Tango De Trouble


buck_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif jay_icon.gif maxwell_icon.gif

Scene Title Tango De Trouble
Synopsis Plenty of blushing.
Date October 23, 2009

Morning on a Friday. Jake's really supposed to be in class. He's a failing student for a reason, though - and here it is. There's an area of Central Park frequented by the skate kids. It's really just an open, paved lot, with a fountain in the middle and a band shell off in the distance surrounded by seats. Jake is currently on the edge of the fountain, walking on his hands. His face is red. His shirt, which is green and reads "my life is a very complicated drinking game", has fallen up his stomach. His feet keep sorta wobbling, nice sneakers flailing occasionally in the wrong direction to send him nearly tipping over. Nevertheless, the dude is indeed literally walking on his hands in a slow circle around the fountain. A couple of the skate kids have stopped to watch. The place is otherwise pretty deserted, though - most of them are either old enough to tell the cops to buzz off, or fled from a recent police pass-through.

Buck isn't supposed to be anywhere. He's pretty much unemployed, so that opens him up for a lot of midmorning wandering. Since it's at least not raining, he's happy to be outdoors, taking in the smells of the turning leaves with great deep breaths that expand his chest. He smiles, but that's par for the course for Buck. Coming upon the paved area, he naturally finds his attention drawn to the acrobat on the fountain. He watches the stunt for a moment, then suddenly seems to recognize the flushed features. "Hey, don't I know you?" he calls out cheerfully.

Jake stiffens up instantly - hey, c'mon, he recently pulled a stunt that got him stuck on national TV via grainy security cam - and that causes the twitching of his feet to get dramatically wilder suddenly. "Shit!" he yells, and flails his legs, tries to twist off the fountain - and flubs the landing. Down come the feet and he lands on his ass, one foot in the water and the other one on the ground. At least he didn't fall all the way in? "Fuck!" …But following the realization that his favorite sneaker is soaking through, he does fall right off the side of the fountain and onto the ground. One of the skate kids laughs, says something derisive, and there's the clatter of 'boards hitting concrete as the three of them skate off.

"Aw, hell," Buck says when he realizes that he's ruined the fellow's concentration. He rushes forward to help Jay up. "Hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean t' throw you off. What's yer name? Jay? Jake? James? You remember me?" He's still smiling even if he is sorry. At least it's a chagrined smile. "You were doin' pretty good, though…"

Which is worse - thinking you're caught and fucking up a trick, or having it turn out to be a moment of panic for nothing? Jay squints up, blinks into the sunlight. "Good god, you managed to get both my names and my brother's name, all in one. Fuck. I was drunk that night, I don't remember your name." Or which name he gave the guy. Doesn't matter, though. He sits up and yanks off the soggy shoe. "Crap, dad's gonna kill me if this thing's ruined." Which it isn't - he's just embarrassed what with the flubbing and all.

Buck laughs at Jay's remark, shaking his head. "Your folks ain't too creative, are they?" he wonders. "Now, your shoe ain't gonna be ruined." He pulls a bandana out of his back pocket and reaches out for the shoe. As he does, he laughs with recollection of that evening. "Yeah, you seemed pretty drunk, I gotta admit. Maybe that's what got you hit by that girl."

Jake coughs. "Hey, my dad grew up named 'Marcus'. He hated it. My mom isn't even American and she wanted nice, normal names for her kids, so they both agreed. Besides, we're twins. What're twins without matching names?" He rolls his eyes, scratches and tugs at his pierced ear, and regards Buck's business with that bandana a little warily. "Far as the chick went, that was cuz I told her I had a bean bag and a duffel full of toys in my room." Pause. "Hey, sometimes it works." Shrug. "What was your name again? …Somethin' Texan. Uh. Chuck?" Norris, he's thinking of.

Buck laughs. "That's pretty close, buddy," he says, all good humored as he starts to sop up some of the water from the shoe with the bandana. He's very careful about it, actually, even if he doesn't look at what he's doing. "Name's Buck. Short for Beauregard. You wouldn't forget Beauregard, would you?" He smiles as he sticks the bandana inside the shoe to leech water from the other side. "Yeah, that line's all right if you're careful who you use it on. Mighta worked on me a couple times when I w's young an' wild."

"I can't even pronounce Beauregard," Jay says with a straight face and a smirk. "You realize my foot was in there a minute ago, right? Let it go, it'll dry out." He reaches over with one sore, slow arm, idly swiping for the shoe… and then the other comment sinks in and he pauses and squints, cocking his head just so. Suspicion begins to dawn. "What, you're into that?" No, he's not gonna say it outright, he might not be able to keep the cool, casual air.

"Yeah, I realize that," Buck says with good humor, still sopping up the water for a moment, but he gives the shoe back when he realizes Jay wants it. He twists up the bandana and ties it around his wrist since it's still damp. "Into what?" he asks, expression blank for a moment. But then he bursts out into a laugh. "Well, come on now, why'd you think I ran over to put more liquor in you, Stretch?"

Gah, so much for the cool - Jake blushes bright red. It shows pretty damn well on his fair skin. "Hey, I ended up buying you drinks," he protests a bit accusingly. Finally he starts picking himself up, hopping onto one foot; he drops down on the edge of the fountain to investigate his shoe - not looking at Buck, oh no. Must not blush harder.

"Well, yeah, that turned out even better," Buck says. "Liquor always goes good as a consolation prize." The cowboy supresses a smile at the obvious blush. "What's a matter, Jake? You mad I thought you were good lookin' or you mad you didn't take me up on it?" He laughs, looking from Jay to the shoe to Jay.

Red does not go well with green and Jake's shirt is green. He twitches visibly and leans down to put his shoe on. "I'm not into that." It's mumbled. The blush has spread to the tips of his ears. "What is it with gay guys, you all like teasing the straights?" And that's grumbled. He's still not looking up, though - he's busy unlacing his shoe, trying to squeeze the water out of the tongue of it.

"Well, all right," Buck says, expression growing solemn as he takes a step back. He adjusts his hat on his head and frowns, maybe even blushing a little, himself. "No, sir, I don't." When he stops grinning, he looks a lot less like a parody cowboy than a real one. "Now, I'm sorry 'f I offended you. An' about the shoe." He nods once.

The blush still hasn't faded, but finally Jake looks up. "Sorry. I'm not mad, just…" He stutters to a stop, twitches once in the silence, then waves at the edge of the fountain. "Siddown, you're making me crane my neck to look at you." Back to the shoe. This time he puts it on the ground and tries stepping on it. …It squelches.

