Compact is the word for him: wiry, maybe 5'6" in his beat-up black combat boots, with a sense of compressed energy and imminence like a coiled spring -- or a cocked gun. Never quite still for long, balance flowing through the balls of his feet. There's a striking intensity to his narrow blue-green eyes, the colour contrasting with his fair skin and spiky copper hair; just below the left is what at first appears to be a faint mole, but closer inspection reveals as a small, long-healed scar. His features are appealing, with high cheekbones and a good jawline, but it's the confident mein and roguish smile that most often seem to draw people in.
He's in old black jeans with the rip in one knee and the cuffs half walked off, today with a blue t-shirt bearing the superman logo, the print very faded and the fabric looking thin enough that it may have genuinely gotten that way through time and not retro-merchandising. The shirt's rather snug in a flattering sort of way. Over it he's wearing a white short-sleeved shirt, unbuttoned, with a scattered pattern of tiny blue and red dolphins; he's also in possession of a pair of white plastic wayfarer-style sunglasses with iridescent indigo lenses. There's a couple leather-and-bead bracelets on one wrist and a length of ball-chain disappearing beneath his collar; his nails were apparently painted black some time ago, since they're starting to show chips. Late teens, most likely, and when he speaks it's in a mellifluous, southern-accented baritone voice.
Thick honey-blonde hair, styled in a poofy set of curls, rings this pretty blue-eyed young woman's head. She's in her late teens, and her hair's currently left down, though it's occasionally pinned up. She stands about five and a half feet tall, and is a little on the thin side of things, though not to an extreme. She dresses mostly in informal styles, from ripped jeans and tank tops to the occasional sundress.
Currently, she wears the former, her black tank top emblazoned with a large sequined red heart, and her jeans so ripped as to be nearly indecent. About half of the heart's sequins are missing. Her feet are clad in red strappy lightly-heeled sandals that have seen better days. She wears little in the way of jewelry, just a black wooden bracelet, and (probably fake) gold earrings. When she speaks, a fairly thick Southern accent is evident.
It's about 80 degrees out, and amazingly, Edith Ann's Diner has no air conditioning. It's definitely a greasy spoon establishment, the line cook using lard in things that really have no need of it, like OATMEAL, for real. The place is hot, the employees are sweaty, and the diner's unisex bathroom is just about what you'd imagine from a place like this. Anything prepared by the line cook is going to be pretty nasty, so it's probably a happy accident that Felix decided he wanted pie. At least there are no bugs save a fly or two that comes in when people enter or leave. That said, it's hard to argue with the friendly ambiance, particularly the super-duper friendly blonde waitress. On the other hand, said waitress is Lilah, who looks like she didn't sleep a wink. At least she smiles at the customers nonetheless. One can see the line cook doing his thang, and he looks something like this:
He and Lilah seem to know each other well, and she's often shooting smiles his way. He has a perpetual frown on his face today, but there are faint laugh lines that indicate this might not have been a permanent state of affairs. Edith Ann herself looks similar to this:
because I TOTALLY WENT THERE. Although she doesn't keep that weird expression on her face at all moments, alas. There's probably a busboy and a dish washer at the least, but we don't care about them! Lilah's scurrying about ferrying dishes to and from the counter, and if she's freaking out about him being 'late,' it doesn't show. And because I've not spammed you with enough images, this is what she's wearing today, both the top and jeans:
She wipes at her brow after bringing a family their meal, and then scurries over to deal with an irate customer, a thin man with 'tourist' written all over him. She doesn't look fazed by this, at least not yet.
<OOC> Lilah says, "And the full place name is Edith Ann's Taste of Home Diner. It's a real place! :D Not in Fairhope, but... SHHHHHHH."
<OOC> Lilah says, "http://www.yelp.com/biz/edith-anns-taste-of-home-diner-huntsville"
It is indeed getting damn near on for one when Felix shows up, parking the Caddy in the nearest spot out front. He doesn't seem to be in a particular hurry, despite being delayed. He's in the same pants and boots as the day before, and the same bracelets, but the shirts have changed -- today there's a blue t-shirt with the superman logo, the print very faded and the fabric looking thin enough that it may have genuinely gotten that way through time and not retro-merchandising; the shirt's rather snug in a flattering kind of way. Over it he's wearing a white short-sleeved shirt, unbuttoned, with a pattern of tiny blue and red dolphins scattered over it. He's also wearing fairly dark sunglasses, and carrying a handful of various flowers, daisy-looking things in white, yellow, and red-orange-yellow. He is, in fact, carrying them upside down. The door opens, and he heads on in, humming to himself; if music's already playing, what he's humming shifts to that while he glances briefly around for Lilah, grinning when he finds her. Since she looks so busy, he doesn't immediately head over, instead pulling up a handy bit of wall to lean against and watch her, expression going more casual. A couple patrons glance at him nervously.
The customer is pretty pissed about having gotten frozen biscuits and pools of oil and overcharged and there's no air conditioner and-- but Lilah's patient with him, and in the end he gets comped for the meal, as well as offered some warm apple pie. You'd think that, with all the other food having been so terrible, he'd turn it down, but warm apple pie is hard to pass up, apparently! That taken care of, Lilah heads over to the counter, dropping off a ticket for someone's order. There's an energy to her that's at odds with her obvious fatigue, and she's clearly in a good mood, despite everything. The line cook is pretty much the opposite, mood-wise, and keeps glancing at the door with a dour expression. When Felix arrives, the line cook glances at him for a moment, before wiping his hands on his apron. The nervous patrons get glanced at as well, and the cook ends up catching Lilah's eye, jerking a chin in Felix's direction helpfully. Lilah's mood immediately rises even further, particularly when she spots the flowers, and she also wipes her hands down her apron before exchanging a quiet word with Edith Ann. The proprietress looks over to Felix, offering him a bright, friendly smile. Lilah then holds up a finger to him, disappearing into a back room for a moment. When she returns, it's with a slice of apple pie in each hand-- but alas, they are not both for him. One is dropped off at the previously-irate patron's table, but at least the second is offered out to Felix, along with a fork. "At yer service for a change, Mr. Sinclair," she grins. The line cook is fairly subtle about it, but he's keeping an eye on the two of them, to the detriment of the already nasty food here.
Felix is quite good at wall-loungin'. Looks real comfortable, although to a fair number of people he looks it in about the same way the guy idly observing what a shame it'd be if something happened to this nice flammable building you got here does. I'd suggest the sunglasses probably don't help with that, but as it's less shiny inside the diner, he pushes them up, and nobody who wasn't already relaxed relaxes. Alas. Still, it makes for a better return of Edith Ann's friendly smile, and a better one offered for free to the line cook, and a much better one of a distinctly-not-meant-for-the-others variety for Lilah, as well. He straightens back up when she approaches, giving her a small, playful bow, and offering the flowers. Although, right-way-up for that. Despite the aid of gravity, the heat's wilted them a bit. "Are you, Miss Merriweather? Well, my day's just lookin' better and better, then," he says, looking cheerful if also somewhat tired. "And that looks delicious. Thanks. Anywhere in particular you want me? Don't wanna be in the way none."
Lilah's smile in return for Felix's is soft and remarkably fond, particularly when she's handed the flowers. They're immediately pressed to her nose for sniffage, and regardless of whether they're truly delightful-smelling, *she* seems delighted, at least. His question makes her eye him sidelong for a second, and then the tips of her ears pinken, and she suggests, "There's an empty booth over here, c'mon..." Without another word, she reaches for his hand to lead him to it. Edith Ann of course smiles back to him, apparently predisposed to like Mr. Sunglasses, and the line cook doesn't smile, but he does nod a friendly enough greeting, despite looking unhappy in general. Lilah opens her mouth, shuts it, and then reopens it to say, "...glad you made it." There's no judgment or condemnation in that.
Felix looks quite innocent when she's eyeing him sidelong, so he probably isn't. Possibly a fair assumption regardless. He looks quite pleased that she's so pleased with the flowers, and takes her hand without hesitation so she can lead him to the booth. "Would've taken a lot to stop me," he says, although no apology for his version of 'noonish' appears to be forthcoming. "Car's all gassed up and I reckon I'm ready when you are. Everything go okay with, y'know, packin' up, tellin' folks?" There's a flicker of a glance at Edith Ann and the line-cook, and he sets the pie on the table Lilah leads him to, then has a seat in the appropriate spot.
Lilah squeezes his hand, and looks inordinately pleased by his response. Lots of pleasin' going 'round! She doesn't appear to need an apology, and she visibly perks up at mention of the car and him being ready. "Yeah, it went okay," she says, and it's meant to reassure him, but her smile briefly falters. However, when she spots his glance at the line cook and Edith Ann, she can't entirely hold back a giggle, covering her mouth. "Edith Ann ain't my ma, if that's what yer thinkin'," she teases, and then glances over at the line cook, who's still subtly trying to keep an eye on them. She looks back to Felix. "Pa weren't so happy, but he'll come 'round. He always does." That, at least, she seems pretty confident about. She holds up a finger, briefly dropping his hand so she can walk over to the counter. The apple pie, by the way, is still warm, and pretty dang good. At least *something* here is. Lilah reaches behind the counter, and this brings her closer to Edith Ann, so she gives the woman a fond kiss to the cheek. Edith Ann presses something into her hand, and they exchange quiet words before Lilah smiles and hugs the woman. She pulls out a duffle bag from behind the counter, and it looks heavy, as though it could be stuffed with rocks. There are lots of lumps in it, and it seems tightly packed. Still, no boxes, no furniture, just a duffle bag. She slings it onto her back, and makes a detour over to the line cook. He gets a hug and a quick kiss, his melancholy seeming to briefly abate before crashing down on him again. They also exchange words, and then she returns to Felix's table, smiling. "Eat yer pie, cuz I'm ready t'go. But if'n you also want pancakes, I reckon I could oblige ya."
