Lunchtime Confessions


emily_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

Scene Title Lunchtime Confessions
Synopsis Emily drops by Raquelle's place for advice, finding more support than she ever expected.
Date January 13, 2019

Raquelle's Salon

Head bowed against the wind, Emily Epstein doesn't check to see who's already inside the business across the street. She's determined already, that one way or another, she's heading in. She pulls her beige overcoat around herself and pins the lapel up with one hand to better buffet the wind, boots carefully treading into the snow that fell overnight that hasn't been swept away yet. Her feet sink in, and first glancing side to side for any errant traffic, she jogs across the street over to Raquelle's, kicking off her boots against the sidewalk before she finally lifts her head up to look through the door.

With most things lately, she hesitates before actually pulling the door open. Once she does, the tinkling bell on it doesn't give her the option of turning back unnoticed. So there she stands— a very different young woman than she was a month ago, one with questions burning in her eyes.

"Hey, Raquelle?"

The tinkling of the bell draws the attention of Raquelle who walks out of a backroom, humming to himself. Dressed 'casually' for him in a black t-shirt with a golden glittery musical note on it, that's faded with time but the shimmer and outline is there, a pair of fitted black jeans, stylish black converse sneakers with golden laces and a leather jack…the hairstylist's hair is stylishly messy tousled and dyed black with a black beanie being worn. Accessories…also golden, couple of tiny hoops and studs and what not.

Arms spread automatically for a welcoming hug as he laughs softly. "That's my name, don't wear it out baby. Come here darling, how have you been? Look at you, walking without the third and fourth legs today."

Emily smiles despite herself, finding some relief in Raquelle's whole aura. "Yeah, it's crazy, isn't it?" She steps forward for the hug, foot slipping for a moment on the tile. Her eyes flash with concern, but she stays strong and steady, surprising even herself. Then she finally leans into the hug, holding on tightly. "It's been a whole fucking time, Raquelle. I'm really glad to see you."

Sliding a step back and looking down at herself, she laughs without mirth. "I got healed, if that weren't obvious." One of her shoulders tilt up in a self-conscious shrug. "Was a … bit of a surprise." Emily adds before she really knows she has, "It's taken longer to get used to than I thought it would."

Solid, firm and with decently strong arms…the hairdresser tenses for a moment at the slip, but allows the young lady to right herself. With a soft chuckle he kisses the top of Emily's head because he's tall like a freak and he pulls back with a small nod. "I was just about to break for lunch." His hand flutters up towards Emily's hair, but he doesn't touch just squints and studies it for a moment before nodding to himself.

He gestures towards the lobby/lounge area with the comfortable chairs and couches with the dark purple, black and silver accents. "You'll adjust with time, it's just some muscles you aren't used to using. You're a fuckin' warrior princess little Dandelion. Come, have a seat. It's just a sloppy as hell bento like meal today. Big ass steamer of rice and some veggies, bit of fish. You game?" He turns towards a station and the mirror, leaning in to check his eyeshadow and liner with a critical tilt of his head before looking back to Emily waiting for her response.

Since she's already started on it, she shakes her head instead of shying away from the topic. "It's more than that." Emily clarifies, albeit hesitantly. "It's more… just how different everything is now. Worse, it's not just the physical differences, it feels different between me and my cousin now, too." Her head shakes, looking down at her hands as she pulls off her gloves and shoves them into her coat pocket before starting to unfasten the buttons. "I gave her a scare — I just disappeared when it happened. It was all very hush hush."

Emily looks back up with a quirk of her brow, swinging her coat off and onto the back of one of the lounge's chairs. "Healers play their cards close to their chest, it seems. Afraid of being taken advantage of by others, and so on." She turns at the description of the lunch, cautious at first to invite herself in like that, but she has to remind herself it's Raquelle who's inviting her to share. He means it.

"That sounds amazing," she says earnestly.

"Hmm." Raquelle tilts his head to the side again, processing what he's hearing. "That sounds like you had a small adventure hon." But he does not pry, he just moves back towards the back room for a moment, raising his voice to respond. "Every healer I've ever met, be it a gift or a degree has been careful. It's a hard job." He returns with a small cooler, settling down on a chair near Emily.