Buck sits down as instructed, but now he's obviously wary, and he leaves a significant distance between himself and Jay. "Now, listen, if that shoe turns out ruined I want you to look me up and let me know and I'll find a way to replace it. That's my fault you fell."

"Shit, no, dude, I was handstanding on a fucking fountain and it's my own damn fault," Jake grumbles. "It's just water, it'll come out." The blush is finally starting to calm a bit. "I'm just worried I won't be able to run quite as fast." And then he laughs, a short, sharp sound. "I'll leave footprints." Which is pretty amusing when you think about it - one lone running footprint trail. "So what're you doing in the park anyway?"

"Takin' a walk," Buck answers. "'S gettin' cold and the leaves're changin'. It's real pretty. I've hardly ever seen the change before an' I spent the last few years in the desert, anyway, so…" He shrugs. Apparently he didn't find any of the shoe-talk that has Jake chuckling very amusing.

The amusement is tension-diffusion, for Jake - that insinuation of Buck's apparently got to him on a rather deep level. Now he's trying to laugh it off. "It is, ain't it? I lived here my whole life, but it's still pretty as hell every fall." And then he makes a face. "'Course, then comes winter. If this's your first time in this state, you're in for it." And with that Jake winces, puts his foot in his shoe, and starts lacing up. "I'm gonna do a few tricks, 'kay? I gotta practice. We can still talk, just some of it's gonna be upside down."

Buck shrugs and nods to show he doesn't care if Jake decides to be upside-down while they talk. "'S gonna be cold, huh?" Buck asks, frowning at that idea. "Damn. I gotta…figure out some way t' keep warm, I guess. Get me a new coat. But still…man, these trees look like they're on fire." Maybe not the world's most creative metaphor, but it's heartfelt. "Smells good, too."

Shoe tied, Jake heaves to his feet - and then tips forward right into a handstand again. "Turn up the heat, drink lots of cocoa, stay inside, wear boots and a heavy coat, get a remote starter for your car if you've got one," though having a car in this city is pretty loony without good reason, "and most off all don't get wet. Walking through snowdrifts in wet jeans sucks." Okay, this next trick might be a bit difficult. Jake balances himself, and then goes for a one-handed handstand. Wobble, wobble, steady… fall. He catches himself with the other hand, then repeats the process on that arm. It lasts… not quite as long. This is followed by bending backwards and trying to touch the ground with his feet. "Shit," he breathes, because this ain't easy.

"No, I don't have a car here. Thought about bringin' it up, but there ain't much point, I guess. I c'n always tuck my pants in my boots, I guess." He shakes his head a little. "I don't much like the cold. I been workin' half outside, nights." He watches Jake work at his tricks. "Looks pretty tough," he mentions.

"Trust me, pain in the ass," Jake grunts, and… not all that red is from standing upside down. He gives up on the backflip attempt and folds forward instead, manages to fold in half and stand up. "Where you work? Cuz if there ain't a snow plow, those boots had better be more like wading pants." Both arms get shaken out, he jitters in place for a moment… and then darts at the fountain to vault off of it, performing a sudden and nearly-fearless backflip. It's that nearly-fearless part that gets him - without his gift, Jake isn't as confident. He lands in a sort of stumble, catches himself, then turns to face the fountain rather grimly again. He's going to learn to function without it, god dammit.

"Oh, uh, you prob'ly wouldn't know the places," Buck says. "I ain't got a regular job but I find some work bouncin' at bars you wouldn't know. I don't know if they plow those streets 'r not." He nods approvingly as Jake keeps up his practicing even when the going gets tough. Still doesn't crack a smile, though. And he's not about to explain the places where he works.

"Yeah, well. Snow plow or wading pants, that's how it goes. God, I remember one time we cracked the window on this guy's car - he was a mean bastard, kept giving my brother the angel fuckin' detention." Jake rolls his eyes and this time darts at the fountain to come up in a handstand. He's risking getting both shoes soaked this time. "So we cracked this dude's window one night, and in the morning he had snow drifts the size of… of Great Danes in his car." A laugh darts out. "James got detention for a week after that, and the dude got me in trouble with the cops."

Jake and Buck are in the part of Central Park frequented by skateboarders. It's pretty deserted on a Friday morning, the few skateboarders around mostly occupied with practicing their tricks, much the way Jake is. He's using the fountain to do it, rather than a board - a fountain Buck's seated on the edge of.

"So how do you go from 'Beauregard' to 'Buck'?" Wobble… fall. This time he knew the fall was coming, though, so he manages to curl back towards solid ground rather than water, and tumbles away from the fountain a few paces to catch his breath and shake out his arms again.

"Wull…Buck's shorter an' it starts with B, I guess," Buck says, shrugging. "Plus, I was a real buckin' bronc when I was in high school. You know. I could shake any defense they put on me. An' when I was a kid I could ride the real tough horses, you know? So I guess a lot o' reasons. I don't know who started it. I think maybe my daddy didn't like 'Beauregard' too much."

"Can't blame him," Jake says, and valiantly tries to not turn red again. That's pretty much uncontrollable, though, so instead he pulls far, far back, and breaks into a run for some spot past the fountain. Mid-run he leaps, curls into a compact sort of twist that puts his head and shoulder down on the councrete, and… well, it really looks like he ought to be hurting himself. He rolls, though, keeping his shoulder turned in and his chin tucked against his chest. …Once again, though, he flubs the landing, coming up on his ass without enough momentum to kip to his feet. "Shit." He's out of breath. A few moments are taken to try and get it back, and the words are interspersed with deep pulls of air. "I mean, not that, not that it's bad, just… like my dad's. Real high-falutin'." A small grin flashes, quick and canny, and he shoves upright. There, now he has an excuse for the red face - he's working out. "Goddamn, I suck. …At parkour." Don't ask why he feels he has to clarify this.

Buck grimages at Jake's next spill. "Damn, that looked like it might hurt a little," he says. "What're you trainin' for, anyway?" Buck wonders. "This some kinda sport? What's park-our?" He seems to take any insults against his name pretty much in stride. Either he's heard all the insults there are in childhood and the army, or else the previous insult has temporarily desensitized him.

It seems these days that coincidences happen in New York the way they happen in small towns. Max was on his way to meet Jake when he spotted Liz's familiar blonde head. From there, he asked her if she had time for a little walk, to catch up. Max told her about a surprisingly good coffee cart in Central Park, not far from where he's scheduled to meet Jake.

