This was just something that came into my mind when I couldn't fall asleep the other night. It might be a little too sappy for these two, but I'm giving it a shot. I don't know if this has a place in the actually storyline of Firefly/Serenity. For the purpose of this story, Inara left, but decided to come back without the crazy assassin threatening her.

Disclaimer: Firefly/Serenity is not mine, only the words in-between.

Mal strolled un-announced into Inara's shuttle saying, "We'll be taking off in a few minutes. You have everything squared away?"

Inara didn't glance up from unpacking her trunk as she replied, "Yes."

"Alright then," Mal said as he turned to go. On his way out the door something stopped him. This something was a thought that had been bothering him since he received her wave informing him that she wanted to come back. He thought his voice was going to get stuck in his throat as he asked, "Why'd you come back?" He slightly angled his body back to her.

She glanced up at him with surprise before returning her cool façade. Her mouth opened and closed once before replying, "Too much hope."

At this Mal turned his body to fully face her with a confused look resting on his face. She chanced a look at his face before sighing and sitting on the edge of her bed. She could feel his stare on her face and decided he deserved more of an explanation, "The girls at the training house who don't have much experience…they think that the first client they meet will fall head over heels in love. He will whisk her away to an enchanting castle and they'll live happily ever after." Inara paused as she tried to gather her swarming thoughts, "What they don't realize is that it's nothing like that. You can't fall in love. You're not supposed to be whisked off to a majestic castle. It's not in the job description. No one wants to permanently keep a companion, that's probably why the job was invented in the first place." Her voice grew softer as she ended her explanation. Her own was heart breaking at those last words.

She wasn't supposed to fall in love. It was in the job description not too and it was sloppy of her to do so. She glanced up at the man who had caused this sloppiness. A cool mask had replaced his former confused one. He continued to stare at her as his brows furrowed slightly. She stood and turned back to her trunk with a frustrated huff and said, "For goodness sakes Mal, say something or you might as well-"

But she never had the chance to finish her sentence, because there was warmth radiating from her hand, back, and lips.

Mal had whipped her around and kissed her before she had a chance to say anything else. It took her a moment to realize what happened before she melted into his embrace. One had curling into his chest while the other wrapped around his neck. Thoughts of falling in love and happily ever afters floated into her mind as Mal continued to kiss her. Inara was deeply focused on the way her mouth fit onto his when the ship lurched forward and broke the two apart. Mal's hands went around to her back to support her until the ship smoothed out. The two stayed that way, only focused on each other's slow breathing, as the shaking of the ship smoothed out. Mal dipped his head down to look at Inara as she lifted hers to look at him. His eyes roamed over her faced as his concerned voice asked, "You okay?"

Inara stared into his endless blue eyes and she knew he wasn't talking about the ship. She softly replied, "Yes."

The two were wrapped in a blanket of peace, simply staring at each other, until Wash's voice broke out over the intercom, "Uh Mal, you better get up here…I think the ship kinda broke."

Mal closed his eyes for a moment, frustrated that his peaceful moment with Inara had ended. When he opened them, he released her from his embrace before turning and walking out of the room.

Inara stared at his retreating form, slightly shocked that he had simply walked away without a word, much less a glance to her. She regained her senses right after he turned out the door of her shuttle. "Where are you going?" She called out incredulously.

Mal turned his head back around the frame of the door, and with a smirk replied, "To fix your castle."

Inara smiled as he walked away. Maybe there were happy endings after all.