Gracie sucked on the straw of her juice box, swinging her legs back and forth against the hot leather seat as she watched Danno take his right hand off the wheel, which was very bad, ten and two, and swing it through the air, fingertips grazing the roof of the car.
“I’m just saying, Steven, all I’m saying is that I’d like a little consideration, okay? Would it be so hard to, you know, warn me that you’re going to throw a flash-bomb? Would it tough guy? Huh?”
Uncle Steve shrugged his shoulder, “I did warn you, I pulled you behind me didn’t I?”
“Really? Really! Babe, I gotta tell you, shoving someone into your shirt- which you really need to start using fabric softener on or something, I mean, I probably have a scrape on my face- seconds before said bomb goes off does not denote warning! You know what is warning? Fuc-dging telling someone, oh hey, about to set off a flash-bomb, might want to cover your eyes! I mean Jesus.”
“You know, Danno, you should really start doing yoga or something, stretches, work some of that stress out.”
“Yoga? Yoga he says! And haven’t I told you not to-”
Grace leans forward, holding her juice in both of her hands, grip tight and fingers not reaching all the way around the box as she rests it on the seat divider in the front.
“Why are you yelling Danno?”
Her daddy abruptly brings his raised, gesticulating hand down from the ceiling, grasping the wheel, mouth hanging open as his words cut off.
Uncle Steve is grinning, eyes crinkling in the corner as he twists in his seat to get a better view.
“Yeah, why are you yelling, Danno.”
Grace sees her dad take a deep breath, shoulders tensing as he gives her a quick smile, small but real.
“It’s not an argument, Monkey, I’m not mad.”
Grace stubbornly sets her jaw, “Yes it is! It’s a-a cargument! You’re yelling and people yell when they’re having a fight, and we’re in a car and they sound kind of the same and I don’t want you to fight with Uncle Steve!”
Said Uncle’s smile turns softer and he leans forward, covering both of her tiny hands and her juice with one big palm, long fingers curling around hers.
“That’s just the way our Danno talks, Gracie, he doesn’t mean anything by it.”
She huffs but accepts the answer because even though Danno snorts and shakes his head, he doesn’t say anything about it, and when Uncle Steve lets go of her hands, he slides it across the car, fingers tangling with Danno’s on his knee.
Uncle Steve smiles even wider, the goofy kind that shows some of his gums and Gracie see’s her dad turn their palms so his is on top, leaning back in his seat as the tension drains out of him.
That is, of course, until Steve bursts out “Besides, it’s not a cargument, it’s a carcussion.”