"Did I tell you I had to rent two apartments? If you need some storage space I have…two living rooms, two bedrooms, two kitchens, two bathrooms." Max grins and points up ahead. "The coffee stand's just up this way. And the hot-dogging kid is Jake."

Elisabeth snickers with laughter as she walks with Max. "Shit, if I'd known that, I might have crashed at your place when my apartment building nearly burned down. Fucking HF assholes," she comments. Her hands are shoved into her pockets and she glances in the direction that he points and her steps falter. "Oh…. shit." Oh shit. "This is…. not likely to go well, I'm betting."

Buck allows a little smile at the bit about the head injury, which may seem perverse, but Jay may recall the reason. "Hey, I know how /that/ goes," he allows, and then looks thoughtfully out over the part. "Straight as possible, no stops allowed, huh? Sounds kinda crazy." He smiles again, maybe recovering his good mood. Slowly. "Course, 'crazy' don't always mean 'not worth doin'.'" When he turns his head back, he spots Max and narrows his eyes a bit to see better. NO WAY. Buck blinks.

That causes Jake to grin. He gets around the fountain, reaches Buck, hops off, circles the man, and hops back onto the fountain - glancing in passing in the direction Buck's looking. He lights up. "Oh, hey Max!" A hand goes up to wave - and only then does he eye the woman with him. She looks familiar for some reason. Might be the hair, might be the walk… it'll take him a minute to get it. "Who's your friend?" He hops from the fountain to go padding towards them. Just wait till he gets closer and gets a good look at her. "Oh, shit."

"Ugh. I think fucking assholes is an understatment when it comes to HF." Max shivers, rolls his shoulders and digs his hands into his pockets. When they approach Jake and Buck, he looks between his young friend and the female cop. "…why are you two 'oh shit'ing at each other?" Oh dear.

Liz keeps her hands shoved deep into her pockets, looking nonplussed. "Cuz…. I had to give your little friend a ticket," she admits. But she's keeping the kid's secret too. "He stepped out in front of my car and damn near got dead the other day. Against the light." She glances up at Max and shrugs a bit. "You know how it goes…."

Buck doesn't really care why anybody is 'oh shit'ing, because he is busy figuring out the situation. Jake totally said 'Max.' Which means not only is that who he thinks it is, but that Jake knows him. Which is awesome, but Buck has other things to attend to. He pops up on his feet and adjusts his hat as he looks at Max. "Hey, I know you. You're Max Quinn." People probably tell Max who he is all day long, but Buck still has no sense of irony about it.

Jake sidles back a bit from the lady cop, keeping a wary distance and still eyeing her. "You two are friends? …No wonder." And then he slides out from between Buck and Max and turns to face them both. "Max, Buck. He… uh, drank with me one night after this girl slapped me and walked out. Buck's good people." Then his attention swivels to Liz and Jake sticks out his hand. "Nice to meet you when you're not on duty," he says with a perfectly straight face, and sticks out a slightly grimy hand. "I'm Jake." A grin flashes, quite engaging, not nearly so frightened as he was the last time he ran into Liz.

"Jake…this is Liz." Max maxes a motion between the two of them. "She is also very good people. And I promise she won't slap the cuffs on you." He eyes her sidelong. She won't, right? Then Buck is telling him who he is. He can't quite stop the wry grin from appearing. "Why no, actually. I'm Captain Lightning. Here to save the day." He balls up be-glovved hands and perches them on his hips. For effect, he thrusts his chin into the air and puffs up his chest.

Given Max a shove on the shoulder when he turns stupid, Elisabeth rolls her eyes. And steps out of the way to let Buck have his moment with the movie star. "Yes, we're friends." She eyes Jake and murmurs, "No wonder?" as she takes his hand and shakes it. She doesn't seem to flinch in any way at the grime. "Not sure what that means," she says with a grin.

Buck blinks at Max, not exactly sure what he means by that remark. In fact, it seems to make Buck momentarily doubt the identity of the man to whom he's talking. He looks flustered for a moment, but then he shakes his head. "Now you're ex-Army, too, aren't you? I thought I remembered…" Max sure doesn't look like he wants to shake hands, which is a disappointment for Buck.

Max actually gets two shoves on the shoulder, one from Liz, and one, surprise, surprise, from Jake. "Don't fuck with his head," he sottos at the actor surreptitiously, and then flashes a bright grin back to Liz. "Don't worry about it." His handshake is firm and friendly, and he withdraws in a moment to shove his hands in the pockets of his hoodie. Today's shirt, by the way, reads "my life is a very complicated drinking game". Back to Max and Buck, he directs to the cowboy, "He's just joking with ya." He feels bad for the guy, see - after inadvertently insulting him and instituting several minutes of pure awkwardness on their conversation, he feels like being a decent guy for once. "Max is my teacher for that parkour stuff. Am I lucky or what?" That comes with a wide, rather fiendish grin.

Forgive Max. He's out of movie star mode. Ever since he started wearing a toque and letting scruff grow on his chin, he doesn't get recognized as much. "Yessir, I am. Buck, is it?" belatedly, he offers a gloved hand. At the mention of parkour, Max flashes Liz his best Hollywood smile. "Perfectly legal parkour, of course. No…breaking into construction sites or midtown or anything." Throatclear.

"Yeah, Buck," Buck confirms, shaking Max's gloved hand roughly with his bare one. Movie star or not, he wouldn't insult an ex-soldier like himself with a weak handshake. Buck nods solemnly to Jake. "You sure are lucky," he confirms, glancing back at Max. "I used to watch your show ev'ry day in the hospital. I made my sister tape it in case I slept through it." But once Buck has said this, and looked at the other two who are just regular non-fan friends of Max's, Buck seems to get embarrassed. "Uh…I gotta get back on my walk," he decides, excited grin paring back to a polite smile. "Nice meetin' ya," he offers to Max, more shyly, then nods to Jake. "See ya 'round, Jake." And a nod to Liz. "Ma'am." He turns away and walks back toward the trees.

Elisabeth shrugs easily to Jake and comments, "You are lucky. He's pretty darn good at that stuff." She smiles at Buck, though, when he excuses himself. "Nice to meet you!" she calls after him. And then her eyes go back to the two males she's left standing with. "So…. you're Max's protege, hrm?" She glances at Max, idly wondering if he knows that Jake's wanted by the cops. She looks at the younger kid and comments mildly, "Just don't forget my advice on laying low, hrm?"

