She could see that he was angry at her in the set of his jaw and the way he gripped the wheel. He was livid, and she found that she couldn’t care less. He didn’t have the right.
“You can be as mad as you want–” Kelly said, crossing her arms over her chest, “But I had a plan.”
He said nothing, but readjusted his grip on the steering wheel, squeezing a little bit tighter.
“The silent treatment isn’t going to psych me out, Kyle. I’m not seven anymore.”
He clicked his tongue–but said nothing, eyes still steadfast on the road in front of them.
“Dammit, Kyle. Say something.”
There was a beat of non-reaction, and then Kyle turned the wheel sharp, cutting across three lands of traffic and coming to a hard stop on the shoulder. “She want s me to say something. Oh, I’ll say something.” Kyle muttered to himself as he put the truck in park and threw open his door. Kelly scrambled to follow and met him back near the tail gate. “You could have died, Kelly! You would have died if I wasn’t very good at what I do. How could I have gone home and face Mom and Dad if you had died? Hey, I know you sent me to watch out for Kelly but I let her die instead. That’s cool, right?”
If Kyle was going to yell, Kelly was going to stay calm. She knew nothing would piss him off more than responding to his rage with rational. “I wasn’t going to die, Kyle. I had a plan. You didn’t see my plan because you wouldn’t listen when I tried to explain what I wanted to do. If you hadn’t played Hero, I still would have at least three back up plans in place. Not only have I been watching Mom and Dad do this since I was in diapers just like you have. Besides, I have an advantage that none of you had.”
“Oh, What is that, Kelly? What world of wisdom do you have access to that the rest of our family managed to miss?” Kyle spat, kicking a tire in anger and turning away to pace along the tailgate.
“You. Dumbass.” Kelly shrugged.
Kyle stopped in his tracks and turned slowly to face his sister. “What?”
“I was seven years old when you started making your plans, and going on your own trips. You remember when you used to show me your plans first? To practice before presenting them to Mom and Dad?” Kelly smiled at the memory, in spite of herself.
“I didn’t know you were actually listening,” Kyle said softly.
“Of course I was. I thought you were the best. Even though I knew you were just starting–but you’re my big brother. I thought you were the best of everything. And you did turn out to be really good, and I got to watch you learn it all. You’re great, and because of that I get to be better.”
Kyle considered his baby sister. No, not a baby anymore. Sixteen years old and perfectly capable of running her own missions. If someone had messed up his play–well, he was lucky that she wasn’t tearing him a new one. The fact that she just seemed only mildly annoyed was probably a god send.
“I’m sorry that I messed up your play.” Kyle said quietly, more to the ground than to Kelly.
“I’m sorry,” Kelly smiled, stepping forward a little with her hand cupped to her ear, “I didn’t quite catch that. Could you repeat it louder, and perhaps after I get my tape recorder out of my bag?”
“You are a pain in my ass and have been since the day you were born. Record that.”
Kelly rolled her eyes. “You owe me a present for messing up my play.” She told him as she made her way back to the cab of the truck.
Kyle considered for a second before following her. “Yeah. Okay.”
Kelly smiled even wider as she put her foot up against the dashboard. “Something big.”