A/N: Thanks for all the shiny reviews! I wouldn't have gotten this far without them! Anyway, here's the next chapter. I've been home sick today, so managed to get it written up. Hope you like!

When Inara saw Mal's unmoving figure on the infirmary bed, she didn't know what to think. Was he drugged? Was he badly injured? Would he be okay? She honestly couldn't tell. Her fear for his safety left far from sated, she slowly made her way to his bedside and gingerly took his hand in hers.

His hand was cold; too cold. Inara dropped it and took a few involuntary steps back towards the door, a sudden urge to turn and flee before she completely broke down coming over her. Just as she was about to follow her instincts, Simon hurried in with an armful of medical supplies.

He nodded grimly to the fearful Companion and busied himself with setting his equipment down on the bench before turning his full attention to her.

"How's our patient doing?" he asked her carefully. He fiddled with the buttons on his shirt absentmindedly as he spoke; a gesture that Inara recognised immediately as a bad sign. If Simon was as nervous as he seemed, it was more than likely that he was in possession of a whole lot of bad news regarding Mal's condition.

"I…uh…I don't know," Inara admitted. "His hands – are they meant to be that cold? They feel like ice!" She felt something catch in her throat and swallowed it back down forcefully before looking up to meet the doctors' eyes.

Simon stared back at her for maybe half a second and then without a word, turned and moved over to see for himself. Checking Mal's temperature manually first, by feeling his forehead, and then with a thermometer, he studied the man carefully as he lay on the bed, taking care to examine all of his vitals again in the case that he had missed something earlier.

Reading the temperature off the thermometer to himself, Simon shook his head. "Well, he doesn't seem to have a temperature," he confirmed slowly. He paused and stared thoughtfully into space for a moment. Breaking from his reverie after what felt like ages to the Companion, he added, "He had some ice in here before. Maybe it was that. I'm sure he'll be fine though." He glanced around the room awkwardly, as if pondering what to say or do next. Inara stepped in for him.

"So, how long do you think it'll be before he wakes up?" she asked quietly, letting her gaze move from the doctor down to the silent form of Mal. She wrung her hands nervously and began to chew at her bottom lip.

Simon just shrugged. "There's no way to be sure," he told her.