This is a Date

"What do you mean this is a date?" Mal asked.

Simon looked confused and bewildered. "Uh, well, you know how, uh..."

"We're together, cap'n. You know. As a couple. Having a meal." Kaylee felt the need to be helpful seeing as her date obviously was not up to the task. "Isn't that what you and Inara are doing?" She grinned when Inara flushed red beside her; Mal glared back.

"No. We're just out for a meal. Date. Ha. Why would we be on a date?"

"You did look awfully coupley when you came in," Simon helped.

"Not helpful," Kaylee told him, patting his arm.

"But this isn't a date. Is it, Inara?" He looked to her for support.

She smiled nervously back at him. "Well... the thing is..."

"What now?"

"I was under the impression it is," she finished.

"See?" Kaylee said. "You're on a date, cap'n. Just like us."

"Huh," Mal said.

"Does that, uh, mean we're on a double date right now?" Simon interjected.

"No?" Mal.

Inara rolled her eyes but said nothing, letting Kaylee explain.

"Basically," the mechanic said, "Yes."

The four of them shared glances, some overjoyed and others not quite as much.

Mal was first to speak. "So, this date thing. It involves food?"