God's Word, Cheap and Used


delia_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif nick_icon.gif

Scene Title God's Word, Cheap and Used
Synopsis Nick stops in for an unusual purchase at a bookstore. Delia finds an omen in a book of her own.
Date August 23, 2010

Ichihara Bookstore

Sunlight filters in through the Ichihara windows, dancing along the surface of tiny dust particles floating through the air.

The bookstore has been open for nearly half an hour and Lydia is still reorganizing — trying to accommodate the shelves with some semblance of logical order. The good news is this isn't outside her realm of expertise. Organizing is familiar. Her cheeks flush light as she steps back to admire her work. In doing so she smoothes her long white ruffled skirt and tugs on the neck of her red halter top. Pulling her long hair over her shoulder, she combs a finger through it before padding towards the counter.

"Mrowwww," Gabriel goads, pulling Lydia's attention from her work. Her lips quirk upwards as she glances at the mostly-white cat. "You are incorrigible," she observes before turning her back to the door and scratching the cat's ear. "Completely incorrigible."

She turns to Delia and arches an eyebrow, "How goes the organizing?"

The redhead is just popping a few more romance books into the appropriate section (after reading the back covers of course). Turning to Lydia with a bright smile, she nods and hops off the little ladder that she was using to reach the top shelves. "Romance section is done!"

She's still got one book in her hand though, and wanders over to the counter to get a sip of her drink. While over there, she also takes the opportunity to slack a little bit and read that last back cover. "Did you ever notice that all these plots are exactly the same? Well mostly…" She pauses and looks up at the tattooed boss lady and quirks an eyebrow. "Girl meets boy, girl starts falling in love with boy, girl loses boy, girl and boy find each other again and live happily ever after?" She tosses the book into the box of returnables and lifts the straw to her lips.

Back to work already, Nick had a delivery to make on Roosevelt for Walsh. The Irishman chewed him out for a while but seemed to buy the lies that Nick fed him regarding his injury. Luckily the delivery was a small one, since Nick's right arm is pretty much useless, held in a sling against his chest so that he doesn't tear the stitches on both side of his shoulder.

As he walks down the street, Nick's eyes are wary, watching for tails. This errand is not related to his undercover work, on either end, but he's nervous. People knowing his name, people leaving jigsaw puzzle pieces for him at his flat, make him nervous. As he approaches the bookstore's door, a flutter of wings has him glancing up as a starling alights on a ledge nearby, peering at him with beady eyes.

His left hand reaches for the knob, and the door jingles as the man enters. Wary and bloodshot blue eyes dart from Lydia to Delia. The man looks like hell, pale with a five o'clock shadow darkening his jaw, dark shadows bruising the spaces beneath his eyes. He doesn't ask for help, but moves deeper into the store, peering at the shelves and looking for signs to point him to the right place.

Cheeks flush pink at the storyline as Lydia issues Delia a tight-lipped smile. "Life isn't how it seems in fiction, is it? Nothing turns out how you plan, and it all ends in heartache and pain. But. It's nice to imagine how things would be if it mirrored fiction." With a sniff and the faint glisten of eyes, her smile tightens further, almost into a toothed grimace before the jingle of bells interrupts her thoughts. She turns on her heel, facing away from the cat towards the door and their latest patron. Her eyes narrow at his appearance, but none of it is called to light.

As he skulks deeper into the store, Lydia shoots Delia a vague glance before padding after him slowly, the ruffles of her skirt catching its fullness with every step. "Welcome," her voice is soothingly gentle as she manages a slightly more genuine smile. "Is there something I can help you with?"

Lydia manages to completely stomp all over Delia's hopes for a storybook romantic life, the young redhead's smile wanes and eventually vanishes altogether. She's bent over and reaching down into the box to get the book back when the bell rings, causing her to start and bash her head against the underside of the counter. With Delia working at the store, it might be a good idea to invest in workman's comp.

Through the glass casing, she spies Nick stalking slowly through the aisle. Maybe it's the recent head injury compounded onto one that happened two days before, maybe it's the fact that he's injured. Either way, Delia's face softens a little and she slowly stands.

Then her boss is on him like a hawk and Delia practically leaps over the counter to intercept, tossing the romance novel at the tattooed woman as she passes by. "Here Lydia! Look at that!!" and then she's hooking her arm through Nick's good arm to lead him further into the aisle. "Hi! I'm Delia, I work here… is there anything I can help you with?"

