|Destiny is made of (otrava) wrote in repose,|
@ 2016-08-20 10:12:00
|Entry tags:||*log, destiny sokol, nick morgan|
log: nick & destiny
Who: Nick, Destiny, & bb Wyatt
What: Breakfast, and exposure.
Where: Nick's diner.
When: A few days back.
She might have tried to come around sooner rather than all this time later, but she still wasn't sure how she felt about Nick thinking she was trying to get a free therapy session out of him. She wasn't even sure if that was what Nick thought at all, but the idea was so pervasive and discomforting in her head that it actually guilted her away from the diner for a solid week. She didn't want to unload her life on unsuspecting folk who barely qualified as anything more than strangers. Destiny didn't even like to do that with the people closest to her. She was better suited to being unloaded upon, be it by clients, family, or friends. Not that she minded, Destiny actually appreciated being a confidant in that way… but she wasn't sure that it was fair to the unsuspecting to anticipate the same.
So yeah, it was a certain, and perhaps misplaced, type of guilt that kept her away from the diner for longer than what had recently been determined to be usual for her. But Destiny wasn't the type to avoid things forever. More often, she was determined to face those things that left her feeling awkward or uncomfortable. If she could dismantle it or correct it, it'd no longer have any power over her. Besides, Wyatt wanted pancakes, which was completely out of Destiny's realm of knowledge when it came to basic cooking technique.
The boy was all energy in blue overalls, and Destiny followed from not far behind when the diner's doors dinged an announcement of their arrival. She picked a booth table, and positioned Wyatt in against the wall while she stood, glancing around for a Nick sighting.
Standing didn’t do a hell of a lot for a Nick sighting, because Nick was closer to the ground. More like Wyatt height, if you’re getting comparative about it because Destiny was leggy and Nick sat low. He had been a listener a long time. Maybe it was the fallout from switching personalities and high school credentials from juvenile delinquent to park avenue brat and the full circle all the way back and maybe it was that the blood, sluggish through dead veins and forgetful of the highways south of the knees still ran NYPD blue. But people liked to spill their guts, whether it was because they were spilled over a pillow with their knees braced against your rib-cage and confessional drawn out like candy floss on the way to sleep, or because they had their wrists locked down and were stuck in a seat and they wanted you to know how fuckin smart they were. Nick didn’t do a helluva lot aside from listen.
If she’d been looking for a loaded gun ready to resurrect the guilt and bring it back for more, Nick was resolutely unruffled by the appearance of woman plus sidekick in his diner. He was laughing as he rounded out from the back, and the smell of syrup and coffee and bacon was muggy like the air after a storm in the diner. He wiped the flat of his hand against the side of his jeans, syrup slug-trail glistening stickily from his knee-cap and he grinned greeting in the direction of Leggy plus Shorty.
“So this is the toast connoisseur.” Shorty looked young. The kind of young that took trips to the ER and shoved peas up his nose still; Nick remembered sitting on a plastic seat with his mom so fucking strung out he didn’t know when the doctor came if they’d know which they were here for, mom or son. “Your mind, my man, is going to be blown.” All seriousness, and directed at blue overalls.
“You remembered where we are. Good start. You want more of that coffee this morning?” That was to Destiny as he moved in the direction of a table, grabbing menus from the stash behind the station in front.
Laughter was somehow unexpected from the man she barely knew, but it seemed at home on him just like the smell of maple syrup did. Destiny wouldn't have thought it was natural, but it fit just fine, so maybe it was. She didn't know why she'd taken grinning as anything superimposed over a tarnished reality, pessimism wasn't usually her style. She didn't think it was because of his chair, but maybe just because he was an older man in this nowhere town. She'd gotten to know a whole lot of those over the past year, and none of them seemed particularly happy. She didn't think any of them had a diner though, either, so maybe that was the key. She couldn't quite figure out how the math equated, but she really wanted to take his joy at face value, so she determinedly did.
