To Have Your Cake


bolivar_icon.gif raquelle_icon.gif

Scene Title To Have Your Cake
Synopsis And eat it, because some kinds of party require an act of extraordinary personal courage.
Date November 8, 2018

New York City Safezone: A Bakery

It cute, Bolivar's just being a bitch.

This is only the second bakery they've tried, but after three separate food caterers and four wineries, in which we all discovered that Bolivar is increasingly belligerent when drunk. We ought to keep in mind that he is always a little bit belligerent to begin with, anyway. But it helps when Raquelle is around, of course. Sometimes, early mornings or middle of the night, it might seem that the fear of another separation drives some of that fear, with how he'll wake, grasping across the covers, muttering, unseating the dogs that snuck up onto the foot of the bed, twitchy and ill at ease until his fingers find Raquelle's in the dark.

If he's grasping for anything right now, though, it's not cuddles.

"The frosting is too sour for the cake," he mutters at Raquelle, from over his taster-sized serving of red velvet. Always a short man, he's made himself smaller somehow, hunching suspiciously over the various offerings, and of course facing the door. Outside their private room, there's a clink of silverware and cheerful conversation, ordinary bakery traffic. A couple people cooing over the dogs Bolivar left tied up outside, maybe. "And the lemon one tasted fake. Don't you think the lemon one tasted fake? This reminds me of the time my friend tried to bake 'Norwegian flan,' and it was white cake. Literally fucking white cake."

If it's starting to get on Raquelle's nerves, this would not be unjustified.

There's a lot of patience one learns to have when you live with teenage female hormones, multiple dogs, and Bolivar. Love helps ease it, as does just simply appreciation for having love in one's life, which is why, dressed in a manner only less scaled down from normal…Raquelle removes his mirrored sunglasses and perches them on freshly cut and coiffed hair with a hint of a smile. Showing appreciation for local businesses, people still trying to make a living post hell and high water. He dutifully tastes his own fork of cake taster.

The day started out as normal, clinging and counter clinging to the other half of his heart.

But now he's tasting cake and his nose wrinkles as he sets down the red velvet with a shake of his head. Then he's re-tasting the lemon one and choking a bit as he takes a swig of water and shakes his head again. "Baby…" He starts out carefully. "Its all pretty much tasted like shit but its shit that these people are real proud like but if I have to taste one more goddamn convaluted flavored cake. Red Velvet with Marble Cheesecake Topping? Lemon with Buttercream Glaze? Adding extra words doesn't make it better…"

"Yes!" Bolivar agrees, about as heartily as he's said anything in the past few weeks. Months, even. The wedding has rather loomed, an entity that lives in the future, and yet requires feeding with financial investments in the present, any number of concerns. (Bolivar might have tried dieting.) (For three days before he lost his temper with that, too.) (Diana had tried to keep him going— they're fitness buddies, these days.) "Exactly. What the Hell happened to, you know. Chocolate. Cheesecake. Chocolate cheesecake, that's as many words as you need to describe a Goddamn cake."

At least he isn't shouting. Most of the time, when Raquelle is gently steering him, he sort of takes a hint. Sparks, bubbles irritably, then simmers down in agreement. People are proud of it. That's true. The server standing by is beginning to twitch a little, glancing at the lengthy flavor names scripted out elegantly on the paper labels. (There is, in fact, a chocolate cheesecake. It's right there.)

"This city's really gone to siht," he mutters to his dessert sample, apparently disregarding that, you know, the city had to go through a war and all this. "I'm hhghgh," that last part is the unfortunate consequence of his having forgotten how much he disliked the lemon, thoughtlessly trying another bite of it. His scarred face pinches. His chest starts to inflate, prelude to some kind of probably inappropriate display of FEELINGS.

A side glance to the menu and then back to Bolivar. Raquelle just rolls his shoulders and unstraddles his chair to drag it closer to Bolivar's so he can settle back down and drape a long arm over his shoulders, pulling him closer if allowed and pressing a kiss to the side of his head. "We could be horrible rebels you know, be creative and do somethin' like serve ah…Brownies and maybe have a deliciously mundane ice cream cake, hm?"

