A Little Help Wanted


corbin_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif

Scene Title A Little Help Wanted
Synopsis Kaylee spots the sign in the window of the bookstore and goes into to look for employment. She leaves, not only employed, but leaves a bit of hope behind her.
Date December 29, 2009

Ichihara Bookstore

Nestled in the heart of the main street marketplace, the Ichihara Bookstore is an old and crooked structure pressed between two newer high-rise tenement buildings. The old glass windows and creaking wooden door on the shop's front give it a rustic and old-world feel. Catering to both antique books and newer prints, the narrow aisles and tall shelves are packed full of literature. A single shelf for periodicals lies near the front counter, while signage both out front by the register and in the back of the store indicates that tarot card reading is done on-site at request for ten dollars per reading.

Behind the old and weathered wooden counter that contains the register and a small stack of reserved books, a narrow wooden staircase leads upwards to a black wooden door with peeling paint, revealing red paint in narrow strips beneath, a rope crossing in front of that door hangs with a small sign that reads, "Private".

The days after Christmas always have an interesting feel to them. Decorations slowly start to disappear, and the harshness of winter sets in even more by each day. After all, by the time Christmas rolls around, winter has just barely begun. It's cold, the roads are damp, and among the few stores on the whole island, there's one with a big sign hanging on the front.

It doesn't speak of Christmas, or New Years, or Season's Greetings. Instead it says in big bold black letters:


Retail is not what Corbin Ayers ever pictured himself doing for longer than a few days. And despite the light demands on the bookstore, he's finding each day to be more difficult. And it has nothing to do with the demon cat that's decided his pants are a scratching post. "Down! Down you horrible thing," he growls, trying to back away from it. "If Hokuto wasn't such a cat person I'd trade you in for a puppy. So you better just be glad I don't kick you out in the street and say you ran away looking for her."

The store is open, the building is warm enough, and there's lights. And that's possibly a miracle, with the fact that the island often loses power still.

On her way to her daily ritual of working out at Summer Meadow, Kaylee's path tends to take her by the bookstore. Still running on the high of Christmas Day's success, the blonde is in a rather good mood as she walks past the door. Of course, the help sign makes her slow and then stop. It's something she hadn't thought of, with everything she's been doing she hasn't even thought about the thought she was gonna need work again soon.

Teeth catch on her lip and she leans a bit to squint at the window trying to see past the mirrored reflection of herself. Should she? There is a moment more of hesitation before Kaylee opens the door and slips inside the shop. Hello? She calls as she steps further into the shop, hearing Corbin, she moves with a bit more confidence. "Hello Corbin." Wrapped in her warm worn leather jacket, her hand pulling her dark blue scarf away from her face. How is your friend? She asks a brow lifting.

Caught with his pants being attacked by a cat! Corbin lifts his leg and shakes, stepping back a bit to try and disengage the cat. It seems distracted enough by newcomer to pull away and look at her ankles as something to rub agains, to claim as his own. At least he's not attacking this time. "Kaylee, hi," the lone fellow human in the store says, moving behind the counter to put extra distance between him and the cat. "She's… the same. But being taken good care of." Just not good enough to wake her up, apparently.

"Did everything go good with Summer Meadows Christmas? I know that you had some trouble thanks to the blizzard."

"Surprisingly, the weather was perfect that day." Kaylee offers brightly, though she has a sneaking suspicion as to why it was so nice. "I think it made the papers even, I know there were reporters there." Her eyes drop to the cat with suspicion as it starts to rub along her leg."I… uh… we made a lot of kids very happy. And Jason was the perfect Santa.. the kids actually believed it was the real thing." She gives a happy sigh, "Completely worth it."

The news about Hokuto, makes her smile fade, "I'm sorry to hear that. Any clear idea what's got her that way?" Her expression worried, she moves to inch away from the cat so that she can lean on the counter. "What exactly is up with her? I… don't think you told me." She grimaces, head ducking down. She glances up at him with an apologetic look, "Sorry.. None of my business.."

"I'm glad things cleared up in time," Corbin says, genuine in his smile and well wishes. It's not been an easy season for him, as she knows, but that doesn't mean he can't be glad for others. "I made a few calls, so hopefully the coverage was good enough. A few articles and you might get more donations out there." From people who aren't notorious mobsters.

"She— I don't know exactly what's wrong with her, but she's in a coma of some kind. Not exactly a coma, though, but she's definitely unconscious. I think it has something to do with that bad dream guy. The one that's after you and a bunch of other people. Hopefully they'll find the bastard soon. I'm just trying to keep everything running while she's gone, but I wasn't really made for retail."

