For the Love of a Woman
Mal vs Deadpool: The Battle for Inara
Mal was in his bunk, but he couldn’t sleep. It was one of those times whenever a person knew that they needed more sleep, but they just couldn’t get it. He knew that morning was soon to come, and yet, the state of slumber evaded him. He rolled over to see if he could catch a few extra winks.
Now, with that frame of thought, it was known that in space there were no mornings, nor any night times. It was forever dark out in the black, well except for the few points of light from distant stars. Still the hands of Father Time kept tick, tick, ticking away, which told someone that their slumber-time was slipping.
Actually Malcolm Reynolds couldn’t hear any tick, tick, ticking. He may have welcomed the noise that a time-piece would make. Like that old Grandfather clock of his mother’s back on Shadow (Well, before that world was blown to pieces by the Alliance). That noise had helped him fall asleep many times whenever he was young.
Instead, here, at this moment, there was nothing but silence. Kaylee sure kept the engine running smooth, purring like a kitten. That’s why he had hired her, and also why he had himself to blame for the quiet.
Mal looked over and could see the glow of the digital readout on his comm panel. Pieces of red light patterned together in an arrangement which told him the time. And that readout now spoke to him that he had less than an hour before he had to arise and relieve Wash on bridge duty.....Well the heck with it.
Malcolm Reynolds arose, pulled up his straps and washed his face. And then he got ready to head to the bridge. However, before he took over the controls from his pilot he decided that he would go to the galley and make himself a pot of coffee. That would help to jump-start his brain.
Mal exited his bunk and on his way to the ship’s kitchen the Captain got a strange feeling in his gut, an odd sensation that told him that something was amiss, something wasn’t right. He turned around and saw a figure standing in the hallway behind him, the strange silhouetted of a man outlined by the backlight. The fellow looked to be clothed in some kind of red, body hugging leather. Like some costume worn by folk he’d seen as a kid when the circus had come to shadow.
No way, the captain was thinking. He had kicked that bounty hunter out into space a long time ago. There was no possibility that Jubal Early could have returned? Mal was confused, but he considered that maybe he was still half dozy. Yeah, a cup of coffee would do him good, get the marbles in his brain starting to roll.
That was what Mal was thinking until he heard the intruder speak. Then the Captain knew that this wasn’t any space ninja inside his brain.
“Where is she?”
“Where is who?”
“Look fella, whoever you are, I don’t know who you’re talking about and moreover the question is, what the hell are you doing on my boat?”
“The name’s Pool, Mr. Pool, not that it means anything to you. And I’m looking for a girl. Dark hair, about this tall,” he said making a gesture with his hand, “pretty button nose and beautiful dark eyes...the depth of the universe. Now where is she?”
Without question Mal knew that he had just described Inara.
“Look you little red goblin, I don’t know how you got aboard my ship but I do know that the woman you’ve described does sound like someone I know. And she is going somewhere, but nowhere with you. She’s staying here.”
It was the first time Mal actually physically let his emotions, his feelings about the Companion, show in his voice. And it scared him to think that someone might be here to attempt to steal her away from him.
Yes, he had tried to hide the reality that he’d fallen in love with her, and that he’d tried to keep her away from her work. It suffered him to share her with anyone. That made him crazy. And now here was some guy aboard his vessel laying claim. Well it was time that this fellow leave, and Mal would be happy to show him the way out.
“Look buddy, I don’t know who you are? Some loon escaped that mental scrub where they held River, or maybe some nut job suffering from space dementia like that bounty hunter Jubal Early? Anyway, the girl is a part of this vessel, a member of my crew, and she’s mine, for keeps.”
“Well, we’ll see about that.”
END PART 1 – To Be Continued.........