delia_icon.gif huruma3_icon.giflydia_icon.gif

Scene Title Equilibrium
Synopsis Lydia returns to the shop and Huruma gets a reading.
Date August 27, 2010

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".

Hours had passed.

Many hours had passed, yet the proprietor still hadn't come back. The sunbeams had lost their intensity in Ichihara Bookstore as the sun itself moved from one end of the sky to the other. The lavender oil had entirely burnt from the pot, and even with the windows wide open, Gabriel had been a pain for most of the afternoon, clawing at anything that dared move in front of him — a temperament only befitting of princes and cats.

The day itself had been quiet after everyone's favourite customer had left, leaving the employees to shelve, dust, and organize the space. Other chores abound as well thanks to the litter living in the back room.

The door to the shop jingles announcing the shuffling ballet flat footsteps belonging to the owner. She peers about the store before calling out, "Hello?" knowing that at least one of her employees should still be here. With a familiar ccssssh sound, she twists the cap off a bottle of orange pop she's been nursing for the last hour or so, something soothingly reminiscent about its flavour and texture, she hasn't finished it off, making sure it lingers. The bottle is brought to her lips as she enters the room a little further to give Gabriel a small scratch.

Delia had been cleaning the basement, a HUGE undertaking. It was easy earlier because Quinn had been there to watch the store, but when she left home, the redhead had to use a little baby monitor she found down there to keep tabs on incoming customers.

When she hears the extended yell over the speaker, she races up the stairs, all dirty and dusty, to find her boss. "Oh thank god you're back. Sorry… but you had some fortune telling customers. I had to fudge through one, but the other one I just gave a raincheck to."

When you get a chance to troll something, it is best to take it. Though Huruma is here in a much less mischievous capacity, she still considers it to be something of the sort. Having come a short time ago, while Delia was- well- fudging through one of the fortunes- the girl in the room off the main one didn't see her when she caught the door before it closed, slipping in largely unnoticed except by Gabriel the Cat.

Huruma is perched on a stool back behind one of the shelves, an old hard copy of the Bhagavad Gita on one knee. The cat, in his wisdom, is sitting on the windowsill and only giving her a look when he hears a page turn. This time, however, the book simply snaps closed, the abrupt sound echoing behind the shelves.

While her expression wasn't exactly weary, it lightens considerably at the image of Delia reading someone's fortune, "You fudged through one." The tone reflects some measure of pride until the fortune teller tenses at the sound of a book being, snapped shut, her attention altogether changing direction, while her expression floods with an odd uncertainty; someone else is here. But then it is a bookstore.

A small shrug and a turn of her heel, direct those silent steps to the shelf where Huruma lingers. The other woman is shot a tight-lipped smile before Lydia's weight shifts again, turning towards the counter once more. "Well, I am back now. And I owe you a fortune, Delia." Her eyes narrow a little, through that fan of thick dark eyelashes.

The snap of the book earns a yelp from Delia, she honestly didn't know that anyone was in the store. Giving Lydia a wary look, she inches toward the shelves where the reader is hiding and peeks around the corner to find the giant woman. "Huruma, you scared the dickens out of me!" Delia smiles, then she turns around and heaves a long sigh of relief. "Man, I think I'll have to defrib myself to get my heart going again."

Returning to the cash counter, Delia leans against it and gives Lydia an easy grin. "Yeah, it was just tea leaves… so I told her a bunch of junk that I saw in them. It's sort of like an ink blot test, you know? She seemed happy when she left, I even got a tip."

Most store owners could tell her to buy it or go. Lydia seems respectful of Huruma's space, at least. She smiles, smooth and with a sliver of ivory teeth. When Lydia scans her and moves away, only for Delia to show up there at the end of the shelf, her smile hasn't faded, despite its slimness. Huruma stands, dusting invisible motes from her pants and slipping the book back into its empty space. Even in just olive drab pants and a dust-colored tank-top, Huruma somehow makes even Rogue Soldier Chic look good. It might be the low-heeled boots.

"Many fortune tellers use body language t'tell people what they want t'know." Her velvetty commentary says nothing of if she thinks it is hokey- as she did care to specify 'many' and not 'all'.

"Huruma's right, many fortune tellers just read the people — it's incredible what we convey with just our postures and our expressions," Lydia glances down at the counter now. "Although some purposely hide these things from sight, making the average fortune teller relatively obsolete at least in those individuals' lives. But if you got a tip, you did what you could to satisfy a customer. There's nothing wrong with that." Even if the fortune is altogether inaccurate, a satisfied customer often means a repeat customer.

"So. Shall we get to it then? You wanted tea leaves read? Or… have you changed your mind?"

