Turning the Corner - REPOST
Monday, November 26, 2007

Maya. Post-BDM. Sam and Inara talk of love poetry in the orchard.


As Inara opened the front door to her house, the scent of the early morning filled her, and she breathed deeply. Summer had barely put the ravages of winter and the cool rains of spring to flight, but already there was a wonderful feeling of innumerable possibilities. For perhaps the first time since Han had violated her, she felt hopeful. That there was something waiting out there in the world, something good. And the man who had made that possible was sitting in the orchard right now.

She’d seen him from her window, under the trees still fresh with new leaves, apparently reading. He’d given up making her get up to breakfast early with him a few weeks ago, and somehow she missed it. Perhaps she should make him breakfast with her.

Stepping out into the day, she walked towards him, through the spikes of tender grass, not taking her eyes off him. He was sitting in one of the wrought iron chairs Mr Boden had purchased from a local blacksmith, all curlicues and lattices, that looked as if they had always been there. As she got closer she could see that his long black hair had been let loose, or perhaps he hadn’t caught it back at the nape of his neck yet. It swung in the slight breeze, and she felt the almost overwhelming urge to run her fingers through it, just to see if it felt like the silken water she imagined. How would it feel against her skin, she wondered?

She shook her head. He was her doctor, for heaven’s sake. She was getting as bad as Freya.

“Good morning,” Dr Nazir said, startling her out of her thoughts. He looked around at her, his veil of hair revealing his olive-toned face.

“Good morning.” She was relieved he couldn’t read her mind. “Breakfast is almost ready.”

He smiled. “Almost?”

“A few minutes.”

“Then I can enjoy my book a little while longer.”

“I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“You weren’t. I love this time of the morning,” Samuel said, his face lifted towards the sun as it rose higher above the mountains. “The promise of a new day, the knowledge that the fears of the night are over … I can organise myself, contemplate my place in this universe. Gird my loins for the fight ahead.”

“I am sorry to interrupt you, then.”

“As I said, you’re not.” He tapped the seat next to him. “Why don’t you join me?”

“Gird my loins?”

“A figure of speech.”

She sat down, arranging her skirt around her knees. “And are we fighting?”

“Another figure of speech. Or perhaps the same one, merely extended.”

“Are we?”

He shook his head. “No.” His eyebrow raised a little. “Unless you’d like to.”

“Not particularly.”

“I’m glad. I felt no urge to put on my body armour this morning.”

“Then I’m cured?”

He grinned, looking much younger than his years. “Do you want a certificate to prove that you are entirely sane?”

“Is anyone? Particularly in a therapist’s eyes?”

He placed his book face down in his lap. “Inara, I have met perhaps five truly sane people in my career, and they were the ones who needed me most.”

“And did you cure them? Make them … what, less sane?”


She smiled. “Patient confidentiality?”

“Yes. But they were boring anyway.”

Her delighted laugh rang through the trees. “You are bad!”

“It’s the company I keep.”

She gathered herself again. “So what are you reading?”

“Poems, from Earth-that-was.”

“Read me one.”

“What?” He shook his head. “No, Inara, it really isn’t -”


Staring at her for a moment, he sighed and lifted the book. “I’m not very good at this.”

“I’ll make allowances.”

He took a breath, and began to read.

“In noon-tide hours, O Love, secure and strong, I need thee not; mad dreams are mine to bind The world to my desire, and hold the wind A voiceless captive to my conquering song. I need thee not, I am content with these: Keep silence in thy soul, beyond the seas! But in the desolate hour of midnight, when An ecstasy of starry silence sleeps And my soul hungers for thy voice, O then, Love, like the magic of wild melodies, Let thy soul answer mine across the seas.”

Inara couldn’t speak for a moment. “That’s beautiful.”

“It’s by a woman, Sarojini Naidu. She wrote it five hundred years ago.”

“Are you a romantic at heart, Samuel Nazir?”


