Call The Smiths


bolivar_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif smith_icon.gif

Scene Title Call The Smiths
Synopsis After a harrowing reunion, Bolivar and Raquelle reach out to Bolivar's father.
Date May 24, 2019

When you have been with somebody for years and quite a bit of those years include time apart, either because of work, emergency, relocation, civil war…really depends on the month or day, and you are the parents to 2 teenagers living in a home with one complete set of one of the partner’s parents…

Let’s just say, there are certain activities that have to be scheduled and sometimes the scheduling is ‘One kid’s spending the night at a friend’s house, the other kid is out for ice cream with her grandparents and won’t be back until late - take a lunch break and come home, we have like an hour and 15 minutes.’

Sometimes the scheduling is arranging for everyone to be out of the house. And sometimes the scheduling is getting hijacked to a beautiful island with plenty of babysitters and spending an ungodly amount of time in a room with fresh pineapple, coconuts, and recreating the song ‘Escape’ minus the getting caught in the rain.

But most of the time, the comfort Raquelle and his partner find in each other is being able to touch, hold, cling to, and just fall asleep listening to the other person breathe knowing that in the moment, they are together. It has been a rough couple of months for the Cambria-Rodriguez-Smith family as a hold and most nights are fumbled kisses and exhausted ‘I love yous’. To the outside world, Raquelle’s done a good job holding it together. All small smiles, sassy banter, and hair and make-up on point. But lately he’s been alternating between nicotine patches or coming home smelling like cigarettes. He’s forgone eyeshadow to just focus on eyeliner. Wearing a bracelet as opposed to multiple rings. It’s the little signs that only people who know him very well can use to tell he’s barely holding it together.

But this evening, Raquelle stumbles into the bedroom, tousling his dark hair that is recently dyed dark dark brown with auburn highlights, still damp from his shower. He wears a simple light grey t-shirt and a pair of comfortable sweats. Freshly shaved as well, he drops a glass bottle of some type of oil on the bed and slips a cigarette between his lips that is probably NOT tobacco because he lights up and the smell is earthy and weedy and sharp and the first hit he takes, he holds before exhaling slowly.

Through the cloud he offers defensively. “The girls are out for the evening and my mom and dad were teenagers in the 70s. We’ll air out the room.” He takes another hit before offering the joint to the love of his life, closing his eyes.

Bolivar doesn't love the weed as well as some of his family does, but there are weeks that are long and difficult and then there are Weeks that are Long and Difficult. He accepts the joint and then stoops his scarred head. Takes a big long drag, letting the smoke fill his lungs, and then

kaffkaffkaff. That's quite a lot. But he has no regrets at all. His next inhale hitches a bit, but then he's coughing out a laugh afterward. Handing the thin scroll of herb and paper back to the handsome young man who had rolled it originally, nudging the back of Raquelle's hand with his knuckles so that the singer knows it's there with his eyes closed. Bolivar himself settles back on the pillows, waiting for his fingers to start buzzing, and the familiar, low-key ache of his burns to fade away entirely. They invested in a good mattress, back in the day, and he rather enjoys the biochemical process of feeling it turn slowly into a marshmallow beneath him.


"I'm surprised they're getting along that well," he says. "I take it they put Japan out of their minds indefinitely." That's about Raquelle's parents, specifically. Teenagers in the 70s. Bit of a tall order given the drama of the past few months, but on the other hand, perhaps not entirely surprising. After all, New York City is no stranger to pain or healing.

It’s a reflex really to take the joint back, small smile tugging at Raquelle’s lips as he settles down on the edge of the bed. “I know it’s not, medical uh grade or anything but. I know my nerves were frayed and I know it helps you. A bit.” He chuckles lowly though, taking another drag as he scoots, wiggles, and oh so gracefully moves back on the bed to settle down beside Bolivar. A cloud of smoke exhaled above them.

“My mom has always had this high level of patience and uh heh, understanding with my dad and I have never fuckin’ understood. Do you know he had like a job? A job away from us? For fuckin’ years? People he cared about that were not us, that we never knew about. Years of his life that they took from him. Ripped from his mind. Fuck him and fuck them too..”

