s hand into hers as he began to cry. “I thought it was the right thing to do.

“You see,” Gilbert said, crying freely, “there’s a bomb. Two bombs. One here, and one in the factory.”

Inara tried to keep breathing. She couldn’t.

“How long?” she grabbed his shoulders, shaking them. “Gilbert, how long!”

His voice was weak and lifeless. His gaze was vacant, like he was already gone

“Thirty minutes.”

. . . . . Biàn bù dǔ fó … all-seeing Buddha

First, a huge thank you to Tayeatra, who fixed this ridiculously quickly and had great suggestions. Thanks!

This chapter was surprisingly fun for me. With the last few chapters, I’ve felt I’ve been losing touch with the story, and the first time I tried to write this chapter I felt much the same way. Now, however, I am feeling very chi-like towards the story again, and am excited, excited, excited to write the next few chapters, so hopefully they’ll be here soon. Hell, I might even be able to make that “finished by July” goal I had set earlier. Well, finished before the end of July, anyway. My fingers are crossed.

Sorry for the lack of Wash and Zoe. I tried to fit them in, but they just didn’t seem to fit; they’ll definitely be back next chapter. Pinky swear.

Hope you enjoyed (and continue to enjoy)!

Peace.

COMMENTS

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 3:13 PM

2X2


Oh! Wonderful to see a new chapter.

I cry for Inara so when I read this story *G* I love it.. the pain, you have such an amazing way of bringing it across... I ache so much when I read this, I physically hurt, which is just incredible!

So glad to hear you're back in touch with the story... I *so* know what that is like.

Enjoyed very much, and I'm sure I will continue to!

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 6:55 PM

LEIASKY


Very good chapter. I'm glad you got back to this. I'm looking forward to reading more!

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 7:38 PM

LEIGHKOHL


Loved the relationship between Inara abnd Kaylee, as wellas Inara and River. Loved the Roiver/Book at the beginning! Glad to see you posting again. Looking forward to your next chapter!

Wednesday, July 5, 2006 1:51 AM

AGENTROUKA


Oh, you can't imagie how happy I was to see this new part posted!

And it's definitely not a disappointment. A rare few distracting word mix-ups, but oh, such beautiful interaction and so many revelations! PLOT! *squee*

River and Inara nearly broke my heart. You have such a wonderful way of capturing that sweetness inside River, along with the detached, impish way of manipulation. Going about comfort like a recipe.. *sigh* I wanted to hug them both.

Then, Heather. HUH. I started to really like her, in a weird way, when she confronted Mal, unapologetically shoved his own contradictions in his face, still as bitchy but somehow more adult about it. Calm and cruel.

And Mal's dissolving again in the middle of it... Thinking of Heather as childish when she's for once being not, really, and turning into a child himself, blaming her for everything when she may have shifted circumstances but it's his own hurt and fear that had him lashing out. Trying to act the parent but, yes, being absolutely not in the place to do so.

And oy, there is SO much more to this job. Who exactly *isn't* in on this manipulation? Heather, the criminal mastermind, Mal the convenient scapegoat from day one? And none of them noticed because she is that good at playing the irritating brat? Is Kentdale involved??

Crap.

LOVE!

I am so very excited about this!

Wednesday, July 5, 2006 6:08 AM

TAYEATRA


A great cliffhanger ending and I'm so glad I no longer feel the need to slap Mal. I have a feeling he's pretty much going to be kicking himself anyway.

Heather used to be childishly annoying and now she's bitchy and cruel. It's a surprisingly smooth transition and it means I can hate her even more!

Looking forward to the last few chapters.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006 12:14 PM

TAMSIBLING


This was great, but I want more Simon/Kaylee.

I love the way you describe River and Inara in the beginning -

>>“You hold Kaylee when she cries,” River insisted, squeezing. “You hold me when Simon’s not there and I wake up screaming.”>>

This moment above was particularly heartbreaking - poor Inara, no one ever considers that she might need someone to hold her - but River knows! Please post more soon!


Thursday, July 6, 2006 8:36 AM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh...things are really gonna hit the fan:S

Really feeling the mutual pain and confusion from Mal and Inara here, Arcadia. Mal's being all childish...but I gotta say I doubt I would be acting any differently if I was Mal's shoes.

And Heather? Oh Mal...why is that you attract the attentions of psychotic women when they ain't your crew? Cuz after Saffron, one would think Mal would be a tad more careful about young ladies whom he has just met going all soft on him;)

BEB


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