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20 July 2012 @ 12:53 pm
Ficlet: Seen and Unseen [Firefly/Serenity]  
Title: Seen and Unseen
Word Count: 428
Rating: Teen and Up
Original/Fandom: Firefly/Serenity
Characters/Pairings: Mal/Inara
Summary: Tonight, her decision had just become much more complicated.
Notes: Set post-movie. Written for writerverse Quick Fic challenge prompt: scars.

Seen and Unseen

Mal was sleeping, his breathing slow and deep. Inara smiled to herself as she smoothed the palm of her hand slowly up and down the warm skin of his back. That they had fallen into bed could not surprise her; she was almost surprised that it had taken them so long to get there. Also not a surprise: that their lovemaking had been intense, alternating between slow, languorous exploration and a primal, nearly desperate, coupling when their arousal grew too great to contain. She flushed now, remembering the things he had done to her body, how he had shattered her finely honed control.

This was the surprise, she reflected as she looked at the man beside her. That he trusted her enough to sleep as she touched him, as her fingers traced the jagged, raised lines of scars hastily bandaged in the field, the smoother remnants of the few wounds that had received qualified medical attention.

She felt his ribs moving under her hand in a steady, gentle rhythm. His face was half-buried in a pillow, his expression open and relaxed. Inara wondered if he found this level of peace every time he slept. Part of her selfishly hoped that the answer was no, that somehow it was her presence that had given him comfort.

Unfortunately, that same comfort eluded her.

She laid her head on his shoulder, her hand continuing its gentle ministrations. Even with the leisurely route River and Mal had planned, they would be passing near the Training House soon. She still hadn’t made a decision whether she would return or not. Her chest tightened; tonight, that decision had just become much more complicated.

Each scar that she encountered on this man - this stubborn and infuriating, generous and loyal man - each scar called to mind images of the wound that preceded it. She thought of the last few weeks of adrenaline, terror, and death. Red gashes and green-brown bruises still marred his skin.

Inara sighed, stilled her hand, and closed her eyes. Not all scars are visible and she had buried hers down deep, but he threatened to bring them to the surface, uncover the scar tissue, leave her raw and bleeding again. She loved him and she didn’t know if she could survive it.

Mal shifted and she began to pull away as he turned over to lie on his back. Without opening his eyes, he reached out and pulled her back to him, holding her close against his side. He nuzzled her hair, breathing in deeply.

“I’ve got ya,” he murmured.

Serendipityxxi: Booksserendipityxxi on July 21st, 2012 05:44 am (UTC)
Oh that's lovely and very in character on both their parts :)
magickmoons: beachmagickmoons on July 21st, 2012 02:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Ami Ven: Team Proseami_ven on July 21st, 2012 06:43 am (UTC)
Very nice! I kind of love that Inara is still thinking about leaving... but that even asleep, Mal wants her to stay *g*
magickmoons: kaylee simon shinymagickmoons on July 21st, 2012 02:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I kind of think that asleep is the only way Mal could say it... in words, anyway. But I also like to think that he offered her some pretty enticing arguments earlier ;)

Meredith: Mal and Inara - dancexfirefly9x on July 21st, 2012 10:32 am (UTC)
Beautiful. ♥
magickmoons: fireflymagickmoons on July 21st, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
Lisa: castle: shinymeridian_rose on July 24th, 2012 01:13 pm (UTC)
This is lovely :D
magickmoons: butterflymagickmoons on July 24th, 2012 03:37 pm (UTC)