A frown tugs at the corner of her mouth at the explanation and for a moment she looks like she's going to say something, but she catches her bottom lip in her teeth and stops herself. It seems familiar and not unlike another situation she had helped with, but… does she dare expose that much about herself to someone she barely knows.

"Ah.. speaking of keeping things running. I saw the sign. With Christmas past and all.. I need to start looking for work again. My savings from my last job are about gone… " Fingers of both hands drum lightly and the counter as she gives him hopeful look. "I thought I'd see if I could get an application or something.. Not sure how you all do it being a small shop."

"I thought she had help, but I quickly found out she didn't have as much as I though," Corbin says, laughing a bit as he admits this to her. Applications? He gives a quick glance around, opens a drawer, and then ends up giving up. "I've been looking for an application or something like it when I put the sign up. I will need some stuff for the paper work, fullname, where you live, so I can pay you, but otherwise… How often can you make it out here to work? Store's only open four days a week, so it's not terribly time consuming. You may have to deal with Gabriel, too." A nod is made toward the cat, who has disengaged from his attacks and begun to seek out food. There's a muching sound that can be heard from the bowl on the floor.

"That's easy enough." Kaylee admits with a nod, making a motion for something to write with. "PO Box okay.. I'm kinda…um… yeah…" She doesn't exactly look at him when she pretty much admits she's between homes. "Um.. anyhow.. I can make it out here anytime you need me, I'm over at Summer Meadows practically everyday at the moment, so I think I can adjust my schedule for this place."

Leaning to where she can see the cat, Kaylee's eyes narrow as if to seriously consider if he's worth the risk to her very safety. "I dunno… that's a tough one." Amusement colors her tone as she straightens.. "But…" She lifts her hands as if forestalling anything he might say and grins. "I'm desperate enough to risk life and limb."

"Yeah, Gabriel's the biggest downside. And there's a chance the power will go out again," Corbin adds, giving the truth on the downsides at least. The light amount of work is an upside, he would think, and it'll take time to figure out Hokuto's budget for paying someone to work— he's sincerely hoping that she'll wake up in time to do most of it. "I can't promise your hours will stay the same when she wakes up. But I might use you as an excuse to get her to leave the store more often when she's not playing the role of sleeping beauty."

It sounds as if he's tried before and not suceeded. Still shuffling through paper, he then shakes his head. "Don't worry about anything like an address. I know that there's a lot of people who don't actually have homes anymore. And I can't actually promise Hokuto will keep you when she comes back. So I guess you can consider it part time employement until then. I'll pay you fair, though." Even if he hasn't figured out how she manages to keep the store running…

"At this point, I can't exactly be picky. Maybe by then I'll find something more permanent." Kaylee states truthfully. "And hey, when she wakes…." Kaylee trails off frowning a bit, it nags at the back of her mind, until she can't help but blurt out, "Hey… I.. I have told you what.. I can do." She motions to her own head with a little wiggle of her index finger. "Right?"

Lips press tightly together as she starts to becoming a bit uncertain, but the words leave her lips before she can think to stop, "I think I might be able to help her." She's in it now.

"Part of it," Corbin says, looking back up at her a bit skeptical for a moment. "That you could make someone do things. A kind of persuasion, I assumed." While it's not the safest ability to leave unregistered or tagged, it could be in worse hands, in his opinion. Someone who wouldn't use it in a dream even to protect her own life? He doesn't know her as well as he could, but there's certain things he wants to have faith in. When he can.

"I've hoped she would be awake by now…" But she's not. "What do you think you could do for her?"

"There was this woman… she was being cared for by Linderman's people… her youngest son came to me and asked me to try and help her." Kaylee doesn't come right out to tell everything about her ability, but instead she starts out with the story, of why she thinks she might. "She.. was put into a coma by this really bad guy… Not this dream person, I had felt the mind of this one before. Um…" she trails off letting that little bit sink in. "He had this woman, stuck in her head. She was reliving this one nightmarish moment in her life.. when her oldest son was severely ill…. possibly dying at that time in her life."

Swallowing nervously, cause she's pretty much risking herself here, Kaylee's hands grips the edge of the counter. "I… uh… went into her head and managed to freed her from this guys influence… and.. she woke out of the coma." Biting her lower lip hard, she watches him for a long moment, "I might be able to go in there.. maybe find out what's up at least."

