Barbershop Quartet


eimi_icon.gif joe_icon.gif lance_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

Scene Title Barbershop Quartet
Synopsis Lance and Joe meet up with Eimi and they all go to Raq's shop.
Date March 7, 2018

Red Hook Market

“We’re going to the market to the market to the market. We’re going to the market cuz… that’s where we’re going.” Joe sings it as they walk. He and Lance were doing stuff, like advertising for child care or something when they ran across an Eimi. And well Joe is determined to get the girl a haircut. Everyone deserves to have a haircut. Even feral wild girls. Which reminds him they need to get Hailey to Raquelle’s as well.

But he so doesn’t tell Eimi that’s where they’re going, or Lance, he just leads the way to the market, then takes a turn in the direction of Raquelle’s salon as he walks and talks. “Hey Eimi. You’re a teleporter right? I’m…” he side eyes Lance for a moment or two, then whispers, albeit loudly. “I’m wanting to investigate the stolen food. But my bro won’t go with me. Will you help me? Maybe Silvia too? I want to help stop the food theft, and having a teleporter around could be suuuuper useful. What do yah say?”

The market took some convincing. Even though meeting up and hanging out had been planned, the teenaged girl is just a touch more skittish than usual. Teleporting to catch up when she fell behind because she got distracted, and as they step into the market she walks a little closer to Joe and Lance, such as to avoid notice by any shopkeepers she might have stolen from in the past month.

She pauses, and shakes her head a moment, and before they can actually get there, she grabs both of the boys by the hands. One hand each, and then.

Eimi's teleportation is not quite instantaneous. But at the same time, it doesn't feel like they're moving through the darkness. It presses in, but they're both shielded by the teleporter's ability, and less than a full second later they reappear in an alley created between two booths, both of which have actual plywood walls. The area is in shadow, and barely visible from where they'd been standing before. Letting go, she turns from Joe, to Lance, and turns on her heel to face Joe again and when she speaks the words are flat but at the same time carry an urgency. "Not so loud," she hisses at him, and then lets out the rest of the breath.

"I didn't steal it."

She draws in another breath and continues, "I'm a teleporter, yes. But… there are… I've got… there's limits." What those are, she doesn't say. "I mean… I steal books sometimes." The explanation is flat, quiet, and there's a worried expression on her face as she looks towards Joe, looks back at Lance. Her friends deserve to know this, after all. "And jewelry, and apples. Small things."

"I am literally right here, Joe," Lance complains with an exaggerated roll of his eyes, because of course he can actually hear every single word that his friend is 'whispering' to the feral-esque girl that they've met. He's giving her a curious look, trying to figure out what her whole thing is. She's on edge, skittish, and she keeps popping in and out of space which is pretty primal but just shows that she's nervous.

He's grabbed by the hand, he blinks down at her fingers and —

— then they're in an alley, and he stumbles a bit as he misses a step. "Whoa," he expresses, hands out to regain his balance, "That was.. whoa, are we — okay we're still in the market. Wait a sec, wait a sec." One hand sweeps up, "Okay. We can talk now."

Outside of the alley, no sounds come from inside the alley.

"Nobody can hear us," he says, leaning back against the wall and folding both arms over his chest, "I— whoa, whoa. Nobody said you stole all the food, babe." He grins, "Joe would've tried to tackle you or something if you thought that…"

Joe uhhhhs softly as they appear from thin air and Eimi says she didn't steal it. "Well that's good… cuz I totally didn't suspect you of stealing thousands of pounds of food Eimi. If I suspected you I wouldn't have asked you to help me investigate? I'd have totally tried to spy on you and what not and see if you stole it. But I don't think you stole it." He peers at her for a moment or two looking amused at her defensiveness. "Well, I definitely don't condone the thieving of jewelry. But I can't argue against the theft of a little food. I mean… you have to survive Eimi. So you won't find condemnation here from me on that. Buuuut yeah. Totally wasn't accusing you of stealing tons of food. Literal tons."

Joe unlike Lance isn't phased at all by the teleportation, he launched right into talking with Eimi about the stuff. "Teleportation is pretty primal." Yeah, he can read Lance's mind occasionally. "Yeah. Totally wouldn't have tried to tackle the teleporter. I'd have tranq'd her, or whacked her over the head with something blunt and tied her up in a room where she doesn't know where she is. Cuz a lot of teleporters have line of sight issues. Buuut anywaaaaay. I just wanted to know if you'd help me investigate. See my bro can ignore starving people but I can't." Yeah, laying the guilt trip on thick. And there may be a glance or two out of the corner of his eye in Lance's direction.