"Um, no coffee," she said to the opening offer. Although she liked coffee just fine, more than just fine on most occasions, the air conditioning was out in her trailer, and Destiny found this morning in Repose too freaking hot. There was still sweat on the back of her neck from the walk over, and the idea of coffee was almost unendurable. "Maybe some orange juice?" She glanced down to Wyatt, wordless eyebrow raise extended the question his way.
"Milk, please," the boy requested with ease, a complete lack of wariness that came from being cycled through a rather large pantheon of babysitters. There were the constants, like Billy and Connie, but the rest were girls from the caravans, and most of those didn't stick around for too long if they had any choice in the matter. So Wyatt was very accustomed to strangers, perhaps dangerously so. He spoke easily, although the words were a little garbled, still-learning. He didn't seem shy at all.
Nick had barely anything in common with the kind of older men who looked up the cluster of trailers in the back end of town; it was the kind of crime he hated most because the decks were stacked in favor of the sonofabitch with the wallet who needed a woman so bad he paid for it. His mom had johns when he had been young enough he hadn’t been meant to know the difference and there was no Richard Gere in the city, just men. But he didn’t know the occupants of the trailer-park business, and he didn’t assume nothing about Destiny. He knew she didn’t have much but a lot of people in town came and ordered from the dollar menu.
The air conditioning inside the diner was cool but not fuckin frigid. People were a lot more comfortable ordering hot food if they weren’t dying on the inside eating it, but Nick ran cold because his circulation was for shit which meant he didn’t mind if the mercury slunk up the scale. The chair didn’t take anything big except the obvious, but it took shit off in increments. Nick’s sense of humor wasn’t a casualty, that hadn’t taken a bullet or nothing but it was layered over something harder.
“No coffee, got it. This way.” He took the long way round to the back booth because it was clearer and he watched Wyatt eye the chair the way most kids gave it a good long look. “Milk for the gentleman of the party, hey Caesar,” he leaned into the side of the chair, mouthed off to the chef working short, “Milk, half-glass.” Nick didn’t carry an order pad and it pissed Caesar off no fuckin end which was partly why Nick did it. “And toast.”
"And toast," Destiny repeated with wry smile rising to the surface over what had become a constant, and almost sort of a joke between her and the diner's owner. At least, she thought it was kind of funny that he associated her with soggy toast. Destiny enjoyed small things like that, connections built out of nothing at all, a word strung through a series of days like loops in a bracelet.
Destiny still liked people, despite everything. She liked the little things about them, and she liked making connections through those things. It was better than making connections through the big things, she thought. Because with her the big things were enough to make anybody run away as fast as they could. So she would dance with strangers in boat houses, and she would share inside jokes with diner folk, and that was enough for her. Really, she promised herself it was.
Nick didn’t think about big things or little things. He wasn’t a philosopher, he’d never sat on his ass through a weekend and he wore cerebral uncomfortably, like a pair of shoes (he couldn’t feel) that didn’t fit or a jacket and tie. If he thought too long on shit, it wedged in deep, a splinter under skin that needed to be bitten out, welled blood and swollen so Nick -- didn’t. Simple.
Milk was deposited on the bar by a sour-looking short-order cook who glared in Nick’s direction (Nick who turned cheerfully in his and flipped him the bird from the chair, which made one of the little old ladies gasp - but Nick wasn’t feeling real conciliatory toward little old ladies just then so he didn’t mind or nothing). He wheeled in the direction of the bar, and scooped up a tray, which sat across his knees, and the milk went on that. He could have had a real fancy chair, the kind with controls that ran smoothly no matter what shit had been left on the floor but Nick’s palms showed the callouses from running wheels. He liked engineering fine, he had one of those chairs out back, but he stayed in this one because he was a stubborn sonofabitch and he’d figured out serving easy.
