stillflyin: (Someone to carry you)
Malcolm Reynolds ([personal profile] stillflyin) wrote2009-08-06 09:01 pm

There are things that don't add up [RP for [ profile] gracefulwoman]

[OOC: Backstory for [ profile] dontrightly_die]

It wasn't that he wasn't grateful. Things could've gone so much worse. Of course, worse was on a whole level of sliding scale at the moment from bad to terrible to 'verse shattering, and he wasn't quite sure where anything lay at the present moment. But he could've been without two of his crew. Zoe could've been without a husband. They could've been without their Shepherd.

What's more...they should've been.

Too many men had lain wounded in his arms too many times for him not to know how badly the Shepherd had been wounded. For all he'd ordered him not to die, the man was headed that way, and he didn't have many minutes left for this 'verse before his God called him home. Until Inara had come running with a syringe in her hand, saying maybe it would help, she didn't know, but maybe it would at least ease his pain...

And the man had gotten up off the ground.

They'd all been too grateful to question it much, thinking maybe he hadn't been that hurt. Simon had looked bemused, but he hadn't been there nearly as long as Mal, hadn't examined him so closely. He didn't know for sure. Inara had mostly stared around at the rest, griefstricken. The Shepherd had looked dazed. Mal had gone on, dismissing it. There were other things to do, things they had to take care of, a man they had to stop, a battle they had to fight.

But when the battle was over there was a man down, and he had a stake through his chest, no denying it. Mal and Zoe had seen it, clear as day, and when Inara did, she was almost as broken as Zoe. They didn't let the rest of them see. Simon was hurt. Kaylee, too. So was he, but Inara had one of those magic syringes, and she tried to give it to him, but he said no. Maybe he was delirious. Maybe he was clutching at hope. He wasn't going to die; he knew that. Wash was gone, but he made her put it in him anyway.

And the wound closed, he took a breath and Wash sat up.

Mal and Inara had stared at each other, and he'd stumbled out. Told Zoe they weren't asking any questions. Told the rest he'd been mistaken.

That wasn't good enough for him. He needed answers, and he had a mind to get them. That in mind, he made his way slowly to the door of Inara's shuttle and after a moment, knocked. Everything still ached, and it was gonna still take some time to put the ship to rights, but he needed to know, now, just what was going on, what she'd gotten involved in, and what the cost might be. Because benefits like this didn't come along without a price. No one gave anyone this sort of thing for free, not in this world.

[identity profile] 2009-08-21 02:09 pm (UTC)(link)
Someday--no, who was she kidding. There was no someday. He would never listen to reason or entertain the notion that someone other than him knew what was best. He was Mal.

"You wanted to know," she pointed out simply, folding her arms and turning away to resume pacing.

[identity profile] 2009-08-21 05:52 pm (UTC)(link)
"Didn't say I didn't," he shot back. "Just...wasn't expecting it to be...that."

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
"And what were you expecting?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. "Because even knowing what I did, I certainly didn't expect anything to happen when I injected Was with that syringe. I don't have answers for you, Mal. Why couldn't you just let this go?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 08:16 pm (UTC)(link)
"I surely don't know!" Mal exclaimed, throwing his hands up. "Some secret drug or...those tiny robots they were talkin' about puttin' in people a while back to fix 'em up, but no one thought it was a good idea!"

[identity profile] 2009-08-22 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
"Nanites," Inara mumbled, unable to keep from rolling her eyes a little. "They're called nanites, Mal." And they were straying from the point. "You can't speak a word of this, not a word. Not to Zoe, not to anyone."

[identity profile] 2009-08-23 11:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Mal gave her a truly offended look, not mock, and not playing. "I promised you I wouldn't when I asked."

[identity profile] 2009-08-24 02:12 am (UTC)(link)
"Yes, when you thought it was nanotechnology or a secret potion," Inara replied, meeting his gaze evenly and somberly. "Not an ability living within someone's very cells. I just wanted to stress how important it is that this be kept quiet."

