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17 July 2008 @ 07:08 pm
I. We Are Nowhere And It's Now  

Words: 911
Summary: I prefer something with a few miles on it.

"We Are Nowhere And It's Now"

"So, Mr. Wind Blows Northerly," Inara asks nonchalantly, gesturing into space, "care to point out which way to go?"

Mal turns his gaze from the darkness before him to the shorted-out navigation system on Inara's shuttle console and shakes his head. "We just keep goin' the way we're goin', hit Serenity in no time. Well, not hit Serenity, just...well, we'll find her."

Mal swallows and turns to her, his eyes stubborn but his lips curved into a friendly smirk. Inara's all too familiar with this look and she tries her best to keep her frustration at bay. She flicks her eyes up at him, makes them shine like she doesn't have a care in the 'verse.

He points at nothing. "That way."

"There's nothing out there."

"We just stay put then. Serenity'll find us. We can just...."


"Go in circles."

A small, almost inaudible laugh escapes her lips before Inara thinks to stop herself. She suddenly feels too warm, her face still flush from her third glass of shimmerwine, of which she's now quite glad to have accepted. She tries unsuccessfully to suppress a hiccup.

"You know, might be I should drive," Mal says, going for the controls.

She waves his hand away. "Like you're any better off. 'Lan-dan jiang,' huh? Not so weak after five, are they?"

"Tasted like fruit juice. And next time, I'm picking the restaurant."

She bites back another laugh.

"Somethin' funny?" Mal asks.

"There's a part of this situation that isn't?"

Mal looks bemused at her complete lack of concern; Inara neglects to tell him that this isn't the first time her navigation system has failed her. She's always managed to find her way home again.

Leaning around the chair, Mal attempts, in what could only be interpreted as his way, to fix the problem. He pushes buttons; flicks switches indiscriminately. Inara swats his hand hard, the slap cracking through the silent shuttle.


"How many times do I have to tell you not to touch anything?"

"Probably many. A great many times."

He shifts backward, sidling up behind her chair. His fingers twitch in her peripheral vision before he lays a tentative hand on her shoulder. "Tonight was...I had a good time tonight. Did you...have a good time? We don't have to do that ever again, if you didn't."

"It was fine," Inara reaches down with one hand, inadvertently causing Mal to slide his hand off of her, and frees her sore feet from her shoes. They are as she suspects, red and bruised from the several times Mal hadn't quite kept hold of his footing. "You know, except for that you might have broken my toe, and now we're lost in space for some indiscernible length of time."

"In a hurry? Got somewhere more important to be? Some fancy client lined up you've got to go twirlin' around with now, too?"

Inara retorts with the quietest of sighs, keeping her eyes focused on the black. "Let's not."

Not now. Not yet. "Tonight was wonderful," she says softly.

Mal loosens his clenched jaw. "Really?"


"You mean before or after I broke your toe?"


He smiles, and Inara watches as his muscles relax. He looks almost surprised, and she inwardly forgives him for starting the conversation she knows they'll both dance around for as long as they can.

He leans over her, reaching a hand out towards the console. The motion distracts her completely from her current train of thought.

"What's this one do?" He flicks a switch.

The cockpit lights go out.


"Yes?" he smirks.

"Do you mind?"


She cranes her neck around to glare at him and his expression fades. It's too quick to read, but Inara is fairly certain she sees a small flash of trepidation in his eyes.

Leaning down, he reaches out and tips her chin up towards him.

In the darkness of the shuttle, surrounded by nothing but the black, Malcolm Reynolds kisses Inara Serra for the first time, and she kisses him back.

Her neck is strained awkwardly to the side, and he doesn't know what to do with his hands; their angles are askew and they can't see a thing and it's perfect. When they stop, they stare at each other with uncertainty. Another first--they are both at a loss for words.

Seconds pass before Mal clears his throat, straightens up and turns his eyes to the absent horizon.

"That...that was our first kiss."

"It was at that. Not counting the time I was all unconscious-like."

Inara’s eyes widen momentarily and she turns away, slightly embarrassed and feeling a desperate need to pull herself together. They are both silent for a time as they gaze blankly into the infinite expanse of space ahead.

Inara breaks the awkward pause that threatens to linger between them. "If we just keep going we should rendezvous at some point. Unless something happened and they went off course somehow."

