The Art Of Being Fabulous


brynn_icon.gif emily_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

Scene Title The Art of Being Fabulous
Synopsis Brynn arranges for Emily to meet Raquelle, who wastes no time in helping her feel more comfortable with herself.
Date December 2, 2018

Raquelle's Salon

Some days are slower than others, and with all the activity and other stuff going on. But the Salon is the welcoming place it always is, with the comforting shades of black, silver and purple. The comfy plush looking sofa and easy chairs and the stylish rugs. The front desk is unmanned today but has is glass jar of lollipops as usual. There are 2 nail stations, 3 hair stations, 2 dryers and 1 washbowl. And its about early afternoon as Raquelle is sorting through bottles of nail polish and organizing them in the appropriate cabinet.

Stylish as usual, he is singing softly to himself as he organizes the shades of pink, wearing a fitted pair of black leather pants, dark green and black motorcycle boots with a hint of glitter laces, a soft and long sleeved dark green and black plaid printed shirt over a fitted black t-shirt that reads 'Boss' in green cursive. Hair and make-up on point.

Brynn's a regular here — for work, usually, but Raquelle wanted to wash her hair today anyway. So she also brought a friend! Signing as she holds the door with her foot for Emily's entrance, she's clearly thrilled that the other girl came along. Raquelle's a master of hair. Seriously, he is adorbs. You're gonna love him.

As they get inside the door, Brynn waves because she knows the bell on the door alerted the stylist to their arrival. Raquelle! This is Emily. She's totally in need of massive split end help!

The selfsame Emily might swat at her companion for her blunt nature, but her hands are occupied with her crutches as they step inside. Brynn just had to get right to brass tacks, didn't she? Hopefully Raquelle wouldn't remember her just as the 'girl with massive split ends' and she could leave a more lasting impression than that. When she catches sight of the salon's owner, her flat mood slides right off entirely. She remembers his performance at the memorial, and seeing that he dressed just as boldly on a weekday makes it impossible for keep a negative mood. There's something to be said about that style.

"Hi," she manages while she shimmies one crutch free of her forearm, standing to her full height. Best impressions, of course. She reaches out with her freed right hand. "Emily."

Raquelle looks up when he hears the bell, toying with a bottle of Pretty Primrose and he sets it down with a flash of a grin. He rises gracefully to his feet and opens his arms as he approaches Brynn, pausing to lean back and sign smoothly as he speaks. "Aha! There's my little artiste!" He then goes in for his hug before pulling back to eye Emily and tsk softly. "Well well well…" He purses his lips. "You must be a real good friend with Princess Picasso over here to not smack her over that comments. Telling all your business like that." He winks and one arm hugs Brynn so he can reach out with his free hand, his nails are sparkly green today. "A pleasure to meet you sugar. You're always welcome. I'm Raquelle."

Brynn's silent laughter is the only response to Raquelle's 'tellin' all your business like that' comment. She looks in high spirits today as she hugs back and then signs, C'mon — split ends aren't a secret to anyone! Besides, as soon as you get your beautiful sparkly hands on her, she will be absolutely perfect in this world. Saucy minx.

Emily's head quirks to one side as she looks up at Raquelle. At least someone gets it. The comment's enough to bring a small press of a smile to her lips, however brief, before she shakes his hand. When done, she reaches back to thread her hair on the right side of her face behind her ear so she can see between them better. At Brynn's comment, she watches and then shakes her head. Testing her weight first, she slowly lifts her other arm and stands as she quickly signs the broad gesture Confident before settling her crutch back down to support her before she loses balance. "She's got a lot of faith in you." she remarks a bit wryly in tandem with the gesture.

After, Emily's head turns to look at the rest of the salon, taking it in. The darker aesthetic provides a sense of comfort she wouldn't have expected. Raquelle appeared to own an experience rather than just a salon. "This is a nice place you've got."

"She is already perfect the way she is, looking like Tinkerbell's long lost daughter." Raquelle does however look over the hair, even as his hands are moving to sign along with his speech. "However, I will do what I can to help all those little boys and girls out there want to sample her pixie dust." He drawls softly before nodding over to Brynn. "Go on and get a couple of smocks out of the closet if you would." He then offers an arm to Emily. "Thank you kindly, lean up on me and give me that." He nods toward the crutch and holds out a hand. "Lets get you in a seat."

