Mal: There's a chance you might want to head back to the ship.
Inara: Oh, I'm all right. This is entertaining, actually.
Mal: Yeah? What's entertaining?
Inara: I like watching the game. As with other situations, the key seems to be giving Jayne a heavy stick and standing back.
Mal: Still, might ought to clear out before too much longer. Seems there's a thief about.
Inara: A thief?
Mal: Took this right off him. Now they earned that with the sweat of their slave-trading brows.
Mal: Aw, terrible shame. Course they won't discover it till they go order their next round of drinks.
Mal: Good drinker, that one.
Wash: Seem to you we cleared out of Santo in a hurry?
Zoe: Seems we do that a lot. Heard tell though, we're going to stay a while on Persephone.
Zoe: Yeah? Thought you'd get land crazy that long in port.
Wash: Probably, but I've been sane a long while now, and change is good.
Zoe: Starting to get familiar too, like a second home.
Mal: Persephone ain't home. Too many people we got to avoid. Re-supply, look for work, move along. Sniff the air, we don't kiss the dirt.
Zoe: Wasn't planning on the dirt-kissing, sir.
Wash: Besides, I wouldn't stand for it anyway, Captain, jealous man like me.
Mal: Making plans? "Atherton Wing". He's a regular, ain't he?
Inara: I've seen him before.
Mal: Oh, I never did. Not what I pictured - young. Must be rich too, to afford your rates.
Inara: I suppose. He has engaged me for several days.
Mal: Days!? Boy must have stamina.
Inara: He does.
Mal: Well...fine. Is he letting you out at all?
Inara: Actually, we're attending a ball tomorrow night.
Mal: Tell me, do all the men there pay for their dates, or just the young rich ones with stamina?
Inara: Most of the women in there will not be Companions, if that's what you're asking. Perhaps the other men couldn't attract one.
Mal: Hmm. It's sounds like the finest party I can imagine getting paid to go to.
Inara: I don't suppose you'd find it up to standards of your outings. More conversation and somewhat less petty theft and getting hit with pool cues. I understand if you need to go prepare for that "It's 10 in the morning" issue.
Mal: Yeah. Better go do that. 'Cause I think this is more of an evening look.
Kaylee: Oh, look at the pretties!
Wash: What am I looking at, the girls or the clothes?
Jayne: There's clothes?
Zoe: The clothes, please.
Kaylee: Say, look at the fluffy one.
Zoe: Too much foofaraw. If I'm going to wear a dress, I'd want something with some slink.
Wash: You want a slinky dress? I can buy you a slinky dress. Captain, can I have money for a slinky dress?
Jayne: I'll chip in.
Zoe: I can hurt you.
Kaylee: I like the ruffles. Inara gets to wear whatever she wants.
Mal: What are you going to do in that rig? Flounce around the engine room? Be like a sheep walking on its hind legs.
Zoe: See ya on the ship, Captain.
Jayne: Is she mad or something?
Mal: Seems the last time there was a chance for a little palaver we were all manner of unwelcome.
Jayne: This ain't bad.
Badger: There's a trick to it: wood-alcohol.
Mal: Now we're favored guests... treated to the finest in beverages that make you blind. So what is it you need?
Badger: He won't deal with me direct. He's taken an irrational dislike.
Jayne: What happened? He see your face?
Mal: You backed out of a deal last time. Left us hanging.
Jayne: Hurt our feelings.
Mal: You recall why that took place?
Badger: Had a problem with your attitude is why. Felt you was... what's the word?
Badger: Exactly! You think you're better than other people.
Mal: Just the ones I'm better than. And that very quality is the one I think you're placing value on today.
Badger: I'm placing value on the fact that stick up your bottom is about as large as the one Harrow's got.
Badger: I know a place he'll be. Safe place. Using some new-tech gun scans. High-class too. Wouldn't let me in there. You might slip in. Course you couldn't buy an invite with a diamond the size of a testicle, but I got my hands on a couple. Of invites! You want this meeting or not?
Atherton: Half the men in this room wish you were on their arm, tonight.
Inara: Only half? I must be losing my indefinable allure.
Atherton: Oh, its not that indefinable. All of them wish they were in your bed.
Inara: I'm looking for the boy with the shimmerwine.
Atherton: Oh, she blushes. Not many in your line of work do that. You are a very singular woman. And I find... I find I admire you more and more.
Mal: Does... um... does this seem kind of tight?
Kaylee: Shows off your backside. Did you see the chandelier? It's hovering!
Mal: What's the point of that, I wonder?
Kaylee: Oh! Mangoes!
Mal: I mean, I see how they did it. I just ain't getting the why.
Kaylee: These girls have the most beautiful dresses. And so do I -- how about that?
Mal: Yeah, well, just be careful. We cheated Badger out of good money to buy that frippery, and you're supposed to make me look respectable.