She relaxes just a little bit, and grins. "I have to see where I'm going." Eimi says. "Usually. Otherwise I end up anywhere. And that's not so good. So, yes. I'll go with you," she agrees, and then leads the way back out of the alley she had teleported them into and back to the street, letting Joe lead the way after that.

"It started," she says, "for survival. Back when my… when I manifested. It was easier to take what I needed if I teleported away. Sometimes it's for fun now, but never… not that would hurt someone."

"I'll keep up a silence field," Lance offers as he moves to step along with the two, "That way we can talk and nobody'll hear us." Of course they won't make any sound at all as far as anyone else can tell, but in a busy street? Almost nobody will notice.

Then he rolls his eyes, "I'm not ignoring starving people, Jesus Christ. I just don't think we should be vigilante super-heroes, Joe. Gillian wanted a normal life for us. I just want to— like go to college and shit, you know?" Which is not happening, he's just not accepting it yet.

"I'm tired of getting us shot at. I should be worrying about a hot Friday night date or something, not if some racist shitbag's going to shoot my sister again."

"See, she has to see where she's going." Joe points out to Lance, as if making a point to him about teleporters. Not that a point needed making. He flashes a wide grin at his bud and then glances back to Eimi. "Survival is fine. But stealing for fun isn't very cool." Joe disapproving face right here. Super disapproving face right now. Dad face. Brian face really. He shakes his head a little bit. "But I'd super appreciate you helping, if you want to. If not that's okay too. I just figured I'd ask."

Joe's head turns, looking over at Lance. "Well, until we get you and Brynn in we're not in college. So we can totally be heroes until we get you two into college. Speaking of which, we need to start studying bud. I'm gonna organize a study thing for you and Brynn and you both better be there. We're gonna get you through those entrance exams."

Joe shrugs his shoulders a little bit. "We'll get you guys in Lance, and yeah I know you wanna live a regular life. I just think that sounds boring. But I get not wanting to be shot at if you're not me." He does get it, he's just not happy about it. You have a hot date? Who you got a date with Lance?" He asks, lifting a brow at his buddy.

Eimi's reaction to the disapproval is a nonverbal 'you're not my dad' look, complete with taking a few steps off and away… but only for a moment before she returns to the company of her new friends. Instead, she responds to the second part. "It… isn't like I'm doing anything else," she says quietly.

She walks in silence a little, and then says, "I haven't had normal in a long time." That tinge of flatness has returned, but she doesn't seem upset. If anything, with whatever distance she's more talkative. "Not since we left Utah, when the bombs went off."

"Not since my parents…" She doesn't have to say the last bit aloud. Died. "But it would be nice. Maybe. I'm staying with Eve for a while, she said she knows you guys. She's neat, I like her."

As they walk along, Eimi glances at the shops. "We can look into it and see if we can find something out, without being vigilante super-heroes. People don't notice kids our age a lot of the time. It's almost like invisibility." She grins. "Plus. I can always teleport us out of there, right?"

"I don't have a date, because some assholes from Staten Island shot my sister so I haven't really been prowling the hot night-spots, Joe," Lance observes with a pointed look in his friend's direction, shoulders rolling in a shrug.

"We never had normal," he admits quietly, tucking his hands into the pockets of his hoodie, "Even before the war, before all that. Grew up at the Lighthouse on Staten, the orphanage there. Sometimes people would come try and kill us." He says it casually. Just a thing that happened.

"I'd like a chance to try it out though," grouses the ninja of the Lighthouse Kids in Joe's direction, then he blinks at Eimi, "You're staying with crazy Aunt Eve? Huh. Well, you must be cool, then, or she'd've thrown you out a window or something."

She's crazy, after all.

He sighs, then, flinging his hands up, "Fine, look, even if I agreed, do we even have any leads?"

“Yeah, we never had normal. I mean we had normal for us. But there was always something going on. Someone trying to kill us, or foot shortage, or any number of other things. There was once a battle on the first floor between Peter Petrelli and Sylar. Lance your bubble is still up?” He checks, just to make sure. “It was totally primal. Like all sorts of crazy. Kinda like from an anime or something. It was weird though cuz Sylar also stayed with us at one point. Maybe it was a different one? Or someone looking like him? Or maybe he just went mental. He didn’t come after us kids though, just went after Peter. Was odd. But hey.”

