He Can't, He Won't

"Forgive me."

He can't.


He won't.

There is no point in going to the trouble when he knows how it will end. And end it will. It always ends. It always happens the same way and the outcome never fails to remain the same.

There is always fighting and negative words exchanged and glares and folded arms. There are looks between them and dark eyes, hooded eyes, speaking the few words neither of them can admit to let alone speak aloud with their mouths.

It is an endless cycle. They build each other up and then crash down in a magnificent collision, only to do it again and again. Again. A stalemate. A tug-o-war where they're both pulling with equal strength. A game that cannot be won by either of them. That is what it has become.

"Forgive me," she says again.

He shakes his head. "I can't keep doing this."

"Give me a chance. I'm ready. I'm here. Isn't that what you wanted?"

It is what he wanted. But things have changed. He has changed and she sure as hell has changed too. "You left. You came back. I was ready then. You left again and came back again. And now I'm finished. I'm tired, Inara."

He hates to see the pain in her eyes. He looks away. "Best we both move on."