Whisky Is Liquid Sunshine


caspian_icon.gif devi_icon.gif

Scene Title Whisky is Liquid Sunshine
Synopsis A meeting about painting with social drinking leads to nude sketches and shameless flirting.
Date April 1, 2019

Anarchy Customs II

Located in the northern part of the Sheepshead Bay, the immortal sea offers a lapping, timid and yet relentless, resonance from somewhere nearby… until it's interrupted by the banging, crashing, or booming that usually emanates from the nearby garage. Set into the crumbling brick structure that looks like one of many in this barely rehabilitated region are two large, rolling bay doors. The corrugated metal entrances are framed by the copper-green patina of rust around the edges.

Just inside, the large garage is already home several vehicles with varying numbers of wheels; parts in different states of dismantling, repair, reconstruction, or destruction; and some things that are simply unidentifiable in their current state.

A small, unassuming, black-painted door with an obvious deadbolt is set off in the back corner.

A sunny day has left the pavement with a radiating aura of warmth even as its glow dips on the horizon. Devi stands outside garage’s opened doors. Her leather jacket hangs loosely over her shoulders, bare and tattooed arms exposed by a simple Metallica t-shirt exposed in the draping, open hollow. Her arms partly crossed, she brings a familiar black clove cigarette to her lips. Her visage is turned towards the sunset, her dark eyes half-lidded in some combination relaxation and effort of fending off the bright streams that cut through through rubble and buildings; making a dramatic, jagged silhouette of the bay, before falling across her cheeks.

As peaceful as the woman seems to be, lost in thought behind those dark irises, there is the ever present contrast and dichotomy about her still. Today she’s like serpent half shed, her business hair and makeup an attractive contrast to the unveiled truth of her mechanical interest. Her styled black locks have been thrown up hastily and grease has managed to crawl up from her fingertips and under her bangles and accessories. The black smeers seem as natural to her as the rest of her flesh and ink and color and a flesh plume of gray smoke tendrils drift lazily away.

Sheepshead Bay is one of the places in the safe zone that Caspian tends to spend a lot of time.

With infrastructure in shambles in this part of the city, being able to find enough power to heat a room, cook a meal, or listen to the radio when the intermittent power decides to cut out can oftentimes be a matter of daily survival for some. Several small kits have been popping up around the zone that Devi might have noticed in her travels. Built from a single solar panel and scavenged laptop batteries or UPS batteries, the devices, made available for cost of parts, allowed people to get through the blackouts without their meager stores going bad due to a refrigerator being shut off for too long. The electrician’s truck that distributed them, marked with a familiar-looking logo in graffiti-style, could often be seen trundling through the streets, stopping when flagged down to trade power for goods or, sometimes, for the promise of a favor later, and this is the truck that’s approaching.

Caspian had been spending the day working, and now that quitting time was in the past, his evening meeting was steadily approaching. He and his van, after a quick stop at home to scrub the day’s grime off and to grab a clean change of clothes, made his way to the indicated address at the specified time. On the seat next to him was a bottle of something from his personal stock - Bruichladdich Black Art #2 - one of the few bottles that managed to make its way from Scotland to the states via Canada. He found it in the ruins of a large house in Las Vegas during the exodus east during the war along with a few other choice bottles that managed to survive the trip to Kansas on the back of his motorcycle. Apparently he's trying to impress, just a little. The other thing on his seat is one of many workbooks, the card Devi provided with the raven clipped to the front with a large paperclip. It seems to be the starting point of what he drew inspiration from.

Gravel and shards of glass crunch under the tires of Caspian’s van as he pulls into the fenced in yard surrounding Anarchy Customs, the engine is killed and the man, much cleaner than the time Devi met him prior, steps out. The van’s doors are locked with a heavy hasp and key before he takes a second or two to look around. Already walls are making themselves known, begging for a bit of paint to bring them to life.

He approaches Devi, his eyes hidden behind battered ray bans, his sketchbook under one arm, bottle held in the same hand by the bottom, carefully. “Evening.” Caspian sounds cheery. “Hope you haven't been waiting long.”

