joseph_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

Scene Title Colors
Synopsis After Sunday service, Raquelle and Joseph talk. A vision is given and an offer is made.
Date May 24, 2009

Outside the Guiding Light Baptist Church

It's early afternoon on a Sunday, and you wouldn't think anything bad had happened to the church. The midday service crowd is filing out, spilling from the opened double doors and onto the sidewalk, dispersing back into the modern day Babylon that is New York City. Joseph is among them, though he doesn't get very far - far enough to walk an elderly lady out with his arm as support, wishing her well as she makes her slow way away from the church, and he has ample excuse to linger outside, casting around smiles for those who make eye contact and even those who don't.

Mostly, however, Joseph is studying the walls. The graffiti has been determinedly scrubbed away, the doors repainted, and only when you lean close to where you knew the words were are there still specks of red and blue left over. Specks that will wash away in the wet New York City weather, of this Joseph is certain.

It almost doesn't matter. It doesn't mean it didn't happen. He's dressed in suit and tie, hands coming to rest on his waist as he draws in a deep breath and lets it out with a sigh. Let it go, Sumter.

"BJ, hold your sister's han-yes…yes you can go get ice cream with, just-" Raquelle did indeed enjoy the midday service, him and his little church going daughters are usually in attendance, save for the days that were spent at the hospital and all that. The single father wears a fitted black t-shirt under a black with white stripes blazer with matching slacks, hair and make-up done (duh) it is usual church going attire.

"Well well well, Pastor…beautiful sermon." It is the soft compliment from over —-> there some where as Raquelle approaches the man after his daughters run off with 'church friends' and their parents to go get holy ice cream or whatever. "I especially liked the part about…uh, God." Sage nod goes here.

Joseph's eyes are drawn from rustic stonework to the far more exciting Raquelle, offering the younger man a wan smile before taking a step back from the church, turning his shoulder to it and letting his hands drop to the side. "I like that part too. Thanks." Perhaps unusually, there'd been no offer for visions this Sunday - not in the morning or the midday, about as notable as Abigail's absence too.

His dark eyes skip over Raquelle towards where his daughters are off for ice cream, and he adds, "How's Diana doing?"

Raquelle's eyes sweep up and down Joseph's body, taking in suit, tie, facial expression, hair…all the important things before he glances towards the church and back to Joseph. "You been sleeping okay though? Getting shut eye? Resting up those pretty little peepers and letting the vocal chords sleep in preparations for blowing us out of our seats via the holy word?"

The question about his daughter though just makes him sober up a bit with a soft sigh. "She's doing okay, alive and well…so I'm happy. She's been a bit calmer than usual, walking around and running around and helping me pick out paint colors and floor patterns…"

Joseph comes to lean against the low black iron railing that surrounds the church, back determinedly to it and focus on Raquelle, a half-smile at his line of questions. "I've been sleepin' fine," Joseph assures him. "It's been an interestin' past few days though, I won't lie." The congregation having flocked out into the streets has all but thinned out, leaving behind Raquelle and the pastor. "Glad to hear about Princess Di, though. You know you can leave 'em with me if you ever need a break." The words come naturally, as thoughtless as it is thoughtful, and with only a hint of restraint.

"Your lips move and I flash back to my childhood, I do hope you realize that." Raquelle smirks and offers a wink before waving a hand vaguely. "She has announced that she wishes to be either Queen Diana or President Diana now…for some reason. Do you know how hard it is to find a power suit with a skirt for a little girl? Honey you have /no/ idea." He sighs and swallows. "I uh…yeah, I'll remember that. The whole break thing, just now I'm so scared to leave them, not knowing if I'll get another phone call."

The smile in return of Raquelle's words dims a little, but remains all the same, as the younger man expresses his worries, and he gets a look of genuine sympathy from Joseph, and some contemplative silence. Eventually, he takes his weight back off the railing, stepping closer. "You'll get another phonecall." Almost callous, if not for the gentle tone of voice. "Tomorrow, several years from now. It's just— " Round shoulders hunch up a little in beneath his jacket in a rueful, but not careless shrug. "It's just how it works, I think." A pause, then, "But it's the not knowing that's gettin' to you, isn't it."

Raquelle would tear up, only that would mess up his eyeliner. So when his eyes start to glisten he just tugs a hankie from god knows where and dabs at his eyes with a small shake of his head. "Heh, yeah I guess. It's just part of being um, a father. A parent. A lover. Being connected to other people in some where be it a blood bond or because you spent time handcuf-you got intimate with them just…"

He has to trail off, nodding slowly in quiet agreement. "I was getting too comfortable, too happy with life and opportunities and so I guess I took for granted how lucky we had been. And I almost lost my baby girl. I don't know if I could stand that again, ya know?"