Kaylee: Yes, sir, Captain Tightpants.
Mal: If we see her. I think she's wearing gold. Okay, help me find our man. He's supposed to be old, kinda stocky, wears a red sash crossways.
Kaylee: Why does he do that?
Mal: Maybe he won the Miss Persephone Pageant. Just help me look.
Kaylee: Is that him?
Mal: That's the buffet table.
Kaylee: Well how can we be sure, unless we question it?
Mal: Fine. Don't make yourself sick.
Zoe: I thought you wanted to spend more time off-ship this visit.
Wash: Out there is seems like its all fancy parties. I like our party better. The dress code is easier and I know all the steps.
Zoe: I'd say you do at that.
Wash: Don't fall asleep now. Sleepiness is weakness of character. Ask anyone. You're acting captain. Know what happens you fall asleep now?
Zoe: Jayne slits my throat and takes over.
Wash: That's right.
Zoe: And we can't stop it.
Wash: Well, I wash my hands of it. It's a hopeless case. I'll read a nice poem at the funeral. Something with imagery.
Zoe: You could lock the door and keep the power-hungry maniac at bay.
Wash: Oh, no, I'm starting to like this poetry idea now. "Here lies my beloved Zoe, my autumn flower, somewhat less attractive now she's all corpsified and gross..."
Kaylee: Aren't they something. They're like butterflies, or little pieces of wrapping paper blowing around.
Banning: Who made your dress, Kaylee?
Kaylee: Oh, do you like it? When I saw the ruffles, I just couldn't resist.
Banning: You ought to see to your girl.
Kaylee: Shah muh?
Banning: Your girl. She's not very good. She made you a dress that looks like you bought it in a store.
Kaylee: Oh, I didn't know.
Murphy: Why Banning Miller. What a vision you are in your fine dress. It must have taken a dozen slaves a dozen days to get you into that getup. 'Course your daddy tells me it takes the space of a schoolboy's wink to get you out of it again. Forgive my rudeness. I cannot abide useless people.
Mal: Beg pardon, but would you be Warrick Harrow?
Harrow: Sir Warrick Harrow. The sash.
Mal: The sash.
Harrow: It indicates lordship.
Mal: And it's... it's doing a great job.
Harrow: Whom do you represent?
Mal: "Represent" isn't exactly the...
Harrow: Don't waste my time.
Mal: Fellow called Badger.
Harrow: I know him. And I think he's a psychotic low-life.
Mal: And I think calling him that is an insult to the psychotic low-life community. But the deal is solid.
Inara: Captain, this is Atherton Wing, Atherton, this is Captain Mal Reynolds.
Mal: Pleased to meet ya. Inara, I didn't realize you were going to this party.
Inara: It's the only party.
Mal: And I can see why. How about that floating chandelier? Almost outshines our girl here.
Mal: Well then, maybe I just wanted to see a professional at work. Is this the hardest part, would you say, or does that come later?
Inara: You have no call to try to make me ashamed of my job. What I do is legal. And how's that smuggling coming?
Mal: My work's illegal, but at least it's honest.
Mal: Well this, the lie of it. That man parading you around on his arm as if he actually won you, as if he loves you, and everyone here actually going along with it.
Inara: These people like me and I like them. I like Atherton too by the way.
Mal: Well sure, what's not to like. I'm liable to sleep with him myself.
Inara: And he likes me, whether you see it or not. He's made me an offer. You may think he doesn't honor me, but he wants me to live here. I'd be his personal companion. I could belong here. Call me pretentious but there is some appeal in that.
Mal: You're right. Got no call to stop you. You've got the right to a decent life.
Inara: I see Kaylee's here.
Mal: Yeah, crying Cinderella tears. You should have seen her when I told he she could have that layer cake she's wearing.
Inara: I think she looks adorable.
Mal: Yeah, but I never said it.
Mal: Whoa now. Watch yourself. Ain't no need for hands on.
Atherton: Excuse me, she's not here with you, Captain. She's mine.
Mal: Yours? She don't belong to nobody.
Atherton: Money changed hands, which makes her mine tonight. And no matter how you dress her up she's still...
Mal: Turns out this is my kind of party.
Inara: Oh, Mal.
Mal: What? Man was out of line.
Mal: What? You all talking about a fight? That's fine. Let's get out of here.
Inara: It's not a fist fight, Mal.
Gentleman: The duel will be met tomorrow morning at Cadrie Pond.
Mal: Well, why wait? Where's that guard? He collected a whole mess of pistols.
Gentleman: If you require it, any gentleman here can give you use of a sword.
Mal: Use of a swo... what?
Mal: You taking on this job... being my second... does this mean we're in business?
Harrow: It means you're in mortal danger. But you mussed up Atherton's face, and that has endeared you to me somewhat. You might even give him a fight, before he guts you.
