Lemons and Water


amadeus_icon.gif brennan_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif quinn_icon.gif

Scene Title Lemons and Water
Synopsis A convergence of many on the bookstore.
Date September 7, 2010

Icihara Bookstore

Description of location, if any.

The sign on Ichihara Bookstore has been turned to 'Open' while the sunlight enters the shop in dust filled beams of light, one of which Gabriel has found to nap within. Or, at least, he intends to nap within it. The orange calico kitten only feet away from him has different plans. The white cat's tail twitches warningly as Gabriel-cat allows himself to relax, the sunlight acting as a heater to implore sleep.

In the relaxation, the calico decides to strike. With the last pre-sleep twitch of Gabriel's tail, the orange kitten pounces on the white cat. "MROWWWWW!!!" Gabriel complains "HISSSSS!" The small fight that ensues draws in Huruma-cat as she protects her kitten from the always surly-Gabriel. Clumps of cat hair line the shelves of the bookstore.

All of this has become too normal, as Lydia perches on her stool behind the counter on top of which rests the inventory binder and — of all things — a baseball card. Her tattooed arms are lined with cat scratches — red and sore. This will be the fifth fight she's broke up this morning. She tsks quietly before plucking Huruma and the kitten — one in each hand — from the shelf and shooting Gabriel a glare; having learned too easily not to move the white cat.

Amadeus narrows his eyes from the nook he's parked himself into again, staring at those cats suspiciously. But he quickly turns back to his book, wearing his AC/DC shirt with his legs crossed up off the floor, staring down at the pages. It's called My Amazing Trip.

Elvis walked up to me, he was full of life, until he burst into dust and the parade began.

Mania swept over me as a little dog curled around a barber's pole, and turned to me with a loud hissssss.

"The sky is falling." the coiled dog spoke in a snake-like whisper, to which I turned to see a bright light…

The end.

"What the hell?" is all he has to say before he grabs his Amplified book again.

Quinn had been in a bit early today, despite the fact that she had no other work today - nothing wrong with a little extra work, after all. Work, since her first day, had thankfully been largely devoid of being hit on and invited into unwelcome activities, and she'd found herself settling rather well into working at the smaller bookstore. If nothing else, she had the shelve layout down rather well now.

But the sudden - and amusingly common - protest of Gabriel has Quinn poking her head up from where she sorts books for shelving, laughing and shaking her head as she watches the three cats with a distinct sense of mirth and amusement. "Careful glarin' at him like that, Lydia. He might glare back, an' I'd be scared of what might come of that!" She laughs as she slips the last book in her arms on to the shelf before rising to her feet. "Never know. Could be an Evolved kitty~." She's missed Amadeus entering, her attention largely focused on shelving and the cats, but once she does see him, she eyes him carefully, not sure what to make of it.

Pit stop. In and out, that's his intention. One of the nurses he works with is turning over another year and in the chaos that was the night before - The chaos responsible for the fact that half of his chin is a very interesting shade of black/blue/purple - He wasn't able to actually get her anything.

But there's the Ichihara Bookstore, a place he's seen plenty of times when he drives in to work and so the door gives it's warning that a new customer is entering. Khaki's button up shirt, tie and sports jacket, the closely cropped doctor with silver coming in a the temples is finding that he's wading into a sea of fluff, cats, kittens and customers.

Up go his own brows, wallet in hand and just halts, glancing around. "Well. Either.. I have walked into a very odd bookstore or… this is ecretly a front for a cat shelter…" Congenially spoken by the negator.

"He needs to learn his place," Lydia states simply while lowering the orange kitten and her mother to the front counter. "I refuse to be the pet in this relationship, even if I get the brunt of the violence." Absently a hand is run over her arm, along one of the deeper and redder scratches, the knowledge of Gabriel's mastery of the bookstore and beyond weighing heavily on her mind before she's distracted by the open door.

She manages an easy smile at the entrance of another patron, "It's a bookstore and I suppose we are an oddity." Fingers reach out to stroke the kitten while the opposite hand lingers over the baseball card on the table. "One of these days, we'll have less cats," it's a promise, really as she glances between her customers and employee. "I think soon the kittens will be ready for new homes," it's a simple observation in an even tone, but her eyes wrinkle with unspoken mischief, she will appreciate when things return to quiet.