Brynn is not as confident as she appears — at least not usually so outwardly exuberant. Raquelle seems to be one of the few people who brings out the full scope of mischief and showpersonship that the teenaged artist has in her. She nods immediately to Raquelle and skips to the back of the salon to grab smocks and towels too, clearly content and secure in this place. When she brings them back, she signs hopefully, Do you think the next batch of dumplings might be out next door? Because with the shortages, there's no telling whether the folks will have ingredients.

'Just perfect the way she is' isn't praise Emily hears often, and seems bowled over by it. It takes her a moment to compose a response, and even then, it's only to offer out her one crutch as requested. "Yeah, thanks." she manages, sounding off-center with her surprise. She's still leaning on the other crutch for support as they head for the cluster of salon chairs, not willing to sacrifice all of her usual comfort in exchange for Raquelle's doting. "You just…" she finally says as she settles in, "Have something nice to say about everyone as soon as you meet them or something?"

Smocks and towels are accepted, as Raquelle considers the question with a thoughtful expression. "Mm. Get the Pomegrante Paradise and the Daquiri White bottles of gel polish over and one of my unopened foundation bottles and run them next door. Don't let them give you any less than 12." He gives Brynn and chin-up and a grin before turning back to Emily as she gets settled in. Crutch leaned within reach and he's moving forward to help her into the robe like smock with a soft laugh. "Oh no honey, I will read a stranger to filth in a heartbeat, but 8 times out of 10, the people I meet aren't first impression assholes. You, however, are good people. I can tell from the company you keep." He blows Brynn a kiss and then his hand hovers around Emily's head. "May I?"

Nodding, Brynn bounces back to the shelves to acquire the trade goods and then escapes out the door to the Chinese place just a few doors down. If anyone wonders how the LIghthouse kids wind up with such decent food? Raquelle's a big answer to that.

Emily's hands fold into her lap, eyes trained on Raquelle through the mirror in front of her. Something like a laugh escapes under her breath as he insists she's must be an all right person, and she glances for the door that Brynn's darting out of. Perhaps she was now more than she used to be, at least. The deaf artist's quiet acceptance of her and the time they've spent together have done plenty to soften her. The request to start working on her causes her to turn back, seeing him paused.

"Go ahead." she indicates quietly, adjusting her posture so she sits up straighter. Brynn might have exaggeratedly only slightly about the state of her split ends. All in all, she's well-taken care of, but whatever her routine is, there's a dry stiffness to her hair, and a tension permanently held in her body. She goes along with whatever she's directed to do, stiffly.

Watching Brynn bounce off, he's now in work mode. Raquelle is reaches out to feel the hair between his fingers, rubbing them together and then sliding his hand gently forward to brush over the scalp and shake of his head. "This isn't too bad, but we will get you a deep condition darlin' and get those locks flowing instead of whisping as much." He nods to his head and clears his throat. He moves carefully though, to make sure Emily can see his moves, telegraphing before he does each thing. He turns away to fetch his apron, tying it around his waist and checking his combs and such.

Brynn's going to be gone for just a little bit here, mainly because it's a few doors down and although they're going to know exactly what she came in for, they're also not going to let her leave without 1) bargaining a little, and 2) making sure she gets the hottest, freshest ones. It's understood how this works!

There's not much Emily can do except wait, now that she's in place. As he talks her through the process, she nods along, paying attention. The longer she sits there, the sharp angles to her shoulders gradually slack into something more natural. Eventually, she feels comfortable enough to try and start up a conversation again. "I've seen you before, actually." she says suddenly. "You performed at Cat's Cradle, memorial night."

Raquelle hmms softly as he starts selecting various products from cabinets and draping towels where they need to be. "Oh?" He turns to ask with a soft laugh. "Well, Queen is alllways a classic. And ya know. It was somethin' to do after a day of spending time with family and all. My youngest daughter's birthday is always on that…day so." He smiles gently and then moves back to the chair. "Lets get you over to the wash basin. You want me to carry you or you want to hobble over like the fierce little mama you are?"

