Familiar Bonds


kaylee2_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif

Scene Title Familiar Bonds
Synopsis Sometimes the bonds we form feel so different, but when you look around, your not so alone.
Date September 03, 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".

She has put in a lot of extra time in trying to get everything in that damn store inventoried on the laptop. It shows. Kaylee Thatcher is bent over the computer a Starbucks venti caramel latte sits next to her on the counter top. A brown deli box holds a variety of muffins, one a blueberry is half eaten there as well. Her backpack sits propped against the counter at her feet, which the heels of are hooked on the stool she's sitting on.

It's about mid-morning, but the telepath let herself in before opening so that she could get the last box of books inventories. Finally, a final book is slammed down on the counter with an exasperated "Finally!"

Arms stretch over the blonds head as she tries to get the kinks out of her poor back, grimacing at the protest the achy back muscles give her.

Her gaze falls on Gabriel who is watching her through slitted eyes, tip of his tail flicking contently where he's sunning himself. "Don't you sit there and judge me." Kaylee comments with a narrowing of her own eyes, the action has the cat eyes opening all the more. "It's done at least… Despite being gone a week." The white cat's comment is to merely close those eyes again and turn his face into the light.

Lips press together, though Kaylee's look is purely amused. "Yeah, that's what I thought." Sometimes she wished she could see the thoughts of animals as well. That would be pretty cool.

The slam of the book on the counter causes some stirring in the now-cleaned-out basement (Go Jaiden!). The echoey sound produced by the movement underneath Kaylee's feet is almost like a gentle hum. Lydia is moving… into the basement. Yes, it's essentially a unilateral move designed to free up space for her more artistic ventures and designs in the much brighter — and better lit loft. It's not perfect, but it'll suffice and it means keeping everyone employed even when business isn't exactly booming.

Her nearly silent steps shuffle to the store and then to the counter. Her eyes narrow as she glances at the book on the counter followed by Kaylee. Quiet scrutiny tugs at her lips and eyes before she smiles, "You're earlier than you need be." A single finger is raised in the air with a quick observation, "Note that I didn't say you were early. We generally get where we want to be when we intend. Late only occurs with intention, I suppose."

She cranes her neck to peek at the laptop, that piece of technology with which she's not familiar. "How goes the work?"

"Hey Lydia." It's offered brightly, from the blond telepath as she turns on the stool to face her. "Yeah… I know. I couldn't sleep this morning." The nightmares waking her again. "And I decided that rather then sitting there listening to the news yammer on about the Company over and over again, that I'd come in and see if I could finish this… " A hand flicks at the computers direction. "…thing."

Arms lifts and she says. "Tada!" Arms drop again as she adds, "All done."

Her head turns towards the computer and is soon followed by her body. "Wanna see how it works?" It's asked with some enthusiasm. Boy, someone is in a good mood today.

Lydia's lips flicker into a bright smile at the enthusiasm, it's catching, complete with a diminutive chuckle. "You certainly are organized — I would've expected it would take far longer even just to turn it on," a lone finger points directly to the laptop her gaze flickers back to Kaylee, however.

Her long right pointer finger taps her chin in a hmmm motion, "I feel like we should celebrate this momentous laptop occasion. But how?" She hmms a little longer before her shoulders tense and the smile is erased. She has to learn it. Huh. "Am I… is it difficult?" her head shakes adamantly. "I'm more hands-on than a button pusher, although — " she'd run the rides before " — maybe? I guess I should try…" Short steps bring her to the machine before she looks at Kaylee expectantly.

"Don't worry." Kaylee assures her with a chuckle, and a toothy grin. "I'll show you all you need to know." There is something rather mischievous about her tone. After scooting the stool over a bit, she takes a moment to close out the screen, bringing them to the desktop. "Important to know…" She starts…

It's not the first time she's deal with people that look at computers like something intimidating. "This is the screen that will come up. I made this simple." A finger taps at an icon in the center of the screen. It says 'Book Inventory' "Your going to click on this. Fingers worn with a deftness and quickness that come from dealing with technology.

The screen come up on the spread sheet like set up, books already able to be seen. Kaylee's tone takes on a more, teaching tone really. "This… is your inventory." Her finger touches each section in succession. "Book title, author, Genre, Our stock and what's been sold. For reordering there is a section for the ISBN number. All others sections are not important." She demonstrates this by placing the flat of her hand over the rest of the boxes. " Even most of this you won't have to worry about. What you can do easily is…" She points to a long box at the top and taps it. "See that box. It's a search window."

With a flick of movement, the mouse points comes to that box. "All you do is type in either the title or the author and it'll show you everything related too it." She starts typing Dan Brown into the list. "As each letter is added, it changed until she's done. A short list of books by Dan Brown are displayed. "Easy."

