TITLE: Spark the Fire In Me
AUTHOR: Susan / apckrfan
DISTRIBUTION: My site, my site, AO3, FanFiction.net, LiveJournal, Yahoo Groups. Anyone else, please just tell me where it's at.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any characters. They are owned by Mutant Enemy, Tim Kring, etc. No profit is made from this fic.
SPOILERS: Through Four Months Ago (2x05) just to be safe and all of Firefly but not Serenity (cuz I want everyone intact!)
SUMMARY: Mal wakes up in his bed with a companion he doesn't remember going to bed with to begin with.
CHARACTERS/PAIRING: Claire Bennet & Malcolm Reynolds
DATE STARTED: November 2007
STATUS: Complete
FEEDBACK: Please, I can't write better without it.
BETAS: Thanks to Scoob2222 for reading through this for me. The finished product is different than what she read, so any mistakes are mine not hers. And Jeff who reads whatever I throw at him no matter the fandom.
NOTES: This is written for LJ community rare_heroes fic challenge #4: crossovers. It will also fulfill 50timesmetyou prompt #17: naked. This was an idea that came to me and would not go away (which seems to happen a lot to me for some reason) as contrived as it may be.
BACKGROUND: Many thanks to dragonydreams for this shiny background, inspired by not just this fic but my Drive/Heroes fic featuring Claire & Alex.

She was having the most erotic dream she'd ever had. The body next to hers was hard in the right places and not so in others. She loved the feel of his chest, the reaction of his nipples as she grazed over them with her fingertips. She felt him hard and thick against the thigh currently pressed between his legs, brushing against his erection.

She felt his chest moving as he breathed and the roughness of stubble against her cheek as he lowered his mouth to hers. His hair was just a touch on the longish side, so she could wrap some of it around her fingers. She did just that, drawing him deeper into the kiss. Her lips parted, welcoming his tongue. She heard his groan as she gave a soft whimper.

His hands rough to the touch yet gentle explored her hip, ass, thighs, and back as they kissed. He seemed to purposely be avoiding the juncture between her legs; a spot she wanted him to touch really bad right now. So much so that she pressed closer against him wanting to feel him against her as best as she could, hoping he'd get there some time soon. He was just shy of entering her. She let out a throaty groan as his fingertips inched ever closer to her inner thigh.

She threw her head back, breaking their kiss to let out a soft cry when he finally touched her the way she wanted him to. Well, sort of. At least he was between her thighs now, brushing her there with the back of his hand. His thumb came so close to brushing her clit. She thought he might just be teasing her.

She started realizing a few things at once in a jumbled haze.

One, she was not dreaming. She was really in bed with a man. Naked.

Two, she was not in her bed. She wasn't, as far as she could tell, in any room she'd ever laid eyes on before in her life.

Three, the naked man next to her was a remarkable sight. He wasn't model gorgeous, but he had a look to him that was sexy. His chest was developed enough to show he worked hard but not enough she'd feel as if she was suffocating cuddling against him. He had scars, many of them, complete with a few fresh blemishes on his face. They only drove home the point that he was a man's man.

Okay, the first realization was probably the one she noticed right away, and most important. At least it was, before his mouth did something to her nipple that made her go all mushy and just about forget reason. She cried out, and it wasn't a cry of pain either, when he did it again. She tried rolling onto her back, but he simply followed. He was on top of her now and even closer to being inside of her than moments ago.

"Taste like honey," he murmured.

She felt like she had honey coursing through her veins just then, thick and hot, pooling between her legs in a way that should have scared her to death. She didn't know this man, didn't know where she was, beyond Hiro telling her he was taking her somewhere she'd be safe. She wasn't feeling too scared just now, though. Or if she was, desire was pushing it to the back of her mind.