A hand moves to rub his back before exhaling softly. "I would be happy with a goddamn cupcake as long as it meant I got to take this next step with you. You know that right?" He asks softly, hint of moisture in his eyes as he clears his throat and chuckles, fanning his face. "Ugh, should've worn the waterproof mascara…"

And just like that, it's as if the young singer-hairdresser-breaker of hearts, father of two, cut his cantankerous muppet's strings. Bolivar's shoulders sag under the half-embrace of his fiancee, just fractionally, but Raquelle can tell. Half the wind out of his sails. The other half is probably still fluttering around in there, locked up tight behind the curmudgeonly grit of teeth and the remaining tension in his shoulders. He breathes in and out, fumbling on the edge between 'Stay mad for no reason yet articulated!!!!' and chill, because Raquelle is his whisperer. Kind. Tender.

And really funny. Bolivar's also trying not to smile right now, as he teeters between one feeling and another.

It's the tears that do it, inevitably. Bolivar's shoulders drop another inch, and the smile hikes up the corners of his mouth. Brusquely, he leans over to press a kiss into the younger man's cheek, one long enough that his breath leaves a warmth flower on his skin. The next moment, Bolivar wipes an imaginary smudge of lemon off his face with his thumb. Then up under Raquelle's eye, clearing off the streaky makeup.

"You know as well as I do, waterproof is never waterproof," he replies, his voice oddly gravely now. "That's gonna be some breakthrough Evolved discovery, someday."
Its that passionate and barely contained level of emotion that surges within the smaller man that's always been a source of inspiration and adoration for Raquelle. Occasionally clashing with his natural born sass and diva, but swirling together to create the tapestry that is their unique relationship. A relationship that's survived months of separation, heart ache, pain, fear and uncertainty only to grow stronger with each reunion.

And why Raquelle's eyebrow raises a fraction as he tips his head back a bit to try to reduce the run-off from his Safe Zone quality mascara. He does sniffle and huff through another chuckle though at the feeling of that thumb.

He snatches up a cloth napkin and tsks softly.

"See, /now/ I feel like I missed out in the evolution pool." He fakes a pout before offering a small smile, moving the napkin to assist. "Hey. Guess what?" He pauses for effect. "We are actually planning our wedding. This is a thing that is happening."

Bolivar huffs and puffs and tries not to sigh, or to collapse too much whilst in public. He's a former cop and freedom fighter, you know, not a souffle, even if he does happen to be at this place where they have tablecloths printed with macaroons. He allows Raquelle to help him clean the nothing off the younger man's cheek, before they both mutually, gracefully retire the napkin back to the table. "This is a thing that's happening," he agrees, not quite grudgingly. "This isn't the kind of shi— thing I'm good at," he mutters. He doesn't eat a lot of cake. He never has. Nor candy. The reason for his diet had been a certain appreciation of carbs, mainly.

"You and the girls are the only sweet things in my life," he adds, in a lower tone, in case they are overheard by the server, despite that she's plainly trying to pretend she can leave her body and its uniquely punishing circusmtances behind. Service industry, you know. Post-Bomb, it hasn't gotten prettier.

He straightens again and picks up his fork, starts to wipe off the gross!! lemon and red velvet smears on the lip of his plate. Because he's the worst. But he actually means well, which is probably why he remembers to add, "I love you. And— yeah." I can't wait to be married to you. But you know, he wouldn't want to overdo it.

"Mmhmm." Raquelle murmurs softly, drizzling some more PDA syrup onto the emotional sundae that is this undertaking. He turns his head to nuzzle and rest a head on Bolivar's shoulder. "Well seeing as we have the monopoly in the sweet column of your life, I'd turn into a jealous bitch if something competed with that status. So maybe its for the best that you are fastidious and picky about your wedding cake flavors."

He does melt a bit though, at those three words. He can't help it. He just smiles brightly and waggles his eyebrows. "We could just serve breakfast cereal for the desert course."