"Humans are always the pets in a cat relationship, I've been in a cat's head, I've practically been a fuckin' cat. They own you, they ain't stupidly loyal like dogs, cats got you trained." Amadeus speaks from behind his Amplified book, not particularly looking up to see the new patrons as he stays in his comfortable nook. "Ain't a cat in the world that ain't lookin' out for number one."

"You know, I can always go get you some Neosporin or somethin' for those, if you want," Quinn says somewhat worriedly as she eyes Lydia's scratches. "How long has Gabriel been here, anyway? Or do you know?" She looks up at Lydia, quirking an eyebrow before she's also distracted by the new arrival.

"Odd, but awesome," Quinn asserts with a laugh in response to his statement, turning from the counter to face the new arrival. "Anythin' I can help you find t'day? We just got some more used books in, if you're lookin' for anythin' in particular!" Still acting like she's working at a larger bookstore, sometimes. After a moment, she pauses, looking back to Lydia. "Oh, Lydia. Would you mind if I asked a favour?"

"Well, if someone brings their dog to work, cats in bookstores I suppose wouldn't be that bad, though someone might want to take a vacuum to the floor" Brennan points out, plucking up his phone to glance at the screen and something that appears on the face of it after it vibrates. Whatever it is, he dismisses it and tucks the phone back on it's clip at his waist.

"Book, for a co-worker. I work across at the Suresh Center. Something for a young woman, late twenties and enjoys fiction." Beyond that, he couldn't say what she'd want or like. A glance to Amadeus and his comment about cats only garner a chuckle from the physician. "So true Sir"

Quinn's comment about neosporin on arms diverts him from everyone else, and the physician part of him rising to the fore. "I'm a doctor, do you want me to take a look at those? No charge, I promise"

"Well, it seems we'll be at odds then — I will not bend to his will, and believe me, I've work with stubborner creatures than Gabriel," she shrugs at Amadeus and draws her arms over her chest defiantly. "I have no delusions about this space, however. It's his. Not mine, even if my name is the one on the land title. And I have no idea how old he is — he belonged to the last owner." There's a pause before she quips, "I think his name is a misnomer though. Gabriel is no archangel," a fact Corbin had tried to warn her early on. "Hmmm? Favour? Of what nature?" her eyes narrow considerably at Quinn's question.

"Maybe Neosporin isn't a bad idea but… yes, please — I would appreciate it if you had a look. He has a temper and I'm the easiest and most available target, I'm afraid."

"A cat owns anything he gets his spit on, that's how they tag stuff." Amadeus finally decides to look up from his nook, eyeing Brennan, then quickly focuses on Quinn. "Hey, you're that British chick who was hangin' out with that pussy guy that blew up my car seat."

"Just a readin' when I take my break, if we're not too busy. Nothin' serious." Quinn laughs a bit as she looks back over to Brennan. "Anythin' in particular you were lookin' for? I can see if we have it, or find a recommendation." She shrugs, and opens her mouth to speak again but fails to get anything out before Amadeus gets her attention, prompting her to spin on her heel and glare at him.

"Irish!" she corrects, holding up a finger like she's counting something off. "Right big difference between the two, you know." Then the second finger goes up, and she moves closer to him. "An' how about not bein' so loud about that, hmm? Not exactly somethin' you should be blabberin' out loud t' people."

"Whatever you suggest" Offered up to Quinn before Amadeus invokes that famous irish wrath that many have. "Are they married? Dating?" A gesture to Quinn and Amadeus as brennan makes his way to the counter proper so that he can make good on his offer. Hands that look like they'd do just that, and warm, take up the cat afflicted arms so he can poke, prod, pull and otherwise look at the furrows left by the furry residents.

"If you come over to the Center later, I can clean them out, bandage them, no charge. Or I can bring some stuff over after my shift is over but that might be a while. Get a spray bottle with some water and little bit of lemon juice. Cats hate that. Just spray it if he gets too uppity or the others make for you again, or to break up a fight. Works on humans too"

"Ahhh. A reading. Of course. It would be my pleasure," Lydia nods at Quinn with a serene smile that quickly changes into something more comical at the notion of Quinn and Amadeus dating although it paints a picture to her. "I am to understand that Quinn's taste runs… quite different than what the young man can offer," her eyes sparkle with some unuttered amusement, even as she permits the doctor to poke and prod at the scratches. She flinches but once.