The sight of Huruma already put a wicked thought in Delia's mind. Smiling sweetly at her boss, she shakes her head. "Can you do Huruma instead? I'll pay for it!" She gives the tall woman a big grin and then looks over at Lydia again. "Please please please?! I'll even finish cleaning the basement on Sunday~ My day off~" It's a huge sacrifice to get Delia to give up her day off in order to work. It's the one day of the week that she has absolutely to herself.

Turning to Huruma, she raises her eyebrows and gives a brilliant smile, crooked as it is. "Whaddya say Huruma? I promise not to name any more cats after you!" As if its ears were burning, the cat stalks from the closet and lets off a loud yowl. Apparently, she doesn't like getting talked about.

Wait, what? Huruma looks to Delia with a quite panned expression, lips taut on her face and eyelids narrowed. Her nostrils flare once, just a little, and she makes a personal note to get her back. There isn't really any escaping this, is there?

"Come, now." Huruma's fine brows lift up, considering. Her tone is resistant, but also resigned. "D'you really think I need it?" She knows that the answer is going to be Yes- Delia is looking far too mischievous and expectant for it to be a No. Not by a long shot. "If you wish."

"Weeeeell…" Lydia taps her chin reflectively considering her options, it's a tease, really, she's not going to deny the request, but something about holding the cards (quite literally in this case), works with her. She hmms quietly, "I really could use the basement cleaned so the kittens have a staying spot and I can keep the back tidy for tattoos. But then I was so looking forward to learning about this young gentleman of yours." A glimmer of mischief flits through her eyes, but only for an instant, it may have lasted longer had it not been for the glance towards the orange soda, a reminder that she needed to get away today thanks to her looming registration.

She strolls behind the counter and grasps that deck of cards set next to the cash register. Nimble fingers unfold them from the shawl, carefully shuffling the deck.

There's a deep blush as Delia looks down at the counter and traces one of the old scratches in the wood. The mark has been stained and waxed over so many times that it's taken on a darker hue of its own. "If you tell Huruma's fortune… I'll tell you all about him without one?" But Huruma already agreed, so even through the shy exterior, Delia gives the other woman a sheepish grin. "Don't tell Dad, I want to actually surprise him. This guy is like… I think Dad'll like him a lot." Except for maybe the fact that he's almost a decade older than the young redhead.

As Lydia shuffles the deck, Delia goes about preparing some tea. She's trying to be a little more tolerant of the stuff, especially since she's getting into the whole Rorschach fortune thing. With the kettle still more than half full of water from the last time she made a cup, she simply plugs it in.

Huruma hears about the wrong things, perhaps. She gives Delia a single raised brow when Lydia mentions a 'gentleman' of hers. One of those looks that your aunt might give you upon hearing such news- and at the same time being perplexed that she hadn't figured it out. Huruma puts on her best 'you're understating' face, head canting and lips pursing.

"Oh, I am sure he will be." It may be the very last thing that he needs, actually. "I can tell that you seem t'like him." Enhanced by the fact Huruma always can feel those girly feelings when they appear, and knows what they are like by heart.

Lydia's own girlish grin returns as Delia offers information without a reading. "Details?" her eyebrows arch expectantly while she continues to shuffle the cards, it's thorough really, particularly after so many uses the last few weeks, certainly more than she'd expected. "What endears him to you? Clearly he's captured some spark of your imagination."

Finally satisfied with the mishmash of the shuffle, she passes the deck to Huruma, "If you have a question, now would be the time to ask it while you cut the deck… if you don't — it'll just be a general reading of you."

Coming back to the counter with three cups of teabag tea rather than loose tea, Delia shrugs and gives her boss a secret smile. "I met him on the train a couple of days ago… sort of… I actually met him for real yesterday." That should give the two women a giant clue about how she met him the first time. "Buuuuuuut… he was at the grocery store when it was robbed too. He— He was helping everyone get out."

She picks up her teacup and takes a little sip of tea, signifying that's all she's going to divulge for now.

That is enough for Huruma to hear. Though if there is ever a spot of real doubt, she may move on it. But for now, Delia's young love life is untouched. Huruma does turn her white eyes to Delia just once more before approaching Lydia and the cards. It isn't the first time, no, but quite possibly the first time with someone that knows what they are doing. If it matters.

"Do what is comfortable, Lydia." Huruma's hand, unlike the reader's slim pair, dwarfs the thinness and plainness of the deck as she hovers over it, pausing before lifting it into halves.

"I want to meet him," the blonde declares as she takes the deck again. "To shake his hand," while it might seem like an odd request, from an empath it's nearly everything, intention is half the battle anyways. Lydia sets the cards in the five figure cross layout. The first card is drawn and laid. The LOVERS. Pressing her lips together, Lydia's fingers outline the edge of the card, grazing it in an unusual silence before considering its weight, "The general theme of your reading, intended to set the tone is one of establishing bonds. You're making connections and getting closer to other people… there's almost an external force driving you to these bonds, something attracting in a way."