Therapist may not exactly be in Felix's palette of potential Plans B, but certainly he's watching Lilah well enough to notice the faltering of her smile. If he wanted to ask about it, though, he doesn't manage to before she's giggling and teasing him again. That gets a grin, and he whispers to her behind his hand, "It wasn't. She ain't gonna somehow hear and come gut me or somethin' if I admit I thought possibly grandma or somethin' though, right? Though mostly I was just thinkin' she was probably a folk you'd be tellin', what with workin' with her. But that over there's your pa, huh? Thought maybe so." He nods when she lifts that finger, and settles back into the seat, starting in on the pie as he watches her go. It IS pretty darn tasty. He follows the diner adventures of Lilah while he eats, generally behaving himself, unless you count pocketing a small handful of sugar packets and two little individual-serving plastic tubs of jam. But those are FOR people, right? Not like he's taking the silverware or something. Several people nearby are eyeing him more or less subtly while they eat, and one of the less subtle makes the mistake of staring with what's possibly resting bitchface for too long, and getting caught. Felix meets her gaze and holds it, unblinking and unsmiling, then lifts a brow. The woman blanches, rummaging in her purse for cash, putting some on the table, and then heading for the door, her eggs left half-eaten. Felix returns his attention to mostly pie and Lilah, trying not to smirk too obviously and doing a frankly mediocre job of it. Lilah's interaction with her father helps out with that somewhat; a cloud passes over his face as he observes it. By her return he's looking his normal self again, though, and his normal most of the way through some pie self at that, which is even better. "I'm eatin'! Wouldn't wanna rush it, though. Be a shame not to taste it properly. It's got a destiny to fulfill and all." His foot moves across under the table to tap lightly on hers after she sits -- very lightly indeed, given the boots. "Everything really okay? You looked a little... not totally convinced."
Lilah covers her mouth at his whisper, but it's only to giggle again. "I'mma tell her you said that," she warns playfully, and then nods to his question. "Yep, that's m'pa," she says, and at least she looks happy about that fact, despite the man's mood today. She does her business and returns to the table, seemingly not having noticed the swiping or the hasty retreat of the other patron-- that, or she doesn't care. Hard to say. She grins at his words about the pie, and even moreso at the tap to her foot. She tilts her head as she considers him with a soft, fond smile, and then taps his foot right back. TAP. His question makes her hesitate, and then she decides, "Yeah. Daddy ain't too happy about me leavin', an' all. But like I said, he'll come around." There's more to it, something left unsaid, and probably she's not as sure as she lets on that it's okay. That said, it's not even a lie; it's clearly an attempt to convince herself rather than subterfuge. Regardless, she pauses for another moment, and then 'innocently' taps his other foot. "You sure you don't want no pancakes? My treat." She adjusts her duffel bag on her shoulder.
Felix glances briefly toward her father when she answers the question, and hesitation or sense of something left out or not, seems to accept the reply as given, with a slight shrug. "A'ight," he says easily enough, and delays his pancake decision while having another bite of pie, although it's more to appraise what little remains than not to talk with his mouth full or anything. "Well, I reckon it might be in the contract somewhere not to turn down an offer like that. But I got conditions. One, I'll be requirin' a glass of water to go with that. An' two, you gotta put the bag down an' maybe have somethin' yourself."
A slow smile lifts to Lilah's mouth, very lop-sided, and she considers his terms in silence before deciding, "You'll getcher water, an' I'll set the bag down. But I got a counter-offer on the rest: you gotta tell me more aboutcha while I eat. If'n we're gonna be stuck in a car for awhile yet, seems like I should find out more." His foot gets tapped, suddenly. "I mean," she says mischievously, "You could be some random axe-murderer. You could be married. You could be a three-time armed bank robber. Hell, you could be trouble personified, an' how's little ol' me s'posed to know if'n you don't 'fess up?" Lashbat.
Felix makes a show of considering this over the space of another bite of pie, foot just happening to fetch up against hers. "Deal," he decides, nodding firmly, and gives her a sideways smile. "I ain't never murdered no one with an axe, randomly or otherwise. I ain't married. It was only the ONE bank," he slips a hand behind him, coming out with a mildly battered wallet and flipping it open so she can see the license within, almost like a TV FBI agent identifying himself, "...and what d'you think the T's for?" He leans across the table a bit toward her, so she can see it better, grinning. It does in fact give his name as Felix T Sinclair. "Counter-counter-offer, though, you gotta tell me more about you as well."
Lilah's smile turns into a broad grin at his response, and she leans in to look at his ID. "Thaddeus? " she suggests innocently, and then nods her head. "Counter-counter-offer accepted. Be back in a jiffy." She sets her bag down, and then makes her way over to her father, just placing the order one assumes, since he doesn't appear any MORE upset than he already is when she speaks with him. When she returns, she brings a glass of water and two pancakes for each of them, on separate plates, silverware, butter, and three different kinds of syrup on a tray: maple, strawberry, and apple. They have small peeling labels on them, so it's easy to tell which is which. She's pretty efficient in setting everything down, and sets the tray on an empty seat to her right. She takes a sip of her water, and then teases, "So tell me about this bank..."
"Not bad, but I gen'rally go with Tiberius if people press," Felix replies, grinning wider at her reply. He watches her go, giving a curious if gentle poke to her bag with his toe when she's placing the order, and polishes off the last couple bites of his pie, scraping up the filling remnants and pastry crumbs together onto the edge of his fork and eating them before pushing the plate aside. "Thanks," he says as she sets things down and resettles; the syrups require some consideration, and quite a lot of butter-to-pancake application in the meantime. "Oh, well, that. 's a funny story, that. See, 'bout this time last year, this old lady hired me to do some various shit around her place, nothin' major, just some stuff needed done she couldn't do no more. So, now, eventually it's all done, and she writes me a check. Well, I don't have no bank account or nothin', but I figure they cash 'em anyhow, right?" He looks at her over the rim of his glass as he has a bit of water as well. "Now. Keep in mind we're talkin' early July and I just came into a li'l bit of cash, so obviously, on my list of errands that day's I go pick up a nice selection of quality fireworks and the like in preparation for the festivities. Don't wanna be juggling things all day, so I've got my duffle with me and I just whack 'em in there for ease of transport. Now, I might've had just a =mite= too much fun the night before, and it's summer, so bright as hell, so I've got my shades on," he gestures to the pair he was wearing on the way in, "and my voice ain't doing so hot either, that mornin'. Head on into the bank, wait my turn, y'know, like ya do. So I get up to the front, and there's this mousy li'l lady workin' the desk. I give her a smile, and I've got the check in the bag, so I set it on the counter and open it up to get the thing out. I start tryin' to tell her, y'know, I got this check here I need cashed, but I'm basically havin' to whisper, and she sees a couple of the bundles of firecrackers in there, and she just goes sheet white, we're talkin' Casper looks like one of those New Jersey GTL guys by comparison, and doesn't even shriek, she just opens her drawer and starts throwin' stuff into the bag. Now, obviously I'm pretty taken aback at this point, an' maybe not thinkin' my fastest due to the aforementioned previous night, so I kinda just stand there for a few seconds while she's doin' that, and then I see a big guy in a uniform startin' to take notice and an alarm goes off. Well, you know and I know it's all a big misunderstandin' and perfectly innocent, but cops, they always assume the worst 'bout everyone, always lookin' for a chance to keep the rest of us down. Reckon that's why they go that way 'stead of findin' honest work. Anyway, that shook me right out of it and I grabbed my bag and got outta there toot sweet. Got my day off to a hell of a start, I tell you what." While talking, he ends up putting all the syrups on his pancakes, in different but partially overlapping areas, and adding some sugar and jam to the combination while he's at it. Despite this, his attention seems to be nearly entirely on Lilah, and however much truth or not there might be in the story, he tells it with an air of complete sincerity.
"Tiberius is pretty good," Lilah is forced to agree, and she goes for the strawberry syrup without hesitation, applying it fairly liberally. The butter is added more selectively, and only in between the two pancakes, not on top of the uppermost one. She listens to the story with a rapt interest, never interrupting or even looking like she'd *like* to. After having a bite of her pancakes, she smiles appreciatively and says, "You sure know how to spin a yarn, that's for sure. I believe it, though... knowin' ya so well as I do." She grins, then asks, "How much'd you get away with? And why was yer throat messed up, anyways?" She takes a sip of her water, and right about then, his right foot gets tapped. Tap!
"One thousand six hundred and thirty-five dollars," Felix replies, adding with faint bemusement, "...includin' two rolls of quarters and one of dimes." He grins at the foot-tap, wriggling the boot; she may notice from the total lack of give when she taps that they do seem to be steel-toed. "And I reckon I just mostly yelled too much. Although I think someone also mighta punched me in the throat..." He thinks about it, then shrugs; no long term damage obviously! At least not to the throat. This is further proven by successful eating of pancakes. "These are good, too," he says, studies her for a moment before suddenly smiling. "Your turn. Anythin' I oughta know before we head out? Any spree murders or, I dunno, multi-million dollar meth manufacture?"
Lifting a brow, Lilah says, "That ain't no chump change." Pause. "...'cept the bit that WAS change." She grins and rubs her foot up against his before leaving it there, pressed up against his, side to side. It's probably worth noting at this point that her pa is still subtly glancing over, here and there, but he looks resigned rather than angry. It really is subtle though, unlike, well, Lilah. "Now why would someone wanna punch *you* in the throat?" she tsks, and then smiles at his questions. "I spree-murdered a buncha multi-million dollar meth manufacturers," she answers. Though it aims for deadpan, she can't entirely hide the smile playing on her lips. More seriously, she says, "I'm pretty borin', as compared to you. I work here. Been tryin' to save up the money to leave town for awhile, but I reckon it didn't work out that way." That smile makes a reappearance, broader this time, and she says, "Leastways not 'til last night. You still got food 'n gas money from your fireworks debacle? Cuz if'n you ain't got enough, I'm more'n happy to cover it. Leastways 'til I run out."