"I could come to the Center, I suppose. I would appreciate them not getting infected, especially as I still can't understand how my life became so inundated with cats in the first place." Her eyebrows arch. "Lemon and water? Really? It's that easy?"

"Chill out, hot lips, like I know the fuckin' difference. It's all up there in Scotland and France and stuff." Amadeus makes a vague handwaving motion in some direction that's apparently supposed to be Europe. "'Cides, you ain't payin' me hush money, last I checked. I don't keep free secrets unless it involves me gettin' shot."

"Good lord, you are lucky my mum is French," Quinn responds, eyes narrowed at Amadeus. "An' are you feckin' stupid? You got paid for your car seat, an' you still going t' go around balbberin' about somethin' like that? I shouldn't have t' pay you to have common sense," she remarks, a hand reaching up and punching the bridge of her nose as her eyes scrunch shut. "Christ, just keep it on the down low. You're going t' get people in trouble just shoutin' things like that."

A look back to Lydia, and Quinn smiles again. "Fantastic! I'll be off in a bit, then." Eyes glance to Brennen, offering a nod. "Alright. I'll see what I can think of for you." And then back to Amadeus, a sigh escaping her lips as she steps past him, rifling through shelves as she looks. "Just… please don't cause any trouble here. I'm sorry I yelled, I really shouldn't at a customer. But seriously, think about that kinda thing first."

"Sorry" When Lydia winces, some things just can't be helped when dealing with fresh wounds. "Cross my heart. They don't like the citrus smell and just hte mist of water in the face tends to shock them into stopping and backing off. Eventually, you won't even need to spray the bottle, just touch it and they'll back off. WOrked great for my mother's cats"

Brennan pauses, fingers gentle on Lydia's arm. "Worked great on my brothers and myself too" With a lopsided grin. "Tell you what, your employee there, can take her time finding a book and at lunch, you can bring it over. When she's done fighting with your other customer. For now, neosporin won't hurt. Soap and water, cover it up, hose the cats"

Brennan earns a smile at the apology. "No need to apologize, not for doing a favour," and then, oddly something occurs to Lydia — his touch activated nothing. She hadn't thought of it initially thanks to Gabriel's domination of her thoughts, but she can't sense Brennan's feelings, desires, or fears. It's refreshing in a way, evidenced by another curl of her lips.

She repeats the list of instructions firmly nodding her head at every item, "Right. Neosporin. Soap. Water. Lemon water. And maybe they'll learn who's in charge." There's a pause before she blinks hard and remembers an important detail, "I didn't catch your name. If I'm going to find you — " And then, apologetically, she introduces herself. "Lydia. I'm Lydia… Taylor. Lydia Taylor." The last name is, as always, a sort of afterthought.

"Yeah yeah, whatever, I'll keep my mouth shut, only 'cause Delia works here and I don't wanna get kicked out." Amadeus grunts and sits back into the nook, turning a page in his book. He's frowning and grumpy, but otherwise not making any real trouble. "The hell's she been anyway? I ain't seen her in a while."

That gives Quinn a moment of pause as she reaches up on her tiptoes so she can place a book at the top of the shelf. Plopping back down on her heels, she looks over to Amadeus with a somewhat concerned expression. "You know, I… honestly have no idea. I haven't spoken t' her in a bit now. I'll have t' ring her sometime, see what she's been up to." A glance back to Lydia, like she might know, and then a shrug.

"Harve" He offers his hand out to her proper, so that she can shake it. "Harve Brennan" He goes through the process of digging out a business card, Brennan Medical Group, with an address in the financial district. "should, god forbid, you get sick or the like, call. My wife and I both of us are doctors. I'll have to drag her down here. This is the kind of place she'd like. Minus the fur flying around but…"

A glance to his watch shows the them, and his wallet is tucked into the back of his khaki's. "Come on over, bring whatever she suggests and i'll pick something and I'll see to your arm" Forefinger and thumb rise tapped to the corner of his forehead and pushed off in a salute to everyone present. "Take care ladies. Gentleman" There's a glance to Gabriel. "Felines"

Whether or not Lydia hears the inquiry about Delia is unclear, but she doesn't respond. There's no tells on her person that she knows anything of the fiery redhead in her employ, even if she does. She accepts the hand and gives him a nod. "Nice to meet you… and I guess I'll see you later." The doctor is issued another smile as the card is pocketed into her skirt to be filed away for later.

"Thank you," he's shot one last smile.

