Salon Stylings


elisabeth2_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

with mike_icon.gif

Scene Title Salon Stylings
Synopsis Raquelle and Elisabeth catch up a little.
Date December 16, 2019

Cambria's Salon and Spa

She dropped Aura off with Raquelle's girls — they do seem to love having her! But Elisabeth is seeking out Raquelle for stress management today — hair? Sure! Because why not let the genius work his magic while he commiserates. He lived with Richard long enough to understand her pain!

And who else are you gonna bitch about your man with but your girlfriends???

Raquelle just holds the door to the salon open as Elisabeth arrives. There’s a pitcher of mimosa on the front desk and he’s already got the foot bath started. “C’mon in baby.” He’s wearing a simple pair of fitted black jeans, dark red and black converse sneakers and a black and red band t-shirt with a leather vest, accessories on point and his hair is still more on the auburn and brown tip - carefully tousled and styled.

"You are an angel," Elisabeth tells him as she kisses his cheek lightly. She pulled on comfortable leggings and an oversized T-shirt for a little pampering without the need to worry about hair clippings or stains on something nice. As Mike takes up his customary position just inside the door, Liz bats her lashes at Raquelle. "I need the works, cuz I'm gonna knock his socks off when he gets home." She rolls her eyes and adds in exasperation, "If I don't have to knock his block off first. I'm even thinking to let you do something fun with this mop if you wanna!" Something to perk up a mood, for certain. "Just don't let's go brunette," she tacks on to the end of that. "I look pretty good in dark hair, but… no. Way too much upkeep."

“What did Pretty Ricky do this time?” Raquelle asks as he shakes out a robe and holds it up to help Elisabeth into it, quirking an eyebrow and smirking.

“We are going to have you lookin’ like a whole ass meal, forget the snacks honey.” He squints at her hair thoughtfully. “You don’t want to go darker…but I can do some highlights and low lights and gives it some more movement?”

"That sounds absolutely lovely," Elisabeth agrees as she gets into the proffered robe. Fluffing out her blonde locks — hair that hasn't looked this good in years, thanks to Raquelle's attentions — she looks a little put out. "He went off on adventures," she tells Raq. The dire tone of voice indicates these are not the fun and wildly enjoyable kinds of adventures. In truth, the very tone of voice brings a faint smirk to Mike's face over there on the wall. He's been party to the moderate level of worry that has his primary unable to be still too much.

"Which means," Raquelle might remember this from years ago. RIchard used to laugh whenever he'd come in and find this kind of thing happening, "my kitchen is full to the brim already with bread, rolls, three kinds of casseroles that reheat easily anywhere including open fire pits," because lots of people still deal with rolling blackouts, and it's winter! "A literal battalion-sized cauldron of chicken and dumplings that I'm taking over to the church, and all the cookies that Aurora and I could make."

In dramatic fashion, with wide eyes, she says, "I ask you, why does he do this shit to me?" Because Raquelle is the only person she feels like she can actually be a bit dramatic about this with and he won't take it that she's really freaking out, not until she blows off the steam. If she's still dramatic then, well… that's the wrong kind of drama. So far, this seems to be surface, mostly.

Raquelle moves a hand to gently run his fingers through Elisabeth’s hair, squinting thoughtfully as he runs through his Rolodex of hair related creativity. And as Elisabeth speaks, he’s gathering various tools and creams and potions (hair products) to line up at his station. After the information about Richard going off on an adventure, he sympathetically offers, “That little bitch.” As his Amen.

Then he looks a bit concerned at the mention of allll the cooking and baking. There’s a few blinks and his eyebrows do their own little dance as he processes everything. “Well. I mean. If you need the girls to come and help you deliver all that food just let me know.”

Then he pats Elisabeth’s shoulder gently at the question of ‘why’. “Because, my dear, he ran out of ways to keep things exciting and he’s trying to give you an excuse to kick his ass.” He winks and then laughs softly as he gestures towards the shampoo bowl. He does speak to Mike though on the way. “Hey beautiful, you want something to drink while you stand there and wait?”

Elisabeth forgot the tender spot in her scalp until Raquelle runs his fingers over it. At least the bump is way down, though. "No, thank you, Mr. Cambria. I'm fine." Mike's low tones are smooth. The man does have an amazing voice. He stands easily with his hands clasped in front of him, pointing out — patiently and apparently not for the first time — "No matter how much you talk about it, you still couldn't go with a concussion."