Felix presses his calf up against hers in return. "No idea," he replies to her tsking, which, if it's true at all, is almost certainly only true in the sense of 'that time, exactly'. He laughs at her nearly-deadpan response, and nods, pointing a forkful of pancake at her as he says, "Good choice. Highly profitable, and ain't no one likely to complain too much. Liable to earn yourself a civic award." At least on that one it's obvious he's joking. He eats the bite, still watching her. "I still say you ain't strikin' me boring. And, well, not from then, but I reckon we can get farther with both of us anyhow." Another sightly overlarge bite of pancakes, and a quick grin. "Do have some fireworks, though."
Lilah clears her throat exactly a millisecond after his calf presses up against hers. She somehow, mercifully, manages not to blush, though. She continues eating her pancakes as she listens to him, and then laughs. "That's me. I'm real civic-minded, f'r sure." She smiles over at him, so clearly charmed, and laughs loudly at the mention of the fireworks, covering her mouth and shaking her head. Another bite of pancakes, and then, "So what do you do for fun, other'n goin' on epic adventures, robbin' banks, 'n bein' s'darn cute? Seems like that'd take up a lotta yer time..."
"What, =other= than that?" Felix says, "'s true, it does take up an awful lot of my time. But we all got our crosses to bear." He has a drink of his water, regarding her again, and he shifts his leg a little. Not away. "I dunno, I s'pose mostly I do whatever's available. I like parties, nightclubs and stuff like that. Hangin' out with interesting people. Dancin' with beautiful women." He winks at her, just in case it was, you know, a little too subtle. "Eatin' pie and pancakes. Gettin' drunk. Playin' music. Checkin' out stores. Explorin' places. Climbin' trees, swimmin', watchin' the stars, gettin' in the occasional fight, seein' movies sometimes, stories..." He tilts his head, chewing and swallowing a bit, and there's another faint shrug. "Prolly a lotta other shit if I sat around and thought it over s'more. I get bored easy." He says this matter-of-factly, as though it weren't anything to be proud or ashamed of or worried about, just a Thing That Is, and then grins. "Mostly I just like knowin' I'm alive. So, y'know, that can be a lotta things. All depends. 'bout you, when you're not workin' or decimatin' the criminal underworld or drivin' innocent men to distraction with your charm 'n' beauty?"
Although Lilah's definitely looking charmed and smiling up a storm as she listens, his compliment about dancing with beautiful women is not what seems to push that into overdrive. Instead, something about his answer gets her looking all doe-eyed, like a deer happy to be caught in the headlights. It's written plainly all over her face, in the way she leans in subconsciously toward him. In the way her leg starts tapping up and down, and not just to rub up against him. She rests her elbow on the table (rude!), and her head on that hand, and just... watches him with fascination. "I like pretty much all of that," she says softly, smiling warmly to him. "I love to explore, and to dance with handsome men. To swim. To look at the stars, to climb, to get drunk." She smiles ruefully, clearly thinking about last night. "I ain't ever been to a proper nightclub, but I know I'd love it already. Love stories, an' listenin' to music, singin', an'-- just-- I'm just sayin'. I like some o' that stuff, too." By the end, she's blushing a little, for whatever reason, seeming embarrassed. She focuses on her pancakes for a moment, then washes that down with some water.
Felix seems pleased enough to be looked at like that, and it probably isn't a surprise that the terribly rude elbow-on-table doesn't bother him in the least. In fact, he ends up mirroring her position, maybe subconsciously, and smiling back. "Yeah? Seems like we oughta be able to keep ourselves entertained pretty okay, to me," he says, finishing off his first pancake with the other hand, and starting in on the second. "Never been to a proper nightclub, huh? Reckon we can fix =that=, soon enough." He looks a bit thoughtful about that a moment, though her embarrassed blush draws his focus from it almost immediately, right back to watching her. "I like your singin'."
While he talks, Lilah just leans on her hand, and she looks at him pretty adoringly-- while her leg ends up lightly rubbing against his. "Thank you. I like your singin', too," she addresses first, and then, "I don't have a hard time bein' entertained-- seems like we got that in common, too." Her food remains entirely forgotten about; she has eyes only for him. "Anyone ever tell you before that you're kinda impossible in the best kinda way? I ain't sure you really exist..." She pauses, then grins, demanding, "Pinch me."
"Well, not in the best possible way," Felix says, grinning back; his leg rubs back against hers a bit. The demand sends the grin decidedly wickeder, and he moves his arm, leaning further forward so he can sneak the hand under the table, aiming to find her knee. "Gladly. Just let me know where..."
"Good," Lilah smirks, "I'd hate to be just another in a long line o' people who think that." She flushes slightly when she feels his hand on her knee, and then looks up at him boldly, saying with a bit of an arched brow, "There's fine." She seems amused, rather than offended.
"I'm pretty sure you couldn't be =just= another," Felix says, and takes his own turn to smirk when she flushes; it doesn't fade when she looks up and replies, either. And he pinches, just above the kneecap, getting a fair-sized bit of flesh to keep it from being too sharp.
That flush deepens at his words, and Lilah shakes her head, clearly charmed. She chews at her bottom lip, then says, "Well, that proves I ain't dreamin', I s'pose." She breaks his gaze as she takes a gulp of her water, and then seems to remember that yes, she has food, too. It gets nommed on a bit, the first pancake disappearing, and then she looks back up at him, smiling softly. She clears her throat, then reaches forward with her fork to try and steal a bite of his pancake, jam and sugar or no.
Felix rubs the pinched skin a little. "It could just prove you dream of gettin' pinched," he points out before reclaiming his hand and sitting back up, just about in time for her to start thieving his pancakes. "Hey!" he protests, "That was my personal pancake. Now you're gonna hafta pay the pancake toll." His fork reaches across the table to try to steal a bite off HER plate, in revenge.
"Well, that much is true," Lilah replies cheekily, and takes that bite of his pancake, closing her eyes with exaggerated delight at its taste. "Mmmmmm," she murmurs, and then reopens her eyes in time to see him stealing a bite of *her* pancake. She allows it, though she playfully acts as though she's going to stab his hand for it. "I licked that part," she deadpans. "An' it ain't got much syrup on it, cuz I anticipated yer moves. Yer just too predictable." She doesn't move her knee away from his hand.
"'s okay. I'm in favour of you lickin' things," Felix retorts, "...probably makes it taste better, anyhow. But since you're allowin' as how mine's much tastier, you won't complain if I make up for my quality with your quantity." He goes to snag another bite from her plate, this one definitely more syrupy, and his gaze flicks to hold hers again as he adds more softly, "Careful whatcha wish for."
Amazingly, Lilah manages not to blush at his first words-- maybe she even expected them. She does laugh as he steals more of her pancake, and she slides her plate closer to him, even. "I won't complain," she confirms with a smirk, and reaches across to steal another bite of his. She's halfway through chewing that bite when he meets her eyes; she pauses mid-chew, and then chews MUCH more slowly, swallowing almost audibly at his words. She's silent for a moment, and then finally murmurs with her gaze only half meeting his, "I don't believe in wishin'." It's not cynical-sounding, so much as practical.
Felix quirks a brow at the further theft. "Well, I reckon I see where this is goin'," he says, and reaches over to entirely pull her plate over by his. He uses both hands to deal with the pancakes now, fork and knife both, cutting off an amount of his about half of what's left of hers, pushing that onto her plate, taking all of her original remaining pancakes onto HIS plate, and pushing her plate back across to her. That done, he cuts himself a new bite -- from what little remains of his original pancakes, because why tempt fate -- and eats it, watching her again. After a further moment, he asks, "What do you believe in?"
Lilah laughs lightly as he steals her pancakes, and she doesn't seem to at all mind being given less than she original had. If anything, it's a relief. She takes a bite of her 'new' pancake bit, and tilts her head to his question. "Gettin' shit done," she says firmly. It's probably the first time he's heard her cuss; it doesn't seem to be something she does often, regardless. "Ain't no point in waitin' around and wishin'. You know what they say-- about wishin' in one hand, and, well." She shrugs, smiling. "How 'bout you? What do you believe in, Mr. Sinclair?"
"Doin' shit," Felix replies promptly, with a grin that shows far too many teeth. The psychic cringing of the susceptible near-half of nearby patrons who haven't already more or less subtly fled is damn near tangible. "Anyway, I'm with you on the wishes. And I ain't so good at just waitin' around."
Lilah grins right back, not seeming at all bothered, though she does glance sidelong at a trucker nearby who's hastily making an exit, almost forgetting to pay. She takes another bite of the pancake in front of her, and then another, closing her eyes again. This time, it's not as exaggerated. She reopens her eyes shortly thereafter, and nods to his words. "I did kinda notice that," she says with a smile, and quiets down to finish the bits of pancake she has left. She seems pretty appreciative of the taste of the jam and sugar added to it.
Felix adds some more jam and sugar to his purloined pancakes as well, and a dollop of butter and a touch of the apple syrup for good measure. He gets down to the business of eating as well, washing it down with the last of his water once he polishes off the food. The residual crumbs and sauces get scraped onto his fork and eaten from this plate, as well. He seems willing to let it be quiet for the moment, although his leg gets back to the business of gently rubbing against hers.
Lilah lowers her gaze a little as she feels his leg rub against hers, and if he pauses at all, she'll take up the rubbin' slack. Her other foot comes to rest toe-to-toe with his free foot, and she finishes off her pancakes rather quickly. Once that's done, she quietly starts scraping up additional jam and butter and syrup onto her fork, eating that. Eventually though, she seems to decide that's not really getting her anywhere, so she scoops up a bit of syrup on her index finger, licking it clean. She's not doing it in the LEAST bit lasciviously, nor does she seem to realize it might be considered bad table manners. Without saying anything, she pushes her plate away from her then, satisfied, and pats her stomach.
Someone has presumably drilled it into Felix at a young age not to lick the plate, given the thoroughness he manages to achieve with the fork. It does suffer slightly when Lilah handles it her way, however, and he stops for the moment, just watching her. "...still one hundred percent in favour of you lickin' things," he murmurs once she's done, just audible across the table. He remembers to eat what's left on his fork, and then sets it on his plate, pushing that slightly away from him as well. "Y'all make good breakfasts here."
