Written for the Firefly Friday challenge: 100 to 1000 words from the point of view of a guest star or recurring character. Spoilers for Heart of Gold. Disclaimer: Firefly is the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Characters used without permission and not for profit.

Oh, meimei. You should have told me.

I needed him last night, and he resisted - he needed it, too, I could tell, but he resisted - I should have guessed. I should have known.

The fact that he was willing to come at all should have been the first warning, but beyond that, he had that attitude towards you. I had enough signs yesterday and the day before, enough that I should have realized the truth.

Instead, I was ... selfish. I took what I needed, and I ignored every lesson we learned in the Houses.

And I hurt you.

You cover well, well enough that my people can't tell ... well enough that Malcolm Reynolds and his crew probably don't realize how much pain you're in.

Maybe, in a few days, you'll even be able to convince yourself that you were never truly hurt.

But you can't hide it from me, Inara. Not from a Companion. Not from someone who's been trained to know people better than they know themselves. Tianna, all I needed was one look in your eyes and I could see. It's as though... though something shattered inside you. We've both had clients whose hearts were splintered, who needed us to help them heal, help them become whole once more.

You had that same look five minutes ago.

I stole him from you last night. I know that in your mind, there was no crime, no foul. But it's your heart I fear for, meimei. I used him and broke your heart - I can see the wound beneath your breast.

I can't fix it now - not with that sishengzi about to come try and kill us all. But I know we'll win. I know we'll make it, enough of us, anyway. And once we're safe, we can begin to mend our wounds. Mine, my people's ... yours. I'll fix everything I can, try and make it all right, but there's one thing I can't do, Inara. The one step you have to take to heal, nobody can help you take it.

You have to admit to yourself that you love him.


meimei: little sister
tianna: (exclamation) oh God
sishengzi: bastard