Unless There's a Reason

"We aren't setting foot planet side," Mal said, shaking his head. "Not this time."

"Why not?" Inara frowned, suspecting she already knew the reason.

"No time. Jobs to get delivered, jobs to set up. Gotta keep busy."

Close enough. She'd been wondering for some time now how exactly Mal had been staying so calm after the events of Miranda. Now she had her answer: he wasn't.
He was using jobs - and his crew - to keep himself constantly distracted and busy, so he wouldn't have to deal with whatever emotions that had bound themselves to him.

He was ignoring the situation and probably hoping everything would, one day, go away and be fine again. But it wouldn't.

"I need to work, Mal." She paused, and then it occurred to her there was another reason Mal kept them moving from place to place, avoiding all possible places she could acquire work. "Unless there's a reason for me to stop?"

"What do you mean?"

She turned, her face heating up. "I might be persuaded to change career if there's a good enough reason."

"Then stop," he said.

"Why, Mal? Tell me."

"Because... because..." He huffed in annoyance and then reached out and kissed her. When he pulled away, both were breathless. "You... you are so damn frustrating sometimes."

Inara smiled. "I think you'll find I'm quite skilled at grifting."

"Front woman?" he said.

"I'll get us jobs," she agreed. "And I get a share in the profit."

Mal pulled her close again. "I think we can come to some sort of arrangement," he agreed, before kissing her once more.

fin.