I should have just stayed on the bridge. I could have just sent Kaylee to inform Inara that we were going to move out of town a piece. Hell, I could have sent Jayne. He couldn't have mucked up a simple task as much as I had, considering. Or, second thought, I suppose he could of. Plus, it's not like we were blasting off to the Outer Rim. Just down the road, nothing extravagant. Instead, I had to go to her shuttle myself and say everything wrong. I'm the captain and I take it on precedence that it's my job.
Apparently I was being offensive in asking exactly how much longer it was going to take her to pack her stuff up and ship it to wherever she'd live next. A neutral question if I ever heard one. And why exactly is asking if she would be staying with a client or in a whorehouse none of my business? I was just making conversation. Expressing concern for a friend's well-being wasn't a crime, nor was it a punishable-by-having-a-teacup-thrown-at-o
Before he could darken my mood further, I snapped, "Inara'll stay put. She's still taking down her shuttle, plus she's got more business in town here. Very important and very private business that neither you nor I could possibly understand. When she's done, she'll come out and meet us. Dong ma?"
Jayne gave me a wide berth and let me pass without further explanation. He might have even given me a conciliatory "hurrumph." Even if Jayne Cobb's way with women was akin to a caveman dragging home a girl carcass, he knew a little about what I was going through. All men did.
Back on the bridge, I sat at the external ops console and stabilized Serenity's struts as Inara's... ah, MY shuttle detached and settled to the shipyard. Sighing heavily, I turned in my chair to address Wash. Zoe was still fussing, in her completely not-fussing way, over Wash's injury.
"Was that a surly detachment, you figure, Wash? Seemed abrupt. Like a teenager stomping to their room, you think?" I asked, flipping the Cortex switch to off. I had a squawk box somewhere around here that would scramble our outgoing signals until we could make it to the box canyon Wash'd indicated earlier.
Zoe looked at me vexedly. I grumbled and put down the squawk. Apologizing, I amended my statement: "Sorry, there, Wash. Ignore my insanity. It's temporary. We'll get the doctor up here as soon as we land elsewhere. Get you all patched up. And then you can regale us with your tale of getting stabbed at the free market."
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