“Yeah I know Lance.” Joe sighs dramatically. He knows Lance wants to try normal. But they’ll never be normal in Joe’s opinion. “Wait what? You’re staying with Aunt Eve? Eimi she’s… I mean we love her. Lots and lots. But she’s nutso… She shanked a guy in the shoulder yesterday during the riot here in the market just freaking cuz. But she is pretty awesome too. Oh yeah, totally be prepared to be thrown out a window if she knows you can teleport. She might do it just cuz she knows you’ll be safe. Or might like bird nest it. Make sure you can survive the fall… I dunno. She’s crazy.” He’s grinning though as he says it.

“Well I mean leads? No. But we have places to start. We know where they’ve hit and stolen food. We can scope out the next most likely targets. Also it’s probably not a teleporter. Most have pretty heavy restrictions, whether it be by line of sight, or people they can take, or size of something they can take. No one teleporter could steal thousands of pounds of food. Maybe a phaser? Someone taking people through the walls? I don’t know. But something. And we are better trained to help than the police or the other authorities.” What 18 year old kids can say they’re more trained than the police? These two.

Eimi giggles and shakes her head, and says, "She knows I can teleport," Eimi assures them. "I met her out in the ruins. One of the fire escapes broke away from the building while I was standing on it and I ended up a few feet away from her because it was the first place I saw… I recognised her from one of those metaphor posters?, and we were talking, and she asked if I would take her along a bit. So I did." There's a grin. "I can survive falls, that's easy."

On to the subject of leads, and there is a consideration. "They have to have somewhere they're taking it," Eimi says, pauses.

There's a number of steps worth of silence then, before she offers, that same flatness still there, "Or someone let them in."

"Yes, but for the love of God stop talking about Sylar," Lance mutters under his breath, his head shaking in exasperation. One day, when he's older, he will have an ulcer. He will name it Joe.

"Someone might've let them in, but they wouldn't've been able to just carry all that out the door," he muses, "It could still be a teleporter, not all of them have limits. Could be a phaser, move things out a parcel at a time, but that'd be… hard, and take a long time. Portal generation? Or…"

A pause, "I mean, if we’re gonna get all chalk about it - has anyone checked the steam tunnels and sewers under the storage building? Maybe they took it down."

"Oh yeah. I forgot about the metaphor posters. Aunt Eve is a unique person. More unique than a lot of our other adult friends. Like grown up friends. Not that we're not grownup and stuff but they're like… grown up grown up. Yah know? And yeah, there has to be someone helping them, and they have to have somewhere to take it. But with so many buildings abandoned and half destroyed everywhere… finding where they've put it would be dang near impossible. But they do have to have a way to convey all that food. So maybe we should be looking for big trucks. But would it be inside the safe zone or outside?" Joe's face scrunches up in thought as they walk along.

"What? Why? Like everyone knows who Sylar is. And Peter Petrelli, so why am I not supposed to talk about Sylar? Heck most of the world knows who half our protectors are after the war trials and what not. So… should we not talk about them?" He's not being sarcastic, he's asking a valid somewhat worried question. "Steam tunnels… oh crap under. I have no clue? I'd assume the cops checked, but… maybe not? So we need to go investigate and see if there are tunnels and sewers under those buildings. And think of this as self preservation and self serving Lance. Foot shortages affect us too. Even if we know how to deal with them better than most. Rationing is second nature to us. But still… I don't want to have to ration. And I want peanut butter that's not half oil dangit." Not that he won't eat the peanut butter that's half oil. He'd just rather have better peanut butter.

Eimi scrunches her face up, and counts on her fingers for a moment, and shakes her head. "I've been in a lot of abandoned buildings," she says, "didn't see anything in any of them."

The idea of tunnels, though, gets a much more emphatic shake of her head. "I can't get us out of tunnels!" she says, again at that half-hissed intensity, despite that nobody can hear them. "No way no, no. We'll end up in Florida, or the ocean, or worse." She continues, admitting, "I'm… claustro… claustrophobic." As they walk through the market, she glances at Joe, "Alright, we're at the market, where are we going?" —

"Yeah, well, I don't want some paparazzi overhearing and being all what was Sylar really like at us," Lance mutters, his shoulders hunching a bit, "The Ferry was in the history books. Not us, except as a footnote maybe."

He looks over to Eimi, brows lifting— then he nods a little, "Fair. I mean, if we go looking there, you can stay topside? I wouldn't want to put you down somewhere that'd bother you." He doesn't even want to go down there at all! Different reasons, though.

"Uh, didn't you say we were going to Raquelle's, Joe?"