"Forget Queen being a classic, you were making a name all your own up there." Emily says with a flat earnest that demonstrates she means it. "It was something else." She looks back at him a little more intensely as he mentions the day being spent with family, seeming surprised for a moment. Raquelle didn't exactly have the dad look going on, after all. "How old is she?" she asks as he comes back to the chair to have her move over.

"I can…" Emily starts, fiercely before her tone is bit back. "walk myself."

And she does. She pushes herself to her feet, one hand touching the backs of chairs, the wall, Raquelle's arm if offered, to support her as she takes small steps to the new seat.

Raquelle chuckles softly. "I have been known to sang a litle bit here and there honey. Just don't get that many chances these days." He bows his head and does offer his arm for support. "Ahhh, Baby D? She's about 12 now." He has to laugh though, not mockingly but just a soft exhale of sound and appreciation of spirit. "Of course you can walk yourself. So c'mon, lets walk it out.". He waggles his eyebrows a bit as he helps guide her to the chair in front of the wash basin and settles her down. "There we go, warrior queen, just get comfortable and you'll walk out of here with a head full of hair begging for a crown." A pause. "But you can't have mine…I need it for those days where I want to feel especially fabulous."

Emily smiles fondly despite herself, glancing up at Raquelle out of the corner of her eye as she leans her head back into the bowl. She closes her eyes, unable to keep the corners of her mouth from curling up though she tries. "She's lucky to have you. Your daughter." The smile carries into her voice, at least at first. It's tapered off by the end. Despite trying to keep her eyes closed and overall relax, they open again. Something about the slightly-uncomfortable angle between chair and basin, or maybe just because she's not used to having her neck tilted back like that. "If you're here now, with all this, I'm guessing you lived here before the war, too?"

Raquelle lowers the basin down some and raises the chair up a bit, and adjusts the back until he gets to an angle where it doesn't seem like Emily is having to strain as much. He even puts a towel against the nape of her neck for a hint of cushion as he gently pulls the hair out of the way and lets it drape into the bowl. "Can I get you to write that down so I can give them to that in writing? I have 2 daughters, Baby D who is 12 and then a teenager." He pulls a face and fakes a pout. "Sadly, they have inherited all my sass."

Hands are gentle but firm as he tests the water temperature against his own hand and then begins wetting down the hair. "Let me know if the temperature is okay baby." Then he mmhms in the affirmative. "I did live here before the war, but my girls were real little then. I had a whole salon and spa…it was a whole thing. So I figured, I'd come back and offer some TLC to the people in the safe zone now."

Emily chuckles again under her breath as Raquelle laments passing on what she's found to be an endearing trait. "Oh no," she mourns with him, in the same mock way he's pouting over the situation. "Baby D's just about to really hit her sass stage then, isn't she." She tries to keep a deadpan expression for the sake of the situation, but she's grinning all the same. Her eyes shut again so she can enjoy the water jetting down on her scalp as much as possible. It's not likely she'd speak up, even if the temperature hadn't been comfortable enough. This is nice, though.

"That's neat." she murmurs, adjusting her still-clasped hands across the front of the smock. They hold onto each other like they're anchoring her down. "Places like these bring a little slice of city back. Some day it won't just be the 'Safe Zone' anymore, even if that's a ways off." Something it sounded like she looks forward to regardless.

Raquelle runs the herbal and fruity smelling shampoo through the pale locks and talks as he works. "Chillle you have no idea how they are wearin' me out. I had the younger one as me for highlights, to help bring out her eyes more and the older one saying that more blond will definitely bring out more of her blondness that's for sure and they they are not speaking right now…" He tchs and rolls his eyes but there is fondness in his voice as he works soap through, combing through strands with his fingers and taking time to rinse.

"Some day hm? Well. To me, it'll always be New York City. The place I was goin' to follow my dreams and all. So. If I can help restore it in any way, that's what I'm here for. To make a difference." He works conditioner through the strands and takes time to massage the young woman's scalp.

A laugh bubbles up from Emily, one hand coming up to try and cover her mouth. It shouldn't be that funny, but it is. The barbs she and Julie traded sometimes were never that bad, and it was the closest thing she had to sisterly banter. Once her smile's under control, she lets her hand fall again, her posture easing.

