BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - ROMANCE

BIGGRSTAFFBUNCH

Poetry in Motion (Five Kisses Mal and Inara Never Shared, In Lives They Never Lived): Going to Wars [1]
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Five alternate realities, five Mals, five kisses with a woman who will always matter, regardless of the timestream. Romance in universes unexplored. [series of au/ar firefly standalones]


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 3108    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Chapter Summary: An evolution of a relationship lost, found, and lost again. They're the same people even when they're not, aren't they? Always soldiers. [pre-series alternate reality]

~*~

I. Going to the Wars

---

Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind, That from the nunnery of thy chaste breast and quiet mind, To war and arms I fly

---

"Sergeant, don't be a fool--your leg isn't the most stablest of attachments right now. It's liable to rip right off if you don't-- keep--- still!" The doctor pushed back tendrils of dark, curling hair as she passed a bloody hand over her forehead, frowning down at the pins keeping the sergeant's knee in place.

Working the pins into submission, she mused wryly, had almost been as difficult as Sergeant Mal Reynolds could be.

"Don't much need a leg, Inara," Mal replied, oblivious to her exasperation. He winced as the doc plunged a needle in his hip. "Just a--"

"--just a gun and an arm to shoot it with, yes, I know. I've heard it before--from men with missing appendages. Now lie still or I will make you lie still!" Inara leveled her best glare down at the handsome man whose leg had just nearly been blown off.

Mal leered, a vivid smear of red marring his stubbled cheek. "You gonna wrassle with me, doc?"

Inara shook her head. "No, I'm going to save your leg," she said evenly. Then she held up the needle and smiled grimly. "Doped you," she explained, at his questioning look. "Only way to shut you up."

Explosions suddenly rocked the dusty, uneven ground beneath them both, the thunderous boom adding to the gunshots and shouting soldiers all around. Green laser-light zipped through the air, and plumes of fire unfurled hundreds of feet into the sky, bright flames practically licking the stars. A few battle-cruisers zoomed overhead, and the low drone followed by another explosion made Inara's mouth tighten in barely-repressed anxiety.

Her usually crisp white uniform was dirt-streaked and torn, her entire front stained a deep crimson. Her feet hurt and her ears rang and her fingers were sticky and wrinkled from all the blood drying on them. But she was none the worse for wear when compared to all the soldiers dead or dying all around them, bodies practically littering the battlefield. Mal was admittedly more uncouth and pigheaded than most, but he was salvageable, and in Serenity Valley, salvageable meant a hell of a lot more to her than the sergeant's suicidal wish to get back into the thick of war.

"I'm going to save your leg, Sergeant Reynolds," Inara said again, determinedly. Mal probably couldn't hear her well over the rushing white noise in his ears, but she said it nonetheless. His blue eyes drooped and he nodded sluggishly.

"Don't doubt it," he mumbled, his grip on his gun loosening as his body began to slacken. "Prettiest hero I ever did see."

---

"Reynolds has been screaming for you again, Doctor Serra." The nurses, mere slips of girls, stared at Inara with expressions of fear and suspicion. "No one else can calm him down. Rena tried to give him a hypo again, but he made her cry and she ran out."

Inara slit her eyes and counted to ten. Apparently one couldn't even go to the bathroom around here without being summoned by a legion of nursing Trainees. She sighed and closed the door so she could zip her skirt up in peace. Somehow, she thought, washing her hands in the sink, she should have known that it was Reynolds who was stirring up trouble.

Ever since bringing him into Serenity House, that man had been nothing but trouble. Hell, ever since knowing him, the man had been nothing but trouble.

Once upon a time, Hera had been a lush, scenic tourist planet instead of a military target. Once upon a time, the browncoats and the Anglo-Sino troops had kept to their own bases on opposite sides of the 'verse, instead of descending on Serenity Valley and destroying all the beauty. Once upon a time, Mal Reynolds had been a young, stupid rancher instead of...well, a young, stupid soldier. And once upon a time, Inara had known Mal pretty intimately, as a shy, impressionable medical student succumbing to charms she didn't know any better than to label 'considerable.'

Now, Inara was the most experienced Medic at Serenity House, a whole planet away from who she used to be, and Mal? He was supposed to be nothing more than a patient. A patient she shared a past with, but a patient, nonetheless. Outbursts and whining would not be tolerated. She could not go to him just because he was calling out for her-- it wouldn't be right.