"Umm," she whispered, trying not to panic. And with her body reacting to him the way it was meant to it was really hard to just then. Her feet slid along his calf, instinct kicking in, as his hand slid between their bodies. A slight roll of her hips and he'd be home. She really wanted that at the moment. She just couldn't help but think that this wasn't what Hiro had in mind.

"Umm," she repeated. "Sir?"

That got a response. He raised his head to look at her and she couldn't help but groan when his mouth was no longer doing the feel-good things it had been to her breasts. His eyes were hazy or clouded she guessed would be an accurate description. Did hers look like that?

He pushed himself up so he was no longer flush against her, but all that did was bring his cock and the fact it was still hard into focus. A not-so-subtle thrust of her lower body and… She groaned at the thought.

"You're real," he whispered.

"Uh, I could say the same about you."

"How'd you get in my bunk?" He took a moment to look down and she blushed, knowing he would see her nipples still taut from what he'd been doing until a minute ago.

"I don't know." She kind of knew. Hiro had said he was sending her to someone in a place and time where he knew she'd be safe. He'd been pretty adamant she wasn't to do much of anything to stand out. She wondered what it was about this man that made him so special that Hiro entrusted her care to him.

"You don't know?"

"No," she whispered. She doubted he'd believe she was a time traveler. Had Hiro arranged for them to be naked? Or had that been their own doing? A glance at the clothes in a wild disarray on the floor alongside his bed told her Hiro probably had nothing to do with it.

"We didn't? I mean, we haven’t?"

"No," she said quickly. "Well, I don't think so." She had to admit as strange and slutty as it might seem, she was kind of disappointed about that. "We could…"

He smirked. "We could, huh?"

"Well, we're here naked, already well on the way."

"That we are."

"It seems a waste." And it was feeling real good. She was never bold like this, but having him here on top of her. And knowing what he'd made her feel just by some attention to her breasts. Well, she wanted to experience it all. Hiro had sent her to him. What better way to protect her than keep her in bed with him? And she couldn't very well do anything to stand out here.

"You a whore?"

She frowned. "Excuse me?"

"Are you someone Inara or Jayne planted here to have some fun with me? Because you don't look like any whore I could afford. And I'll be honest, it's a cruel joke they're playing."

"I don't know Inara or Jayne. And, no, I'm not a whore. Or a joke. I'm just a woman…"

"I can see what you are. Very plainly. This isn't a trick?"

She reached between their legs, cupping him with the palm of her hand. "Does this feel like a trick?"

She saw his Adam's apple move as he swallowed. She leaned up and kissed it, licking it with her tongue.

"Not put like that, no."

She chuckled and reached up to kiss him then. She knew the things said about her at college. Tease was one of the kinder words used to describe her. Just because she didn't want to sleep with the entire campus didn't mean she was frigid or a tease. The fact she wanted this man proved she wasn't frigid at any rate. The tease part she imagined was still up for debate until he was actually inside of her.

His hand slid between her legs, fingertips gliding along her folds, already slick as he kissed her. She bit his tongue lightly when he slid a finger inside of her. She clenched around him and he groaned into the kiss so she did it again.

He was very good with his fingers, bringing her to a climax twice - once without even touching her clit. She felt him stretching her, knew he had to feel how tight she was. If that bothered or frightened him in any way, he didn't say anything.

And then he was using his mouth and tongue, combining them with his fingers at times. It was a little scary just how good everything he was doing felt, and how easy it was for her to lose complete control. She arched into his touch when he reached up and brushed a nipple with his fingers.

Somehow, she managed to get on top of him and took her turn exploring him. She kissed him everywhere. She'd never had occasion to take in a man's body before. The boys she went to college with just didn't pique her curiosity in that way. This man did. She kissed each scar, wondering what the story was behind them.

She took him into her mouth, slowly with a hint of caution. She'd come close to doing this a time or two, but always backed out. It was part of what earned her the reputation of tease. She'd heard horror stories about guys that just had no consideration for the girls going down on them. And, well, it was a little scary to be so vulnerable.