The magic of wild melodies …“ With the words still echoing in her mind, Inara shivered.

“Are you cold?” he asked quickly.

“A little.”

“The chill of the night still hangs around the orchard.”

Her smile grew. “You read poetry, but I think maybe you’re a poet yourself.”

He didn’t blush. Not quite. But the swing of his silken hair hid his face for a moment before he looked her in the eye again. “I used to write. Very badly.”

“I doubt that.”

He grinned. “Don’t. They were truly terrible. Even my wife, who was supposed to love everything I did, agreed.”

“I’d like to read some.”

“No!” He held up a hand, laughing. “I would never put anyone through that, ever again.” He shook his head. “Even at their best they were sentimental drivel that barely rhymed.”

“Poetry isn’t necessarily meant to.” She nodded towards his book. “That almost didn’t.”

“Ah, but when it was as bad as mine, that could have been its one saving grace.” His dark eyes twinkled. “It was all heaving bosoms, proud members …”

“Love poems?”

“For my sins.”

“I’d still like to read them.” Her voice had lowered.

“Perhaps. One day.”

“Will I get a chance to?” she asked, unable to stop the words falling from her lips.

“You mean, am I staying?”

“I …” This time she blushed, a faint wash of pink that highlighted her cheekbones and disappeared into the neckline of her organza dress.

“Do you want me to go?”

“No!” She bit her lip. Damn it, she was a Companion. Well, an ex-Companion. And being an ex anything didn’t mean she’d lost her skills, her years of training to never tell a man what she didn’t want him to know, yet here she was behaving like a school girl. But he put her off balance, made her unsteady in her own beliefs. “I just … you must have other clients waiting for you back on Ariel. People who need you.”

“Don’t you need me?”

“You said I was cured.”

“Did I?”

She stood up, suddenly angry. “Don’t do that! Don’t answer a question with a question! I hate it! It’s a therapist’s trick and I … I hate it!”

Immediately he was on his feet, his hands on her arms. It was like electricity coursing through her, and she realised it was the first time he’d touched her.

“I’m sorry.” His dark eyes seared into her soul. “Please forgive me. I … I tend to fall back on the tricks of my trade when I’m wrong-footed.”

Her breath caught. “Are you? Wrong-footed?”

“By you? Yes.”


He let her go and it was like losing a part of herself.

Picking up his book from where it had fallen to the ground, he wiped imaginary motes of dust from its cover. “I don’t have clients to see. At least, no new ones.”

“Dr Nazir -”

He lifted his head to smile at her. “Not Samuel?”

“I’ve told you things I would never tell another living soul. Things I never told Freya. My fears, my nightmares … you know it all. Yet you’ve hardly let me into your life.”

“I’m the therapist, Inara. It isn’t up to you to help me.”

“Why not?”

They looked at each other for the longest time.

“Maybe I don’t want help, Inara. Maybe I want something more.” He looked down at his hands, his long fingers clasping the book of poetry so tightly the spine was twisting. “But I’m your doctor, and that would be wrong.”

She smiled, relaxing just a little. “Then you’re fired.”

His head lifted, hair flying. “What?”

“You’re fired. You’re not my doctor any more.”

“It doesn’t work like that …”

“Why not?” She reached out, uncurled one of his hands from his book, interlaced her fingers with his. “I could have died on Bellerophon. I would have, if my friends hadn’t saved me. And you’ve saved me too.”

“So this is gratitude?”

“No.” She stepped closer, giving in and running her fingers through his hair. “Not at all.”

Despite his training, his years of experience at dealing with clients, he shivered slightly. “Inara …”

“Read me another poem.”


“Another poem. Read to me.”

“What about … what about breakfast?”

“Oh, I’m sure Mrs Boden will reheat it for us.” She sat down in the chair, still holding his hand, making him follow her. “Please. Read to me.”

He stared at her, then slowly lowered his slim frame into the seat next to her, letting the book fall open where it chose. Barely able to pull his eyes from her face, he looked down at the page.