He sets the things out on the coffee table. There's two bowls set aside, with two scoops of white rice in each then a colorful selection of carrots and peas. Little squares of some type of pink fish arranged in each as well, then he holds up a pair of chopsticks and a fork, offering them to see which one Emily selects.

"The important thing is, you are still here."

Emily takes the fork, brow knit while she considers that. "Yeah," she concedes, sounding off-guard by that. "I guess so." She lets out a slow sigh, pulling up the bowl between her hands. Instead of focusing on her own issues for the moment, she takes a bite. "Wow, you make this yourself?" She always enjoys it when there's someone else who's done the cooking. It's a learning experience along with a pleasant reprieve from being the only chef in her household.

"I surprise myself sometimes too! But, my Okasan would've had my hide if I could not at least make rice. Do you know how hard it is to /burn/ rice in a steamer?" Raquelle whistles and shakes his head as he deftly maneuvers his chopsticks. "But I learned much more after my daughter was born. My fiance is a better cook I think…but I like to think I learned alot during time in a relocation camp and a bunker." He winks. "Creativity is key." He smiles softly. "Rule number one for surviving the apocalypse…always have rice."

"It's good," she assures him with an undercurrent of amusement for how he carries on. Emily glances up, eyes crinkled for a moment in a smile while she digs in. Apparently all it took for her lack of an appetite to vanish was having the right person to share a meal with to help her forget about all her nerves. "Good to know," she confides. "I'll make sure we pick up some more rice. Though I'll need to take a trip to Yamagato Park for one of those steamers, I think … I avoid rice like the plague normally because boiling it is such a pain."

"But that would make it a lot easier. And you can do so much with rice." She pauses after scooping up another forkful, tines bit between her teeth after. She retreats into her thoughts again for a moment before looking over at him.

"Can I ask you something?"

A few chopsticks worth of rice and vegetables and Raquelle is snapping his fingers and hopping to his feet as he nods slowly. He skip/sashays/slides to a position behind the front desk to rummage around and pull out a couple of water bottles and a roll of papertowels as he returns, setting them down. As he settles back down, he nods slowly. "It's also quieter to steam sometimes." He stares off in the distance for a moment and then quickly shakes his head before quirking an eyebrow.

Then he blinks a few times and nods. "Of course baby, you can ask whatever you like."

She hesitates on how to phrase it, knowing that her past experiences with speaking to what happened and how it made her feel could have just as much effect as the dry facts of it. Sticking the fork in the bowl, she holds it between her hands, thumbing the edge. "Raquelle, you've been through a lot of shit. You were swept up in things that were unconscionable. And I mean—" Emily hesitates, realizing she's about to compare being sent to a relocation camp to being tricked and trapped in a conference room, and wondering if that really will get her any of the feedback she's hoping for.

Looking down at her bowl, it takes a moment to resettle herself. "I don't know what I mean." she confesses. "After I got healed, something happened. My trust was betrayed and I was forced into a situation that caused me a lot of heartache."

"I'm mad still. Still feel hurt by it. And I want to get back for what happened."

Her brow twitches and she shakes her head quickly. "Even if that betrayal was well-intentioned, I can't forgive it."

It might dawn on Emily that she's not actually asked a question, but it probably doesn't.

Raquelle eats quietly, dabbing at his mouth and occasionally taking a swig of water as he waits for the young woman to explain/not quite explain her situation. And he doesn't prod, poke or rush he just rolls his shoulders and sprawls out comfortably with his bowl of 'Bento Surprise' and squinting from time to time.

"When someone hurts your body…you heal over time and its hard but you recover. Or else, mothers would hate their children and people would viciously hate corners and door knobs." He waves a hand vaguely. "But when someone hurts your heart, they hurt your soul and that kinda hurt reverberates like a bad chord. Just even after the discordance is over, it still echos until you hear another note, or song, or chord that is sweet enough to overwrite what was done before." He purses his lips thoughtfully. "You're young, so your heart doesn't have so many walls around it. Trust ain't something I feel you give pretty easily, and if you feel like that was broken? Well, honey…you're just wanting to find a song to help drown out all the bad notes of the one that hurt you…"

"Yeah," Emily agrees emphatically, glad that someone's trying to understand without digging deep for all the details for once. "Yeah…" She grabs the water bottle before her and twists the cap off as she considers that, looking back to Raquelle with more focus to her than before. Her shoulders settle as she takes a moment to try and break down some of her own walls.

