I will tell the truth: I have hit a minor writers block in reference to other important fics. I.e., AWYWI.
So, until I feel like writing the last 2000 words for chapter 35 of Waysie, I'm just going to keep on with this. You don't mind, ya?
:D Y'all know you love me and my horrible inconsistencies
4! It's Like Swimming in Alaska
When Lenalee first moved to California in her twelfth grade of schooling, she met Malcolm C. Levierrer. As a coincidence, though, she also discovered her love of hair design.
It was like this: like many high school seniors (an American term she'd taken to immediately), she was kind of but not really sure of what she wanted to spend the rest of her life doing.
It had gotten to the point where Lenalee would constantly think of all her strong points and shoot them off her school counselor and her brother.
"I like people," she had told her counselor, a stiff Taiwanese woman by the name of Twi Chan. "I love to talk, obviously. I'm really well-travelled—like, I've been to Edinburgh, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, and now Santa Muertos. I'm good at cooking and coffee-ing. I'm kind of an atheist, but that's just because I hate that loser of a deity, y'know, God. I've got a totally nifty red tassel in Muay Thai and I'm good with my hands. What could I do as a career?"
Miss Twi had simply arched an eyebrow at her excitability. "You could be an actual use to society," she told the Chinese teenager. "Become a secretary or an elementary school teacher. You choose."
Komui just shrugged when she told him her points. "You could become a spinster and live with your big brother forever." Then he proceeded to tackle-hug and tickle his little sister, the teenager simultaneously laughing and crying for him to quit it.
"I dunno," she had said after all the fun. "I am feeling very barista or something."
Komui ended up agreeing with that. She did make an awesome cup of latte.
But, it was two weeks after that conversation that she was chilling in the Downtown metropolitan area of Santa Muertos, and she ended up wandering past that popular salon. Crow, she remembered it was called.
Hair design at the time was just something that was cool, if that makes any sort of sense. She liked what she saw on people's heads, provided it was done well. The eighties-styled waved layers, the elaborate perms, and even the colorful mohawks—they interested her back then, not motivated.
But, that was before she actually saw it all in action.
The stylist at the station was actually a man—a man who seemed generally straight with an okay sense of fashion but a snazzy blond bowlcut and French braid in some wicked combination.
Lenalee had stared through the tinted salon window, oddly entranced by the way in which he held a lock of hair between his index and midfinger, the precise press of the scissor blades against the previously uneven strands, and even the wild spray of some liquid on particular areas of the head.
"Dude, wow," she had whispered before her feet led her through those glass doors.
Lenalee wandered towards the tall blond man and plopped into the salon chair nearest him, for some things hardly change.
He glanced at her minutely before returning to his work. His precise, concentrated, incredible work.
"Can I watch you?" she had asked, purely for the sake of asking. She was going to watch regardless of his answer.
"If you must," he dully replied with the slight lilt of a German accent. Then, he continued in his hair styling, and Lenalee found herself paying more attention to his hands than she did in her horribly boring Physics class. But who pays attention in Physics even today?
His client, also a man, left the salon about thirty minutes later with a shorter fringe than the rest of his hair that sheened with blond highlights.
Lenalee had been very enthused. "How'd you do that flippy, squarish thing with the flat iron?" she shot off questions constantly as the stylist wiped his hands with a prim towel. "And what was that spray you used to make it all extra shiny?"
"The proper term is 'crimping,'" he had replied curtly to each of her questions, looking all kinds of polite but also amused. "And it is a type of glosser for generally thick hair."
"Cool," she had said, and then continued to sit there for the next three hours.
The man's name was Howard Link, as she discovered after a hurried introduction and request to return the next day after school.
"I'd suppose," Link had responded with a slight tilt to his chin.
Lenalee generally translated that as 'Oh my god, I'd LOVE it if you could come back and watch my every waking move unnervingly with your dark violet eyes!'
"Awesome!" she replied, and went home.
"Komui!" she remembered calling her brother, excited. "I think I have a better idea of my future!"
"You're going to be a spinster?!" Jesus Christ, he had looked way too happy at that prospect.
Lenalee had given him a peculiar look. "No," she deadpanned. A smile lit up her face. "I am feeling more barista-hair stylist now, you know?"
Komui nodded at her, and he returned his attention to his laptop. "Okay. Wait, what?"
So, yeah, it became a bit of a habit for her for, like, a week. Lenalee would wake up, go to school, leave school, go to Crow, and watch Link work.