"Uhhh… yeah, sure?" Delia stammers. It is an odd request, one that gets Lydia a weird look. "Maybe someday I'll get him to pick me up. Did I tell you that he has a car?" To the young employee, that fact alone means that he's probably going to get Lucille's attention. Nevermind the fact that he's built like a brick house. "It's blue. And he's a mechanic, he owns his own garage… And… I'm talking to much~"

She quiets again to focus on the reading, blushing a little as Huruma's card comes up. Since the dream they shared, and the giant woman and her father's namesakes had little babies of their own, her thoughts have turned toward the romantic for Huruma (the person) and Benjamin (the person).

Huruma's inital reaction to the 'setting of tone' is a somewhat dry one, spine straightening and chin lifting. The card is right, even if Lydia has experienced the 'tone' of it firsthand. Extrnal forces- could be a great many things. Family, Jobs, Self- an assortment, really. She does not have much time to make associateions of her own, when she feels that crawling trepidation from Delia on her right, that feels like it is turning into something else rather quickly. No sooner than Delia's thoughts drift there, Huruma's hooded, moon-colored eyes swivel in place to look at her. Does she know what Delia is thinking? No, but it certainly looks that way.

On that note, she does not seem to have a reaction to that …trickiness.

Huruma turns her eyes back to Lydia, hands perched on the edge of the surface.

"Excellent," Lydia states quietly at the notion of meeting the gentleman caller, not too interested in the car although noting Delia's obvious delight over it. The second card is then turned over — the past influences. This one is the negative KNIGHT OF WANDS. A single eyebrow is quirked this time as the reader turns to Huruma, the weight of the interpretation rolling over in Lydia's consciousness. "The negative Knight of Wands tells me in the past you tended to be restless. I believe this defined your past relationships, a kind of roving that kept you moving and disconnected to many other people."

Delia's eyebrows raise high as Lydia gives the meaning of the card to the moon eyed woman. Taking quiet sip of her tea, she swallows audibly and gives Huruma a quick glance, catching the woman watching her for a split second. This has her shrinking a bit around her cupand taking another, this time longer, drink of the hot liquid.

Restless is an understatement if Huruma has ever heard one. She examines the rider and his staff a moment, making a vague effort to recall what she remembers about tarot. It is not much, though she is rather sure she would not be misled. Her eyes flick up to Lydia, and her tinted lips give a short frown.

"I take it tha'this knight is quite a charming upstart. Mmm." Close enough, right?

"If he were upright he would be," Lydia returns with a small smile. "But restlessness is representative of his negative. Which all cards have. But then we are all positive and negative. Darkness and light. Simultaneous contradictions within our own consicousness." Her long fingers return to their work, taking care to turn the third and then fourth cards. "The future card," PAGE OF PENTACLES, "indicates that in the future, if things continue the way they are you could reach a place of trust and prosperity. While the reason behind your past relationships," card four, FIVE OF CUPS, "is a sense of loss." Her eyebrows furrow.

Trust and prosperity taste bitter in Huruma's mouth when Lydia speaks, the dark woman's contrasting eyes shaded by a tucking brow and something of a constrained look. If things go as they are, she'll end up with some of the things she never thought herself deserving of. An interesting concept, but it leaves her feeling somewhat hesitant. It only grows when the next card comes, and Huruma's visual response is a rapid downturn of her lips. Loss, yes. Caused and accidental.

She doesn't say anything on the matter, nor does the African make an attempt to keep her eyes on Lydia. Her stare is gauzy, half on Lydia and half at the table, cards, her own hands- the air in front of her.

And there's one card left. Even in the silence, Lydia goes about her work with an unusual commitment, knowing that what her reading says has more accuracy than most — nearly perfect unless she's having an off-day. A very off day. Silently the fifth card is overturned, TEMPERANCE. Curiously, Lydia tilts her head, "If the trust continues to build there's potential for something unusual. An equilibrium. Not one thing or another, but both at once." It might be cryptic, but there it is.

Delia's eyes practically light up when Lydia reads that card. "Score!" She immediately quiets and takes another long slurp of her tea, this time using both hands to tip it up to her lips. Clearing her throat afterward, her eyes shift between the two women a couple of times before she utters a low, "Ahem… carry on… carry on… I'm learning."

If her father were there, he might be handling Huruma's distant look much differently. Whatever the reason for it, Delia's exclamation brings her up out of it without disaster; perhaps it is the girl herself, or her sudden burst of mood in Huruma's periphery. Likely the latter of the two.

"Uwezekano wa Msawazo." Huruma mutters to herself, glancing up to Delia before letting out a sigh. Cards may have been more than she bargained for at the spur of the moment.

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