Hairy Encounter


daphne_icon.gif russo_icon.gif

Scene Title Hairy Encounter
Synopsis The hair product aisle is a busy place when Daphne and Brad convene there, each with two different missions. Neither mission gets completed.
Date September 18, 2010

Manhattan A drugstore

White tiles, white walls, and a white ceiling reflect the fluorescent light of the drugstore from one surface to the next in a kind of perma-sheen across the walls. The drug store itself is abuzz of activity as various patrons mill about the store to fulfill their various needs.

It's Saturday afternoon and Bradley Russo isn't working today; that's the joy of the weekend. He strolls down the aisle containing hair products and is indulging in one of the few guilty pleasures he permits himself in open public. He's smelling shampoos — trying to find the one that Karolina used to use. Having never returned to (or opened) the condo they lived in together since her death, he can't even remember the brand, just the smell and only in his dreams.

This practice has become an effort in futility. Saturday after Saturday he finds himself in one store or another smelling shampoo; ironically, a problem that could be easily solved if he bit the bullet and opened the condo, but he doesn't dare, on some level that would be disrespectful.

He plucks a bottle of kiwi smelling shampoo from the shelf and pops the top before trying to drink in the scent, but this one is so light, he smells nothing. Pressing his lips into a frown, he squeezes the bottle to waft the scent up his nose only to receive a nose-full of shampoo as it spills out the top and down his hand. The bottle slips through his hand onto the floor, as he frantically attempts to rub the soap from his nose with the sleeve of his green long-sleeved t-shirt. "Aw crap!"

On the far end of the hair-care aisle stands a petite blonde, her short hair close to the color of Marilyn Monroe's iconic 'do, but so very different in attitude, thanks to the random dreadlocks here and there in the short bob. She stands with her hands on her hips, squinting dark brown eyes as she studies a a wall of hair color: Revlon, Garnier, Nice 'n' Easy, Clairol in shades like tangerine, flame, or copper, mocha, cocoa, or sable at the most simple — auburn sunrise and burgundy brilliance at the more poetic.

Daphne picks up one box and peers at its directions, then sets it down. She's been this pale shade of blonde ever since her bitter days in high school — a way to stand out on purpose instead of standing out because she was different.

Now she's trying to blend in, and it just makes her feel wrong.

The cursing and clatter of shampoo bottle garners her attention, and she glances down the aisle toward the man with soap on his nose. She grabs two boxes she'd been considering and heads down the aisle — his gaze blocked for the moment by his sleeve, she puts a little speed on her steps, and is suddenly holding the bottle he dropped out to him. "Drop something?"

The sleeve mops up the majority of the shampoo on his face before Daphne comes into sight, earning the smallest gasp and an odd half-smirk, making silent fun of the situation he finds himself. "Yeah." The bottle is accept as he sighs, it wasn't the right one, far from, and now, in a way, he feels like he should buy it. "Thanks," Daphne earns a full curl of his lips, silent gratitude for not having to bend down and get the bottle from the floor.

A glance is given to the boxes of hair-colour and then back to her hair. "Making a change? Pretty drastic…" He coughs before placing the bottle back on the shelf, after which he cringes. "I should probably buy that, shouldn't I? If someone else does, they won't have a full bottle…" he shrugs slightly. "On the other hand? It kinda smells rancid… here…" the bottle is retrieved again as he uncaps it and shoves it under Daphne's nose to give it a prompt squeeze.

Bubbles float out of the hole at the top and Daphne steps back in a slightly blurred motion to keep from inhaling a noseful of soap. "Ugh, I'll take your word for it," she says, taking the bottle from him and capping it, before putting it on the shelf. "If anyone buys that bottle, they should be grateful it's not full." She turns to grab another bottle from nearby. "Try this brand. It's got a nice clean, not too girly smell you might like."

There's a glance at her two boxes — one red, one brown — and she gives a shrug. "Which do you like, do you think? This one is Garnet Gem and this one is Marvelous Mahogany." She shakes a box in each hand, demanding an opinion.

Brad chuckles and shakes his head, "I know, right?! Who buys this crap?" He takes the next bottle from her and gives it a sniff. While it smells better than the last, it's still not the right one. He shoots her a flicker of a smile and returns it to the shelf, "You're right, it's better. Just… not what I'm looking for." His greyish-blue-green eyes reflect against the white of the room as his gaze turns from one bottle to the next.

His pointer finger raises into the air, like he's raising his hand in a classroom full of students, even if it is a sole finger. "Question: why?" His eyebrows raise on his forehead as he examines her rather than the boxes. "I'm not an expert or anything when it comes to hair, but…" those eyes narrow inspecting her carefully. "Why do you want to make the change?"

Her mouth screws up to one side as she tips her face up toward his, considering the question and trying to decide just how honest she wants to be with the stranger — obviously she doesn't recognize him. Who has time for television? Even with TiVo and DVR and being able to fast forward through commercials, she finds it too slow for her taste — and she hasn't sat through an entire movie in years.

"They say au natural is in for fall, and ironically, the only way to go au natural is to dye my hair?" Daphne offers as a possible answer. It's not an honest one, of course, but he doesn't know how into fall trends she is or isn't, right? Of course, she's wearing track pants with stripes up the side of them and a plain blue t-shirt — how into fashion can she be?