Joseph's hand goes out to touch Raquelle's arm, just above the elbow, in what is designed to be a comforting squeeze before simply resting there, trying to catch his gaze. "Sometimes it takes somethin' like this to put things in perspective," he says, voice still quiet. Mentions of handcuffs are selectively deleted from his recollection of this conversation. "Not because you're doin' a bad job or anythin'— and believe me, you're not. But a reminder about what the world can be like, I guess."

His hand drops away, hands coming around to clasp together as he considers the younger man in long hesitation before he says, "If you want, I could— if you wanted to know what might be coming next. You know I can help with that."

"I know pastor…I know, but it still /hurts/." And the young father's gift wraps around that word, caressing it and leaking the fear based agony of potential loss that is hard to shake before Raquelle quickly shakes his head, moving a hand to rest on Joseph's gently, grateful for a support. "And thank you, heh, that does mean a lot."

But now his interest is caught for a little longer, eyebrow raising and expression questioning for a moment. "That's right…I had almost forgotten." He falls quiet for a few moments, staring off at nothing in particular before looking back to Joseph. "Do it…" A long pause. "I mean if you want, you could. I'd like that, not that I fully understand what in the hel-heck you are offering but I trust you. I mean hell - gah, heck, you've got God and the holy host on speed dial or somethin'…why wouldn't I?"

At the slight leakage of emotion, Joseph's breath hitches once, smiling faltering, but it's a fleeting thing, and it only fuels sympathy. There's a glance cast around the street, and it's not about whether Joseph is shy about demonstrating his ability on the sidewalk, it's about the recent injuries done to his church that makes him look out for those watching. No one, though, seems to have eyes for pastor and hairdresser, and so Joseph turns back to the younger man and holds out a hand in offer.

"It shows you what might be, or will be. It might not even directly relate to your daughters. But it shows you what's important. Sign posts on the road you're currently on, that lets you— decide whether or not you should be goin' down it." A pause. "Or if there's a truck comin'." This is getting to be a complicated analogy, lips thinning a little.

Raquelle looks down to the hand offered before taking it and biting his tongue to prevent saying something he might regret, he just squeezes the hand gently and takes a deep steadying breath. "Roadkill is so not a good look, so…as long as it won't ya know, make you collapse or anything." He gestures idly with his free hand. "I think…I think at this point, I should see."

Joseph's other hand comes to clasp over Raquelle's, giving a fleeting chuckle at his words. "I should be fine." Should be. He doesn't say, out loud, that this is almost a test as much for himself as it is help for Raquelle. But this is entirely why, he's pretty sure, he even has his ability, and plaguing doubts and Humanis First! and whatever in the world isn't going to stop him now.

Or he may as well pack his bags and crawl back to Tennessee. "It helps if you shut your eyes."

"Mmhm, if you aren't…I'm dressing up in a nurses costume and carrying you home where my girls will force feed you tea and cookies…" Raquelle threatens before taking another deep breath and staring intently at Joseph for a few moments, lips curving in a hint of a smile. "To keep this from being awkward, I'm going to resist telling you about the last time somebody told me that…" He winks and gives a little snort/chuckle of a laugh before closing his eyes.

"'s fine, I'll just pretend you didn't," is what Raquelle hears last, amusement in the pastor's tone, before that and the ambient sounds of the street all melt away, as does the darkness of his own eyelids, although the solid feel of the ground beneath his feet and Joseph's warm clasp remains.

It's a while wall, featureless, and stretches on either side into eternity. Whatever dream entity Raquelle is forced to ride along with looks to the left, looks to the right, and catches his gaze on something in all the whiteness. Moving along at a pace too fast and too smooth for footsteps, he comes to a halt before what decorates the wall.

It's a hand print, large and red, as if from a fingerpainting. Raquelle can see his hand come up, and his palm is coated in the crimson substance. Blood, paint, it almost doesn't matter, and it becomes clear that the mark is a replication of his own palm when he watches himself press his hand there and cover it completely.

The sound of footsteps takes over, a woman with heavy brown bangs, not anyone Raquelle recognises, approaches him. Her white coat is that of a doctor, and blends in with the featureless surroundings. She's holding onto the hands of BJ and Diana, bringing them over, and she gives the father a kind smile.

"It's in the blood."

BJ detaches her hand from the doctor's, and presses her palm against the wall just beneath Raquelle's mark, drawing it away. It resembles paint more than blood, on account of it being bright blue, slick and wet still as she shows her father her hand coated in it.