Dark gaze flits down from the horizon to the approaching figure. The right corner of her lips, today a dark plum, begins a slow creep up into a tilted smile - whether the expression is a result of Capsian’s ability to clean up, or just his mere presence, is unclear. “Not too long,” she replies. Her husky voice is more hoarse than usual, a subdued quality overriding her inherently teasing tone. She drops the clove cigarette into a small bucket of grimy sand set off to the side for just such purposes and straightens up from her leaned stance against the stone wall.

The slight shift of her person disturbs the loose drape of the leather jacket over Devi’s shoulders, allowing a glimpse of a black, breathable canvas-like sling holding her left arm at a careful ninety degree angle. A stark white bandage plays peekaboo up at her left shoulder, but her unrestrained hand reaches up to gently adjust the collar of her jacket back around her and disguise the injury in a casual manner. “Glad you could make it,” she adds, sincerity starting to leach a playfulness back into her voice. “I could really use that drink you promised.”

With a grin and a little nudge of her head, she welcomingly leads the way into the garage bay. At the back wall, nearest the “Employees Only” door, a well-worn, black leather sofa has been dragged in with a toolbox setup up for use as either an ottoman or table right before it.

Pausing a good few feet from Devi, Caspian hefts the bottle to show the faded label, slipping it into the crook of his arm like a baby, his book still clamped beneath his left arm. He does notice the bandage, the stark white against the designs etched into her skin, when mostly hidden, still stands out at a glance, even when Devi tries to hide it. He's a gentleman, though, and doesn’t bring it to her attention that he noticed, even if she noticed he noticed. He'll let her bring it up in conversation when she's more comfortable with him. It's one of those social things that happens sometimes - kind of odd, but kind of comforting, too.

“Of course.” He falls in behind, walking in step with Devi as she leads the way into the garage, looking around as they move through the bays. “After all, It's not every day that I get invited out to show off my work and encouraged as an artist.” The scenery helps, too, although he doesn't say that out loud. His sketchbook is placed carefully on the makeshift coffee table, the bottle right next to it with a satisfying thunk of the heavy glass bottle against enameled steel.

It seems the spot was chosen rather well, with a large overhead light hanging over the space in front of the couch, illuminating the anything placed beneath them rather well. “If you take it with ice, I hope you have some here. As you probably know, getting good ice from the market to here is a little tough.” It doesn't help that Caspian doesn't trust the ice seller there that much either. Ever since he saw the man’s freezer and how he's rigged it to work. Black mold everywhere.

The bottle is black, with a black cork, and when it's opened with a muffled *pop* echoing softly through the garage, the scent of the stuff in the bottle can easily be picked up from a few feet away. The glasses that he pulls out of his jacket pockets, heavy crystal rocks glasses, are placed down, too, each getting a splash of the amber colored liquor, Caspian waiting for Devi to sit before he does. “I think I've come up with a few things you might like, he says with a smile. “Even with your notoriously easy-to-please reputation.” Teasing? Playful teasing? He's having fun.

Devi slinks over and sinks into the large, abused, plush sofa. It takes a moment, as her eyes follow Caspian, before she seems to relax back. More like animal than human, the woman shifts side-to-side, her undamage shoulder drifting up and down one or twice, until she seems to settle in. There’s a contentedness slowly, subtly stealing it’s way into her, but as she turns briefly to look over the bare, boring walls, the effect falls short and her gaze is left to consider the work yet to be complete.

Dark eyes turn back to Caspian and the lazy smile ticks up into a more amused, playful artistry. The aroma reaching her senses has her banishing any concerns about ice, “Straight is fine. I’m not a watered-down kinda woman,” she quips with a husky chuckle. The artist’s own playful chiding ellists a popped arc to her brow and cracks her smirk into a more sincere grin. “Ooo. You came prepared.” Her chin dipping in a nod of approval, she pats the sofa beside her. “Come show me whatchoo got.”

“I try. Didn’t know if you’d have glasses or anything, and I got these in trade for some work I did for some people in Red Hook, so it’s not like I don’t have a couple bouncing around. Besides, it can be seen as impressive if you’re prepared for many occasions.” He grins and, for a moment, considers warning her that this stuff has a kick, but Devi’s a big girl that certainly knows her tolerances. She probably can handle a lot more than he’d think, too, so each glass is filled with three fingers of the amber liquid, one is offered to Devi, and a simple toast is made. “May we get what we want but never get what we deserve.” He clinks his glass against hers, swirls it around and then takes a sniff of the whisky followed by a careful sip of the stuff, blowing out a breath at the tastes flooding through his mouth. Good stuff.

