Fear Is In Us All
Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A continuation piece to my previous stories "Deeper Than Bone" and "Sunday's Child". Inara faces herself. Set post-BDM.


Disclaimer: all things Firefly/Serenity are the property of Whedon et al. I'm not making any money off this, just playing with the toys.

A/N: I strongly recommend reading the previous two stories to understand where this is coming from.

When I reached for the fourth incense stick, I knew my meditation to be a fruitless venture. Perhaps you would have laughed or asked me to do something else, most probably to brush your hair.

I could see you, if I shut my eyes, relaxing into those strokes. We would talk of nothing significant, not until Doctor Tam arrived. And then there was little else to speak of.

I swung my hand across the small shelf and relished the sound of the candles clattering to the floor. I stared at the dishevelled mess and for the first time since coming aboard, laughed at the chaos.

And then I cursed myself for letting the laughter out. I grasped the nearest statue and threw it awkwardly at the far wall, knocking down the hanging. The echo of it crashing filled the shuttle; the ensuing silence deafened me more. I craved noise, disorder, anything but serenity. Glancing at the effects filling my shuttle, I could not help but be disgusted by it all.

Everything had been ordered, carefully placed, carefully chosen to exude a mood and a feel. Men felt at ease in this space, let their guards down. I scoffed. My guard was at its highest in this little craft. It had to be.

I moved to grab another piece of anything to throw, when I felt the ship turn. It was enough to knock me off balance, landing on the floor. The tea cup I held was now broken and had cut into my skin. Sliding myself back to lean against the settee, I stared at the blood now beginning to appear and trickle out of the small break in my flesh. It was such a different colour of red.

I had immersed myself in red in this shuttle. It hung from the walls in shimmering tapestries, coloured the sticks of candles and covered the wooden boxes. It was all suddenly harsh and constricting.

I drowned in it. Images flashed through my head of Simon’s blood, hot, dark and thick escaping from the bullet hole in his abdomen. My hands became so slick in it, I could barely hold the syringe to inject him with the prescribed medicine.

It was a different kind of blood than the one that gave life to Petaline’s little boy. That had been soft, warm and smooth to allow for the emergence of the child. That blood had brought life.

Drawing my knees up, I felt the pull as the fabric of my dress strained. Companions were not to sit this way, cowering on the floor like children. Refinement, Inara. Show the pride and tradition of being a companion to those around you and to yourself.

I would have chuckled, but a cry won out.

Dropping the broken pieces of porcelain, I heaved deep sobs. Fat tears rolled in a continuous stream down my cheeks, smudging my make-up, I knew. It didn’t matter now, you knew that, didn’t you? Didn’t matter if I prayed to Buddha or to God, we all ended up in the same place.


It was with the next shudder that I finally understood. I would wonder sometimes, how it was that you knew this ship. A clink here or a rumble there and you could find and fix the problem. “My girl” you would say, making this ship more than just steel and wires. She was yours no matter what the registration papers said.

But with that shudder, my hands fell to my sides to steady me and I felt the ship. For the first time, I could feel her like I could feel a client’s heated skin or heartbeat quicken. I understood on a level beyond archaic definitions that she was alive.

And she missed you.

I don’t know how long I sat that way, my hands splayed out next to me on the floor, but it didn’t matter. I was feeling the ship and keeping you alive through her.

The blood had stopped and dried on my hand when the knock at the door came. Opening my eyes, I saw Mal’s bewildered and sorrowed features. I’d become accustomed to the permanent sadness etched on his face. No one blames you for that.

He knelt near me, his hand hovering near my cheek and I knew he wanted to brush away the onyx streaks. With barely a move, I leaned into his hand.

Serenity sighed then began to hum softly. A whisper of air tickled my ear. Was that you?

He grasped my hand and pulled me up, his eyes never leaving mine. You would have found it terribly romantic, but I was embarrassed and scared. He held my bloody hand in his own, mentioning something about seeing the doctor. I couldn’t hear his words; his eyes were all I could listen to. And in them I saw pain and anger.

With a little push, I saw love in them. For this ship. For me. For you.

He saw me then and attempted his Mal way of trying to cover up. His lips cocked into that familiar roguish smile and little crinkles formed around those eyes. He lightly patted my hand and I let him. Wouldn’t you have been proud of me?

I couldn’t stop the words, they escaped before I could call them back. “I love you.”

The shuttle went still; Serenity became quiet. I cursed my foolishness and was about to turn when Mal’s gentle fingers ran up my arm. I shivered, but not for the touch. Your glow was there, back in his eyes. I saw your smile.

He kissed me deeply, passionately, and I could feel Serenity humming inside me.

I was no longer alone.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006 5:42 PM


Of course these stories sadden me immensely because you killed Kaylee (bad, bad fic writer), but I love this insight into Inara and how she view things now that Kaylee is gone. It's great, so touching and heartfelt!

Got any more? I feel like a good cry!

Thursday, November 30, 2006 3:23 AM


AP - Like I told you - it's the strongest of the three. I love the revision. Powerful and haunting, but then you're good at that.

I don't think you're a "bad, bad fic writer" for addressing the mortality of characters, because it's through them we explore our own emotions, our own issues, our own hopes and dreams, and ultimately, our own mortality.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 6:51 AM


Beautifully written but I am a little confused as it sounds as if Inara loves Kaylee not Mal, that her saying "I love you" was not actually for him but part of her sorrow at losing Kaylee.
Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Thursday, November 30, 2006 7:39 AM


Beautiful, AP. Just beautiful. Made me tear up. I always look forward to your posts.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 1:05 PM


This was fantastic, ArtemisPrime! I don't know how you did it, but I could totally see Morena/Inara slowly breaking down as she struggled with meditation before just letting her feelings win out and trash her shuttle, only getting drawn out of her disgusted funk when her hand got cut. And the moment between Inara and Mal? Definitely could see them using their normal personas to protect the other from their mood...but Kaylee (and Serenity" didn't let them;D



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