"What is that?" She always had a new question for him, and it made her giddy. It was like she was a little girl again! "That thing. I'm not sure if it's a crimping iron or a curling iron or both."
"It is a hair waver," Link replied as patiently as ever. She had no idea if she was endearing herself to him back then—he was a bit of a blond statue. "A bit like a crimping iron, yet it is less…crimp."
Yeah. He was a very good teacher, by the way.
It was a really cool time, actually. Every day she spent in that oddly all-male salon was another day she felt like she could spend the rest of her life doing whatever Link was doing. It didn't look that hard, but the same could be said for, like, Calculus, so she didn't get too crazy with her imagination.
Then, about two months before graduation, this man walked into Crow.
He was a tall man, first of all. Tall, broad, and very stern-looking. He had a presence one couldn't deny, but Lenalee found his toothbrush mustache a little tasteless after the World War Two Nazism thing, and his dark blond flat-top hair was looking a bit scruffy—but, he did just come into a hair salon.
The weirdest thing, though, was that he was eating ice cream. Like, a little Baskin Robbins cup with a little pink spoon, and dear God he looked so serious as he nibbled the frozen cream.
Way to be anticlimactic, Lenalee probably thought. She swung her legs in the salon chair next to Link while the man immediately sat in the German man's stationary seat. He was still eating the ice cream.
The stern man swallowed the ice cream after a few more bites, and his narrowed brown eyes had finally noticed the teenaged girl in the seat next to him.
"Howard," he had begun in this careful, deep voice that dripped with arrogance. "I am currently confounded on why there is a young woman in the seat next to me in a male salon."
Link just straightened out the suit cover, humming lowly in his throat. "She enjoys watching me," he had replied like it was just that simple.
Well. It probably was. "Yeah," Lenalee agreed, grinning. "It's awesome, this stuff that he does. I like it—I want to try it myself."
The stiff blond man in the chair gazed at her like she was a butterfly in a museum. "Hmph," he had sneered, looking forward as Link prepared the scissors and the clippers. "Do you see yourself doing this as a future career, young lady? Can your mind process the possibilities of hair design for years?"
…What? Lenalee blinked, readjusting her legs in the chair. She hadn't thought through all the years dedicated to cosmetology back then. "Um. Yeah?"
Link just sighed so quietly one probably wouldn't even notice. Unluckily, Lenalee had noticed, so then she got an elite feeling that she just messed up. Big time.
"A foolish outlook is most pertinently associated with the unlearned waifs of society such as yourself," the man replied in the single most aggravating, uppity, completely British tone of voice ever. "A young, frivolous woman such as yourself could never obtain even a modicum of success in the fashion industry." He sniffed haughtily, running his tongue against the gentle turn of the spoon. "Have you ever considered a simple career as an elementary school teacher?"
Lenalee had gaped at the man for the entire forty-three minutes he received his haircut. Link looked at her several times, and his lips were in a consistently straight line throughout these small glances.
The man, Levierrer she learned by Link's short conversation with him, left with nary a 'thank you' or 'goodbye.'
Asshole. Lenalee had felt dead for a few minutes—she'd never been put down so…harshly. Maybe this was what the real world was like for kids like her.
Link, though, ended up being a lot nicer than she first thought him to. "Have you ever heard of the Vatican School of Beauty?" he had asked her before she got up to leave.
Lenalee blinked, readjusting her knapsack. "Isn't that, like, four blocks from here?" she replied. "Yeah—it's right down the street!"
The German man nodded curtly. "I received my cosmetology degree from there," he said. "From Malcolm Levierrer. He was my instructor, ja."
"Generally." Link had straightened his posture and looked her right in the eyes with his clear blue gaze. "I'd suggest that you apply if you truly desire a future in cosmetology. Otherwise, I have wasted my time in allowing you to unnervingly watch my every move while asking inane questions."
Whoa, she remembered thinking. A chance to show up that overbearing British jerk? And an opportunity to get my future together? "Would you write me a recommendation?" she had jokingly asked.
Yet, Link did write her one. A really awesome one that made it seem like they knew each other for more than a week.
And she was accepted on a partial scholarship in a week.
She liked to think that it was the beginning of everything, for better and for worst.
But, she will never thank Levierrer for anything.
