You enter a comfortable little shop that smells of leather and tea. Along the right wall, a row of shelves holds many small glass containers filled with loose dried leaves. A hand-written label details the contents of each jar and price: they contain various herbs and teas. The back wall holds a small wooden shelf filled with books. The collection mostly contains books on herbal remedies, tea, gardening, crystals and their healing powers, and various crafts. Stuffed in the lower right corner is a small section of new age books on spells and fortune telling.
Next to the book shelf, is another shelf unit with various types of quartz, copper bracelets, charms, runes and assorted jewelry. The rest of the back wall is taken up with the glass and wood display case that doubles as the counter (holding the cash register), and a black door marked "Private."
The left wall holds an alcove that has a wooden table with a few chairs around it. A sign propped on the center informs that readings are available by appointment only. To either side of the archway are more shelves, containing various items of local interest: pottery, small pieces of artwork, woven hangings and rugs.
The center of the room has been given over to larger shelves that are filled with various hand-made leather goods, from clothing to accessories. There is also a sign here that says custom fittings and commissioned work require an appointment.
Inside the display case there are various herbal remedies, neatly labeled with little signs describing what ailment they cure. There's also a line of custom soap, lotions, and lipbalm bearing the shop's name.
Tall, dark, and handsome are nearly all words that accurately describe Jai -- two out of three's not bad, right? He's about six foot tall, and skinny enough to give the vague impression that he could've started out as a rather shorter guy and been vigorously stretched. He's got pitch black hair cut in short tousled spikes, vaguely caramel-coloured skin, and eyes dark enough that one can't easily see a difference between pupil and iris, which covers the tall and dark portions pretty effectively. Handsome, though, is something of an overstatement; he's not unattractive, but his head has the same long thin proportions as his body, with a prominent nose, thick dark brows, and sizable ears that stick out conspicuously on either side of his head. Still, his face is alert and expressive, and more often than not his healthy white teeth are shown off in a wide grin.
He tends to straight-legged jeans, high-top converse, and an open-collared button-down under a light sweater, nearly always with a well-loved old black trenchcoat worn over top.
Long and lean are the two best words for describing Damian, over six feet tall and all sorts of twiggy skinny. He isn't scrawny though, wiry is more like it; he gets his exercise. His skin is tan, a little paler under his shirtsleeves, but naturally of a darker hue; a touch of kink to his short, dreadlocked hair and a bit of width to his lips and nostrils pointing towards some African in his American. His eyes are darker brown and his dreads a sandy brownish that matches the goatee on his chin and the short hair along his jaw line. He has some old 'street-kid meets tribal' wannabe tattoo work across his right cheekbone, hand done swirly art in slightly faded blue ink. As far as looks goes, he's only average on the scale of hot or not, nothing to look twice at or write home about.
He likes some color to his worn and slightly road-dirty clothing, wearing a burnt orange tee shirt under a brownish yellow long sleeve button up. Depending on the weather, he has cargo shorts or similar pants held onto his skinny hips with a leather belt. Worn out boots on his feet, sunglasses on his head and a couple earrings in one ear complete the ensemble.
Damian carries around a hiking backpack stuffed with stuff and with a tightly packed bedroll strapped to it. There's a worn out hoodie wrapped around a strap for easy use, and a wood and hide hippy drum clipped onto his pack as well. He carries around a neatly potted little bush that may or may not be flowering, depending on the season.
Pretty, blue-eyed and blonde, she's about as close as a girl can naturally get to the barbie doll ideal without being a freak or a cosmetic surgery disaster. She's got legs to her chin, and a slender figure with bust and hip enough to be endlessly distracting to most men. It also helps that she has that dangerous, slinky kind of grace about her. Her skin is milky white and mostly without blemish, marred only by a scattering of freckles and a colorful riot of tattoos that cover both arms from wrist to shoulder. They're all in a vintage, cartoon style, featuring music notes, hearts, cherries, cupcakes, stars, anchors, skulls, clouds, angels, flowers, big cats and names of her beloved. While obviously not a natural blonde, she keeps her long hair a corn silk gold, her bangs chopped straight across her forehead and the rest usually styled in elaborate retro curls and waves held up with bobby pins and adorned with silk flowers on occasion. Her voice is a pleasant, honeyed growl with a heavy, if not particularly specific Southern accent that draws her words out with a lazy drawl and twang.
The neo rockabilly look seems to be her thing. She wears a black halter top with a pattern of tiny white skulls that look like polka dots at a distance, a pair of dark blue jeans rolled up to mid-calf that fit to her like a second skin with a pyramid studded belt and a pair of bright red heels. Her long nails are painted a matching red and her lips a shade darker with a glossy sheen. The rest of her makeup is light, but for the heavy mascara and eyeliner that draws attention to those smoky blues of hers. Taken altogether, she's a paradox; equal parts fragile, demure, tough and mean all at once like some strange psycho-hillbilly-doll.
A twenty-something young woman, pale-skinned with large, dark eyes beneath tidy brows. Her nose is straight and plain, and her lips are pale, a bit small, with just a touch of peach. Long, not-quite-curly, not-quite wavy hair falls to just above her waist, the color of dark toffee.
Currently, all this long hair is contained into two intricate braids running parallel on either side of her head, the ends reaching just past her waist. A dark red turtleneck makes her pale skin look even paler - a bad fashioin choice on her part. Simple and likely expensive leather boots of a dark reddish brown add two inches or so to her height, though they remain hidden beneath long black slacks. An iron pocketwatch hangs on a long silver chain around her neck, and a rose quartz crystal lies on a much shorter leather band as well. Small dangling rubies are in each ear, and a wrought iron band of celtic knots lies snugly on her thumb.
Narisha stands right around five and a half feet tall. She has a lean, curvatious body. She is young - perhaps a college student or recent high school graduate - and has that eager naivete that youth embodies. But her expressions and demeanor leave no doubt of her natural beauty and charm.
Narisha has a soft oval face that carries her vissage beautifully. She has blue eyes set under a pair of thin expresive eyebrows. A subtle blue eyeshadow, a touch of mascara and a hint of eye liner enriches the tone of her iris and makes it easy to tell when she is looking at you. She has full, curvatious lips done up with a dark rose lipstick to catch any nuance of expression they may emote. Her high cheekbones are lightly blushed, and small dimples form beneath whenever she smiles. Her Auburn hair falls to her shouldes in wavey locks.
Narisha is dressed in her Monday casuals: a white blouse, acid wash jeans, a sleek pair of soft leather boots and a light gray long coat. She has a pair of soft brown leather gloves - on her hands if it is cold, tucked away in her coat pocket if it is not. A brown designer handbag, a matching belt and earings complete the ensemble.
She is energetic and focused. Quick to smile or laugh while watching the world around her with a curious eye for detail.
Petra doesn't look like a supermodel by any means, but by most traditional definitions of the word, she's attractive. Her silky brown hair, shoulder length and with just a hint of curl, is almost never pinned up. Hazel eyes top a pert nose and a mouth that's often quirked up into a half-smile. She stands at about 5 feet 7 inches, and her build is fairly average, though it's obvious that she keeps herself in good shape. She wears a very light application of makeup, no doubt going for the 'natural' look. When she speaks, it's with a New York accent that is rather cultured.
Currently, her top is a curve-hugging emerald green sweater. Below that, she wears a pair of black leggings that look practically painted on, tucked into tall emerald green fashionable knee-high heeled boots. To a discerning eye, her clothes mark her as well-to-do. Her only worn jewelry is a simple silver necklace with a round pendant. She usually is wearing her backpack.
Liane is standing around near the counter, reading some thick, heavy book, with a steaming cup of tea nearby.
Jai wanders in, bringing a brief cold breeze along with him when he opens the door. He looks around with interest as he makes sure it's closed behind him, and starts idly strolling to check out all the shelves. Only starts, because after a few seconds the display case of stones and jewelry apparently catches his eye and drags it fifteen feet, pulling the rest of him along with it. He bends down a little to get a closer look at a particular piece, with a quiet little "Ooh..."