"So you're actually a telepath," Corbin says softly, but doesn't give the immediate accusations that some might give, instead looking thoughtful at the description of what happened, and how she managed to pull the woman out of it. "I'm not sure if what's going on with Hokuto is the same. The bad dream guy already has access to you in your dreams. If you try to go into hers, you might end up even more vulnerable. I'm not really sure how this stuff works."

He's aware of a lot of people with abilities, but that makes him a different kind of expert. All book learning, little practical. Even if he's seen it in action. "If you're willing to risk it— it may work." And it gives him more to do than hold down the fort.

"Yeah.. I am." Kaylee murmurs softly, eyes dropping to the counter. "I'm… I should have been open about that.. but.. Most people just run away." Blue eyes lift slowly back up to give him a matter of fact look, "Literally, go running." A sad smile tugs at he corner of her mouth.

Leaning forward so that she can rest her arms on the counter, Kaylee's thoughts turn inward as she thinks about what he says. Something occurs to her though, "He hasn't won in my nightmares though." Blonde brows arch up as she thinks on that. "He hasn't been able to make me kill myself.. I mean.. he tortures me with my ability and the temptation it brings… but…" She small smile spreads across her face, "He hasn't won yet. So… I.. think I'm willing."

Hands spread apart a little as Kaylee states, "If anything… it's worth a shot."

"I'd probably keep telepathy to myself to, honestly," Corbin says, thinking pretty much exactly what he says. There's things he knows he needs to avoid thinking about too often, but he always did consider himself a reporter before being anything else. With his training, he's sure he'd know if she got too deep. There's a moment when he does think about it, but then he shifts his focus on the task at hand. Better to think on exactly what they're talking about.

"I'll have to talk to some people, but now that I have an extra set of hands I can actually leave during the day now. Hopefully someone else will see the sign too, so we can both find some time before the weekend starts again." Hokuto's definitely worth a shot.

"Don't worry.. I don't spend all my time listening to people's thoughts." Kaylee offers, whether she hears his thoughts or not. "It's rude to go where your not asked. It would be like pressing your ear to a door." She quirks a smile to one side, with a knowing look. "Just… try not to tell anyone. If it gets to the wrong people.. I might disappear like so many others to never be seen again." Oh, if she only knew, if anything it's an indication that she hasn't even tried. Her nose wrinkles a bit at the thought.

When do you want me to come in?" Kaylee asks after a moment. "I figure you'll need to show me the ropes. Most I've done is bartend and waitress…. so in a way this is almost like an upgrade for me." A bright smile is flashed at him, till there is a muffled chime in her jacket. Pulling out her phone, which despite her jobless and homeless situation is an iphone. "I'm being reminded I promised to help with some cabinet installs. My job with be.. to stand and hold them up." The blonde even demonstrates holding up something above her head and rolls her eyes.

"I listen at doors all the time. But yeah, reporters know that you have to ask in order to get anything really good," Corbin says, grinning a bit as he opens up the ancient register to show how that works. It's not too complicated, really. "I've been writing down the titles of everything I sale, which got a little annoying when this one lady came in to buy a whole stack. It would be easier if she had barcodes and scanners. But the price is marked. Don't let them talk you down and just write anything you sale. I'm assuming you know how to handle the register, even if this one is ancient. It's less complicated than your phone."

Which— has a nice alarm. "If you don't have to hold cabinets up, do you think you could come in tomorrow. I'll be able to walk you through anything then, if you have time."

"It all sounds pretty easy." Kaylee admits, leaning far over the counter to eye the register with a hmm, blonde hair sliding across her jacket with a soft hiss of sound to hang like a curtain, when she tilts her head. "I think I can work it.. but yes… I'll tell them I have to work tomorrow. They'll understand."

Straightening, she takes a steps back from the counter, hand resting on the top for a moment longer. "Um.. So.. Tomorrow.. here." A finger is pointed at the ground for emphasis, giving him a suddenly shy smile. "Ah… thanks for this." It's comments softly, taking another step back, tucking her cellphone away into her pocket.

"No, thank you," Corbin says, emphasizing his own gratitude. Perhaps over-emphasizing it. But he hasn't had much a chance to leave to even visit Hokuto since he had her moved, much less do his real job. He had plenty of vacation time saved up, and can do a lot of work on computer and email it in, but internet can be an issue. "It'll help me out a lot. And if someone did try to show up and disappear you, I'd send Gabriel after them. He'd show 'em." The joke comes with a smile.

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