There’s no bitterness in his tone, just a tinge of exasperation wrapped in a blanket of confusion. “Like, I’m glad he’s here. I love him. The girls love him. My mom loves him. But every week, more things are exposed and like just - ” He exhales and evidence of yet another drag curls up above him. “I think we should get married. Just screw finding a rental place and a caterer. Get a priest, a decent place, and go for it. We can dress the dogs up, ring bearer and flower pup. Girls are bridesmaids. My parents are here.”

He worries his bottom lip to pass the joint back. “I-I think you should call your parents. I keep hearing your dad’s last name in all the shit that keeps getting revealed. At least we can make sure that /your/ dad didn’t do something insane like be the knight protector of some mysterious tall fairy princess looking woman who can spy on people through a mirror and then fight a goddamn super evo and call it ‘the dragon’ then forget all about it cuz someone tortured or forced the memories away..”

There’s a long pause. “That ghost dude that can turn a room into a holodeck of memories popped up in the shop.” That’s the only explanation he gives there.

"It helps me," Bolivar answers easily, for the first part. "A bit."

The first part is easy. It's about marijuana, which has pharmaceutical uses. And sure, some addictive properties, but Bolivar has never been worried about that for himself or his partner. He'll quit using something for months at a time to prove to himself he can. In fact, there were many years that he more or less went without people, to prove to himself he was fine without it, only to discover that substances and love are quite different.

Love is more delicious than the most delicious of substances, and is truest when such thing as disagreement and boundaries are possible. For example, your extremely sexy good-looking fiancee initiating a romantic discussion about a rushed but tender wedding, and then shoehorning in right at the end a bit about calling your super estranged parents.

Hhhhhhhhh. You can tell Bolivar is already a bit high, because he makes that sound that BJ used to do when she was small, that guttural HHHhghghgHHHHHH in the back of his throat. (He isn't actually too high to call his parents. Don't worry.)

"I'm hearing you," Bolivar says, which is probably something a brief stint in pre-marital counseling taught him to say, "I'm picking up what you're putting down," is probably not exactly textbook. "I just keep thinking, if he wanted me to know, he's had decades to tell me. What do you want to bet, if I just invited him to the wedding without mentioning our ghostly fucking visitations," he air-quotes with his tiny fingers. "He wouldn't say jack? Maybe we should just do that. Ambush him over hors d'oeuvres at the reception."

“Okay, I really love that you trust me enough to commun-say-be honest with me about your feelings.” Raquelle read back of a ‘how to be in a relationship after years of being a commitmentphobe’ book once, and he can negotiate these waters, yes. Hiding ever so briefly behind a quickly dissipating cloud of smoke.

The flickers of the memories he was privy to, the memories that his father lost, it swirls together with the cloudy waters of trauma, accident, and insanity that makes up the lives of the average middle class family in post-war America. “So, counter thought. My pops had basically the first years of his life with me wiped so that might be why he’s always felt ya know. Distant. Or. Awkward…whatever. Maybe your father was so shitty because he too had his memories put in a penny?”

He stretches out and tsks softly, running his tongue along the back of his teeth. He’s not worn a tongue ring in years. But, it's still a distraction for himself. “You call him, right? Confirm he’s coming to the wedding…are you following me? Then be like - oh, my fiance’s dad thinks he might have worked with you back in the day, haha wouldn’t that be funny. And then see what he says? If he’s an asshole when he hears the name ‘Miguel Cambria’ we then know not to sit him at the same table.”

UGGGHghgh does Bolivar really want to do this.

The answer is: no. He does not really want to do this. At all.

But his fiancee has several good points. There are cosmic powers with fancy, poetical-sounding names involved lately, and it seems more likel than not that Miguel's past life as an epic Evo knight blahedy-blah might be somehow related to Aaron's tenure in the Company, their relationship together. And that the ex-Agent might thus have secrets, knowledge, that would affect the lives of Bolivar's very much Evolved loved ones. He exhales, slowly untangling the strands of these thoughts with the help of the grass. Delicious grass.

