Title: And Yet…
Author: browncoat_2x2Wordcount: 236 – a drabble!
Author’s Note: Written for hfleming8, for the prompt ‘Inara, keywords: Mal Reynolds and Happiness’. It’s been a *long* time since I did one of these :o)
Mal Reynolds and happiness; they weren’t two words Inara would normally put in the same sentence. To say Mal was often tetchy was an understatement; that he thrived on his bad temperament and prickly disposition was more accurate.
And yet – and yet
– there were those rare occasions – and make no mistake, they were very rare – but there were those rare occasions when much of that dark, bristling, antagonistic side of Mal was less in evidence, when what Inara always considered to be a glimpse of his younger self was able to shine through.
It was on nights like those, nights like tonight, that Inara liked to watch him most. When his laugh was free and his smile came easy, and his shoulders seemed not quite so bowed by the weight of the ‘verse upon them. Then his features would soften, his eyes would find hers and sparkle, draw her in to what seemed their own private joke.
On those nights, like tonight, she was free to be more of herself - when he didn’t need her so much. When his anger and loss didn’t plague him so heavily, didn’t pull at her so, with the urge to comfort, to sooth, to heal; when it wasn’t so dangerous to enjoy his company.
And yet… it was on nights like these - when happiness visited for however briefly – it was nights like these that left Inara the saddest.