The doctor crouches down, and urges Diana forward, and she does the same thing. Her hand comes away, revealing the bright red that was Raquelle's hand print, showing off her palm as well, dark ruby red that drips down her arm a little, and the three hand prints remain on the white wall. Blue, red, white, of Americana, of separation, of colour…

Joseph is relieved, selfishly so. Nothing's gone wrong, it seems, and he waits out the duration of the vision with his hands wrapped around Raquelle's, remaining there as it comes to a close.

Funny things about visions is that they are always surprise those who see them and Raquelle's is no different, expression darkening and eyes moving under their lids in that whole rapid rem like mimicry as he's seeing things apparently in his head.

A soft gasp as his eyes fly open and his lips form a small 'o', brow furrowing and then he licks lips that seem too dry all of a sudden and rasps out, quite eloquently…

"Well shit."

It's amazing how many reactions visions can get. Wonder and awe, elation, utter terror. Joseph sees a lot of different sides of people when they first come out their waking dreams, and Raquelle's is on the understated side of the spectrum. Gently, Joseph releases Raquelle's hand, his own withdrawing and coming to fix his tie that doesn't really need fixing, eyebrows furrowed as he asks, "Everythin' okay?"

Raquelle just blinks several times, head coming up to his head for a moment before he just looks at Joseph quietly for a few moments, teary eyed but a bit resigned as he nods slowly. "Pardon my french Pastor just, yeah." Some more blinking and idly scratching his head. "Yeah, everything will be okay." Hopefully. He so will not be doing any painting though.

"It will be," Joseph agrees, readily, temporarily forgetting, for a moment, his own woes and concerns in light of trying to help someone else. We all get our fixes somehow. He considers asking, helping interpret, but that so often makes things complicated. And so, Joseph steps forward to draw the younger man in what can be described as a ~*~hug~*~, arms circling Raquelle's broad shoulders in a comforting squeeze whether he likes it or not.

Raquelle laughs softly, a happy rumbling sound as he sniffles and wraps his arms around Joseph in turn, lifting a bit but just squeezing him back tightly in a hug. "Thanks Pastor, hehehe, mr Jeez you…" He chuckles in relief and is content to hug and be hugged.

Hug accomplished, Joseph's hands clap on Raquelle's upper arms and he offers a bright smile. "Now you just go take care of yourself a fraction as much as you do your girls and everythin' will be as right as rain. I, uh…" His hands fall away as he glances up at the looming front of his church, with its cross nestled on its peak. "I'll see you next service. I hope whatever you saw— I hope it helps."

Raquelle pats Joseph's shoulder as he pulls back a bit. "I'll do my best, trust me, I can't help but spoil them though." Then he looks to the church, hands moving to his hips and head tilting back some. "Mmhm, I'll be here." Long pause, very long pause. "You think you can get some media attention or just…quite a few people here for the next service?" He purses his lips. "It has been a long time since I sang for a crowd…" People show gratitude in different ways, duh.

Joseph's eyebrows lift, and he thinks on it for a moment before he nods, thinking to Abby's rallying of New York to help clean the face of the Guiding Light, specks remaining or not. "I'm sure I could rustle up a crowd of kinds. You want to sing for the service?" The lift in his voice is plenty to imply that he thinks this would be a fine idea.

Raquelle bites his bottom lip before he just smiles slowly, giving a small nod. "Yeah Pastor…I think I do." He small chuckle is given before he looks back to Joseph. "If you wouldn't mind and all, besides my girls have been asking why I haven't so I think it would work out pretty good…"

"That would be great," Joseph says, with a faint smile back. "I've been lookin' forward to hearing you sing." And he makes no mention of abilities or otherwise, even with that small nudge of fear from before in the back of his mind. "Drop by Wednesday and you can catch Jeremiah, he'll help you out." His smile becomes a little more wry as he adds, "I preach, and leave organisation to the New Yorkers."

Raquelle mmhms softly and just looks thoughtful. Almost too thoughtful, stroking his chin and then patting Joseph on the back as he clears his throat. "I hope I don't let you down Mister Man." He flashes a grin and nods. "I'll be by Wednesday to work things out with Jeremiah, doncha worry!" He rolls his eyes as his phone starts ringing to the beat 'If you think I'm Sexy, And you want my bod-' etc. "Excuse me, thaaaaat would be my babysitter's brother's step father…" He blows a kiss and wink, sighing and answering the cellphone as he starts walking away. "Yes, yes, yes, those pants make your ass look fat Ramone…"

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