"Relax, Buck," Jake protests, "He's really nice, I promise." …Pay no heed to the sudden flush of color in his face. "Guess I'll see you 'round, though." Uh. He sidles back a bit, eyes Liz now - he has bigger problems than reassuring Buck about his idol. "Hey, I'm being good. Really good. You have no idea how good I'm being." Blush. He drops down on the edge of the fountain and sits, getting ready for a scolding. Max gets a pleading 'save me' sort of look.

Max used to roll his eyes whenever anyone mentioned Breakwater. But then his publicist pointed out that the people who mention it actually liked the show, and disparaging it is rather insulting to his fans. Fortunately he remembers this as he shakes Buck's hand. "Well, thanks man. Glad you enjoyed the show. Good to meet you."

He turns his attention over to Liz and Jake now that the cowboy's making his way off. "He's being good, Liz. I'm keeping an eye on him." He does the two fingers up to his eyes, then over to Jake thing. Then he claps gloved hands together. "Who wants coffee?"

"Coffee sounds good," Elisabeth says easily. She doesn't seem inclined to scold Jake at all. Though she does eye him. Maybe debating whether to ask if he actually did it. In the meantime, she's going to simply pretend after this that she hasn't a clue who he is. She murmurs on a low aside to Max, so that only he hears it and it doesn't look like she's doing anything but scanning the park to anyone else, "~The cops're looking for him for suspicion of cheating on the lottery. He donated a winning ticket to the Red Cross on Miracle Day.~" Then she returns her gaze to the young man in front of her and asks with a smile, "So … do you want to be a stunt man, or what?"

"Coffee - yeah!" Jake hops up and starts padding in that direction, still with one squelching foot. Sigh. The question from Liz gets a backwards glance. "Naah, not really." A quick blink, then, "I just like running. Parkour's a whole new way to do it." He breaks into a grin. "Hey Max, wanna see something? Check this out." And suddenly he's off like a bolt of lightning, darting straight for the nearest park bench. The vault is accomplished with both hands stretched over the seat and set on the back of it, and very nearly results in a straight-up flip. He leaps high and lands hard - and hesitates for a moment before taking off once more. All momentum terminated, but it was otherwise a reasonably decent move. He turns back towards the pair and makes a face. "Damn landings." Damn, if he had his gift this wouldn't be a problem.

Crap. Liz knows. Better she than just about anyone though. Max looks over at Jake, then back to Liz. "You guys wanna go sit down somewhere, or do you want coffee and a walk?" Jake's look-at-me stunt gets a grin. He sidles up close to Liz and slings an arm around her. "Your ma and I are watching, son," he says in his best Jimmy Stewart voice.

He lets out a low whistle, then, "Try bending your knees more to absorb more of the impact. If you can't get that low, then you need to work on your flexibility."

"Walking's good," she starts to reply, and then Jake's being all 'lookitme!' and Elisabeth finds herself cradled to Max's form with his cute little drawl teasing Jake. It makes her laugh as she stands there, resting her head on his shoulder. "You're ridiculous, you know," she tells Max with a smile. She is duly impressed with Jake's actions and applauds lightly. "Niiiice!"

'Round comes Jake back again, trotting, far enough to get another good run at the bench. "C'mon, Max, I can do a squat or the coach would kick me right off the team." Pause. "Which he still might after I missed the last meet." Which is why Jake's here, instead of in class. He shoots the pair a look, smirks, and takes off again. The same trick wil be repeated - this time with a skateboard-style kick at the apex - and then he comes down in a crouch much like a runner's ready-stance and lunges smoothly into the leap. That gets slowed down pretty quick and he circles back again to rejoin the pair. "I dunno, though, maybe I shouldn't have coffee. Caffeine and all." He makes a face. "And decaf's still a sin. What was that other stuff you made me, Max?"

"Rooibos. I think this little stand might actually make it, too. It's just up here," Max points up ahead and then starts to walk in that direction. He pauses long enough to watch Jake's jump. "Good, better. It's all about controlling the force and the momentum." And then his grin grows wide, "You should take a dance class if you want to get better at parkour." He sounds serious. "What is your pleasure, Detective Harrison? Me, I'm going for the horrible horrible horrible, mocha made with chocolate milk and topped with whipped cream."

The stand is a cute little Italian-type cart with an old style espresso machine. The man who is working it looks as Italian as the Mario Brothers.

Elisabeth groans in absolute delight. "Evil evil mocha, that sounds fabulous," she admits with a grin. "And speaking of dancing, by the way…. want to go? I seriously need a good salsa partner. There's this amazing little club up in Spanish Harlem that I heard about. Interested? I don't really have anyone who wants to go, and I thought of you."

"Totally not fair," Jake grumbles, "That does sound incredible." And better than the decafish thing with the R that he can't pronounce. "Maybe just this once." It'll be fine, it's not like he had a stroke or nothin'. "You dance?" he queries in their direction, though the question is most likely directed at Max, given, well… stuntman. You don't usually expect them to dance.

"Maybe a London Fog? It's made with Earl Gray so it's a little less caffeine-full." Yes, Max has had a good fancy coffee education from his time in LA. He gets into line, though there's three or four people ahead of them. "Sounds like fun, Liz. Never done salsa before." Then he shoots Jake a grin. "Hate to break my macho image and all. But stuntwork is essentially dancing. It's all about choreography, timing and working with a partner. It just looks like we're trying to kill each other on the screen."

There's a soft laugh and Elisabeth says, "Excellent!" She winks at Jake. "It's always cool to be able to dance — the GUYS may give you shit, but I guarantee, you can take a woman to dance and make her feel good and look decent doing it? In about five years, the women will FLOCK to you." She grins, not commenting that Max is one of her only straight friends who'll go!

"No, I think I want some evil in a cup," Jake says, shooting Max a grin. "Shouldn't have described it so well if you don't want me drinking it." Liz's statements get a laugh. "Shit. Five years is too long!" He twists in place to give the whole park a look over, then turns back to both of them to grin wide. "I want it all now, don't you see?" He rubs his cheek next, a little rueful. "Funny thing is, the girls I want don't seem to agree."

"All right. But you're only getting a half-shot," says Max as they move up in the line. He orders two regular choco-choco mochas with whipped cream and a half-shot one for Jake. Unless someone stops him, he'll shell out the cash for all three. "Dancing is about momentum, about balance, communication and the transfer of energy. Parkour is the same in a lot of ways. So's martial arts."

Elisabeth shrugs easily and comments, "Girls at 18 and 20? They're clueless. Sorry. They think they know what they want, but they don't." She doesn't know exactly why she knows that with such emotional certainty, she just…. does. Not just from being a teacher at a high school. "Take it from me, kiddo. You'll get there. Everyone does." She grins at him. "The girls worth keeping? They'll notice. And if you can dance — not just the white-boy jiggle — they'll definitely notice."