"It will be to me, too," she replies, feeling the need to defend what she meant. "But it's just not the same when everything's got planned blackouts on the daily, when half the city still doesn't have running water, and when there's rationing going on. You know?" Her nose wrinkles briefly, the expression fading quickly as it gets in the way of appreciating the treatment her head is getting. "I mean, fuck, the spirit is still here. But there's still a lot of work left." Her brow arches as she quietly counters herself, "Not that we're not doing better than where we were a year ago. Than where we were yesterday, even." The side of her mouth quirks as she suppresses a smirk. "I guess I'm saying I'm not settling, at least. I want home to be like it was before."

Raquelle grins as the laughter and nods slowly. This is why he does this, the laughter and smiles. He does however listen, nodding in an agreeable fashion. "The spirit is willin' but the flesh is weak as white baby. But we're gettin' there. I've learned however…that my home is where my heart is and my heart is always with the people that I love. I've lived through muggings and beatings and hate speech and vandalism, and forced relocation and war and at the end of the day, as long as I got to wrap my arms around someone who needed a hug or a word of encouragement, I could get through another day." He applies the deep conditioner, finding a shower cap to place on her head as he tucks her hair into it. "So don't you settle. You keep fighting baby girl, because the world is a better place, every second you are in it. I can't wait to see what New York becomes with a bunch of determined little warriors like yourself not settling. To see the home you create for the next generation. Even if I'm not here, I'ma be somewhere above shedding a tear, sipping a mimosa and clinking glasses with Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, and Jesus being proud as fuck." He nudges her forward abit to sit up. "Alright, we'll let this sit for abit. Then rinse it out."

Hands on the armrest, she pushes herself up and peers through the storefront window, wondering what's taking Brynn so long. They'd been talking for a while now. Emily tilts her head to the side for a moment to stretch her neck, letting out a quiet hm at Raquelle's description of everyone he's going to share a drink with in the afterlife. "Everybody I've met so far seems to be a go-getter in their own right. High life and low. With any luck, you shouldn't have to wait long." She leans to one side to slide her phone from her pocket, thumbing the screen on to check for any new notifications. It wasn't just a failed-to-shirk habit anymore … sometimes there really were some now. Push notifications, texts, even the odd missed phone call.

Raquelle mmhms and wipes his hands off with a slight shimmy. "We shall see, we shall see indeed. And if /you/ need anything, remember I'm on the council too. Just address any letters or messages to 'The Fabulous One' and they will know who you are talking about." He gives a wink and a grin before moving off to clean out the sink and prepare a station for the next part of his hair magic show, letting Emily takes care of her business as he hums some 80s pop music hit under his breath and lays out combs.

Speak of the little devil, the deaf teen is letting herself back in even as people look out the window. She's flushed and looks pleased with herself, the bag in her hand containing food! The smell of dumplings, piping hot, is unmistakable. And she brings the bag straight back to Raquelle, her hands flying. Oh. My. God. Her son tried to tell me that 3 was all I was getting. As if you don't send clients their way every single day of the week! She is outraged and happy! So I just waited for his mama and told her. And she smacked him with her shoe and sent me home with 15!

'The Fabulous One' Emily mouths to herself, head shaking as she tries to not laugh. He might be 100% serious, after all. In her amusement, she looks up from her phone and sees Brynn returning, eyes lighting up. Hey, she has enough time to greet before the other girl is launching into her story. Emily, for her part, tries to bite back a smile at how enthusiastically it's being told.

When Brynn returns victorious, Raquelle is by one of the styling stations to lay out some more of his combs, brushes and freshly cleaned scissors. He also is checking and picking out the products he’ll need as Emily sits with that Deep Conditioner.

He does however, watch the young lady tell the story and his eyebrows raise as he reaches out to take the bag from her and laugh, shaking his head with a soft taking sound as he brings the bag over to the front desk. “You have my permission next time you help me wash hair, to turn his tips any color you want.” He signs and speaks.

Then he moves to start finding the few plates and such they have, cloth napkins.

