Not A Joke


kincaid_icon.gif russo_icon.gif

Scene Title Not A Joke
Synopsis A trip to charity paintball leads to a conversation that is not a joke.
Date April 14, 2011

Outskirts of New York

A misty fog— more likely comprised of nothing but dust— clears along the New York horizon just beyond the city limits, even while the beating sun floods onto the too-quiet field. Dust lines the outside of the fortresses, greying what would be the upcoming shoots of various greenery. In many respects, they just look dead here. Sweat and ammunition burn at the warriors' nostrils, but the adrenaline is already too high to really notice the co-mingled scent. They'd been at it for hours. Already men on both sides had fallen, leaving the battlefield streaked with red.

Laying, stomach-down, in a hollow along the field, Bradley Russo's blue eyes line up the trigger with where his assumed target lays in wait. He's a shockingly good shot, but then military training set him up for this long ago.

His trigger itches to clamp down on his weapon, longing to tighten itself and hear that familiar sound of victory ringing through his already damaged ears. The white body suit they'd dressed him in pre-battle, smattered with splashes of green from a previous encounter, provides a rather poor protection against the pellets fired at him, particularly as his head cranes upwards to peek at his enemy's fortress.


The sound of the shots is unmistakable, causing Brad to duck back into his little hidey-hole and his shoulder to seize up in the process, "Uggggh Charlie horse!" A glance is given over his shoulder as the splashes of red caused by his enemies across the way.

With the smallest smirk, his head cants to the side to his comrade, "I may be getting too old for this— "

"You can't be too old— you still got your hair," said comrade states with a smirk, shifting his own paint-ball rifle a bit and peeking out behind the cover. One shot is all Kincaid takes the ball pelting off one of the trees rather than a person. It was a 'cover' shot more than anything— to warn against peeking around the cover.

Most people hesitate when a paint carrying ball smacks into the tree they're hiding behind.

"We'll probably be finished soon, ready to head home, but it was nice of you to come out here and do this for them. I think they like shooting a local celebrity." Not shooting at— shooting.

There's more than a few paintsmears on his own clothes, too. So he's not managed to avoid all of them. He does have an advantage though, of being younger. And coming with instant pain killers.

"Everyone's a critic in their own way," Russo murmurs as he sits up a little again, if only to stretch out that darned Charlie horse. "On the plus side? I always liked kids— they're not ruined yet— " Because everyone knows that eventually, through adulthood, life inevitably ruins a person: wisdom according to Bradley Russo.

Teeth toying indecisively at his bottom lip, Brad shoots Kincaid a more winning smile. "Yeah, we should probably wrap or something." And then, with his most charming smile, he winks once at Kincaid, "Watch this… they'll love this— " Those words posited, Russo pops up from his little hidey-hole into a kneel and opens rapid paintball fire at his targets. Of course, quite inevitably, and even by design, he is easily pelted by a series of shots from the child-team.

The first splash of red that hits his shoulder is met with an overdramatic knee-stagger backwards as his weapon falls to the ground. The second splash strikes his goggles, inevitably making this not Brad's best idea. Without seeing his attackers, he has little time to truly dramatize the matter so with the third shot, he's clasping his chest like some soldier marred in an epic world war pic. Dramatically, he sputters, "Take care of my sister— " and then, his eyes clamp shut. Evidently Bradley Russo just 'died'.

To add to the dramatic ending for the event, Kincaid waits til Russo's eyes clamp shut and his last request is made before he springs up from his hiding spot and fires. Each of the balls pelt the ground right next to one of the kids, splashing their feet with paint, but not impacting them in any way. Perhaps intentional. Perhaps he's a bad shot.

Or maybe he's a really good shot himself.

Most of the paintballs were expended on the already downed man, but one slams into Kincaid's chest, spurting him with bright pink paint— of all colors. With a dramatic gasp and a stumble, he falls down beside Russo. "I think we lost," he says gravely, hand touching the still wet pink splatter. "Why did it have to be pink?"

Brad opens a single eye as Kincaid collapses beside him. "We were made to lose this game," he mutters as the children on the other side cheer happily amongst themselves. "And I think it's pink," he considers as his nose wrinkles "to further mar manhood?" There's a sharp whistle blow, signalling the end of the game.

