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Rating: PG
Characters: Mal/Inara
Disclaimer: It all belongs to Joss, I just want them to love each other
Series: ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ 1. Shattered, 2. Nothin Left To Lose, 3. Of Companions And Whores, 4. Of Captains and Desires, 5. Heart Bound, 6. Fragrance And Memories….down the way Walking With The Dead. These do not need to be read in order, but are more fun that way.
Timeframe: Takes place 2 days before the MOVIE begins

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Something’s Gotta Give: Part - 6 -Fragrance And Memories

By

Lattelady


Serenity had left Haven, the moon the Shepherd was callin' home for a spell, fourteen hours earlier. It was their third visit in five weeks. The minin’ community had become almost a regular run, haulin’ ore out and bringin’ back goods that the families needed, but that was gonna stop for a while. It was back to bein’ bad guys, Fanty and Mingo had offered them a more lucrative, though less legal, job.

“Gorramnit, I wish the holy man’d mind his own business,” Mal Reynolds mumbled as he climbed the ladder from his bunk. In the last week he’d finally been able to pass the night without havin’ dreams ‘bout ‘Nara. Thanks to Book, and his conniving she was back fillin’ his sleepin' hours.

The previous night, over a large bottle of alcohol, the Shepherd had gotten the Captain to commit to Haven’s Christmas celebration. Then the holy man had had the nerve to tell him that Inara would be there too, ‘and oh by the way, would Serenity please provide transpo for her’.

Mal wasn’t sure where he was headed as he stomped through his sleepin’ ship, until he found himself at the door to ‘Nara’s old shuttle. Acting on instinct, he quickly entered and shouldered the small trunk she’d left behind. It had been sittin’ there enticin’ him ever since Kaylee had discovered it weeks earlier. If he couldn’t purge the woman from his thoughts he’d damn well purge her belongin’s from his ship. But he hadn’t taken more’n two steps before he realized that there was no power in the ‘verse that could make him toss the thing out the airlock.

Tamade!” he cried out as he dropped the trunk and gave it a swift kick. It slid across the deck and bounced against the bulkhead with enough force to unlatch the catch, and pop the lid. “Oh, xin gan,” he moaned and slipped down beside it, as the soft scent of jasmine filled the air and Mal was bombarded with all the memories he’d been tryin hard to suppress.

He pushed aside the voices that told him he was invadin’ her privacy and reached over to raise the lid the rest of the way. “’Nara, ‘Nara,” he whispered as he pulled out a long thin object wrapped in soft brown leather. It was an elegant-looking bow with graceful curves, that he had no doubt could be as deadly as it was beautiful when used by an experienced hand. The grip was small, and looked as if it had been made to fit Inara’s palm.

Putting it aside he looked into the trunk taking deep breaths of the scent that filled the air. Everything smelled like ‘Nara. Not her incense, or tea, or the womanly combination of fragrances that had filled her shuttle while she’d lived there, but the woman herself.

Carefully he lifted each item from the trunk and let the scent fill him with all the memories he’d been trying to suppress. Everything smelled like her and it made him ache worse than his dreams had ever done. It was almost as if she was sitting in the room beside him. He closed his eyes, with his face buried in handfuls of silky material and remembered.

Inara inches away from him as she covered her hand over his on a dueling sword. His nose pressed against her dark ringlets as they’d danced earlier on that same evening. Or the following morning when he’d put his arm around her and let her take his weight as they walked slowly back to the ship.

The soft fragrance of jasmine that had covered his skin and shirt after Saffron had kissed him unconscious. Until that moment he’d been unable to place the scent, though it had nagged at his memory some. ‘The truth, Nara, what really caused you to pass out?’ How he wished she was there so he could ask her that question instead of assuming he knew the answer already, as he’d done in the past.

All the times they’d stood in a doorway, as if it were neutral territory. A place where they could touch, but only with their eyes, because to do more would be to cross a line both had carefully drawn. The feel of her swollen lip as it quivered under his finger after Jubal Early had struck her. The one time he’d dared to move closer than he should. If she hadn’t pulled away at the last second, he knew he would have kissed her.~

Mal didn’t know how long he sat there rememberin’. It wasn’t until he felt somethin’ deep inside try ta tear lose that he shook himself back to the present. As he quickly repacked ‘Nara’s belongings, somethin’ slipped between the silks and bounced on the deck plating.

Looking around he saw a large red plastic button. It appeared odd among her things. Not something she’d own, definitely not something she’d wear. His breath caught in his throat as he recognized it. He could remember Wash’s words. “When your miracle comes, just hit this and it’ll call us back.” He knew the pilot had removed it from Serenity’s bridge in the week following the accident that had almost killed him.

What was ‘Nara doing with it? How long had she had it? Did it mean….did it mean…? He reached out and tapped the red button twice, hard, before he realized what he’d done.

“Gorramnit!” he shouted. He grabbed it off the deck and tossed it into the trunk then slammed the lid closed, careful to slip the catch tightly in place. “The woman’s gone and she stays gone. If the Shepherd wants to see her over the winter holiday, he’s gotta get her to Haven, I’m not haulin her and that’s final! I’m not bringin her back aboard Serenity!”

Later as he slept in his bunk, a fleeting thought mixed with the smell of jasmine at the edges of his mind. He’d finally pushed the button. Would it bring ‘Nara back to him or just set in motion a passel of heartache?
…………

Translations:
Tamade – motherf*cker – you guys know the word I mean...
Xing an – sweetheart, darling

The end or you can go on to SSG Part – 7 – Enemy At The Gate and Delicate Beauty

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Quotes

The moving finger writes: and having writ Moves on. nor all your piety nor wit Shall lure it back to cancal half a line, Nor all your tears wash out a word of it...The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

If I quiet the voices in my head, I would face the day with nothing to write. - Unknown

I must go down to the seas again the lonely sea and sky...J Masefield

Cinderella walked on broken glass,
Sleeping beauty let a whole lifetime pass.
Belle fell in love with a hideous beast,
Jasmine married a common thief.
Ariel walked on land for love and life,
Snow white barely escaped a knife.
It was all about blood, sweat, and tears.
Because love means facing your biggest fears


The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of...French Proverb

I have drempt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after. They've gone through me like wine through water and altered the colour of my mind ...E. Bronte

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage...Lao Tzu

It takes chaos to give birth to a dancing star ..F. Nietzsche

How many loved your moments of glad grace, and loved your beauty with love false or true? But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, and loved the sorrows of your changing face...Yeats

Let us go, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky...T. S. Eliot

In that book which is my memory, on the first page of the chapter, that is the day when I first met you, appears the words, "here begins a new life".
La Vita Nuova

Midnight courage of the heart...Jen Kirkwood

The three o-clock in the morning courage which Bonaparte thought was the rarest...Thoreau

Did you say it? I love you; I don't ever want to live without you; you changed my life. Did you say it?
Make a plan, set a goal, work toward it, but every now and then, look around, drink it in, 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow. - Meredith Grey

Shakespeare is easy, life is hard...Wheels

Don't try to be a great man, just be a man. Let history make up its own mind...Z.Cochron

I had a job to do and I was unafraid...Jack to John Creighton

For I dipt into the future, as far as the human eye could see. Saw the vision of the world, and the wonders that can be...RWW Hipwell

Without diviation from the norm, progress is impossible...F. Zappa

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea, In a beautiful pea-green boat: They took some honey and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five-pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, and sang to a small guitar...E Lear

Sweet and low, sweet and low, Wind of the western sea, Low, low, breathe and blow, Wind of the western sea! Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon and blow, Blow him again to me;... Tennison

Charmed magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn... Keats

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