Clearly pleased with herself and with the outcome, Brynn is both bouncy and energetic. It was absolute botswarf and his mama wasn't having any of it. She pauses to ponder what punishment is severe enough. Last time Lance ticked me off, he wound up with the pink sparkles. I'm not so sure Jun deserves my pink sparkles — he's being a dink wrinkle. The sign for that has no translation, so it's likely that neither Raquelle nor Emily know what she just said except that it is probably foul, just from the context. Maybe I'll turn his that sickly shade of yellow that just makes his Asian skin tone look almost green. That might satisfy her need for vengeance.

Remind me not to ever cross Brynn. Emily notes to herself, phone being palmed back and forth between her hands. She just shakes her head, not really passing comment because it's not her place to judge, and also because there were quite a few signs she didn't know flying around. "Here I thought Lance had the hair willingly," she does end up saying, a small smirk visible for just a moment.

“Thankfully your brother has the bone structure to carry it off.” Hands sign as he speaks and Raquelle snickers softly to himself before setting a few dumplings off on each plate. Then he moves back to Emily and removes the shower cap, gesturing for her to lay back again so he can begin working on rinsing the conditioner out.

Brynn catches the signs and she laughs that silent laughter of hers at the stylist. She catches just enough of what Emily says to then make a very annoyed face. No… he definitely wasn't willing on that one. Were she speaking, her voice would be a lot darker, but signs? Well, they just don't always have great contextual cues. I turned his hair pink because he did something that was bad enough, I almost left town and went home to Canada. She shrugs a little. I was really mad. He's lucky I only turned his hair sparkly pink. The last time it got ugly, it was Joe's fault — I turned his face neon green for two weeks.

It takes Emily a moment to lay back this time, for every time she starts to, Brynn's starting a new thought, and it's all important information. When she shares what she did to get revenge on Joe, she has to lay back to bite off another grin. "He probably liked that." she says as well as signs, though mutters under her breath after, "He probably was hopping around like a frog the entire time, or pretending he was the Hulk, or…"

She sighs contentedly.

Conditioner is washed out, scalp is massaged again and Raquelle is making quick but thorough work of Emily’s locks, testing them between his fingers as he does one more rinse. He is looking up from time to time to watch Brynn’s hands as he listens to Emily and he just smiles softly with a shake of his head. His hands are occupied so his sass is limited to verbal only, and for fairness sake he bites his tongue. Just he has to laugh.

When Emily is finished though, he guides her back to a seated position and wraps her head up securely in a towel before offering a hand to help her over to the styling station. “Alllright baby, let's get you dried and styled…”

Brynn smirks. It's Joe. I have yet to find anything that truly annoys that boy. Her brother generally seems completely imperturbable. But he's also one of the few people Brynn turns to when she needs a good cry — not that she'll share that. Some things are just between a girl and her brother.

Plopping down in a free chair with the motherlode of dumplings, she spreads them out so that the others can help themselves — chopsticks all over the place!

It's hard to really see Brynn during the rinse, though she tries her best to be aware of where she is and if she's signing, if nothing else. She doesn't fight off Raquelle's attempts to support her, accepting the offered hand as she walks with him. In passing, her other reaches out to snag a dumpling with her fingers. Chopsticks would only complicate things, were frustrating to use besides, and she was on the move!

After taking a careful bite of the meat-stuffed bun, she shakes her head. "Don't let me take up too much of your time. Brynn was the one who was actually on the schedule." Emily mutters, shifting her weight in the seat to fix her posture.

“She needs at least 20 minutes to finish those dumplings and that’s all I need to get you blow dried out and with a dashing little do.” Raquelle replies to Emily with a soft tsking sound as he is examping the wet locks with a critical eye. “Do you mind if I trim a bit to help balance it out a bit. Not take inches but help add a bit of movement to it all?” He takes a few steps back to sign to Brynn, as nonchalantly as he can finally bringing up something he’s never brought up. “So you do realize that you are going to help me plan my wedding decorations right?” As he speaks so Emily can hear it as well.

Then he’s towel tousling wet hair and prepping his other tools.

