Next Step: Straight To Video
Mal seats himself in the cockpit, in Wash's seat, surrounded by Wash's toy dinosaurs. He looks out of place as he flips switches, pushes buttons, gets her ready to take off. "So," he smirks to his left, to the other pilot's station, "you gonna ride shotgun with me? Help me fly?"
Across the cockpit sits River, flipping switches and pushing buttons with the abandon born of insanely fast mental calculation. "That's the plan." He watches her. "Think you can work out..."
Serenity takes off into the rain, angling up into the sky, toward the sun. "Okay. Clearly some aptitude for the..." Outclassed again, he gulps. "It ain't all buttons and charts, little albatross." She spares him a glancing grin. "You know what the first rule of flying is?" he asks her, and she looks at him seriously. "Well, I suppose you do," he nearly chuckles, "since you already know what I'm about to say." She smiles at him, full of love, those places in her head and heart formerly occupied by secrets and ugliness and too much razor truth now empty, now filled with love for all the things he has done that she couldn't drop the act and acknowledge. They've already done the work, in the action and in the protection, in the love. She smiles at him, completely lucid, completely cogent.
"I do. But I like to hear you say it."
He nods. "Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turn of the worlds."
She pulls up her knees, resting, like a girl. Like a daughter. "Love keeps her in the air when she ought to fall down tells you she's hurting before she keels. Makes her a home."
They look, together, through the windscreen, at the rain. It's coming faster as they rise. "Storm's getting worse," he notes, finished with speaking. And it is. Their mission now makes survival look like a child's game. The storm only gets worse once you've made that call. "We'll pass through it soon enough," she says, not taking her eyes off the road. She's right, too.
The music gets sweet, sweeter, becoming majestic as Serenity flies through the rain, through the turmoil, through a moon off balance, its ion clouds and rain and thunder coming down, chaos and nature and the things you can't watch out for. And as the music goes apocalyptically beautiful, she breaks through the clouds, and into the sun. And then into the black. A piece flies off her nose, toward the camera. Fade to black.
Mal: "What was that?"