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Stained Stubborn

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The pilot's chair is wrecked: the upholstery torn and stained in blood.

"Need a new chair," Zoe says.

"That we do." Mal bows his head, a pose that reminds Zoe of Serenity Valley.

Zoe picks up the mop and runs it through the sticky blood. The blood sticks to the floor, refusing to budge, as stubborn as the man who shed it.

Mal's hand covers hers. "You don't need to do that."

"Yes. I do." The resolve in her voice is all that keeps her from breaking.

"Come here." It's harder not to cry with the Captain's arms around her.