Duncs was quiet on the bus back to LAX. He sat in the back of the plane, stuck in his headphones, and closed his eyes the entire trip back, completely ignoring the fact that Seabs was right there and just as pissed off as the next guy. Well, not...well, okay, he wasn't as pissed off as Tazer, but Coach wasn't as pissed as Tazer, so there really wasn't a comparison to be made there.
Seabs watched Kaner climb into Tazer's loaner and slam the passenger door hard enough to echo across the airport lot. Jeez, and people thought Duncs was creepy when he got mad.
"You coming, or what?" Duncs said behind him.
Seabs took a deep breath, grimacing at the cloud of exhaust hanging in the air, and turned on his heels. Duncs had his fists pressed against the hood of the truck, leaning hard enough that the muscles in his arms stood out against his shirtsleeves. His jaw bounced, close-mouthed. Asshole was probably clacking his dentures together, and what the fuck had he done with his jackets?
"You're gonna break those again, you know," Seabs said. "And then the dentist is just gonna laugh you right out of the office."
"Jesus Christ," Duncs muttered. He banged his knuckles on the hood, and then pushed off the truck.
Seabs rolled his eyes, and yanked the door open. He got a foot onto the jump up bar, and slid in behind the wheel. Duncs' clothes were rolled up into a ball in the passenger's seat. Seabs lifted his hips up, and dug in his coat pocket for the keys, glaring out the window while Duncs got in on the other side. Duncs threw his jacket and coat into the back. He slammed his door, and Seabs resettled, thumbing through the keys on his ring. He squinted.
"It's the one with plastic bit at the end," Duncs muttered
"I know which one it is," Seabs said, and brought the keyring closer to his face. "I can feel it; it's tangled up."
"You just can't see it, is that what I'm supposed to take--"
"You know, I said I'd let you drive tonight," Seabs said, shaking the car key free and jamming it in the ignition. "I said, 'Duncs, you wanna drive,' and you said,"-- Seabs turned the key, and shifted out of park.--"'nah, dude, I'm shitty at night--"
Duncs snapped his seatbelt on. "Oh, fuck that, when the hell did I say that?"
"Last night," Seabs said, backing away from the side of the warehouse, and pulling out to follow Jamal's SUV off the tarmac.
"Last night I feel asleep in front of the TV and woke up to you watching SuperNanny," Duncs said.
"You talk in your sleep," Seabs said, twisting the leather on the steering wheel between his hands.
For a second it was quiet. A heavy, nervous heat lurked at the base of Seabs' neck. Jamal's SUV passed through the gate to the service road, and took off. Seabs put his foot to the gas, pressing maybe a little harder than he normally would. The truck jumped forward with a coughing roar as he pulled out into the right-hand lane. Fucking goatsmoking hell, what were they doing? What the fuck was wr--
Duncs fiddled with his fucking seatbelt. "You're gonna crack that."
"Oh fuck you," Seabs said, glancing over at him. "Sit like a God damned adult, and then lecture me about cars, or some shit, okay?"
Duncs smiled at him, and crossed his arms over his chest. He pressed the back of his head against the passenger's side window, and jammed his left knee into the molded cupholder tray between them. Seabs breathed out through his nose, and jerked his eyes back to the road.
"What the fuck," he said.
"What? I've still got my damn seatbelt on, Mum."
Seabs smacked Duncs' knee, and pressed on the gas, passing Bolly in the next lane. He took another deep breath, and watched the street lamps along the service road as they passed. Duncs' head thunked against the window, and Seabs sat back in his seat. He turned on the heater, twisting the nob all the way to the right. Duncs always closed off the vents on his side of the car and it took longer to heat up.
He swallowed, and licked his lips. "It's been a bad fucking streak," he said.
Cold dry air blew out against his chest, fluttering the loose ends of his tie. He looked to his right. Duncs had his eyes closed, and his jaw clenched tight. His left hand lay palm up on his knee, fingernails tapping against the rim of the cup holder. Seabs looked back out through the windshield. They were in the middle of the pack, the other guys' cars strung out in blinking lighted rows in front and behind them. The streetlamps washed everything a dirty yellow-brown.
He reached between them, over the cup-holder tray, and settled his right hand into Duncs' palm; their fingers wrapped around each others' wrists. Duncs' middle finger tapped against Seabs' pulse.
"Yeah," Duncs said, breathing out.
Seabs pulled up to the intersection at the end of the service road, rolling to a stop behind Sharpy. The truck's engine grumbled at being idle. Seabs rubbed his thumb along the grain of the steering wheel cover, and flexed his other hand in Duncs' grip. The light turned green, Sharpy pulled out, and Seabs followed. He turned right, pointing them towards home.