The sketchbook is one that might be found anywhere in New York. About twelve inches by sixteen inches with a heavy cardboard cover, the book has a few smudges of marker from being carried around and thought over, the card she gave Caspian clipped to the cover with a large silver paperclip. It’s slid over in front of Devi and the heavy cover is turned back. “I kind of took your logo and ran with it. Flip through and tell me what you think. It’s a 130 page sketchbook - I filled about half.” Caspian explains, sitting back to let her look and see what he’s worked on.

The first page is a mural in blacks, blues, violets and reds that, at first glance, seems to be a simple drawing of the business card that he was given a few days prior. Looking closer, the feathers are made up of words and slogans - declarations of the freedom of the road, strength, and even quotes about destiny and philosophy, all written carefully into the raven’s feathers in a way that is easily missed and appears to magically fade into view with study. The second page is filled with logos - each in a different style - from tribal to wild style to mechanical and simplistic, including one made of a single line. Every one of the raven she showed. Even a bubbly-style throw up that wouldn't look out of place in a Kids room.

Devi’s dark gaze narrows a bit - when paired with that devilish smile, it’s clear that she’s impressed… and they haven’t even opened the portfolio yet. “I had no doubt you’d come prepared.” The woman takes up the offered glass and all but laughs at the apt toast. Devi closes her eyes as the liquor slips past her lips. She tips her head back, raven locks a dark aura as she indulges the trickling burn down her throat. She sits this way a moment longer still before shaking out her dark locks and looking down to the newly opened sketchbook with interest.

“Well well well…” Limited to one hand, Devi sneaks in another sip before setting the glass aside in favor of looking over the artwork. She reaches out, but reconsiders when she notes the contrast of her greasy digits hovering over the fine lines. So instead, her hand hovers a moment before moving delicately too the corner and turning the pages with limited grease prints in the upper corners. “Mosts artists have a go-to, a style,” she speaks from experience, gaze enthralled as each turn of the heavy paper reveals a new take on her spirit animal. The biker eventually flips back to the first page though, revisiting the image of twisting words melding to intricate feathers. “Regardless of what goes on the wall,” she comments, “I’d like to purchase the set. These are… amazing.” She leans back, finally capable of prying her gaze from the art to the actual artist.

Devi considers the man with the same intensity at first before a smile smooths the edges her sharp features into a softer charm. She uses the motion of one shoulder to shrug off the draped leather from her back, letting if fall over the couch behind her. The sling and the stark gauze are more obvious now, but she simply uses the new freedom to reach out and take back up the glass of fine, amber liquid once more.

A few fingerprints never hurt the art, and considering that they’re normally sprayed on the side of buildings, fingerprints are one of the lesser things to worry about. There are a few of his, here and there, indicating where he used a fingertip to smooth out a bit of ink or inadvertently left a mark near the edge of one of the ravens - a design which he incorporated into the next one which was entirely made of fingerprints in different color ink. “That one might take a little more time, considering.” Caspian comments to that one. “It was more of an experiment than anything. I think it looks good but getting fingerprints to scale up to wall size would take a lot of time and the effect would be overstated.” Art shouldn’t be forced, in his opinion. Still, her care with the art is noted. She’ll be allowed to touch the art if she wants to.

“My style is that I adapt. I mostly paint messages and things that’re nice to look at, but sometimes I enjoy making art that, at first glance, people wonder why I painted it, but when they look at it, it grows on them. Stuff like this. Here, look.” Caspian leans over, his shoulder bumping hers inadvertently as he pulls his wallet out of his back pocket, opening it and withdrawing a magazine clipping. This is odd, considering it’s from before the war, and from a fairly well known news magazine, but as he unfolds it, an image comes into view. It’s from an issue of Newsweek according to the byline at the bottom, somewhere near the back of the issue. It’s from the middle of an article about Evolved people - the text really is irrelevant in this case - but the image is what matters. In color is a piece of graffiti found ‘in Los Angeles’ according to the caption, of a little girl surrounded by menacing looking men, each holding a restraint that references their role. The little girl is floating, straining to move toward the light while the men stand with their chains - the doctor with an IV tube, the police officer with handcuffs - all threatening to hold her back from her destiny. “This is one of mine that apparently struck a nerve. Sticking it on Hollywood Boulevard across from Mann’s Chinese Theater got a lot of eyes on it.”