"So, what happened is—" but still the words hitch, being open a difficulty for her. She closes her eyes in a moment of frustration, trying to push past the hiccup. "I don't talk to my dad. He's — been gone from my life since I was little."

Her voice is watery at first, uncomfortable with even saying that much, but she pushes through. There's something cathartic about getting it off her chest. "He fought in the war. I don't know everything he did, but, he left the CIA and fought with the Ferry. And … he's done some really heroic shit." she smiles for a brief moment, a rare display of pride for what her father's done, one that quickly fades. "But he was gone before then, and he never came home after. I'm … not really sure he ever stopped fighting the war. He's with Wolfhound now."

Her eyes want to tear away to allow her to better retreat into herself, but Emily forces herself to look back to Raquelle. "Richard Ray abused my relationship with his nephew to trick me into going to Raytech. I went to go see Dev, and things were just fine, but suddenly he was gone and…" She goes through a gradient of conflicted micro-expressions, tries to take another bite of the food, but ends up replacing the fork. "Suddenly it was just my dad and I, and Richard locked us in."
Raquelle is listening carefully, leaning forward to set his bowl and chopsticks down and rest his elbows on his knees as he listens more closely. His lashes flutter a bit as he reaches into a pocket to pull out a pink and purple handkerchief and offer it to Emily with a sympathetic sucking of his teeth. "Your daddy sound like a real brave man…"

Then he continues to listen and he just reaches over to offer a hand, nails glittery purple today, in support. But then the name is dropped and his eyebrows raise a fraction as he blinks. And his eyes go through different stages of 'oh hell no'. The start with the squint as he asks carefully. "Did you not want to be in the room with your daddy?" The squint morphs into moving a hand to feel an earring, as he fights the urge to begin removing them.

Emily smiles but shakes her head at the handkerchief. She has no intention of needing it. When Raquelle pauses, she glances back up at him, trying to read his reaction. She settles into her seat, unable to believe for a moment that he's actually taking her seriously, not telling her she ought to be grateful for seeing her dad at all.

"No," she replies, because it's true. "Not like that."

She lets out an explosive sigh, brow furrowed deeply in her frustration with the topic. "He locked the door, told us to talk to each other already, and then just … left." Emily takes a moment to figure out how much she wants to say, reliving the moment in bulletpoints before she starts to shake her head. "Sure, we talked. Screamed at each other." She sucks on the inside of her cheek for a moment, jaw setting. "It was a mess."

Raquelle wrinkles his nose and inhales sharply when Emily says the 'no' and then he hmms softly. His knee starts bouncing a bit as he folds his hands and unfolds his hands and leans forward and then leans back against the backrest and nods slowly. Finally his arms end up crossed over his chest as he rolls his eyes upwards as if seeking divine assistance. Then he looks back to Emily.

He just shakes his head slowly. "While, we don't always get to control how we reunite with people…in this day and age, sometimes it's nice to feel like you have at least some control. So I'm going to tell you something." He scoots closer to Emily and offers his hand again, waiting to see if she'll take it. "That rich ass, gonna bring in the next goddamn need for Sara Connor, failed lumbersnax, DILFY little, always in the middle of some shit, late for his fucking monthly appointment and probably gonna walk into here lookin' like a damn furby with his luck. That 'omg I piss wealth but I didn't ask for all this now I have it I'ma inspire the next Daddy Warbucks like character in the future of broadway called 'Andrew'. That 'the sun may not come out tomorrow so I'ma grow some pubic hair on my face but its cool because I know I've got good hips'." He takes a deep breath. "That motherfucker right there?"

He shakes his head. "He is sometimes, a dumbass. He pretty as fuck, but he is. Sometimes. An asshole. And it's okay to be mad at him for trying to help in the worst way possible. You want me to shave a dick in the back of his head?"

When Raquelle offers his hand back to her, Emily takes it, her expression much the same as before. Still, there was comfort given through it. When he lowers his voice and starts his string of descriptors like profanities, the tension in her forehead unknits itself, brow arching slowly and slowly higher. Her hand is limp in Raquelle's, taking a long moment to process what he's said. Like maybe she needs to start taking notes or something.