Kincaid is cast a dimpled grin as Russo's hands press against the ground to bring him back to a sit. And then, after a little bit of effort, a stand. He offers his fallen comrade a hand to help him up. "That was a good. I need to do this kind of thing more often. Not this in particular," he clarifies wide-eyed, "but something like this. Seriously," his head drops towards his shoulder to try to take the kink out of his neck, "I mean, I don't think my shoulders approve."

"A charity event once every month or so's good for the soul— especially ones for children. Or fuzzy animals," Kincaid says, pressing his hand against the place where the pink ball impacted, further marring his manhood. "We should go congratulate them on their victory and head back home. You did pretty good for such an old man," he adds with a grin, taking the offered hand of help so that he too can get all the way to his feet.

And get a little of that pink paint on the other man too.

Share the manhood scars.

With Kincaid back on his feet, Russo trudges back towards their opponents after retrieving his weapon again. Don't worry, he doesn't intend to open fire. "You guys were phenomenal!" And then, remembering he's talking to kids, he shakes his head, "Scratch that," he clears his throat, "You guys were awesome!" That seems more up on the lingo. Maybe. Numerous high fives are given to the child-winners amid broadening grins. In fact, there's much laughter and conversation amongst the winning orphan team.

After a few more rounds of congrats in what Brad decides qualifies as kid-friendly language and changing out of the paint-filled clothes specifically for the game, the two Studio-K-ers are climbing into the black truck— what Russo always wanted Stella the SUV to be (Lina had forbade the purchasing of a truck back in the day, but she's unable to protest now).

Gripping the steering wheel, Russo checks his mirrors and muses, "I forgot how much force those little suckers come out of the guns with. I swear I have welts." There's a brief pause before, quite defensively, his hands raise, "Don't worry and don't tell K. I think they're all under suit-coverable areas— "

As the non-celeb, Kincaid's congrats comes softer and downplayed in comparison to the man they see on billboards, but he still gives it, shaking hands and ruffling hair. Children are one of the things he seems to smile more easily around— less joking and more genuine.

But when they make it back to the truck, he piles into shotgun position, making sure most of the paint is dry before he does. A man takes his truck seriously, after all.

Very seriously.

Suit coverable— unlike that punch that Kincaid laid on his face what seems like forever ago. Scratching at his shaggy brown hair, he looks a little embarassed, before he says, "I actually— Yeah, I won't tell K. Though she'd probably approve of it. I mean it's good publicity, even if it leaves welts." Better than exploding hands on live television, at least.

"I'm glad you let me come along. Cause there's some things I needed to talk to you about…" Something which seems to be keeping his eyes out the window, and his hand up near his hair. A subconscious shield, really.

The truck is put into drive, bringing a smile to her owner's face; Brad always wanted a truck and, after having some self-control and not buying a vehicle for months after Stella died, he, quite impulsively had forked over the cash after getting home from Coyote Sands. His grin extends at Kincaid's comment, "Good. I'm glad you had fun. Honestly? I don't think enough people just have fun anymore, you know? There's always one thing or another to be griping about— it's easy to get distracted and forget about little things." Beat. "Like letting children pelt you with paint bullets." The stupid grin he sends Kincaid is followed by a shrug of his shoulders.

The truck speeds up along the highway and, finally, Brad acknowledges the second bit. "Look, if you want to talk about… Coyote Sands," he nearly chokes on the location, "I'm going to be doing a lot less driving and need a lot more liquor— "

It had been a nice distraction, certainly better than some that Kincaid could think of. But distractions are there to distract. It doesn't make the elephant in the room go away anymore than anything else. And there's an elephant in the room— or in this case, the truck.

"It's not about Coyote Sands, but this may be an over a bottle conversation anyway…" With that, his hand drops from his hair and he looks over, watching the driver's profile for a moment.

When the question comes, it comes in a bit of a rush, "Do you have any thoughts about time travel?"

Brad's eyes narrow some, but remain focused on the road ahead while his fingers tighten around the steering wheel.

Time travel.

Clearing his throat, his eyebrows knit together some, the memory of his adventures through time back in October, crystallizing as his knuckles whiten around the wheel. His lips, however, remain in that easy smile— far too rehearsed to just fail on him. There's a small shrug of his shoulders as he clears his throat again to give room to his all-out lie, "Haven't give it much thought, I guess."

There's a moment, when Russo's blue eyes tear from the road to steal a glance at Kincaid where that smile quirks downwards for an instant, "You haven't met any short-ish Asian men lately, have you? Because.. as a voice of experience and someone just.. older, just say no."