Liane looks up as the door opens - windchimes are attached, and give a little tingle of music when someone walks in. She looks over at Jai with a rather un-sales expression - not displeased, just discontent, as if someone's just told her it's raining outside and she's just done her hair. Still, the discontent is replaced with resignation and...guilt? And then she shuffles from behind the counter and gets...remains two yards or so away. "C-c-can I h-h-help you f-f-find anyth-thing?"
"Oh, man. Can I look at these?" Jai asks, looking up briefly from the case and giving Liane a grin. Apparently 'these' is the case in general, and he kind of looks like a kid in a candy store. "Sorry to interrupt," he adds, sounding entirely sincere about it, "What're you reading?"
Liane reddens, "It's f-f-fine. Y-you're a c-c-customer." She tells Jai's shoes. Then she slides to the opposite side of the case, "I w-was just d-d-doing s-some reading for the n-next s-semester. I'm t-t-taking a c-course on Ch-christianity and S-social C-conquest. I'm l-looking for s-signs of s-saints r-replacing g-gods in s-several books. B-backtracking. W-what would you l-like to s-s-see?" She redirects attention to the case.
"Like a god of... I dunno, the hunt, being replaced by a patron saint of hunters, that kind of thing?" Jai asks. It's not hard to redirect his attention; the things in the case seem to be vaguely eyeball-magnetic. "All of them. ...okay, maybe not all of them, that would be silly, um... that tray, and that one, and that one down there, and that bowl there, the one with the polished stones..." Lots of silver and copper jewelry, lots of pretty rocks. "You go to the uni, then? I mean, semesters and all."
Liane heads back to the counter and fishes a set of keys out from behind it somewhere, looking through them while she opens up the case and slides out the first tray, closing the case and setting it on top of the counter. Her hands shake only slightly, not enough to rattle the tray, but enough to notice if one's observant. "Y-y-yes. G-g-graduate s-s-studies. C-c-compar-r-rat-t-tive m-m-mytholog-g-gy and f-f-folklore." She says, attention on the tray. Her tone gets a little more life in it as she discusses her major, "And th-that's it prec-c-cisely. Or f-former gods b-becoming devils, or s-s-sacred signs being upr-r-rooted as a ch-christian s-symbol instead of a s-symbol of p-power. Such as the c-cross. It's always b-been a p-powerful s-symbol, but now most p-people simple v-view it as ch-christian th-thing." She makes a little swishing motion with her hand so that it's palm up briefly - a shrug gesture without the shoulder movement.
"I think I remember hearing something about Jesus actually being born in April, but they figured it was easier to replace Saturnalia with another holiday than to get people to stop celebrating it, or something like that... that kinda thing too?" Jai asks, looking over to her again. He looks fascinated by the things in the tray, though, and picks up each one to look at it more closely, to see how it catches and reflects the light, and probably to check the price tag, while he's at it.
Jai and Liane are near the jewelry cases, Liane showing Jai one tray. Most of the jewelry is made from semiprecious stones, though lots of quartz makes an appearance. No diamonds here! Many of them are made with metal wires woven or braided attractively, and some are held in leather strips or bands. All of it is well made - and quite a few are marked as hand made. "Y-yes, p-precisely. I've y-yet to take the -c-course, but it sounds f-fascinating, and it q-quite is." She smiles faintly down at the jewelry. "I am alr-r-ready well aware of q-quite a bit about it. C-catholism is one of th-the w-worst off-f-fenders." She doesn't seem particularly biting or bitter or sarcastic or gleeful about it - simply states it as as a matter of course.
The windchimes over the door do their chimey chime thing, heralding the arrival of Petra. Of course, the blast of cold air helps to note her entrance as well. She slams the door behind her, standing in place and shivering for a moment before saying, simply, "COLD. FUCKING COLD."
Jai's checking out just about every piece in the tray, looking quite happy to be doing so, and the monetary value of a piece or its parts doesn't seem to have much relation to how long he looks one over. "Well, it makes sense; I mean, they were an empire, right? More or less..." The chimes at the door get his attention, not to mention the blast of air, and he gives the new arrival a grin as well. "I think I saw a blanket on one of these shelves," he offers jokingly.
Liane looks over at Petra as the door opens, and shakes her head, moving away from the jewelry cases to head behind the counter. If Jai's going to a DIRTY ROTTEN THIEF, Liane's just given him a perfect opportunity! "S-sit d-down. I'll g-get you s-s-some t-tea, P-petra." Liane says, then glances at Jai - though quickly away again, "W-would you l-like some as w-w-well, s-sir? All the t-tea w-we have is as f-fresh as we c-can get it."
"Yes. Tea. Please. And blanket!" But Petra's not totally helpless because she goes over to fetch the blanket herself, wrapping it around her and shrugging her shoulders with glee at the warmth. "Hi, Liane," she says belatedly, and then looks at Jai, adding, "Hi, Person I Don't Know." She takes a seat at the fortune reading table, then tugs off her gloves, tucking them in a pocket on her jacket.
"Oh, man, that would be awesome, thanks," Jai replies, "...is it caffeinated? 'cause that would be even awesomer." He grins at Petra again. "Hi, Person =I= Don't Know But Gather is Called Petra. My name's Jai. Nice to meet you. And you, too, Presumably-Liane." He doesn't appear to be stealing things, though he does keep putting one or two aside, then switching them with ones in the tray, and then back, as if he can't make up his mind which he likes best.
"J-just L-liane is f-fine. I'll m-make sure I m-make it c-c-caffeinated." She mumbles, and sets the water to boil. Her book she belatedly closes and sets into her bag, before drawing out three mugs and, after a moment, a few vanilla sugar wafers on a plate. Then, after a moment or two of indecision, she trudges back to her place opposite of Jai, "W-would you l-like to s-see the other t-tray, or c-continue l-looking here?" She asks helpfully, since he seems fascinated by EVERYTHING. Maybe she'll make Katie a big sale and get a cookie!
"Nice to meetcha, Jai," Petra says, friendly enough. "This place is awesome, isn't it? They do custom stuff too, so if there's something special you want, you just have to speak up. Dunno if they do custom jewelry or not, but they do leatherworking and special scents and stuff." She smiles at some thought, then glances over at Liane and Jai, saying nothing else for the moment.
"It is," Jai agrees cheerfully, "A guy I know showed me a leather pouch he got from here, which was really well made. Also, sandwiches, which ditto." He gives the tray and its contents a longing look, then checks the prices on the pieces he's set aside again. One gets reluctantly returned to the tray, and he nods to Liane. "Yes, please, and the bowl if that's okay..."
"Z-z-zack h-hung my c-crystal for me." Liane admits, and lest Petra's dirty, filthy mind process it the wrong way and either claws Liane's eyes out or invites her to join in on a date, she touches the rose quartz around her neck, on it's leather braid. The crystal is whole and of quite a decent size, kept in place by a swirl of metal, "A-and my b-b-bag." Which is really a very cute courier bag nobody can see since it's behind the counter. But she obligingly returns the tray and gets out the other one, as well as the bowl. "If y-you d-d-don't see s-something you r-r-really l-like, you c-c-can always l-leave your n-n-name and n-number and one of the K-kings - th-they own the s-store - c-can get b-b-b-back to y-you." Liane smiles, and it's oen of the most unconvincing and uncomfortable baring of teeth ever. Clearly, Liane is not meant to be a sales-girl.
"Ah... probably Damian. Unless Zack is into handing out sandwiches and leather pouches to more men than I realized." Innuendo? From Petra? NEVER. She glances over at Liane's quartz and smiles warmly, saying, "That's very pretty, Liane. Zack does good work. He did the jacket I'm wearing, too." This last is said to Jai, and then Petra pulls the blanket firmly around her, leaning back in her seat.
"So either you know him, or you're psychic," Jai confirms, giving Petra another grin, "Or possibly both, I guess they're not mututally exclusive. And yeah, that's a really nice necklace; I noticed it right away. I like your earrings, too." To Petra again he adds, "Your jacket's prolly great too, but the blanket's inconveniently opaque. I'll look later. Oh, dude." One of the polished rocks has grabbed his attention, something decidedly opalescent. It immediately joins the bracelet he'd set aside. "Nothing specific comes to mind, but thanks, if I think of something I'll do that. ...King is their name, right? I mean this isn't secretly owned by exiled royalty or something, is it? Not that that wouldn't be cool."
