Of Cigarettes and Pain
Saturday, October 17, 2009

One loves a challenge and this was one issued by Jane0904 to complete this idea. So here it is, my friend....I hope you enjoy. part two of 'Smells Like Wash'


based on the world of Firefly by Joss Whedon

Follow up to 'Smells Like Wash' -------------------------------------------

She lay perched in the handmade hammock in the corner of Serenity. It was high enough that no one but she could reach it and close enough to the ceiling for her to still feel the calm of the engine. It was where she went to think, but even more so, to be alone.

Alone...why for a being that was designed bascially be a loner was the concept so hard to achieve. Every minute of every day she was with someone. Maybe not in body or in presence, but by the smells of them or their voices, even whispers that might as well been shouts for her sensitive ears. Sometimes, especially at moments like these, when the ship was almost completely quiet, she longed for her cage. It wasn't the bars that she needed, but the silence.

Something below stirred the hair on the back of her neck, a shadow passing under that seemed to be looking. Her nose filled with the rich scent of warm musk, leather from a pair of boots that had not only seen the surface of Miranda, but also the blood lining the grass and dirt of Serenity valley, and of course, one of her very favorite smells...of a ranch where horses roamed and cattle grazed with fresh wheat lining fields graced by the sun of Shadow.

"Cat?" His voice calmed her even more than she tended to realize, a slight gravel it had aquired over the years from barking orders at his men.

"Here." She called, but had already begun to slide out of the grip the netting kept her in and fell to the catwalk below. It reminded them both of times before when it had been tree branches she had dropped from, heights that no human could fall without a few broken bones.

"Zoe said you talked to her. About Wash?" He touched her, fingers slighlty rough from labor of being a Captain and a smuggler, still to Cat, they were soft.

"Found her crying. Isn't it polite to cheer one up?" She looked at him in her usual way, of still trying to find her place in the world and maybe that was why he loved her the way he did.

"Yes, I suppose it is." He grinned seeing the similarity of his lover and River, a lone soul trying to find a solid rock to stand on. "She told me what you said...about the pain you felt. Actually, she said smelled of."

"I am nothing more than memories, Mal. Unlike you all, I can't make them go away." She leaned against the catwalk, the cold metal almost a comfort. "Reality is so much more real when you have highly advanced senses."

"I remember the Valley like it was yesterday. My men dying in my arms as more bullets poured over us."

"The smell of scorched flesh and gun powder mixed with the screams of men as well as the dying groans of those fallen...eyes so empty it was like staring at nothing at all." She took a deep gulp as tears flowed across her face. "And, then to leave the very thing that made you surivive the damn thing in the first place for fear you'll be ripping his throat out one night when the memories of the past got to you."

"Is that why you walk the deck at night?"

"It was once, but now, it's just to be alone." She could feel his arms wrap around her as his lips gently kissed her bare shoulders.

"All you have to do is ask."

"That I want to be alone." She shook her head. "Was alone for years and then I found you, lost you, gained Ski, found you, lost him, and now...God, now I don't know what to think."

"Afraid of losing me again?" He whispered gently as his fingers traced down her arms.

"I'm more afraid of losing me again." It was the same fear she had had since her beast had made its ramage through the compound, a sense that letting go and letting it have its way until there was nothing left of either might just be a good thing. Now, well, things had gotten more complicated.

"I won't let that happen." Mal turned her around and looked into her green eyes. "It ain't gonna happen and that's a gorram order."

"Yes, Sir." Cat licked her lips as she stood staring at him. "You ever regret letting me live that night so long ago?"

"I regret many things in my life, Boa bei." He drew closer to her, letting his cool blue eyes touch the very soul of her green ones. "But the only thing I regret about you was letting you walk away when you did."

"Are you always this sentimental?" She smiled, taking in another deep breath savoring his smell.

"Sentimental? Mean old men don't have feelings. Let you go and now you got it in your mind that I ain't your superior anymore. Way I remember you hung on my every word back then." Mal grinned wide as his eyes sparkled in mischief.

"I was young and foolish. Didn't realize how much of a death wish you had."

"Ain't the first person to tell me that." He pulled her to him and kissed her, hard and with purpose.

"I've killed for less, you know." She muttered as Mal smiled.

"Death wish, Boa bei, death wish." His lips touched hers again as memories slipped away into a place where only the darkest shadows dwelled and would least for the moment.


Saturday, October 17, 2009 5:44 AM


Loved this. I am glad that though Cat wanted to be alone she was happy to be found by Mal. I hope she is going to settle into being with Mal and not want to start roaming off on her own. Ali D :~)
"You can't take the sky from me!"

Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:25 PM


Lines like 'she longed for her cage' make e want to hug Cat and tell her everything is okay, but then I know she wouldn't accept it from anyone but Mal. She is a very sensual creature, in the purest sense. It's all about touch and taste, sound and smell as much as sight. The little descriptive bits - like Mal's fingers - take me into the story, and hold me there. Well done. And thanks!

Saturday, October 17, 2009 11:26 PM


Oops - that should be 'make ME want to hug Cat' ... slippery fingers!


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