Bending The Rules

Prompt: #052 Bending The Rules and #067 Choices

Notes: Written for coclaim100 and joss100. Thanks to browncoat2x2 for the beta!

Inara had thought about bending the rules that the Guild registry had set her and every other Companion in the 'verse, many times. She had contemplated letting them slide and going after her desires, and had even had the occasional dream in which scenario after scenario played out where her rules and guidelines did not exist.

But in reality, she knew it was wrong.

Whatever she felt, she knew deep inside that if she played off her emotions, she would fall. She would lose sight of the ground and lurch down into an empty void, with nothing to pull her back out and not even the tiniest thread left to save her.

She didn't want to risk her career for that. The idea of falling and never being able to stop spun her head. It turned her upside down, inside out and confused her more than she cared to say, stabbing violently through to her heart.

For her entire life she had worked towards where she was now. She had done everything in her power to get there. If she so much as took one step further towards the boundary line, she'd break the fine thread and lose all of that.

There was no way that she'd be able to keep up her career, her livelihood, if she followed up on what her heart called out for. It was bad enough now with all the arguments and so-called complications that she wasn't even sure truly existed. For all she knew both herself and Mal had placed them there to guard their hearts.

But maybe, just maybe, it would be better. Maybe they would find the connection between them and build it from it's thin strand of spider-web into something much more stable and lasting; something with the strength of the thickest rope in the 'verse, that would withstand everything thrown its way and never snap apart.

In the end though, it all came down to one thing. Was she willing to break the rules she had held so highly for all of her life and invite Mal into her bed and into her heart? Was she willing to take the chance?