"Wait, ugh, slow down!" Lenalee complained futilely as she followed the brisk walk of one Allen Walker. "Jesus Christ, are we in a marathon or are you just in a really bad hurry?"
The Englishman snorted—despite being to his back, she could hear the imminent arrogance associated with every British stylist she knew. "While I understand that you are recuperating from a traumatizing experience including an overbearing arse whom shall not be mentioned," he replied, stopping at a pedestrian walkway. Lenalee came to a pause beside him, and he turned to her with a smile. "It doesn't give you an excuse to be irresponsible, Lenalee. I mean, at least more so than usual."
Lenalee felt her eyebrows furrow on their own accord and for some crazy reason her fingers kept twitching in violent promise.
Allen Walker, he brought out the best and the worst in her. It was all kinds of irritating yet amazing.
First of all, she meant the whole 'marathon' thing as a joke—he was walking quite fast for no clear reason. For once, she was being friendly with her begrudging savior from that other asshole, Levierrer. Secondly, that wasn't supposed to be an opening for his biting words and really bad attitude.
No, seriously, his attitude can get really ugly at times. This was just one of those times, for some inane reason.
Jesus Christ, she finds the guy to be okay for one second and he goes all Jekyll and Hyde on her. By that, she was referring to his bipolar 'let me save you from Creepiverrer so we can frolic into the sunset' and 'bitch, why are you such a vagina-wielding woman whom is irresponsible? You know I hate women. And irresponsibility. But mostly women.'
Faggot. Lenalee thought spitefully. She felt some lamenting coming on, as per usual. Why have you become this way, my old friend?!
Regardless, she narrowed her eyes at the white-haired man. "What the hell are you talking about?" she demanded, hands on her shapely hips. In the back of her mind, though, she kind of thought that they must've made quite a pair. Like her favorite couple ever—Kanda and his on-and-off-and-on-again boyfriend Alma. "How am I being irresponsible by asking you if we're walking for cancer?"
"Lenalee." Allen sighed, running his fingers through his perfect hair. "Your memory must reflect your hair design abilities—faulty and with blank spots."
Bitch I will kill you. "I couldn't exactly hear you," Lenalee replied, her eyebrow twitching in barely-veiled irritation. "So, could you repeat it? Except, you know, without the whole douchebag tone. Jerk."
The countdown timer on the other side of the street started to flash. "We have a project," he explained, and they were walking again. "Personally, I would expect you—"
Lenalee held up a hand for his silence, and she was pleased to note that it totally worked. "Allen," she began, her lips pursed into an unimpressed expression. "You're right for once in your limp-wrist, faggoted, mansexing, makeup applying life." She sighed, shaking her head at his affronted expression. "I kind of did forget about the project."
Allen sniffed in that pompous, aggravating way. "As I already knew," he replied. "And we have until Friday to complete it, so—" but he was interrupted again. Lenalee could tell that her hand motions were starting to piss him off.
"Allen." She stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, her arms crossed over her breasts. "We need to get something straight here. And, no, it won't be you." Okay, she was sorry, but she couldn't help it. The opportunity was calling her.
The white-haired man slowed to a stop, pivoting like a freaking Diva to look at her. He cocked his head and readjusted his man-purse, looking as impatient as a polite metrosexual man can look.
"I hate you." Lenalee smiled at him. "I hate you a lot. You used to be my best friend, and I swear to god that I wish we could be like that again—but you are a bitch. You are a bitchy teenage girl in a grown man's body, and I refuse to deal with it."
Allen opened his mouth, but pursed his lips with a significantly guilty look towards the ground. Actually, this is a little weird—what the hell could he be feeling so guilty about? His bitchiness? Because if he were truly sorry, then Lenalee likes to think he would, well, stop.
"So," she continued. "We'll have to adapt or something. Make up rules."
"You can't be serious," Allen replied, frowning.
Lenalee stared at him. "I am very serious," she replied calmly. One might think she was being unreasonable by making up rules for a three day project, but it has to be done. Otherwise she would probably smack a bitch, and Lenalee does not want to have to come to that.
So, yeah. It had to be done.
"Can you stop making a freaking comment every single time I say something?" she asked with a tone that edged on desperation. "It gets irritating—really irritating. I can barely say a word in response because you are so quick about it." He would've been great on the Debate Team of her graduating high school, by the way.