And yet. The sounds of Mal's groans and pleading tugged at Inara's hardened heart more than she was willing to admit. The image of a summer day, warm and carefree, flashed through her mind. A man barely out of his teens riding a horse and smiling as bright as the sun, the blue sky lit behind him. And a voice in her head: "You gonna travel the 'verse with me, sweet Miss Serra? I reckon my future's got blood and guts some. You gonna stay with me through the pain?"

Inara closed her eyes and breathed deep. When she opened her eyes, resolve had steeled her veins, though it was the kind of steel that was newly forged, and she wasn't sure whether it would hold quite steady.

She'd made a promise once, and rules and protocol be damned--

She would stay with him through the pain.

---

"How come you didn't stay on Shadow, Miss Serra?"

Mal had a bad habit of talking when Inara least wanted to hear his voice. And of asking questions Inara least wanted to answer. Her hands jerked and a stitch pulled, causing Mal to cringe.

"Lie still," Inara said, her voice bland. Just because she wasn't exactly pushing him away (even though she ought to, a treacherous voice inside her whispered) didn't mean she had to make things easier for him.

"Inara." When she didn't look up from her stitches, Mal's hand covered her own. "Doc. Come on." The steady, warm pressure of his fingers against her own, coupled with the ragged tone of his voice, made Inara look up reluctantly.

"I left Shadow because there were other places I could be, Mal," she said flatly. "Did you expect me to stay a border girl for the rest of my life, waiting for you to return from whatever dire strait you found yourself involved in at the moment?"

Mal's brow furrowed and his jaw tightened. "This ain't some hootin' caper I went off adventurin' on, Inara. It was war. It is war."

Inara was struck for a moment with the thought that in the five years since she'd seen Mal last, he'd grown up. He had conviction in his voice, instead of temptuous heat, and Inara peered curiously at the determined tilt of his chin.

He wasn't a man-child any longer. Just...a man. A weary, restless, different man than she'd known once before. But that was to be expected, Inara supposed. She'd changed, too.

"No one made you come here," she said, a little less accusatory, a little more weary. "No one made you leave your home." She wanted to say, "No one made you leave me," but she slid her gaze away instead.

The memories had been locked deep inside her for so long, she'd forgotten how much it hurt to finally unearth them.

Mal looked like he wanted to say something argumentative, but he closed his mouth and gazed speculatively at Inara.

"No one made you do the same, at that," he said, after a moment.

Inara finished stitching Mal's leg, her serious gaze locking with his bright, assessing blue eyes. "I had something to fight for, just the same as you did," she said finally. And as she said it, she realized she believed it. Despite all this time thinking Mal had abandoned her for some empty ride to glory, she suddenly saw how much he had given up, how much he had lost to fight this war.

Because she had given up and lost the same when she had followed.

Understanding seemed to spark in them both for a moment, before it was lost to the confusion creeping into the empty spaces between them.

---

He got better, of course. Inara was an excellent doctor. She'd paid her entire lifesavings to get the necessary education, so she ought to have been, but besides that, Inara was just the type of person to do whatever she did extremely well. To be the best, in fact. It was her only aspiration once upon a time.

Then Mal had come along, the son of a nearby rancher, with all his bluster and boyish charm. Inara had tried not to fall for him, tried to keep her goals in mind. But it had proved impossible. One starry evening under the Shadow sky, Mal had kissed her, and she'd been lost.

For the first time in her life, she'd wondered what it would be like to be someone's wife, instead of someone's doctor.

And amidst all the pretty promises and thrilling adventures Mal had taken her on, Inara had resigned herself to becoming a Rim woman. She'd missed all the signs, however, of her would-be husband becoming a soldier. She gave him her virginity, and soon after, he gave her a letter saying he'd be back soon, but there were things he had to do, first. He was out on the first transport to the training facility on one of Hera's moons. No more letters, no more news. Just waiting. And worrying. And waiting.

She got so tired of waiting.

When Shadow went through all the bombing raids, a full year without word from Mal, and the official beginning of the Unification War, Inara grew up. Crouched behind the barricades and watching her tiny little childhood home get blown to bits, knowing that Mal was out there somewhere living his dream, doing his duty, galvanized Inara into action. When the raids stopped, she left Shadow, too. Went to Sihnon, continued her border-planet education at a Core medical school. Then she graduated, penniless and alone, except for her skills.