His soft moans turned her on even more. She felt the pulling in her breasts and between her legs, felt when his thrusts got more intense and knew he had to be close to finishing. She didn't want him to finish like this, though, so she drew away. She slid next to him, pulling on his arm so he'd move back on top of her. He took the hint and there he was, pressing against her all hard and slick from her saliva and his pre-cum.

"You sure now?" he asked.

"Yes," she whispered.

"Can I at least get your name before we get to know one another so very intimately?"

"Claire," she whispered.

"I'd say I'm pleased to meet ya, but I think you can tell that without my saying so. I'm Mal, by the way."

"Mal," she repeated softly.

Her hands found his shoulders as he moved to enter her. He said something foreign sounding that she didn't understand as he slid into her. He stopped and made a soft hiss sound. It wasn't enough, she wanted him deeper.

"You ain't never?" he asked, surprise evident in his eyes.

Ah! That's why he wasn't inside of her as deep as she wanted him to be. She shook her head, biting her lip; afraid he'd stop now. He said something else she didn't understand before capturing her mouth. He kissed her as he slid all the way in, swallowing her muffled whimpers from the pain. The pain was over soon, though, replaced with the feeling of being full. Full of him. Of him making small strokes inside of her, letting her adjust to him.

She cried out when he pulled out, thinking he was going to stop just when it was getting really good. He was being so careful, seeming to take his queue from her as to when he didn't need to be. Slowly but surely he built them up to a faster pace. He slid back in again a little harder this time.

His mouth found a breast, teasing and biting at her nipple as he brought her closer to another climax. She knew now she definitely wasn't frigid and certainly was no tease. Evidently, it just took the right guy to get her interested, because at this moment he felt so good he could have asked her to swing from a chandelier and she may have done it.

"Harder," she whispered. She ran her fingers through his hair hoping to keep his head to her breast. She wasn't exactly sure what she was asking, just knew that she needed something from him. More of it. More of him. "Just more," she murmured.

"Going to leave a mark."

"It'll heal."

His mouth went around her breast, tongue stroking her nipple and he did as she asked. Teased and bit and nipped to the point she wasn't sure she could take it anymore. And then he'd ease up, almost as if he knew he'd crossed that line. Only to repeat the process again.

She arched into him, hips moving with his as he did what she'd requested. He sucked and bit harder still, not getting to the point of being painful. But close. And she liked it. And God she wanted more of it, especially combined with his cock inside of her hitting a particularly sensitive spot.

He moved, switching their positions subtly so her legs were almost at his shoulders. He was going deeper inside of her now, harder and she couldn't stop herself from crying out. He knew she was enjoying it because her sounds only made him drive harder and faster into her.

"Oh God," she murmured. She had no idea it would feel like this. There just weren't words to describe what she was feeling as he worked his cock in and out of her, stroking her clit with each thrust.

She'd heard all sorts of descriptions for what an orgasm felt like. She'd given herself more than a couple over the years. Nothing prepared her for the way her body shuddered and went practically limp once she'd come. She wasn't expecting it to cause him to come either.

He was beside her now, hand at her waist. Almost as if he was trying to stop her from going away, as if she had anywhere to go. She didn't even know where she was.

"Why are you here?" he asked.

"I think I was sent here for you to keep me safe."

He laughed then and she peered at him through heavy eyes. "What's so funny?"

"I doubt that's what anyone had in mind for me to do in order to keep you safe."

"I don't mind."

"You don't, huh?"


He slid his fingers through her hair, eyeing her cautiously. "I'm glad, but I'm going to have some explaining to do to my crew as to how I came by a stowaway in my bunk."

"They'll deal with it."

"I guess they will. It's just not the way I usually operate."

She smirked and he thought he saw a bit of a devilish streak in her then. She was young, but there was something in her eyes that spoke of experience. "Visit whores often?"

He scoffed. "Not as often as some, but even I have itches to scratch. Now that you mention it. Why do that with a total stranger?"

