"Never Enough"
Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"Inara admits the truth to herself while maintaining the only lie that will keep her sane."


TITLE: "NEVER ENOUGH" AUTHOR: Alison M. DOBELL FANDOM: "FIREFLY" PAIRING: Mal/Inara RATING: G STATUS: Second in a pair of short songfics. ARCHIVE: Yes. Just let me know where. FEEDBACK: Welcomed. EMAIL: WEBSITE: None. All "Firefly" stories archived at

SUMMARY: "Inara admits the truth to herself while maintaining the only lie that will keep her sane". The usual disclaimers apply. The characters and 'Firefly' are the property and gift of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement of copyright is intended.


"Firefly" story

Written by Alison M. DOBELL

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"I don't know how to love him What to do, how to move him I've been changed, yes really changed In these past few days when I see myself I seem like someone else..."

"I Don't Know How To Love Him" - sung by Elaine Page

Just when I think I have figured him out he goes and surprises me. The Captain is a dangerous man. There are more layers to him than an onion. All hidden depths and a plethora of nuances that catch me unawares. I cannot take my eyes off him even though I should not be looking. I cannot afford to let him see what I see, to know what I am feeling when he comes into a room. I thought I knew what he was. Judged him the moment I saw him in that Independent cloth. His rough untutored words an offence to my cultured ear, a homespun dialogue that doomed him to the lower classes yet he is not an unskilled nor foolish man. He plays the servant to his class with such accomplished gusto that I was taken in. His eyes are bright and sharp. They miss nothing. Seeing my error puts me on notice. These are deceptive waters and I find myself looking into eyes facing mine with a destiny that trembles before me even as my heart goes weak with desire for him. He can never know and I must never tell him. The second I do so I am ruined and in that moment I will surely take him with me.

"I don't know how to take this I don't see why he moves me He's a man, he's just a man And I've had so many men before in very many ways He's just one more..."

At first his rough manner, his slaughtered vocabulary and mocking eyes made me so incensed and furious that I could not believe I had actually contracted to hire his shuttle. Even argued over the price cutting him down by a quarter and enjoyed the look on his face when I told him he would rent it to me for my asking price not his. It gave me a rush and in that moment I had never felt more alive. More vital. I will admit it now for the Captain is a fine looking man but he will never hear the words from my lips. At times I think he suspects and I back off. Return to my shuttle. Run away. Yet I cannot leave him. That last step that would cut this tie would kill me and something tells me it would be no less devastating for him. How can I do that to him when, thief that he is, he has already stolen my heart? So I live the lie, the practised deceit that will keep my secrets yet keep me near him.

"Should I bring him down, should I scream and shout Should I speak of love, let my feelings out? I never thought I'd come to this What's it's all about?"

We have built so much shared history between us and he has taught me so much. I look at my life differently now. No longer so content and smug to be what I am, do what I do. Seen through his eyes I am nothing but a prostitute with finer clothes than most. A veneer of respectability to clothe the oldest profession in the 'verse. I see how it cuts him. Hurts him. And that sensitivity in him touches me deeper than I can put into words. That he should care so much is a revelation that shocks me out of my world and almost into his. At first it angered me, as if his burden of care was a tie to bind me but now I know differently. He would die to keep me free, never ask for what can never be his, though in his eyes I see the want that lies sleeping, the tenderness that on occasion rises from the shadows of his tormented past yet will not cast their darkness upon me. I long to be with him, to love him, to heal him. To take his overburdened soul into my own and give him all the 'verse will allow but it cannot be. I am a Companion, imprisoned by what defines me even as I relish the freedom of that class. The self imposed limits of my profession a pull that keeps me from acting on desires inappropriate to the life I have chosen to lead. That I have given up so much to make me who I am.

"Don't you think it's rather funny That I should be in this positiion? I'm the one who's always been So calm, so cool, no lover's fool Running every show, he scares me so..."

He has been through so much. At every turn the 'verse wounds him yet like the phoenix he rises, is reborn to fight another day. I see how he affects each and every one of us. Kaylee adores him. Jayne respects him. The Shepherd honours him. Simon is grateful to him. Zoe understands him. She is a piece of him, bound by more than love and loyalty. I saw a glimpse of that when Tracey feigned death to get the Captain to take him home. A lie that almost got us all killed yet in the end the Captain honoured that request. River treats him with affection. But it is Wash who has changed most of all. His tender gentle nature has hardened into a kind of steel that runs rampant through the Captain's body and soul. A light now shines in Wash's eyes when he looks at him and what at first disturbed me now comforts me. Since Niska there is a new understanding between them. As for me, I too will never be the same. Enriched and impoverished at one and the same time by the enigma that draws me to his flame. I crave his heat but part of me knows it will never be enough.

"Yet if he said he loved me, I'd be lost, I'd be frightened I couldn't cope, just couldn't cope I'd turn my head, I'd back away, I wouldn't want to know He scares me so, I want him so, I love him so."

"I Don't Know How To Love Him" - sung by Elaine Page

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