"If that fratboy fucker got her tied up in some shit, I'm gonna break his fuckin' kneecaps and make him sorry he even thought about messing with 'er." Amadeus is scowling now, down at his book. Fuck this book! "I don't give a shit or anything, it ain't like I care, but I'll still break his fuckin' kneecaps if he got her in trouble…"

"Bye!" Quinn exclaims as she leans back from the shelf adn waves at Brennan. "Don't be a stranger!" A glance is given back to Lydia, and a smirk. "I heard what he was sayin' about the spray bottle. Think you can drown some sense int' Gabriel?"

Then she blinks, and looks back to Amadeus with an absolutely incredulous look. "You're complaining about a fratboy fucker? Now I think I've heard everything," she replies with a scoff and a shake of her head. "I'm sure she's fine. Probably just been rather busy as of late." Another shrug, and Quinn draws a book from the shelf, moving on to the enxt one afterwards.

"I'm going to try," Lydia states back. "Gabriel needs some sense." Her lips press together neutrally as she slides away from the counter. "In fact… I'm going to run to the store and pick up lemon juice. Some things shouldn't wait… " a glance is given to her arm and her fingertips graze over one particular cat-scratched tattoo face on the canvas that is her skin. "I'll be back later. And I owe you a reading — "

That said, she disappears out the back. In her distraction, the baseball card, for one Augusto Hernandez of the minor league Florida team the Razorbacks, is left on the counter. If anyone had bothered to notice, the 'outfielder's' face matches the scratched one on her arm.

"I look like some classy fuckin' fratboy to you? With their fratboy jackets, and bowties, and uh, their fuckin'… fancy kegs and funnels and shit." Amadeus licks a finger and turns another page, giving Lydia a brief nod before she heads out. "Fuckin' bud lite and shit like that. Fuck those fratboys. I don't know what Delia sees in 'im, not that I care or anything."

The bell mounted in the frame above the door rings as the wooden door is pushed open, Jaiden entering after a moment. He looks a bit tired - like he'd been up all night or didn't get very restful sleep, but definitely is not wearing a jacket or a bowtie and would most certainly never be caught dead with a keg or a funnel. And bud light? For shame! Tins of beer in cans the size of small oil cans for the win, preferably blisteringly cold to boot.

"Afternoon." Jaiden says politely, looking at the gathered throng of folk - both of them. "Just came to feed the cats."

Uh oh. That means she has to hold down the fort on her own. That's cool, Quinn can handle it! "You're talking about preps," Quinn remarks as she makes her way back around the counter, grabbing her arm as Gabriel swipes out at her as she passes. He doesn't draw blood, thankfully, but there is a nice red scratch down her arm. "Christ, so that's how it always happens, is it?"

She looks back to Amadeus and shakers her head, a wry grin on her face. "Most fratboys I've known are uncouth, rude loudmouths who like t' guzzle bear an' treat women like… something." She can't come up with the word, as she' distracted by Jaiden. "Jaiden! I didn't know you came by here. Nice t' see you again."

"Fuck beer." is all Amadeus has to say to that, sitting his book down on the nook, then starts walking over to Jaiden's voice. "You! Fra… prep boy! What makes you think you're so fuckin' awesome anyway?" he asks, moving to get in his face, but not actually making any particularly aggressive moves. He just seems confrontational right now. "What makes you think you're good enough for a chick like Delia?"

"Didn't start coming here until recently, actually, Ling. Good to see you, though." Jaiden gives her a grin and a sidelong glance to Amadeus sitting over in his corner. "I guess I'm not familiar with the vernacular…but what's a prep? And to refute the second part of your statement, oh ho, do not fuck beer. Fuck _certain kinds_ of beer. There's a marked difference in the swill sold up here for pence and the high octane stuff we have down in Oz." Jaiden grins as he's approached and puffed up on, grinning, looking to Ling as if to ask 'is he serious?'

"And as for what makes me awesome? I don't think I am - it's merely the impression that I give to people. And Delia? She's a sweet girl. Nothing's happening between us." The 'yet' is left unspecified as of now. "I'm good enough for anyone who's good enough for me."

"A prep's one of those snooty high school or college types who walk around in polo shirts and act like they're better than you. Jackets, kegs, the whole kit." Quinn waves a hand dismissively, shrugging as she leans on the counter, eyeing the card that Lydia's left sitting there. "At least, as I understand it." She shrugs and laughs at Jaiden, hands at her hips. "Calm down. If you'er going t' have a spat, I'd rather not have t' explain anythin' broken in the store t' Lydia when she gets back."