“I’ve been in a few, not that many, but a few and I haven’t seen anything. But I imagine you’ve been in a lot more than me. And if you haven’t seen anything then… yeah. I mean I assume that some of the crime element from Staten are the ones stealing it. So maybe we should start there? See if we can find anything there?” Joe looks over at Eimi and shrugs his shoulders a bit. “I mean you can get us further down the tunnel right? So if we get cornered you can flash us behind them and then further up the tunnel? That’s just as good of an escape as getting right topside. Or heck. You blink behind them and go for help if that’s easier. But just sayin, there are options.”

“Dude, we’d totally be able to tell them that the Gabriel Gray we knew was a pretty decent dude. A little intense, but a pretty decent dude. Him and Brian didn’t really get along, but Brian didn’t get along with lots of folks. But Gabriel was there, helping take care of us while Brian was dead so…” Joe’s shoulders lift in a light shrug. “He was a decent guy. I think he was hiding out as much as protecting us but he wasn’t the monster everyone made him out to be.” Yeah Joe is so not obeying the don’t talk about Sylar rule.

“No I did not Lance. You read my mind. I told you we have a psychic connection bro. Toldja. But yes that is where we are headed. You need a haircut Lance.” Joe remarks, though there’s a not so subtle dart of his eyes in Eimi’s direction. She needs the haircut and grooming. “Haircuts are on me today.” Cuz he has a little money. Not much, but babysitting actually pays pretty decently, whether in money or food. People still have to work, and still need someone to take care of their kids.

"Haircuts?" Eimi questions, meeting that gaze with a bit of side-eyeing Joe. "Uh."

Quick, change the subject. Eimi says, "I… I told Colette… I told her I wouldn't go back to Staten," she points out, "'cause of having stolen Hailey's monkey from the market there." Pause. "I don't want to have lied." Eimi lies all the time when it suits her, but this is different. Lying to Colette is different. And it's not on the teenager's to-do list. She pauses. "Alright, yeah. And that's pretty fast." As evidenced when she grabbed them and teleported into an alley a little bit ago. "I'll go in the tunnels but we're not going to Staten."

There's a grin. "I liked Raquelle, he wasn't upset when I teleported into his shop by accident."

Pause. "Plus, it means I met you guys."

"Oh, no," Lance rounds on Joe, eyes narrowing, "No, N and O, we've been over this. We are not going anywhere near Staten, that's where those guys that tried to grab my sister are from!"

He's fully with Eimi, nodding firmly, and then— he blinks at her, eyes wide, "Waitaminute, you know Colette? Holyshitwhere'dyouseeherhowisshe?"

“She’s one of us,” he adds, proudly. Even if she’s several years older. He’s almost bragging. “Colette’s totally primal and she’s with Wolfhound.”

Joe sighs and shoots Lance a LOOK. Cuz he totally just screwed up the surprise haircut. And now Eimi is being skittish. "Well, you don't have to go back to Staten then. I can go scout Staten myself. I don't wanna force people to do stuff they don't want to do. Except Lance." He pauses in front of Raq's hair salon, looking between the other two. "Raquelle is pretty awesome. He used his power to stop a whole bunch of the rioters. Lance stopped a bunch more with a silence bubble. It was pretty primal."

“But I will totally take help searching the tunnels and sewers under the food storage places if there are any." He grins at Eimi, then shoots Lance another LOOK. This one apparently for no reason other than to glare at him. Not that Joe is a very good glarer. He's actually pretty terrible at it. "Colette? Colette!" He turns to look at Eimi, waiting for her response to Lance's questions, cuz they're the exact questions that Joe would have asked too, so he just bounces in place waiting for a response, one hand on the door handle to Raq's makeshift salon. "Colette is pretty primal. She's with Wolfhound? How did you know that Lance? And how did I not know that? What the heck bro?" Joe will give Lance a shove against his shoulder if he doesn't ninja dodge it.

-Eimi looks at Joe, and says, "Even if you're bulletproof you should still… maybe be careful." Of Staten Island. That is said before she answers the other questions, kind of giggling at how fast Lance speaks asking them.

"I ran into her in the market," Eimi explains, and she hasn't teleported away so she's not being that skittish. "And she gave me her card and then when I stole Jim back from Staten I was… freaked out. I couldn't think of anywhere else to go." There's a half a quirk of a smile, and Eimi says, "Colette is cool. She… she bought me food. And talked to me like I exist, not like some adults." They're technically all adults, but that's besides the point.

And then, Eimi shoulders into Joe a little and tilts her head towards the inside, ducking through when he opens the door.