"Serenity can't go off course," he says, "she never has one." Mal steps around Inara and contemplates the array of screens and buttons and switches in front of him, his eyes searching.

"What are you looking for?"

He swings his booted foot forward, kicking the console. The navigation lights blink back to life and a familiar, steady beeping fills her ears. Radar. Home.

Inara turns to find him gazing down at her.

She smiles coyly.

He flashes a satisfied grin.

"Just needed a kick start."



o1. "Split Me Wide Open" - The Bravery
Is nothing sacred, is nothing saved
Your gentle eyes like a razor blade
They cut me open, you look right through
I give it all to you

o2. "Atoms for Peace" - Thom Yorke
Peel all of your layers off
I want to eat your artichoke heart
No more leaky holes in your brain
And no false starts
I want to get out
And make it work

o3. "Pitter Patter Goes My Heart" - Broken Social Scene

o4. "After the Bombs" - The Decemberists
And after the rockets calm
And the glimmer of fire
Pretends an early dawn
We pinch at our skin
While we wonder how we
Escaped harm

o5. "The New" - Interpol
I wish I could live free
Hope it's not beyond me
Settling down it takes time
One day we'll live together
And life will be better
I have it here, yeah, in my mind

o6. "Waiting for the Sun" - Powederfinger
This will be an uncertain time for us my love
I can hear the echo of your voice in my head
For every step you're further away from me my love
I grow more unsteady on my feet my love
Now we're waiting for the sun

o7. "We Are Nowhere and it's Now" - Bright Eyes
In our wheels that roll around
As we move over the ground
And all day it seems we've been in between
A past and future town
And like a ten minute dream in the passenger's seat
While the world was flying by
I haven't been gone very long
But it feels like a lifetime

Sendspace ; Mediafire
63MB | seven tracks (mp3) + album art (jpg)
williwawz on September 22nd, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
Very nice Mal and Inara characterizations. I enjoyed reading this. Nice work on this project!
ohvienna on September 29th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Yay, thank you so much! Very glad you enjoyed the read. :D
danniisupernova on September 22nd, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
I've just started to read your series of five (though I am not a huge Mal/Inara fan) and so far so good. I like the way you've constructed this. Definitely off to a good start.
ohvienna on September 29th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm very happy you decided to give everything a go, especially if Mal/Inara isn't your cup of tea. Hope you enjoy the rest! :)
crystalizedfrog on September 23rd, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
I really love this idea!
ohvienna on September 29th, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
Sweet, thank you! Hope you enjoy going through it. :D
makeitstopjamie on September 23rd, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
Very nice! The drabble was so sweet:)
ohvienna on September 29th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
Thank you muchly! I'm glad you enjoyed the read. :D
jackwabbit on September 23rd, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
This was nice...I especially like 'Let's not'.
ohvienna on September 29th, 2008 01:43 am (UTC)
Thanks! Very glad you liked! :D
jackwabbit on September 29th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
queen_bunnie on September 23rd, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC)
Oh fantastic! I'm so excited to read the rest. Downloading, thank you! This is so so so fantastic. Mal/Inara is the best.
ohvienna on September 29th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
Mal/Inara is the best.

They so very much are. :D

And thank you muchly! I'm glad you liked the read. Hope you enjoy the rest of the mixes and fics. :D
colls on September 23rd, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
What a grand idea! I love the drabble & the artwork
I'm going to go through 1-by-1 ~ downloading the first fanimx now

ohvienna on September 29th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
Thank you muchly! Very pleased you liked the fic! And enjoy the mixes. :D
takethesky87 on October 23rd, 2008 04:23 am (UTC)
Working my way through these ... A lovely start. I really like your Mal and Inara voices, they feel very believable. I'm going to come back later and download all the music at once, but a glance at the lyrics and graphics has me excited! This whole project is an awesome idea, and I'm looking forward to reading/downloading more. :)
agent_omega on October 26th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
"That...that was our first kiss."

"It was at that. Not counting the time I was all unconscious-like."


I love that you had Mal somehow know about Inara kissing him. That plot twist never gets old.

Excellent work.

xfirefly9x on November 18th, 2008 10:13 am (UTC)
Beautiful fic. If only it had happened in the series.. ;)

Excellent song choice, too! Downloading.
chocolate_inyx on December 31st, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)