'Picky?!' Bolivar gives a sidelong look, mock-outrage that isn't very convincing to anybody involved in here. His smile stays on his face. He manages to stop scraping disgusting cake bits and saliva onto the edge of the plate, you're welcome everybody, but Raquelle gets the credit. "I'm all for that," he says. "But." But. And this is the thought that's been rattling around in his battered skull for months now, of course. Sometimes quietly, sometimes loud, sometimes beating in an uncomfortable cadence with the tread of his own footsteps as he walked his dogs, and sometimes following the singsong rise and fall of the girls' voices as they chattered about ideas thieved off Pinterest. Marshmallowy hues of pastel, stuff with lots of feathers. Strict monochrome, but with glitter. Flowers. He's thought for awhile—

"But you deserve a real wedding. A party, that's…"

Every bit as colorful and bright and full of music as the way you live your life. That cares not for an audience, except in that rich and mutual alliance passion makes between performer and the people who love it. Being with people has just always come to Raquelle so naturally, whether he was shaping their hair to make them feel and look beautiful, or crafting lyrics, or measuring the wings of eyeliner that ought to extend behind the corners of his subject's eyes. Bolivar, well. We all know Bolivar. If you ask him, they don't deserve the same quality of wedding.

But Bolivar doesn't know quite how to say what he means. So he just looks at Raquelle's chin for a long moment, in consternation, then back up at his eyes. Lately, he's been congratulating himself that, at least, he has people to invite. Kayla, Felix. People. He says, "You know?"

"Yes but with excellent taste." Raquelle replies to the mock outrage smoothly, gesturing towards himself and winking. Then he squints a bit at the 'but', catching his bottom lip between his teeth as he studies the other man's profile. His own swirling mass of complicated thoughts, a cacophony of 'but for how long' 'and what ifs' as their relationship hasn't even had long periods of 'peace and calm' just long stretches of needing one another and leaning on each other through the next traumatic challenge. He almost doesn't register the 'but' as he studies the profile that has been the shape of 'safety' and 'consistency' and 'completion' for so many years.

Blink Blink. The Sassy hairstylist has to turn in his chair slightly to better face Bolivar. "Seeing as I am the life of any party I attend, I don't think we'll have a problem there." He drawls softly. "I know…everything I ever planned or thought I'd have when I was young, dumb, and high 85 percent of the time? Fell through when faced with the reality that real love existed. But with all the bullshit life, fate, karma..God, whatever you want to call it has put me through? But us through? What I deserve, is to finally be able to say 'My Husband cusses if you get into the bed with cold feet' or 'Yes, that one over there calling the security guard very bad things in Spanish…I married that one'."

There's no denying that what Raquelle says is true. He is the life of the party. He could make cereal and hipster ukelele pretty damn fun. Bolivar's smile twitches the other way. What Raquelle could do and what he deserves are separate issues, of course, but it does help to have the bar set lower. Sometimes, it's easier to make hard decisions when you are reminded that the worst case scenarios have all passed. (War, murder, blah blah blah.) (Drama.) Love is what matters in the end. It's only sentimental bullshit because it actually works, and so few people manage to find it, the way they have.

"Okay," he says, a little calmer now. The server edges a hopeful peek at them, as Bolivar says, "I'm going in."

The black midnight cake. Dark chocolate the most prominent flavors, a few raspberries on the crown, but no needless ambition with the dominant flavors— everything else beaten into the batter was done so with the concept of enhancement, if you're to believe the name written on the card. Bolivar carves off a piece and puts it in his mouth. Slowly, he chews, his eyebrows tangling on his forehead. His eyes shift to Raquelle.

Lifting his head to watch Bolivar eat the cake, Raquelle just lets a smile spread slowly before glancing down to the cake and back to Bolivar then back to the cake and he ahhs softly. Sometimes, you know a person so well that words are not needed.

He turns to look at the Server, reaching up to pull his sunglasses back down. "See. Told you he had good taste."

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