"It's not all short-ish Asian men," Kincaid says quietly, looking away from the rehearshed smile. Not always short-ish Asian men. Sometimes it's a tallish ginger. His eyes directed on the side of the road, he watches it speed by— It's them moving not the road, but perceptions are always dependant on where one happens to be. Just like…

"And I wish I had said no, half the time," he says in quiet tones, serious, not laughing or jesting. If this is an attempt at a joke, he's telling it from the serious side of the jokester.

Eyes slide back toward the man's hand on the steering wheel, watching them for a moment. Watching for signs. Especially after he says what he says next. "I'm from the future. A future, more accurately, cause there's no the future, and it's not your future anymore, but— it used to be."

Lips parting, Brad turns his head again to face Kincaid quite wordlessly for a few moments, his thoughts nearly indiscernible, even if his skin blanches some. Quickly, his eyes track back to the road, just in time to swerve out of the lane of oncoming traffic. It would be wise not to be in another accident this year.

Breath hitching in his throat, Brad shakes his head as a smile forms along his lips, even if Kincaid seems serious, at least one of the men in the car is a practical joker by nature and considering his general encouragement of such things, "Man! You really had me going there! The regret was particularly convincing! Seriously! You should pull pranks on people when they drive…" Yet in Russo's own tone, the words remain unsure, despite his feigned self-confidence. Another glance is stolen towards Kincaid, silently imploring the passenger to laugh.

A hand braces against the doorframe for a moment, to help cope with the swirving. For a moment there's an oddly stricken look on Kincaid's face, thinning his mouth and tightening around his eyes. But then he laughs, a forced sound to the laugh. "Yeah, fooled you," he says in rather hoarse tones, trying to say it while laughing.

It doesn't work as well as he might hope. Unlike the man in the driver's seat, he doesn't practice smiles in front of a mirror, he doesn't have to look good and non-aggressive while leading guests along a dangerous line of questioning.

"Can— can you pull over for a minute?" he requests, still seeming to be trying to go along with the 'it's just a joke' out.

Relief. Even if it's forced laughter, Brad doesn't seem to notice as his fingers loosen along the steering wheel. With an ever-easing smile, he lets out a soft chuckle that sounds little more than a sigh.

At the question about pulling over, however, an eyebrow arches and his lips twitch into a lopsided half-smile. "You okay?" he doesn't wait for a response to the question, maybe for the sole reason that he doesn't want anyone being sick in his new truck as he changes lanes and pulls to the shoulder of the road. It's an alright place to be parked, not perfect, but if Kincaid's sick, it'll do. The vehicle is put into park and the hazards are turned on. "So… you okay?" he repeats with his head turning towards the other man.

"Everything's primal," Kincaid says quietly under his breath, though there's a distant sound like he has a case of lightheadedness, or perhaps even about to get sick on the side of the road. From the way he undoes his seatbelt and then opens the passanger door, it may only add to that image.

His door is on the side where the dead grass and plants are, so he stumbles out and down onto them, taking a few steps away in his stained paint covered suit. The cool early spring air of New York helps some things. But not others.

There's a moment where Russo seriously considers staying in the truck and focusing his attentions on naming it or toying with some of her, thus far, untapped features. "What does that even mean?" he murmurs quietly. With a small sigh he undoes his seatbelt and then shoulder checks for oncoming traffic before opening his door and stepping after his coworker.

"Do you need like… a doctor? You could be allergic to the paint— happened to a buddy of mine once in college. There was a lot more liquor in our bloodstreams though so we didn't have the good sense to get him to a doctor. One of the med students ended up having to do some hole-y thing in his neck… which was like the exact wrong thing… it was gross," evidently Brad watched. "And buddy didn't get better until the epi-pen thing from the ambulance guys— "

"I'm not allergic," Kincaid says, pressing a hand against his forehead and cringing. "I told myself I wasn't going to run away from this— Do you have any idea how hard this is? At least when you had to do it he was old enough to believe it…" the words have a rushed sound to them, before he pulls his hand back down and turns to look at him.

The normally near black eyes are sliding toward navy, which means he must be letting some of the pain in.

"I wasn't joking," he says over the sound of the cars that continue to speed by. Most don't even bother to slow down to look. "I'm trying to tell you the truth, before you find out I've been lying for the last six months, and now I feel like I'm eleven years old and in trouble."

