River grabs the orange ball from Jayne's hands. He doesn't expect it. But Simon, watching her, does. Orange was the color of her dress for her first fall piano recital when she was seven. Simon held her hand and fed her ginger root to calm her nerves. She was the best novice pianist and everyone knew it. Simon was already her doctor.
When Kaylee laughs at Jayne's shocked face, the sounds rings out against Serenity's hull. It sounds like the morning bells in New Beijing, the capital of Sihnon, where her grandparents live. She'd wake with the morning bells, a little bird singing alone as Simon covered his head with a pillow.
Jayne lifts River higher and in order to dunk the ball in the hoop made of string. Her parents never let her have a cat. She watched the mewling kittens in the window, begging her father to buy her one. One single tabby cat to keep her company when Simon was at school. She didn't start until the next year. She's surprised by Jayne lifting her higher. He isn't on her team.
Simon claps for her from the sidelines. She knows that he doesn't like sweat. Like the end of her piano recitals, she curtsies for him and blows him a kiss. The bells of Sihnon singing behind her. She wonders if she's more his sister or the kitten in the window.