It occurred to him as he drew table-side that the kid had probably seen the hand-gesture. When Nick had been a kid? That was the least of the shit out there, but Destiny cooked, which made Nick think of the kind of mothers in TV commercials, even if she was a sister, and that made him think maybe she gave a shit. “Sorry. I forget not everyone in here is over the age of hand gestures.” He deposited the milk on the table, and the side of toast and the orange juice, “Kid, I’m gonna place five bucks on this side of the table, and if you think you had better toast, I’m gonna give it to you. That’s how sure I am.” But they were a family, eating, no matter how unconventional, and Nick shoved himself back from the table toward the bar itself.
"He doesn't know what it means," Destiny assured Nick through her smile. She was tearing her way through the paper sleeve of a disposable straw. The white wrapping was left crumpled on the table near the salt and pepper shakers while she secured the straw down in the bottom of her glass before taking a sip of juice. "Now if you knew how to curse in Russian, we might be in trouble." Destiny smirked across the table to where Wyatt was drinking his milk with a toothy smile. Their mother was Russian, and while Destiny wasn't one to go flying off the handle and cursing up storms, the occasional word made an appearance in her vocabulary now and then, even when Wyatt was around, which was more often than not.
The toast looked buttery and inviting on its plate. It didn't even remotely resemble the charred whole wheat monstrosities that Destiny tried to pass off as the same dish. Wyatt's smile was toothy and excited, although he seemed to hesitate when Nick made the five dollar wager. The little boy was too young to really comprehend the full concept of money, or how little five dollars actually was in the grand scheme of things. But he seemed to realize that cash was something rare, rarer than toast, and the boy looked across the table at Destiny with something like uncertainty on his face. Destiny winked and pushed the plate of toast closer, insistent that he enjoy.
She got up from the booth while her little brother dug in, munching happily and bouncing a little in the booth. Orange juice in hand, she walked over to where Nick had relocated himself by the bar. "That wasn't very fair, you know." But she was smiling.
Russian, huh? Nick had known some Russians. The kind who ran cocaine pure as snow through the club-kids and the back alleys. There had been one kid, young, probably as young as Destiny here, maybe younger. Blond, small. He’d died in a gutter, in one of those mesh shirts with glitter smeared from nose to belly-button, his spit flecked white. Nick didn’t like a fuckin word of Russian. But the kid’s smile (little one, not the big) blew his mood open and good. It made him think of dragging his kid brother places where a sob-story and big eyes would persuade the owner into putting out, thick slices of apple pie dosed in cream. They’d eat like kings for a night and then it was back to filched ketchup packets and cornflakes bought in packs at the dollar store.
He was leaning over in conversation with Caesar when Destiny made her way over, and Nick rolled his weight back over his seat-bones with an expectant look that was all about the coffee on the back counter. Orange juice only went so far to wipe out exhaustion, but she started talking about ‘fair’ and shit, son, she was right. Nick looked crestfallen momentarily, a glance back at the kid in the booth. Money on the table like a threat, and he’d forgotten that part.
“Kid wins the bet both ways.” A shrug, real deliberate to make himself stop feeling like a mean sonofabitch gambling over toast. “I’m not taking five bucks off a -- four year old?” He hazarded that guess. The last kid Nick had spent significant time with had been under the age of two, and he didn’t think Wyatt was wearing diapers.
"You can't just give him money." Destiny was still smiling, and it was obvious that she found that kind of thing endearing, but there was also worry (not-so-clearly) writ in her honeycomb eyes. There were a whole lot of reasons that Destiny wasn't comfortable with the idea of men giving her little brother cash, and it wasn't even because of residual weirdness over all of the ways that she got cash. Mostly, she just didn't want Wyatt to think that getting money from people was normal. It was probably hypocritical, because all money came from somebody, but…. Destiny didn't like the idea of Wyatt getting too emotionally attached to anybody she didn't know well enough.
She drank her orange juice and leaned into the counter like this was the grown ups table, and not like Nick was working hard. She felt like conversation, and he was being nice today. Destiny wasn't entirely sure that was a rarity with him, but she also wasn't counting on it being a daily thing.
