Keep Flying

Prompt: #003 A Call From Heaven

Notes: Written for 30angsts

"She needs help, Mal," Inara told the Captain carefully as they walked toward the bridge, side by side. "You should try to talk to her." She glanced up to catch Mal's eye and shot him a reasoning look.

Mal nodded slowly and thoughtfully chewed on his bottom lip. "And what do you suppose I say to her then? That it's all gonna be okay?" His voice was level and more matter-of-fact than bitter.

"I…I'm not sure," Inara replied quietly, understanding completely where he was coming from. She'd had her doubts about the idea herself. "But we've got to do something! She was almost killed on the last job and you told me yourself that it should've been a really simple heist, too! She'll get someone killed, Mal. Maybe herself. Maybe you."

At her last words, Inara dropped her gaze, her voice wavering slightly at the idea of losing anyone else. Book and Wash had been bad enough, but Zoe too? Or Mal? She just couldn't take it. Especially if it was Mal.

"Hey, Inara," Mal reached out and placed a soothing hand on her shoulder. "It'll be alright. I ain't going nowhere, long as I can help it and Zoe…well, I'll talk to her. I'll confine her to the ship if I have to!"

Inara nodded silently and forced back the tears that were threatening to fall. Lately, she'd been having trouble keeping her emotions in check. It seemed to get harder every day. "Okay," she murmured in agreement.

Mal pushed a strand of hair back behind her ear and automatically leaned in to kiss her forehead. Pulling back slowly, he caught her eye. "Inara. Not nobody on this boat is gettin' a call from heaven any time soon. We're all stayin' right on here for now. I want you to know that, okay?"

Inara smiled weakly and nodded again.

"Good," Mal said. "Best get to Zoe an' convince her the same, too. We've gotta keep in the air. Gotta keep flying."