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Spa Day

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She’s surprised that she can even find the time to prepare this. Despite knowing how much Tadashi needs a break, her schedule has been so full that she can’t even plan her own free time. It’s nothing short of a miracle that she’s been able to find the time to squeeze this into both of their schedules.  

She takes a step back to admire her work. Scented candles, all known for their calming aromas, lined through the room. Ever After is already on the menu screen on the TV, waiting for someone to press play. Steam rises from the two small tubs she has set up for their feet. The bed is full of not only snacks, but face masks, nail polish, and other miscellaneous self-care items. She’s prepared, precise, and ready for the night to begin.

Three exact knocks, not one even differing in noise or tone and all exactly the same amount of seconds apart. She bolts, throwing the door open to reveal exactly who she expected to see. She throws her arms around him in a tight hug, causing him to stiffen in her grip ever so slightly. He twitches his nose at the blonde locks that end up tickling it ever so slightly.

“Do you want to tell me why you insisted I come over at this time?”

“Take a look around and figure it out, genius,” she nudges him gently.

He takes a tentative step into the dorm room, his eyes glazing over each and every time displayed in front of him. He sighs, knowing exactly what she has in mind. He can’t say that he’s disappointed, he just doesn’t appreciate the surprise - even if it’s not a bad one.

“I know your schedule as well as I know mine and if I’m right - and I know I am - then we have exactly two and a half hours before we each have to knuckle down on studying - which I do have plenty of coffee for, by the way.”

“I take it I should take my shoes off then,” Tadashi motions for the tubs of hot water - a part of him a bit cautious from the steam he can see rising from it.

“Socks too.”

Allie’s comment causes him to roll his eyes as he sits on the edge of the bed and does as instructed. He can already feel the heat radiating from the small tub at his feet. Allie sits beside him and happily sticks her feet in as if it’s nothing, but that brings him little comfort. Hesitantly, he sticks a toe in. Thankfully, it’s not as hot as he expected. Relaxing, he enjoys the relief of the hot water soaking his tired feet.

He’s not so sure that he will enjoy the movie, but as Allie presses play to let it play in the background, he leans back to let her slather clay on his face. God forbid Axel finds out about this, he would never hear the end of it. He tenses at the mere thought of the source of most of his stress, causing Allie to press her thumbs against the back of his neck, massaging it gently.

“Thinking about Axel,” Allie questions, causing him to hum in response.

She lets out a playful ‘tsk’, “Should I be jealous?”

“Of what? His urge to always be such a pain in the ass?”

“Of how often you think of him when you should be thinking of something else,” Allie presses, “Like yourself for a change.”

“You’re one to talk.”

I may not think of my own self care often, but at least I don’t think of Axel to the point of seriously needing therapy. She bites her tongue, mostly due to the way that her face is beginning to feel stiff. She watches as Tadashi closes his eyes with a deep, calming sigh. Appeased that her plan is working, Allie resists the urge to smile lest the mask she put on her crack.

She won’t lie - she’s been needing this just as much as Tadashi. She makes a mental note to thank her friends for pushing her into actually doing this plan. She leans back to reach for the nail polish and wonders if Tadashi will let her paint his nails this time - or if he would notice if she did. She ponders about her moral compass, mooning over how mad he would be if she did it without asking.

The nail polish tips over before she can make a decision and it sprawls out a mess that no amount of acetone will remove. She winces, making a straining expression as Tadashi shoots up like he caught fire, frantically trying to swipe off nail polish off of his trousers. He swears continuously under his breath, some being words that Allie didn’t even know were real.

“Son of a bitch!”

That one, however, is one that she knows. She winces and leaves the bed, taking a step back. His face is quickly cracking and pulling at the strain his expression is making on the clay still slathered, but now dry, on his skin.

“Don’t rub it,” she instructs, running to get paper towels, “You have to dab at it, otherwise you’re just smearing it into the fabric.”

He grumbles under his breath, probably cursing even more, but he sits back as she gently dabs at his thigh with paper towels. Her cheeks grow flushed, but she takes a deep breath and exhales through her nose, trying to stay focused.

“I… think this is hopeless,” she finally admits defeat, sighing with disdain, “I’m sorry.”

“It wasn’t intentional.” His lips are thinned and tight, but he at least he’s not cursing directly at her nor storming out in a fit of rage. “...Neha may be able to salvage it, but that’s doubtful. She’s a good seamstress, but she’s not a miracle worker on stained fabric.”

She takes a deep breath, trying not to think too hard about how she’s distributed what was supposed to be a relaxing night. Politely, she looks away as he unbuckles his trousers and pulls them off with a look of tired, contempt. Even as he places the pants on a nearby chair, laying them out neatly, his eyes focus on the stain as he tries to figure out if there’s a way to save to them.

“We can… finish the movie?” She asks, looking at him hopefully.

He lets out a snort, “Doubtful, I can’t finish something I wasn’t even watching.”

Her shoulders sag a bit, but considering the fact that he still hasn’t left lets her know that he doesn’t really want to.

“What if,” she tries again, taking a spot on the bed, “We wash the face masks and take a nap?”

He moves his cheeks, suddenly more aware of the sensation of the cracked clay. He doesn’t even think it over, agreeing that that would be the best course of action to take after the turn of events. Soon, with his skin feeling surprisingly smooth, he lays on the bed, flat on his back with his hands neatly folded on his chest. Allie curls to his side, gripping his upper arm and using it as her pillow.

He’s never one for surprises, and certainly never for any sudden change of plans, but he has to admit that while the night isn’t what he expected, it’s precisely what he needed.