The hairstylist in question looks up from where he is settled at the front desk idly working his way through his accounts and ledgers all stored in a thick dark green binder, idly scribbling musical notes with angry faces in the margins as he resists the urge to toss his calculator across the room.

Raquelle flashes a smile, dressed comfortably as he is in band T-shirt number who knows, paired with coordinated overshirt left unnoticed and painted on jeans, black boots idly crossed at the ankles.

“Well if it ain't my friendly neighborhood heroes …and a beautiful young woman to keep you both in line.”

"'Cause you never shut up long enough to hear things," Lance replies with a roll of his eyes to Joe's questions, rocking onto one foot in a mock-stagger as he's pushed and then straightening again with a laugh, "I haven't seen her in a long time, though, we should - d'you know where to find her, Eimi?"

Then they're heading inside, and he calls out cheerfully, "Hey hey. I see the rioters didn't cause too much of a mess— " He glances back to Eimi, then to Raquelle, "Everything going good?"

"I mean yeah. But I'm always careful. Like super careful. James Bond takes lessons from me on careful. Also on debonaire." He affects a… actually pretty good British accent there when he says the debonaire part. "Winters. Joe Winters." He breaks down laughing though as they slip into Raq's salon. "See, Colette is awesome. She was around us kids a lot. The adults got used to talking to us like were weren't children. I mean they talked to us like we were children but not like… little kids children. They talked to use like we were people and not just little proto people HI RAQ!" He hollers as the follows Lance and Eimi through the door, lifting a hand to wave exaggeratedly in the direction of their favorite hairdresser.

"Hey, you calmed down most of that mob Kelly. Like way more than we did. Your ability is pretty primal. I so didn't realize that you could use it to that degree. That is awesome. You should do a radio show or something. Does your power work over broadcast? Might help calm down some tensions around the city if it does. Also yeah, Eimi do you know where to find Colette? We would love to see her again. Like love love. She's awesome. It's been super fun reconnecting with everyone again. Especially when they realize we're not little kids anymore."

Eimi furrows her brows a little bit at Joe, worry creeping into her expression. "Are you still bulletproof if you get negated?" she says, quietly, and then turns her attention to Raquelle with a bright smile and a wave.

"Well, I came in through the door this time," and she's a lot calmer, less freaked out, not popping in and out of space or flickering.

There's a nod. "Yeah, I… I know where to find Colette, and she's around the market a bit, too." And then she turns back to Joe, grinning still. "Okay… we're here." To Raquelle, and Eimi says, voice flat but expression still bright. "I… think Joe wants me to get a haircut."

“As well as to be expected, my little vanilla Bruce Lee.” Raquelle shrugs a shoulder and gestures vaguely. “I feel that the way they have supplies coming in and out means this could happen again, you are always going to have too much or too less food when there’s a shortage. One leads to hoarding, one leads to rioting and both can be prevented with a good backup plan or getting rich people to get off their asses and send some cans…”

He rubs his temples, glancing over to Joe. “HELLO JOJO!” He matches the volume there before rolling his eyes. “My ability is… not as ‘primal’ as you think honey. And it doesn’t work unless somebody is hearing me in person. But I have done radio before.” The Hairdresser stares down at his ledge for a moment, idly toying with his pen.

He clears away the cobwebs of Wartime memories and smiles softly at Eimi, pushing himself to his feet. “And I really appreciate that Poptart.” He folds his arms over his chest. “Does he? And what do you want to get?”

"Yeah. I mean we'll get by — we always have, and we've dealt with worse than this — but not everyone's as good at this as us," Lance says with a little wrinkle of his nose. It's not bragging, a simple statement of facts.

Then he's blinking in surprise, "Wait, you've got an ability, Haircut King?" Apparently he thought that Raquelle was just super inspiring when singing Cher. He jumps up onto one of the chairs in the waiting area, balancing there in a bit of a crouch. Swaying a bit.

The exchange between Raq and Eimi has him looking back and forth, curious.

"No. I'm not still bulletproof if negated. But I am still a highly trained combatant. Brian made sure that Lance and I knew how to fight, and to fight well, and that we could do it negated. We can pick up most guns and use them with at least mild familiarity. We also know several different combat styles, both hand to hand and knife fighting. Like… we're trained more than most army soldiers. I don't know if we're at special forces level but we're not actually that far off according to Brian."

