"She do that a lot?" Malcolm Reynolds asked, voice low as he glared at his crewmate.
Jayne Cobb glanced at the Captain, and then at the young girl who sat, legs swinging, on the decking above them.
"Yup. She seems to like watching the weights," he shrugged, placing no more significance on it than he did any other of River's unfathomable actions. Bracing his arms above him, he hefted down the weight bar and held it steady, veins popping out on his forehead with the strain.
"Seems odd to me, that she'd do that," Mal continued, resting one booted foot on the edge of the bench and glaring at Jayne with renewed intensity. Sighing, Jayne pushed the bar back on to its rest and sat up. He obviously wasn't going to get out of the conversation that easily.
"She just likes watching the weights. Does the same with the Shepherd, but for some reason you ain't questionin' him."
"Because the Shepherd wouldn't take advantage of a young girl's obvious interest, that's why. Jayne, if I ever find out you've touched her in a way that's not appropriate….."
"Hey!" Jayne growled, not liking the way this conversation was going, "I ain't plannin' on touching that moon-brain!"
"And what if she plans on touching you?" Mal asked, quietly.
Jayne's eyebrows shot into his hairline.
"She ain't ever shown any interest in anybody, in that way….."
"Well, maybe she plans on startin'. That's all I'm saying, Jayne. Just don't mess with her."
"Fine." Even Jayne could see when there was no point in continuing to argue. The Captain nodded, apparently satisfied, and walked away. Jayne settled back down on to the weight bench and glanced upwards. River was still there, though her legs were now still. She had a half-smile on her face and an odd look in her eyes.
"What you smilin' at?" He shouted up, not really expecting a reply.
"What would you do, Jayne?" She called back, laughter lacing her voice.
"What would you do, if I decided to dance with you? Would you know the steps, or would I have to lead?"
Somehow, Jayne didn't think she was talking about dancing.
"I don't dance, girl," he growled, not liking the turn the conversation was taking.
"You don't kiss on the mouth, either – but I could teach you the moves. We could make a nice rhythm, you and I, if you would let me….."
"Ain't ever gonna happen, little girl." He said with finality.
River gazed down at him, laughter gone.
"You could stop the voices," she all but whispered, "you could still the noise. We could make a great silence together."
Jayne shivered and stood up abruptly.
"I'm goin' to my bunk. You'd best get that brother of yours to stick you with whatever it is he sticks you with. You're sounding crazier than normal." He stalked off, not looking back.
From her perch, River smiled and tangled a lock of hair around her finger.
"Inevitable," she whispered to herself, "like the rain."
River could see the future, and she knew that Jayne Cobb was definitely in hers.