The man pouring the coffee laughs outright at the white-boy jiggle comment.

Jake turns a bit red - and then he laughs too. He can't help it, he's having a blush-heavy morning. It's probably the exercise. "Whoever said I actually wanted to keep one?" he points out, grinning. "Ask Max. I am so not ready to settle down." And next he eyes the three cups with disappointment. "Damn, that's not fair. One little head injury and all the good stuff gets cut in half." Very carefully not calling it a stroke. That never happened, see, that was just a figment of everyone's imagination. When his cup's done he picks it up, sniffs, and sips, then flashes a grin at the guy who made it. "Thanks." Back to the other two, "So, are you guys offering to teach me to dance? I gotta get back in the groove anyway."

"He's nineteen," says Max to Liz by way of explanation. He lifts up his own cup and sips through the whipped cream. Mmmm. Choco-overload. A perfect thing for a cold fall day. "They do a pumpkin spice latte too. And a peppermint one. I have to try not to come here too often." He pats his stomach, then nods off in the direction of a path. "Dancing helps. Also, you know what? Ice skating. It's great for balance." Then again, there's not that many athletic activities that he doesn't have some aptitude for. Then to Liz, "Did I tell you that I'm working at a gym?"

"You did!" Elisabeth replies with a grin as she takes her own chocolate-overloaded drink with a hand that trembles just a bit. "Perfect." The drink, she means… it even offsets the fact that she still gets the shakes when she's out here in the open for too long, the feeling of being too exposed. She forces herself to ignore it, to hang out like nothing's wrong. "I used to skate at Rockefeller Center in the winter. Obviously can't do that anymore," she shrugs. The place is leveled now. "And if you want to learn to dance, Jake…. I could maybe teach you a little. I don't have a lot of spare time, but I can definitely make some."

"How 'bout right now?" Jake slurps the whipped cream off the latte, licks his upper lip and then tries to lick his nose. "I'll do damn near anything when I feel like it," he adds, and tries to look innocent - hey, pretty trees. He'll look at that now. "Doesn't really matter who's watching. Not like they care 'bout my white-boy jiggle." And he snickers and goes back to trying to absorb that caffeine as quickly as possible.

Max directs the two over towards a picnic table with a view of a cluster of vegetation that's turning lovely fall colours. He sets his coffee down and holds out a hand towards Liz. The zipper of his coat gets tugged down a little. "You know how to do a swing out?"

Looking surprised at the 'right now,' Elisabeth hesitates. And then she smiles faintly. "All right. Right now." She moves when Max gestures toward the table, setting her cup on it after a long swallow of the hot substance, and then mentally reviews what she does know. "Yeah… yeah, I think I know it." She grins. "The whole point of being the guy though is making me do steps that even if I don't know them look fabulous, right? Cuz that's what leading's all about," she tells Jake with a wink. Then she puts her hand in Max's.

"Oh, this should be good," Jake murmurs, and clambers up onto the tabletop to pull his feet up and cross his legs yoga-style, watching this with great interest and the cup in one hand. "You two want some music?" he calls, and laughs, then goes digging into his pockets. "I actually brought my iPod, Max. You want it, you can use it. Just please don't zap it again? It barely recovered last time." James managed to put the thing back together for him. It's good to have a genius brother sometimes.

"Oh god, no iPods, Jake. The second one gets on my person, it seems like the likelihood of me frying it goes up 90 percent. Besides, I doubt you have any jazz on there," a wink. Max grins at Liz. "Exaactly. As long as the follow knows the basic steps and trusts you, and is giving you frame and momentum, then it's all up to you."

Max extends back and gives Liz tension through her arm. And then he starts to count, "5, 6, 7 8…" If people are going to stop and stare at this…well, they haven't been in New York long enough. He pulls Liz into a lindy circle, by catching her as she goes to move forward, and by using that momentum to turn them both around. Then he releases Liz backwards.

The dance step is fast-moving and quite entertaining to see. Elisabeth whips around easily, cradled in Max's arms, and when he releases her on the turn, it's to step backward into a rock step. If there were music, that would have been a really quick way to show off nicely. Even without it, it looked fun. The blonde detective is chuckling. "I didn't know you knew how to swing dance, Max. There's a friend who lives upstairs from me that has gone ballroom with me before. What else do you know?"

"Fuck," Jake says vaguely, watching this with great interest. That looked pretty good, yep. Not as flashy as parkour, but maybe a girl-catcher, Liz is right. …Of course, it's not likely to catch the kinds of girls who don't mind being one-night-stands, so he'll have to give that part some thought. "One more!" he calls after Liz's comment, the words intended to be encouraging but likely just drawing more attention.

Max chuckles at Jake's cheering on. Then he preps again and pulls Liz around again,t this time for an outside turn. Then he directs her momentum back again for another lindy circle. "It's easy. If she's doing her job, then she's kind of going like a rubber band and I'm the nail. She keeps going in a line until I stop her or redirect her."

Instead of answering Liz's question, Max tugs her into a stiff, straight-backed tango frame. He grins cheekily, then starts to hum (off key) tango-ish music. "Believe it or not, part of my training was learning a shitload of dances. I can break it down, yo. Do some hip-hop, some jazz. Even a little bit of tap."

As he whips her into another fast Lindy turn, Elisabeth actually seems to get into it, fully expecting that it might go on for a few more steps. But as soon as he spins her out and doesn't give her any direction to go she stops - it's an instant thing, like she doesn't move unless his hand tells her where to go. And then she finds herself tugged in for the far more intimate position for a tango. Her blue eyes snap up to his face, the tension in her frame not merely for dancing. The suddenness of the movement, his face so close to hers… there's a visible (to Max, not to Jake) darkening in those blue eyes that were laughing a moment ago as she sucks in a fast breath and her blood pressure skyrockets. Her fingers grip far harder than is required. It's a moment, and not a long one, but the panic was instant in the moment. She's able, barely, to quell the urge to flinch and whispers into the man's ear, "Oh.. God, Max. Warn me next time?"

Sad thing is? That tango move did it. Jake hops off the picnic table and comes padding over. "Okay, I want in." He's perfectly cheerful. Even if he doesn't get to use up the girls like tissue paper, he still gets to do that to them. "You really get to do this kinda stuff?" Big green-eyed innocent blink. Not thinking about the evil implications at all, honest! There's certainly a hint of mischief hiding somewhere on his face, though - maybe in the crooked smile. "Show me," he demands of Max, eyeing Liz thoughtfully.