This time, Lilah turns a deep shade of red at his comment; it's obvious she wasn't expecting it, this time. "You're encourageable," she says simply, but her blush has yet to fade. His final comment is grasped at desperately, and she meets his gaze, smiling. "Pa makes good food," she says simply, with a glance at the line cook. "I dunno how he does it, really."
"Well, you keep encouragin' me," Felix replies, clearly enjoying her blush nearly as much as the finger-licking. Nearly. When she glances toward her father, he can't help following suit, though his attention is back on her almost immediately. "I guess that means we'll have to keep tryin' to find other people to do it for us, then."
When he glances toward her father, the man is looking the other way. He TOTALLY hasn't been eyeing them, DEFINITELY not. At least he's relatively subtle about it. "Sounds like a plan," Lilah decides, and rubs at her right cheek for a moment, as though she could massage the blushing away. She self-consciously lowers her hand, then glances up at Felix again. "The question is... when we leave, am I sittin' in back, bein' bad, or sittin' up front, bein' good?" She flutters her eyelashes at him.
Sure, of course he hasn't. Why would any father have concerns? Felix gives her that wicked look again, one forearm on the table and leaning forward across it. "Well, now, that's a difficult choice. I might could be talked into you sittin' up front being bad for a while, and later sittin' in back bein' even worse... but with the original options, I s'pose it depends just how good you're plannin' to be."
"I don't know *how* to be anything but pure, unadulterated, one-hundred percent good," Lilah admits. "Maybe a shade bad on occasion," she allows a moment later. "I'm 'fraid you have to pick from the original options. There ain't none of that 'me being bad in front' or me bein' 'worse' at all." She grins, leaning forward as well, and adds, "Choose carefully." Her grin turns a little more wicked than he's used to seeing from her.
"Bet I could teach you," Felix says to the admission, and the sideways smile broadens a bit when hers gets wickeder, "See? We're makin' progress already. Reckon you're a quick study. Might be you're a natural." He slides out of the booth and to his feet, leaning down to pick up her bag and hefting it on to his shoulder. "...whatcha got in here, rocks? I guarantee you we'll be findin' all kindsa excitin' rocks everywhere we go, you don't gotta bring your own," he teases, and offers her his hand. "I'm thinkin' for now, let's go with sittin' up front bein' good. You can put a li'l thought into just what it is you're gonna be good at."
"I'm a natural SOMETHIN', all right," Lilah chuckles. When he stands up, she reaches for her bag, but he's already taken care of it. She looks impressed-- and then when he asks about the rocks, amused. "Oh yeah," she teases. "It's rocks 'n pieces o' rebar. I figure you can never have enough." She accepts his hand, scooting out of the booth and scooping up the tray on her way up. "I'm gonna be good at what I do." And before he can ask just what that is, she continues, "...and no, I ain't gonna tell you what that is." She pauses, setting the tray on their table, off to the side, and then asks, "S'up to you if'n you wanna say hey to my pa 'fore we leave. He ain't a bad sort, but it could be kinda awkward. I mean, he ain't glad to see me go, none."
Felix tilts his head faintly at her. "Who else would it be up to?" he asks, and picks up his glass of water, draining what little remains before putting it back on the table and considering her. "I can't say as I was planning to, but I reckon I'm willin' if you'd like. Don't wanna be causin' you bad blood or nothin'."
"Ya make a good point," Lilah is forced to admit at his question, "...s'pose I ain't gonna be able to drag you bodily." She smiles, and takes a sip of her water, then shrugs. "You ain't gonna cause bad blood. If'n you weren't plannin' to, ain't no need for it." She squeezes his hand, and then holds up a finger. "Lemme just say m'farewell, an' I'll be right back."
"Well. You could always try, I s'pose," Felix replies, giving her a smile back, and then a small shrug. The hand is counter-squeezed, and he lifts it up to plant a kiss on the back before letting it (and her) go. He leans up against the edge of the booth, hands slipping into his pockets, and just follows her with his eyes.
"Maybe later," Lilah smirks, and looks touched by the kiss to her hand. She gives him a warm smile, and then heads off, though she ends up gravitating to Edith Ann first. He can see her offer the proprietess some money, but it's refused. They banter for a moment or two, both laugh, and then she heads over to talk to her father. She looks a bit more reserved with him at the moment, tucking her thumbs into her jeans, but as they talk, she relaxes a bit. Her father does glance expressionlessly toward Felix for a brief moment before his eyes return to Lilah, kind and gentle despite his upset with whatever. She hugs him with abandon, kissing his cheek, and he wraps his arms tightly around her as though he'd prefer not to let her go. The hug lingers. In the end though, he's the one that breaks contact, and then turns back to his work, his face hidden. Lilah nods, saying something to him, before returning to Felix's side. She looks thoughtful rather than excited, for the moment. Still, she keeps her voice bright as she says, "Let's hit the road, Jack."
There's a brief passage of that cloud again, while Felix watches her with her Dad, but by the time her attention's returned his way, it's as though it were never there. He offers her his hand once more, straightening up. "And what'd the road ever do to us?" he says, "Tch. You're a hard woman, Lilah Merriweather." When she accepts the hand, he leads the way to the exit, flipping his shades back into place as they head out into the sunlight.
Curse him and those clouds she keeps missing! Lilah takes his hand, and scoops up her flowers with the other. They're brought to her nose again, sniffed, and then held at her side. "It ain't a question of what the road's done to us-- it's a question of what the road's gonna do. An' if we hit it hard enough, I reckon it's gonna do whatever we want." She squints at the sunlight; she probably has the ghost of a hangover, and she clearly got little-to-no sleep. But she doesn't complain, and swings their hands between them.
Felix laughs at her reply, stopping in his tracks after her comment -- a few steps outside the door, thankfully -- and tugging her closer by the hand, his other going to the back of her neck and aiming to pull her in for a kiss. It's a quick and impulsive thing, somewhat reminiscent of the very first one, although if he gets away with it this one lingers a bit more. "I like you," he informs her either way, and continues onward to the car, where her duffle joins his own (and a few other plastic bags and such) in the backseat's footwells.
He's able to pull her in, and she definitely seems surprised by the motion; probably she thought she'd escape manhandling until they got in the car. Lilah returns that kiss as well, gently and without heat, and when it breaks she looks up at him, tilting her head. "I like you, too," she murmurs softly, and goes with him to the car. She reaches out for the door, flowers shifted to the side of her hand, and tries to open it before he can.
She's able to manage it while Felix's settling the bag, getting another "Tch" and a shake of the head for her troubles. He leaves the door wrangling to her, and heads around the other side, getting his own and sliding on in. "So... pick a direction," he suggests, giving her a smile.
Lilah giggles as he shakes his head, slipping into the car and closing the door behind her. As before, she doesn't seem to think seat-buckling is necessary. "North," she decides without hesitation, and is getting some of her earlier cheer back. "Just's long as we don't head northeast. I hear they ain't too nice 'round there. No offense if you're a Yankee-lover," she teases.
"I reckon that'd depend entirely on the Yankee in question," Felix teases back, and leans down to get the Caddy started. It revs to life, and he sits up comfy, taking off the brake and throwing her into gear. "North it is!" he declares, and takes just a moment to figure out which way that IS before pulling out of the lot and onto the road. Lilah gets a sidelong glance as they pull away. "So," he says, "...your pa give you somethin' to think about, before he letcha go?"
This time, Lilah definitely notices that the car's kind of missing *keys,* but to her credit, she doesn't comment on it. Maybe she doesn't realize no keys = stolen? She looks a little startled, however, at his question, before shrugging. "Yeah, he mighta," she admits in a round-about fashion, and turns to look at him more fully.
Fft, keys are totally bourgeois. Get with the program! Felix still doesn't show any sign of =expecting= her to find it a thing worth comment, either. "Mighta, huh?" he echoes, taking a quick glance at their road options, and picking one that looks as though it might head North a while. She gets another sidelong glance, and, "What kinda thing might it've been, then? Hypotheoretically."
Without hesitation, Lilah answers his question with a question: "Why ya wanna know so bad?" She meets his glance headon, and then turns her attention out to the passing road beneath them, not meeting his gaze again.
Felix considers this a moment before answering. "Well, originally 'cause it made you look all thoughtful 'stead of excited like you were before, and now 'cause you don't wanna tell me."
Lilah can't hide a smile at his answer, though she tries. With the wind whipping through her hair, she turns to look at him again, running a hand through her curls. "He said I was special, and not to let anybody tell me otherwise." There may be more to it, there may not. It's hard to tell with her hair partially covering her face and having to keep an eye on the road.
Felix may or may not have any suspicions about whether there is or isn't more to it; if so, he seems willing to let them lie, at least for the immediate moment. It'd probably be more comforting if he did keep more of an eye on the road than he is either way, but hey, he hasn't wrecked it yet, right? "I reckon that's pretty good advice," he says, "If people don't know awesome when they see it, fuck 'em, right?"
"Preeeeecisely," Lilah agrees with a firm nod, and doesn't (yet) seem bothered by the amount he watches (or doesn't watch) the road. Instead, she turns away again, watching the scenery pass for several moments. When she speaks again, it's a bit louder to compensate for her gaze being focused on the road, still: "You got any brothers 'r sisters?"
"Nope," Felix replies, "...well, not far's I know, I guess technically I could have some kinda half-sibling somewhere and never've heard. But I'm gonna go ahead and stick with 'nope'. Just me. You?" He does look a bit more at the road now, although when they talk, he tends to look to her. It's probably for the best she's not sitting in the back. His hand strays to his pocket and comes up with the Altoids tin, offering it toward her before he does anything else with it.
Lilah turns back toward him at the 'nope,' watching his reaction without comment. She waves off the Altoids tin politely, and replies, "Yeah, I got four. Jackson-Baylee-Austin-Dale," she rattles off, clearly used to it. "Dale's the only one that's like you." She tilts her head then, asking, "What about your folks?"