Sitting with Devi is comfortable for Caspian. He always hung around with, shall we say, interesting women. His prior two relationships were with a gangster from South Africa who returned to take over her father’s territory and a woman who ran a gang on Staten Island who was unfortunately killed in the commission of some unknown act. Given those prior encounters, hanging out with someone that’s not involved heavily with organized crime is a good thing. “I’m glad you like them. I can customize the words to something more to your liking or specific slogans or names of people you hang around with. Hell, even the grease monkeys you said would be running around here - I could customize the walls in front of their bays with their names and the like, if you were interested in making them feel like this place was theirs, too.”

He leans back on the opposite arm of the couch, lifting his glass as she lifts hers, taking a sip after offering another silent toast. “Whatever happened there didn’t get your ink, did it?” Caspian gestures towards the injured arm.

The bump to her shoulder is luckily on her uninjured side, her earlier invitation to sit down having been provided with her unmaimed arm. Devi listens with an easy smile to the man’s description of his style and leans over the provided clipping. Lacking a free hand to reach out of the article, she encroaches on Caspian’s personal space to lower her face, tipping her head to consider the image within the picture from a new perspective. “I can see why,” she comments. “Sometimes it’s too difficult to see the world for what it is, but art makes you really look. Something like this,” she lifts her chin up to denote the little magazine clipping, “makes you looks really deep.”

Perhaps it’s good that Caspian knows so little of the Raven Queen’s past, for the history of running gangs on Staten Island might strike a cord of loss that would spoil the otherwise easy atmosphere around the pair. The Ravens Motorcycle club was primarily disbanded during the Second Civil War, seeking out other opportunities in the west while Staten and New York fell to chaos and ruin. Now only herself, her brother, and the two ‘grease monkeys’ remain. Undoubtedly, there’s some criminal activity, but ‘organized crime’ not so much, currently. Speaking of… “Nah. Rooster and Keytone don’t care much for tags and art. That’s always been Levi’s and my thing.”

Devi doesn’t bother to look down when the gesture is given to her bandaged shoulder. She’s not foolish or coy enough to play off the injury. She does sit up, though, withdrawing slightly from the immediate warmth provided by the momentary closeness that had been shared with the magazine article. “Not the important ink,” she comments first. She lifts her chin to expose her long, tattooed throat. Glass still in hand, lifts her pinky and gestures almost instinctively to the lines of a wide-spread raven that wrap from one side of her neck unto the other. For just a moment, the birds feathers seems stirred by an unpresent breeze, but the effect is brief and easily attributed to the play of the overhead lights and the shadow of her dark hair. She lowers her visage and tips her head to the side and her wounded shoulder. “It was a clean shot. Point blank. The tat there will need some rework when it heals. Scar tissue is tough, but I think a broken effect to the abstract clock with be… poetic.” She puts on a practiced, devilish smile.

“I wish I could say they all were this deep.” Caspian says. “Lots of my art is just what I'm thinking at the time. I don't intend for it to mean anything deeper than the surface of a pond, and when I sit down and try to make something with meaning, it seems…forced, y’know? Trying to make art be something it's not.” He taps the article, taking it back and tucking it away into his wallet where it's been kept safe for years. “This was triggered, I guess, by me reading in class about some of the things that were happening to evolved people, and was just after I learned I was one.” He shrugs. “So there’s that.”

Rooster and Keytone’s taste or lack thereof for tags is noted. No obvious notes on what to add to the murals in the mechanic bays, although there will be a rooster hidden somewhere in the art, just because of the man's name, whether he likes it or not.