Those skills proved to be enough, because here she was now, a fully-trained Medic on the most savagely war-torn planet in the system. Five years from the girl she thought she was. Now a woman she knows she'll always be.

She won't ever forget that ambition is what got her here, and love is what almost kept her away. No matter how noble the latter, it is the former that keeps her head high and her body uncaged. She can't--won't--give that up on the off-chance that Mal will ever be able to give her his whole self. Or, for that matter, that she will ever be able to do the same for him.

A few weeks after the night Inara saved him on the battlefield, he finally broached the subject. Inara wasn't quite prepared for it, as she bandaged his leg and tried to work in silence under his unnerving gaze. His eyes clearer than they'd been in a long time, and the pain finally erased from the deep lines in his face, he said: "For what it's worth, I wouldn't hurt you again."

Inara was silent and still for a long moment. "I know," she said, after tying his bandage off and backing away. "This time, I'd be the one to hurt you."

And because it was true, Inara allowed herself a few tears, wiping them hastily away the moment she stepped into the sunshine, the start of a busy day.

---

"Look at that one," he said, pointing to a particularly vivid pinpoint of light in the sky. "The one that's shinier than the rest. Beauty, ain't it?"

She looked, her head resting against his shoulder. He was warm and smelled of gunpowder and leather, and she burrowed closer as her gaze followed in his finger's direction. "It's amazing," she agreed softly.

"I'm gonna call her Inara," he said impishly. "That way, I ever get lost, I can look up in the sky at the brightest star there is, and know my girl's looking after me."

She'd smiled, used to his bouts of whimsy. He wasn't the most poetic, but he was sweeter than anyone she'd ever met, and as a closet romantic, she sort of enjoyed the idea that he only had to look to the sky to think of her. But--

"You won't ever get lost, Mal," she's said firmly. "Where's there to get lost here on Shadow?"

His eyes had shuttered for a moment before he'd gulped and nodded. "True enough," he'd said. "But if I did get lost, you'd find me? Wouldn't forsake me?"

Inara had laughed. "Of course I wouldn't, Mal. I'm stuck with you now, aren't I? You don't forsake a part of your own self, do you?"

"Do you, Inara?"

His gaze was as electric as it had been all those years ago, and Inara stiffened under the force of it. The blanket she was pinning up slipped out of her grasp, fluttering in the warm, dusty breeze. For a moment the only sound is the blanket flapping in the wind.

"We made a lot of promises back then, Mal," she said evenly. "I seem to recall you saying something about 'forever,' or some like nonsense."

"Wasn't nonsense. Just 'cause I left for a little while don't mean I didn't plan on having the rest of my life with you."

Inara snorted. "Oh yes, the rest of your long and healthy life, as a soldier in a war. I would've had a very prosperous relationship with your dog-tags, Mal." She still wouldn't turn to face him, her hands inexplicably cold in the summer sun.

"The truth of death don't make the truth of love a lie," he said, coming closer. She could hear him shuffling along, his right leg a bit slower than the left.

"Still the poet," she said, her words a little bitter. "And if it's a question of forsaking one another, didn't you forsake me first?" Her voice dropped. "Didn't trust me enough to tell me what was in your heart. You just left. And you didn't come back to find me when I was so adrift myself."

"Found you now, didn't I?" Mal joked weakly, and when Inara turned to look at him, she could see his face was stricken. She was glad for it.

"I found you, and I didn't turn you away," she reminded him. "So you see, I fulfilled my promises." She tucked the blanket under her arm and picked the pin-filled basket up with her trembling hands. "It's you, Mal, that haven't made good on a single one of your own."

---

Mal wasn't allowed back to the battlefield. Despite the Independents needing everyone they could get, his leg and his hot head proved too much a liability. The black caverns under his eyes came back after that news, and Inara found her heart softening just a bit.

"We always need extra hands," she offered, standing behind him. It was a hot day, and the morning campaign had been abandoned by both sides. Hera's temperatures were too much to contend with, even in wartime. Mal sat on the front stoop of the patient quarters, his back hunched and head drooped low. Inara could feel the brush of his hair against her leg, and she backed away slightly.

"From a soldier to a nurse," Mal laughed humorlessly. "Mighty fine way to fall."

Inara narrowed her eyes. "There's just as much respect in this profession as there is in yours," she said. "Whereas you're only needed on the occasion that man's hubris outweighs his better judgement, I'm needed whenever man's hubris and stupidity outweighs his better judgement. Which is to say, all the time, every moment of every day."