Felix flips the lid with that habitual move, same thumb as holds the case, and drives with his knees for a couple moments while he plucks out a cigarette and puts it between his lips. A touch to the wheel to make sure they're still on course, and the knees are in charge again while he lights up and drops the lighter back into the case. Closing it and putting it away is one-handed, again. He takes a long drag and exhales upward into the air, the smoke pulled instantly away in their wake. "My daddy's dead. Stepfather's dead. Mother wishes I was. That more or less covers it, 'less you count my grandfolks. Hadn't seen 'em since I was about three, but they're who I came out this way to visit." Another drag, and a glance at a sign informing them highway 42N is coming right up. "Turned out I got a couple aunts and uncles, too. Was pretty nice, seein' 'em all. Might do it again someday." He says it all with the same kind of matter-of-fact nonchalance with which he might relate what routes he took to get down here, and aside from a hint of genuine pleasedness about the meeting with the Georgia relations, there's no sign he considers it more important than that. "Four seems like a lot. How old are they all? You get stuck babysittin' a lot?"
"I'm sorry," Lilah says politely, since it seems to be the sort of thing you say in a situation like that, and at least she doesn't have a look of pity in her eyes-- just sympathy. "What's yer aunts 'n uncles like? Seems like you had a real nice visit?" She gives an encouraging smile, and then shrugs to his question. "15-12-9-7. And yeah. Lots an' LOTS o' babysittin'." Her gaze shifts out the sign, and she continues to watch the road for any other signs, head turned and hair flopping all about.
Felix shrugs, ashing his smoke out the top of the door even though it's debatable whether it really needs it just yet, replying, "Shit happens." The delivery's almost identical, but not... quite. Just a fraction quieter, barely noticeable on the open road. "Yeah, it was a good visit. Lived there, when I was real little, but I barely remembered any of it, y'know? But they all remembered me. They were real proud I made Cliath and all, that was nice. Got three aunts and an uncle, and they're all married but one of the aunts. And then there was grandpa and nana, 'course. So there was some big dinners. Met a couple people as knew my daddy pretty well. Yeah, it was a pretty nice visit." He glances over, giving her a quick smile, "You're probably a way better babysitter'n I woulda been. If you weren't I betcha you wouldn't've had to do it much." He has another smoke, leaning his head back against the headrest and half-closing his eyes a moment. Luckily only half. Another sign appears, suggesting they should turn left pretty soon if they want to hit 42N.
"That it do," Lilah says simply, and she glances over at him for a few moments before looking at the road again. "They sound like good folks. So you made Cliath recently, then? That's real nice. Congrats." Another glance over at him, and then she leans on her arm, watching out the right side of the car and eyeing that sign and any others, along with the road and other cars, if there are any. "I ain't a good babysitter, but Jackson's one o' them kids what can't sit still, always runnin' around like a chicken with his head cut off. One time I turned my back when he was eight, an' he buttered up half the fridge door. Kept sayin' it was 'art.' An' Baylee's just not willin' to do it, most days." She shrugs.
"Few months back," Felix confirms, with all the precision of a weed whacker haircut, "Thanks." The description of Jackson gets a soft snort, part derision and part amusement. "'s nothin' so amazin' about sittin' still," he says, "And I like the butter thing. Did he have anything for what it was s'posta mean, though? I'm pretty sure that kinda art's got an obligation to mean something. Like... I dunno. Somethin' about food greasin' the wheels of the family or somethin'. Couldn't you just be not willin' to more than Baylee, if you didn't wanna do it?"
"Nah, he didn't say it meant nothin' deep like that. Eventually we got it outta him that since his drawings ended up on the fridge, that's where art goes. Not such a bad idea, I reckon. Still, daddy weren't too happy." Lilah glances over at him, smiling. "I kinda hadn't cleaned it up, or even started to, by the time he got home." She shrugs at his question though, tucking several locks of curl behind her ear-- they're immediately blown back out. "Someone's gotta do it, an' Austin 'n Dale are too young. Seemed selfish not to."
Felix grins at the explanation, and a bit more at her not having cleaned it up. "Don't rightly see why you oughta be the one to clean it up anyhow. If he can wipe it on he's gotta be able to wipe it off." He's settled in to smoking and driving, looking a bit like he's getting in a groove, and absently pokes at the radio, finding a different station with a song he can tap his fingers on the wheel to. It's not turned up too loud right now, since they're talking, but still needs talking over. "...and maybe. But 's selfish of Baylee not to. Could argue it's selfish of anyone else to expect you to do it when you didn't even have any say in whether babies were gonna end up needin' sat. You got shit to do too, right? I mean, I ain't sayin' it don't need doin' or you shouldn't've done it, but."
"He woulda tried to clean it up with his jammies or somethin'. He don't listen to nobody, no-how." At least Lilah seems amused, rather than judgmental about it. She glances at the radio when he pokes at it, and smiles, nodding her approval without really meaning to. Her fingers tap a rhythm against the side of the car. She ponders his words about babysitting for a long time in silence, gaze shifted out to the road, and doesn't immediately answer. Eventually, she says, "I s'pose ya got a point. But it needed doin'. An'... y'know... I didn't want 'em to get hurt." Another long pause, then: "I hope Baylee steps up. I feel kinda bad leavin' her to it. Sometimes it don't leave you with much time for y'self."
Felix seems pretty amused by that himself, and possibly just a bit approving. He lets her do her thinking, just smoking and drumming to the music and driving too fast, especially when little 42 turns itself west through Mobile and drops them on the 10 for a bit. "Well. If you were dealin' with the butter incident when you were, what, 10? and she's already 12, I reckon she's had more time to herself'n you got, so far. Seems fair. Or maybe she'll figure somethin' else out. Can't just stay there forever doin' what you don't wanna 'cause you think you gotta. You'll explode or shrivel up or somethin'. Nigh-epidemic. Saw it on Oprah."
Lilah is silent as he talks, and then she suddenly turns toward him, a slow grin breaking over her features. "There ain't no way you watch Oprah," she asserts, and brushes some hair away from her face. She grows a little more serious after that, nodding her head. "An' you got a point. Again. I wasn't gonna stay there, no-way, no-how. S'part o' why I been workin' at Edith Ann's so long."
"Dr. Phil?" Felix offers innocently, and then grins back, stretching. "How long you been workin' there, anyway?" He pauses, looking ahead of them at the road, brow furrowing a bit in thought, "...and how much money you got currently, if y'don't mind me askin'?"
"Nope," Lilah retorts with a grin, and says, "Since I was fifteen. Nobody'd hire me 'fore then, cuz o' them Child Labor Laws 'n whatnot. Did odd jobs, but." She shrugs. "An' I don't mind ya askin'. I *did* offer." Pause. "Three hunnerd sixty-seven. Plus another hunnerd 'n twenty or so from today. I been savin' up."
"Damn." He can't help grinning back, though. "Point still stands. And ah, yeah, I always forget about those..." Although really, what are the chances Felix's ever spent a lot of time thinking about labour laws? He nods at her answer, looking thoughtful again. "Okay. I got like... two hundred thirty-two or somethin' like that right now, I think? So that ain't bad. We can do a lot with that."
Lilah throws up her hands straight up above her, feeling the wind pass over her skin. "Woooooooo!" she cries out, and then laughs, lowering her arms. "We're rich!" She's not even being sarcastic. "What're we gonna do? I figure some's for food 'n gas, necessity stuff like that. Oh! I didn't even think about where we're gonna sleep." She eyes the Caddy dubiously for a moment; it's the first non-positive impression it's seemed to make on her. "If'n it don't rain, we could sleep in here sometimes, but..."
Felix laughs, throwing his arms up as well; it's handy one of the things the Caddy has going for it is decent alignment. Reclaiming the wheel, he agrees, "We definitely don't gotta worry about gas for a while. And I've slept here plenty of nights; hasn't been real rainy or nothin'. Plus if it did, we could get the top up. 's surprisin'ly comfy, too. They knew how to make 'em. Hotels are mostly too expensive. Reckon I could figure out other arrangements some places, but... this is a lot easier."
Lilah laughs even harder when he joins her, but ends up lowering her arms a little more quickly than she probably planned, accusing, "Yer a menace t'society, Sinclair!" She pulls her whole lower lip into her mouth when he discusses alternate solutions, chewing on the skin, and then suggests, "Yeah, no hotels, but what about hostels 'n stuff? They ain't so bad, I hear. S'better'n sleepin' in a cramped car with the top up if'n it rains. Seems like it'd get stuffy as hell." She reaches up to twirl a bit of her hair around one finger.
At her accusation, Felix throws his head back and gives his best maniacal laugh, which sounds way too genuine in context. But at least he doesn't put his arms up again. Currently. "...well, hostels, they're a possibility if they're around and we need 'em some nights, yeah," he allows, and looks at her sidelong, "...but we could also always crack a window to keep it from gettin' stuffy. And I think I could survive bein' cramped with you."
Lilah covers her mouth with a giggle at his maniacal laugh, shaking her head. Her hand lowers to her lap, and she grins over at him. At his reply, she shrugs. For once, she doesn't look QUITE as charmed, though neither does she look put off, per se. "Yeah, I guess if'n the windows were cracked," she allows, turning her face toward the wind and closing her eyes. "Still seems like it'd be stuffy in here."
Felix considers her a moment while they drive before asking, "Claustrophobic or somethin'?" He doesn't sound mocking about it, though it's not exactly sympathetic either -- just casually curious.
Lilah opens her eyes and turns to look at him at that first word, blinking. She shrugs again, her cheeks doing what her cheeks tend to do, and admits with a terse nod, "Li'l bit." She brushes hair away from her face, and then looks out toward the road. "It ain't real, um. It ain't real strong. I ain't gonna flip out or nothin'."
"Huh," Felix says, as though this is news of how they do some everyday behaviour slightly differently in a foreign country, and then shrugs. "Well, reckon it's handy we got us a convertible, then. We can hunt us a hostel or somethin' if it rains, sure. Or maybe get a tent, if we don't find one."