"Okay," Bolivar says. Then louder: "OKAY." Mostly to himself, but he waves his tiny hands in Raquelle's direction. "Give me my phone, where's my phone."

It's on the nightstand. It's right there. But his eyes are closed as he tries to hold onto his motivations, the greater good, the relevance of this arduous emotional task, and how much more important that is compared to the tremendous discomfort of having a real conversation wiht his own family members. "Quick," he says. "Before I change my fucking mind."

Maybe it'll go straight to voicemail.

But it probably won't. :/ Manhattan is right here on this doc watching.

The hand is gently pressed into Bolivar’s outstretched hand as Raquelle props himself up on an elbow to kiss Bolivar’s cheek gently as he murmurs reassuredly. “And if he’s too much of a dick, just hand it over and I’ll chew him a new asshole.” Another kiss to the cheek. “Put him on speaker and just tag me in when you need me.”

Raquelle sighs softly, his gift had been wrapping around his words reflexively…comfort and reassurance before he pulls is back quickly. He just rests a hand gently on Bolivar’s side and worries his bottom lip, waiting and watching.


Offices of Dearborne Feingold & Krupp
Ashenville, North Carolina

“Yeah that's what I'm saying, he emailed the wrong fucking PDF.”

Ashenville, North Carolina was never a boom town. Especially not after the economic collapse following the Midtown Manhattan explosion in 2006. But in the wake of the Second American Civil War, with much of coastal North Carolina in ruins, times are changing.

“So when the Internet comes back on, I need you to mail out the amendment for the right fucking property, okay?” Aaron Smith, to the best of his recollection, has always been on the periphery of law in one form or another. Standing in the middle of a noisy open-concept office in what was once a K-Mart before the war, he has all of the composure of a tired battlefield general after a siege. Except that his gray hairs and stress wrinkles are caused by the logistics of his job as a paralegal, rather than anything so bold.

Looking down at the desk of the young man he was just complaining at, Aaron smiles dishonestly and leans in. “I swear to god if the sellers back out of this deal I'm going to— ” Whatever threat he was going to make ends when his back pocket vibrates enough to startle. Aaron holds up one finger at the law clerk he was talking at and plucks his phone from his slacks, pacing away from that desk and toward the periphery of the office.

Glancing down at the incoming number, Aaron’s brows come together in a furrow and his lips downturn into a frown more of confusion than anything so negative as disappointment. He answers the call echoing those feelings. “Hey,” is delivered flatly into the receiver, “Uh, hey kid. What's— what's up?”

Casual, yet somehow tense and awkward at the same time. Not much has changed.


NYC Safe Zone

Bolivar’s father hardly sounds any different than the last time they spoke.

"Hi," Bolivar recites into the phone, looking up at his beautiful fiancee. Raquelle is such a beautiful fiancee to have. Is that why he's doing this?

No, some part of him wants to know. He's become deeply jaded and incurious over his embittered years of life, but he became a cop for reasons. Investigation, answers. He had the kind of intellect built for that, even if life experience taught him time and again to stop caring; a lesson never properly learned, and then Raquelle came along, and it's hard not to care with this songbird and his girls in your face every day, proof positive there are still good people in the world.

He pictures his dad, long hair and creased face, the sawdust mumble barely parting his lips. Bolivar got over it decades ago, the infidelity and marital drama. He can probably get over the rest of it, the Company, the secrets. But as with the indiscretions and the arguments, he probably has to know about it before he can move past it. Never mind the tactical value, the significance of history to the present-day Evolved in his life.

"Papá. So. You used to be a Company agent," Bolivar says. "And you arrested my will-be father-in-law, and now we got a poltergeist reviewing the situation in 4K with us. Explain?"

Buh-Link. Raquelle just mouths to Bolivar ‘I love you’ upon hearing his oh so straight to the point greeting on the phone. There’s another soft squeeze to the other man’s hand before the hairdresser offers a reassuring smile. There is worry, however, flickering in those blue eyes.

Their relationship has never been easy, probably more time apart than together but a unified front where it matters is the glue that helps keep the relationship together. Also being fluent in cursing being a different type of love language.