Russo's eyes narrow again and his arms quite comfortably find themselves crossed over his chest while his jaw tightens some. "When I had to do what, exactly?" The truth is enough to actually cause the host to stagger a step backwards while his lips part silently. Shock, disbelief, and his general apprehension against the logical impossibility of time travel, prevent any rehearsed pretenses from taking form over his expression.

He freezes in spot; his gaze, breath, and position all remain steady while his jaw tightens again and knots form in his stomach. But knots were never unfamiliar territory. Being visited by some man from the future certainly is. "Bullshit," he finally hisses.

Always the skeptic, he shakes his head, "It's impossible! If you were on some farfetched mission from the future, I would've known by now because of tampering with the space time— " a hand unfolds from it's position with a flippant wave, whatever the space-time thing is, Brad doesn't care. "When the Asian man took us it was weeks. Not freakin' months. There's no way. It's not possible."

The loss of pretense seems to give Kincaid some of the push he was needing. "You do know. Do you think those dreams you're having are just a coincidence? Where you're going to be mayor and robots are patrolling the streets? That was your future." The distance between them is lessened while he talks, voice continuing to raise up over the sound of cars.

"All I wanted out of this was to make sure that you didn't make the same mistakes. That you were happy. That you didn't drown yourself in alcohol and pills to the point where I didn't even know what your ability was until I saw you manifest."

Eyes steady, jaw set stubbornly, he continues, "I just wanted my parents to be happy."

"Dream," Brad corrects. "One. And it's impossible enough for one time traveller to randomly pop into my life to correct some incredible wrong that I've commi— that I haven't committed yet! When I— when the Asian guy— put us in the past it was to save someone from something that was never supposed to— you know what, it was complicated!" The blanket excuse saves him from the nuances of time travel that he can't begin to wrap his mind around. "My point is it's not possible for you.. the time travelling and the dream— " his head shakes. "It's, it's absurd! You're either from another time or my dreams are someone else's superimposed memory— it can't be both!"

The notion of parenthood, however, causes him to draw a sharp breath. Eyebrows knitting together tightly, Russo's face scrunches into into a frown, "Parents? I can't.. have you met.. I'm not a parent. Clearly. And who would— if you're insinuating— it takes a lady. In case you haven't noticed I have an overabundance of women in my life— but none— " His head shakes. Time travel is one of the few things that truly gets him tongue tied.

And then, as an afterthought he tacks on while his hands clamp onto his forehead, "Maybe I like the pills and the liquor. Maybe that's who I am."

"It is complicated," Kincaid agrees in softer tones, but still loud enough to carry over the cars. Not quite yelling, anymore. There's pain in his voice, in his eyes, in the set of his jaw. And not all of it is physical despite the distinct tinges of blue in his irises.

"There was a woman, but that doesn't mean things were good— I thought maybe I could fix things to make the two of you happy together— but that was selfish— you weren't supposed to be together. The only reasons you were… I decided that it would have been better for both of you if you just went different directions. That's why I was trying to encourage you to be with K, cause I always thought she was your biggest regret."

There's a slow inhale, and he seems to be grasping, before he says, "Your fiancee— the first one— Lina. You didn't start to see each other until you bailed her out of jail after she got arrested. You'd liked her before that, but that's when it clicked." Of all the stories, he knew this was one he hadn't told.

"It may be who you are— but it isn't who you have to be. And it's not who I want you to be. I saw it destroy you once, dad. And I'm not going to watch it happen again."

Face paling, stomach churning, and skin perspiring, Russo now looks like the one who's going to be sick. He bends over and in one foul move the contents of his stomach expel onto the grass in front of him. So much for a fun drama-free excursion. His head cants towards Kincaid, "How?" Eyes clamping shut again, he frowns. "Lina," his head shakes slightly, "that story…" his head shakes firmer. "How?" And maybe in that there's some credence. His throat clears as he rubs a sleeve over his lips. His eyes blink rapidly as he begins pacing the length of the truck.

"There are some things in life a person doesn't get over. Some people. Some circumstances. And— I don't know why you're here. To stop me from going off on some binge? That's… I can't, I don't need to quit. I can quit whenever I want. I've done it before."

"It's not a binge I'm worried about," Kincaid says with a sigh, the drama obviously weighting quite a bit on his shoulders, broad as they may be. "I— It's your future now and you're the one who's going to have to decide, and I know that… But telling you can be the last selfishness I'll allow myself."

As he says that, he takes a step backwards, further away from the highway, the cars, the tires buzzing across pavement.