His eyes widen a touch at the onslaught of offers to help him. What is with American girls? He chuckles a little weakly, eyes moving from the redhead at his side to the blonde woman and back. "Well, no one's gonna ever say you aren't helpful in here," he says a touch drolly, glancing down at his arm that has been claimed as if he's not sure what to do about that.

"Um. Do you…" he looks around the store, a touch skeptically, "carry bibles?" There's a slight dip of his brows at the last word. "Cheaper the better. Used is fine. I don't care what it looks like," he adds. Clearly it's not something he plans on cherishing.

A vague glance is given to the novel followed by a wistful sigh as Lydia shelves it. She sniffs again, pressing her own feelings aside. Her hand reaches behind her long blonde hair to graze the back of her neck, issuing Nick and then Delia a tighter smile, held closer to herself and more guarded. Her cheeks flush as she shuffles forward. Leaning against one of the shelves she shakes her head knowingly as Delia locks elbows with their customer. "We aim to please," is her even-toned response.

Her eyebrows arch at the request. "We carry both used and new Bibles." There's a pause as she glances towards a back shelf to the right. "Back there. Delia can show you."

"Yes, new and used, right this way.." Delia chirps in, not mindful of the tight smile she's been given by the boss and follows the instruction toward the back end of the store. Way back in the corner there's a tiny section of old books that have been recently cleared of dust. "This is our religion and occult section…" Her voice drifts off a little as she finally lets go of the arm and reaches for the three bibles that they have in stock.

The books are passed toward Nick one by one. The redhead is quite careful that she doesn't hit the arm, too careful maybe. "One new one, King James version. Two used… one of the used ones is actually written in Latin." She gives him a weak smile as she stretches out her hand to pluck that book from his little pile again. Flipping the book open, she shows him to prove her claim. "See? If you're not planning on reading it and you're just wanting to impress someone, this one would be the way to go." The young woman isn't great at fishing for information, but her questions should get the job done.

Nick gives a short nod to Lydia, then lets Delia lead him to the back of the store where. "Seems redundant," he says of the title of the section. "I mean, all religion's occult, to whoever doesn't believe in it, right? Just depends on what side of the fence you're standing on whether it's true or mythology."

He watches as she shows him each of the books, moving to set down the new and keep the one used book. He shakes his head at the Latin.

"I don't need the Latin and I don't need to impress anyone," Nick says a bit gruffly, shaking his head. "I'll take the used English one, yeah?" Since he's been freed by her hand so she could pull the books down, he begins to move back to the front of the store without her leading him, heading to the counter to put the book down so that he can pull out his wallet. He winces as the motion that turns his torso pulls the muscles across his chest.

As the customer steps to the counter, Lydia pads around it, her gaze remaining on him — intent. The wince is noted as the gypsy woman reaches forward, not touching him but she considers it, her instinct drawing her to do so, but her guardedness pulling her away. The hand is returned to the counter instead, slipped slyly over the laminate.

"Is there anything else I can help you with?" her tone is even, yet her lips frown just a little, slightly unsettled at the man's appearance. Finally, allowing her more maternal self to actually coexist she asks, "Are you… are you quite alright, sir?" Her frown deepens before she forces it upwards. "Perhaps I should contact a doctor…?"

Delia blushes a deep crimson as Nick fires the shots toward her and finally takes the used English one. As he walks away, she busies herself with putting the other two back and when he's out of sight, she peeks around and ducks back behind the shelf. She's satisfied that he and Lydia are both occupied and she raises one arm after the other taking a snall sniff near her shoulders.

That couldn't be it, she still smells like the shower and deoderant she put on this morning. Clenching her jaw tightly, she rounds the corner and hovers near the back of the store, watching the transaction in progress. Her head tilts a little to the side when the boss lady mentions the word doctor and averts her eyes toward the floor. There's another one of those pesky Harlequins in completely the wrong section.

The blonde is scrutinized under knit brows as Nick looks up from the wallet he's trying to open with one hand. Why does he have a zipper on his wallet? Goddamnit.

"Just that," he says tersely, then closes his eyes for a moment. It's not her fault that the vicodin is barely touching the pain. He could be in the hospital with his morphine drip, as the doctors told him he should. They hadn't wanted him to check out, but there was nothing they could do to keep him there. Prescriptions for vicodin and antibiotics combined have him feeling like he's about to lose his lunch at any moment. None of that is Lydia's fault. Or Delia's.

"Just got out of the hospital. I'll be fine," he says, managing a smile. "Just a little under the weather. Thank you for your help." He turns to glance over his shoulder at Delia. "You too, Red."