And then the subject turns to the injury, Caspian sitting quietly as the important ink is displayed, the movement drawing a small arch of his brow that's easily missed. Rumors abound of an artist that could make tattoos that seemed nearly alive, told from person to person and spread through the zone, but he had never tracked the person down because he had never had something he wanted immortalized like that. “Thank goodness for small miracles. Hitting that important tattoo would require a little more than a sling and a bandage to patch up, and the one healer I know about tends to leave those he heals alive but in worse shape when they leave.” Lots of pain, basically, but he doesn't say that.

Perhaps to his credit, Caspian doesn't ask for explanation, doesn't pry, doesn't ask ‘well, what happened?’ He’s learned in his time that there are some questions you just don't ask if you want to continue hanging around interesting people, and if Devi wants to share, she’ll share. “Don't get shot, though, if you can avoid it. High-speed lead poisoning hurts and messes up your skin.” He manages to not add a cheesy line about hers being pretty and, instead. takes another swallow of his whisky, squinting a little as it burns its way to his belly where it sits, warm, like a lighter left on too long and tucked into a pocket where it makes itself known.

“It'll look good broken, I think.” He says, refilling her glass with another dose of the good whisky. “The line work on your tattoos is amazing, and the scar’s just another story to tell. Whoever your artist is is worth every cent you pay.”

Devi finds herself nodding along as Caspian describes the vicious trap of art, muse, and meaning. She sips from the glass, this time pushing her tongue out over her lips as the heat of the liquor seems to meander through her limbs and finds way back out as a hot, spiced breath. “Inspiration is an elusive, sexy bitch,” she teases.

The conversation has turned to her wound, though and she chuckles. “Healers?” She is clearly surprised. “Wow, friggin’ Evos, man - I learn something new every day. Things I never dreamed existed.” She shakes her head casually. “Ain’t nothing miraculous about it… Just doin’ something stupid.” Here’s where she’s going to need to finish off her whiskey if she’s to divulge what manner of foolishness landed her with a new hole in her body. “Whoo!” She looks down into the emptied vessel with a grin, but just as easily lets her chocolate eyes slide back to Caspian.

“Couple of idiotas started attacking this woman in a market for…” Her hand with the glass tips and her head bobs vaguely side-to-side as she searches for the words to explain what happened, words separate from her own feelings so closely interwoven with the situation. “She was using her ability to better her goods. These dickweeds just couldn’t compete.” She leans carefully back into the soft cough and gives a silent, quick lift of her brows. It’s a quick expression that suggests her feeling on that point aren’t entirely made up, but she continues. “Fucking riot started and some guy pulled a gun on me and the lady and this other dude. I could see it - how to push the barrel out of battery, jam it up in my shoulder to keep it from firing.” She snorts dismissively. “Seeing it and doing it - that’s too different things. I’m not as quick as I used to be.”

She waits until the glass is freshly filled to take her eyes off the the vessel and turn to Caspian, her gaze probing for what reaction her words has earned. For now, she leaves the topic of her tattoo artist left abandoned aside.

Her glass is freshly filled to a sensible level. Caspian’s not aiming to get Devi drunk. That's just not polite and, truth be told, getting women drunk isn't Caspian’s thing. He leans over to snag the sketchbook, flipping to an empty page, and leans back on the couch, crossing one leg over the other. “Elusive, yes. Sexy?” He chuckles, pulling a black marker from inside his coat pocket, pulling the cap with his teeth and shrugging. “I've only met her once or twice that I remember, but yeah. She is.”

As they chat, his eyes flick back and forth, from Devi to the sketch pad, the fine line of the pen moving just out of sight, the scratching of nib against the page barely audible as he sketches on the heavy paper.

The story told is one of heroism. Defending a woman from attackers who disagreed with the use of an ability to improve her wares gets a satisfied smile, although a wince is in order when Devi tells of the missed parry. “It always works out better in your head, doesn't it?” Caspian has a story of his own about something like that, too, and might share it if he gets a little deeper in his cups. He makes the movement of parrying a pistol away with his right hand after switching the pen over. “You got most of it right, though…except the whole thing about bullets moving faster than you might remember. And if you hadn't, she'd be another statistic.” He pauses for a second, replacing the pen. “And you didn't know her at all?” The tone is soft and warm, hazel eyes catching hers for a second before going back down to the pad. “That's wonderful.”

He actually sounds pleased.