"I may never be your son, but you will always be my dad."

"Decide what?!" Brad peeks behind his shoulder to glance at the cards whizzing by on the road. And, in a moment of impulsivity, he trails after the other man with heavy steps, "Where are you going?! You can't just— you can't do that! People don't do that! You don't just to drop a bomb on me and tell me your my future son and run away! That's not— I can't— why are you here? What mistakes am I not supposed to be making?!"

If he's entitled to a freakout, Russo is certainly having it, particularly in his stomping back towards Kincaid, "I can't.. I don't know how to be someone different." And that's the truth. "I lost myself. I lost everything. Everything I cared about. At once. How does a person try to recover from that? Tell me. Please. I've spent four years getting passed it. I don't know if it's possible." And then as if an afterthought, "And I love K, but she's not— "

"I don't know! I was a kid. I just remember how it felt, how much I wished we had a happy family that played games and laughed or Christ — even just eat dinner together!" Kincaid says, pressing his hands to the top of his head in almost a mimic gesture of what the not much older man had been doing earlier.

"I wish I knew what to tell you— These last few months— The Dome and Coyote Sands aside— have meant the world to me. I got to hear you laugh, I got to tell you about— things I always wanted to have you around to tell you. The important things were not lies. And— I'm not leaving." He adds, no longer backing up, which means the distance has been closed quite a bit. "I just— I thought you'd need some space."

"Oh." It's an easy enough response to everything. Not nearly in depth enough, but at least Brad said something. A hand rakes through his hair as he shakes his head, "I've never done very well with space." There's a nearly bitter smile while his blue eyes seek those of his son. So weird. "I.. " his breath is released in a pseudo-sigh, "I'm sorry." It's odd to apologize for a future Russo will never have, but the apology comes anyways. "I never— look my mom was a good mother. The best. I couldn't have imagined a better woman filling the role for two parents. But I.. " his eyes trail downwards. "I thought I'd be better." It's still weird, but he's trying.

"It's not easy, is it?" Those same blue eyes track up to the sky, "Any of it. Life. I used to think it was easy. I'm sorry. I.. I really am."

The words about not being good with space must have been taken as permission, because Kincaid steps closer, a hand reaching up, hesitating for a moment while their eyes meet. Only when Russo's eyes go up the sky does the hand clamp down on his shoulder. Only a few years older, and only an inch taller. "You weren't that bad… You were the one who taught me how to cook. You played catch with me… You were the one who showed up at school when I got into fights…"

His eyes lower, laughing a little to himself. "The mayor walking into a private school cause his son couldn't run away from a fight— even if it meant getting pummeled. That was when you taught me how to throw punches— so at least I wouldn't get entirelly pummelled. You were probably the best dad you could have been under the circumstances."

"Mayor, huh?" there's an edge of cynicism in his voice as Russo extends his own hand to rest on Kincaid's shoulder. "I imagine I told you about Fight Club then?" a sheepish smile edges Brad's lips while he cringes slightly, "That's not very parental. Did I tell you September," not mom for some reason, "dragged me out of school by my ear for that?" He suppresses a chuckle at the memory.

"And every guy needs to know how to cook. I swear it's survival skill. If only to prevent you from eat mac 'n cheese every flippin' day in college. My roommates would've lived on mac 'n cheese if it weren't for me." His eyebrows twitch upwards with still-hesitant, yet present good humour. His voice quiets slightly as he clears his throat, "So… what grand thing do I need to fix in my future besides… apparently not hook up with your mother…" whoever that may be.

"Oh, I don't think that will be a problem," Kincaid says with a shake of his head. Kind of weird to almost take that flippantly, but— some people should never be together. "You did tell me about your mom— she's actually the reason I picked August as my last name. It's the only month that actually is a last name, and I couldn't exactly go around calling myself Kincaid Russo."

The first time he's said it in a long time— it makes him smile a little.

There's a pause, the hand on the man's upper arm squeezes once— and then suddenly Kincaid steps forward and is hugging him. A somewhat manly hug, but strong and paint covered— and not at all good for those welts. "Just don't sell yourself over to the DoEA too much. And don't take those pills. They don't just negate ability, they… the side effects— It's better to learn control. And you didn't punch me in the chest with a beam of green light earlier, so I think you might have some."

