Kaylee left Mal's quarters feeling as though the entire situation had been left unresolved. Frowning the whole way, she walked from the crew quarters to the galley with her hands in her pockets, her eyes trained on her feet and the floor in front of them as she walked. She felt a little guilty, something she hadn't realized when she'd been talking to Mal. She had spent a lot of time explaining how she was concerned for his feelings and his wellbeing. She knew full well that his feelings, at least where Inara (or any woman, for that matter) was concerned, were none of her business. She had gone ahead and made it her business. Now she was beginning to realize that it really hadn't been her place. She had already known that she shouldn't stick her nose where it didn't belong, that she shouldn't meddle in other people's affairs, particularly her captain's. The full meaning of that just hadn't really sunk in until now.
She felt rotten by the time she reached the galley, slumping into a seat at the far end of the table, not bothering to get up and get herself some breakfast. She wasn't hungry anymore. While part of her really was concerned about Mal and his wellbeing, and how Inara's leaving would effect him, she now knew that most of what she had said had been projection. It had been her feelings she was most worried about, not Mal's. She shut her eyes and groaned, directing her face towards the table and resting her forehead in her hands. Some part of her wished that Mal could do something to make Inara stay. Some part of her wished, maybe even knew that if the right strings were pulled... he could have that kind of power.
But he wouldn't do it. He wouldn't make Inara stay... and Kaylee was beginning to realize that he shouldn't. No matter how much she hated the idea of Inara leaving, the choice was Inara's and noone else's. Kaylee was beginning to realize how selfish she'd been... how selfish she still was.
She didn't know how she could make things better for herself, or for Mal, or for anyone else. All she knew was that she had to talk to Inara just once more before they parted ways for good.
((Open to anyone!))
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