Elisabeth sends a scowl his way. She took the brace off her left wrist before she came in so she didn't worry Raquelle! Dammit. "You can stop being logical and unflappable anytime now. Richard going to fucking Antarctica is literally one of my worst nightmares." It explains the freak-out — the mushroom cloud of shadows will forever be one of Elisabeth's worst memories. Which is saying something, considering everything.

No stranger to scalp sensitivity and such, Raquelle pauses and regards Mike for a moment when he mentions a concussion and he squints down as Elisabeth’s head. “Antarctica.” His nose wrinkles. “Antarctica?” He has to ask again carefully. “Polar Bears, Seals…and now Richard?”

His nose wrinkles and he just offers softly. “If you recently got hit in the head, I’m going lower with the chemicals and just going to deep condition it and be gentle.” This is echoed with a soft tsking sound.

He lowers his eyes for a moment and then looks back up to start feeling the temperature of the water and swapping out a couple of bottles of shampoo and conditioner. “Does he have a way to check in at least?”

Are there polar bears in Antarctica? Elisabeth is derailed a moment. "Penguins… no polar bears and seals," she says, apropos of nothing.

She looks up at Raq and nods a bit with a sigh. "Last week some asshole jumped me on the job and I didn't have a helmet on." Elisabeth's smile is rueful. "Richard waited a couple of days before giving me shit even!" It's a big deal. The helmet is a running thing.

"And no. No he doesn't." The blonde sighs again. "Which is why I'm stress cooking. So yes, I would love to have the girls come pick up some of the dishes and take them down to wherever you usually do the Red Hook kitchen." She's donating all of it, already took a load to the church.

“Or, counter point, the Polar Bears and Seals eat whoever actually sees them so nobody have ever been alive to report them being there.” Raquelle gets Elisabeth settled and he sighs softly as he approaches Mike with a bottle of water. “It is going to be a while. Even secret super spy bodyguards get dehydrated.”

Then he returns over to Elisabeth, nodding his head slowly as he turns the water back on. “Lean back darlin’.“ Then his lashes flutter as he processes everything that’s going on. “How long is he scheduled to be gone for?”

"A couple weeks," is Elisabeth's reply, settling back to let Raquelle's magic hands ease all the scalp tension. "It's nearly a week travel time one way. He says he'll be home before Christmas." She's holding onto that very tightly. He promised he'd be home for Christmas.

Mike takes the bottle of water with a small smile, tipping the bottle at Raquelle in thanks.

As her hair gets wet, Liz relaxes. "I just really hate that he's going back there, Raquelle," she admits softly. "That place has nothing but horrible memories."

As with every wash with Raquelle, his fingers are strong, firm yet still gentle. He is however, a bit more tender around the area that felt slowly still a bit swollen on the scalp. Sudseying it all up he sucks his teeth and quiet compassion. “As someone who has literally spent months away from my sweetheart I totally get it.”

A thorough rinse and then he’s giving it another wash. “That’s what you get for marrying a bonafide superhero. Just when he gets back. And spends time with you and the kids and you all have a nice dinner and such. Get a babysitter and some vacation time…”

He glances towards Mike and then back to Elisabeth. “You find a pair of cuffs that are a bit padded, use that training from back the day, cuff him to the bed and just wear his ass out until the memories can go back to the goddamn shadows. Just this time without him also having to turn into the manifestation of the concept of the absence of light fucking a fart to reclaim and change the definition of ‘shart’ into ‘sentient shadow fart’.”

Her eyes are closed in bliss at the gentle shampooing of her hair. It's such a luxury to have her hair washed like this. For two years, her hair was nothing even approximating clean, and every time she comes to the salon, she relishes the pampering for the treat that it is. The matter-of-factness of Raquelle's words throws her off simply because the cadence is calming and she's luxuriating. When she processes what just got said, it's at about the same time as Mike — for the first time in Raquelle's acquaintance of him — breaks his business demeanor and guffaws out a laugh. Quickly smothered, of course, but still…

Elisabeth herself snorts out a chuckle, squelches it, and then Mike's laughter sets her off in a positive fit of giggles under Raquelle's soapy fingers. Sentient. Fucking. Shadow. Fart. Oh. My. Fucking. God. There are tears as she laughs so hard there.