"Yeah, pretty lucky. I don't feel cooped up none right now. An' a tent or a hostel'd be fine, I'm sure. Sorry for bein' inconvenient-like. I could-- y'know, if'n we don't find a hostel or a tent or somethin'... I could prolly do it. It ain't real strong." Lilah keeps her eyes out on the road.
Felix has a final drag on his cigarette and puts out what little remains, dropping it into the ashtray in the dash. Why he hasn't been using it for the actual ashing, who knows, but there are some other butts in there as well. "See, livin' up to my name," he tells her with a quick grin, and reaches over to brush some hair away from her face, not that it does much good for long. "Most people got shit they're scared of, don't they? Ain't like it's such a big deal. Wouldn't want you feelin' trapped anyway." A junction comes up, and he eyes it absently before taking the smaller northward option rather than staying on the interstate. Probably later than he should've, but they make it.
When his fingers touch her hair, Lilah turns back toward him, tilting her head. She watches him as he speaks, and then nods. "Yeah, everybody does. S'just kinda embarrassin', that's all. I know it's irrational-like, but that don't help none. An' that gets me frustrated. Plus, most people won't admit they're scared o' *nothin'.*" She shrugs, and gives him a soft smile. "You're real sweet, you know that?" She watches the road signs for a moment, just keeping track of where they are, it seems, and then turns to face him again. "If'n you don't mind my askin'... what about you? What're *you* afraid of?"
There's a smile back in return for hers, and while Felix of course should have expected her question, it seems to come as a surprise. He doesn't answer immediately, brow furrowing. It, in fact, takes longer than one would expect for him to reply, though it's not clear why exactly. "Hurtin' people I care about, I guess?"
It's probably not the safest thing to do, but Lilah reaches out to rub his leg idly as he answers. Then again, what HAS been safe on this road trip so far? She lets him take his time, and once he's done, she nods her head, seeming to understand. "Cuz o'... losin' control?" she asks delicately. Her hand doesn't leave his leg unless he seems to want it to, or appears distracted.
Felix doesn't protest the leg-rubbing, surprising absolutely no one anywhere. What he actually seems is faintly heartened by it, though, which somewhat fewer people might have assumed to be the case. "Well. Yeah," he says, giving a small nod.
Lilah nods her head as well, and doesn't stop with the leg rubbing. "If it helps, y'know, ya did real nice last night. You seem to have a good head on yer shoulders, an' more control than ya prolly realize." She gives him a warm, encouraging smile. "I'd kiss ya again, anyways." Pause. "Did, this mornin'!" She gives a teasing grin, at that point.
"Way I remember it, =I= kissed =you=," Felix teases back, "...maybe you oughta do somethin' about that." There's a breath of time, as though he's not going to say anything about the rest of it, and when he does, for the time being, it's a simple, "And thanks."
"Maybe I oughta," Lilah says with a lift of her brow and a knowing smile. She nods to his thanks, and says, "S'just the truth." And then she scoots closer to him, made easier by the lack of buckled seatbelt, and leans in to try and kiss his earlobe. Just a light peck, but still!
Felix smiles at the kiss, and since she's scooted closer and all, he slides his arm around her shoulders, drawing her in a bit nearer. Bench seats, hurrah! "...Good start."
At his comment, Lilah playfully thwaps his knees. "Good START?!" she laughs, and insists, "Yer gonna crash this beautiful, open-topped, not-crampy vehicle, an' I'mma have to walk the rest of the way!" Still, she must not care TOO much, since she leans in a bit more, kissing lightly down the side of his neck. It makes her blush just faintly, but what doesn't?
"Fft, I haven't crashed anything accidentally in probably three years," Felix retorts without the slightest pause, and he tilts his head a little to let her more easily give those kisses. His eyelids lower slightly but not, she will likely be glad to know, entirely, and if anything he seems to be paying slightly =more= attention to the road than he was before. "....mm. Promise I won't make you hafta walk it."
"No?" Lilah asks curiously, her breath hot against his skin. "What're you gonna make me hafta do, then?" The question isn't asked in a provocative manner, just a teasing one. "Swim?" More kisses down the side of his neck, and then Lilah starts to pull away, smiling fondly.
"Cartwheels," Felix decides, "...but I'll try to make sure some of it crosses water so you can get that swimmin' in as well. Can't be gettin' bored." Whether he means her, himself, or both is unclear. "Hey, where d'you think you're going? Come back here," he play-scolds, the arm around her shoulder trying to keep her from pulling away.
"I ain't real good at cartwheels. Leastways not enough to get a long ways doin' it. Try again." Lilah laughs at his scolding, squirming in his arm for a moment, and then settles in with her head on his chest. She goes quiet briefly, just nuzzling up to him, and then kisses his chest without pulling away entirely.
Felix laughs. "You would be after a couple miles," he says, and kisses her on the top of the head. He settles back comfortably then, looking overall quite pleased with life just this moment. He hums along absently with the radio for a couple moments, then laughs again, abandoning the wheel (priorities!) to reach for the radio knob and turn it up. Reclaiming the wheel, he joins in with the chorus as it starts, "Anyone can see the road that they walk on is paved with gold; it's always summer, they'll never get cold, they'll never get hungry, they'll never get old and gray..." He really is a pretty good singer, completely lacking any self-consciousness about it, and amusement with the song combined with the rest of the situation just at present comes out as something an awful lot like joy.
Lilah nuzzles up against him again at that kiss to her head, wrapping one arm around his midsection. She closes her eyes, tapping her foot with the song, and seems to enjoy his singing. He may or may not hear her harmonizing with him softly. She's clearly enjoying doing so, but she's also pitching her voice quietly so as not to interrupt his flow. Her singing's probably not quite so practiced, nor so controlled as his, but she does her best to keep up with him. She looks contented. She looks carefree. And most of all, she looks *happy.*
"...shadows wandering off somewhere, they won't make it home but they really don't care; they wanted the highway, they're happier there today," Felix sings as the song nears the end; he apparently HAS noticed her harmonizing, as she got an extra squeeze at one point it wasn't quite as quiet as others. Or he just wanted to squeeze her, which is admittedly also a possibility. The station is apparently in a summery late '90s kinda mood, since it goes into Steal My Sunshine next and then gets about halfway through How Bizarre before Felix breaks off mid-line, exclaiming, "Hey! Flea market! Wanna?" Just ahead to one side is a dilapidated drive-in theatre, indeed advertising that that's what's going on today. It looks fair-sized, if a bit shabby overall, with a few mildly suspicious temporary food booths on the periphery.
Lilah doesn't harmonize with the second song, at least not until the second time the chorus plays. But she *does* start harmonizing again with How Bizarre, so she must not have known Steal My Sunshine. She also laughs at the squeeze, and he gets a squeeze right back, and a kiss to his chest besides. She sits up a bit when he points out the flea market, trying to get a better look at it, and grins broadly. "'course!" However, she apparently isn't *quite* ready to shop yet, since once the car's parked, she immediately wraps both arms around his neck, trying to pull him in for a pretty passionate kiss.
Felix seems to know all three songs rather well, despite them all being about the same age as he is. Lilah hasn't even gotten her agreement out entirely before he's heading the Caddy toward the appropriate exit, and pulling them into a suitable-looking spot. He's taken slightly by surprise when he's finished parking, but is of course easily pulled in. He wraps his arms around her in return, one around her waist and one on her back, stopping just short of pulling her into his lap as they kiss.
That kiss lingers, and one of her hands slides into his hair, while the other traces a line on the back of his neck. This time, she aims not to suddenly break off the kiss, instead slowly lessening the intensity until their lips are barely touching. When their lips finally part, her cheeks are reddened, even as she boldly meets his gaze, saying, "That better be more than just 'a good start.'"
Felix smiles slowly at her remark, holding her gaze. "That was a VERY good start," he teases, "...feel free to do somethin' about it more often." He leans in to try to steal another kiss, albeit a briefer and gentler one, for the time being, before he starts reluctantly letting her go.
Lilah covers her mouth for a giggle, shaking her head, and then lowers her hand again. It gets wrapped around him as he goes in for the kiss, and she matches his intensity, or lack thereof. Her eyes are closed for this one, and when it breaks, they remain closed a few moments besides. "I'll think about it," she teases right back, and then pops open her car door. "Ya keep slackin' on door openin', an' I'mma make you look bad," she jokes.
"Well, far be it from me to force my car-door-openin' skills on a lady if she don't want none," Felix says, pressing a hand to his chest and fighting a grin. He leans across and pops the glovebox, which turns out to currently contain several brochures, a couple pens, a few scraps of paper, some pop-tarts, a good handful of slimjims, some pixie stix, two Cokes, most of a bottle of bourbon, and, crucially, the trunk-release button, which he presses before flipping the little door shut again. He opens his own door, then, and gets out, hefting bags and coat out of the backseat (individually) and putting them into the trunk instead. "...now, if a lady DO want some," he adds after a moment, "she'll have to start givin' a fella longer to get into a door-openin' kind of position before doin' it herself."
Grinning over at him, Lilah shakes her head. She doesn't comment, instead SO obviously checking out the glovebox, though at least she doesn't reach in it to snoop any further. "Thanks," she says to him as he hefts her bag into the trunk, and then smiles as he continues talking. Her only response is to shut her door, and then bat her eyelashes at him sweetly.
Felix closes the trunk, looking up and over at Lilah, and can't help a smile at the door-closing and the eyelashes. He saunters around to that side of the car, reopening the door for her and stepping back with it, offering her a small bow and his hand to help her up. "Join me for flea marketin' this lovely afternoon, Miss Merriweather?"
Accepting his hand, Lilah lets a slow, lopsided smile lift to her lips. "I do believe I'd enjoy flea marketin' with you any time," she drawls, and steps out of the car, pressing up against him a little more than strictly necessary. Certainly he'll mind *that.* She brings his hand up to her lips, kissing it gently, and then smiles at him. "I bet you're a cinch for bargainin'."
Oh, he minds it terribly. Just terribly. This is probably why he slips his other arm around her waist to pull her in closer while she's lifting his hand, and tilts their joined fingers so that he can kiss the back of =her= hand in return, and then her lips, with their hands caught in between them, just about shoulder-height. He steps away after a moment to draw her slightly further from the car and shut the door, returning her earlier smile.
