Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly creative wise belong to Mr. Whedon and legally they belong to some fancy corporations who aren’t me. I'm just having fun.
AN: This story will deal with dark themes concerning suicide. If that is a difficult subject for you please stay away. That being said this is not a story condoning suicide so don’t kill yourself.
AN2: Big thanks to my RL beta Lisa. Without her I don't know if I woulda finished the story.
Time line: Post everything for Buffy and post Big Damn Movie for Firefly.
“Mal, would you please come to my shuttle,” announced Inara into the radio that she patched into the ship’s com. Not for the first time she was wishing that she would be able to predict the behaviour of the ship’s captain. A few minutes later Mal barged into the shuttle and started complaining.
“Too good to leave-”
“Mal!” Inara interrupts with a forced smile on her face, “The Guild is requesting that I take a client and that she would be travelling with us for a few days. I have asked you here to speak with the Guild representative to see if you would agree to let the client on as a passenger as well. Since my shuttle is the only cortex with access to the guild there was really no other option.”
“Oh... Alright I’ll talk to your representative.” Inara motioned Mal to the console and silently prayed to Buddha for the strength to deal with Mal and to anyone else for Mal to behave himself.
“Laelah this is Captain Reynolds, Mal this is facilitator Flora,” Inara introduced politely like her training would indicate.
Mal stepped in front of the screen and nodded, “Ma’am”
“Captain Reynolds the client is currently on the Jiang,” began Laelah courteously, “She has requested time with a companion that is nearby and not aboard an Alliance ship. Your ship fits the criteria; she would be a paying passenger as well as a client of Inara.”
“If she’s running from the Alliance then we don’t need that kind of trouble,” replied Mal quickly.
Patiently Laelah responded, “She is not running from the Alliance. Rather she is a very private person and would prefer not to have rumours concerning her personal life floating about. That level of discretion is generally not possible when government employees are involved. The Guild feels that with your ship’s tendency to keep a low profile it would be a good fit.”
Mal was silent for a moment seeming to be think things through and it was not helping Inara’s nerves in the least. “Facilitator Flora why are you even involved? I thought that Inara just looked through registries and picked and choosed as she like, based the parties in town, market prices and the like.”
Inara sighed inwardly and made a mental note to apologise on behalf of the Captain at a later date.
“Indeed companion selection is the standard procedure however the Council and this particular individual have aided the Guild significantly and so we are happy to help her in whatever way she requires.”
“If she has got coin then I am willin’. This ain’t a charity boat.”
“Of course Captain that was always understood. I will send Inara the coordinates along with the other information. She will be expecting you in three days time. Thank you Captain that will be all.”
“Ma’am,” Mal nodded back and stepped back. Inara stared at Mal and waited until he finally got the hint that he would not be privy to the rest of the conversation and left her shuttle before Inara nodded back at the screen.
“Inara it is indicated here that you have been read in on the Council and its work so I am sending you an encrypted packet of information only on Miss Summers. Please read through it thoroughly and if there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact me as I am the liaison between the Guild and the Council.”
“Of course I am sure it will be fine Laelah. I apologise for the inappropriate remarks made by Captain Reynolds.”
“Unnecessary my dear. I deal with people who have far less respect for us then your Captain. A facilitator’s skin is thicker than most. Be well and take special care of this one.” The screen then went blank and Inara started to download and read through the material she received.