Home, Heart and Health


nora2_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

Scene Title Home, Heart and Health
Synopsis Nora checks in on a random stranger from the park and gets a chat and manicure in the process.
Date March 24, 2011

Cambria Salon and Day Spa

Salon, it is a bit slow at the moment so Raquelle sits at the front desk, working on painting his nails a sparkly black color, a bottle of 7-Up beside him. His emo fringe is will blue and he wears a black sleeveless turtleneck, black jeans, black docs…and his Salon Toolbelt/Apron as he works quietly and humming softly to himself as he works, waiting for his next customer.

If he happens to look up and out the window, he might see the slight figure of Nora Rosenthal outside, peering at the address on the building's side and tucking a strand of hair behind one ear. It's slightly warmer today — too warm for snow, and with enough sun to keep sleet or rain or snow at bay. The teenager pushes the door open and steps inside, dark eyes darting quickly around the interior before falling on Raquelle himself.

He's much more put together than her — her long dark hair has little shape and many split ends; her nails are short and painted in a rusty sort of color, though much of the polish has chipped off. The most colorful thing on her today is the black and blue bruise that even has undertones of yellow along the curve of her jaw from where she was hit the day before; otherwise, she's wearing a gray hoodie, black jeans, and black Converse.

"Oh! I didn't expect you to be at the front desk," she says, looking surprised to see Raquelle. Nora keeps near the door, one hand on its handle.

Raquelle looks up with a slow blink, just staring at Nora for a moment, lashes fluttering and he quirks a well groomed eyebrow before blowing lightly on his nails as he gives the young lady a once over. "…I didn't expect you to walk through the front door either honey! Come in, come in! Pull up a chair, gimme your hands honey your nails look a mess from back here. What can I doooo for you? Welcome to Cambria's salon and day spa!"

The teen, who usually doesn't care much about the state of her nails, glances down at them and curls fingers into loose fists and tucks them behind her back. She grimaces and takes a step closer to him, glancing down at the sparkly polish he's painting his own fingers with, before.

"Oh," she says, and shakes her head, cheeks coloring a little. "I can't afford something like this. I just came to check on you and thank you for yesterday, at the park. A lot of people would have just walked on by and let them pick on those people. It was nice to see people stand up for others, you know?"

"Pshaw, just tug a chair up. I don't have to charge you anything if I'm not at the nail station." Raquelle winks to Nora before patting the front desk and turns the little rack that has all the different nail polishes for sale around so Nora can better see it. "Go on, pick a color." Then he blows on his nails some more and laughs softly. "Thank me? Really? All I did was get a little nasty and be a lil' naughty, I do one of those two things almost every night baby." He shrugs. "I don't like people gettin' judged or picked on for stupid stuff like that, so no problems."

Chewing her lip for a moment, Nora shrugs and moves to tug one of the waiting area chairs up to the front desk and then runs a finger along the tray of polishes. "Maybe this one to match my bruise?" she says with a smirk, picking out a shimmery shade somewhere between blue and purple and handing it to Raquelle before stretching out her fingers in front of him.

"I don't have much to work with. And yeah, I wanted to thank you. I can get 'nasty and naughty' too, but too many people play it safe and bland and don't mix it up when they need to, so things like that — people like those assholes? — don't change," she says, curling one foot beneath herself to raise her height a bit as she faces him across the desk.

She shrugs as she studies her chipped nails. "It wasn't me you were standing up for, but I doubt the two homeless guys you were helping are going to come looking for you, so I'm saying thank you for them." She frowns, and her fingers twitch. "I guess thanking you shouldn't mean letting you do my nails for free? But if you want to… like, I let my friend Benji do them more for his sake than mine, because I think it physically pains him to see my ragtag cuticles."

"Mmhm." Raquelle accepts the polish, spreading a purple bandana on the desk and tapping it to gesture to where the young woman should put your hands. He gets out other nail tools as well, reaching out for a hand invitingly as he brushes his emo-fringe out of his face with his free hand. "Yes, I was actually standing up for you, the homeless guys, anybody who could be and often is discriminated against or given a hard time just because they are different for some reason. Homeless, Different sexuality, Got titties…doesn't matter, people who are assholes come up with reasons to be bigger douches honey and if nobody says anything, they silently support things in a way." Hhe smiles. "And I am doing your nails for free because I waaaant to. Gimme gimme."

His words earn a bright and toothy smile from the girl and she puts her hands on the fabric indicated. "I agree. I believe in that too. Not saying anything is what allows fascism. Historically. Bad things happen because good people stand by and do nothing." She could be a brochure.

She watches him work for a moment. "I'd say you hit pretty damn well for a salon owner but then I'd be guilty of stereotyping, right? By the way, that asshat who thought I was evolved just because I broke his nose and wrist? I don't have any sort of ability that makes fighting easier." Nora doesn't say she doesn't have an ability at all.

Raising dark eyes, she looks back up at him. "Your kid is cute. Was she scared?"

Raquelle starts with carefully removing whatever nail polish may or may not be on the young woman's nails to start with, cleaning them off individuals with a special solution and he quirks an eyebrow. "Honey, I grey up gay with a goth punk edge in Tennessee…and I went to public school." He smirks gently. "You can stereotype away honeycakes, doesn't mean I don't know how to throw or take a punch."

He winks and then takes a deep breath. "Don't worry, never ever crossed my mind. The power thing. I just figured you had good training." Then when the topic turns to his daughter he clears his throat. "BJ? Nah…she was amused I guess, thought it was pretty damn funny. Had to spend an hour talking to her about how you should only fight when you have to, for home, heart, and health and stuff and she says she gets it." He sighs softly picking up a small file and getting to work. "She's been throu-…well she's seen worse so ya know."

