Sorry for taking so long to update. Well, here is the last installment to this fic. Thanks y'all!

That evening at dinner, Mal and Inara were quiet while Jayne and Wash argued about which smuggling job recently had been the most dangerous. Kaylee and Zoƫ watched on interested as Mal and Inara attempted to be subtle with their loving looks. When the time came to pack up, Mal jumped out of his seat, helping Inara out of hers and grabbing her plate off her. Exchanging amused glances, Jayne and Wash left instinctively; hoping if Mal was in this good of a mood, they would avoid dish washing.

As Inara left the dining room, Mal let his eyes follow her. Stepping into his line of vision, Kaylee shook her head.

"Gorram it Kaylee, what's wrong?"

Zoe joined her friend and together they pushed Mal into a seat and stood in front of him.

"Is this an ambush?" Mal asked, confused.

Zoe and Kaylee looked at each other knowingly.

"Now Captain," Kaylee started, "we want to ask you a few questions."

Inara and Mal sat silently in the cargo bay.

"I thought we were hiding it well."

Mal said dumbly, and Inara laughed bitterly.

"We were fooling ourselves Mal. How long could we have kept it going?"

Mal looked hopefully at Inara, and she couldn't help but smile.

"So what do we do?"

The silence returned, and they sat for at least an hour, contemplating an answer.

The next morning, there were no loving glances. Mal ignored Inara and barked orders at the crew. Kaylee and Zoe mournfully watched Inara and Mal return to their old games. Exchanging sympathetic looks, they tried to stay out of the Captain's way. By the evening, everyone was exhausted. As the crew slept, Mal crept to Inara's shuttle. When she saw him in the doorway, Inara smiled weakly.

"Can I help you Captain?"

Looking carefully behind him, Mal shut the door to the shuttle.

"We're not finished are we Inara?"

Inara considered the question.

Looking up into his face, she blushed.


Thank you for reading my attempt at Mal/Inara fan fiction.


yours faithfully, Quinni