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FIREFLY: Water Burning Down (Mal/Inara)

For xfirefly9x, who requested a Firefly ficlet, with Mal/Inara.

Title: Water Burning Down
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Firefly
Pairing: Mal/Inara
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: I'm lost and I so much want to be found.
Notes: Set after Serenity



Mal stood outside the hatch, paced and managed not to mutter to himself. There was no reason to stay outside, but no reason to take the step in, either. He compromised; he knocked.

The hatch swung open, Inara winding a shawl around her shoulders in counterpoint to the creaking hinges. Her thumb caught in the weave of the cloth, and she frowned as she untangled herself, her lips parting. Her face was bare of paint, or whatever fancy name she would have called it, had he asked.

He swallowed.

"Yes?" She raised her eyebrows, poised as always, but her hair was on the other side of tidy.

"You know, it's late." Mal backed away, right foot first. "This ain't anything that can't wait until morning." He turned on his heel, the grate digging into the worn sole of his boot.

She caught him by the elbow, her grip firm. "Mal, wait." Her skin was warm through his sleeve. "What is it?"

He let her pull him around, close. Her shawl slipped off her shoulder, brushed against his wrist.

He could see past her, into the shuttle. A lone candle burned on the table, smoke wisping like ghosts.

If he bent his neck, just a fraction, his chin would graze her forehead. If he tilted his head, just so--

"Nothing that can't wait until morning," he repeated, turning away.

Her fingers clutched his arm, a tight squeeze, before she let him go. "Until morning," she echoed.

And he spun, walked down the corridor, his feet echoing against the metal. He didn't look over his shoulder, but he knew she watched him until he turned the corner.

He knew wouldn't ask her in the morning, either. He couldn't, not until he knew what her answer would be.

If she sighed as he left, he didn't hear her.


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Jeffrey Foucault's "Dove and the Waterline."

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ainsley
Dec. 19th, 2007 11:34 pm (UTC)
What a dance those two do.
danibelle
Dec. 28th, 2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
Oooh! I like that very much!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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