"I can handle the DoEA." Oh arrogance. Thou art a foul mistress! "Honestly, I still have control over my own sow and…" Russo's lips twitch a little, "by some miracle I'm not behind bars yet." After killing a few soldiers by accident. "It'll be fine. And what's wrong with these pills anyways? People need to know… if it's going to make them sick.." His eyebrows knit together tightly again.

"I had thought about them. Seriously thought about them. The pills. It seemed easy. Smart, even." He shrugs lightly. "Did I take them in your future?"

"Just keep an eye on it— cause you won't always have control over your life, if things go anywhere near the way they did," Kincaid says, still cautioning. A foul mistress may be no replacement for a stubborn son? Perhaps…

"And the side effects are right there on the label— there's no secret," he adds, pulling back and looking away for a moment. "But people are affected differently, just like most drugs— and you'd… you weren't good on them. You always took them. Even before I was born."

Eyes glance down at the hands that shot beams of green and hurled a vehicle back at Coyote Sands. "I didn't even know what your ability was. You never talked about it."

"I'm not good on most meds," Brad offers, as if this explains everything. "I actually understand why I took, or," his eyebrows furrow, "would take them," a glance is given to his hands as he stretches his fingers and then balls them into two fists. "It's not.." his blue eyes trail back upwards to meet Kincaid, "I've hurt people already. I almost hurt Delia; it broke a mirror. I can't believe I can do what I can do." He releases a slow breath.

"Did I— or your mother— force the private school on you? Ugh. Did they have the jackets with the elbow patches? I always hated the jackets with the elbow patches. It was like dressing a bunch of preteens like old profs in smoke jackets." There's a twitch of a smile as he shrugs. "So. Moral of the story is don't take the pills." There's a pause as his head tilts, "What was I like on the pills? I mean, obviously I had the good sense to teach you how to throw a punch…" Good sense.

"I think that was actually their idea," Kincaid says, scratching at the back of his neck. "Things were pretty different than they are here, and I know you had to agree to a lot of things you normally wouldn't have."

"Sometimes you were okay— but it got especially bad when you'd drink while on it. You'd just sit in a chair and…" he trails off, shaking his head.

"I understand it too. My ability is harmless, yours isn't— but I know you can learn. And even the best times with you in my childhood— they don't even really compare to… you now… Playing paintball, or laser tag, or just being you."

"Well it's an idea they haven't suggested yet," Brad taps his chin. "Unless that's what Agent Pak meant for the future if there's another incident." He got a slap on the wrist this time. Next time he might not be so lucky. "And what? Drink myself into a stupor? I do that now sometimes… although normally only for an evening. Not days on end."

"The future must be pretty bad to warrant you being here, right?" he raises a single eyebrow. "Or does telling me break the space-time whatever? Or does it matter? I mean, because you want to change it right?" There's a long pause as his face crinkles some, "Time travel breaks my brain. There's nothing I can think of that hurts more to think about. Honestly… even with the Asian guy had us in the past I couldn't wrap my mind around it."

"It wasn't a great world, but… it's still the only one I knew til I came here," Kincaid says, that regret coming back as his hand seeks out his pockets. Too bad the white paintball suit doesn't have them. Whatever he was seeking out isn't there to actually grab onto.

"My advice— just try to build the future you want, and don't worry so much about the big picture. Some things are going to be bad— and I don't think there's anything one person can do to change it— It's the smaller picture that sticks with people the most. The smallest happinesses can be the biggest ones."

There's a laugh and he shakes his head. "Sorry, I sound like a Hallmark card or something."

"You really do sound like a Hallmark card. Please tell me that not everyone sounds like that in the future?" there's an incredulity in his smirk as his hands drop to is side. "Honestly? I haven't really thought about the future since…" instead of finishing the thought, Brad just shrugs. It's obvious enough he's been a self-destructive mess for a long while. "The most future-forward decision I've made was quitting. And that was… pretty much an in-the-moment decision anyways. i don't normally live so impulsively."

There's a tightness to his smile as his head motions back towards the truck. "Maybe we should.. go back to my place and I'll cook us up some food," and then, rather defensively, not that he has to add it on for his son, "Just so we're clear: as much as that sounded like it, it wasn't a come-on."

"Never even crossed my mind," Kincaid says with a laugh, finding that joke a good way to end the tension that he brought into the day with his sudden introduction of a rather awkward topic. It's a better ending than he thought he could hope for.

After all he's not left on the side of the road somewhere— "I'm glad I told you," he adds, seriously, as he moves back toward the truck. Toward home— or perhaps close to home.

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