Offices of Dearborne Feingold & Krupp
Ashenville, North Carolina

Aaron sucks in a sharp breath through his teeth and looks around the office as if expecting someone to have overheard. “Jesus fucking Christ,” he breathes into the receiver, looks down to the young man he was berating a moment ago, then turns his back to him and makes a brisk stride through the office toward the front doors. “Keep your fucking voice down,” is much more in line with how Bolivar remembers his father. There isn’t so much anger in his voice as there is surprise. He shoulders his way out the door onto the curb across from a partially-full parking lot.

“First of all, this is how you fucking call me?” Aaron says with a hitch of emotion in his voice. “Second, I kept you out of all of that. Every last single fucking bit. Who the fuck told you? The Albany records were sealed after my testimony.” He either didn’t hear or didn’t grasp the poltergeist reference over the sound of blood rushing in his ears at the mention of the Company.

“Where are you?” Aaron asks, suddenly thinking to scan the parking lot, a wave of long-dormant paranoia washing over him.


NYC Safe Zone

«Are you still in New York?»

Bolivar's scowl deepens for one moment, harshly, before it smooths back to a sullen sorta-neutrality that better befits a father-son relationship. Depending on who you ask. Maybe some sons really like their dads.

And it's very much their family culture too, when he switches to speaking Spanish. Bolivar very much does not lower his voice; he only switches languages. "Yes. I'm here with Raquelle and the girls. Who were all present when your past came back to haunt us."

Either Bolivar assumes his dad heard and is momentarily diverted by panic, or he's happy to use a very pointed choice of words to reinforce Aaron's understanding. "If they hadn't just been through a war, they would've been traumatized." He sits his tiny butt down on the bed and gestures at Raquelle. "You don't think I should've called after that?"

The language shift earns a quirk of an eyebrow from Raquelle, but he is still quiet for now. He squeezes that hand again. A flicker of being impressed, a ripple of worry, and a flash of faint arousal all manifest in turn in his eyes as he listens to his Fiance go in on his future father in law.

Their joined hands are lifted so he can kiss the back of Bolivar's hand, smirking ever so slightly.


Offices of Dearborne Feingold & Krupp
Ashenville, North Carolina

“Jesus Christ,” Aaron says as he paces around in the parking lot, scrubbing one hand over his mouth afterward. He searches the perimeter of the lot out of old habit, as if expecting someone to be there. To spot someone with a camera or a shotgun microphone. Every passing car spikes his anxiety, and he reaches inside of his jacket and fumbles with a pack of cigarettes.

“Yeah,” Aaron says into the receiver, pinching the phone between his chin and shoulder. “Yeah I’m still here. I’m just— fuck.” Shaking his head, Aaron considers the cigarettes then puts them back in his coat and paces around more, angrier than before.

Switching the phone from shoulder to hand, Aaron finally comes to terms with some of what his son is telling him. “I don’t know what the fuck spook-ass fuck came to bother you, but I swear to god if they threatened you I will drive all the way up to fucking New York and— ”

Aaron cuts himself off, sucking in a sharp breath through his nose. “Did you get a name? The piece of shit that scared you and the kids, did he give you a name?”


NYC Safe Zone

As hip to the plot as his player is, Bolivar snaps the fingers on his tiny hand at his fiance. Partly to jog Raquelle's memory, but partly to jog his own memory, because he's the worst at things! "It's," he says. "Renfield. Ren-something. Renata…"

He is big eyes at Raquelle, in that 'no honey I was listening, I promise, can you just humor me for a second' way.

"Walter," Bolivar adds. He's pretty sure about that part; it's far more common among Euro-white Americans over here. "Did you learn how to perform exorcisms? There's nobody to back your car over, if you do drive up here…" he immediately segues into mouthing 'I'm kidding, I'm kidding' to Raquelle off-screen. And the next minute, it occurs to him to note: "Who said anything about being 'scared?'"

Bolivar was one thousand percent scared.

“Walter Renautus. Renfield was the Dracula based allegorical representation of unrequited gay love in imbalanced power dynamics.” Raquelle replies when prompted, some hesitation and a quirk of an eyebrow as he racks his own brain. Look, they don’t usually use people’s real names when talking. Casper the Fucking Suround Sound Ghost and the other long list of profanity filled nicknames are really what they use most of the time.

