BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

KACIDILLA

Waiting to Understand
Friday, April 13, 2007

Third piece in the Waiting series; if you're new to this, please see Waiting to Hear, then Waiting to Speak. All characters and whatnot belong to Joss...comments are welcome. Hope ya like it. :)


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2012    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

"I can't believe you didn't tell me 'Nara mighta been pregnant," Kaylee scolded from the bed. Simon looked up from his notes at the small desk in the corner. "I still haven't told you that," he said, his confusion apparent on his face. "I know and I can't believe it!" Kaylee repeated. "I had to find out by overhearin' Zoë arguing with the Cap'n." "Kaylee," Simon sighed, leaning his head against the wall behind him, "You know eavesdropping is a bad habit, right?" "So's keepin' secrets like this from your wife!" she countered. Simon looked at her patiently. "I'm a doctor," he said, trying to calm the woman he loved. "I'm going to have secrets that are not my own. Inara's health is not supposed to be public knowledge anymore than yours is." "But a baby!" Kaylee said wistfully. "Couldn't ya just imagine a little baby with us on this ship? Bet she'da been pretty, like her ma." "What if she had been a he?" Simon teased. "Well...he prob'bly woulda been thick-headed like his daddy," Kaylee sighed, lost in her happy world of make-believe. Simon smiled, content just to see Kaylee like this. He remembered his thought at dinner: she could be pregnant. His stomach dropped as it set in again. The concept of being a father someday was a pleasant and far-off feeling. The concept of being a father in a matter of months was a little more frightening. "You're doing it again," Kaylee said softly, a blush rising to her cheeks. Simon smiled at her, rising out of his chair to close the distance between them. "Doing what?" he asked, placing his hand against her cheek gently. "Lookin' at me like that," she answered, leaning against his hand and looking up at him. "Like...all warm and wonderful." "Perhaps it's because you are warm and wonderful," he whispered, kneeling down to meet her eyes. They kissed, their love evident in the action. It was the kiss shared by two people in love, unafraid of the consequences. It was a sharing of souls. *** "It was one night, Mal," Inara argued, not for the first time. "And then you avoided me at every turn!" "One night that almost became something you would carry around for a few months more!" he countered. They were both standing, facing each other from opposite sides of the small table, words getting caught in their throats even now. "Who said I meant to carry it?" she shot, already hating the words even as they poured out of her mouth. He flinched; recovered. "I'm sure it would just get in the way of your clients," he spat. He hadn't considered not keeping the child an option. Had she? "Yes, it is rather difficult keeping up relations when you embody everything they want to escape," she replied evenly. Did he really think she would have done that? "I would imagine," was all he could come up with. "I suppose we should both be glad you didn't need to trouble the doctor beyond the little test." Why was it so hard to just say he would have tried to stop her? "If you weren't so obsessed with knowing every little detail on this ship, you wouldn't have even been troubled to begin with!" Inara could feel the start of tears stinging at her eyes. She couldn't cry in front of him. Not now; it wouldn't be fair. He wasn't crying. "It is my trouble to begin with," he snapped. "It was that night and it is now. Just because you don't think I had a right to know, don't mean--" "There was nothing to know!" she interrupted. "I have the flu. I'm exhausted. I have all the signs of a woman with the flu. And they happen to coincide with the symptoms of early pregnancy. I asked the doctor to perform a simple task and you had to stick your nose in it! There was no other--" "There's one symptom ya didn't mention that woulda tipped the scales," Mal cut her off with a sneer. "And it's pretty standard to carryin' babes." "I've been stressed, too," Inara said tightly. This really wasn't his business at all, considering the outcome of the test, but as long as he brought it up... "Imagine not having a job for three months and still having basic needs. That stress will take form in any number of ways. One of them, for women, includes that particular symptom of early pregnancy." "You're the one not takin' clients," Mal pointed out. "I got all manner of jobs takin' us from port to port. All you gotta do is open up your fancy client base and--" "And what, Mal?" she rolled her eyes while she said it, hoping it would suspend the desire to cry. She fell back on the old and used arguments. "How can I keep appointments when you constantly change the schedules? Where am I supposed to meet my clients when you spend all your time on backwater moons?" How can I go forward to meet clients when I see the way you look at me when I leave? How can I pretend I don't want to stay? How can I work after that night we shared? She thought them, but she couldn't say them. "We've been through this before, 'Nara," Mal said, dropping his voice and his shoulders. He turned away from her, his hand running through his hair in aggravation. "I ain't goin' there with you. You wanna have that match, you know my lines. Let me know when you're done with it." He was so tired of it all. He wanted to leave; to figure out how she could mean so much to him and still make him want to throttle someone. He turned back to her and saw she held her face in her hands, her shoulders shaking slightly as she cried. "Inara?" "Oh, Mal," she said softly into her hands. "How could we ever raise a child? You commit crimes on a regular basis. I'm not prepared to be a mother - the Training House was all I ever knew. This life...it's not a life for a child." She said 'we.' Mal blinked at her, unsure exactly what happened, but he moved around the table quickly and put his arms around her. She tried to pull away, but he just held her. She relaxed into his arms and just let the tears come. "This is so foolish," she gulped. "I should be happy. There's no reason to be crying like this." "No reason a'tall," Mal murmured against her hair. "Unless...maybe...you mighta wanted..." Inara waited for him to finish his sentence before realizing he wasn't going to do that. "Did you...perhaps want...?" she asked, wondering why, with all the training she had been exposed to, she was now uncomfortable speaking to a man. She pulled her head away from his shoulder when he didn't answer, and looked at his eyes. "This is no place for..." he started, but she could see his heart wasn't in the words. "I...you said all the first reasons...and there's plenty more, I'm sure..." "We always argue," she listed. "And there's Jayne." "Never know where we'll be from week to week," Mal pointed out softly. "Ain't exactly child-friendly in some of those places." "And schooling," Inara shrugged. "The child would deserve a good education." "The best," Mal agreed. He thought a moment. "There's River." "And Simon," Inara nodded. "And Kaylee and Zoë would round out any education." "We don't always argue," Mal added. "And Jayne could use someone his own age around." "We argue often," Inara insisted. "Often enough for a child to not understand what love is." "You sayin' you won't love my baby?" Mal asked, completely stone-faced. Inara smiled. "A different sort of love, Mal," she explained. He didn't smile or nod, as she'd expected him to. He leaned forward and kissed her soft lips. "I'd wager he'd figure it out," he whispered. "He?" Inara pulled away, a sly smile crawling across her features. "She would, of course, come to me with any question, but how am I to explain the unbearable nature of her father?" Mal did smile, then. "I'm sure you'd find a way," he said, following Inara to the couch. "'Course, I'd have to undo a lot of damage to my good character." "You'll have to introduce me to that 'good character' some day," the Companion said off-handedly. "It might explain a lot." "Mayhaps someday, then," Mal nodded, watching the woman gracefully take a seat on the inviting couch. She looked up at him with a smile in her eyes he hadn't seen in a long while. "Not that it's an issue, that is," Inara said, breaking eye contact to look at her hands. "Yeah," Mal agreed, stepping away from her. "Lotta would-be's getting in here. Cloudin' up facts." "I should get some sleep," Inara said, not moving. Mal looked at her carefully. "There's something, though," he began as she continued to gaze at her hands. "I wasn't unhappy when Simon said what the test was for. Might've even been...pleased...a bit." Inara nodded. "Wouldn't mind havin' one around," he went on, still watching her. "Even with all those reasons we said. As long as you..." Inara went very still. He changed his mind about finishing his sentence and moved to leave. "As long as I...what?" she asked. He almost didn't hear her. He looked back at her. She met his eyes. "As long as you were there, too," he said simply. She didn't say anything. He tried to smile, couldn't...and left. "Oh," she whispered.