Skeptically, Brad arches an eyebrow before he's returning the shampoo bottle to the shelf. It's always refreshing not to be recognize, although the opposite is true also as long as both are in balance.

He hmmms as he watches her for a long time, considering the colours. "I don't know anything about fashion or what is or isn't in. So… if I seem not up to speed on the fashion stuff, it's because I'm not. I would wear jeans and a t-shirt if I could everyday." His hands spread palms up in a 'what you gonna do?' motion before continuing, "Buuuut. It just seems foolish to follow something because someone said to. You know?" He shrugs again, "And. It seems to me the world doesn't need another zombie following everyone else." His lips flicker into a toothy smile before he shakes his head, "But… like I said, I know nothing about fashion. Just. Don't do it to be like the lemmings, okay?"

Brows darker than the pale shock of hair that falls across them furrow into a scowl. "I'm not a lemming," she says, chin lifting with a touch of defiance, as if she's challenging him to say it again.

But not to be distracted from her mission, she holds each of the boxes up to her face. "What if I were getting, like, a professional job, that required a more sophisticated look? Would you say brown or red is more me? Let's say you had to choose one or someone was gonna shoot a baby panda bear in the temple if you couldn't make a decision. What then, Levis?"

"I'd say blonde," Russo isn't one to shirk a challenge and so he digs his heels in. "But. Hypothetically, if I had to choose before one of these colours, I'd choose red for you. It's more vibrant than brown." With a cluck of his tongue he observes, "I know we've only just met and blah blah blah I know nothing about you but you wouldn't have gone that blonde or that bold if you weren't meant to stand out. So own it. Stand out."

She's issued a dimpled grin and the nickname Levis. "Look Blondie, I don't know a lot, but I know people. Obviously if you wanna make the change, make the change. But do it for you." He extends a hand, "I'm Brad."

"Standing out doesn't always fit with the rest of my plans, that's the only trouble," Daphne says a little ruefully. Platinum blonde, bright colored clothes — none of that really fits the role of thief, but she never had to be stealthy because she was fast. But now the government has negation gas, and now the director of Homeland Security knows what she looks like. Times change.

"Red, then," she says, looking at the box indicated and putting down the other box beside his discarded shampoo. "God, I hope that my bleached out hair doesn't turn pink or something crazy, though," she adds, before glancing at his extended hand.

There's a definite pause — it feels longer to her, no doubt, than to him, but finally she takes it. "Daphne."

His handshake is firm, confident, and practiced. Networking and introductions are something he's good at. "Yeah, pink would pretty much be guaranteed to make you stand out. In which case… brown, I guess? Brunettes are common though. Just sayin'. Everyone and their dog is a brunette." Brad winks as his lips curl upwards.

"And there's nothing wrong with following your plans, just make sure you commit to who you are. It's easy… it's easy to get lost in the shuffle." His smile turns bittersweet, but only momentarily before he forces something easier, "Also don't freak yourself when you walk past mirrors, okay?"

Daphne frowns at the box of red dye, and sets it down on the shelf, then back to him. "I never get lost," she says, a little smugly. "And I rarely walk," she adds, with a smirk. "But I guess I'm not ready to commit to another hair color just yet. Me and blonde, we go way back, and I guess it's not that easy to part ways. Probably a little silly of me to think I need to, anyway. It's not like anyone would buy me as a professional, sophisticated businesswoman, anyway, right? I mean, a hair dye and a new suit can't do that much for someone like me."

Her eyes dart to the box again, and she's just a touch uncertain. But then something else catches her eye: someone, likely interrupted in the middle of their shopping, has shoved a bunch of items onto the shelf of dandruff shampoo: a couple of magazines, a box of pens, and a bag of candy, all conspicuously out of place.

On the magazine is Brad's face.

So much for not being recognized.

"Hey — that's you!" Daphne says, suddenly, grabbing the magazine and peering at it, then back up to his face. "Holy shit. Are you important?" It's a news magazine, not just some pop culture rag. She takes a step back. If it's another government lackey, she is so out of here.

"So it is," Brad peers at the front of the magazine wrinkling his nose. "Not a very good picture either, I don't think… but they probably had to clear this with my producer or agent… or something…" He clucks his tongue before his head shakes rather adamantly. "No. I'm nobody important, I just talk to important people so magazines think that I'm worth profiling."

He clucks his tongue rather expectantly with another shrug of his shoulders, "I have a show where I talk politics and have guests debate various issues. That's all. Anyone could do it with the right skill set." He flicks his own face on the magazine. "I just like hearing people's opinions on current events and getting perspectives… That's why I do it."

"You do look better in person," Daphne says with an unabashed shrug, an hands him the magazine, apparently expecting that he'll want to buy something with his face on it. "I couldn't do it. Don't sell yourself short. But then, you can't probably do most the things I can, so it all evens out in the end, right?" Maybe.

"Well, thanks for the hair advice. My stylist would probably string me up from my ears if I did storebought color anyway, so I think I will abstain this time around," the speedster says with a shrug, taking a step backward. "It was nice to meet you, Levis."

"Thanks, I appreciate it. Never thought the suits suited me anyways." An odd smirk plays on his lips as he's handed the magazine, but he accepts it anyways, his grandmother will appreciate a copy, even if she won't be able to recognize her own grandson anymore. "Nice meeting you, Blondie. Stay away from the lemmings." With another wink, he turns on his heel, back to the shampoo, his mission still incomplete.

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