Brynn blinks, her mouth stuffed with dumpling. Raquelle gets wide grey eyes! Do what now? She shoves the last of the dumpling in her hand into her mouth and signs, You're getting married? Hey, at least she can't be hollered at for talking with her mouth full! When? To Who? Not just anyone is gonna be good enough for Raquelle!

Emily considers the question while popping the rest of the dumpling into her mouth, considering the length of her hair. It had been a while since she had it cut. "Sure," she offers up cautiously. "That should be fine." She turns slightly as Raquelle looks to Brynn, a small smile at seeing her excited reaction. "Hey, congratulations." she asides softly.

Raquelle sometimes forgets, that he doesn’t speak about it very often. He is busy sectioning off hair, and combing things out evenly and pulling up a stool to lean in as he selects some scissors. He just smirks gently as he reads the questions Brynn resents and nods a bit to Emily as she offers congratulations. Setting the scissors aside, he signs as he speaks. “I have been engaged…for years and years and life has always gotten in the way of finally sealing the deal. Don’t know when but I’m thinking of soon. Starting the new year with a different type of bling on my finger before somethin’ shitty happens again to delay it even further.”

Then he gets to work on Emily’s hair.

Whoa!! Raquelle's gettin' married! Brynn is mind-blown. That is wonderful! she signs excitedly. I'm so happy for you, Raquelle! And of course I'll help with decorations. What color? Are we gonna go all sleek and goth with black and deep purple? Or do you have something more glittery in your head?

It's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done, offered to let her help with wedding decorations! Well… aside from asking her to design a tat for them. That was epic and Primal too.

Emily glances up to see Brynn's signs, hands fidgeting in her lap around her phone as she works on keeping still. An eyebrow quirks at the idea of a goth wedding. "Not much for traditional?" she asks aloud.

The hairdresser makes quick work, he’s only trimming and balancing things out with parting, combing, snipping and such. And Raquelle takes his time before tossing setting the scissors aside and finally replying to both Brynn and Emily in turn. “I think…I want it to seem homey? If that makes sense, warm and welcoming and with a hint of sparkle because hello, me here.” He takes time to sign as he speaks, just bowing his head at Emily and looking to himself and then back to the girl and them back to himself and back again. “I met my fiancé after threatening to attack him with breakfast cereal as we cussed each other out as we were frantically searching for our missing daughters. I proposed by leaving the engagement ring on the collar of one of his dogs with a rambling phone message when me and my daughters were being forcefully removed from our home to be relocated.” There’s a small smile. “There’s never been anything traditional about our relationship so…the trend might as well continue.”

Brynn giggles silently — more or less a snort around the dumpling in her mouth — when Raq describes how they met. She tilts her head and considers what Raquelle has described and then scrambled to grab her backpack and haul her sketch pad out. Then, impatiently, she sets her pen down and simply uses her fingertip to put to paper the image in her head.

It's a rapid line drawing of a somewhat generic room that could be any room anywhere because it's just intended for a backdrop to the colors. Fairy lights run down columns, sheer swathes of soft lavender and deeper green material held in place by what looks like small bunting of violets or lilacs, and champagne-colored table cloths on several tables with creamy candles surrounded by dark green ribbon. Nothing in it is overblown, there's just enough color to be fun, but the space has the feel of perhaps something done on a rooftop garden.

Brynn tips the image toward Raquelle with a querying look.

Listening to the retelling, Emily's eyes start to soften. She's only heard of Eltingville, but she imagines that the relocation involves that place. That they were all able to reunite is something she takes a moment to appreciate. "It sounds like yours is a love that has endured." she comments on it, her hands still tight around the phone in her lap while she waits through the adjustment being done to her hair. When Brynn turns out the image, though, she smiles briefly at it.

Hair dryer is plugged up as Raquelle pauses to check a watch he pulls out of his apron pocket to make sure the timing is right and he narrows his eyes and then nods. “It is indeed something like that. An enduring love.” He pauses to make sure he signs that so that Brynn can see the sentiment.

Then he selects the brush and dryer to get to work on Emily’s hair and then…for a moment he has to pause, switching off the dryer to stare at the drawing and move a hand to cover his chest as he tears up and exhales softly as he gives another small nod and swallows hard, nodding again before smiling and laughing weakly and nodding even more.

A love that endures.

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