Mal looked up at her, smiling faintly. "Didn't mean no harm," he said. "Just don't think I can go from killing people to saving 'em."

Inara cocked her head at the guilt and despair in his eyes. "You were already saving people," she reminded him impatiently. "Just in a different way than you'd be doing here. And besides, if you don't stay on, we have to ship you back home."

To Shadow. To ghosts. Mal's expression was panicked, and Inara wholeheartedly understood.

"I--" Mal's voice faltered. "Alright," he agreed. "I'll do what I can."

Inara allowed herself a real, true smile. It'd been a long time since she'd been happy around Mal Reynolds, and she was surprised to discover that it felt...good. Not like a betrayal to all those years of hurt. Not like she thought it would.

Mal seemed to be similarly surprised, from the gobsmacked look on his face. "You were always so beautiful when you smiled," he said, his lips quirked and his hair falling in his eyes.

Inara let her hand skim the back of his head gently. "So were you," she said, and they stayed there in silence, as the sun fell farther and farther behind the valleys.

---

Mal wasn't quite as capable as she'd optimistically believed, Inara soon discovered. He fumbled the same as he always used to, back when Inara tried teaching him the new procedures she was learning in her Training manual. In fact, an episode with a needle and a very rotten orange made Inara almost feel bad for him, standing there with pulpy juice running down his hands.

Of course, she felt worse for his prospective patients, but...

That was before Mal worked alongside her on the nights when soldiers were brought in by the dozen, men Mal knew by sight or by name, boys who groaned and screamed or died. Inara was long used to it, desensitized even, but watching the moon reflect off the paleness of Mal's skin, seeing him furtively cross wounded soldiers who asked for God, or soothe the younger ones who asked for Mama, brought all the horror of her first few months back to Inara.

She sat with him, as the night turned to dawn, and she let herself put her hand on his neck to gently massage away the stress tied in a knot at the base of his nape. "It gets easier," she said quietly. His skin felt foreign and hot under her fingers, and her movements were stilted, her charity only barely outweighing the resentment and hurt still bubbling in her stomach. She'd been hard for so long, she didn't know how to be soft anymore, and she hated Mal for making her want to be.

Mal shook his head. "No," he said heavily. "It don't ever get easier. Not ever. And I'm glad for it, 'cause the moment it gets easier, or better, or not so horrifying, I stop fighting a war. Then I'm just window dressing, and I don't hold to being useless, 'Nara."

He hasn't called her 'Nara in a long time. The sound of it evoked the Hindi word for something like thread. When she'd told him that one day after spending too long trolling the Cortex, he'd chuckled. Held her close and said she was all the string he needed to keep him tied to the ground when the sky's siren call got to be too much.

She hadn't liked being compared to a leash, but now, she gets how he could've meant an anchor, instead. She tentatively placed a hand over Mal's shaking knee, and he pressed his own hand, clammy and rough, over it.

"You're not useless," she said, looking at him shrewdly. "Or rather, you won't let yourself be anymore."

He didn't respond, but the grateful thanks that went unspoken lurked in each fold of his smile, and Inara couldn't even drudge up a half-hearted protest when he tugged her along the path.

They went for a moonlit walk, strolling in companionable silence, and for once, the ghosts of the past left them alone.

---

From that first day on, Mal attacked each new task with a zeal that intrigued Inara.

He was a changed man, for sure, in many ways. He didn't pout, or get angry, or purposely mess up a task so he could go outside and brood. He was energized and gallant and he joked with the nurses, making them feel less scared and alone. He sat up and talked to the soldiers, gave them tactical tips, kept their morale high, told them stories. He was far from useless, actually, a veritable dream, and this new-but-old Mal frightened Inara with the depth of his charm and the mindless way she was drifting closer to him, despite her best warnings to herself.

One afternoon, Mal stole an embrace, pressing his lips against her cheek as he gave her a hug, before he swept out of the room, intent on cleaning the stores for her.

The force of finding out she was still capable of blushing startled her so badly, she couldn't look at Mal for a whole week without feeling her cheeks heat. She kept her distance as much as she could, but just as reports were coming in that the Browncoats were winning Serenity Valley, Inara felt the tides changing within herself, too.

Brave new world, she thought, and began to hum to herself.

--- Inevitable, perhaps.