She shrugged. "Curiosity? Opportunity? A good looking man here with me in a situation I don't often find myself in."

He leaned up, propping himself up on his elbow. Mal regarded the pretty blonde lying next to him. He supposed he should have been more concerned with where she'd come from. They were moon-side for another night, so it was possible she just stowed away. And, besides, she'd just said something flattering that he didn't often hear. "You think I'm good looking?"

She scoffed. "Yes."

"And you've never had the opportunity before now?"

"No, not really."

"I find that hard to believe."

"I'm not saying I couldn't have made the opportunity happen."

"That I can believe."

She laughed softly and grazed one of his scars with a fingertip. "How'd you get so beat up?"

He shrugged then. This was usually where he'd grow quiet and tight-lipped. "It comes with the territory."

"You live a dangerous life?"

"You could say that."

"Me, too."

He chuckled then, realized she was serious. "How much danger can a woman like you get into?"

"You'd be surprised."

He grazed her breast with a fingertip. The spot he'd been marking only moments ago was free of any blemish or evidence he'd been actively trying to fulfill her request for harder.

"Who you running from?"

"A man."

"Isn't it always?"

She smiled. "I suppose it probably is. But, no, this man's kind of scary. He's the stuff nightmares are made of," she said.

"So, someone set you not just on my ship but in my bed to keep you safe from this man nightmares are made up of?"

"I guess so."

"How long do I get the pleasure of your company?"

"I'm not sure I know the answer to that. Until it's safe."

"What's your friend's name?"


"The one who brought you here."


He searched through his memory bank, but shook his head when he came up blank. "Don't recognize the name."

"I don't know how he knows you."

"All right. Well, I'd say let's stay here and do more of that."

"Do you have itches that need scratching, Mal?"

"Well, see, now I'm good with the not scratching until the itching has commenced. Then, I have a fondness for itching if the opportunity is there for more of it to be done."

She frowned, he could tell she was trying to piece together what he'd just said. "So, you're okay if you aren't getting any, but once you do you want it as much as you can get it?"

"That about sums it up then. Now, being you ain't never …"

She laughed softly. "You don't have to worry about my being sore."

"Hey, it's not uncommon."

"No, I mean it, you really don't need to worry about it. I heal."

"Yeah, what's that about anyway? I don't even see a mark on you," he said, running a fingertip around the area of her nipple.

She shrugged. "It's just who I am I guess."

"So, you don't know when your friend'll be looking you up again?"

"No, I don't think it will be real long, though. A few days maybe."

"Then we make the most of it."

She laughed softly and it was an enchanting sound, sincere and not practiced. There were questions he should be asking, worries he should have over what he'd do when she was gone. He couldn't find it in himself to question or worry about much of anything, though. There was nothing wrong with having a bit of fun as long as they were both agreeable to it and knew that when their time came to an end so did the two of them.

"Does making the most of it involve my finding clothes anytime soon?"

"It could I suppose, if you really wanted to. But, generally speaking, no just the way you are works much better."

"We'll have to eat eventually."

"We'll worry about that when we start to whither away from hunger."

She laughed again. "Okay, as long as I'm not being kept a prisoner."

"A prisoner of my passion maybe, but that's about it."

"That doesn't sound so bad."

"Not so bad? Perhaps I should demonstrate again how not so bad you thought we were."

"Maybe so. I'm new at this and all, so I might need some reminding."

Claire hid the picture under her pillow when she heard the knock on her bedroom door.

"Come in," she said softly.

"What's a matter, Claire-bear?"

Claire smiled at her dad. "Nothing, I'm fine."

"You sure? You don't seem all that happy to be back. I figured you'd be raring to get back to school."

"I am, really. I'm fine, Dad. I'm just tired."

"As long as you're sure that's all it is. If you had something to talk about, you could."

"I'm good."