Max looks instantly apologetic when he sees the look in Liz's eyes. He loosens his grip and his frame immediately, and the tango frame becomes more like an embrace. "I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking," he murmurs. He loosens his grip enough that she can slide away easily. Now it's his turn for cheeks to redden.

Jake's approach causes a good change of subject. "What do you want to learn? Tango, or swing?" He reaches for his coffee to take a rather big drink. He corners a worried, apologetic gaze the cop's way.

Although her color is very high suddenly, Elisabeth smiles up at Max. "It's okay. I'm fine," she murmurs in response. She just hadn't been expecting that sudden pull. When he steps back, she lets him go, clearing her throat with a laugh. It's a little forced, but not too much. She didn't entirely lose it, so hey! It's all good. "Tango for the win, I bet," she quips. "The other one that's real popular is rumba — think slow dancing in beach sand."

"That," Jake says and smirks. Someone had better distract him pretty quick - he's not looking at Liz like a cop right now. "What do I do?" He tugs his gaze away, looks at Max, and tries to look innocent. Somehow it's just not working - he's still smiling. "Beaches are fun too," he adds, and clears his throat. Damn, the innocent act is really faltering now.

Max chuckles at Jake. "You really wanna be a tango follow, right here?" He glances from the young man over to Elisabeth. There's a smile on his face and in his eyes. He offers out a hand, not expecting the young man to take it.

Elisabeth's laughter rings out as Max offers to make JAKE the hand. Because she can tell the kid's gonna balk. It's just gonna happen, all boys do it. "The best dance instructor I ever had was a woman like barely five feet tall who could whip me around in a Lindy triple turn without breaking a sweat."

Wait, what? Way to distract Jake from the chick, yep. He turns a bit red, see, then hurls a look between them. "Wait, what? No, hang on, what do I do?" There's a hand sticking out, though - maybe Max is going to position him or something. He's incredibly wary about it, but yes, he takes Max's hand - and no, he's not expecting to be moved aside from the usual 'here's how you stand' type thing, so that might take some yanking. Then? His attention swivels straight over to Liz. Why's she laughing? What's a follow? And just exactly what are these two plotting? Jake's now worried. …Ooh, distracting story to be taken in entirely the wrong light! He breaks into a grin at Liz.

For one not familiar with the stance, it might not be immediately obvious what Max is doing. "Hold your arms stiff, feel the connection to me." He positions Jake's hand on his shoulder, and he sets his hand on Jake's shoulderblade. Now they're getting looks. The stuntman just grins. "You should be able to feel every move I make." He shifts his weight from one foot to the other.

Now Elisabeth just wants to DIE laughing. She covers her mouth, though, holding it in. She doens't want to scare Jake away from the lesson. Really!!

"Wait, what?" Flailing immanent - Jake is going with the position, but he's wide-eyed and now turning completely red, and leaning away from Max just a little. "No, I don't wanna dance with you, I wanna dance with her…" Ulp. Shit. Note, however, that while he looks like he might just about snap and start running any second, so far he's managing to hold still. "This is just prep, right? C'mon, dude, the team comes here sometimes…" It's solely Max himself, and Jake's respect for the man, which is keeping him from flipping out a bit worse.

There's a long moment where Max's face becomes unreadable. Hey, he's not a horrible actor. He purses his lips, holds Jake steady, then acts like he's going to pull him into a dance move. Then he releases with a bright laugh. "Okay. How about we do this another time? My spare living room would be a great place to dance. Wooden floors and everything." He flashes Liz a grin.

Elisabeth winks at Max and laughs outright. "Max is the one to teach you the guy's movements. I'll dance with you for practice," she tells Jake. "I promise." And then her cell phone rings, and Elisabeth pulls the phone out. "Sorry, Max," she says as she looks up. "Looks like duty calls." She walks over to the guys, and she leans up and kisses Max. Heatedly. Then she picks up her mocha and flashes both of them a cheeky grin. "Later, boys."

You have been applauded.

Blushing does not do it justice - Jake looks like he's about to melt into the ground. Face on fire kinda thing. And then comes that kiss and he makes an oddly choked little noise - and coughs, splutters, and drops on the picnic table's bench. "Fuck," he mumbles, and grabs for his drink for something to hang on to.

"Sounds like we got ourselves an evening planned. Tango music, candlelight, wine," Max puts on a mock-sultry tone. And then he's being kissed. Well hey now. See, Jake? Dancing works. He returns it and looks rather disappointed as she pulls away. "Later, Detective," he drawls, then lifts a hand in a salute. Cue dopey grin.

Once the cop's wandered off, Jake, who is still blushing violently, looks up and squints at Max, "God. You're gonna get me in trouble." He shakes his head, smirks just a little despite the blush, and tosses down the rest of his cooling coffee. "Fuck, that was… I dunno what that was. She do that a lot? Hell, you do that a lot? Are you two dating?" He's got to ask, c'mon. The curiosity is more than prurient, too. Damn blush isn't going away yet. Dammit.

Max shrugs and tries his best to look innocent. He tips back his now-cold mocha and scuffs at the ground. The pair of them are about five minutes away from where they previously were, down the fork of a path by an espresso stand. "We've gone out on a few dates, but I wouldn't say we're dating. Liz…doesn't really do serious relationships that I can tell." He digs into his pocket and pulls his gloves back on. "Trust me, Jake-o. She wouldn't sell you up the river."

"That's great," Jake says, but now his tone has gone a bit dry and slightly amused, "But the question in my mind has nothing to do with her selling anything." Pause, then, "Dude. Dude. She is hot. Smoking. Holy shit." There's a cough, followed by a bit of uncomfortable shifting on the bench. "Goddamn." The blush still isn't fading. "You know I'm totally gonna get revenge on you one of these days. Drag you in front of the entire frat and make you sign autographs or something." He breaks into a grin, though.

Having competed his long walk through the park and seen his fill of foliage, Buck is heading down the path when he happens to run into Max and Jay again. And he so carefully didn't go back to the fountain! Buck notices them, and no sooner is he in earshot than they're talking about how hot that girl was. "Hi," he allows with a little nod as the path inevitably brings him closer to them.

"She's somethin' special. But she's also been through a lot of terrible shit lately." It's not Max's place to go into details, but from the look on his face, it's something rather serious. He keeps his voice pitched low so that his voice can't be heard beyond he and Jake. And then a smile spreads. "You're just lucky I didn't dip you. I bet I could." The grin gets more wicked. He looks up as Buck approaches. "Howdy," he squints, then motions to the coffee cart. "This guy makes wicked mochas."

