The Prodigal Son

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Where: Caldecott Home

When: August 19, 2012; Afternoon

What: With necessity driving Zan to appear as though life is back to normal, he returns to his family home for more than just a visit.

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon. The sort where hours are filled with naps or some televised game or another. Or sometimes a good book read while lounging in the shade is in order while a cup of tea or lemonade is enjoyed. But for one, it's a long overdue visit to family.

Zan's key rattles in the door as he lets himself in, dressed in a t-shirt and khaki shorts. "Anyone home," he calls out, a little hesitant. Keys are worked free and the door is closed while he listens for an answer, before venturing further through the entryway and into the house.

No answer forthcoming from the house, not till he ventures further into the bowels of the lush little niche of paradise carved out in the desert called home by the Caldecotts. It is indeed out on the patio, sunday paper in hand and a cold cup of Iced Tea on the table that has accumulated a nice coat of moisture in the Vegas heat. But there is the Mayor, reading the sports page with a frown, the rest of the paper folded beside the drink and waiting to be read or tossed in the recycling.

Zan looks at his dad from just inside the house. He takes a couple of seconds to watch the Caldecott elder before making his way outside. "Football team's looking pretty good this year," he says as he edges around his dad's chair to take up one on the other side. "We should try and catch a couple of home games." Which is definitely an odd suggestion from the youngest son, even delivered while he looks across the patio to the yard beyond.

"I have a feeling that my heart will be broken again this year. But I'll survive." The sports section folded so neatly in half and put to the side, the Mayor looking to his errant son who's suddenly appeared. "If I have the time. I can probably swing some good seats to the university's games. If you really are interested." He offers up. "You worried your brother. Next time, leave a note."

"I'd be happy with cheap nosebleed seats," Zan says, draping his arms over the armrests. He slouches a little, typical, then looks up at his dad. "Just a regular night out without all the fuss and to-do." Just once, and it's not an unusual request from the oft wayward boy. He lets out a breath and shakes his head. "It was spur of the moment. And I'm not a kid anymore, I didn't feel my comings and goings required me to check in with Tim all the time… but I'll apologize when I go back."

"Just saying. Little consideration. If it's going to be more than a few days," The elder Caldecott points out to said wayward boy. "I assume you are coming to check in, possibly stay for dinner and appease your mother, or just…" Looking over at Zan as he reaches for his drink.

Zan's careful to keep his expression neutral. Dinner with Mom hadn't been in the plan, but he should, and has no real reason not to stay. And every reason to appear to returning to life like normal. "Yeah, that," he agrees. "And… to let you know I'm going to put off any career moves for… for now. I'm back so I could get registered for the next semester." His brows lift a little as he watches his dad.

There is a startled look, as if Caldecott never really expected his son to go back to school. "I think that that is a wise movie Zan. If you're really doing that, we'll of course resume paying for tuition, and if you find living with your brother not quite to your needs, you can move back." With the caveat being that, he needs to remain in school of course.

"You can thank Rylie and Mrs. Crain," Zan says with a shrug, "since they, in some ways, kind of helped me decide." He looks back to the yard, head tilting backward until it's rested against the back of the chair. "I'd still like to get a job. Just a part time, so I'm still earning something. —Can I convert the basement into living space instead of moving back into my old room?"

It's a pretty expansive basement and it has him thinking for a few moments before nodding. There is a second entry into the basement after all. "You may. Talk with your mother about what down there is off limits, if she says yes, then I give my blessings." It seems, so long as Zan tows the line, he'll have a more agreeable father.

It's more than Zan was expecting, as it's his turn to show surprise. He lets out a breath, one corner of his mouth tugs upward with a sense of uncertainty. "Yeah. I'll talk to Mom and do the work setting it up. Hauling boxes around and cleaning it, everything. I'd like to turn it into some workspace, for my movies, and kind of my own place." Even though it's technically still at home.

Caldecott waves his hand away at Zan when he relays his plans. "You can deal with your mother about that. Like I said, if she's fine with it, then I'll be fine with it." It seems, that this is the end of the discussion and he makes to pick up the paper, this time the local news so he'll have an idea of what shit storm is landing on his doorstep and pauses.

"Mrs Crain?"

Zan shrugs over the waving off of his plans, content to let the conversation on it end there. He glances toward the paper, even going so far as to flick aside a couple of sections in search for the funnies. Until his dad's query gives him pause. His brows push upward again, but he finishes fishing out the pages of comics before turning that questioning look up to the mayor. "What about Mrs. Crain?" Innocent, but mildly wary.

"Nothing," he brushes it off again, content once again, in this matter, to let sleeping dogs lie. That and sit quietly with his son and read the paper. Enjoy the Nevada summer and heat, mind you, from the shade.

Zan watches his dad for a moment longer, expecting something to crop up. He's slow to settle back into his chair with the funnies, but eventually he pries his gaze away from the elder Caldecott to focus on a Garfield shenanigan. "Will the old agreement be in effect when I start school again," he asks, businesslike and after some minutes have passed. "Working at home, I mean. Or do you have some connections who would hire a college student part time that might rake in more than what you, Mom, and I agreed on?"

"I'd rather you stuck to the old agreement. That way you'll have more time to focus on your schooling," Caldecott offers up, not looking away from his computer.

Back to normal. Mostly. Zan nods, deciding against pushing the topic of income further. He's still got the grant money from Mrs. Crain, so he shouldn't have to worry about out of pocket expenses for his movie. "Tim'll be happy to have his house back. He's gone a little crazy, keeps his room and office and a closet locked." He shakes his head and sets the comic pages aside. "If Mom's around, I'll go help her with supper."

"You go do that." Caldecott nods his approval. "I'll be out here. Have someone bring me another ice tea would you?" Like the good son that he is.

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