Then he squints when a car is mentioned, brow furrowing as he leans in just in time for the ‘who said anything about being scared’. They are both one thousand percent scared.

Bolivar’s father hasn’t said anything on the other side of the call for an unusually long time. Not even to snipe back at his son.


Offices of Dearborne Feingold & Krupp
Ashenville, North Carolina

“Renautas.” Aaron says without question in his voice after that long silence. He’s come to lean up against a nearby car, rubbing one hand anxiously over the back of his neck. “You’re sure? Walter Renautas?” But he can’t stay still. Aaron starts pacing back and forth, and it’s obvious he’s walking on the other end of the phone, what with the labored breathing of a man well out of shape.

“He’s dead.” Aaron says with a tightness in his voice. “He died back in… fuck the late nineties? Early aughts? I don’t know, it— ” He stops himself from going off on a tangent. Suddenly, it doesn’t sound like Walter’s status as living or dead matters as much to him.

“You need to tell me what he said, whatever it was.” Aaron insists with a very dad tone of voice. “You said he was— fucking— a poltergeist. It’s his fucking ability. And an arrest? No. No. That’s bullshit.”

Aaron paces around again, wiping sweat from his brow with one shaky hand. “I’ve never even fucking met your fiance’s dad. Didn’t he fuck off to Japan forever and a shit ago? Did he ask you for money? Threaten you?”

He’s searching for anything that makes sense, because none of this does.


NYC Safe Zone

Oh no. Bolivar can feel it coming, like the rumbling of a volcano. Except that the documented history of volcanos, like earthquakes, like all kinds of natural phenomena, are fraught with totally unpredictable, catastrophic events. No warning! No way of knowing. No reason to feel guilty after the devastation rolls through, unless it's the regret of a survivor.

Bolivar already knows he's about to make a mistake. It's an old one. This futile rage. Once upon a time, balanced by dogs; then softened by love, weighted down by war, gentled in having babies. But all that can't undo the mess of his childhood, the betrayals within the family, his own foolish, stupid marriage.

Rumbling in his fucking soul. Smoke might as well be coming out of his ears. Raquelle knows, but it's too late.

"ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?" Bolivar fails to parse the countless possible explanations, or at least, better rhetorical strategies. Immediately, he switches over to Spanish. "I TELL YOU WE WERE VISITED BY WALTER FUCKING RENAUTAS AND YOU ACCUSE WILL-BE FATHER-IN-LAW OF CONNING US FOR MONEY?" The neighbors are going to complain. They've actually managed to go their entire lease, thus far, without noise complaints. "YOU TOLD ME YOU WERE IN THE GODDAMN NYPD.

"HOW THE FUCK. WOULD YOU KNOW WALTER RENAUTAS?" ¿Como sabrias quien es Walter Renautas?

Well groomed eyebrows shoot up again as the conversation escalates between The Future Father In Law and Mount Bolivar. Raquelle's own expression flickering between disgusted and irritated behind his mask of uncertainty. He does however just offer the support he can, gently reaching out to squeeze his partner's hand gently and whispering. "Easy now…I have more weed for after this fuckery."

«I knew him because he was Company. Because I was Company!»


Offices of Dearborne Feingold & Krupp
Ashenville, North Carolina

“Jesus fucking Christ, Bol.” Aaron grouses into the phone. “I told you I tried to keep you out of that. I wanted to keep you fucking safe. It was decades ago, I retired in fucking— uh— ” Aaron squints for a second, trying to remember the dates, but also against the sun.

“The eighties. There was a lot of fucking coke.” Aaron immediately regrets saying that. “I wasn’t doing any,” he stresses. “Renautas worked for the Company, top-floor bullshit, way out of my pay grade. We didn’t know each other.”

But something about all of this isn’t sitting well with Aaron. “I’ve never met Raquelle’s dad. I’d fucking remember that.” Though he isn’t really sure. It sounds like conviction when he says it, though. “But they did this shit all the time, memory wipes. I’m sure I got one when I went off the payroll!”