“Lift up the veils that darken the delicate moon of thy glory and grace, Withhold not, O love, from the night of my longing the joy of thy luminous face, Give me a spear of the scented keora guarding thy pinioned curls, Or a silken thread from the fringes that trouble the dream of thy glimmering pearls; Faint grows my soul with thy tresses' perfume and the song of thy anklets' caprice, Revive me, I pray, with the magical nectar that dwells in the flower of thy kiss.”

He stopped reading and lifted his head, knowing the words, written by a woman dead for five centuries, hung in the air between them, a glittering promise of what could be.

“Inara …”

“Go on. Please.” She smiled, her own hair curling softly around her face, her red lips curved, waiting, inviting.

He nodded slowly, and began again.



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Now and Then - a Christmas story
“Then do you have a better suggestion? No, let me rephrase that. Do you have a more sensible suggestion that doesn’t involve us getting lost and freezing to death?”

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little standalone festive tale that kind of fits into where I am in the Maya timeline, but works outside too. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Epilogue
"I honestly don’t know if my pilot wants to go around with flowers and curlicues carved into his leg.”
[Maya. Post-BDM. The end of the story, and the beginning of the last ...]

Monied Individual - Part XX
Mal took a deep breath, allowing it out slowly through his nostrils, and now his next words were the honest truth. “Ain’t surprised. No matter how good you are, and I’m not complaining, I’ve seen enough battle wounds, had to help out at the odd amputation on occasion. And I don’t have to be a doc myself to tell his leg ain’t quite the colour it should be, even taking into account his usual pasty complexion. What you did … didn’t work, did it?”
[Maya. Post-BDM. Simon has no choice, and Luke comes around.]

Monied Individual - Part XIX
“His name’s Jayne?”

“What’s wrong with that?” the ex-mercenary demanded from the doorway.

“Nothing, nothing! I just … I don’t think I’ve ever met a man … anyone else by that name.”

“Yeah, he’s a mystery to all of us,” Mal said. “Even his wife.”

[Maya. Post-BDM. Hank's not out of the woods yet, and Mal has a conversation. Enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVIII
Jayne had told him a story once, about being on the hunt for someone who owed him something or other. He’d waited for his target for three hours in four inches of slush as the temperature dropped, and had grinned when he’d admitted to Hank that he’d had to break his feet free from the ice when he’d finished.
[Maya. Post-BDM. The Fosters show their true colours, Jayne attempts a rescue, and the others may be too late.]

Snow at Christmas
She’d seen his memories of his Ma, the Christmases when he was a boy on Shadow, even a faint echo of one before his Pa died, all still there, not diminished by his burning, glowing celebrations of now with Freya.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A seasonal one-off - enjoy!]

Monied Individual - Part XVII
Jayne hadn’t waited, but planted a foot by the lock. The door was old, the wood solid, but little could stand against a determined Cobb boot with his full weight behind it. It burst open.

[Maya. Post-BDM. The search for Hank continues. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XVI
He slammed the door behind him, making the plates rattle on the sideboard. “It’s okay, girl, I ain't gonna hurt you.” The cook, as tradition dictated, plump and rosy cheeked with her arms covered to the elbows in flour, but with a gypsy voluptuousness, picked up a rolling pin.

[Maya. Post-BDM. Kaylee finds the problem with Serenity, and Jayne starts his quest. Read, enjoy, review!]

Monied Individual - Part XV
“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]

“Did we …” “We did.” “Why?” As she raised an eyebrow at him he went on quickly, “I mean, we got a comfy bunk, not that far away. Is there any particular reason we’re in here instead?” “You don’t remember?” He concentrated for a moment, and the activities of a few hours previously burst onto him like a sunbeam. “Oh, right,” he acknowledged happily.

[Maya. Post-BDM. A little with each Serenity couple, but something goes bang. Read, enjoy, review!]