They ended up going to bed more times than Inara cared to count. At first, she was mortified. "This doesn't mean anything," she said, fumbling for her clothes. "Think of it as a long overdue goodbye."

Mal smirked and said, "You didn't think I was long overdue a coupla minutes ago." A dirty look, a full day of ignoring him as studiously as possible, and the next night, it happened again.

"Ridiculous," she muttered, slipping on her nightgown. "Especially since the first time was such a colossal mistake."

Mal arched his eyebrow. "You're being awful sweet," he drawled. "Ain't never been called colossal before."

A shoe at his head, this time, then a full three days of not even looking at him. He got her when she was on her way in from the mess, and she was too sluggish to fight him. Next morning, she didn't even bother to say a word to him as he grinned that infuriatingly self-satisfied grin, and she stole out of his bunk without any promised made.

Still, she came back often enough. It went on like that, frenzied, hurried nights when they were too lost, or weary, or angry to brood by themselves. He would make the offer, or sometimes she would shoot him a look, and then it'd be all slick skin and sweaty kisses and quiet moans. But she never stayed, and he never asked. Only gloated.

Until Inara stopped coming to Mal's bunk.

The week stretched on, and instead of ignoring Mal, she was cordial, polite. Cold. Gone were the tentative jokes and the warm familiarity. Gone was even the annoyance that used to lace her every word. She was, in effect, killing him with kindness, and with each new day, Mal grew more and more visibly agitated. The air got tense and charged and others began to notice. Inara felt words bubbling up against the seam of her lips more often than not, but she knew if would mean defeat to let any of them slip. So she spoke of everything and nothing at the same time, avoiding his gaze as well she could.

Then one day, Mal cornered her in the store room, pushed her against the wall (ruining all his careful arrangements, how counterproductive, she thought in dismay) and said, "You don't gotta like me, so gorram it, stop pretending you do. Just stop pretending with me, 'Nara, 'cause I can't take it anymore!"

His voice, low and dangerous, resonated in Inara's heart. "How do you like it?" she hissed. "See how it feels? See how easy it's not, just getting over something like that, going back to the way things were?"

"Payback?" he asked incredulously. "You're doing this 'cause I made a mistake when I was a dumb kid?" He shook her gently. "I know I left you, Inara, but I love you, I swear I do. I ain't playing games, here, ya damn shrew--"

"I'm doing this," Inara said loudly, her voice pitched high and intense, "because you broke my heart and because no matter what you say, you'll do it again!"

They glare at each, breathing heavily, and then like magnets snapping together, their lips meet with an audible, hungry groan from both.

Inara was putting on her shoes when Mal's hand on her leg stopped her. "Mal," she said heavily. "I can not go through the last five years again. I will not."

Mal's hand tightened on her ankle. "No," he agreed. "You won't."

Inara allowed herself to sit back down and abandon her shoes, and in the dark of the night, she almost believed him.

---

In the end, though, it happened just as she thought it would.

Back on the battlefield, soldiers crawling out of trenches Inara hadn't even seen as she negotiated the grounds. The sky was an ugly gray, sleet pouring down in blue sheets, mud running wet and black all around. The airbirds flying low kept gunning the earth, bullets spitting up dirt and rock everywhere Inara turned. The only color anywhere was the deep, vivid red smearing everyone's clothes, faces, skin. Fires flared up here and there, but even they seemed muted, with flames rising almost white against the sizzling metal of armored tanks and shot-down ships. Inara couldn't hear much over the boom-bang-whistle of bombs and gunfire, and what little she did hear was shouts so loud and raw they were almost soundless.

Somehow, though, she heard him.

The soil beneath her feet steamed as she walked, a foglike smoke rising up around her knees. The atmo was so hot that the rain coming down fairly burned, and it was only later that she realized this was because she had been covered in tiny shrapnel pieces melting to her skin. At the moment on the battlefield, however, it felt as if she was walking through some sort of wall of flame, and as she knelt, the smell of burning metal, rain, and blood assaulted her senses. Her eyes teared at the intensity and so the man on the ground whispered "I'm sorry."

"I know," she said. His leg was back at that awkward angle again, and she saw that he had gotten it pinned under a large rock. There were boulders everywhere, in fact, and he rested on the rocky edge of another, his eyes closed and his face white. "You're losing too much blood," she said flatly. "I--there's no one here to help me stop it. And I can't get you back on my own, and you can't walk."