He sat on the edge of her bed. It reminded her of when she was a little girl. "All right. I know sending you away like that might have seemed unnecessary, but I couldn't think of any other way."

"I know, you did what you had to do to protect me. You always do."

"And I always will."

"I know," she said, leaning up to hug him. "I love you, Daddy."

"I love you, too."

Her dad left and she slid the picture out from under her pillow. It was the only tangible thing she had from her time aboard Serenity with Mal. She'd spent a week there. She hadn't gotten to know anyone but Mal really, and she certainly wouldn't claim to know him that well.

He had been so good, asking very few questions of her. He seemed to understand that there were things she couldn't tell him. And when Hiro had appeared in his bunk without any warning, he'd understood that there were things at work beyond his knowledge. Of course, she had no way of knowing what he'd done once she left.

Hiro had said she'd see him again. When she'd asked him when or how he'd smiled that smile of his that gave her at least part of her answer. She'd find out when it was time to, no sooner.

The picture had been her idea. She wanted something, however small, to take back with her. He'd agreed and had even kept a copy for himself. For all she knew, he'd throw it away eventually. She wouldn't though. She slipped the picture into the pocket of her duffle so she wouldn't forget it when she went back to school.

She supposed she should have felt guilty or something for spending the week with him as she had. She couldn't though. She wasn't dating anyone so she had no reason to feel bad about anything they'd done. Eventually, they'd gotten out of his bed and did other things, but he was true to his word about enjoying the ability to scratch his itches if the opportunity was there.

Mal palmed the shiny diamond pendant, grazing the edge with the pad of his thumb. It was worth a lot, but he couldn't bring himself to trade it. No matter how bleak things looked. No one knew he had it, they'd probably laugh if they found out. It'd been years since he spent that much time with someone up close and personal. And the last time had been a group of people, his regiment. The ones he'd failed.

He pocketed the pendant at the sound of the comm. being activated.

"Wave," Wash said from the bridge.

"Thanks, Wash," he said softly.

No one had questioned the sudden appearance - or disappearance - of Claire. Her friend, Hiro, had appeared out of nowhere and Mal had to go through a good deal of work to hide him until they were moon-side again so his crew didn't wonder how someone got onboard in the middle of the black.

A week. That's all the time he'd gotten with her. It seemed like a long time but he realized it wasn't that long at all. Long enough to start to not just develop feelings but get used to someone occupying his space with him. The one thing that tided him over was Hiro's parting words to him.

"You will be seeing her again," the man had said.

"I will?" he'd asked.

"She will be…different, but yes."


The man thought for a moment before answering. "She will seem older, as if she might have lived several lifetimes yet look no different. She will be happy to see you."

"She will?"

"She will," Hiro had said.

Mal realized it was probably wishful thinking, a way to placate the man after a week of getting to know Claire in ways no one else did. And it bothered him to think others might get the chance to, wherever she was. She'd been gone now for most of a year. He'd visited a whore a time or two since then, but just didn't find them appealing. He wasn't stupid enough to say he'd fallen in love with her, but he knew he liked her well enough that love might have been a natural progression of things. He did know that she'd sparked something inside of him, gave him hope that maybe what Zoe and Wash had wouldn't escape his grasp.

"Mal here," he said, activating the wave. He smiled at the familiar face. "Inara. What can I do for you today?"

"I just wanted to see how you were doing."

"I'm doing well, Inara. You?"


"Good," he said. Things had changed between them, as to be expected he supposed. "We'll be settling down moon-side for a bit. Care to join us for a while?"

"I thought you'd never ask."

"Your shuttle is always here for you to use. I shouldn't have to ask."

"Thank you. I'll see you in a little while then."

"All right. We look forward to it."

He wasn't holding Hiro to his statement. Life went on as it always did, he would do nothing but live his it out the only way he knew how. He'd have no recourse or way of punishing the man anyway. But he did hold onto that sliver of hope that maybe he'd spoken the truth.

~The End~

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