Author's note: Yes, I am still around and working on writing. However, the disadvantage of going to a very good (and expensive!) college is that one has very little time for writing.

I don't usually write Firefly fics- the whole series is a bit "Dark and gritty" for my tastes- but my muse insisted I write this. I hope you enjoy it!

The starship Serenity was not a huge, advanced mothership like those of the great Alliance. It was a simple cargo ship, and the hallways were usually some manner of empty.

So when Captain Malcolm Reynolds heard the engine room intercom come on, produce a horrible crashing sound which ended in a worrying crackle of sparks, he headed for the engine room full-tilt.

He hadn't expected to encounter anyone in the hall.

He particularly hadn't expected for Inara to be hiding behind that corner, heading the opposite direction. Naturally, it would be around that little step-up that just about made up for the difference in height.

Their foreheads met with a resounding crunch.

All of a sudden, the floor got all swimmy-like. Something must have gone wrong with the internal dampeners, because the floor was coming up awful fast.

Then everything went black, and that was the last thing Mal remembered for several minutes.

When he came to, the first thing he noticed was the infirmary ceiling. He hadn't noticed that it was in need of painting. Next time they were planeside with a bit of extra cash, they really should send Jayne down here with a brush and a bucket of paint.

On second thought, maybe that wasn't such a good idea.

The next thing he noticed was that his head was throbbing. Ignoring it, he sat up.

The world went all spinny-like just long enough for him to fall off the ledge. The last thing he saw for the next several minutes was the floor coming up at him again.

The next time he woke up, the first thing he saw was Inara. She seemed a bit strange, though. Half of her forehead seemed to be the wrong color.

He tried to open his mouth and say something articulate.

" 'Nara? What the ****** happened to you?"

Real articulate, Mal, Real articulate.

"You and I had a ...meeting. " Inara stated. "The kind that tends to involve too much kinetic energy?"

"Yea, Cap'n, we didn't know you thought you were a goat." Kaylee put in.

Well, what do you think? Hit "Review" and let me know!