For some reason, Jake splutters. The blush goes wild again. He falls quiet, all but hiding behind the half-sized cup of coffee. Not a word gets spoken anymore. Buck gets a little wave with the cup, but that's about it - he's back to trying to melt through the earth's crust again.

"Oh," Buck says, stopping near Max and nodding. "I never had a mocha before. Is it good? That's the kind with chocolate in it, right?" He doesn't look too sure about that. He offers Jake a quick smile, but it's possible he misinterprets the fellow's sudden blush and smile because it doesn't last long.

"Yeah. This guy makes it with steamed chocolate milk. It is dee-lish," says Max to Buck. He chucks his empty cup into the garbage can, then nudges Jake. "You still wanna parkour?"

"Uh," mumbles Jake, "Gimme a minute. I'm not done yet." His cup's half the size of Max's and he's not done yet, that's right. "Hi Buck." God, sometimes having the libido of a teenager is not a happy thing. "Um." Quick, find something else to talk about! "What're we gonna do today?"

Buck nods to Jake and quietly orders a mocha from the guy at the stand so that it won't be awkward if he just stands there, and Max and Jake won't have to feel awkward if they just leave while he's geting the drink.

Max tugs his knitted cap off his head and jams it into a jacket pocket. Then he leans down to tighten the laces on his runners and starts to stretch. "I dunno. Jaunt across the park? Keep it easy. Rock, streams, benches, that sort of thing. Work on form rather than difficulty." He hops on the spot, then moves over to the grass to stretch more fully. To Jake, he asks, "Does your friend over there parkour?"

That's it, give Jake something to think about besides the tango. A hint of relief appears on the young man's features and he shoots a look over towards Buck. "Hey Buck!" That's called, and no, he doesn't particularly seem to care if anyone else hears it. "You wanna learn parkour?" Then, an aside to Max, "Not yet, but he thought it sounded cool, and he did rodeo or something when he was a kid - he might be able to hack it. Dunno, he got hit on the head pretty hard. We'll find out." Back to Buck. Having someone else around might be a relief - if Max keeps teasing him his head is liable to explode messily soon.

Buck looks a little uncertain about this invitation to participate in a sport he only just heard of a couple hours ago. "Well, I dunno," Buck says, glancing at Max. "I dunno…if I'd be much good at it, but…" He has to make a decision here, and finally he shrugs. "Guess I could at least follow y'all around."

"Are you quick on your feet?" Max asks as he stretches out his arms. "You gotta be pretty quick or you're likely to faceplant. It takes a little getting used to."

Finally Jake gets up; the blush has almost faded. "Eh, we're gonna take it easy, you said," he reminds Max - "So long as you can run, you should be fine, right? It's not like you have to jump, just that it makes you faster." And Jake grins fiendishly for a moment, sets aside his cup, and grabs one knee, starts stretching while standing on one foot. "C'mon - if you like running it's a lot of fun."

"I can be quick," Buck says after canceling his order for the coffee. He shifts his shoulders, changing his stance a little. "I used to play halfback." He nods a little at Jake. "Well…All right. If I can't do it, I'll just quit."

"Jake explains the principles to you? Just…maybe run beside us until you see how it's done? Then take an obstacle if you feel like you can. But don't try too much, too fast. Trust me, I've faceplanted before. It's not pretty." Max starts to jump in place and looks around to choose a likely route. And then he starts off.

"Hey, tell you what," Jake says, flicking Buck a grin. "You catch either of us and I'll take off my shirt." There - finally he gets to tease someone else. His attention whips after Max. "Hey, no fair!" And with that, Jake takes off in a loping, ground-eating run, determined to catch up.

Buck opens his mouth to say something to Jake's bet, but then the two guys who actually know what they're doing are off and running and he can't defend himself. So he goes ahead and takes off after them, tilting forward and rushing in their wake with his arms close to his body, obviously a person to whom physical activity comes very naturally.

The first obstacle Max comes to is a park bench. He comes up to it smoothly, hooks one hand over it and vaults over it, legs to the side at a ninety degree angle. That's a move that's done less gracefully by less experienced free runners. He lands effortlessly and starts off again. He's not really going screaming fast so the two less experienced parkour(ers)? can keep up.

See, this is where it's obvious that Jake is the trainee here - he was demonstrating this earlier to Max, and the urge to do something cool-ass and different hits. He speeds up, running breakneck for the bench - and hurdles the thing with barely an inch to spare. "Shiiiiit!" But he actually lands on his feet - and with enough momentum that he only stumbles slightly, laughing. A look gets thrown back towards Buck - the guy might be catching up, or might get hurt on this, and which is important. Best be prepared to stop in case of kaboom.

Now, the first obstacle they come to is not a problem for Buck. He's been hopping fences since he was tall enough to see over them, and he didn't exactly fall out of obstacle-avoidance practice in the army. Even a long convalescence has not much impaired his ability to hop something like a bench, it seems, but it does slow him down more than it would a pro like Max. He slows down slightly, grunts as he hefts himself over the bench with a strong arm planted on top and a strong push with both legs. He picks up the pace once he's over.

"The idea…" says Max as he calls back to the other two, "…is to not slow down. So if you find you need to slow to hit the obstacles, try and keep that slower pace. Then you'll improve your form." Since he's in teaching mode, he's trying not to hot-dog, though it is tempting. The next obstacle is a low rock wall, which Max vaults over, then ducks into a roll. He keeps momentum going through the roll so he has enough forward motion to spring him back up onto his feet again. He's clearly quite experienced at this. "Just jump it!" he calls to Buck.

"Whoops," Jake says with a laugh, and speeds up as Buck starts to catch up - his attention whips forward and he watches Max go over that wall with envy. "God, sometimes I hate you," he calls, "You make that look easy!" But he's been practicing something very specific for this, Buck caught him doing it at the fountain earlier: he lunges forward, plants his hands on the wall, and hurls his feet right up over his own head, and flips right over the wall. He's a little slower when he lands - and he has to force himself to slow down. Jake's competitive, and a runner, and Buck is gonna get him if he goes too slow. It takes concentration to keep from racing.

For Buck, there isn't a question of showing off. He's got no show-off moves. He lowers his pace a little because of Max's advice, but the wall is low enough that he can vault up on top of it and keep running without much change of pace. It helps that he doesn't waste breath on talking.

