The plain-looking newscaster Serenity is picking up from god only knows which moon they're passing is relaying some drivel or other before Mal tunes in on the words political candidacy and press conference recorded live today.
Mal sure as ruttin' hell hopes they're not asleep at their chairs at the moment, because finally - finally - there is something on worth watching.
"Doc? Anybody?" Mal calls down the main corridor leading from the bridge. "Gabriel's about to start talkin' front of a lot o' folk, and he looks business."
The timid smile on Kaylee's face calmed Mal, before a smirk of one crossed Simon's face as well.
Jubal's gone. River did it. Again.
Cough. "Good. One less thorn in our paw." A true grin, and Kaylee and Simon walk off again, probably to go tell someone else.
All alone in the kitchen, tea steeping, Mal lets out a loud "YES! TAKE THAT YOU HUN DAN!" while dancing in as masculine a manner as possible around the table.
He hopes River can hear him, if no one else.
He's too engrossed in his writing to hear anyone come in.
Late in ship's afternoon, Mal looks to his latest project - two small pieces of notarized paper, obviously worn and showing multiple wax seals on the outside of the paper sheathes - with a final glance of satisfaction. Folding it in an altogether practiced motion, Mal smoothly climbs the ladder out of his bunk, starting to make his rounds through the ship, hoping to catch one or two people in particular.
This is why Mal is grimacing at the small pile of balled up pieces of it in a corner around his wastebasket.
If he's gonna make good on Kaylee's dare, he's gonna do it right, gorramit.
Picture finally done, Mal leaves his bunk and makes short work of the distance between there and Inara's shuttle. Walking in without knocking, he thrusts the piece of folded paper into Inara's confused hands without speaking.
Well, that's what it sounds like, but it's really a two-legged man with a metal-tipped cane rapping against the grating of the main corridor.
He's a friendly one though, so no worries there. He may have a little trepidation in his voice though, when he calls into the engine room to see if Kaylee's in there.
"How's things goin'?"
David almost got him today, though.
Talking with Kaylee in the cargo bay, Mal saw the now-familiar image meandering around them both. Stopping behind Kaylee, David raised his hands and moved menacingly toward Kaylee's throat.
"Kay--" Mal had interrupted her more loudly than is ever required for polite conversation.
"Cap'n?" Kaylee returned worriedly, following his gaze back over her own shoulder.
David smiled and vanished.
"Nothin'," Mal covered weakly, mumbling something about her needing to double-check something for him.
Much later, back in his bunk, Mal finds David sitting on his bed, propping his feet on the back of Mal's chair.
Mal ignores the grin on David's face, inserting another soother into the pressure injector and rolling up his sleeve.
"Why do you go through all that?" David asks snidely.
With a hiss and the soother fully injected, Mal heaves a sigh as David disappears. "Because I have to."
Mal heads for the engine room and an empty hammock.
"If you're on your back, you're either dead or you're hidin' and I ain't got no use for either," Mal bellows to the cluster of witless privates in the next trench junction over from his position. Mal curses at them; they don't move. He can't get to them yet, so he checks his ammo. Rifle's good, his sidearm's fantastic. He hasn't made any up-close kills yet.
"Zoe? Where you at, gorramit?"
Mal shifts position in Kaylee's hammock.
The first conscious thought that occurs to Captain Reynolds is that he is very cold, and that this condition might be due to the fact he has no shirt on and is lying facedown on an examination table.
Mal quickly attempts getting up - too quickly - and immediately falls back down on the table, pain zipping through his right side.
Once it passes through Mal's head that he should look around this room he's in, he might see Simon's meticulously-ordered medical supplies throughout this sterile room.
And the person about to enter into it.