The question about exiled royalty actually gives Liane pause, and she seems to be seriously considering it - *seriously,* she seems to be thinking it over. A moment passes. Two, three. "I d-d-don't n-know if th-they're ex-x-xiled r-royalty or n-not." She says finally, sounding still so matter-of-fact and serious about the matter. "Th-though it w-wouldn't s-surprise me. I j-j-just n-know the K-k-kings are...v-very k-kind p-people." And there's another smile, this one warm and reserved for the Kings, that's obvious. Then her attention goes back to Petra quizzically - perhaps surprised Petra hasn't flung off her blanket and began stripping to reveal the merchandise! But then the teapot gives a bit of a whistle, and off she hurries to turn off the heat and let it settle. "Wh-what k-kind of s-stone c-caught your att-t-tention?" She asks, "It sh-should be l-labeled."
At the mention of the blanket covering up the jacket, Petra reluctantly pulls the blanket down, then stands up. She tugs the jacket down and even twirls a bit to show it off. It's still buttoned up at the moment, though she must be getting used to the shop's warmth, because she finally does unbutton it. So yes, she totally strips and reveals the merchandise, just as Liane secretly hoped. Now Liane can write slash fic between Liane and Petra, at LAST.
"Really?" Jai asks Liane, looking altogether too intrigued by the idea that the Kings could in fact be actual kings, or perhaps by the fact that Liane's considering the idea itself. "They sound like kind people, from what I heard so far from people. And yeah, that =is= a great jacket..." He checks the label for the rock, gives a tiny snort of a laugh, and tells Liane, "Moonstone, it says. Does it have special properties I should know about? I mean aside from being all shiny, obviously."
"M-m-moonstone..." Her eyes take on a faraway look, as if she's accessing some sort of internal system while she places the leaves loose in the really hot water and lets it seep. "It's s-s-sacred in India - th-thought to b-bring good fortune. B-between lovers it ar-r-rouses t-tender passion. It b-balances yin and y-yang, and p-protects women and ch-children. Otherw-w-wise, it eases s-stress and enh-hances int-t-tuition, and the c-colors m-mean it helps with d-different things, or s-so it's said." She says a bit dismissively.
"It also lets you keep an erection for up to two hours. If an erection lasts longer than four hours, go to the emergency room. May cause excessive bleeding of the eyes, aphasia, hyperphagia, or death. Ask your doctor if Moonstone is right for you." Petra says this rather deadpan, pulling the blanket back around herself.
The snort of a laugh is rather larger this time, along with a wide grin. "Man, and here I would've been satisfied with 'shiny'. I'm probably safe as long as I don't ingest it, though, right? Or are you supposed to tie it on with a ribbon? ...I guess I'll just keep it handy for my old age. Just in case." Jai pokes through the bowl some more, ending up with a tiger's eye and a hematite as well, and then moves on to the second tray of jewelry. "You don't sound like you believe in the whole rocks-doing-things thing," he remarks to Liane, more a vaguely curious observation than an accusation.
Liane glances over at the other things Jai's gotten, "H-h-hematite to h-heal and s-strengthen the b-body, r-resist s-stress. T-tiger's eye to s-strengthen c-conviction, f-focus the m-mind and p-protect during your journeys." She murmurs, "A g-good comb-b-bination." Then she glances at Jai and blushes, looking away quickly as she sets a cup of tea in front of him. "M-my th-therapist used to s-s-say I had p-p-problems w-w-with b-belief." She says, "I am a s-s-student of l-lore and s-s-superst-t-titions. W-would you l-like anything else? Oh! And m-moonstone h-held in the m-mouth...I th-think it's b-best you d-d-don't, y-yes." She finishes. "W-would you l-like anyth-thing else w-while you f-f-finish your t-tea?" And Liane looks as if she full well expects him to finish that tea.
Speaking of tea, Petra finally takes a sip of hers, and she must be nice and cozy underneath the blanket with hot tea to help. She listens in silence to Liane and Jai's exchange, not offering up any words of her own. Just eavesdroppin', like ya do.
"I do take a lot of journeys," Jai muses, and smiles at Liane again. "You have a good memory. So are you doing your masters, or your PhD, or some other thing I never heard of?" he asks, picking out another couple items from the tray, putting them back, rinse and repeat. A sigh, and then all but a ring go back into the tray, which he pushes a couple inches away from himself with determination, like a dieter faced with a cake. "Right. I better not buy more than this or I'll be eating ramen for a week. But I wouldn't mind talking to you more while I finish my tea. I mean, if it won't put you too behind on your research, obviously." He gathers his shiny bounty from the counter and holds it gently in one hand, the other snagging his mug.
"M-m-masters. W-well, I'm s-s-starting. I...I l-likely w-w-won't be able to c-c-complete m-my m-masters w-within the u-usual th-three to f-five years." Liane says, and something in her voice sounds a bit pained, but discourages further questions. Much like her immediate and oh-so-subtle change of topics, "I w-wouldn't m-mind. A-and it's j-just that g-gemst-stone l-lore is q-quite f-fascinating. N-not as much as h-herbal lore, but th-there's l-less s-stones, even if m-most cultures have th-their own ideas of wh-what each s-stone does."
Petra puts one leg up on a nearby chair, then crosses the other over it. She rests her elbow on the table and takes another sip of her tea, still listening in silence without jumping in to say anything. Her eavesdropping isn't even hardly subtle.
Jai doesn't seem bothered by the eavesdropping; in fact, it sort of looks as though he considers Petra still part of the conversation, albeit currently a silent partner. "No?" he asks, despite the change of topics, but at least he doesn't push farther on the matter, at least not yet. "All lore's pretty fascinating, isn't it? I mean, if it weren't, it wouldn't be lore. People'd stop telling other people about it. I wonder how interesting my breakfast would have to be before I could get people to tell other people about it? Hm. What kind of tea is this, anyway? Aside from tasty. No pun intended."
"G-green t-tea as a b-base, so th-this is t-tea and n-not j-just a t-t-tisane, since you s-s-specified you w-wanted c-caffeine." Liane murmurs, "W-with a b-bit of h-hibiscus, s-s-sarsparilla, a t-touch of g-ginger and l-lemon m-mint." She then proceeds to say what each thing does, and in a fit of orneriness lets you all look itup yourselves! XD "B-breakfast has q-quite a bit of l-lore behind it, and m-most common b-breakfasts cons-s-sist of items that are r-rich in h-history." Liane continues, sipping at her own tea.
Petra sips quietly at her tea for a bit, then finally pipes up to say, "All their teas are pretty good, actually. They do a lot of experimentation to find what works. And they have a pretty good nose for it, so even the experimental stuff ends up pretty good."
"Is that what you call herbal teas, the kind with no caffeine in them? Tisanes?" Jai asks, settling into a seat to drink his tea, and also eat a couple of those vanilla wafers, while he's at it. "I figure most foods are rich in history, and also vitamins and minerals. If nothing else a lot of them you gotta wonder how desperate someone was to discover they were delicious. The foods, not the people, though I guess you'd have to be even more desperate to discover that. Or twisted. My personal breakfasts don't usually get much press, though. Except there was one time I tried to make blueberry pancakes and the stove kinda exploded; that got some lingering discussion..." He sips the tea again, and smiles. "It =is= really good. I should try some of the others, I guess. Usually I just drink a crapload of coffee. Does it have a name? This tea, I mean."
"G-g-green t-tea with h-h-hibiscus, l-lemon m-mint, s-saspar-r-rilla and g-ginger." Liane replies, reddening. Really, she shouldn't have worn the sweater, she just looks like some faded out red thing. "If a t-tea c-c-combination p-passes the t-taste tests, the K-kings n-name it and w-we m-might sell it in p-packages, or j-just list the r-recipe, d-depending how p-p-popular it g-g-gets." Liane replies. "A-and t-true teas c-come from one f-family of p-plants. O-olong, w-white, b-black, and g-green teas are all p-part of one f-family. Anyth-th-thing m-made out of other p-plants are c-called herbal t-teas, or t-t-tisanes." She explains.