Max laughs as he spots what Jake just did. "Now that is a show-off move, not an efficient parkour move!" But he doesn't sound like he disapproves all that much. Next is a series of streams, then a low staircase, then another couple of benches. A challenge comes in the form of a cement-encased garbage can. Max leaps up, hits the top of it for only a second, then pushes off to land clear on the other side.

"Hey, I'm not allowed to show off?" Jake calls, but if he keeps it up he's totally gonna get caught. All the speed-running in the world won't save him if Buck catches up before he's done with a trick. He picks up his pace, plays good - plants that shoe in a stream, dammit, but keeps right on going, looking back to check on Buck pretty frequently. The can comes up and he hits it with one of the first moves Max taught him - a leap into the air, using the thing as a springboard, followed by a forward roll and landing. Then comes the, "Okay, slow down, blood pressure's up." He's been taking it easy these last two weeks. Whether or not Max slows, he does - besides, gotta give the newbie a chance to walk off the excess heat, right?

Streams and stairs Buck is used to and can handle even gracefully. The garbage can is a little too tall for Buck, so he doesn't seem to know what to do about it, really. He ends up breaking to the right even though he's aware that it's against the rules. He slows down with Jake.

Max slows to an easy jog to allow for cooldown and for a moment jogs backwards to face the other two. His breathing is barely laboured. Seems like he hasn't let his training slip too much despite the lack of stuntwork. "How was that?" He asks after a minute.

The look Jake shoots Max is somewhere between amused and irked. He does move slower now, one hand rising to pinch the bridge of his nose. "The usual." Which is to say he's insanely jealous and a bit frustrated. "How you doin', Buck?" Hey, the newbie kept up! He gains points in Jake's book.

Buck keeps moving so that he can cool down safely. He nods slowly at Jake and Max. "Okay," he says. "Couldn't really handle the garbage can. Little too tall for me, I guess. not bad, though. Sorta like chasin' livestock." He grins. "No offense." At least the physical exertion seems to have loosened him up a little.

Max grins and does the little hop in place again. Then he lets out a low 'moooo.' "Things like that require a little bit more practice, don't worry about it. Especially to do it safely. Also it helps to be familiar with your obstacles so you can tell if something can take your weight or not."

"Oh, yeah, we're full'a bull," Jake says dryly, considering Max's 'moo'. A smirk flashes at Buck under the nose-holding and he keeps on strolling. "Can't believe you ain't tagged me yet. What, did you lose all interest all the sudden?" The walk is aimless, drifting after Max; most of his attention's on Buck. "Or am I not allowed to get you back for teasing?"

Buck lets the pace flag toward a walk. "Better t' be full'a bull than step in it," Buck opines. He smiles and shakes his head at Jake, "Naw, you gotta right," Buck says. "But you drew a line b'fore an' I was respectin' it. I mean…I don't need to be botherin' anybody who don't want it."

"Mighty nice of ya," Jake says wryly, flinging Max a pointed look - which turns into a grin a second later for no obvious reason. "Shit, hang on a sec." And the deep pockets prove necessary. "I hate this fucking weather." At this point, the nosebleeds really are from the weather - mostly. The wishing doesn't help. He fishes out a little container of tissues and puts one to his nose. "So parkour, it doesn't really have any rules. It's just… go, as fast as you can. If you think about it you'll slow down, so don't think, just do. Think you like it?" The tissue is indeed turning crimson in spots.

"Jake-o. Take it easy," says Max. His tone is stern, but concerned. "I gotta get back. Need to grab my stuff and shower before work. See you both later." He lifts a hand and starts to jog off.

"I dunno," Buck says. "If I did it for real I'd have to change my shoes. This kinda environment'd just trip me up in these boots sooner or later." He nods to Max and watches him jog off. "How'd you meet him?" he wonders.

"In a bar," Jake says, eyeing Max now. "Be careful yourself!" he yells after the other man, then looks back at Buck and grins. "We almost got in a bar fight, but the singer on stage broke his guitar, knocked a stage light into the dude who was gonna hit me. Damnedest thing." Then he looks down and laughs. "Shit, I'm sorry. Yeah, you need sneakers - I didn't mean to make you run in those!"

Buck shrugs down at his shoes. "Oh, I've run in these plenty o' times. It's not bad on soft ground but you can trip up pretty easy." He seems a bit awed by the story. "That's pretty damn cool," he decides. "He's, like…one o' my favorite TV actors."

"You ain't the only one," Jake says, and flicks a look after the departed actor. "Between you 'n me, I think my life started over the day I met that dude. It's scary." Then he clears his throat and focuses on checking his nose. That sounded suspiciously fanboyish, must not seem like a total fanboy. The tissue gets put away after a moment - the bleed seems to have stopped.

Buck looks a little worried by that nosebleed, but he doesn't say a word. "That girl he was with was his girlfriend, right?" Buck asks. Totally casual. He stuffs his hands in his pockets. "But you didn't know her, right?"

"Naah, she's this cop lady who gave me a ticket the other day," Jake says, shoving his own hands in his pocket. The pair of 'em are pretty much doing the casual male mosey at this point. "They have an on-off thing, I asked." Another little cough, clear of the throat, then, "They were talking 'bout dancing. Apparently he's pretty good at it. Said he's giving lessons." He flicks a look heavenwards. "Dude, if she shows up looking to get him to teach her the tango, I'm totally signing up." That has the air of a prayer.

"Oh," Buck says, nodding slowly as he goes along the way with Jake. "So you like the girl, huh? Well, I guess she's prob'ly somethin', huh. I guess he doesn't have too much trouble gettin' somebody good."

Jake coughs. Shoots Buck another look, then shoots a look after… well, Max is gone. "Dude…" How to say this. Uh. "There're rumors, you know. Equal opportunity." Call this revenge. Max deserves it for that tango business. "He seems to like seein' how red he can make me get, too, if you hadn't noticed, so you're in good company." The last bit is a little dry.

Buck tries not to look surprised about that. He tries not to look /anything/ about that. His lips just twitch together, that's all. "Oh," he says again. Safer to say as little as possible. "Well, you know, I'm sorry 'bout that this mornin'. I didn't mean to, uh… Well, whatever I did to ya, so…I mean, it won't be a problem again, ya know? I mean…I served years in the Army without ever sayin' anythin'. You don't have t' worry about it."

Suddenly Jake's blushing again. "Don't worry about it. I get enough of a hard time from Max, doesn't matter if you start too. Though if you get me in trouble with the football team, we'll have problems." A smirk flashes and he pauses in front of a rather battered but still intact large house with a bunch of Greek symbols over the door. "My stop, looks like. Seeya 'round, all right? I visit the park a lot for practice."

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