"I hope not too. I've worked hard cleaning this place!" Jaiden adds.

"I ain't gonna fight 'im, if I kicked his ass, Delia'd be mad. I ain't gonna do somethin' that'd make 'er mad." Amadeus squints, then raises a finger to point at his chest, not actually touching. "You ain't so great, I just want you to know that. Delia might like you 'cause you're all presentable and shit, but when she sees all that's just outside shit, she'll come to a guy like me, not that I care or anything!"

"I'm an odd fellow - my outsides generally mirror my insides. If I go through life dirty and unkempt, what would people think of how I treat myself of those I care about? Sure, it's easy to just throw on whatever's clean…or less dirty than the rest…but to take the time to care about what kind of display you put on for the rest of the world? That shows a little dedication." Jaiden shrugs. "If you say so, whoever you are. I'm not great." He resists the urge to add on 'but she deserves more than someone like you' or 'it seems you do care.' He crosses his arms and rolls his eyes, giving his head a shake. "That's your opinion."

At first Quinn seems content to simply remain behind the counter, silent and observant as she goes between watching the pair, and eyeing the odd baseball card. But Amadeus' ascertations have her attention drawn back to them rather quickly. "To be fair, how well do you even know him?" Quinn asks with a smile - not antagonistically, but curiously. "He doesn't seem t' know you, but you make claims like you know him. I have t' say that I think Jaiden's a fairly nice guy m'self."

"Yeah, well, Delia likes him so I fuckin' hate his guts on principle." Amadeus starts walking back to his nook, waving a dismissive hand. "Fuck this guy." he states, then grabs his Amplified book and starts heading for the door. "Save all that pussy dress up advice, Delia's gonna realize you're a fuckin' pussy, then, like, some better guy'll get 'er."

"Delia does like me. She and I have had some nice conversations and even watched a movie now and again. The thing is, though, she's not a prize to be fought over. If you care so much about her, why don't you tell her about it and make some bloody effort to show her instead of sitting here and acting like a common thug?" Jaiden leans against the counter, a calico cat wandering along the counter to rub against his arm, miauing loudly to prompt him to either pick up or feed. Preferably both, in opposite order.

Quinn sighs, rubbing her forehead. "I don't understand that. Why hate him on principle? I've been friends with lots of girls who got t' girls I liked first. Not t' mention being a caring, well dressed person doesn't make one a pussy. Being an augmentative thug is somethin' that can-" she stops, turning a bit red as she clamps her mouth shut. A nervous laugh, and she looks over to Jaiden. "Shouldn't really say such things t' customers should I?" As Amadeus begins to leave, she shouts back to him. "I'm just sayin', Jaiden might be on t' somethin'! I'd take his advice!"

"I don't fuckin' want Delia, I ain't into all that… relationship stuff." Amadeus swings the door open one last time, looking back at the two. "You fuckin' win, I don't even care." before he just storms off in a huff.

"I don't fuckin' want Delia, I ain't into all that… relationship stuff." Amadeus swings the door open one last time, looking back at the two. "You fuckin' win, I don't even care." before he just storms off in a huff.

Well then, that was cheerful, wasn't it? Jaiden just picks the calico kitten that's chosen to hang out with him up, letting him crawling up on his shoulder and perch there like a fuzzy parrot. He shrugs to Quinn, giving her a grin. "I would humbly beg to differ." He shakes his head sadly, looking over his shoulder. "The question I need to ask, obviously, is if she even knows he fancies her? If no, then it's his fault for, as he so succinctly put it, not fuckin' caring."

Anyway, Jaiden slips behind the counter and heads to where the litterbox lives….one of the nastier parts of saying you'd take care of some kittens. "How've you been, Quinn? Haven't seen you in quite a few days."

"Not the first time I've had t' deal with him," Quinn says with a roll of her eyes. "He'd probably be a good kid if he knew what the 'ell he was talkin' about." She shrugs, leaning forward against the counter with a grin. "I have no idea. I didn't even know he knew Delia. Haven't even seen her in a few days, but then, I just started workin' here, so that may be here schrdule." Figners drum on the counter, looking over to Jaiden. "I've been good. Busy, workin' an' writin'. How about you? Eerything goin' good at the garage?"