"Huh," Petra says, "Did not know that. I don't know much about herbal anything, for that matter. I should make you teach me, Liane." She grins a little bit and takes a sip of her tea. "That or Zack. He's the Super Doctor, after all. But I bet even if he is, you've got more superknowledge about herbs."
"Then I'm gonna call it Fred. Fred is delicious," Jai decides, with a firm nod. He takes a bite of wafer, and washes it down with a good swallow of Fred. Apparently. "Is oolong the same as red tea or is that something different?" he asks Liane. "'s a good word, either way. Ooooolong." He's sitting at the moment, chatting with the ladies and admiring a small handful of polished stones and jewelry he hasn't bought quite yet.
Damian bursts in from outside, coming through the front door, but he's all dressed up in his usual gear. And he has his PANTS. HIS pants. The best pants ever invented ever. His hoodie is still in place though, zipped up to cover the stains that may or may not still be on there. Hachoo! he tells his elbow pit on arriving.
Liane takes this time to suddenly get a phone call! So off she runs, answering it with a stream of...is that old gaelic? Would you even recognize old gaelic if you heard it? It might be greek, too...do you know greek? What the heck is WRONG with people these days?!
Petra is sitting at the fortune reading table, a cup of tea in front of her and her legs propped up on a chair. She's wrapped in a nice warm blanket. She waves at Liane as the woman moves off, and then Damian comes in and she offers him a warm smile. "Hey Damian, speak of the devil. Well, not now, but earlier. How the heck are ya?"
"Hey, Damian!" Jai greets brightly, "How's it going? Want a nice cup of Fred? You could have some of mine." He glances after Liane, and his head tilts inquisitively as she starts speaking a language he doesn't hear every day, or even every year.
"I'm an angel." Damian asserts quite mildly, cowering his way into the shop with his shoulders hunched and his neck down, "And someone told me I'm God. I don't know about that though, I don't think I'd stub my toes nearly as much if I was a god. Yes please, I would very much enjoy some Fred." he says while withrawing some kleenex for his nose. Naming ones drink Fred does not phase him.
"Apparently you're also very pretty," Petra feels the need to point out to Damian. She takes a sip of her tea and leans back in her seat comfortably. "So who told you you're God? Was it maybe someone you were sexing up? Cuz if so, apparently you did it right."
Jai takes another swallow of his drink, and then offers the mug to Damian, since clearly another serving can't be made just now. "It's green tea with hibiscus, lemon mint, sasparilla, and ginger," he says, apparently having been paying at least some attention. "Some gods stub their toes a lot, you'd just have to be one of the old school gods who fuck up now and then... uh, 'scuse my language," the last bit to Petra, she being A Lady Present and all that.
"I *am* pretty!" Damian says, pleased as punch all over again for the random compliment paid to him. Huddling his way to a seat near the two, taking Jai's mug and happily sharing the cold he's developing with him by drinking from his cup before returning it. Feel the microscopic love! "Oh, well I *do* mess up a lot.." Damian says while sitting, "But I haven't discovered any amazing diefic powers. Unless making people cry counts. I mean, good crying. Usually." Petra makes the tips of Damian's ears turn red with her question, but he still answeres, "Nathan said that, but I'm not sleeping with him. I don't like sex very much. It's awkward and clumsy and most of the time very sticky.. It's really just not a very good bonding experience."
"How rude," Petra murmurs at Jai, managing to sound a bit offended, though she then continues mildly, "...goddamn I hate it when people cuss." She arches a brow at Damian's answer regarding his deity status, and asks, "So why did he say you're a god? Not that I'm denying your otherworldly power, of course. Far be it from me to cast doubt on one's role in theology."
Jai looks faintly embarrassed himself, though only for a moment; Petra's follow-up questions are too interesting, so he looks to Damian and awaits the answer. Silent, for once. That can't last long.
Damian shrugs his shoulders, sitting at the table now since Liane ran off, and answers, "I guess just cause I love so much, or something. I'm not really sure how his god works, I thought it just sort of blew things up and made people crazy. I don't *think* I make people crazy, unless that's why they end up crying all the time. But, it's not all that important anyway. S'just love. I didn't mean to interupt you guys."
"I haven't seen you make anybody cry yet, Damian. Oh, except Liane. But one person hardly makes a statistic. You need to get on that." Petra grins faintly, sipping at her tea. She's still sitting at the table herself, legs propped up in the chair across from her.
Liane returns, with a full-on blush thing going, and looking quite happy and pleased. THen she sees Damian, and there's a smile for him! "W-w-would you l-l-like some t-tea?" She asks him, first thing first, then looks over at The Customer and looks faintly surprised he's still there. But she tucks her phone away and gives a wan little smile, slipping back behind the counter.
"You didn't interrupt," Jai assures, "...at least, I don't think you did. I was hoping I'd run into you soon anyhow. So hi." He looks over to Liane and adds, "So if Damian got called God for being full of love, where does that fall in the gods of one religion being supplanted by saints or other stuff from another spectrum? Anywhere? Could it be lore in the making?"
"Yes please!" Damian tells Liane with a beaming smile, his lips doing better lately so he can stretch a fine smile for people again. Yay for King crafted medication! "Oh, I seem to make everyone cry." Damian says, only looking a little bummed out by that, just a little, and says, "But it's not my fault, *really*, people just keep their problems all stuffed away and festering, and they're not supposed to. So I guess it's good to cry some times if you finally get all those things off your chest." Turning his smile on Jai, he says, "I'm still pretty sure I'm not, but I guess if I was, I'd probably be one of those gods that wandered off for a nap a long time ago before people figured out how to be unhappy, and then woke up a little bit ago. I guess that would work, since it's all still very confusing."
"Just as a warning, Damian, if you make me cry I *will* have to repunch you in the face. Repunching is like regular punching, only it happens more than once." Petra smirks a little, then finishes off her tea and asks Liane more politely, "Liane, would you mind fixing me a bit of tea as well?" Then she turns to Damian again and says, "Hey, maybe you're like an Elder God. That'd rule. Except not."
"Th-that has n-nothing to do w-w-with r-replacing r-religion. He could just be a part of a p-pagan r-religion with m-many gods. Pantheistic, perhaps. T-take...oh, the e-e-eastern r-religions. I'm not very g-good with them, but for the m-most part, it s-seems one cycles th-throughout in order to att-tain a g-greater state of enl-lightenment, to ach-chieve a s-state near godhood. Damian c-could be c-closer to the divine, and s-so might be a g-god. No one s-said he was s-s-supplanting an-nother god, did th-they? Or ass-sign him p-powers? He c-could also be on his w-way to sainthood, or s-simply g-godtouched, or a p-pure soul, or c-countless other th-things." Liane explains, heading over to the teapot and putting more water to boil. And then gets a few other leaves, obviously adjusting the brew. And making extra! "Elder g-god?" She asks curiously, "F-from which f-faith?"
"He doesn't have nearly enough tentacles for that," Jai says, looking Damian over, "...at least not as far as I can tell." He grins back at the other guy, "And you haven't made me cry, either. Just for the record. I could see that sleeping thing, though..." He tilts his head at Liane, and looks thoughtful. "I guess not. I was thinking since it sounded like his friend was religious, it might be a related kinda thing, but I don't have all the details yet." Yet. "Um. I should prolly pay for these before I get distracted or something. You're not gonna kick me out once I'm done buying them though, are you?"
Damian pfft's at Petra, "You would not!" he says, but he might have a little worry about how true that is, "You'd do the same thing everyone else does and hug me a lot." A shake of his head as he says with no idea what he's talking about, "Oh, no, I couldn't be an elder god. I'm too little." Another shake of his head, this time for Liane, "Nope, no awesome powers that I'm aware, and I've never planted anyone except Steve." To Jai, he smiles and says, "Gimme time." Oh, you will bawl. You will!
