"Who is it now?" Kaylee whined. "I wanna work in peace!"

River looked towards the door. Her heart raced. "Captain's here."

Kaylee got up and answered the door.

"Cap'in! Hi!" she was overly bright. Well, brighter than usual.

"Hey there little Kaylee, I-"

"I'm on my way out. Simon said somethin' 'bout apologizin'…"

"Yeah he-"


She brushed past him with a not-so-subtle shove into the room.

He stood in the middle of the bridge facing River. She looked at him with a nervous smile.

"Hello Captain."



"I um…was talkin' to your brother a minute ago…"

"…about…?" she asked timidly.

"Oh um…stuff."

More silence.

"Uh…you popped up. In the conversation, I mean…not in a literal…well, you couldn't of…you were…yeah…"

She nodded as a signal to continue.

"…so…he mentioned…you threw a toy at him…"

"He interrupted."

"I ain't judgin'…I thought it was funny."

"It was."

A beat.

"I uh…heard somethin'…but I don't know if it's true…"

"What was it?"

"Are you…I mean, do you…do you…" he fumbled and tried to get the point across with a hand motion. This was one of those moments where he was glad that she was a mind reader.

"Do I like you?"




"Do you like me like that?"

Gorram girl turning the gorram tables.

"I…uh…we…this…it…" he cleared his throat. "Maybe."

"Maybe?" she frowned. "Maybe?"

"Maybehaps I don't have an answer. Maybehaps I can't answer."

"You aren't making sense."

"I know I'm not makin' sense! You can't just turn the question 'round on me like that without warnin'!"

"Now you're warned. Do you like me like that?"

"But I asked first."

"I'm asking now."

"Do you like me?"

"Captain," she sighed. "Can't play in circles all day. Bound to get dizzy."

"Then you answer first."

"You're a child."

"I am not!"

"Proving my point."

"Answer first."


"Yes what? Yes you'll answer first, or yes you like me?"


"Yes what?"

"I like you."

"Like me like that?"

"Yes. Your turn. Do you like me?"


"Like that?"


"You're not just saying that?"


"No you aren't just saying that or no you are saying that?"

"You ain't makin' sense either."

"I'm crazy. I'm allowed to make no sense from time to time."

"So you…like me?"

"How many times do I have to say yes?"

"You shouldn't."

"But I do."

"I shouldn't."

"But you do too."

"Now what?"

"Isn't this where one of us asks the other one out?"

"…that would make sense."

"It would."

"River, do you wanna-"


"Is this when I'm supposed to-"



He crossed to the front of the pilot's seat and offered her a hand up. She got up and he bent down to kiss her. She kissed back a little harder than he expected and they toppled onto the consol. The dinosaur toys flew off onto the floor, but they were too focused on what they were doing and who they were doing it with to notice.

The door was still open and Kaylee had been spying the entire time. She cheered, somewhat quietly, and then turned towards Jayne who had just arrived in the corridor.

"I win," she smiled.

He peered into the room where they were still engaged in a battle of the tongues across the consol. "Gorramit," he grumbled. "I hate my life."