Pairing/Characters: Carnival, Mina, Alice, Rachel [claim → main party]
Spoilers/Warnings: AU. Mild profanity (see: Carnival). May be a bit confusing if you don't know who Mina and Alice are (if you haven't read Lye Street/Iron Angel).
Summary: I hope you get your dreams.
“Dammit, is this really necessary?” Carnival demanded sulkily, mantling her wings and fidgeting where she sat in the swivel chair, legs crossed weaver-style, shoulders hunched. Her thick black hair was held out of her face with the aid of a multitude of large silver alligator clips, and as she spoke she opened one doubtful coal-colored eye, staring pointedly up at Mina.
“Of course it is, silly,” Mina insisted, shaking her finger. “Don’t you want to look pretty for the photo shoot?! We’re getting the single cover from it!”
Carnival opened her mouth to protest, but Mina raised her powder puff threateningly. She closed it, and her eye; Mina went back to coating Carnival’s face in powder, giggling.
Rachel covered a smile, turning back to her own mirror. The shoot was a big and important step for their music, and Carnival did tend to be neglectful of her appearance—but Mina was getting a bit carried away. Really, it was probably only Carnival’s fondness for the Greenes that kept her from raising a fuss over it.
“Mina, what are you doing?” That was Alice, and she sounded amused.
“She’s gonna look pretty for this if it’s the last thing I do~,” Mina announced cheerfully.
“You’re going to have her looking like a sixties pinup model if you keep on like this, though. And don’t you need to get dressed? Let me finish this up.”
Mina blinked, straightened up, and shrugged. Rachel saw over her shoulder that Carnival did indeed sport a comically thick layer of foundation over her face, and a deeper scowl than ever.
“Besides, you’re missing the most important point,” Alice said with a smile, gently moving Mina aside and taking her place in front of Carnival’s chair.
“We-e-e-e-e-e-e-ell, whatever,” Mina said, waving her hand. “Do what you want, I guess.”
“…I hate make-up,” Carnival growled in a low voice. Rachel looked away so that her friend wouldn’t see her smiling.
“That’s understandable. Every time you’ve had to wear it, you get coated in it.” Since it was safe now, Rachel glanced back to see that Alice was carefully wiping the thick layer of foundation off with a circular pad. “Young girls like you don’t need much make-up, so when people try to cover up your scars with it, it never really looks good.
“But you don’t have to cover them, really. Just lightening them a little will be fine. It’s important that they can be seen—they say good things about you.”
Carnival flipped her wing in a shrug that was half irritated, half embarrassed.
Rachel watched, curious, as the deep marks on Carnival’s face seemed to halfway evaporate under a very thin coat of foundation and blusher. It wasn’t obvious that cosmetics had been used unless you’d spent a lot of time with Carnival, and knew that those marks should have been darker here, like burns.
Even so, you could see the scars. As Alice said, maybe it really was the point.
Alice tilted Carnival’s chin up and gently brushed mascara along her lashes, then exchanged the wand for a small thin brush, painting her lips in pale pink gloss. After that, she carefully removed the clips from Carnival’s hair, fluffing it back into shape.
And then, she walked around to the back of Carnival’s chair, swiveling her to face the mirror. “See? Isn’t that better?”
Carnival blinked. Then she laughed, sounding surprised. “Wow, it even still looks like my face.” And she laughed again.
“That’s ‘cause Alice is a genius,” Mina caroled with a cheerful giggle. “She can fix anything~.”
“Don’t make me smack you,” Carnival said with a predatory grin. Alice and Mina both laughed.
The differences were very minor, and yet they were staggering. With her scars lightened, the mascara softened Carnival’s dark eyes, and the gloss warmed the contours of her lips. It made it so that her scars weren’t her dominant feature anymore; one could actually look at her face and see it first. Although she was still recognizable as Carnival and not some prettied-up fashion doll, she looked like quite a different girl.
“You look beautiful,” Rachel informed her, smiling.
Mina snickered. “Yeah, Dill’s eyes are totally gonna fall out of his head~.”
Carnival raised her fist. “Dammit, seriously! Don’t make me smack you!!”