"An Elder God," Petra says firmly to Liane. "Like, you know, Cthulhu? The Old Ones? Though Jai here is right-- not enough tentacles. And too pretty. He'd have to cause more insanity, too. The crying's a nice start, but..." She tsks, shaking her head. "I'm afraid you just don't cut it as an Elder God, Damian, much as I would like to be able to tell you that you do. And yes, I *would* totally punch you. Right in the kisser, bang pow-- to the moon, Alice."
Liane just looks completely baffled the more Petra speaks - obviously not a Lovecraft fan. But then Petra talks about moons and Alice and Liane just decides to drop the whole thing, before turning to Jai, "N-not at all. I s-s-sometimes th-think the K-kings should j-just s-start up a t-tea shop or c-cafe area, w-with the n-number of p-people who l-linger." Liane says, then reddens and looks down at the counter, "Of c-course it's a t-terrible idea, c-c-considering m-most of the p-people who l-linger either w-w-work here or are f-friends. B-but which f-friend w-was it?"
Jai laughs. "Maybe he could be a Junior God, and work his way up... you know, dead gods' boots and stuff. You probably get a tentacle with each promotion, in lieu of a raise..." He drains the rest of his tea, careless of what germs Damian may have added to it. Surely he will pay for this. "I dunno, it doesn't sound like such a terrible idea to me."
"Nope. Disbelieve it." Damian says with firm dreaminess for Petra's assertion, willing to ignore points of reality until they simply no longer exist. "I don't want tentacles! I wanna stay pretty! Oh, uh, it was Nathan that said it, Liane. He's such a wonderful friend." If it wasn't for his earlier assurances about not shagging, his tone on mentioning the guy might raise some questions. "I don't think it's a bad idea either. Then maybe the lingerers would be payers and there'd be more people that came."
The bell chimes the arrival of Nari as she steps through the door. She peruses the shelves quietly, looking at this and that.
Petra is seated at the fortune reading table, legs propped up in a free chair. She has a blanket wrapped around her for warmth. Damian is also seated at the table, his plant missing and his hoodie zipped up. He looks like he was punched in the face maybe sometime in the last week or so. Liane is at the tea counter bustling about making tea, and Jai is also seated at the fortune reading table, a small ring in his hand. Petra smiles over at Damian, shrugging. "Not everybody is cut out to be an Eldritch Horror from beyond time, I guess. Better luck next time."
"N-nathan?" Liane looks to be rummaging about her brain as well as the tea leaves, and finally recognition snaps into place, "Oh, th-that makes sense." Liane says, "H-he's q-quite devote. I've only m-met him t-twice in ch-church and t-twice outside it. He f-fits in more c-comfortably at the church." Liane seems to perfectly understand...SOMETHING...and relaxes a bit as she pours several new mugs of tea, and refreshes whoever is getting low. Then someone else walks in, and isn't it lucky Liane made extra? She pours another cup, and looks at Narisha, a bit uncomfortably, "W-w-would you l-like some t-t-tea?"
"Maybe you could have pretty tentacles," Jai suggests, "You know, covered in gems and silver filigree or something... put gauzy streamers on the ends so they flow in the breeze..." He gestures in a sort of 'gauzy streamer demonstration' way, the shiny things he's holding in one hand catching the light. "You could be an Eldritch Delight. Which sounds delicious, actually, I would definitely order an eldritch delight. With whipped cream. And a cherry. I haven't met Nathan yet..."
"No! I refuse!" Damian tells Jai, "I will not be Whacky Wailing Pretty Flailing Tentacle Man!" Damian says, this capturing his attention far more than even talking about his apprently best friend.
Narisha looks up from the shelves of crystals as Liane offers the tea. "Thank you, that would be wonderful." She accpets the tea when proffered, and smiles at Liane. She glances at the trio near the Tarot table, and the tentacled talk that transmits from there.
"I like the way you think," Petra says to Jai, looking him over appraisingly with a smile. She then grins outright at Damian's reaction, leaning back in her seat. "Now Damian, you have to grow up and be an unnatural hybrid someday. Take your tentacles like a man!" Speaking of slashing...
"N-n-nonsense. You're l-likely f-fine, Damian." Liane assures him, wandering out of the safety of the Space Behind The Counter and into the main store. She falters a bit, before glancing at Narisha before quickly looking away. "C-c-can I h-help you f-find anyth-th-thing?" She asks politely. "A-and w-would you l-like me to r-r-ring you up, J-jai?"
Jai grins as well. "Hey, I didn't say anything about wailing or flailing," he assures Damian, "Though I admit a good flail might really set off the streamers. Make them float romantically on the breeze and all. With the sun setting, or possibly rising, behind them..." Liane's offer startles him slightly, despite having brought it up himself only a couple minutes ago. "Oh! Oh, right, yeah, sorry, sorry." He gets up from his chair to go and actually purchase the small collection of shinies he's been holding.
"I DON'T WANNA!" Damian wails, managing an extremely good impression of wooooooooe, "My momma will be SO DISSAPOINTED in me if I get tentacles!" he wails from where he sits at the table, and covers his punched face with his hands. Careful of his nose, of course. A gesture at Liane, and he tells Petra and Jai, "Listen to the woman, she speaks truth!" Jai's lies will not be listened to! LIES!
Narisha says, "No thanks. I'm just looking around right now." She half follows Liane back towards the counter and asks, "What kind of tea is this?""
"You're no fun, Damian. I thought you were fun, but you have just been downgraded. There. Downgrade complete." Petra shakes her head sadly at the necessity of having had to do this. She lowers her feet from the chair with a thunk and says to Liane, "You can have a seat, y'know, if you want to. After you fetch me my tea, of course." This is said with a little wink toward the woman.
Liane does indeed ring Jai up, placing all his items in a small little white bag. As she's ringing she answers Narisha's question - "G-g-green t-tea with s-s-sarsparilla, l-lemon m-mint, h-hibisc-c-cus and g-ginger." She puts the change on the counter, seeming unwilling to actually TOUCH Jai, then gives a brief baring of teeth that might be a smile at the conclusion of the exchange. AND THEN she digs around behind the counter, finding some more sugar wafers adn some cookies, putting them all on a plate. AND THEN she's getting another mug o' tea, walking over towards Petra with tea and plate - plate goes in the center of the table for everyone, tea in front of the nosy, bossy, needy woman.
"It's Fred," Jai tells Narisha, equally as seriously as Liane's answer, though he gives her a friendly grin afterward. "...thanks," he tells Liane, reclaiming his change from the counter, and watching her curiously for a moment as she goes bustling about. He heads back to the seat he'd been sitting in before, then, patting Damian on the head as he passes the other man. "There, there. No one's going to force tentacles on you. Well, I'm not, anyway, I guess I shouldn't speak for the rest of the world. It just means your career in Godding has certain limits, I guess." He sits again, and opens the bag he just got, sliding the ring on an index finger and putting on the bracelet as well -- same hand, so it's easy to look at them both sparkling at once.
"Fine! I will take being downgraded if it keeps me from having tentacles!" Damian says, not in the slightest upset about his demotion, "I'll just be a little tiny god instead and keep all my own parts and no extra parts. Things with tentacles are NOT. RIGHT." And what about *Damian's* tea, miss Liane? The pat on the head makes him smile a bit though, and he compliments Jai, "You have a very pretty hand." now that it's got all the sparklies on it.
Narisha sips her tea and stays near the counter. "Oh. Hwlo, Fred. I'm Nari," She says to Jai as he gatehrs his change returns. She watches the quarted of people in the shop, her face decorated with a light smile.
The nosy, bossy, needy Petra accepts her tea with a smile and a murmured thanks, then picks up the tea and blows over it to cool it. She smirks over at Damian at his refusal to get on the Tentacle Bandwagon, saying simply, "Alright, but I'm taking the tentacles in your stead, *and* I'm totally gonna make the best Elder God EVER. You will be devoured, as is my way." As Narisha approaches, Petra gives her a little chin-jut of greeting.