Joe returns that with a simple shrug and a puff out of his cheeks. "We just don't really like hurting people. But we will if we have to. Like the other day we totally ninja'd some of the mob that came after Raquelle and Owain. Like… Lance took like 6 dudes on his own, and I took out like 3. It was pretty primal. Well… no it was totally primal. I felt bad for hurting people after, but they did bring it on themselves so I didn't feel bad for long."

Joe glances over at Raquelle and makes a little face. "I don't really think it's someone else's responsibility to feed me though. Except Lance. And Brian. Brian took that responsibility on himself. Lance is my brosef. If other people want to offer me food though well… I'm not gonna pass it up." Another big grin before he lets out an oh. "Really? That's cool. And your ability is pretty primal. Just sayin. You pacified most of an angry mob. That was pretty awesome."

He tips his head to the side, a brow raising, a smirk pulling at the corner of his mouth. "We need haircuts. And by we I mean Lance and Eimi. And by Lance and Eimi I mostly mean Eimi but Lance does need a trim. He's all shaggy. Gets in his eyes. Hard to be a ninja with hair in your eyes. Unless you're going for that anime ninja look. Then you could totally be a ninja with hair in your eyes. Go all whats his face from Naruto."

"I'm paying for a haircut for Eimi. She can get whatever she wants, it's her hair." Joe remarks, peering over at Eimi. "I saw Raquelle eying your hair the other day. He wanted to cut it so bad. Sooooo bad. I could see it. It was like me when I see peanut butter. Except I don't think he wants to eat your hair. Just cut it." He makes a little face, then tilts his head back. "Hey Lance do you think… nevermind." Joe kills his own question. Cuz it was dumb, even for Joe.

Eimi can't help but laugh a little as Joe talks. And talks, and talks, and talks, and talks. But although the other teen may be long-winded it puts her at ease, and she says, quietly to him, "Thank you."

Raquelle's question gets attention next, and Eimi pushes a few stray hairs out of her face. "I dunno," she says, "not too much? Just enough to make it…" presentable would be one word. Less ragged. "Stay out of my face and be… easier?" That's another way to put it. "It hasn't been cut in a few years, I never bothered to find scissors or do so."

And although the girl's hair looks alright from a distance, up close it's tangled, dirty, years of rough living evident. "Just… as long as it still looks like me, afterwards." There's a pause, and she adds, "I have a mirror now in my room. So I'll know."

“Yes, I have a very special ability. I have the ability to unwrap a starburst candy in my mouth using only my tongue.” Raquelle drawls softly before winking to Lance and quirking an eyebrow at Joe. He moves around that desk though to approach the young adults, folding his arms over his chest.

He stares a little longer at Joe before humming slightly, a few random notes. “It shouldn’t be a job or a chore to feed your fellow man, it should be a privilege and something you see as an opportunity. But we will see. Going to think of a way to get some attention on the people here who are still struggling to get going.”

Then he turns back to Eimi, eyeing her hair thoughtfully before nodding slowly. A hand lifts to point towards the shampoo bowl. “Go have a seat honey, I’ll get the equipment.” Then he points to Joe. “You see that broom over there? You can pay for her haircut by sweeping up the place.” Then a look to Lance. “How are you with managing supply ledgers?”

"My hair is fine," Lance complains to Joe's sudden accusation, his eyes rolling upwards towards the aforementioned hair as if he could somehow manage to see it. It is getting a little long for his hairstyle, it's true, despite his protestations.

Then he's giving Raquelle a bemused look, "I, uh. I mean I know all those words in that sentence?" An accountant he is not.

Joe is being stared at and… he has no real clue why. He looks at Raquelle, then glances to Eimi, then back to Raquelle, then back to Eimi. To Raquelle Joe huhs? "Sweeping. No I have money. Or food for trade if you prefer. I mean! Not that I don't mind helping! I'll absolutely help. But I'm paying for your services Raquelle." Joe laughs softly and digs into his pocket to show some folded up monies, which while not as valuable right now as it was, it will be at some point. "I've also got food in the bag." He bobs his shoulder up and down to indicate his ever present backpack. Well ever present when he goes anywhere near the market. Cuz you never know what might pop up there.

Never the less Joe does walk over and grab the broom and start sweeping the place. "He's talking about keeping books Lance. I can do that Raquelle. Lance can too. His math is better than he gives himself credit for. Mine is probably better, but he can keep inventory and ledgers just fine. We had to do it plenty when we were kids, and in Canada when we were mostly in hiding." Joe has is bro's back, even if his bro doesn't have his own back.

Eimi grins a little bit, and carefully takes off both the leather jacket and the sweatshirt. The blouse she has underneath is also black, but there are some rhinestone embellishments along the neckline, and it has a certain degree of flounce even if it is slightly frayed and worn.