Kaylee: Up until the punching, it was a real nice party.
Book: A duel?
Wash: With swords?
Simon: Captain's a good fighter, he must know how to handle a sword.
Zoe: I think he knows which end to hold.
Mal: Whoa! What are you doing here?
Inara: Atherton's a heavy sleeper the night before a big day. He's got that killing in the morning, and a haircut later.
Mal: Such a comfort, having friends visit at a time like this.
Mal: I don't suppose I like being kept by him as much as others do. So, how come you're still attached to him?
Inara: Because it's my decision, not yours.
Mal: I thought he made it pretty clear he has no regard for you.
Inara: You did manage to push him into saying something, yes. Made a nice justification for the punch.
Mal: Well, he insulted you. I hit him. Seemed like the thing to do.
Jayne: Only if his attention's elsewhere. What we need's a diversion. I say Zoe gets nekkid.
Jayne: I could get nekkid.
Badger: Who's that then? Here, look at me. What's your story, love?
Simon: She's... just a... just a passenger.
Badger: Yeah? Why ain't she talking? She got a secret?
River: Sure, I got a secret. More than one. Don't seem likely I'd tell 'em to you now, do it? Anyone off Dyton Colony knows better than to talk to strangers. You're talking loud enough for the both of us though, ain'tcha? I've known a dozen like you. Skipped off home early, running graft jobs here and there. Spent some time in the lock down, but less than you claim. And you're what? Petty thief with delusions of standing? Sad, little king of a sad, little hill.
Badger: Nice to see someone from the old homestead.
River: Not really. Call me if anyone interesting shows up.
Badger: I like her.
Jayne: That there -- exactly the kind of diversion we could have used.
Inara: How did I avoid that?
Mal: By being fast like a freak?
Inara: No, because you always attack the same way, swinging from the shoulder like you were chopping wood. You have to thrust with the point sometimes, or swing from the elbow.
Mal: Swinging from the shoulder feels stronger.
Inara: It's also slower, Mal. You don't need strength as much as speed. We're fragile creatures. It takes less than a pound of pressure to cut skin.
Mal: You know that? They teach you that in whore academy?
Inara: You have a strange sense of nobility Captain. You'll lay a man out for calling me a whore, and yet you keep calling me one to my face.
Mal: I might not show respect to your job, but he didn't respect you. That's the difference. Inara, he doesn't even see you.
Inara: You are always breaking the rules, no matter what society you're in! You don't get along with ordinary criminals either, which is why you're constantly getting in trouble.
Mal: You think following the rules will buy you a nice life, even if the rules make you a slave. Don't take his offer.
Mal: Don't do it. Because in the case it happens it means he's the fella that killed me and I don't like fellas that kill me, just in general. I said before I don't have call to stop you, and that's true, but anyways, don't.
Mal: Best be careful, Ath. Hear these things are sharp.
Harrow: He thinks he's doing well, doesn't he?
Inara: He's being toyed with.
Harrow: He's down. You have to finish it, lad. You have to finish it. For a man to lie beaten, and yet breathing? It makes him a coward.
Inara: It's humiliation.
Mal: Sure, it's humiliating. Having to lie there while the better man refuses to spill your blood. Mercy is the mark of a great man. Guess I'm just a good man. Well, I'm all right.
Atherton: Inara. Inara!
Harrow: You've lost her lad. Be gracious.
Atherton: You set this up, whore. After I bought and paid for you. I should have uglied you up so much no one else'd want you.
Mal: See how I'm not punching him? I think I've grown.
Atherton: Well get ready to starve. I'll see that you never work again.
Inara: Actually, that's not how it works. You see, you've earned yourself a black mark in the client registry. No Companion is ever going to contract with you, ever again.
Harrow: You'll have to rely on your winning personality to get women. God help you.
Harrow: ou didn't have to wound that man.
Mal: Yeah, I know, it was just funny.
Jayne: We was just about to spring into action, Captain. Complicated escape and rescue op.
Wash: I was going to watch. It was very exciting.
Inara: Are you in pain?
Mal: Absolutely. I got stabbed, you know, right here.
Inara: I saw.
Mal: Don't care much for fancy parties. Too rough.
Inara: It wasn't entirely a disaster.
Mal: I got stabbed! Right here!
Inara: You also lined up exciting new crime.
Inara: I am grateful, you know, for the ill-conceived and high-handed attempt to defend my honor, although I didn't want you to.
Mal: Gracious as that is, looking back, I probably should have stayed out of your world.
Inara: My world? If it is that. I wasn't going to stay, you know.
Mal: Yeah? Why is that?
Inara: Oh, someone needs to keep Kaylee out of trouble. And all my things are here. Besides, why would I want to leave Serenity?
Mal: Can't think of a reason.