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FIREFLY: Enough to Ignite (Inara/Nandi)

cadence_k organized femslash_santa. I was assigned tellitslant, who requested Inara/Nandi. A lot. *g*

Title: Enough to Ignite
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Firefly
Ship: Inara/Nandi
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: She never stayed long enough to love.
Notes: Pre-series

Inara first sees Nandi from across the temple gardens.

She's taken to wandering around in the evenings, as she hasn't been with the Guild long enough to make any friends, and there's a sharp divide between those already established, and those still in training.

It's cool in the evening, and Inara's wearing a light shawl to ward the chill. The reason Nandi stands out from the others Inara sees is that she isn't wearing a shawl, or even sleeves. Instead, her gown wraps around her, a length of fine ribbon twined lighting around her throat.

She sees Inara watching her, and she grins, a slow and easy smile.

Inara, surprised, returns the gesture. And it all proceeds from there.


Nandi smiles at her from across the pillow, stretches with a luxurious flex that Inara envies.

"I just love to make new friends," she purrs. The sheet slips across her chest, pools between them on the mattress.

Inara allows herself a half-smile. "A handshake would be much less strenuous," she remarks.

"Funny," Nandi replies, and suddenly rolls, caging Inara between her elbows and knees, and the edge of her pendant tickles Inara's throat. "Can't say I mind the strain, though."

She bends her head, presses her lips against Inara's temple, the curve of her jaw, her throat, and down. When her tongue flicks against Inara's belly, Inara gasps, arches up against her.

Nandi raises her head and laughs. "Aren't you eager?" she says, and her hand brushes up Inara's thigh.

"Well." Inara shrugs, props herself up on her pillows. Then she slips her own hand between her legs, circles quick as Nandi watches. She cups one of her breasts with the other hand, sighs.

Nandi sits back on her heels and bites her lip, and Inara strokes herself to an orgasm.

And when she's finished, she watches, languid, as Nandi does the same.


In their first year of training, they aren't allowed to accept any clients. This does not, however, mean celibacy, and their instructors pay no heed when the initiates take pleasure in each other.

Over the months, Inara grows accustomed to Nandi's presence, both in and outside of her bedroom. Though she's been at the temple longer, they usually end up in the same training sessions. Inara doesn't wonder, often, how deliberate the coincidences might be.

And she likes Nandi, truly and well. She likes Nandi's easy laugh, and the curve of her hips. She likes the deft twists of Nandi's fingers, and the sly jokes she concocts.

But Inara also notices Nandi's discontent, and the various ways their instructors look askance at her remarks. The flippant way Nandi dismisses their future clients discomforts Inara, as well as her disgruntled reviews of Guild protocols.

For the most part, Inara quashes her concerns, manages to simply enjoy Nandi's companionship, though sometimes with raised eyebrows.

On occasion, however, she falls silent, withdraws. She demurs Nandi's invitations, and wanders to the temple sanctuary instead.

Sometimes, she thinks she sees hurt in Nandi's eyes, but it disappears quickly.

Inara tells herself she's imagining it.


One evening, Inara enters Nandi's quarters and finds her entwined with an initiate she doesn't recognize.

Nandi raises her head from the woman's body and smirks. "Inara. I didn't expect you."

"Obviously," Inara replies, as composed as the summer sky. "I'm sorry I disturbed you."

She bows, graceful as a crane, and glides away.

Nandi's disappointment, Inara tells herself, was also imagined.

She sleeps quite poorly that night.


It's a week before Nandi approaches her, and Inara smiles at her as if their last encounter had never occurred.

Nandi touches Inara's hand, and her eyes are all sorrow. "Inara," she begins.

Inara kisses her, to forestall the apology.

If Nandi takes it as forgiveness, it's unintended.


After that, however, they grow more fractious in their encounters.

What Inara reveres, Nandi holds in contempt. What fascinates Nandi, Inara dismisses.

They learn to avoid speaking, and communicate with lips, with hands, with moans.

It doesn't bring a halt to their conflicts, but it certainly reduces their frequency.


Nandi finds Inara in the far corner of the gardens, perched on a bench beside the lotus pool. The blossoms are fragrant, and the evening is warm. Inara's slipped out of her sandals, content to revel in the bright silver of the moons above.

When Nandi approaches, Inara watches her without comment, and doesn't shiver when Nandi trails a light finger over her collarbone.

There is no sound, other than a distant mandolin plucking, and a repeated double trill of birdsong.

Nandi kneels in front of Inara, places a fervent kiss on her knee. Circles a hand around Inara's ankle, lifts her leg to kiss the arch of foot. Her other hand slips under the hem of Inara's skirt, slides up bare skin, over her thighs, to the damp place between her legs.

Inara bites back her moan, even as Nandi rises on her knees, pushing Inara's skirt higher, leaving kisses in the wake. Inara lifts her hips, lets Nandi tug her underclothes away.

Nandi's fingers are cool against Inara's flesh, and her lips soft, insistent.

Inara buries her hands in Nandi's hair, writhes slowly and quietly under her ministrations.

Her head falls back, and she opens her eyes, and the moonlight stings her.


A/N: Title and summary adapted from Pamela Sneed's Languages I've Never Learned:
She collected women like trophies
assorted shapes, sizes,
colors, contours
Each affirmed her ability
to make even modest women
want to climb inside her skin
like soldiers seeking refuge
from the storm.

She never stayed long enough to love
only enough to ignite their attention
but when they began to clear their closets
she talked of traveling
and needing a larger space.

I knew I never should have
gotten involved with that woman
I knew I never should have
gotten involved with that woman
part of her power being
she was a bad butch
who made women unravel
come undone at the seams
like Wonder Woman beneath her armor
was desperate.

I knew I never should have
gotten involved with that woman
But, somewhere inside she moved me
to another country
and I started speaking in
languages I've never learned.

Crossposted to femslash_santa and linked here.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 2nd, 2006 08:50 am (UTC)
Oh, how heartily do I approve.
Jan. 5th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
*g* Thank you!
Jan. 2nd, 2006 01:42 pm (UTC)
Lovely. And just...wow. As always. :)
Jan. 5th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Jan. 2nd, 2006 07:08 pm (UTC)
Jan. 5th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!
Jan. 3rd, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)
Jan. 5th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
Jan. 22nd, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
This is lovely, very lovely. So sensuous. Excellent read.
Jan. 28th, 2006 06:43 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Mar. 14th, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, awesome. I love Nandi stories and this was awesome.
Aug. 23rd, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
I am not sure how I missed this, but...
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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