Serenity glides through the night.
Through a window onto the bridge. Mal stands alone. Wears his browncoat as usual.
Gazes around. Wanders the bridge, lightly touches the back of the chair, the controls, almost without thinking.
Mal wanders around the ship aimlessly, calling out for each of his crew members in turn as he nears the expected area of the ship.
The kitchen. “Shepherd?”
The infirmary. “Doc?”
The corridor. “Zoe? I think I have a problem with my crew being missing.”
The engine room. “Kaylee oughta brighten things up, even on account of the crew bein' missin'. Kaylee?”
Another corridor. “River? Lil' albatross? Probably wanderin' the ship, tryin' to find where the crew's got to...”
He approaches Inara's shuttle. Prepares to enter, then stops. Knocks.
Mal gingerly steps through to Inara's shuttle. Looks around.
“The one time I knock...”
Mal re-enters the main ship. Heads to the corridor with the sleeping quarters.
“Jayne? Hate to say this, but...my days of missing you about the place are certainly coming to a...start.”
Mal continues wandering the ship, caressing it gently as he goes.
Sings softly to himself: “…you can’t take the sky from me…”
Then wakes with a start.
Runs into the corridor, yelling the names of his crew. “Wash! Zoe! Kaylee! River! Shepherd! Inara! Doc! Even Jayne!”
The noise wakes the crew, and they exit their cabins.
Jayne: (grumbling) “Was a good deal richer before I woke up...”
Simon: “Trouble sleeping, Captain?”
Inara: “No need to pass it on to the rest of us.”
River: “Back to sleep soon. Two by two, sheep by sheep...”
Kaylee: (rubbing her eyes) “Where'd the hamsters go? Hamster dreams is nice...”
Mal looks around at each of his crew in turn.
All present and correct, except...
Zoe shakes her head.
Zoe: “They...they didn't make it, sir.”
Mal stares into the space in the corridor where he expects Wash and Book to be, trying to process the news.
Zoe gives him an awkward side-hug. Pats his back.
Zoe: “There...there. Sir.”
Kaylee: “Rest of us are shiny as can be, given the circumstances, Cap'n. Not to fret.”