It might be that the teenager has allowed herself to get slightly excited, because 'go have a seat' entails her disappearing from where she was standing and reappearing in front of the indicated chair to settle in.

“You leave your brother’s shaggy rock ninja hair alone, Joe. He may want it to attract curious women, or experiment with hair clips.” Raquelle drawls softly before shrugging a shoulder. “When He is ready for me to trim it up a bit and make it fall less randomly..he can come and ask me.”

The tall man pauses for a moment watching Eimi doing her night crawler impersonation and just gives a small shake of his head, a fond smile tugging at his lips as he makes his way over. Towel is draped over her shoulders as he gently taps her shoulder. “Lean back baby…and let me know if the water temperature is okay.”

While he is getting ready to wash hair, he is still speaking to the boys. “And you keep that money and food. I need somebody to sweep.” Another look to Lance. “I just need someone to take that book, and go to the cabinets and tally up how I am doing on supplies and what is almost running out, etc. Nothing too complicated.”

At the phrase shaggy rock ninja hair, Lance can’t help but grin, glancing up to his hair. Or he would, if eyes could actually do that. One day he’ll remember they can’t. See, Joe? He’s fine!

The blink-’port to the chair has him laughing, and then he’s stepping over, “Oh, sure. I can do that, no problem - checking stock, can do, Haircut King.”

"Haircut Queen!" Joe calls over to Lance in correction of his comment to Raquelle. He might even throw a finger snap in there for good measure. Cuz that's just the kind of friend Joe is. "Yeah yeah. Sweeping it is. Even if I know that you're just making that up. Need someone to sweep. Need money and food. But I won't deny you wanting to do something for other people." He's a doer too. He likes to help people when he can. So he sweeps, getting into every nook and cranny as he moves around the shop.

“Shaggy rock… that's not a thing Raquelle. Fraggle rock was a thing! But not shaggy rock. Unless you're trying to talk like the anime ninja look that almost all the anime ninjas have where their hair is just kind of everywhere." And then… Joe starts singing the Fraggle Rock theme song as he moves around sweeping, and dancing as well now. That he's a good dancer. His rhythm is awful. Joe is not the artistic.

Eimi nods, and there's no protest or objections to the water temperature. She does flicker once, barely a second and then she looks up at Raquelle and there's a sheepish smile. "Sorry I didn't mean to," she says. And then out of the blue, asks Raquelle, "What made you decide… you want to, to cut hair?" Life Questions. "How did you know?"

“Either way I rock the Glamour Throne dahlinks.” Raquelle drawls with a invisible hair flip and wink as his strong hands start working shampoo through Eimi’s hair, lathering up the white foam as the scent of coconut and something fruity floats through the air. He does pause from time to time, to work a tangle out carefully so his fingers don’t snag and startle the girl.

“I grew up around people who did hair and nails and such, used to dye and cut my own hair and such growing up. I wanted to be a rockstar when I grew up, or perform on broadway.” His fingers find certain points against her scalp as he massages gently, letting his voice maintain a calm timber and soothing tone. “But then, my oldest daughter came into the world and I needed a way to start making money. Did it part time between music gigs. Came to New York and got my second daughter and just sort’ve realized it was time to put a natural skill into full time application.”

The book’s picked up and Lance starts to inventory with a flourish of pen to paper — okay so it’s really just notes and check-marks as to numbers, but he’s pretty thorough in his work anyway. “I mean, I heard you singing not long ago,” he notes with a glance over, brows lifting, “You’re pretty good…”

Joe is curious too. But Joe is curious about everything. He loves hearing about other people, their pasts, their abilities all manner of stuff. He’s just a curious guy. So as he sweeps, he listens. The mention of Raq having kids perks his head up and he looks over. “That’s right, you did mention you had kids. Lance and I babysit if you ever need a babysitter. That’d be a better way to pay you back for all the hair care than a little sweeping up.” Joe doesn’t stop sweeping though. He keeps going until he’s got a decent little pile of hair going and then grabs the dustpan and sweeps it in, throwing it out before he resumes sweeping, careful not to go too hard lest he scatter the hair around the room.

“You were pretty dang good yeah. You should organize like a local theater group or something. Not that you probably have time for that right now but… I think that would be a pretty cool thing. Get a theater group going to do plays and stuff. Get some entertainment back in the area. You could totally start the new Broadway Raquelle. Did they ever build a new one after the Midtown explosion? Could reach out to the gubmint and see if they’d authorize the cleanup of a building some big open space in it to use as a public theater. Do public shows for now, but as New York gets more and more rebuilt you could move up to bigger and better plays and start charging, or keep it public theater I mean that’d be up to you. Just an idea! I’m full of em.”