"Home, heart, and health," Nora says with a smile and nods. "I need to remember that. I usually fight for good reason — or for training — but once in a while I let my anger rule me. Something I need to work on, I guess."

She watches as the reddish brown color is removed, frowning a little. "I'm sorry. Kids her age, they shouldn't have to worry about anything but like what cartoon to watch on Saturday morning or maybe what book to read next. Or what boy to push down at recess. She seems to be pretty okay now, but kids are resilient."

Nora glances up again with a bit of a wry grin. "Or so I hear." She's only a few weeks into adulthood, by the legal definition, after all. "I'm Nora," she adds.

"Raqueeeeelle darlin', and it is a pleasure to meet you." Raquelle replies to the greeting, following it up with a simple, "When you start havin' babies of your own, you'll know. What they feel, you feel and you always will. Both my babies have been through a lot in life, and I've cried everytime they have…so they are resilient, yes. Or I'd be in an insane asylum."

The teen makes a face at the mention of babies. “I never really planned on having kids,” she admits. “Even if I could…” She frowns, and rephrases, “Even if I met someone I wanted to be with, I think it might be irresponsible unless I could give them a decent life. And I’m not in the place to do that, and I’m not sure I ever will be.”

Her cheeks color a little and she runs her thumb over one of the newly cleaned fingernails now no longer rough with chipped polish. “Not that you are irresponsible, by the way,” she adds. “Your daughter is lucky to have you.”

Nora’s dark eyes dart back up to watch Raquelle. “Do you think parents have that bond with their children if they’ve been separated for a long time? If you hadn’t known her but met her say yesterday, would you feel anything?”

"I knocked up the drummer of my band when I was pretty young after we both got high as hell." Raquelle offers as he works on every nail carefully and shakes up the selected polish with a quirk of an eyebrow. "Then she dropped the little girl you saw on my door step, handed me the custody papers and told me good luck. She lives in Vegas somewhere now."

He just chuckles softly and smiles softly, giving a small shake of his head. "So yeah, you really should want to have any babies that you have." He winks. "But I love both my girls. I…do believe that there's a bit of a bond there, no matter what. Why do you ask honey?"

"She's lucky that you weren't some dead beat or worse," is the cynical answer that Nora gives, though she means it well and sincerely, lips curving to reveal a toothy smile. "You're a great dad, I think. Someone to be proud of. I'm sure she'll be proud of you and stand up for the principles you stand up for like the other day."

A shrug lifts one shoulder. "I was sort of… separated…" she frowns at the word, "from my mother. My family. I don't think she'd feel anything, though, if I was hurt, or scared… I don't think she'd sense it like you do."

Suddenly, she tosses her hair back, scoffing a little. "Sorry. I sound all maudlin like a telenovella or something. Don't mind me. You have another kid? No offense, but you don't seem the type to be making babies."

Raquelle blows lightly on the nails with a wrinkle of his nose and a tiny laugh, sucking his teeth sympathetically as he hears the dad compliment to the report about the mother. He just concentrates on adding another layer of protective polish on a nail, idly scratching his head with his free hand.

"I'm sorry baby, it is sad to be taken away from family." Then he squints and looks thoughtful. "You sound like a normal girl your age honey, don't worry. Do you not see me rockin' an emo-fringe." He winks and then takes a deep breath. "My first daughter is biologically mine, my second daughter…she's adopted."

Nora grins a little and then shrugs again. "I didn't mean to pry. It doesn't matter — they belong to you and with you and vice versa, even if you don't share blood. I have a lot of 'family' that's not blood, but they mean as much to me as they would if they were. Like you said, you have a bond with both. It's about love and loyalty, not genetics. Too much stock in this world in genetics anyway."

Her dark eyes study her manicure and she wriggles the fingers of the hand he's not working on. "They don't look horrible when they're covered up," she says, spreading her fingers to watch the polish glint in the light.
"Hey, I like talking." Raquelle chuckles and then shakes her head slowly with a soft hum as he sits back a bit, eyeing his finished job and pushing over one of the hand drying lamps with a slow blink. "You're beautiful honey, you really are. You don't ever look horrible. Maybe a hot mess but you're able to come by and get a manicure anyyytime you like."

"Black and blue all over," she says with a wry grin. "At least my jaw matches my nails now, right?" She tips her head at the drying lamp curiously, as if never having seen one before. But then she's not really a salon and spa kind of girl.

Looking back up, she shakes her head. "One freebie's my max. If I come back, it'll be with money, I promise. Otherwise all the other poor girls'll be checking out my nails and hitting you up for charity makeovers."
"Oh honey, I hope not for long! You don't need to be all over black and blue, that's too scary." Raquelle, settles back comfortably in his chair, crossing his legs and folding his arms over his chest. "Hmm…well send them over if you know of any who want a quick touch up, It would make it easier than making my own personal rounds."

"Never met a chipped nail you didn't have the compulsion to fix, huh?" Nora teases, wigglng her fingers a little and then pulling them out to squint at the polish to see if it looks dry. "I should go, though. Thanks for the polish. As for being black and blue, I'm always in one fight or another, but I'd rather get bruised standing up for what I believe in then stand aside and stay safe."

She stands and pulls the chair back to the waiting area. "Thanks, Raquelle."
Raquelle laughs and nods slowly, getting to his feet and stretching his arms up over his head before offering his hand over the table to the girl. "Then stay safe baby…stay safe and come back to see me one of these days." He winks. "I should be here for a while, and our doors are always open for those who need help, you, a friend…or even random strangers."

There's one last toothy smile. "Random strangers become friends, Raquelle. You stay safe, too." The slim teenager slips out the door and into the chilly and gray day outside, opening the door for another customer who sniffs a little haughtily — the woman can clearly afford the manicure that Nora just got for free. At least Raquelle will have a paying customer this hour.

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