Lilah looks positively delighted with both the arm around her waist, and the kiss to her hand. She gives him the warmest of smiles, sunny and contented, and then steps aside to let him shut the door. Hand in his, she begins threading her way toward the theatre, and asks, "So what're ya hopin' to find? Anything in particular?"
"Neat stuff," Felix answers, intertwining their fingers and swinging their hands a little as they walk. "I dunno what, but that's the fun part, right? Could be anything. Thrift stores, usually there's somethin' in particular I've kinda got in mind, clothes mostly, but once in a while other things, but even so you never know, might find something else. Flea markets and garage sales... who knows? I saw someone sellin' a table full of china figurines, two big boxes of old Playboys, and a pinball machine in their space at one of these in Memphis, once."
Lilah grins broadly, seeming to approve of his answer, and every now again, she 'accidentally' bumps into him as they walk. "I'm guessin' you bought the pinball machine... an' some Playboys," she teases, glancing over at him. "One time my ma found three boxes o' Mad Magazine at a flea market, an' got 'em all for ten bucks. I was pretty much over the moon." She squeezes his hand lightly, spirits still soaring.
Felix sighs. "I wish I bought the pinball machine," he says wistfully, "...but they wanted somethin' like 500 bucks, and I dunno how far I might've been able to bargain 'em but I didn't have anywhere to put it anyhow. Or a way to move it, but that I coulda fixed." A regretful shake of the head, before he glances sideways at her, impishly. "Magazines, though, those don't take so much room." He squeezes her hand back, and she gets a few retaliatory 'accidental' bumps as they go. "That's a pretty good deal. I liked Mad." He pauses to eye a panel full of unattractive macrame owls, staring down at them from shiny bead eyes, and then moves on.
Lilah leans over to kiss his cheek, as though to make up for the lack of the pinball machine. "Prolly woulda been a crappy machine anyways," she grins, and shakes her head at his impish addition. "I knew it," she giggles, covering her mouth, and then shakes her head again. "I'll be surprised if'n you don't still have a few. I warned ya about bein' predictable," she teases. As for Lilah, her gaze homes in on a table full of old, run-down hardback books, and she not-so-subtly tries to angle them that way.
"Nope!" Felix replies, with a fleeting grin, "Not a single one. So nyah. Nyah I say unto you. Be surprised. Pray I do not surprise you more." He puts as much ominous as he can manage without entering into 'actually threatening' on that last sentence. When she adjusts their angling, he follows her gaze and smirks just slightly, but cooperates with the trajectory adjustment.
"So what happened to 'em?" Lilah demands, grinning over at him. "I'm votin' someone stole 'em, or they got ruined somehow, or somethin' like that. I just don't see you partin' with 'em voluntarily." She laughs lightly at his ominousity, and then eyes him sidelong at that smirk. "What?" she asks, and just so happens to 'accidentally' bump him at that moment. The person behind that table is an older white gentleman with grey hair tied back in a ponytail.
Felix smiles at the bump, and bumps her back without even trying to make it look accidental. "Just this weird feeling I got we're goin' rock huntin'," he answers, and they're stepping up to the table as he gets around to her first question. "I gave 'em to this girl I knew." He glances at the man behind the table and flashes him a grin, and... is there a very subtle change in... something? Something about the way he's carrying himself, maybe, or the energy he's giving off? Possibly he's getting his imaginary bargaining shoes on.
<OOC> Felix says, "...which is to say that NOW he's using Persuasion. ;)"
"A'right," Lilah says, laughing. "Ya got me. On both counts; we're definitely goin' rock huntin', *an'* I didn't 'spect ya ta just give 'em away." His hand gets squeezed, and then she leans in to kiss his cheek *again,* smiling broadly. She's still wearing a pretty bright smile when she turns to the man behind the table, and she greets him politely with a 'Howdy,' before getting down to the business of seeing what he's got on offer.
"Her daddy was a preacher," Felix volunteers in a tone somewhere between amused and satisfied, about the time she gives him that kiss. They're getting allowed pretty decent personal space by the general strolling populace that shares the aisles with them, and there are some of those same sorts of looks he got in the diner turned in their direction here and there. For the moment he seems oblivious to them, or at least doesn't care. He looks over the books a bit as well before freeing Lilah's hand to let her better examine them, and instead wrapping his arms loosely around her waist from behind, chin over her shoulder, and continuing his own hands-off book-eyeing from there.
Lilah ends up laughing with her lips pressed to his cheek, and then she pulls away, continuing to laugh. "I wanna hear that *whole* story, later." She doesn't seem to either notice or care about the looks at the moment, and leans forward a bit to examine some of the titles. She smiles softly at the chin on her shoulder, and definitely doesn't seem to mind it one bit. She tilts her head a little as her fingertips run along the spine of one book; she's the sort to touch things she's thinking of buying. The title in question is 'The Plastic Age' by Percy Marks, and it looks pretty dang old. She reaches for it, opening the front cover, and he may or may not read the publishing information along with her. It was written in the early 1920s, but this is a reprint from the late 1950s. Lilah looks intrigued, and turns to the acknowledgement page. It's rather brief: "To MY MOTHER."
Felix certainly =looks= at the book when she opens it, anyway. Possibly he's a little too far away to really catch the details from there, or just wonders whether it's a novel or treatise on newfangled material science, because he asks, "Whatcha find?"
Flipping a few pages to the beginning, Lilah peeks at it, then skips ahead several chapters, skimming what's going on. "The Plastic Age," Lilah says, "...but it looks like it's about college instead o' plastic. That's way more interestin'." She seems to mean the former, not the latter, if he had to guess. The book is set aside, though he may notice she moves it so the spine is just SLIGHTLY further down than most of the other books; it's clearly her 'bookmarking' it for later. Another book that catches her eye is Parsifal, by Oliver Huckel, but when she's done peeking at it, the spine ends up right about where it was to start. Fame Is The Spur, by Howard Spring, is adjusted just like The Plastic Age-- but then Lilah's eye falls on The Tanglewood Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Its cover is embossed with a minotaur, and she puts its spine lowest before continuing to browse. "Ya see anything ya like?" she asks him?
"Yeah," Felix replies, kissing the side of her neck to suggest what, exactly. That done, though, he points to one slightly outside his reach unless he lets go of her, which he doesn't seem inclined to do as yet, and adds, "That one looks intriguin'." It's actually a paperback, rather than hardcover, and as such a bit more beat-up than some of the others -- but newer than many, which counters that somewhat. It's got a rather pulp-style cover, a leggy blonde in an orange fur coat over a blue minidress, with an old-style taxi cab driving between her knee-high black boots. The actual title is relatively small on it, and it's a moment before he adds it, "'Somebody Owes Me Money'? Could be interestin'."
Lilah smiles happily at the kiss to her neck, and gives a soft sigh. She bends forward slightly to pick up the book for him, offering it over. "It *looks* interestin'," she agrees, and places one hand over his, swaying in place briefly to some unheard music. She slides out The Plastic Age again, asking the man behind the counter, "How much for this'n?"
Felix accepts the book one-handed -- the one Lilah's hand isn't over -- and flips it open at random to look at a page. He lets her swaying guide him along with her, and if her bending forward was appreciated in any untoward manner at least he doesn't seem inclined to mention it just now. He is, actually, quite quiet for about half a minute while he checks out that bit of the book, before adding, "And this one?"
"Five bucks for either... eight if you buy both," the man behind the table offers, and Lilah immediately sets hers down again... but Felix may notice it's pulled out a bit, as before. She lifts her hand from above his, and picks up Fame Is The Spur, flipping through it for a moment or two. In the end, it gets replaced without any question of price, and then she picks up Tanglewood Tales again. It's flipped through, and then she asks, "An' this one?" "That one's seven."
Felix closes the one he's holding, turning it over to look at the back, then glances to the ones Lilah still seems to be considering. "Twelve bucks for all three," he suggests to the seller; it's more of a statement than a question, but at least it's a friendly one!
Lilah does her best to not look surprised OR impressed at Felix's offer, just tilting her head and considering the older man in silence. He hems and haws a bit, looking over the two books of Lilah's and eyeing Felix's from afar. His expression says 'no way.' But if Felix doesn't raise his offer, he ends up having a 'change of heart.' "Twelve for all three," he repeats, and nods.
Felix can be patient! ...currently, for this. Having a Lilah there doesn't hurt. He waits, watching the man with casual anticipation while the offer's considered -- maybe more casual than he really feels at this point in the negotiations, but: success! "Great," he says, giving the guy a quick smile, sets his own book down just in front of Lilah, and then actually unwinds from her so that he can pull out his wallet and pay the man, "Thanks!"
The man gives Felix a smile back, and Lilah turns toward him in surprise as he reaches for his wallet. "Openin' doors, payin' for my books... just what WON'T ya do?" She kisses his cheek a third time, while the older man accepts Felix's money and asks, "Do ya'll need a bag?" He proffers a shopping bag from a local grocery store.
"Yeah, thanks," Felix says, putting away his wallet and accepting the bag, and he smiles at the kiss. "I dunno," he replies airily to her question, with a shrug, "I haven't come up with anything yet." He manages to hold off for maybe a second before he gives her one of his better roguish grins. The books go in a neat pile by size, then into the bag, and he reaches to take her hand again and continue on.
After giving him a lopsided grin, Lilah puts her hand in his, letting him lead the way toward whatever should happen to catch his eye. For right now, she's browsing, but not with the sort of interest she gave the previous table. She's not bored by any means, and in fact seems just as happy as she's been for hours. "You should think on it," she suggests teasingly, as they go.