"I'd just be happy if he'd think before he spoke." Jaiden calls from behind the counter. She might not want to come back to avoid hitting scents of cat poo and urine boiling up from a toxic plastic box that was used frequency by a double-handful of cats. "She's doing okay, though. Had to go into hiding for some reason…she's at a safehouse now." Jaiden emerges from behind, a few moments after the clank of the trashcan lid is heard, the toxic cargo ready to be taken out after the end of the day. "And as far as me….yeah. Everything's going really, really well. Busy at the garage, and moonlighting here unoficially as cat wrangler and sometimes cleaner."

Quinn quirks an eyebrow, peering at Jaiden. "Know which one? I know where I live just got a whole buncha people…" She grimaces, shaking her head. "Glad t' know she's doing okay, though. I'd really thought about her not bein' around until he said something." Hands fall to her side, and when Jaiden finishes she manoeuvres back around the counter, to her proper placing at the moment. "Well, at least soon the cats'll be gone. I'm pretty sure I'm going t' take one of them, they're just too adorable. Assumin' Gabriel doesn't beat them all up first."

The Australian is deliberately leaving the reasons for the 'in hiding' out, because if it's something that needs to be known, it'll be shared by Delia when she and Quinn meet up. "Aye, she's up at…." He glances around, then mouths the words 'gun hill' before ducking back down behind the counter again. "Planning to go visit sometime soon to see how she is. She managed to get a few text messages to me, so I've got to bring her a shirt and a few other things she wasn't able to pack."

Quinn blinks, tilting her head as she stares at Jaiden for a moment before mouthing you mean where I live? to him. "Huh." Is all she says audibly, before shaking her head. "i'll have t' see what I can do, I was rather unaware. I'm just glad t' hear she's alright."

Jaiden nods. "That's the place, yep. If I'm being too secretive, let me know…Just always thought caution was the better part of valor. And I'd appreciate it. She's kind of special to me, thanks to a chance meeting in the subway. I can't be there too much, but if you can help keep an eye on her, I'd be grateful." Jaiden's voice goes soft when he speaks of her, reaching over to pull a book from the shelf, running fingertips over the old leather spine.

"No worries," Quinn responds with a smile. "I'm never sure exactly what t' say and what not t' say, and this isn't one of our places, so…" She shrugs. "You fine. An' yeah, I'll keep an eye on 'er, since she's there. Always willin' t' help." She leans forward don the counter, peering out at Jaiden. "So, i take it you like 'er, then? I can understand why. She's quite cute, an' rather funny."

Jaiden pauses, kneeling to put the book back where he got it from, being sure to slide it back into it's spot on the shelf just so, even with the rest of them before nodding, a faint blush coloring his ears. "Yeah…I do. She did that thing she does with dreams, with me…and shared a few memories I haven't shared with many folk. And then she shared some of hers with me. Kind of intense, if you know what I mean. And then…" He shrugs and stands. "She kind of fell into my lap, delivering a part to the garage. We hit it off rather well after that."

"Thing she does with dreams?" Quinn asks with a tilt of her head, her mind working overdrive as she attempts to put two + two together and not come up with five. Luckily, she's seen enough sci-fi movies to get the idea rather quickly, perking up with a smile. "Ooooh, she's a dreamwalker? How amazin'! That seems like somethin' out of some sorta romantic sci-fi movie. But yeah. I'll keep an eye out for her, no problem."

The backdoor opens and Lydia returns to the bookstore with two grocery bags in hand — one containing a spray bottle and lemon juice. The other? First aid supplies and, of all things, tuna — as per Abby's advice, for Gabriel. The groceries are set on the front counter, carefully laid, while Lydia goes about her work of making the anti-kitty concoction needed to protect her own life and limb. There's no reason to let Gabriel slice into her brain unnecessarily.

For several moments, it seems like Lydia doesn't realize there are other people in the store as she chooses to busy herself with this very important task. Yet, she does hear the pair chatting. "Jaiden?" she asks quietly from behind her roost, her hands pressed against the counter. "Could you possibly unpack some boxes in the loft?" Ah. The volunteer. So used. So abused. She finally looks up from the spray bottle to give Jaiden and Quinn a tight smile.