Allen rolled his gray eyes. "And this is my fault…how?" he replied like Lenalee was an idiot. She gritted her teeth and told herself to calm down, because she should be used to this shit after a year. "Lenalee, darling. I speak when I feel as though I have something to say pertaining to your opinion—which just so happens to be consistently." He cocked an eyebrow with a tilt of his chin. "I don't see why you are taking so much offense to this."
Lenalee wanted to rip out her hair. Actually, she wanted to rip out Allen's hair, because she just got her hair to grow back to a reasonable length and he could probably spare a few strands for the better good of the world and her sanity.
"This is exactly what I'm talking about!" she exclaimed while the countdown timer blinked in a sign for all pedestrians to walk. "You don't stop—it seriously can piss a girl off, y'know?"
"I will get a failing grade if I have to," Lenalee said, rubbing her temples as she crossed the street. Allen was on her heels, his face in an immediate state of distress. "And if I fail? You fail."
The twenty-year-old man stared at her, but he didn't say a word for once in his insignificant adult life.
"As mad as it seems," he finally spoke after about a minute of silence. He touched her shoulder lightly with his black gloves, and Lenalee turned around to look into his gorgeous—shit, gray eyes. "May I suggest something, then?"
Lenalee blinked. There was something about the timbre in his voice—something that reminded her of years past with a boy she used to love as a best friend. "Um," she hummed, fiddling with her jean pockets. "Sure, I guess."
"If I refrain from making these 'unnecessary' comments, as you call them," Allen began with an honest-to-god smile. None of that fake, sarcastic crap he's always pulling. "Would you allow me to style your hair?"
…Damn, she completely forgot about that. Lenalee rubbed her arm with a nervous laugh, looking around like there was something on the street that could save her from this situation.
But, it wasn't like she was afraid that Allen would mess up her hair like that fire—he was really good with his hands, actually. In the matter of hair design, that is!
It was more about the significance of letting this guy who has been nothing less than a complete jerk for the past year of her life design the hair on her head. If she let him have his way this time, there would be no end to his mocking, sarcastic remarks and that lording sneer he would sometimes have whenever he did something particularly great.
"…" Lenalee pursed her lips, narrowing her eyes in what she hoped was complete suspicion. "And you will stop making these comments forever?" she asked carefully.
Allen smiled widely, the corners of his eyes crinkling with the motion. "I cannot guarantee that," he replied honestly. "But, I can assure you that I will try my hardest. So, how does it?"
Why are you so fucking bipolar?! It was really hard to truly hate Allen Walker—kind of like how it is difficult to hate a kitten. Sure, they scratch at you and ruin your furniture and that one pair of shoes you really liked, but there are just those times where they rub against you looking all cute and stuff.
God, Lenalee hated cats so hard.
"I'll…uh, I'll seriously consider it," she said after a while, which apparently was all that was needed to make Allen bright up like the freaking sun. "But, you still need to cut back on those comments, Walker!"
The Englishman laughed, delighted. "I will indeed try," he replied, and he held out his long-sleeved denim jacket clad arm. "Now then, Lenalee. Shall we go to the library?"
Lavi sighed, a hand on both their heads. "Guys," he began smartly. "If you keep glaring at each other, you'll both, like, spontaneously combust. Then I won't be able to take nude photos of y'all, and don't you know how much of a shame—"
Lenalee punched him in the stomach. He coughed dryly. "Thanks, Lavi," she replied with a terse smile. "For, you know, caring. Unlike some assholes who shall not be named. You know, Allen."
Allen smiled, resting his chin on an upturned palm. "Have I offended you, Lenalee?" he asked in such an insincere voice she wanted to throw a chair at him.
"Rrrngh," she replied in a frustrated garble. The short-haired woman pointed at the magazine in front of her angrily, looking up at the smug Englishman. "What the hell is this?"
Lavi looked down at it, squinting at the bright image. "Oh, uh," he spoke, frowning a bit. "I think that's what my prom date wore. Before, you know, the sex."
"Lavi. Just, stop talking." Lenalee shook her head. She loved him, he was a genius, but sometimes he just said things that were…out there. "Let Allen answer, since he knows everything."
"It's a highlighted updo with a French pleat as the median of the scalp division," Allen explained, pointing at the generic white woman in the glossy photograph. Lenalee continued to gape at the man, completely disbelieving. "As you may see, it requires much concentration if you want it perfect, and I feel as though it may be a…challenge for you."
