Author's Note: This is a one shot with the McKenna tv show. Brick was simply too much too resist for me. It is set before the show with Brick as a teenager, and thus Guy plays a part. I hope you will all enjoy it.

Warning: The warning is placed here for vinsmouse, who wanted a spew warning here, claiming it might be a bad idea to drink while reading the funnier parts. So please keep in mind that drinking any kind of beverage while reading this, might be hazzard'ous to the health of your screen.

Disclaimer: I do not own McKenna, I do not make any money on this and I have no hope of ever making enough money to own McKenna. No permanent harm will come to Brick, I will not leave him in any mess Dale can't haul him out of, but both he and his Mustang might require some tinkering once I'm done…


The Only Way He Knew How

Someone said that people hear what they want to hear, and I guess that's true. Sometimes the only reason we don't hear something is because we're too busy assuming that no one will ever say it to us. Some people never seem to be able to quite find the words for what they want to say, so they find another way to do it, not with words but with the things they do, and the way they do something. Everything we ever wanted to hear is there, just not in spoken words…

"Don't stay out too long now son, we still have work early tomorrow," Jack said from the comfortable armchair as Brick passed him on his way to the door.

"I know," he sighed. He had lost track of all the times his father had said that. He might be satisfied to simply sit and read a book all evening but his son wasn't.

"You taking the car?" Jack asked next and Brick leaned against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest in a defensive posture.

"Yeah," he stated, refusing to give anymore information than absolutely necessary and not for the first time Jack wondered how it had come to be that way with the two of them.

"Did you fill up the tires like I told you to? I checked them and you're a bit low," he pointed out and Brick's eyes narrowed slightly.

"I filled them," he stated.

"You need to change those spark plug wires son," Jack went on, pretending not to hear the tone of voice Brick used in turn. One of these days he would understand. "And change the oil too, when in hell was the last time you did that?"

"I know, I've been meaning to do it this weekend," he looked suspicious, guarded and Jack really just wished he wouldn't.

"Alright then son, go on then, have a good time, just don't get in too late," Jack finished as he took up his book again.

"Fine," one word tossed over his shoulder and he was out the door. Jack heard the car start up and tear out of the yard. That boy never knew how to take it slow, he never seemed to be able to figure out that he didn't always have to go at top speed. He was a wild one that one, untamed and unrestrained. A free spirit some said, and perhaps it was true, all he knew was that with that boy the harder you tried to rein him in the harder he fought the bit. He never seemed to know what to say to him and he never could figure out how to talk to him, how to figure out what words he would listen to, and the boy simply wasn't hearing the things he was telling him now.

It wasn't until years later, after he had lost his brother and yet found himself listening to the same words again that Brick finally realized just exactly what it was he was hearing.

Jack wasn't talking about the car, he wasn't criticising him for not taking better care of it. In fact it wasn't about the car at all as he had always believed. Nor was it about his father wanting to control his life and what he did.

It had never been about that.

It was simply that Jack was a man of the old school, some words didn't come easy to him and he didn't say them the same way others might have done.

He spoke about not staying out too late, about changing the oil and checking the tires, but he was really saying 'I love you' the only way he knew how….


"Come on Jack, it's no big deal," Brick insisted.

"Son, if you slowed down for a moment we could discuss this," Jack insisted, wondering again why it was so hard to talk with his son?

"Aw hell Jack, there's no need to discus anything," Brick insisted. "You're making too damn much of it."

"Watch your language boy," Jack sighed. "I raised you better than to talk that way."

"Look, if we don't get something more of what people want these days we're going to loose business," Brick argued. He simply couldn't understand why Jack would argue so against it. It was nothing they couldn't afford, it was nothing to extreme. He didn't even want it for the guests or the money, he wanted it because it would be good for the ranch, for their business and for the dream Jack had always had. He would never be able to tell Jack some of the things he should probably tell him, he simply couldn't find the words for it, but he hoped that eventually one day Jack would realize what he was trying to do.

Right now, it seemed like a forlorn hope….

Jack wasn't certain what Brick was trying to do, the boy had gotten himself worked up good, that much was obvious but he had always been rather excitable and likely to leap before he looked. It seemed like he would always have to try and see where he would land before he hurt himself, and he just didn't know about this new idea of his.

True, it would probably be popular, it wasn't very expensive and it would be easy to pull off. Truth to tell it would be very easy if they decided on it, and it did appear as if he had thought it through for once, well, at least as much as Brick ever thought anything through.

He just wasn't sure if it was a good idea to get into something like that and throwing up his hands in defeat Brick left the room, annoyed and angered. He remained somewhat sullen and foul tempered for days and Jack simply shrugged it off knowing it was his nature.

It was many years later before he finally understood.

Brick had never been upset with him because he didn't like the ideas he had, nor because he didn't agree. In fact the boy hadn't really been talking about the ranch at all, not in that way.

He spoke about business because he wanted to convey something to his father that he could not say in any other way.

He spoke about the dream his father had always had because he wanted to speak about something that meant a lot to him. Because he couldn't voice what was truly on his mind.

All the talk about figures and guests and profits were only ever just that, talk, but what his son truly wanted to say was something else. Gratitude for what his father had given him, forgiveness for all the time he himself hadn't listened and something more besides.

He was saying 'I love you', the only way he knew how…

The End

Please review, The Cricket is hungry….

My deepest gratitude to Bucky Covington who wrote the song 'A Father's Love.'

"He checked the air in my tires, the belts and all the spark plug wires

He said, when in hell's the last time you had this oil changed?

And as I pulled outta the drive, he said be sure to call your mom sometime

And I didn't hear it then, but I hear it now,

He was saying I love you the only way he knew how."

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