The diner's door opened with a whoosh and a ding, and Destiny stiffened a little because one of the men that walked in was a Hookerville regular, and it was too small of a town to avoid that kind of run-in forever, but most days she did okay. Mostly, she wouldn't have minded, but Wyatt was here, and there was always a lot of staring. Occasionally, there was some not-so-subtle catcalling, but even that she could ignore or smile away, if only her little brother wasn't so happily munching toast nearby.
"Can I get a to go box?" She asked softly.
“I didn’t. I made a bet.” There wasn’t no place to go that wasn’t shitty, Nick figured, not with that fat five bucks sitting on the edge of the table near the paper napkin and the cutlery. It wasn’t charity, hell, Nick didn’t know charity to spit on it because he didn’t like something for nothing. Never had. Most ‘nothing’ had a rider attached and that was usually the part you liked least. He didn’t think nothing on emotional attachment from a bill-fold, because Nick hadn’t given a crap about the men or the women who’d given him cash. He’d wheeled out his little brother and he’d held out his hand and he didn’t feel grateful or shit. He just felt fed, after.
But he saw her hackles go up the second the guy walked through the door on a gust of artificially-cool air. Destiny wore an expression like she thought the world was a nice place to be, and the second it wiped itself sideways, he didn’t have to measure up the guy who walked in to know shit about him. She asked about the to-go box, and he looked past her shoulder, directly into the guy’s face. Not many people looked at Nick. Not the way they looked at the guy who’d had change after six foot but he looked the same way he’d looked at people before, real lazy like he was thinking over picking a fight.
“You getting a to-go box because you want to leave, or you want to take your food to go because you think that guy’s planning on hassling you?” It wasn’t personal, exactly. The neighborhood was meaner than sin under the skin in places. It chewed over gossip like it was gristle instead of poison and he didn’t need to know shit about the girl hooked up with the sheriff or the woman who ran the gas-station to know they weren’t playing the parts the town had scripted. It was just Nick really didn’t like anybody who walked into his place and stirred shit up. He jerked his chin toward the guy at the door. “Ex?” It was a wild guess. She looked young for a guy that age, but responsibility made people old, quick.
"Yeah, well, you shouldn't be turning a four year old into an aspiring gambler either. If he starts throwing down nickels when we play Go Fish, I know who I'm going to come pointing a finger at." The mudhoney of her eyes gashed a little wider while an eyebrow popped into an arch of waiting. Destiny figured Nick would have some smart thing to say next, and she wasn't particularly keen on missing it, even if she could feel that Hookerville regular's eyes burning a hole in the back of her. Mostly, those sorts of guys didn't cause much trouble, not if they wanted to keep coming back to the caravans. Still, there was a reason that Destiny did most of her socializing on her side of town, or in the Capital. Nobody would see her in a local bar, not when she'd be forever more comfortable drinking back home with the girls, gossipping about regulars and the boyfriends that never lasted as long as those regulars did. Even these regular visits to the diner were strange for her. The average folks of Repose were a whole lot more comfortable pretending that Hookerville didn't exist except for when it was convenient to their wanting it to.
She watched Nick's jaw square off like he was ready for something to go down, like he remembered violence in the same echoes that started the universe. It was ingrained in everything, in all of them, particles from old days across the stars. Destiny leaned into the counter, it dug sharp into her ribs but the look she gave Nick was sharper. "Can you not?" It was as bad as if she'd told him 'Ok, don't look, but…' and then he had!
"I want to leave," she told him with the kind of cool insistence that said it was true, and not at all a lie. Destiny turned to glimpse Wyatt at the window, still content and clueless with his toast. But when Nick asked if the man, who was already on his way over, was an ex, Destiny's expression screwed up into something insulted. "What? No." It wasn't even his age, it was that he always smelled like diesel and stale cigars, which she got a big whiff of when the guy, Huck, closed in behind her. He put a hand on her shoulder like an old boyfriend, despite what she'd just protested, and she watched Nick with an expression that went very still. There was a whisper in her ear, more of that cigar smell, something spoken about a date, later tonight.