There is a smirk and a soft murmured. “There we go, laugh it up.” Raquelle winks to Mike as well. “I heard that! Let me be known. Raquelle Cambria has managed to make Mike the Majestic Mountain…crack a chuckle. If that doesn’t prove I have a superpower then I don’t know what does.”

He flashes a grin and then starts working conditioner through Elisabeth’s hair, pausing to give his usual complimentary scalp massage. Laughter is healing and there’s not much that he can do in situations like this. But he can make people laugh.

“You know. You might want to sit down and talk to my Mom one day. She might have some advice about being married to a motherfucker who used to be always out there trying to save the world.”

Mike tips the water bottle in salute to Raquelle. "You have done what few in this world can claim, sir." The faint smile is sardonic. Who knew the man-mountain had a sense of humor?

The giggles continue sporadically as the conditioner is worked through the strands and she barely flinches when Raquelle's gentle fingers go over the tender spot because he's so good at it. "I would love to meet your mother, Raquelle." She offers a small smile. "I would love mine to meet you, but she's… things are difficult for her to wrap her head around." She worries about the woman who gave birth to her, it's clear, but she shrugs slightly. "This version of her doesn't… seem much for a little pampering." Although TO BE FAIR, she hasn't really asked either.

“My mother’s husband gave her cancer and also he doesn’t have any real memories around the first few years of me being born and a toddler and such.” Raquelle offers after a moment. “I’ve learned all mothers need a little pampering. You just have to ask what kind of pampering they need.”

He rinses suds out and then applies the deep conditioner, carefully combing it all through as he hums softly. “This /version/ of her?”

"Jesus, Raquelle," Elisabeth breathes out, startled. She shouldn't be, given all that's happened. She knew Raquelle's mother had needed to be rescued and was ill, but not that part.

Then he asks about that and Elisabeth's blue eyes flicker. "Uhm…." A glance toward Mike, whose discretion is impeccable anyway, and she sighs quietly. "It's… kind of a long story. My mother died in Midtown. But the … traveling that I did exposed a few facts about my life that I didn't know. Like that I wasn't actually native to here. I found my birth mother in one of the places we landed. She came home with me. My dad…"

Raquelle spent years in a bunker situation with Jared Harrison. The man never stopped loving his wife. "He's having a tough time," she settles on.

There is a moment of quiet, and Raquelle just shrugs a shoulder, slightly wistful smile on his face. “It was a shock when I found out my father was expressive as well, ya know? But he was…x-man level badass back in the day.” There’s a soft chuckle. “But he doesn’t remember any of it. I don’t know yet…if they took my mom’s memory as well or not.”

Then he listens to the explanation with a tilt of his head and wrapping up Elisabeth’s head and placing a plastic cap on so the deep conditioner can sit. “Family’s hard sometimes but its getting through the rough bits that helps us stay hopeful.”

"Yeah," Elisabeth replies softly as she moves to sit up. The mimosa is now most welcome, and she retrieves it as she waits in the cap. "There's a hell of a lot of memory modification going around." The resentment in her tone is hard to miss. "Dad's fighting with a lot of guilt… when we landed here in this place… it was in the middle of a car accident. My mother barely made it out and spent years recovering. But he and I lived a whole life here with her. The… adjustments are hard." The understatement is epic. She looks down at her glass and admits to Raquelle, "I can't tell if either of them are going to be okay. She can be so brittle. Dad looks so lost sometimes. Things are so different and there's so much lost time and hurt, none of us really…"

She trails off with a sigh. "Hell, I don't even know."

“I can’t say that I know what /you/ are personally going through. But I feel your…empathic discomfort? Is that a good word for it.” Raquelle ponders as he helps Elisabeth sit upright and she heads off for her drinkydrink. And Raq mixes them strong.

He moves though to start setting up the foot bath, filling the basin and testing the water ever so slightly as he continues. “So. Ricky Ricardo helped get my mom to the states so that I could give her a bone marrow transplant.” He finally discloses some information he really hasn’t…talked to MANY people about. “My dad…well all of us are learning together about huge pieces of our lives that he spent doing something else. Like a whole different life and person that he didn’t know about. People he cared about. People he would do anything for that were not me or my mom.”