"Where's the--" he coughs, swiping a bloody mark over his lips as he covers his mouth. "Where's the rest of the bunch?"

"I came alone," Inara looked down. "I was supposed to wait till nightfall. When more of you would be dead, and we could take only those who would've made it anyway."

It was a harsh truth, but a truth nonetheless. He deserved the truth right now. He was dying.

"I shouldn't have come," he breathed, his eyes bright. "I should've just stayed with you." Inara wasn't sure whether he meant five years ago or today, but it didn't matter. She said as much.

"It does," he insisted. "Matters 'cause you were what I was fighting for anyways, and I'm gonna lose you." He shut his eyes. "Just...just couldn't abide leaving everyone here behind."

"Because they were your family," Inara said softly, rummaging through her bag for a smoother. "Because this was your duty." Because this was who you were.

"I love you," he said desperately. "Dont you ever doubt that." He winced as Inara slid the smoother into his skin, her hands shaking.

"I know," Inara said, smiling sadly. "I suppose I never did doubt that. I was just angry..." A tear stings at her eyes. "I was just angry that you loved me and you had the strength to leave." Strong enough to love me and turn away all the same--and when I did it, I was just being pig-headed.

"Had to know who I was before I could be some sort of man in your eyes," he said weakly. "Had to find myself here 'fore I could come back home." The smoother worked slowly, but Mal's eyes were already drooping. It was a good thing, because Inara could see the wounds in his stomach, the raw, gaping slash bleeding all over his sodden uniform.

"I ain't gonna live," he said, reading her mind. "Told you I wouldn't leave, and here I am, dying." His grin was small. "I'm a bastard."

Inara chuckled through the thick, cold mucus rising in the back of her throat, the tears clogging her nose and chest. "You are," she said. Then, "I love you, too."

He nodded. "I know," he echoed her words from before. "I'm tired, Miss Serra."

Inara leaned closer, as a shell exploded near to them, sending clumps of dirt into the air and hot drops of fire sailing past their heads. She sheltered Mal from the storm of war, protected him as best she could. They couldn't give each other anything in life, but as he teetered on the edge of death, she could give him this, couldn't she?

Her kiss against his chapped, dry lips felt like a release deep in her chest and he sighed at the benediction.

"Rest now," she said. "Just rest."

The rain fell and the war raged on, and a man died in her arms.

---

finis

~*~

Chapter Two: If I Have Made, My Lady, Intricate--Companions have to test their skills on someone, don't they? (pre-series au)

COMMENTS

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 7:46 AM

JANE0904


Oh, no ... too sad. Wonderful, as well, but ... at least tell me they do end up together in at least one of these?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 9:05 AM

HOPERULES


Sweet and heartbreaking at the same time. I look forward to your next chapter. The title makes it sound intriguing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 1:22 PM

AGENTOMEGA


Gah... rip my heart out and stick it in a blender, why don't you?

<takes a deep breath>

Right... onto the review.

I like the way you've toyed with Inara's past here, making her a girl from the Rim instead of Sihnon.

Making her a medical graduate was also an interesting touch... and I would imagine, somewhat fulfilling to all those fellows out there with 'Inara-as-nurse' fantasies... you know who you are, people.

And yet, even in alternate universes, biggrstaffbunch, you manage to make Mal and Inara into star-crossed lovers; only in the face of death can they embrace each other wholeheartedly...

<shakes fist at unhappy Mal/Inara universes in general>

Why, oh why, cruel fate?

The exquisite agony you've delivered us, biggrstaffbunch... please offer some assurances of a brighter future in some distant timeline. I'm not sure my heart can take an entire set of five fics ending like this. I was halfway through this one when I started wishing for antidepressants.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007 7:56 PM

BIGGRSTAFFBUNCH


hehe thanks for all the comments, guys...the next parts will vary from angst to fluff to sexy to sweet...dont worry!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 2:06 AM

AMDOBELL


You had to make me cry, didn't you? I couldn't believe after all that you killed Mal. The whole thing was fabulous right until the ending which just ripped out my little heart and stomped on it. At least Inara finally admitted out loud to him that she loved him too. Ali D
You can't take the sky from me

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 4:03 PM

KATESFRIEND


Beautiful writing here - I could see them in this AU so easily from your descriptions.

I really liked your choices for the transpositions of their characters - Inara as a doctor - still the professional career woman. Especially loved Mal's poetry - that was a touch of class!