Now that she's managed to set the cookies and quiet the complainer, she returns to handing everyone else their mugs, refilling them, what have you. Then she stands behind the safety of the counter once more, looking quite relieved to just sit there and let everyone else chat it up.
Jai laughs, giving Narisha a grin. "Nah, I'm Jai; you're drinking Fred. It's pretty delicious, yeah?" He settles back into his seat, and tells Damian, "Well, thanks," unable to keep from looking a little pleased at the compliment, even if it's really for the new shinies. "Petra, are you gonna take the streamers and gems, or stick with the classic model tentacle?"
Damian sighs with such an apparently real sadness for Petra and says, "Don't worry, when I kill you, I'll be very gentle and loving about it, I promise. But we can still be friends till then." He falls silent and drinks the tea that he totally has, and has at a cookie or three.
Narisha oh's at the Fred correction and looks at her tea. "Hello fred. YOu are tastey." Then to Jai she says, "And hello, Jai. So, why is it called Fred?"
"I was thinking maybe I'd go a little steampunk with it actually," Petra replies to Jai after a moment's thought. "Maybe brass tubing tentacles with little levers and gearshifts." She then elbows Damian lightly and says, "You can't kill me. I'm totally an Elder God now. You missed your chance, buddy." To Narisha, she says, "If you think *that's* confusing, wait 'til you meet Steve."
"'cause 'green tea with hibiscus, lemon mint, sarsparilla, and ginger' was really long to say," Jai answers, giving Narisha another grin, "And anyway, I figured it was tasty enough it deserved a name of its own. Why not Fred?" He takes a good swallow of his own piping hot mug o' Fred, and considers Petra's tentacle vision. "Those would look really cool. Suit you better, I think. You just don't strike me as a gauzy-streamer person."
Liane can't follow any of this. So quitely, every so quietly, she sits behind the counter, gets out her book and a pencil, and continues to read up on stuff.
Damian knows poor Liane's pain, he has no idea what the hell is going on, from a conversation about love somehow leading to Petra having tentacles. The world of worlds is a dangerous place! "I respectfully disagree. We'll get together and do battle some time, and then we'll see what's up. Just because you're an arm wrestling master doesn't mean you have the fortatude to smite me in tentacle combat." And then he siiiiiiiiiighs! "I miss Steve." Damian whines pathetically.
Narisha hesitates to ask the group so she turns back to Liane. "Who is Steve?"
"I am indeed an arm wrestling master. RepreSENT. But you're right-- we'll have to actually duke this out blow for blow to be sure I come out on top. And rest assured, I would certainly never cheat." Somehow Petra manages to make her assurance sound troubling. She grins at Narisha's question and pats Damian's back lightly, letting Liane answer that one.
Liane totally doesn't realize somebody's talking to her. She's got a BOOK. So poor AFK Narisha has no one to answer her questions! Liane just scribbles notes, turning pages, writing some things down in a notebook, otherwise looking very studious and occupied.
"'course you wouldn't," Jai agrees to Petra, in much the same vein. "Wouldn't've pegged you for an arm wrestling master, though, the tentacles oughta be handy for that. You can take more challengers on at once." He tilts his head at Damian, taking in the pathetic sighiness. "Who's Steve and where'd he go?"
Damian is a helpful lad, he'll burst forth with answers! "Steve is my plant. It's so cold that he cant travel with me right now, though, so he's staying with a friend."
"Man, you don't peg me for streamers *or* arm wrestling? Clearly you don't know me at all. And I thought we were *soulmates*," Petra sniffs to Jai, managing to sound hurt. But a second later she's elbowing Damian with a grin, saying, "Steve's fine. I'm sure he misses you just as much as you miss him."
Liane read read read, while Liane does work stuff!
Jai ahhhs, nodding at Damian, "Got it. Can't you go visit him at your friend's, though?" He blinks once at Petra's hurt tone, but then grins once it's clear to him she's not serious. "Hey, I'm not saying you =couldn't= pull off gauzy streamers, they just don't seem like they'd be your first choice. And you can't blame me for not catching your arm wrestling prowess on first glance, not when you're all stealth. I mean you're not wearing a muscle tank and your arms don't look like a bag of rocks or anything. Maybe I should be miffed at you for trying to mislead me. I mean I might've sat down to an arm wrestling match with you with no warning that you might snap my humerus in twain."
"I will, I will. I just don't want to smother." Damian says to the suggestion that he go visit his precious plant. He grins at Jai and seems to really like 'in twain', filing that away for later poetic use while having another cookie dunked in tea.
Narisha looks back at Damian as he answers the mysterious Steve question, though in truth, it doesn't explain much for her. Plants named steve, tea named fred. So, might as well tackle the final point of confusion. "And so now I have to ask: What is this about tentacles?"
"That's the whole *point,*" Petra insists to Jai. "You're supposed to underestimate my considerable arm wrestling aptitude, and then I mop the floor with you. Much as I'm going to do to Damian during our upcoming tentacle match." She reaches out to pat Damian's dread head, then takes a sip of her tea. "I bet Steve thinks you're ignoring him. He's probably really hurt," she teases him with a little smirk. She glances over at Narisha then, saying simply, "Oh, it turns out Damian is a god. I was hoping he was an Elder God, but it turns out he's squeamish about tentacles, so he has to settle for being a regular god, while I have ascended to the rank of Elder God in his stead." Simple when you put it like that.
Damian nods to Petra's introduction to the what the fuck kinda conversation happening at the table, "Things with tentacles are not right." he tells Narisha with complete surety, "I'm just going to settle with being a little bitty god instead, cause... I do not want."
"But I don't like being used to mop floors. I am not a cleaning implement, whatever you may have heard," Jai retorts to Petra. "Some things with tentacles are right. Octopi, squid, jellyfish, they have to have tentacles. Admittedly Elder Gods don't have the best reputation for being Right, but you gotta watch out how much gossip you take at face value..."
Narisha says, "So, how is it you three find yourselves here, talking about tea, tentacles and ... tulips." She looks at Damian and says, "that's the only plant Icould think of that starts with T.""
"You'll be a cleaning implement and you'll like it, lest I sic my tricked-out tentacles on you," Petra says mildly to Jai. "Though you're absolutely right, about taking things at face value. I for one welcome our new Elder God overlords. Especially since I'm one of them." Narisha's question makes her pause, trying to think back to how this all began. And so she starts, "It all started when I was a little girl..." Her tone is teasing.
"Th-the f-failure of the opp-p-position to p-poison a l-little girl meant th-their s-swift d-demise." Liane says, eyes still focused on her book. "Th-thanks to her g-guardian, h-however, she survived with l-little problems, and aft-t-ter s-saving a p-prince from an evil w-witch, decided it w-was no longer b-beneficial to be a p-princess in t-title, and thus she began her j-journey to g-godhood. F-failing m-miserably, of c-course. Her h-hubris will likely be p-punished. It m-must be, in s-s-stories."
"Dwarf butterfly bush." Damian offers for Narisha, but hardly seems bothered that she had to work up a T name. You gotta make these things work, and he can dig it. But he's not getting in the way of who is and is not a cleaning instrument, this could prove detrimental to his heath! Or, he might get really clean. Either way, it's probably best left alone. Still, he shakes his head *firmly* that octopi and squid are NOT right.
"I'm pretty sure I won't. I mostly hate housework," Jai replies to Petra, and he glances over his shoulder to Liane with a bit of surprise at hearing her actually speak again. It makes him grin again, when he parses it. "Honestly, Narisha, I have no idea, these things just happen."
Narisha glances over her shoulder when Liane pipes in, and smiles at her take. "That has the sound of Grimm in it. That's good." She turns back to the tentacle talking trio and adds, "So, is it true? Are you a failed God now ferever cursed to live out a life of tentacle envy and armwrestling matches?" She laughs gleefully then sips her tea.
"Hey, I'm not a failed God! I'm-- simply taking stock of my life in a different manner than I was before, and also I no longer have any powers. But I'm still TOTALLY a God," Petra protests feebly, giving Liane a fake little bit of stinkeye. "But Liane's totally right about their failure to poison me leading to their doom. People always underestimate girls, to their detriment." She glances over at Liane and asks, curiously, "How do you think I'll be punished? I want to know what to expect."
