Simon's found himself in Shuttle Two -- clinic supplies and organization. Being as prepared as he could possibly be.
If such a thing is possible.
"You're sure we don't need to put down?" Mal asks, not announcing himself before walking into the converted Shuttle Two. Mal hasn't gotten really around to liking the concept of Simon going in the shuttle instead of Serenity.
"Kaylee hasn't mentioned -- "
"That weren't the point." Even with Mal being distinctly less technically proficient than his mechanic, even he knows that the fuel they burned through to get here makes orbiting Lilac a far better prospect than trying to land and break atmo again.
"And you're takin' Kaylee with you." Still matter-of-fact, but a mild tone of surprise.
"I'll need the help."
That's when Simon straightens from his reorganization of an instrument tray, an expression of puzzlement. "It's what needs to be done."
It's a simple answer, direct and (as far as Mal can tell) the whole truth.
Mal offers to help move boxes and rearrange things. It's easier than finding something else to say that could remotely be interpreted as helpful.
When there were no more tools to sterilize, no more gauze to stow, "Let me know if there's anythin' needs doin' before we hit orbit." Simon nods, and Mal starts to head out of the shuttle.
"My kind o' stupid."