Lydia just blinks. Kaylee's words about the computer are somewhat lost on her. Not that she doesn't know how to use a cellphone and look through pictures, but this piece of technology is beyond anything she's used before. Her cheeks flush a pale pink while her eyes narrow at the screen. While most technologically-minded people would follow the process with ease, the lithe woman can't even come up with a question. Her lips turn to their general defensive, albeit strained tight-lipped smile and her arms cross over her chest. She wants to speak, she wants to ask for clarification, but amongst the tech-talk, she's too lost for words…

There is something in the telepath's expression that speaks of understanding. She had a pretty good feeling this would be the reaction from her employer. Bending to the side, Kaylee hooks fingers into the strap of her backpack and pulls it into her lap as she addresses her employer. "I kinda thought as much… so…" A thick three ring binder is extracted from her back pack. "I've seem the looks you've been giving the laptop." It's empty, but she puts on the counter in front of the woman. "When I get home I'm printing the database." She pats her hand on the top of the binder, smiling brightly. "You should be able to find it this way, just… you know… takes longer."

Her noses scrunches up a bit at the thought of doing that manually, but… everyone is different. "Anyhow, downside of this is that I can't keep inventory easily… so…" She reaches into the bag and extracts a regular spiral notebook with a pen hooked into it and it's set on top of the binder. "Record sales in this and I can update the laptop. Make notes if you need any ordering done too, most placed are done via online sales. Since, I doubt books will be flying off the shelf I'll reprint the binder every month or so. More if needed."

Kaylee falls silent then, watching Lydia as she slowly zips up her backpack again, brows tilted up in expectation.

The smile eases as Lydia reaches out to squeeze Kaylee's shoulder. The binder system is exactly what she's looking for. Her dark eyes soften now while her posture generally relaxes. "This is perfect," the ease about her reflects in the smooth rich tone of the words. "You've done well." Her fingers drum quietly against the countertop as she tilts her head at Kaylee, quiet curiosity amid an otherwise stoic exterior.

"You're doing okay now? I was… concerned when you disappeared on us. And I know we talked about it, I just wanted to make sure everything is better now…"

The question throws the younger one off, for a flicker of a moment, Kaylee looks like a deer in the headlights. "Um… yeah. I mean." She looks away from the bookstore owner to the computer, brows furrowing a bit. "I've been just totally freaked about being behind in what I promised to do."

Kaylee knows how lame is sounds, but how does she explain it all. The fact, she's perched waiting to hear from family that has been lost to her. How her mother is still not really talking to her. But more importantly, the nightmares… and how every time someone drops something upstairs she jumps and her heart hammers in her chest, expecting the one-eyed time assassin to be standing there with that smile. She hasn't dared tell Joseph when he checks in on her. Who in his own way is a problem as well… but that is on her side, not his. "But, you know… I'm good." The smile is force, but she tries to keep it looking genuine.

"Just glad to have a job, still." Kaylee comments with her smile, pulling up a little higher on one side.

Lydia tilts her head. It's hard to fool a fortune teller — or a former carnie for that matter. It's difficult to read the painted lady's face while her eyes study Kaylee's. "You don't need to be freaked out on my behalf. There are worse things than not being able to navigate your own shop. Frankly, I wasn't expecting this to be done so quickly — I know it's tempting to pull a book from the shelf and just read it from time to time." Her lips tug upward on one side, almost matching Kaylee's smile.

"We're — " her eyes narrow at the implied word. We. Who are we? With Delia gone and Quinn not around, the we seems like a pipe-dream. Unless it refers to Gabriel; in a moment's decision, she chooses to mean exactly that, her gaze flicking to the white cat " — glad you're back. Although I'm still certain Gabriel is plotting my demise." A smile edges her lips a little warmer than before. "The cards showed your strength. I think you'd be amazed at what you can handle." It's an odd statement, but she leaves it there to hang just the same.

"Strength can only take you so far." Comes the soft words, from the telepath, eyes on the cat at the window. "At some point, even the strongest man will buckle." There is a soft sigh and a shrug of her shoulder, with a little smirk. "But… yeah. Your right, it carrying me far, I'm just starting to feel the pressure." A hand lifting to flick it away, dismissing it.

Eyes travel over the books on the shelves. "I haven't been able to get into books lately, tho. It takes a quiet, attentive mind to fully appreciate the written word." Kaylee's world has been a bit complicated as of late. "Otherwise, yeah… I would have been tucked in a corner reading. I did a lot of it during the mini-ice age New York went through."

Her head shifts towards Lydia and then finally her eyes pull away from whatever was holding her view to look at the woman. "I felt… completely misguided and alone, stuck in a big house, sick with that Evolved flu. Cut off mostly… Sucked." That last said blandly. "So I read."

"Do you know… I was dating a guy then… He kept tell me he loved me, but I wasn't sure he was telling the truth. I barely ever saw him, but I finally let myself believe it… and it seemed like right after that when the snow thawed… he dumped me." Brows furrow and her head shakes slowly, with a mix of frustration and amusement. "Karma I guess. I was a real bitch to men before that."

She shakes her head a bit and chuckles, a hand reaches out to pluck the cup off the counter and sip at the coffee. "Sorry." Kaylee adds with a sheepish look. "It's… been awhile since I've felt I could talk to people." No one really cares about the little things. The thought trickles into Lydia's head, but with Kaylee's far off expression, it may not have been intentional.