Instead, she cracks, and starts to smile despite herself. Raquelle's vigor in all things has the tendency to do that, and this situation is no exception. A quiet but emotional chuckle escapes her, and she finally squeezes his hand back. "I mean, maybe a little." Emily whispers to his suggestion. Then with a snort, she adds, "Maybe a lot."

"I don't know what he deserves, and I've come down from wanting to shoot him in the foot, but fuck." She rolls her neck to try and dissipate some of her frustration. "He at least deserves slapped in the face. Or something to metaphorically stab him in the heart in the same way. I don't fucking know." Her voice is still low as she offers up the suggestions. "I kind of want to just scare him and do something to let him know to mind his own fucking business, but…"

Emily shrugs weakly, looking back to Raquelle. "I don't know, Brynn and the others don't get it, and they didn't really want to help as a result."

Raquelle squeezes Emily's hand gently before just smirking gently. "Maybe just an angry face or somethin'." He drawls softly before shrugging a shoulder. "But let me also tell you somethin' about Mister Sex-Tape-Less Rayjay." He sighs softly. "Just because someone's an idiot…" He trails off. "It's okay to clap back on people. In fact, it becomes a skill. But you got to start…somewhere. You don't scare people like him." A long pause. "Well. I mean you could lock him in a room with me and a bucket of hot wax….make sure I remove the hair in a way that spells out 'Mind your fucking business' across his back…" He winks and flashes a grin. "But I think what will really, really get to him…is invite him out to lunch. And give him a letter and in that letter, use every cuss word, colorful descriptor, emotion, and whatever you want to explain why what he did hurt so badly. And share that pain with him. It's real. And it will be a far better revenge than any prank."

Emily considers that suggestion intently, her eyes narrowing in thought. Squeezing his hand, she reluctantly asks, "Are you sure? Because that sounds pretty involved on my part, and he has the ability to just … not read it." The consideration for something along those lines is still held onto with a long sigh.

Raquelle just looks to Emily for a moment and just nods slowly. "I'm sure." A long pause. "And you tell him. If he does not read it. You tell him this. I'ma come visit him at that job in futureland and I will act like a damn fool. A dayum. Fool."

She smiles softly, leaning back and letting go to pick up her bowl again. She lets out another short, forceful exhale. Who knows when they're going to stop, but with each one she sheds tension so it doesn't overload her. Emily nods gratefully for the advice, as well as the promise.

"I'm hoping things settle down soon, Raquelle." she murmurs. "Since I saw that healer, everything's just kind of … felt like it's spiraling out of control. Lots of crazy shit happening." Her head tilts to the side for a moment as she slices off a piece of fish with the side of her fork. "And even before all that happened, one morning I just woke up and I started feeling — I don't know, different?" It's hard to explain, so she doesn't bother trying. She ends up shaking her head, taking a deep breath in for once as she forces a smile.

"But I started classes over at Brooklyn College last week, yeah? That's been something. It wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be in some ways, but — it kind of is in others." She actually laughs, and she means it. "Joe switched his schedule so we have the same English 102. You know Joe, right?"

Raquelle flashes a grin and gives a soft 'tsk' of approval. Then he also retrieves his bowl, givin ga little shimmy and he nods slowly in agreement. "I know what that feels like. Not the whole healing and being a teenage adult girl." A pause. "But…things being different."

Switch of topic and he looks impressed. "Yep, sometimes Mouthy and Jojo makes an appearance and helps out around here." He shrugs a shoulder and then he sucks his teeth. "You are making me think of a song…" He starts humming softly, the first few notes to the Bowie classic 'Changes' swaying a bit.

Emily breathes out an amused note at the humming that Raquelle starts, her eyes flickering with uncertainty at the tune, but she smiles nonetheless. "Well, it's been good to see him, at any rate. Even if he never stops running his mouth."

Circling the bowl with her fork, she tilts her head and sobers for a second. "Raquelle, you promise to keep all this to you?" she asks belatedly, hesitantly. Probably something she should have done before spilling about everything.

It's his gift that wraps around his soft tones as the smile is in his eyes, backing up the sincerity there as he glances over to Emily with a tiny shake of his head. "This stays between us two fierce bitches, okay? Until you want me to tear Richie Rich a new asshole, and you just have to saaay the word." He winks and then rolls his shoulders. "Now finish up, and I'll give you a manicure, okay?"

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