He straightens up and shrugs a shoulder. “And so I’m stuck, mad that someone with a family would be risking it all for people we didn’t even know, proud that he was this hot shot super hero type, sad that the memories I have of my dad he doesn’t have, and confused because my mother is an amazing person and I can’t imagine…”

He trails off. “Like you said. Hell, I don’t even know.”

"Our lives are so fucked up," Elisabeth sighs. "Are you holding up okay with it? I mean… I actually understand the whole idea that memories were altered." She grimaces. She's lived that part. "But … how are you guys working through it? Is it… does it feel like quicksand?" Because some days, it definitely feels like emotional quicksand to her.

A second glass of Mimosa is retrieved by Raquelle as he raises the glass in a toast. “Fucked up, down, over and all around my love. Alllll around.” He takes a slow sip and chuckles softly, considering the question.

“Oh I’m shook babycakes. I didn’t know…” The hairdresser trails off. “Okay, It’s like. You know how shitty things could me and how godawful and worrisome all these evolved or whatever abilities can be because you hear about it from others or on the TV or radio.”

He takes another sip of his mimosa. “But then it hits your family. My girls have been kidnapped, my salon has been shot up with me and the girls in it, my family uprooted and relocated, I almost got executed or whatever, then we had to live in a bunker for a while as war waged. And I always knew people had it worse. Even my mom getting cancer because my dad was radioactive and not knowing how much of any of our memories are /real/ from the early years…still. Others have it worse. I know.” Another sip. “Quicksand? My family is reunited for the first time in decades. Mom, dad, girls, love of my life..and I’m drowning in in in. Quicksand. Breathing in rough grains of sand but having to just gargle with honey and lemon and keep putting on a show because it is all /insane/.”

Lifting her glass in a toast, Elisabeth smiles. "I totally feel you." Raquelle is kind of describing Elisabeth's own life, if with a few minor differences in the particulars. "So we're both Situation Normal, All Fucked Up," she cheers. "That's pretty much exactly my take on it all — fantastic, overwhelming, and terrifying all at once!"

Another small smile before Raquelle finishes the rest of his mimosa and sets the glass aside. “You and Pretty Ricky had the right idea with the whole just…eloping and getting it done with thing. There’s not ‘calm’ I don’t think we’re gonna see that creates the ‘right time’.”

He nods towards the shampoo bowl. “Lets get you rinsed out.”

Setting her glass aside so she can put her head back in the bowl, Elisabeth nods slightly. "Honestly? Eloping was kind of a panic move on my part," she admits. "Not that I think it was the wrong way to go, but… I just wanted to have that one thing that couldn't be taken away." The confession exposes the core of fear she still struggles with even now, that it's all going to disappear. "I don't know that there's ever a right time… there's the time you have. If you want a big wedding, we can make it happen, Raquelle. We just say to hell with it and plan for it."

Working quickly and efficiently, Raquelle gets the deep conditioner worked through and rinsed out of Elisabeth’s hair as he listens, and he sucks his teeth before exhaling softly. A towel is wrapped around ELisabeth’s head and secured before he finally replies. “I’m terrified. I have nightmares about it being our very special day. Beautiful and everything we dreamed. And then something going wrong.”

He hasn’t admitted this out loud, not as concretely and he quickly shakes his head. “I want to have the biggest and most beautiful wedding, to fly in the face of all the fuckery that is happening in the world and give people a place to come and celebrate not just with us, but to say ‘We are going to hold on to joy if its the last fucking thing we do.”

A long pause. “So you /are/ going to be one of the bridegrooms right?”

Elisabeth looks up, startled. And then she gives him a soft smile. "I will be whatever you want me to be, darling. You are… the cornerstone of strength that my family relied on for all this time. My dad, my husband, all of them. You could ask me for the moon and I would try to find a way to get it for you, Raquelle." Oh look… it's the little romantic hiding inside the badass. Elisabeth waves off actual tears as she laughs. "Oh, maaaaan. You made me cry!"

The hairdresser produces a couple of tissues and offers them over Elisabeth's shoulder. "Shhh, no, no tears only smiles. Save them." Raquelle gives a tiny smile and pats Elisabeth's shoulder.

"Go settle down in the styling chair and let's get you looking so fine it makes your hubby change his mind next time." He drawls softly and then takes a deep breath. "So I am thinking…outdoor wedding, maybe night time if the stars are out?"

And so the planning continues.

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