While other people might not care, Lydia listens carefully, each word, inflection, and facial movement noted. Her head tilts, her fingers drum against the counter, and she hmmms very quietly. "Maybe you haven't felt inspired to quiet your thoughts. It's an important task. Introspection, reflection, meditation — they help us understand ourselves." It's a thought. Not a solution, not even advice, but an almost-suggestion of what could be.

The makings of a frown edge along her lips, while her eyes droop downward. "Relationships are complicated." Her lips press together thoughtfully, "You wouldn't be the first to be unsure of another's devotion — believe me — not when people have their own intentions and gains from those three little abused words," that she can't even bring herself to say in conversation now. "It makes it hard to identify the real thing when it's so obvious to everyone else. And leaves an ache in our chests… " in her chest "…when it's gone." Absently, she chews on her bottom lip, trying not to think the one thought that echoes over and over in her mind, the words she still can't speak, I love Edgar.

The thought transplanted into her consciousness has her eyes following Kaylee. I care. Being a part of something. Being in someone's family implores caring.

"It makes it hard to have the confidence to make the next jump." Kaylee says softly, blue eyes focus on the other woman, a sad smile on her lips. "Sometimes, keeping someone near as a friend, seems more important then following your heart." The cup sets at the edge of the counter, both hands wrap around it, fingers lacing. "Especially, when you need them there." I need him there. "Makes it hard to reach out and make that connection."

Her head shakes and she sighs, "I dunno. That part of my life is… so complicated." Kaylee's head tips down to stare at the top of her cup. "Didn't use too. Mainly cause I didn't let it… I changed my life and it changed a… lot of things. It's tough. Lonely, but… Safer."

One hand comes off the cup so that she can use it to prop her chin up, "I guess a shrink would tell me it's all cause of my issues with my absentee father." Lydia's mental words trip something in her head. "Well.. more like physically absent. Messages keep popping up." That sounds a bit complicated to explain. "Never met him face to face tho' him or my siblings. My mother… lied to me… so badly. About where I was born, who he was. We don't talk anymore.

"I hate knowing I have family out there, knowing…." Kaylee doesn't complete the sentence, how does she says that? Her family is in danger. "…just knowing I have them, but not knowing them."

"I know," Lydia's words are heavy with experience weighted with a soft sigh and paired with her arms over her chest, the most comfortable position to her, yet somehow in this defensive stance, her vulnerability rears its ugly head, "If you lost him, everything would fall apart. I told myself that every day. Every stolen glance. Every accidental touch… all of them made my heart ache… I told myself it was for the best. I told myself it was for the good of everyone… but I lost him anyways." Her dark eyes seek out Kaylee's, "Do what you need to, but don't live with regret. It's worse than anything else." A single finger is run underneath her eyes where moisture has managed to accumulate.

With a loud sniff, she's refocusing. "Family can be scattered, it happens. And it's hard to have your heart in so many places at once, especially with such little contact."

"Yes!" Kaylee says suddenly, glancing at Lydia, a finger pointing at her and her bod straightening in her chair. There is wonder in her eyes at how this woman could know… "That's exactly…" Her shoulder slump a little, face falling a bit. "That's exactly how I feel about him." Joseph The name coming up unbidden.

"It's… but it's more then that. He's such… a good man." Kaylee says with a touch of pain in her voice. That one word stressed, brows furrowing. "And I… have sunk so deep into sin, that… I will forever be stained by it." It's hard for her to confess it to the older woman, swallowing back a bit of a lump in her throat. "There are much better people out there for a man of God."

"Experience," for one. "I loved someone for more than ten years and never told him. I came close once… but — " it was a little too little too late. She glances at the door and then back to Kaylee. And then to add to her first one word simplistic answer she offers another, "Empathy." Lydia's gaze falls on the counter again.

The name Joseph, however, tugs at her emotions. "Joseph?" she tries to keep her tone even. The man she considered a father would surely be too old for Kaylee, wouldn't he? It couldn't possible be one and the same, could it? But then… to each their own, right? Her lips press into a neutral line, remembering the conversation she'd had at the non-profit nearly two months ago. "Joseph Sumter?" Her cheeks flush before her head shakes, "The heart wants what the heart wants. Everyone has a past. It's just a matter of whether or not he can live with it."

For once, the telepath's cheeks flush with embarrassment eyes dropping. "Dammit." Kaylee murmurs head ducking down, eyes on the lid of her cup. "You heard it." Eyes shut for a moment and then she nods slowly. "Yeah…" She says softly after a moment. "That's the one." There is a heavy sigh, head shaking.

"It would be too easy to find out what he thinks." Kaylee expression is sad, hands cradling that cup. "I've known him for a year, I refuse to look in his head for the answer." Her blue gaze flicker up from the cup to the other woman. "I don't want to know the truth. Even after… I told him the worst about me, those things that have tainted my soul.

"I dunno…" Her head suddenly shakes and she shuts the lid on the laptop, Kaylee slides off the stool and reaches down to get her back pack. It's hard to really see the flicker of dismay on her face. "I've got a morning class. I should probably actually go to that." Swinging the backpack on her shoulder, she gives the older woman a smile. "I'll be back this afternoon, for my actual shift."

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