And Destiny, big brown eyes and a smile that slid into place like water, like her friendliness was easy as a switch, looked at Huck. "Sure, sugar." When the man ventured back toward his table and fellows, she blinked back to Nick, aiming for flippant. "How about that box?"
He didn’t say a word about nickels and diming your way through a card game, maybe could have pointed out a four year old was old enough to get down the basics of poker. Nick had card-sharped his way through hands when his moms’ people were drunk or high and they thought a kid shaking them down for cash was cute as shit. But smart had folded itself up and away and his jawline was concrete because the guy coming down the aisle from the door to the counter tripped every wire Nick had going. All that bullshit about bleeding blue, PD left in your bloodstream long after you stopped takin’ the hit? The guy strummed instinct like a sole note on steel wire or maybe the backfire of a car before a hit.
Destiny leaned in to the counter until it bit into her, counter was made for leaning on instead of leaning over and hissed at him and if this was an ex, it was an ex who didn’t know nothing about being an ex. Nick was making the kind of rapid reassessment he’d last made leaning against a brick wall instead of sat low-slung in a chair. He didn’t need to look along the line to where the kid sat tucked still into the booth. Ronan or Gwen, whoever was on shift would pay attention to the kid: the kid was cute and the kids that worked for him were young and he trusted ‘em. Nah, he was narrowed in on the smell that cut over processed air. Guy didn’t look at Nick, but Nick figured that was gonna happen. He didn’t look at nobody but Destiny, who was holding onto that composure like she had it twisted tight between her fingers, right up until she reacted.
Watched that guy slide on in like he was picking up a pastry to-go, like what was in front of him was on the menu and Destiny was oil on water, refraction of expectation. Nick slanted a look in the direction of the clueless little kid in the booth. Thing about late-night opening was, he got acquainted with the kind of people who were out late. Weren’t a whole lot around town who weren’t cops, or drinking, or cops off duty who were drinking, or the people who worked out of the set of trailers cross-town. That and the drug dealers but maybe they had a sixth sense or something, because Nick hadn’t ever spotted none in his place. Maybe the place over that way.
He’d worked violent crimes, nothing with girls, but the PD blue, it still ran clear. He fitted pieces together, made himself a hand of cards. “Thing of it is,” he said calmly, as if the whole fuckin thing with the sonofabitch who thought he bought himself a standing invitation when Nick was pretty sure the place over the way ran by the hour, “Your kid there, he’s working his way through toast fresh. The experiment, that was all about fresh. You walk, he’s got a problem. We’re good here.”
Destiny could watch Nick and still assess, even if there was a weird, hyper-active pounding in her head like blood vessels preparing to steam like pipes, capsize this submarine. She could feel the man, Huck, like something foreign and familiar at her back, nothing bad like slime, but something that made her shoulders creep up because this was a place that was all daylight. It was lights on here, bright, and she could feel more eyes than Nick's looking at her. Although maybe that was just the man's.
Things were different at the caravans, when everything was warm with magic, and she was high with it, and who cared anymore anyway when there wasn't even two cans of soup in the cupboard. Destiny didn't feel guilty, with breath drawn and the present seeping into her skin like cold sweat, it wasn't even shame that made her itch to leave. It was just the feeling that whomever was looking at her, Nick, and that line cook, and the scattered patrons, maybe they thought she should feel guilty or ashamed.
She really didn't, because she knew what it was like to have a toddler to look after, and a mama's lawyer fees, and only two cans of soup in the cupboard. So no, Destiny didn't feel bad about the way her life was working out right now, but there was a kind of twisting in her stomach because she knew that people thought she should. It was different than pity, she was pretty sure, although she couldn't place why.