Damian tells Petra quite seriously, "Girls are very dangerous." Lessons from Momma, no doubt. You can almost hear some bayou woman yelling, 'little girls is the debble!' while a little dread headed Waterboy pouts.
Liane glances up, though her eyes are distracted. Not quite here. "P-punishment? Oh, it c-could be anything. Likely, y-you'll f-f-fail to get w-what you want, or you'll get it only t-t-to find it m-makes you m-miserable, or y-you'll find s-something you'll f-feel you d-deserve more th-than what you have, and that will b-be the w-worse thing for you. And unt-t-til you notice where y-your pride has t-taken you, you'll not get w-what you want." She pauses a moment, sipping at her own tea. She seems off in her own little world. "Or w-worse, you'll b-b-be the p-proud ch-character in someone else's s-story, who w-will suffer for th-their p-pride. C-cinderella's m-mother had her eyes g-gouged out by d-doves, and S-snow Wh-white's..." Liane shakes her head. "Not to m-mention countless others."
"Some girls are," Jai muses, "like some guys are. Some not so much." He's quiet for a few moments, mostly because he's eatin' a few wafers and drinkin' some Fred, and it's rude to talk with his mouth full.
Narisha just giggles and nods. She pulls out a notebook from her handbag and notes something down. "This is so awesome."
"Fuckin' doves, man. Vicious little assholes, aren't they?" Petra tsks, shaking her head. She takes a sip of her tea, glancing first at Liane, then Damian, and smiling faintly. She's sitting at the fortune reading table, along with Jai and Damian. Liane is over behind the counter, her nose in a book, though she's glancing up at the others. Narisha is standing nearby the table.
Damian just seems to grow quieter and quieter, shrinking in his chair steadily and beginning to waft out that oh god nervous thing that he seems to fall into so often. With customers entering the shop and the windows and door so far away from him, he cant manage to add anything constructive to the conversation while beginning to succumb to a sense of crushing suffocation. It's not so bad yet that he cant sip his tea, but he does use both hands to hold his mug.
It's probably a good thing that Liane has been in her fugue state, safely behind the counter reading, because freakin' out is probably more her thing than Damian. But slowly, she seems to be coming out of her reverie. "D-doves are act-t-t-tually j-just pigeons. Or v-vice versa." Liane notes. "H-historically, th-they're the s-same thing, oft-t-ten enough." Her eyes seem to clear a little more, and she shifts uncomfortably in her seat.
If there's bells above the door, they jingle, if not, Darling strolls in without the fanfare. Her nostrils flare as she hits the wall of scents, but with no frown or pained grimaces following, she seems to judge it alright to breath. A steady eyed stare is directed ahead, passes over the assembled and then slips sideways towards shiny stuff on display. Ooh. She'll walk that-a-way.
Narisha stops writing a moment and then suddenly says, "Wait... I didn't get everyones name. I gotta get this down." She looks up expectantly, "You all mind? This would make some great material for my writing journalism class."
"Either way, they're really annoying if you have to spend time around them," Jai says, "...pretty smart, though." He looks up at the sound of the door's attached windchime, and his eyes widen a little. And again with the actually not talking for a few seconds! "...what?" he asks Narisha absently, "Oh. Yeah, sure. Jai, J-A-I..."
"But they're pigeons with really good PR, not like those bastard pigeons you get all over," Petra says to Liane, then sips at her tea. "It's like squirrels, you know? They're just annoying little rats, but they've got good PR, so people think they're all cute 'n fuzzy. Not me, though. I see through their crafty marketing campaign." Petra looks up as the windchimes sound, giving Darling a little chin-jut of greeting. No words, though. She's clearly too cool for words. "Name's Petra," she notes for Narisha's benefit. "And you're... Nari, I think you said?"
Damian mumbles quietly at his cup that he's a damn man, what with all these names going about, and abruptly drains his cup. "I. Gotta. Steve." he mumbles in a disjointed rush, stumbling up and out of his seat with a complete lack of grace, speedwalking towards his pack by the door.
Someone else? Really? REALLY? With the crowd already here? Liane pales - a difficult feat, with her own pale skin - and her eyes widen ever so slightly. "I th-th-think I h-h-have th-th-things I've f-f-forgott-t-ten in the b-b-back." She lies blatantly, looking a bit panicked. "P-p-petra, c-c-could you w-watch the p-p-place? Th-thank you." She says, not waiting for a reply, and /flees/.
Narisha softly repeats the names as she jots them down, "Jai... Petra..." and then she looks up as the other two flee. She looks at Jai and Petra with a hint of concern, "Was it something I said?"
"Yes, it was," Petra assures Narisha. "She and Damian are allergic to names. Simply tragic, really. Really got them into trouble growing up every time there was a roll call." She shakes her head sadly, then takes a sip of her tea. "Well, now that Liane's gone I guess that makes me in charge! Free tea for everyone!" There was totally already free tea, but now Petra feels powerful!
Damian explodes out the front door in a near panic, not even throwing on his pack, just dragging it with him with a clatter. Outside, he leans on a parking meter and catches his breath before going to do whatever it is he does.
Darling gravitates towards the display of shiny things on the back wall but she's not totally stuck on it, attention-wise. Sidelong, she watches Damian zip by until he's well and good away then those big blue eyes of hers snap forward. Liane vanishes. Wait, isn't she the person one talks to about shiny things? A fleeting look of confusion flits over her face. Oh well, the other girl is in charge now. The universe unfolds. All is well.
Narisha bites her lip and looks at Petra and Jai. "Sorry if I scared off your friends. Didn't know they were nameaphobic..." She is joking, but not. She feels a little bad. "They gonna be alright?"
Jai watches Damian flee with that head-tilt he gets, but you can't ask questions of a guy who isn't there. "I've heard nameaphobia's a spreading epidemic these days. But not usually terminal, so... I guess they'll probably be okay?" He looks to Petra for confirmation; she may be flippant, but she's clearly known them longer than he has. "Do we get free wafers, too?" As if they didn't already.
"They'll be fine," Petra assures Narisha, this time a little more seriously. "They're both kinda spazzes, but in a good way." There's a good way to be a spazz? Apparently! She rubs her chin in exaggerated thought at Jai's question about the wafers. "You know what? What the heck! I decree there shall be free wafers! And it is SO!" Possibly because she's now in charge and the weight of that is heavy, she rises from her seat and steps a little closer to Darling, saying politely, "If you need anything, lemme know. They-- er, we-- do custom orders and stuff, too, so if you find something you'd like a little different, it's possible we can work something out."
Darling nods a touch in response and presses a polite little smile into service, "I will, thank you." Like, maybe after she's had a proper look at the merchandise. So that's exactly what she gets to doing, no doubt with an ear taking in the conversation without trying to.
"Well, okay." Narisha replies, maybe half convinced. She finishes up a last note and puts on a more genuine smile. "And thanks. This was fun."
"Oh, are you leaving? It was nice meeting you," Jai says to Nari, giving her another grin. "Are you going to the university? I mean, journalism class and all..."
Nodding, Petra moves away from Darling again, letting her shop in peace. She wanders back over to the table, flopping into a seat and propping one leg up on a chair. "Yeah, nice meeting you," she says all friendly-like to Narisha, then adds, "If you *are* a university student, we might end up in a class together sometime."
Darling's gaze sweeps from one end of the shelf to the other, rather like she has something she's looking for but for whatever reason, decided to keep it to herself. Back and forth, back and forth, and so on until there's no more shelves, and no more merchandise that she hasn't took a passing gander at. A small sigh escapes her.
Narisha nods to Jai, 'Yes, yes I sould go. I make it a point to only scare two people away per visit. And yes, UNM writing department. Just started up my second semester there." She then looks to PEtra and responds, "Great! I hope so. I don't know many people there yet, so it'd be good. DO you live on campus?"