Looking forward to the rest of the fics!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 7:51 PM

EMPIREX


Damn. You made me cry!

*Squish. Lub dub.* Hear that? That's the sound of my heart getting ripped out of my chest by Biggrstaff. Yeah, thanks for that. =P

Okay, I'm going to bed now, all sad and weepy. And I'm taking my kitties with me, too! *sniff*

Saturday, June 23, 2007 8:58 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Oh...this was just all kinds of freakin' brilliant work here, biggrstaffbunch! I am sitting here in awe at how, even in an AU scenario, Mal and Inara have so much potential...and so much ability to cause each other hurt:(

I honestly was struggling with tears by the end, since I could picture this being done by Joss & Co....Nathan/Mal and Morena/Inara just taking the ball and going for a touchdown with the pain and love and fear coursing through them at knowing that Mal's breaking Inara's heart again...but that it's not intentional;)

BEB

Saturday, September 1, 2007 2:53 PM

PHYRELIGHT


Oh my gosh, you made me cry!


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<i>It's strange how crowded it is, these bodies in bed and all the ghosts they have between them.</i> So, an energy matrix, a god-king, and a futuristic slayer all walk into a bar. A schizophrenic sings the story in her head, as across the multiverse, three sisters work towards some sort of end. [Firefly/Buffy/Fray crossover] [m/f, f/f] [WARNING: Whedoncest]

Thisis Your Brain on Drugs (3/?)
"This is your brain, Mal," Inara impatiently explains, poking the captain in the temple. "That?" She makes a vague motion towards the bed. "Was your brain on drugs." Mal furrows his brow. "Crazy, love-makin' drugs?" he asks. Inara sighs. "Crazy, love-making drugs," she confirms. Under the influence of a substance that causes intense--and frequent--bouts of sexual desire, Mal and Inara struggle to keep their heads in a situation rapidly escalating out of their control. But the question becomes...do they want to stay in control after all? [Mal/Inara humor/smut, post-BDM]


Poetry in Motion (Five Kisses Mal and Inara Never Shared, In Lives They Never Lived): Going to Wars [1]
Five alternate realities, five Mals, five kisses with a woman who will always matter, regardless of the timestream. Romance in universes unexplored. [series of au/ar firefly standalones]


Nicks in the Headboard
Stupid people died all the time. This one mattered more than most, though. [post-The Message]

title: Moving in a Non-Linear Fashion (or, Five Conversations Kaylee Frye Never Had About Simon Tam):|Chapter Six: Simon Tam|
Kaylee's never been one to get complicated 'bout her feelings. Now that she is, though, it sure is a good thing the crew of Serenity is around to help. [post BDM angst/genfic/romance/who knows]


five stages of grief that zoe washburne never/probably/definitely went through (or, an elegy for a pilot)
maybe kubler-ross got it right after all. five steps zoe took in the days following her greatest loss. [post-bdm, spoilers for the whole entire damn series/movie]


Delirium
Zoe Washburne don't believe in ghosts. (post-BDM angst) |Zoe/Wash|

Thwarted Plans
Kaylee’s hoping her spring cleaning will make a certain reticent doctor more…<b>open</b> to visiting her bunk. Simon, however, has his reasons for staying away.

This is Your Brain on Drugs (2/?)
<i>"This is your brain, Mal," Inara impatiently explains, poking the captain in the temple. "That?" She makes a vague motion towards the bed. "Was your brain on drugs." Mal furrows his brow. "Crazy, love-makin' drugs?" he asks. Inara sighs. "Crazy, love-making drugs," she confirms.</i> Under the influence of a substance that causes intense--and frequent--bouts of sexual desire, Mal and Inara struggle to keep their heads in a situation rapidly escalating out of their control. But the question becomes...do they want to stay in control after all? [Mal/Inara humor/smut, post-BDM]

This is Your Brain on Drugs (1/?)
<b>"This is your brain, Mal," Inara impatiently explains, poking the captain in the temple. "That?" She makes a vague motion towards the bed. "Was your brain on drugs." Mal furrows his brow. "Crazy, love-makin' drugs?" he asks. Inara sighs. "Crazy, love-making drugs," she confirms.</b> Under the influence of a substance that causes intense--and frequent--bouts of sexual desire, Mal and Inara struggle to keep their heads in a situation rapidly escalating out of their control. But the question becomes...do they want to stay in control after all? [Mal/Inara humor/smut, post-BDM]