Word Count: approx. 550
Summary: Fluff!Drabble! You know the old saying, “Lucky at cards, unlucky at love”... Who believes in those old sayings anyway?
“Gorramit, Inara!” Mal cursed, throwing his cards to the table.
Inara struggled mightily to bite back her smirk. “How many is that now,” she asked innocently.
“Six, as you know full well,” he groused back at her. “How the hell do you keep doin’ that? I was more’n twenty gorram points up on you, an’ every damn time you fleece me at the end. You're cheatin’!” he accused.
“I’m not cheating!” she denied, unable to keep the laughter from her voice. While she was a strong card player, she'd had a crazy run of luck, not that she was going to let Mal know that.
“I ain't gonna sit here an’ keep gettin’ my pigu handed to me,” he said, pushing away from the table.
“Wait, don't go,” she persuaded, reaching for him. “We’ll play something else,” she suggested tugging on his hand.
He gave her a disgusted look but sat down again and she could see the smile trying to fight its way on to his face.
“Come on, what would you like to play?”
“None a’ your fancy Core games this time. Somethin’ straightforward, like poker.”
“Cribbage is hardly a ‘fancy Core game’, Mal,” she chided, laughing as she caught the grin on his face.
“Jus’ deal out five a’ them cards, darlin’,” he said, feeling more sure of himself. Poker was his game. He'd spent more that a little down time playing with the ranch hands back home when he was a kid and if there was one thing he knew, it was poker.
“I… You can’t be that lucky!” Mal moaned as Inara beat him again, laying out her cards with a flourish. “‘S there any way I'm gonna come out a’ this night with a shred a’ dignity?”
“Not likely,” Inara said, grinning wickedly. “Now lose ‘em, mister,” she said, nodding at his undershorts.
“You know, if you wanted to see me naked all's you had to do was ask,” he said, smirking at her.
“I’ve seen it,” she reminded him. “Now quit stalling.”
“You gonna leave me my modesty?” he asked. Inara rolled her eyes with a smirk and turned her head away slightly while he whipped off his shorts and sat back down.
Grinning, he held them out to her, waving them a bit in an effort to get her to touch them.
“On the pile, please,” she said, motioning to where the rest of his clothes sat next to her. Mal shook his head in a self deprecating manner and tossed them with the rest.
“Alright, one last hand,” he said, reaching for the cards.
“You don't have any clothes left,” she pointed out as he dealt their hands. “What exactly are you going to bet?”
Smirking, he leaned across the table and whispered in her ear.
She met his eyes as he pulled back, lips parting slightly as her heart rate sped up and her breathing quickened. “Really?” she said, eyebrows raising, biting her lip as her eyes gleamed.
“Mmmhmm,” he said, smiling broadly.
She looked at her hand; looked at him. Back to her hand. Drew herself up, as prim and proper as she knew how and laid her cards face down on the table, unable to fight the grin of anticipation that spread across her lips.