A fleeting look is given towards the procured sketchpad and pen, but more interesting is the wielder so her attention returns. “Wonderful?” Her laugh finds a warmth and depth not usually graced. She leans in towards, brows furrowed and chocolate gaze holding Caspian’s in mock seriousness. “I was shot,” she stresses with husky tone of disbelief. “Ow.” The deep etches of feigned gravity melt away under a fresh grin.

“You’ll get better.” Caspian helpfully counters with a matching grin.

Devi doesn’t withdraw as she had previously, but she does move to rest the refilled glass upon her knee. Her thumb brushes along the brim. “It used to be easier to run,” she admits simply, but gives a shrug of her good shoulder, smile unwavering, bolstered as it is by Capsian’s expression. It remains unspoken, but nonetheless clear - no more running.

From his spot on the couch, Caspian turns slightly so Devi can see what he's sketching: It's about halfway done so far, but it's obviously a half body sketch of Devi, judging from the shape of the shoulders and nose, sans sling or injury or tattoos. “I find it's easier to get the big parts of a sketch down before adding details. Bike metaphor might be fixing the front fork before worrying about painting the pinstripe on the gas tank. Or something.” He frowns a little. “I no talk good sometimes. Ugh.” In a caveman voice, too.

Caspian sketches for a few moments more. “That said…It's always easier to run.” He says softly, finally. “It's an instinctual reaction that we, as humans have. Avoiding conflict, finding a way out. Thing is? It works pretty much all the time until it doesn't. And then you're in trouble.” The implication? You're boned.

“It takes a certain something to be willing to sacrifice for others. Not a lot of people have it or can even bring it up that they did. You put your money where your mouth was, and not too many people do that anymore.” the sketching stops and the picture is revealed - Devi with her hair back, looking in profile toward the viewer. “I'll need to add tattoos to this, to make it really match the model, but it ain't bad for ten minutes work.”

Welcomed by the way the sketchbook is reveal mid-work, Devi lingers in that close proximity to watch the art develop. It’s not often someone gets the opportunity to literally see themselves through another person’s eyes. Whether it is the conversation at hand, or the final image presented to her, she comments in her playful, chiding, and husky way - “I’m so naked…”

Grinning, she widens her dark eyes at Caspian in quick flash, over the brim of her freshly lifted glass. She indulges another deep sip.

“Well, I get the basics first, and it’s just a fast sketch.” Caspian turns the page to look at it again, critically, adding a little bit of curl to the hair, the skin still pristine on the drawing for now. “We can fix that. A proper lady like you, all naked like that…” He clicks his tongue and shakes his head, giving her a playful look over the top of his sketchbook before glancing back down. “It’s shameful, that’s what it is.” He’s obviously joking there, but it’s comfortable. “It’ll take me a little while to get some ink on you, but we can talk while I’m doing it.” he says matter of factly, professionally, even, before his pen starts to move again.

He’s quiet for a moment as he sketches, shifting so she can watch the art spill from the tip of his pen, glancing up to study some part of Devi before looking back down, filling in the blanks of the canvas of her skin. “So, what were you thinking, wall-wise? How many spots, what style, what subject…stuff like that. Any memorials for triumphant victories or remembrances for those lost? Tell me what’cha want, Devi, and I’ll do my best to provide.”

There’s so much innocent innuendo in that sentence…

Devi keeps her shoulder in against Caspian’s side to observe, but does not bend further. “Scandalous,” she agrees, with a husky laugh as they describe her ‘nude’ rendition in the tattoo-less sketch. She sips from her glass as her dark gaze follows the dance and blossom of darker inks. The effect is soothing and she eventually tips her head back, turning her eyes over the barren state of the undecorated garage.

“I liked the Raven with the phrases,” she starts simply. “Perhaps on this back wall here.” She lifts her hand, glass balanced precariously, to gesture to the wall behind them. “Visible when the bays are open, great eye catcher. Perfect. The rest, I leave to the real artist’s whim.” She tips her head to the side, so that she consider Caspian from the corner of her side over the corner of a smirk. “Alllll the spots,” she adds and ups the ante on the innuendo game - throwing in a daring, playful bob of her penciled brows before her smile breaks into something serene and warm.