"Very cool," Jai says to Narisha brightly, and finishes off his tea, setting the mug down, standing, and stretching enough he's almost in danger of hitting the ceiling. Well. If it were lower. He picks up the mug again and looks around for where he might be supposed to put it. The sigh catches his ear, though, and he wanders over in Darling's direction. "Were you looking for something in particular? ...I don't work here, I'm just nosy."
"Nope, I don't... live on campus, I mean. I'm around there rather a lot, though, at the library or just jogging. I'm sure we'll run into each other either there or here." Petra smiles to Narisha, then adds, "Well, have a good night. Hope our tentacled madness helps you in your classes in some weird way."
Narisha waves goodbye to Jai and Petra. "It will, thanks. And I'll be back. I like this place. Thanks." She slips her notes back in to her handbag, finishes up her tea. "That is good Fred." And sets it on a likely looking counter. "Night." And she heads for the door.
Darling turns on her heel to face the nosy Jai. Her expression at first, is rather blank, almost hostile in its lack of warmth but after a moment a mild smile appears and she gives her shoulders a little uncertain shrug. "Nossir. Just got to thinking that I ought to find someone a gift, but nothing caught my eye." A glance goes after the departing Narisha then tracks Petra's way. She is the self-designated boss after all. "Say, I don't suppose y'all have some sage here?"
"Night!" Jai calls after Narisha, lifting his hand in a goodbye wave at about shoulder-height, and then he nods at Darling. "Gifts are tricky that way, gotta wait 'til something tells you it's supposed to belong to the person in question. Or at least, I do." He glances at the wall of shinies that was being looked at, and -- after a few moments when he manages to tear his gaze away again -- notes, "If you're thinking about sparklies, there's some more in the case over there, dunno if you saw them yet."
Petra stands up and gathers Jai and Narisha's mugs, carrying them over to the tea counter and setting them in the sink. She doesn't wash them because, hey, she's in charge, not the maid. When Darling calls over to her, she pauses and says, "We... probably do? I uh..." There's a pause while she reconsiders this whole 'I'm in charge' thing, and finally admits, "I don't... normally work here. But someone who *does* left me in charge. But I bet between the three of us, we can find some sage." She heads over toward where most of the herbs are and starts dutifully looking through the rows, whether Jai and Darling head over there or not.
Darling considers the gift selection conundrum and nods a touch in agreement. "It's harder still when its a gift for someone that ain't hospitalized, but likely will be, only they don't know it yet and you don't want to go ruining the surprise on 'em." Tough. At this point however, she seems more interested in sage than sparklies so wanders over to Petra's general vicinity to help with the search. "I'd just like an itty bit."
That reply startles Jai, and he laughs once. "Yeah, I can see how that could be... awkward..." He heads over to the herbal area, eyeing the herbs there in their jars almost warily. "So aside from being green and being labeled, I hope, 'sage', how will I know it if I see it?"
"Hell if I know," Petra mutters to Jai in response. "I normally don't see herbs unless they're all ground up and dried and put in a shaker. But Katie labels everything pretty meticulously, so it shouldn't be too hard to-- aha!" She grabs a bit of sage triumphantly, smiling over at the two of them. "So are you the one doing the hospitalizing, or is it fate?" she asks Darling, handing over the herb.
"Ain't much that smells quite the same as sage." Darling replies, suggesting a more olfactory approach to identifying it, in a way. As for Petra's question she merely smiles at first, takes the offered herb and then smoothly supplies an answer, "I couldn't rightly say, but the lord surely does work in mysterious ways." The sage is held out at Jai, nose level. "Go on then, have a sniff."
Jai grins at Petra. "...me neither. Some of my ancestors would probably be so disappointed." He looks through a couple jars, but doesn't get far before Petra hits the jackpot. "Nice hunting," he tells her, and when he's invited to, he does lean over to smell the herb. "Oh... =that's= sage," he says, startled, "I've smelled that before, I just didn't know what it was. Thanks."
If Darling's answer is perturbing to Petra, she certainly doesn't show it. She smirks, in point of fact, and nods her head. "That he do, that he do." Glancing over at the other woman, she says, "Do you mind if I ask whereabouts you're from? I'm not very good with Southern accents. But I do warn you that if you're from Texas you have to pay me a dollar. I have a running theory that everybody in Albuquerque is from Texas or New York. I'm in the latter category, obviously."
Petra is standing over in the herbs section with Darling and Jai, the latter leaning over to smell some sage held by the former.
Uh huh. That's sage alright. Darling waits patiently for Jai to have his sniff of the stuff before nodding a bit. As for her place of origin, well, she's not entirely forthcoming, but she does reveal one thing for certain and does so with a soft, terse laugh, "Hell, I ain't from Texas or New York. I guess you owe me the dollar."
"Owe me one, too," Jai claims, "I think this might end up being a losing proposition for you in the long run. You'll end up on the street, begging for people to tell you they're from Texas or New York just to make them give you a buck, and that'll be such a complete waste." He shakes his head sadly.
Liane inches out from one of the back rooms, peering inside the room to see what everyone's up to. That they're molesting her poor herbs makes her feel her guilt deep down to the core, and she steps out, still nervous. But seeing Petra has everything well in hand, she relaxes somewhat.
Petra is not a sore loser apparently, since she smiles amiably enough as she draws her wallet out of her pocket. "Well damn. There goes my theory, shot all to pieces. You two have ruined everything. I hope you're happy." The wallet is rather thick with bills, and she pulls out two dollars, holding them out for the two of them to take. "Don't spend it all in one place, now, unless that place happens to be here." She grins over at Jai, elbowing him lightly. When she notices Liane come in, she calls out, "Liane! I'm getting my comeuppance, just like you prophesized!"
One of the dollar bills is snapped deftly from Petra's fingers with a lightning swift swipe. Darling folds the bill in half in one hand and palms it almost as quickly as she took it. "It's a shame to have more dollars than sense." She smiles before scooting on by Jai to take herself off to the counter. She gives Lianne a long look on the way over, getting a good look at her front as she already saw the back end of her.
"Awesome," Jai says, taking the other bill rather less swiftly. "'Yoink! Hey, at least it's not costing all =that= much. Discount comeuppance, we can get it for you wholesale. You'll never find a deal like that anywhere else, take my word." He grins at her, and slides the dollar into his pocket. "I'm sure I can find something else here to spend it on. Somewhere." His gaze flits to the baubles again.
Liane inches a little closer to the group, and from her place behind the counter asks in her usual soft voice - Liane doesn't really yell much, or speak louder. "D-d-do you n-need any h-h-help?"
"Yeah, well, it's kind of my 'thing'," Petra replies to Darling casually. She puts her wallet away, two dollars lighter, and glances over at at Jai. "Yeah, you've got a point there. A two-dollar comeuppance is hardly as dire as I was expecting." Stepping away from the herbs, she makes her way back over to the fortune reading table, grabbing up her empty cup and ambling over to the tea counter. "Anyone want any tea? Deliciously free."
Some sage is presented to Liane, along with the freshly won dollar bill. "I'd like this rung up, if it ain't no bother to you." Darling replies as she parks herself there with a patient bit of a smile showing. As for deliciously free tea? Well, she declines with a murmured 'no-thank-you'.
"We provide quality comeuppance services at reasonable rates; if you have enjoyed our work, why not recommend us to your friends? If not, why not recommend us to your enemies?" Jai says, doing a darn good 'generic TV pitchman' voice. He clearly considers the tea, but then his phone rings, and he pulls it from his pocket to answer quickly. "'lo? ...yeah, uh... Second and Montano? Five minutes, sure." He hands up and the phone disappears again. "No more Fred for me, unless you secretly have a thermos handy. Apparently I gotta go actually =work= for a dollar, now. Nice meeting you all, though." He tosses a smile 'round to all three of them, and a little wave as he starts toward the door.
"Nice meeting you, O Quality Comeuppance Provider. Have a good night," Petra says, waving farewell to Jai with a smile. She puts water on to boil, glancing over at Darling and Liane before preparing her mug of tea for eventual pourage.
Darling has no free hands to wave with, nor fingers to wiggle, so she settles on an over the shoulder smile to Jai.