Felix makes a show of thinking it over while they walk. "Well, there's-- no, no.... Oh! Of course I wouldn't-- wait, there was that one time. Maybe... hm. You know, you ask me really difficult questions." He shakes his head. Life is so hard! At least getting around here isn't. He looks over a table full of mostly beat-to-hell kitsch tchotchkes, extending a finger to poke experimentally at a dashboard hula girl with a slightly melted flower in her hair. She wobbles. The little sticker says $2, which is apparently tempting, but perhaps not quite tempting enough, since he moves on for now. "Got one: I absolutely won't be seen wearin' red longjohns with the flap in the seat while eatin' caviar on the moon. I know it's a disappointment, but I gotta put my foot down some-- hold on." He changes direction, straight for another booth with mostly furniture, a few bookshelves of vinyl, and some kids' ride-on toys in varying states of repair. One is covered in stickers, and along with one of the racks of albums nearly hides what's probably caught his attention: an abused-looking guitar case, also covered in stickers and their remnants.
"I like askin' you difficult questions," Lilah grins broadly, and squeezes his hand as he continues to ponder. She looks amused at the hula girl, but doesn't comment. In fact, she's quietly listening to him, right up until he comes up with an answer to her question. "A'right," she nods, "But would you wear red longjohns with the flap in the seat an' eat caviar in *Alabama?*" Her eyebrow raises almost challengingly, but it's clear enough that she's teasing. She quiets down as she spots what's so interested him, smiling softly and not commenting.
"For the right incentive," Felix answers as they head over there, "I mean, I didn't even say I wouldn't do it on the moon, necessarily. I just wouldn't be SEEN doin' it." She gets another grin, but then they're at the destination, and he leans down, looking at the case. "Hey," he asks the weatherbeaten middle-aged woman running the booth, "okay if I open this up and check it out?" The woman looks like she's been sitting out here in her faded lawn chair long enough to have nearly melded with it, and eyes the pair of them up before giving them a faint smile and answering, "Yep, reckon that's fine so long's you don't break it." Felix gives her a quick mock-salute and reclaims his hand from Lilah's, offering her the books. "Hold this a sec?" he says; it's not =really= a question, but unlike poor Joey at least she gets the courtesy of the form. He crouches down and runs his hands over the case, checking out what's been stuck on it -- a weird melange ranging from a couple flags and country codes through some bumper stickers and all the way to a sparkling rainbow unicorn -- before opening it up. The hinges complain slightly but seem to work all right. The guitar inside is... well. First of all, it's dark blue, which seems to be the original colour. Secondly, it has not escaped the stickering, and in fact the front of the body is nearly covered in them. It is missing a string. He gently extracts it from the case, standing up again, and it doesn't fall apart... so that's a good sign, right?
Lilah shakes her head, clearly amused by his answer, before insisting, "I bet there's somethin' you wouldn't do. I just don't know what it is, yet." She grins toothily, and doesn't seem to mind holding the books. She shifts the bag into her left hand, swinging it idly, and watches his interaction with the woman-- and particularly the guitar itself. She looks pleased he's found something, not seeming put off by its bestickered appearance.
Felix turns it over, checking out all the parts, and then puts a foot lightly on the nearest ride-on toy so he can rest the guitar on his knee (there's no strap, it would seem) and give it an experimental strum. An observant person might notice it's upside down. One would not need to be observant at all to notice how amazingly out of tune it is, and he actually winces at the sound. "...might be," he allows absently to Lilah, starting to tune the strings. There's nothing coy about the way it's said, less like he's teasing her by playing information-keepaway and more like plain agreement. He finishes two strings before suddenly looking up from the pegs to her and saying, "There's things I wouldn't do," as if he's just come to this conclusion. What these might be is not specified; he moves on to the next string.
Lilah tilts her head as she watches him, and she suddenly smiles as he strums the guitar, rather than wincing. Maybe she's tone-deaf! Or maybe: "Yer left-handed," she observes, grinning. It's not judgmental, and he's possibly noticed that she's also a Southpaw, by now. It's maybe even surprising that she didn't notice while they were eating. Her head remains lightly tilted at his conclusion, and she doesn't ask him to tell her specifically-- at least not now. Instead, she jokes, "You would do anything fer love, but ya won't do that?"
"No," Felix says gravely, giving her a nod and the big solemn eyes, "I won't do that." He gives her another mischievous little smile, and finishes up the last of the string, trying another strum and looking far more pleased with the results. "Yup, the rumours are true, I'm a real sinister sort. But so're you, I noticed, so we oughta be just fine." The guitar gets =very= carefully placed fingers -- it clearly requires some concentration to make sure they're where he wants -- before he strums it again, and makes one of those little tilted nods that generally seem to indicate something'll do. "How much for the guitar?" he asks the woman, who eyes the way he's holding it somewhat askance -- or maybe it's the way he's using the toy as a stool -- and answers, "Thirty bucks."
Lilah smiles at him fondly, nodding her head, and then watches as he strums the guitar. That smile rises at his words, and she ends up tilting her head once more. "I ain't all that sinister. 'n--" She breaks off there, tucking her right thumb in her jeans pocket. "I think you're okay," she decides with a shrug. "But I wanna hear these rumors. Seems like it'd be a good way t'pass the time." She doesn't counter-offer or try to jump in on the negotiations; this is clearly his bailiwick.
"Sure y'are," Felix replies, giving her a smile and lifting his left hand to wriggle his fingers at her, "Sinister. 's from left, y'know? Like dextrous came from right. 'cause the MAN be keepin' us lefties DOWN." He makes the hand into a fist, adding too-seriously, "Fight the power." The woman's reply to his query gets a less pleased reply: "Nah, no way, in this state? Even pawn shops'd hesitate. The case's nearly shot and the stickers ain't never comin' off the body. I'll give you five for it." The woman crosses her arms, regarding him impassively for several seconds; it's hard to tell if she's insulted or just trying to unsettle him. She doesn't seem unsettled by HIM, though she could just be good at hiding it. "Twenty-five," she counters, "Cheap for a guitar, playin' condition's not so bad. Plus it's got personality." Felix turns the guitar over again, checking the connection of the head to the body, then gives it another strum. "It does have okay tone," he allows, "...but I'd hafta go get strings to deal with that missin' one. How long you been cartin' this here an' bringin' it back home at the end of the day? Case lid's startin' to fade." He tilts his head, regarding her. "Ten." She hesitates, gaze sliding to some of the larger pieces of furniture, and purses her lips before saying, "Fifteen." Felix shakes his head, repeating, "Ten," then suddenly grins and adds, "but I'll pay cash." For some reason, this makes the woman laugh, and she shakes her head, holding out a hand toward him, palm up. "Ten," she agrees, "yeah, go ahead." Felix sets the instrument gently back in its case, and gets a ten out of his wallet, leaning over to set it on her palm. "Thanks," he says, giving her a grin as he puts the wallet away, and he leans down to close up and take the case. Straightening up, he remarks aside to Lilah, "...I think you're pretty okay yourself."
Looking faintly embarrassed at having missed the meaning, Lilah shrugs. "You got too much fancy book-learnin' fer me," she teases. "Ya oughta collect rocks like me, not them books." She holds up the bag, shaking her head as though she disapproves. Her right hand gets slipped out of her pocket, and she puts it into a fist. "Fight the power," she agrees, although it loses some of its effect because she's grinning-- AND it's the 'wrong' hand. She watches with interest as he bargains down the woman, barely managing to keep from smiling TOO broadly at his success. When he adds that last remark, she replies dryly with a hint of amusement, "Y'know, I always aspire toward 'pretty okay.' Glad to hear I'm slidin' home on that'n." Still, she grins afterwards, tucking her hand back in her pocket. She nods a farewell to the woman, polite enough.
Felix gives the woman a wave, then reaches over to pull Lilah's hand OUT of her pocket so he can hold it, and gives her a kiss on the cheek. "Many aspire to pretty okay. Few ascend," he teases. "And I promise I didn't learn about sinister outta a book, neither. 'fraid you're still the geologist 'round here." He starts them onward through the maze of stalls again. "Oh, which reminds me. Can you read in movin' vehicles, or does it make you get all motion sick?"
Lilah doesn't at *all* seem to mind her hand being pulled out of her pocket, nor held, and in fact closes her eyes just a moment longer than a blink, smiling sunnily. That bright smile is turned on him after the kiss to her cheek, and she asks, "So where'd you learn it, then, huh? I think you're just trynna hide yer book-learnin' behind a facade o' sinisterial ignorance, Professor Sinclair." She squeezes his hand as he leads them, and she glances over at him at the question. "Nah, it don't make me motion sick, long's I don't do it forever. An hour or two, max. Whyya ask?"
"...well, it WAS in school," Felix allows, "Had an english teacher in seventh grade who was telling us about how language and the ways people think can reinforce each other. The whole left and right thing was one of the examples, like, in the past they thought left-handedness was evil so there's all these ways that the idea of left bein' bad and right bein' good are just part of English, same with dark and light and some other things I think, but I mostly remembered the left/right thing, 'cause she started it out by sayin' I was quite a sinister fella and I wasn't quite sure if I was supposed to be insulted or proud." He gives her a little shoulder-bump. "And I was thinkin' if it doesn't, you might could read out loud some when we're drivin'."
After listening to his story, Lilah decides without hesitation, "Definitely proud. An' your teacher sounds interestin'! I like that whole... thing you said. 'Bout language an' the ways people think. It's true, or seems it to me." She shoulder-bumps him right back, and then gets an absolutely delighted grin on her face. "I like that idea," she says softly, a bit more of a bounce in her step. "Whatcha want me to read from? Could start with 'Somebody Owes Me Money,' if'n ya like..."
Felix does hesitate, but barely. "Yeah, I reckon she was pretty good, actually, as teachers go. Less lists of spellin' words and more where some of 'em come from and why you might wanna use one word rather'n another when they basically mean the same thing. Had us writin' stories and stuff more'n essays..." He shrugs, and her grin makes him grin back. "Sounds good to me." Many more things are poked at on their wanders, but few are bought (by him, at least). Food from the carts, at one point, an old polaroid camera, and on the way back out, that hula girl he'd poked at (for $1, plus another quarter for a rhinestone-dotted mood ring along with it). It's getting well toward sunset when they head back out to the car and onto the road.