"It's still here," she said with a big smile.
"That it is," he nodded with a grin of his own.
He watched her float over to the large oak tree with breathtaking grace. Her slender finger traced the Chinese characters meaning "Serenity."
"Do you remember when we did this?" she asked with that infectious smile of hers.
He walked over to her and threaded his arms around her waist.
"I surely do, sweetheart."
He pulled her in for a sweet kiss, both lost in memory.
One year earlier…
"I like this spot."
"Whatever you think, darlin'. I'm just the lackey," Mal responded playfully.
"And I love my lackey."
She kissed him lightly and then pulled him by the hand towards the large tree.
They settled in under its large branches in the cool shade. A light breeze blew through, catching her hair completely mystifying him. That's all she ever did.
He lay across her lap, looking up at her with a grin. She smirked at him as she ate the grapes they brought along.
"Can I have one?"
She pulled one off of the vine and held it tauntingly above his mouth. He tried to get it, but she kept moving it away from him.
She just smiled and popped it into her mouth. He looked at her with his amazing blue eyes. She sighed and pulled another one off of the vine. She gently put it in his mouth.
"Thank you," he said in between bites.
She put some of his hair back into place with her soft touch. She traced his features before leaning down to kiss him again.
"I like this spot too," he grinned.
"This is our spot now."
They sprawled out in the long, cool grass side by side. She was sprawled across his chest while he played with her long hair.
"How's about we make this place officially ours?" he suggested.
"I'd like that."
He got up after a few more minutes and got a knife out of the picnic basket. He walked over to the tree and started to carve something into it. She watched him work. He tossed the knife aside and plopped down beside her to admire his handiwork.
"What do you think?" he asked.
He put his arms around her and kissed her neck. "Now this spot is ours."
"You didn't have to carve into that tree to prove it."
"I know. I just wanna know which tree is ours the next time we're here. And there will be a next time."
"Don't you think that 'Serenity' sums this place up anyhow?"
"Sums you up too."
"Did I ever tell you that I love you?" she laughed.
"I think so…but I'm thinkin' a refresher is in order."
"I love you, Malcolm Reynolds."
"I love you too, River Tam."