More Important Than Others


kincaid_icon.gif russo_icon.gif

Scene Title More Important Than Others
Synopsis The lesser of the Assistant Producers reacts to the unconventional Christmas Show. And Kincaid has a present for the man in front of the camera, too.
Date December 24, 2010

Russo's Office

The aftermath of the Christmas Special had been— well some might say eventful. Others would likely say best avoided. Kincaid was one of those who seemed intent on avoiding what happeened after. Flicking switches and getting everything shut down, switching to commercials and credits as necessary, he left the booth and disappeared for a while. The look on the bosses face as she ran out of the booth could have easily explained it away.

His car remained in the garage, showing he did not leave the building, though he had gone down there for a while. Cars make good hiding spots, complete with packs of cigarettes and music, and privacy. The last being almost more important than the first.

Without looking at the clock, he's not even sure how long it's been since the credits were rolled, before he moves back up the building toward an office, carrying a wrapped present with a card under his arm. A few moments later, he knocks, a quiet knock, and then reaches to open the door. It's like he expects no one to be there.

Oh how he could use a drink. How desperately he could use a drink. Everything happened about the way he'd figured, but Bradley Russo had managed to carry out his plans— for better or worse. And in this case? For richer or poorer. His elbows rest on his desk as his face is hidden behind a veil of fingers. He'd abandoned the Santa hat and ridiculous tie during the first meeting. It was the only way to live.

He'd given up his office bottle of scotch when he'd made a commitment to get better. When the door opens, he doesn't even look up from his hands. Not right away, half expecting to hear Kristen reprimand him amid his own personal chaos. "I'm not in the mood," he murmurs from behind his fingers.

With a quiet sigh he finally lowers his hands while his eyebrows furrow. He manages a smile, crisp, although a little tenser than he'd intended. "Hey Joe. Come on in." His smile relaxes some with effort.

There's a hesitation, before he lets the door open further so he can step in. Kincaid looks as if expected the place to be in worse shape than it is, because part of him is a mix of surprise and… apprehension.

"I meant to give this to you earlier, but…" he trails off, dropping the long box with a card on top. The shape of the box gives off a reminder of clothes. It's shaped like a box someone would give shirts in, but quietly wrapped, in green christmas paper with silvery lines through it, like silver garland on a green background.

"That was an— unexpected event. Can I ask…" he hesitates again. "How long have you known Nic— Ms. Nichols?"

Russo rubs his temples as he takes a deep breath. "I've known Nicole since… Since… September…?" Beat. "Or October." His eyebrows knit together as the smile remains and his hands are laid flat on his desk, causing him to straighten in his seat.

His eyes turn to the package and Kincaid is shot a lopsided smile, particularly at the colour of the paper, "You didn't have to get me anything. I realize things have been…" he turns his hands in front of him what can I do about it? is the implied question never quite asked. And then, almost like he needs to defend himself, he clears his throat, "She's an incredible woman. We have a lot in common. We… understand each other's worlds…" It's all very logical.

"Quick courtship," Kincaid can't help but mutter quietly, as he looks down at the box in his hand, and then hands it over anyway. "I wasn't going to, but I got an idea after our last talk and decided to roll with it." The card is a simple Christmas Greetings card, with names attached, so that if he left it in the office he'd know who it had been from. Definitely not from Santa.

"It makes sense, but— " He hesistates, shaking his head. "I just thought there was something between you and Kristen. This wasn't some kind of— publicity stunt? Or trick or something? I know you and Kristen seem to like to needle at each other sometimes…"

The box is accepted with further admiration of the paper. "Same length as last time," Russo virtually hisses, the words are matter-of-fact, even if stated through a clenched jaw. Something he'd sworn he'd learned from. There's an intrigued smile at the questions while a hand rakes through his hair. None of which are actually answered.

With the slightest twinkle in his eye, he merely shrugs, "Some things happen when you don't expect them. And… I don't think K would ever approve a publicity stunt like this…" He swallows, "And some practical jokes should never be enacted." His jaw tightens further as he examines the package and arches an eyebrow. Finally, his fingers slide along the seam at the tape. Carefully he peels the tape from the paper, taking care not to rip that deep green colour he so loves.

It's difficult to say how Kincaid feels about this whole thing— it would have been a horrible publicity stunt, and a cruel joke. But there's no real relief in his face as he stands there quietly, hands going into his pocket. This is likely the first time he's seen 'Joe' without a cup of his namesake.

Inside the package is that paper that usually goes around shirts, but once it's moved, it's easy to tell that is not what it is at all. Seventeen inches long, six woven circles of various sizes in a brownish green color. White feathers fade into the same brownish-green. Black beads dangle.

A tall dreamcatcher.

"I figured if you're going to be getting a lot of sleep, you might need a little protection against nightmares— It was a silly idea, but like I said, I decided to roll with it."

With an easier grin the box is opened and the object regarded with a growing grin, "This is awesome! Thank you! I…" his lips twitch a little as the dream catcher is lowered back into the box. "I… thank you. This… it's green." There's a flicker of a smile, "I've always liked green. Reminds me of my time in the garden. In springtime. I can almost smell fresh cut grass when I see it…" Pause. "Thank you." His cheeks flush slightly although it's hard to see why aside from having an unusual day. What should be a happy day.

The dreamcatcher is returned to the box and his eyes turn back to the producer. "Just… I— think… look, it's not a publicity stunt," he insists as the box is closed. "And.. K isn't.. she doesn't…" his smile turns sad, but he manages to keep the smile there, reverting to one of his old standby phrases, "Some things are just more important than others."

"I saw in the paperwork that green was your favorite color," Kincaid says, showing his research had been thorough enough. Who double checks someone's favorite color before they buy a present? Assistant Producers, it would seem! "I'm glad you like it," he adds, managing a small hint of his usual joking smile. It seems to be gone for the most part now. It takes a moment, but he keeps it on. It seems forced the longer it lasts, as he starts to back out.

"You're right— some things are more important than others," he says, voice tense and quiet. "As long as you're happy, that's the important part…" He stares off for a moment, then seems to remember something, "Merry Christmas. I need to get going. Enjoy your present, and your Christmas and congratulations." The last sentances seem to come in an awkward rush, as if he's trying to get them out, before he backs out of the room and closes the door quickly behind him.

Russo cracks a small smile as Kincaid backpedals out of the room. But once the door is closed, the smile disappears. He reaches into his pocket and extracts his wallet, fishing out a picture of his last fiance, the redhead whom he adored for so long. His fingers run over her photo while he murmurs softly to her picture, "I may be over my head this time, Lina… I— " The words aren't finished, the thought is left unuttered for some other reason. In fact, alone, in the privacy of his office, he momentarily frowns. A glance is given to the window and then one back to the desk before determinedly he mutters, "I need a drink," before grasping his jacket and tugging it over his shoulders.

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