“You’d never be able to show your face around the ladies’ sewing circle again, if this were to get out, showing you without your ink.” Caspian smiles, hazel eyes flicking up to gaze into hers for a second before going back down to the pad in front of him. The art around the throat of the sketched Devi takes a bit of effort. All those feathers and the like take some time to get put down on paper right, and a few times Caspian has to stop and go back over a line to get the curve just so. It’d be easier with a pencil before ink, but it’s not like he planned to do this in the first place, otherwise he would have more than a pen to do this with. He looks back as she gestures to the wall behind them, studying it for a second and then nodding. “That shouldn’t be too hard. I’ll need about a day to prep the surface and then I’m guessing a day or two - evenings, so I won’t interrupt your business - to get it on the wall. That one is a little more complex, so I’ll do everything from stencils to handwriting. If you have any choice phrases you’d like to throw in the mix, let me know and I’ll put them in. I just went generic with a lot of these on here, but the idea is sound.”

All the other spots, though…This causes Caspian to take a moment to really look around the garage. Back wall, side wall, side wall with the Employees Only door, wall with the two rolling doors, that doesn’t have a lot of room. Tilting his head toward Devi, he warns. “You’ll have me in here every night for about a week painting if you want it done straight. Two if I spread it out a little.” He takes a sip of his whisky, replacing it on the table, going back to sketching his companion’s tattoos. “Lots of fine lines on you…” he murmurs. “Must have taken a lot of time in the chair to get them all just so.”

Devi’s lopsided grin is reward for the continued remarks about her scandalously tattoo-void image on the paper. She takes a last sip from her glass, lips curling in a moment as she savors this one as much as the first. The glass is set aside as a quick tip of her head brings her dark locks to flop up and over, revealing better the stars outlining her eye and cheekbone. She turns slightly on her perch, tucking a knee up onto couch beside Caspian’s hip. Her good arm rests along the back of the sofa as she watches the man rather than the sketch now.

“Every night for a week,” her brows furrow and her voice dips, all in mock concerns. “Phew. That sounds rough. I hope ya have the stamina for it…” She’s able to maintain the pinched expression of concern only until Caspian’s attention diverts back to her, at which point her lips cut a fine smile. “When can you start?”

This time Caspian doesn't refill her glass. Bruichladdich has a kick to it and even with food, more than two glasses in a short time is a fast way to make a lot of bad decisions or, at least, decisions that would reflect poorly on his honor in the morning. Devi shifting on the couch, her knee resting kind of against him instead of the crook of the couch is noted with a small smile, Caspian glancing up and adding the stars to the sketch of her cheekbone and eye with deft movements of the pen.

It's like The Titanic, except without a boat or a subplot about sinking.

“Oh, I'll be fine. It's whether or not you want to supervise or not. If you're here, I'll put you to work if you want or you can just watch and comment. There may be a small surcharge if you want me to work without a shirt.” He warns with a chuckle. More teasing.

A week of being in a garage painting isn't something he'd normally do - what with all the work involved - but ever since Keira’s death several months ago, he's not gotten out much and only just started painting again. Melancholy and being maudlin does tend to wear off on those with a sunny disposition like Caspian. Devi just happened to find him at the perfect time.

“I can start Monday. Should give me enough time to get the supplies in from Australia and a few preliminary stencils set up. And as far as payment goes, we’ll discuss that in the week I'm working, okay?” Assuming he even asks for payment. He's enjoying hanging out with Devi.

“Monday it is. I’ll be here as long as you are,” Devi replies with a smile. “But, I’m not paying you to take your shirt off… you’ll do that when you’re good and ready.” She crinkles up her sharp nose briefly before letting the wrinkles smooth back out into a smug, flirtatious smirk. “I’m interested to see what you can do around here,” she adds ambiguously, a hand gesturing to the walls adds no clarity to the innuendo in the way that her chocolate gaze remains locked on his.

After a moment she leans back, though, bringing her unrestricted hand to rest on her shoulder. “You stay here as long as you like, but I gotta get home and change the dressing on this bitch and it’s the furthest thing for sexy…” She keeps her hand resting gently on the wounded area. “The shop’s not quite up and running so you don’t have to worry ‘bout disturbing any business - consider it a ‘mi casa, su casa’ invitation for as long as you need.

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