She didn't even argue when Nick called Wyatt her kid, because he was. Maybe not born to her, but raised by her way longer than their mom had been able to stick around. If she felt guilty about anything, maybe it was bringing him here, but the boy was youthful-ignorance in his booth, and Destiny didn't say anything on her walk back to the booth. She left her orange juice at the counter with Nick, half-empty.
"You about finished, bubba?" Wyatt's grin was all butter and jam.
The john, the client, the “ex”, whoever the hell he was, all that buoyant light in Destiny’s face had blown itself out, light-bulb with the filament snapped. Nick watched tension run through her body like it was a winch and the tighter it wound her, the more you could see it. He didn’t fuckin’ blame her because this diner was far enough over from the girls and guys that worked at night that you’d figure normal lived this side of town. But Nick, he knew normal meant that guy probably lived somewhere dug deep in the neighborhood. Maybe he had a wife, maybe he had a bunch of kids and a tie and a shirt kinda job and a dog. Maybe he didn’t. But normal didn’t mean shit under the skin.
He watched the guy take a booth and Nick watched the servers working because he didn’t want a single one of his servers taking that order. Gwen was pretty and she was blond and she was younger than the body she walked around in. Ronan, he had made himself insubstantial with lack of sleep, far as Nick could tell and neither were something he wanted to put in front of a man that thought it was a-okay to make a business transaction in someplace else’s business.
He didn’t look at her and see shame, he saw hustle. Fact was, that kid over there ate toast and he wore clothes and he got sick and he needed the way kids the world over needed. Nick knew that. He had been a kid himself, he had worked what he got. Destiny was doing the same fuckin’ thing but Repose watched people closer than everyone in the city had. He didn’t think she had to feel shame, because shame was something livid and it was all about other people and other people didn’t pay bills or buy food or wake up in the middle of the night sleepless.
He followed her to the booth, quick and short shoves of the wheels and there was something acid in the back of his throat, acid over metal about how being in the chair right now made him feel. Something about the intent of a guy that bought time with a woman in his place who hadn’t looked at him once and something about chasing her back over here so she could flee, the way he couldn’t talk quiet. But it wasn’t a moment he had spare and acid and metal, they worked plenty slow.
“Hey, look at that.” Nick admired the state of the kid, “You enjoy it?” His voice held nothing but real pleasure for watching a kid smear jam all over the surface of the booth but the grin was something else. “You oughta come back. Both of you.”
Destiny had a real talent for feeling people at her back, but feeling Nick behind her wasn't anything like it'd been with the other guy. She almost stopped to demand what he was doing, the spin of his wheels soft but still detectable behind her… but Destiny was kind of tunnel-visioning it. Her only real worry was Wyatt, or more accurately, that he wasn't worried. Such concerns were put to rest when she got back to the table, and her smile held a lot of relief, and just genuine joy that could be brought on by the innocence of children. It was really endearing, and his enjoyment softened her up a bit because she didn't flinch or lash out when Nick spoke up from just beside her.
Wyatt was the one who took the offer to return with such gusto. He bounced, and there were crumbs of toast just everywhere… on his face and in his hair, but he'd demolished most of the plate, even parts of the crust which was a testament from toddlers. "Yea, yea, yea," the boy said as he scrambled up from the booth, seeming to sense that it was about time to go. Wyatt looked at the five bucks on the edge of the table, and then looked up at Destiny again. No words were exchanged, but he seemed to be asking if he could have it. Destiny shook her head, authoritarian and curt-like, as she pointed off toward the restroom in the corner. "Now go wash your face and hands, lil bit."
The boy made off for the restrooms, edging past Nick's chair with curiosity over its design and the man that sat in it. Destiny slumped back into one side of the booth, and she crossed one knee over the other before looking at Nick. "Oh, just say it." Because she was sure that he wanted to say something.
Nick didn’t want to be that other guy and he was pretty sure he wasn’t made that way. It was something about growing up with it real, the burned spoons and the needles and the johns who left with their flies half-buttoned and without looking around at the apartment bare in the cold light of the morning, it took all the illusion out of it and any kind of fooling yourself you could do. That guy parked in the booth with nothing so much as a glass of water right now, he was either kidding himself or he was trying but Nick had a real desire to leave him sitting awhile.