[identity profile] 2009-08-24 03:45 am (UTC)(link)
"Doesn't matter what I thought it was going t'be. I gave you my word I wouldn't say anything, an' I mean to keep it." He held her gaze, still with the hint of being offended in his.

[identity profile] 2009-08-24 01:09 pm (UTC)(link)
In Inara's mind, he would just have to be offended--he couldn't begin to understand the breach in professional behavior she'd just let slip, not to mention betraying the trust of a dear friend who'd done so much for her. The entire conversation had left her with a very sour taste in her mouth. "All right," she replied simply, clasping her hands in front of her and frowning down at the floor.

[identity profile] 2009-08-24 08:38 pm (UTC)(link)
He stared back at her for a long moment, then nodded. He did have some idea what it cost her to tell him, that it went against her own promises and loyalties, but he still figured on the fact that he had a right to know. Even so..."Thank you," he said, voice a bit gruff. "For tellin' me. I won't let no one know."

[identity profile] 2009-08-25 04:17 am (UTC)(link)
All things considered, that had gone...much easier, than she would've thought, and she smiled a little as she looked up. "I appreciate that, Mal."

[identity profile] 2009-08-25 08:39 pm (UTC)(link)
He gave her a bit of a smile back, and then frowned, because there was, of course, one more important bit of info she hadn't given him, and it seemed sort of important if there were other folk even more...special than River running around in the world. He could narrow it down, really, given he knew a bit more about her business than he let on, but the question tumbled out anyway.


[identity profile] 2009-08-25 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Dammit. She'd so hoped that he hadn't noticed she'd danced around actually giving him a name. All hint of a smile disappeared as she sighed. "No one that, to my knowledge, you know or have ever met. Does it really matter?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-26 03:44 am (UTC)(link)
"It matters." Truth be told, he weren't totally sure why it mattered, but it did. "Man saved my crew. Even if I ain't ever gonna say a thing to no one, I s'pose I owe him a kindness for that, should it ever come to it."

[identity profile] 2009-08-26 05:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Her frustration returning in full force, Inara heaved a sigh and folded her hands tightly in front of her. "Allow me to speak with him first, at the very least. Please."

[identity profile] 2009-08-27 04:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Mal frowned, not liking being put off, but he figured he owed her and the mystery man a debt he weren't likely to ever be able to repay, so he nodded once. "All right."

[identity profile] 2009-08-27 08:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Thankful that he would at least give her that much, her posture relaxed again. "Thank you."

[identity profile] 2009-08-27 08:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Mal nodded a little, though he still looked discomfited. "Least I can do..."

[identity profile] 2009-08-28 01:58 am (UTC)(link)
"Yes," Inara replied rather bluntly, raising an eyebrow at his look. "It is."

[identity profile] 2009-08-28 02:03 am (UTC)(link)
Mal shot her a bit of a look at the tone and then glanced away, changing the subject. "Is there anything you need as you're settlin' back in?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-28 02:29 am (UTC)(link)
Inara glanced around the very bare shuttle, a trace of a smile touching her lips. "...I scarcely know where to begin, but I'll manage well enough. Thank you."

[identity profile] 2009-08-28 02:32 am (UTC)(link)
Mal nodded a little. "All right. You think of anything...let me know?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-28 04:14 am (UTC)(link)
"That's..." Very unusually accommodating of you, she wanted to say, but caught herself and merely smiled. "I will. Thank you Captain."

[identity profile] 2009-08-28 04:48 am (UTC)(link)
He nodded, then scowled a bit, straightening. "Right, then. I'll...let you get back to whatever it was you were...doing. You'll let me know when you've spoken to him?"

[identity profile] 2009-08-29 10:46 pm (UTC)(link)
"Of course," Inara replied, the picture of control and courtesy again.

[identity profile] 2009-08-29 11:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Mal nodded a bit, and started to say something, then floundered, unsure what else there was to say, and nodded again, before letting himself out.