There are a lot of tangles. While Eimi may have washed her hair or at least rinsed it from time to time it probably wasn't brushed or combed very frequently. Some of the skittish and the tension melts away under the water and the attention and Raquelle receives a grateful smile and the satisfaction of some of the stress leaving Eimi's shoulders and actual relaxation that perhaps has not happened in forever. There is a sound of affirmation as she listens, and then eventually she speaks, adding on to what Joe says.

"Broadway was in New York, right?" It was a long time ago from her perspective, pre-war geography. "This is New York still. It could work." She adds, "I was reading Macbeth a little bit ago," (the last time that she was in Raquelle's shop, in fact), "but that's probably a little… less happy than what to start with."

Followed by, "I don't know what I want to do."

The encouragement from the under 25s just makes Raquelle smile a bit wistfully as he works, pausing from time to time to get more of his special pina colada smelling shampoo, and just working carefully through those long locks. Eventually, he’s finally on the conditioner step, humming softly when he’s not talking. “Thank you both, my Haha used to tell me that I was given the ability to sing so as not to drive her up the wall with my talking. At least she would have a pleasant sound. My Papa used to just say ‘I blame your mother’.” He laughs softly.

“To have theater, you have to have people who want to watch. People to entertain. And god knows I love to put on a show.” He muses the idea over, swearing softly in Japanese as he almost snags something between two fingers and finally he’s able to just stroke his fingers through Eimi’s hair without having to pause.

Broadway was in New York indeed. It was going to be his ticket, his…start of a new life. Now it is a footnote in his life story. “Yes, darling, it was in New York. And Macbeth? You like Shakespeare?”

He taps her shoulder to sit up as he is securing a plastic cap over her head for the deep conditioner.

“I’m, like, the opposite of a singer,” Lance admits with a chuckle - and a bit of wry humor - as he takes stock of shampoo and conditioner, going so far as to pick up bottles and experimentally weigh them to feel how much is still inside them before taking a note.

He glances back over, noting, “Pretty sure people here in the Zone could use the entertainment. I mean… what’s that old saying?” He pauses, frowning, “We don’t have bread, so let’s at least have circuses?”

Close enough, kid, close enough.

“We might be starving but at least we’ve got tunes!” Joe comments after Lance, throwing up rock fingers and stuff before he bursts out laughing and finishes his sweeping, putting the last of the hair into the trash, then putting the broom and dustpan up. “But yeah. I’m sure people would want to watch Raquelle. Like I’m SURE of it. There’s nothing to do around here but survive. People would welcome the distraction. Could probably get government assistance to get it set up even. Or maybe get it sponsored by some safezone businesses? See if Yamagato and Raytech will donate to it? I bet you could get it off the ground no probs. You should do it.” Joe, the encourager of dreams.

“And yeah, Broadway was in Midtown. So went boom back in 2006. When we were suuuuper little. I don’t even really remember it. But again super little. But yeah… Macbeth maybe not. Good play, but pretty dark. Probably want to lean towards more upbeat stuff. Like Hairspray and Grease and other… plays. Things that people do on stage and… yeah.” Joe’s eyes dart right then left. “So what else you got for me to do Raquelle?”

"I like reading," Eimi says, "and I like… the drama that unfolds in Shakespeare. I've read Romeo and Juliet too, that one is so sad at the end." She pauses. "Even just the… other plays, would be a thing for everyone to get involved in."

She sits up, cross legged in the chair. "People would want to watch," she agrees with her friends. "And yeah. I don't really remember much from being that little." Or from before the second civil war in general, but she doesn't say that out loud.

“Hmm. I will bring it up then, bring some Entertainment to the Zone. See what the options and best things are.” Raquelle agrees softly before laughing softly. “But if I do this, I’m dragging allll of you along with me. After all, we need a breakdancing ninja and broom dancer as part of the show. As Miss Pop and Fresh here gives a dramatic reading from the Tempest.”

He moves from back around Eimi’s chair. “That will need to sit for a bit, then we’ll wash it all out and get you cut and styled.” He points to Joe. “And you, can get to washing some brushes and combs.” He moves to a cabinet to take out the bin of used tools. “And then I want to see that Fraggle. Rock routine again.”

He flashes Lance a thumbs up of approval at the work he is doing. Just another day in the Salon.

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