He laughed when the kid scattered sticky crumbs all the hell over and slid out of the booth on steady sneakers. Enthusiasm was a kid thing and Nick liked it because it was blunt and honest and four year olds didn’t know yet how to lie well or with enough truth to it to make you believe it. He watched that silent conversation over the five bucks and the way the bill curled there, stuck to the edge of the table now, either by jam remnants or the force of fuckin’ will that was the girl who poured herself over the seat like water.
He didn’t pretend or nothing. She knew and he knew who the sonofabitch in the booth was, what he was and the kid had beat it back to the washrooms, probably decorating the walls with jam handprints as he went. Nick thought about sending Ronan after him with a washcloth, but he wheeled back to the service station and picked up his own wet-rag to mop at the table. It took a little, because he had to drop one side of the chair to lean all the way over but he’d got real practiced at it so it didn’t look like effort.
“What are you thinking I’m gonna say?”
Yeah, no pretending. That was why she just looked at him when he asked about what she thought he might say. Like, come on. Or maybe he really wasn't going to say anything, but it was difficult for Destiny to separate the cop-aspect of Nick from talky-aspect of Nick, and she thought that some opinion resided in there somewhere between. Even the guys who came to see her little part of town had an opinion about what she did, Destiny just figured out how to capitalize on it.
She didn't really know what to do with somebody who didn't have an opinion either which way. If Nick thought she was trash, she could throw him away too, but he wasn't saying anything while he mopped at the table that her brother had destroyed with his toast crumbs.
"Nothing," she murmured while watching him work, like maybe that was worse than saying anything at all.
He dropped the cloth. It sat in a smear of red and bleached-yellow butter, and he wiped his hand back along the length of his jeans. He wanted to look at her because he figured that kind of conversation, the kind like an exposed nerve when all the shit you thought you had squared away spilled out like a split grocery bag in the street, it went down easier when you weren’t looking. But it wasn’t, she mouthed nothing like she thought maybe she believed it.
He leaned back into the chair, the length of his back cradled in canvas and he looked at her even. Wyatt, the kid, he was still somewhere, probably making a fuckin waterfall out of the bathroom stall but he wasn’t close by enough to watch his words over.
“Nothing?” He said it clear and he said it like he didn’t believe she meant it. “You want me to what? Say something about what you do when you’re not buying toast in my diner? Nah. I’ll say I mind people conducting business in my business but that,” he looked toward the counter where the john had approached her, “That was him. You didn’t come in here to set up a meeting, you came here for toast.” He dropped his hands into his lap, his elbows on the rests of the chair, and he looked at her even.
“You wanna be told something, you gotta tell me what it is you expect me to say. Because I got nothing.”
Honestly, she couldn't have said what she wanted him to say. There wasn't a whole lot in her life that had to do with want, never had been, really. The only thing she'd been expecting was… maybe disapproval? Commentary of some kind? Especially based on his old profession, and so Nick's total ambivalence was a strange pill to swallow, although not entirely minded. Maybe she actually liked that he didn't ask questions like he deserved answers. Or maybe, and she figured this was more likely, he'd already known. This town was damn small, and Destiny was getting to the point where she was pretty sure that everybody knew about her, if not her family history.
"No, I'm good." Wyatt was on his way back to the table now, and Destiny scooped him up with both arms because he wasn't small enough to do it with just one anymore. She juggled the boy on her hip and fished a bit of cash out of her pocket, setting it on the table near that neglected fiver.
"Later, Nick," and she was leaving with no real certainty on coming back, although she figured that she would eventually. Meanwhile, Wyatt's fingers were still sticky when he pushed them onto her cheeks, and it boosted Destiny's spirits enough to fake a groan through her laughter as the pair made their way out the diner's door. "You didn't try the soap at all, did you?" But he was only four, after all.