Aaron paces around, scrubbing one hand over the sweaty back of his neck. “Fuck. I— do you want me to come up? I can— ” he hesitates, trying to estimate the logistics in his head. “I can drive up. Take a day, maybe two tops depending on how bad the roads are between here and New York.”

“Is that what you want?” Aaron asks, and it comes off as way more confrontational than he intends it to be. He regrets his tone the second the words leave his mouth.


NYC Safe Zone

Steam is virtually blasting out of Bolivar's ears! But of all the people on the Earth, these two speak Bolivar. Two different dialects, but they're both Bolivar nonetheless. Raquelle has a certain way of placation, just tart enough to balance the sweetness. His dad, well.

In many ways, Bolivar took after his dad. Well. Kind of. He's definitely eight hundred times as blunt yet, stubborn about his honesty to the point of meanness, but it's only eight hundred times, as opposed to the multiple thousands that set him apart from most of humanity. And the reality is, there was a time in their relationship that Aaron wouldn't have thought to solve an argument by driving up.

Bolivar exhales.

"Yeah," he says, looking at Raquelle. But he doesn't need his fiancee to say. "You can come up. We'll find space."

There's a beat of silence as Bolivar thinks about whether or not to soften the volcanic explosion of his earlier screaming episode. And credit to Raquelle, he lands on the side of, 'yeah all right, let's be sort of kind, sort of merciful, kind of even polite.' "Sorry you got mind-wiped, dad." It's a grudging concession to the possibility, anyway. (What lives they live, that that's an offhand comment you can make to your old papi.)

There is a moment of silence as Raquelle goes through all the mental reasons why this is both a bad and a good idea, putting aside the sad fact that so many people were mentally effed over by this ‘Company’. He finds himself nodding slowly. “Yes, we’ll find space.” He replies almost automatically before clearing his throat.

“But if my mom kills your dad for saying some stupid shit that really pushes her over the edge? We just help her hide the body, we don’t talk about it ever again. Deal?” Because these are the considerations you have to make as you are joining two families together. And when you have a mother who you know might be recovering from cancer but used teo have an undercut before it was trendy and totally could throw hands.



Offices of Dearborne Feingold & Krupp
Ashenville, North Carolina

“I can be up there in…” Aaron paces around, staring across the parking lot, “…forty-eight hours? I need to tie up a couple of things at work, but the drive shouldn’t take more than two days, provided all the fucking highways between here and there aren’t blown to fuck.”

Every time someone enters the parking lot or slams the door to their car, Aaron is looking over his shoulder, nervously watching people come and go. “I can stay for a couple of days or— something.” He doesn’t sound sure of himself. “This bullshit with Walter Renautas, it… I don’t know what kind of fucking bullshit is going on, but I’m not just gonna sit on my fucking hands.” Given Aaron’s personality, he’s more likely to throw the hands. Not that it will do him much of any good.

“I’ll rent a— a fucking hotel or something, though. I’m not gonna impose on you or Raquelle or your fucking kids.” Aaron insists, not that he thinks Bolivar was going to offer, judging from his tone.

“Just try not to get scammed by whatever huckster is pretending to be the ghost of Company’s past.” Aaron adds, as if he’s talking to a teenager, not his fully grown adult son.


NYC Safe Zone

Bolivar hackles a bit, visibly. Scammed! He was in the NYPD for decades! He's an intelligent full-grown adult! But he decides not to take an issue with the concept itself. After all, if Aaron is that sure that there's no way Renautas could be alive, then… well, that's either more mind-wiping mentalist manipulation some-bullshit, or it's…

Some other damn SLC-Expressive fucking with them! Both scenarios are bad, and not impossible. Mentalism is mentalism is mentalism.

Bolivar sighs, audible on the other end of the line. "Text me when you're on your way. Picture with the day's paper, just in case some other bullshit happens. Bye, pops," he says. He doesn't wait for his father to answer, because he is low-key terrible that way. He simply hangs up. Click.

Then he turns to Raquelle. "Ten out of ten, right?" Bolivar asks. He's keeping his voice light, but it's easy to tell; he's worried.

More worried now than he was before the call.

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