He pulls out a twenty as he looks back at Lydia, a quirk of his brow as he waits for the amount he owes. He has no idea what a bible costs.

"I'm sorry," the blonde states genuinely. "I am. Is there anything I can do? I have aspirin…" A hand smoothes down that white skirt before she shifts her weight, glancing towards the Bible and then back to the man.

"Used, right?" Lydia asks as her fingers graze the cover of the book, "Five dollars." She takes the twenty and busies herself at the register making change for him. "Well, I'm glad we could help. Both of us." She passes the change back to him. "I hope you'll consider coming back." Return customers are important if they're going to stay afloat.

She issues him a small smile and a nod.

"Huh?" Delia is actually grabbing the stray book from the shelf when Nick addresses her. Looking up at him with wide eyes, she issues a weak smile and a quick nod. "Uhh… yeah. Anything we can do… right." The smile is widened just a touch before she pivots on her toes and turns her back on him to shelve the book in the right location.

She freezes when she spies the cover and a quick glance back at Nick is passed, then to Lydia, and finally the book again. Her cheeks flush with another small blush and shy grin is pointed down at the picture on the cover. Winding her hands behind her back, she keeps the book hidden as she snakes around the shelves and glides up toward the register to have Lydia fifty cents of her own.

"Five dollars, eh? The Gospel goes for cheap these days. 'Course I could've just gone to a hotel and gotten it for free, right? " Nick quips, apparently trying to be nicer. Maybe because he's buying a bible. "No. I got Vicodin, but it's not really enough. Don't think aspirin'll help much, but you're a peach for offering."

He actually smiles to Lydia, then glances over at Delia, arching a brow at her as she buys a book. Curious, he tilts his head to see if he can see what she hides behind her back as she hands Lydia the coins. "Make sure you don't spend all your paycheck in one place, Red." Nick tucks the returned bills into his wallet, this time bringing the thing to his mouth to catch the zipper pull in his teeth, tugging it around with a sharp zip sound. It's then pushed back in his pocket, another wince as the twisting angles the sore muscles and bones in the wrong direction.

To Lydia he nods. "I'm not much of a reader, but maybe," he says, before he heads for the door.

Delia earns a more genuine smile as the coins are parted with. She doesn't ask to see the cover, perhaps making her overly trusting for a store owner. Quickly, however, her attention is drawn back to the patron, "It's used. We try to be reasonable in how we price things," Lydia returns with a small nod. "And yes, you easily could've taken it from a hotel."

"We do more than just supply books." Her gaze turns to the sign at the door advertising the fortunes, but only for a second before she's looking at Nick again. She pauses before adding, "Hopefully we'll see you again."

Delia's blush deepens when Nick actually makes the attempt to be nice and chit chat. She doesn't verbally respond as much as she just nods and grunts an acknowledgement. Her blue eyes follow him all the way out the store and only when the door jangles shut does she pull the book out from behind her back.

"Lydia look at this!!" She's so excited she's squealing, "It's an omen, I swear to god… A real live omen." She holds the fifty cent used romance book up for Lydia's perusal. On the front over is a redheaded woman with long spiral curls being held by a man with short black hair. After giving the fortune teller a look at the front, she flips it over and reads the back synopsis. "Lonely nurse Violet meets a Roberto, a young man destined for priesthood. When Violet sets her sights on Roberto, their love ignites a passion long forgotten in both of them…." Her blue eyes widen a little in excitement and she can't quite contain the long snort and series of giggles that follow it.

Once outside, Nick tries to juggle a cigarette, a lighter, and the bible but gives up when just as he manages to light the fag, it drops to the ground. His boot steps on it and stomps it out as he heaves an exasperated sigh. Being one-armed for all intents and purposes is a pain in the ass, and he has a feeling that the sling around his neck won't last more than a day or two.

He glances down at the bible, eyes narrowing as he huffs derisively before heading for the bus stop on the corner. He needs to go find his flat in Brooklyn before he ends up passed out in the gutter. Pulling out his phone, Nick punches in Walsh's number. "'S me. Delivery was made. I need to go crash but I'll be in tomorrow," he mutters as he flops down on the bench to wait for the bus. Glancing at the time on the phone's display, he sees that he has a good fifteen minutes before the bus arrives. His fingers follow the labelled indents on feather-soft pages of the Bible, before he opens to the correct book, then seeks the correct chapter.

Genesis 20:12

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