Don't Go Yet

He's disorientated when he wakes and then as he becomes more aware, he settles for confusion. How did he get here? What did he say? How did he act to land himself here? Nothing of the previous night seems adequate a reason.

Stifling a yawn, he runs his gaze over Inara's still sleeping form. She's wearing the same red dress she had on yesterday and her hair falls around her shoulders and frames her face. He breathes in deeply and his senses are overwhelmed by incense, the remainder of the fruity perfume she wears and his own scent.

None of that eases his bewilderment, but the soft smile on her face as she sleeps makes him wonder. Has Inara finally decided to let him in? Or has she just been too tired to kick him out of her shuttle, after hours of mostly civilised conversation?

Either way, he's living a moment he previously thought not worth even hoping for. Dreams in his experience are just that. Dreams. They don't come true. This morning throws that logic far, far away.

He reaches for his shirt – the only item of clothing either of them shed – and sits up to slide it on. He's halfway through buttoning it up when a hand on his own stops him.

"Don't go yet."

It's a request, an order, as firm as it is nervous. A look into her eyes – so wide and dark and hopeful – undoes him. He lets go of his shirt, letting it settle back to his chest with the last few buttons still not done up. With a smile, he settles back beside Inara and takes another breath.

She rests her head on his shoulder and he holds her and breathes her in. Whatever brought them here, he's thankful for it.

fin.