Peridot looked up from her copy of 'Gem Science Today' when the bell above the door chimed, her eyes widening in surprise when a familiar female of surprising stature entered. 'Crud,' she thought as she began to fidget under the industrial dryer that was in the process of setting her hair, 'What is that Crystal Clod doing in here?!'
"Peridot," the woman said by way of greeting as she adjusted her visor, her tone neutral.
"Garnet," Peridot greeted, her tone more snarky than welcoming, "What are *you* doing here?"
The taller gem waved to another gem at the back of the salon, "Ruby has an appointment."
This got Peridot's attention. She knew that Garnet was a fusion of two smaller gems - Ruby and Sapphire. If memory served, though, Ruby was not the type of gem who wanted to deal with having her hair styled, let alone spend time in a salon. That was something that Sapphire, Ruby's partner, would seem more inclined to want to do.
As if on cue Garnet's form glowed, a column of fuchsia light surrounding her. The light broke away a moment later, revealing two smaller gems, one with red skin wearing a martial artist's gi, the other with blue skin and wavy aqua hair wearing a blue and white dress. The red skinned gem stepped forward, put her hands on her hips, and looked around.
"Ruby, calm down," Sapphire said, placing a hand on her partner's shoulder, "you said you wanted a new style."
"I know," Ruby grumbled, "but this place is so... so.... so..."
"So what?" Peridot asked, regretting it the minute Ruby glared at her. She mentally asked herself where a gem of such a short stature could develop a glare that matched Jasper's in power and unbridled ferocity.
"Miss Ruby," the gem from the back said by way of greeting, her voice pleasant and a somewhat sultry, "what can we do for you today?"
Ruby looked to Sapphire for guidance. "She would like to try a new style," Sapphire replied. "Something more... suitable for an active gem."
The salon owner nodded in understanding. "Right this way, and we'll see what we can do," she said, ushering a somewhat nervous Ruby toward the back of the shop, "we'll find something that will make your partner stare in awe."
Ruby began to protest, only to think of how much she would hurt Sapphire's feelings if she didn't follow through on this. With one last glance back at her partner she allowed herself to be led to the back of the shop and the shampoo station.
Back at the front of the shop Sapphire levitated up into one of the dryer chairs, where she picked up a copy of 'Gemworld Today' before turning the dryer to a steam setting. Peridot nervously folded her magazine a couple of times before making an attempt to initiate small talk.
"So," she said, "what's the fireplug... err... your partner looking to have done today? Her style looked fine."
"She feels like she wants her hair to have more give and take during a combat situation than it currently does," Sapphire replied as she flipped the pages of the magazine and perused the latest news regarding Yellow, White, and Blue Diamond, as well as other famous and infamous gems from the homeworld.
Peridot quirked an eyebrow. "She has helmet hair," she stated, "I've seen her take a column to the head and that hair hasn't budged an inch."
"Something infiltrated that perfect armor during a recent battle, and it has made her rethink her entire state of being," Sapphire stated, an edge of hurt to her words. "Ruby is... upset, and I suggested a trip to the salon. She agreed."
"Oh...." the green gem replied, drawing the word out for several beats. After a few awkward moments, she asked, "What type of style would you like her to have?"
"Whatever makes her happy," Sapphire replied, her tone cold as ice.
Peridot closed her magazine and set it aside before sighing. "Is the smalltalk as awkward for you as it is for me?"
"I had looked into the future and saw you asking that question. The answer is yes."
Silence, save for the sound of the two dryers, pervaded the salon for the next half an hour. The salon owner stepped forward and said, "Who's ready to see our new style?"
Sapphire closed her magazine, turned her dryer off, and folded her hands on her lap. "I am," she replied.
Peridot turned her own dryer off and nodded. "Let's see what she did."
The salon owner stepped aside, revealing Ruby. The red Gem blushed lightly as she stepped forward, her hair now a tumble of silky curls and ringlets that softly framed her face. "Wha... what do you think Sapphy?" she asked.
Sapphire floated down from her chair and approached her partner. "You look lovely," she said, a hint of a smile on her face.
"Wow," Peridot said in surprise, "Fireplug, that look really suits you."
Ruby favored Peridot with a glare, which turned into a smile. "Thanks," she said, "your style suits you too."
"Anything else I can do for you ladies today?" the salon owner asked.
Sapphire giggled and gently kissed Ruby's neck. "I think we're fine here," the red gem replied. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it honey," the owner replied as the two gems exited. She turned back to Peridot, her eyes widening in surprise when she saw the green gem's hair. "Oh honey," she sighed, "I knew the dryer must have been on too high."
"What... what do you mean?" Peridot asked, running for a mirror. Her eyes widened in horror when she saw how stringy her hair was. "Those crystal clods!" she cried, "They ruined my hair!"
"Oh, it's nothing that a little hairspray won't be able to fix," the owner said, picking up a can with a picture of Garnet on the side. "Hold still hon, and let Miss Tourmaline work her magic..."