Lenalee finally shut her mouth and rubbed the bridge of her nose. "You're an ass," she finally said with more patience than she thought she possessed. "This isn't my style. I don't do those preppy prom styles that Lavi gets off on."
"Totally," Lavi agreed, grinning. "She's more of a…punkish-in-your-face-I-didn't-pay-for-this-hairstyle kind of girl, y'know?"
She smiled at him and pinched his cheeks. "I couldn't've said it better, you crazy one-eyed voyeur," she teased.
Allen rolled his eyes. "Anyway," he said in a huff, crossing his arms. "I could've sworn that the entire reason of this project was to go outside your comfort area. As in, try something different?"
"But, it's prom hair—"
"Do stop complaining, Lenalee." He smiled in an almost playful manner. "For some reason, regardless of how atrocious the results are, Tiedoll always gives you an exceedingly good grade."
Was… Lenalee began to think with raised eyebrows. Was that a compliment? I can't tell if he's being sarcastic or sarcastic-sincere. "Um, thanks," she replied just in case it was the latter. Lavi chuckled, tipping back his seat, and she considered tripping him just for her own perverse satisfaction. "Anyway!"
"Anyway," Allen agreed, smiling wider. "I can only assume that you have something for me as well?"
…Shit. She didn't think of one for him at all, really.
"Um." Lenalee looked at Lavi, who made a show out of pulling out his phone while trying to text someone. She looked down at the picture of the updo example, and secretly gagged at how horribly preparatory it was. She could deal with prep, but not that prep.
Wait, how about a hairstyle that was slightly prep…but also so simply punk that Allen would never be able to perfect it?
Lenalee grinned, flashing a line of white teeth. "What about a fauxhawk?" she asked slyly.
Allen's smile faltered, and he stared at her like was either stupid or an immigrant or both. "Um." He leaned back in his wooden chair, crossing his arms. "Are you trying to insult me?"
"Are you saying that you can't do it?" she retorted, quirking an eyebrow. Oh, this was going to be great.
He scoffed. "If I could not do that," he replied, gesticulating wildly about the general idea of a fauxhawk. "Then I'd either be mentally challenged or worse, an American Southerner." Then, he shuddered at the very thought of being from the South.
Lavi barked a laugh, his thumb moving at an inhumane speed along the phone's keyboard. "C'mon, Britman," he purred lowly. "You're doing that thing where you underestimate shit." He pointed at his own red hair, grinning. "What makes you think a fauxhawk isn't hard? I'll tell you now that Yuu just about shaved clean off the two attempts I tried at it."
Allen looked at him for a long minute. "As I said," he continued with a wider smile than ever. "Mentally challenged."
"Then, I'm glad we've got this figured out," Lenalee replied, snickering. "Get ready to waste a few mannequins, by the way."
Her male rival rolled his eyes like she made a particularly unfunny joke.
Lenalee shrugged. Allen Walker was going to get the surprise of a lifetime.
4! Or Maybe It Isn't
I am so freaking tired guize
GOD I just want to SLEEEEEP but regardless, I've finished this chapter. Now I shall slumber to my heart's content
Link is moar important than you probably thought. :D He's awesome WHEN POSSESSED unlike Levierrer who is sexy no matter WHAT. Of course that wasn't sarcasm. As well, a fauxhawk is not nearly as easy to accomplish as sexy Beckham makes it seem mmm so sexy
Yet, just to satisfy my sick curiosity, I find myself wondering what y'all think Allen's up to. Like, he goes from dick to darling constantly, and Lenalee's point of view doesn't know what to think of it. What do you think of it, I wonder
I want to know what it means
What it means to write a story
I want to see what you read
When you get a fic that is of utmost quality
I want to do what I see
Is the best way to write a romance
I want to spell correctly
And I'd like it if you gave me one more chance
Because I don't have a beta
They make me uncomfortable
Like, really really uncomfortable
I don't trust other people
Looking over my own shit and
Telling me what I could've done better
I don't have an editor
Because I kinda like sentence fragments
Regardless of their imminent opinion
I don't like that person
Who wants to take my chapter
And completely rewrite it
I want to tell you all now
That there may be an issue
I want to see if you'll allow
My paranoia to not offend you
So if I fucked up the grammar
Would you tell me please
That was the NO BETA BALLAD. It can kind of go with the sounds of Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is" because the eighties are REALLY AWESOME. Tune in next time for your regularly scheduled explanations of no spellcheck or beta, so please feel free to tell me what's wrong here