With a final stomp and twist of the foot, Mal dispatches the last Reaver. Heaving with testosterone, he turns to his crew.
"Look, I know some of you are unhappy with me and the way I have run this ship. I know you have had your doubts about me as your leader. I respect that. I'm sure many of you have thought you could do a superior job. That's simply not true. It's not. I run this ship. I run it well. Yet time and again, you ignore this fact. And while competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point, cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off. If we are to have any hope against the next wave of Reavers, I need you with me. Who still believes in me?"
River, with the courage of a thousand suns, stands. "I am with you, sir. I am with you implicitly."
Wash is the next to rise. "I know we are in an unstable environment right now, fiscally and physically. But our ship has seen worse and survived. I am with you."
"I am with you too," says Zoe. "Also, I am pregnant. It is yours."
"As am I" says Kaylee.
"Me too," says Jayne. "On both accounts."
"Come here, quick. It's hiccuping."
Now, with all of them pledging allegiance to their commander, Mal smiles. He is happy, both for the loyalty and pregnancy of all. A good leader can never cast judgment on his people, he must love them equally. Still privately in his heart, he hopes at least one child will be a boy. He already has two daughters on another planet and daughters are really hard.