The Moon Shines

The moon shines. Caps of the gently crashing waves along the beach are highlighted by its luminescent glow. The air is crisp. Sitting side by side beneath a gnarled oak not too far from the water's edge, Mal and Inara are for nearly the first time, quiet and at peace. The need to bicker is non-existent. The desire to do so is gone. All that is left is a shimmer of light across each of their faces and the soft lapping of the waves.

A smile is shared. Hands meet up in the middle and fingers link. The distant memory of the hospital, the Head of Diagnostics and the Dean of Medicine passes through each of their minds. Mal and Inara had watched House and Cuddy's relationship – which was eerily similar to their own – as it evolved from what appeared to be seething hatred to one of concern and love.

In the matter of a few hours and after a life or death situation that had luckily gone in their favour, their outlook on things, on life, had been altered enough for them to consider a change. It had resulted in Mal and Inara re-evaluating themselves. Things would ever be easy between them. They could however improve and they could work towards more of a normal relationship.

Mal had wandered into Serenity's kitchen area the night before they were set to leave and Inara had offered him tea. He accepted and one thing led to another. He asked her if she'd like to take a walk with him. ("Ain't likely we'll be trippin' back this way in awhile. Would be a real shame to not enjoy the beautiful scenery and such, no?") She had agreed.

They shift closer together almost without realising it. Their hands remain joined. Arms graze one another's and warmth is shared. Sound mutes. Breaths mingle. Their smiles grow as the moon continues to shine.