COMMENTS

Friday, April 13, 2007 5:54 PM

EMPIREX


Eeeeep! This made me get all choked up. I loved it! I hope it doesn't end there!

Friday, April 13, 2007 7:10 PM

TAMSIBLING


Wow, terrific! You've capture Mal and Inara in a tough situation, but done it so true to character it is heart-breaking.

I also love the internal monologues of each character - what they'll actually say and what they want to say warring with one another.

And Simon's little thought about the idea of fatherhood far away nice, but imminent very disconcerting - so great!

I, too, hope there's more!

Friday, April 13, 2007 10:02 PM

AMDOBELL


Oh, the painful dance of it with Inara and Mal not coming right out and saying what they mean and how they feel. The one step forwards and two steps back that keeps them on edge around each other though at the end there the lines were softening. Hope there is lots more to come. Ali D :~)
You can't take the sky from me

Saturday, April 14, 2007 9:12 AM

PLATONIST


"You wanna have that match, you know my lines." my favorite Mal line

I think this is the best M/I you've written, kacidilla. It is subtle in approach, but layered and textured... not so obvious...a parallel of their relationship. Great dialogue and solid structure.

Monday, April 16, 2007 7:05 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh...this was definitely some Grade A writing, kacidilla! It's especially true with your Mal-Inara confrontation scene in her shuttle and all the things that get said - and go unsaid - concerning their feelings about one another and how they would individually feel about bringing a child into the world. Though the Simon introspection moment was quite shiny as well;)

BEB

Friday, April 20, 2007 6:15 PM

AGENTOMEGA


Gah, Kacidilla.

Just... gah.

This chapter was beautiful, and not just because of the warm, fuzzy Simon/Kaylee bit at the beginning.

The way Mal and Inara find their way to the heart of the matter is so wonderfully in character - they always seem to have to hurt each other before they can be honest, and then it's all deliciously sweet angst from there...

Most excellent.


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