Disclaimer: I do not own Firefly, nor Serenity.
When he asks her if she's ready to get back to her civilized life, she says she doesn't know. But the truth is… she does. She knows she's leaving- for good this time- but she doesn't know when. Maybe she won't have to, if he manages to finally gather the courage or general feeling to say… something. Anything.
But he doesn't.
And when she tells him she's leaving, he doesn't believe her. She's left before. He will never think it's real. She wants to shake him, force him to realize what she's saying. If he doesn't fix this, it'll always be broke.
But he doesn't fix it. He doesn't do anything.
When they stand, outside of the ship, a busy marketplace before them, he still doesn't believe her. She takes one last, brazen chance to make him ask her to stay. She kisses him lightly on the mouth, telling him with the gentlest touch that it's not too late. But she knows, before she even pulls away, that he won't be asking her any favors. He's the strongest man she's ever known, but at the moment she finds that stubborn resistance a less than redeeming quality. He stands stonily, staring at her, and there is no emotion in his eyes.
She turns and marches into the crowd, half wishing he would chase after her.
But he doesn't.
What she doesn't realize is that he's a strong enough man not to show his true feelings. And those feelings are anything but indifference.
But she knows nothing of his feelings, because although he is strong while fighting, it's the peace he can't control. She makes him weak, even though she can't see this; she confuses him until he doesn't know who he is anymore.
She spins him about.
So it hurts more, in the wake of the battle, during which her heart has already been broken. She believes he doesn't care, and he lets her believe that, because he isn't ready to face her. But he will be. Someday.
Someday is the day when he will pass through the storm, pass into something else, something better, and she will be there. Clear and free of unpleasant change, shining bright and steady.
She is Serenity.
This thought comforts her slightly. It's the thought that someday will come, and she's willing to wait as long as it takes.
She's torn up plenty, but she'll fly true.
And she does.