The Blush on jaiden's ears migrates around to the bridge of his nose, making the Australian wish he had a hat to hide his face behind. At Lydia's prompting, Jaiden nods, a shaky smile appearing. "Yeah, sure Lydia. Basement's taken care of. You could move down there with a little work on your end putting in lights and the like." A smile to Quinn. "Talk to you later, Quinn. I'll bring some food to the hill tonight." And off he goes to the back to upack books.

Quinn chuckles, waving to Jaiden as he takes his leave. "Hopefully, I'll see you then!" she half shouts, grinning as she looks back to Lydia. "I understand how he gets you so much now," Quinn note, holding out her arm and showing off the long scratch. "Likes t' swat people when the pass by, does he?" She's eyeing Gabriel as she talks, as if Lydia needed any further indicator. "Here's hopin' that little concoction works out like it should."

With that, Quinn steps out and around, back to the otherside of the counter - wary of Gabriel the entire time. "Looks like things have died down a bit now…" she notes, looking around the store. "Mind givin' that reading? I'd hate t' ambush you as soon as you get back, but…"

"Not at all. This is hardly an ambush," Lydia soothes quietly before pushing some items out of the way. "And what kind of reading would you like? Tarot? Tea Leaves? Palmistry? I'm a gypsy of all trades," it's almost like watching an infomercial when annunciated with a flash of teeth into a bright smile. The smile fades as quickly as it'd come, falling into a serene expression more natural for the painted lady.

Her cheeks flush a pale pink as she glances between her tools — the cards by the register, the kettle behind the counter (complete with that mismatched tea set), and Quinn's own hands.

Quinn smiles gratefully, leaning down against the counter with a smile. "Tarot's always interested me, t' be honest. I would love a reading with teh cards." She gives a nod of affirmation before she stands back up straight, pulling a change purse out of the pocket on her skirt. She looks rather anxious as she lays it down on the counter, looking up at Lydia.

"As you wish." Lydia slides the stack of shawl-wrapped cards to the front of the counter before unfolding them from their fabric home. She shuffles the cards thoroughly before passing the deck to Quinn. "Cut the deck and think of a question that you have for the cards. Then return them to me and we shall begin."

There's several moments of stillness before Quinn speaks again, having needed the time to think of her question. "Do… do I tell you my question?" Quinn asks as she reaches over and cuts the deck, placing the bottom half on top and sliding it back to Lydia. Her head tilts, watching the empath carefully, trying to see how the woman goes about things.

In quite contemplation, Lydia lays the cards in her traditional, generally used — perhaps to the point of overuse — five card layout, considering Quinn's question. "Nope. The question is yours and yours alone unless you want me to know. It's not necessary though." Her lips tighten into a smile before she flips the first card, the centre card of the cross she's made with the five cards. Her painted fingernails edge it before allowing it to turn. THE HERMIT. "This is the general theme or present situation that you're experiencing. The cards tell me you're in a time introspection, reexamining your life and priorities. You're searching for something, perhaps a greater understanding or maybe… a personal quest… you want more, a new direction, a new way to be… in this search you're seeking some solitude and needing to retreat some into a private world."

Quinn shifts, leaning her side down against the counter, watching curiously as Lydia goes to work with the cards. She remains quiet as the first card is presented, but the shifting expression on her face does a good job of giving away that, on some level, Lydia is accurate. Her gaze moves fully down to cards, Quinn leaning forward a bit for a better look at them.

The shifting prompts a raise of Lydia's eyebrow, but she doesn't speak in turn, not regarding the other woman's reactions, choosing instead to refocus on her work. The second card is then turned. "The past…" THREE OF CUPS — the picture on the card contains three individuals toasting with three large yellow coloured goblets "… was about community. You used put yourself out there more with an odd exuberance. Your trust was easier to come by but things changed." Her lips press together before flipping the next card. "This card," EIGHT OF CUPS "is what the future could hold. I sense a weariness about your circumstance. An impending doom… yet there is something good to be had. Deeper meaning can be found within those relationships if you seek some time away for yourself…"

Quinn nods very shallowly as Lydia continues, and when the Eight of Cups is show, this time Quinn actually lets out a n audible response. "Huh," she says simply, still focused on teh cards rather than Lydia herself. "That's sorta ominous." She doesn't sound displeased by this fact, however. Merely as if she's noting the fact.

The fourth card is turned in the same vein. This oen features a large white tower amid competing forces outside. THE TOWER. "This card is the reason behind the question and where you are. You went through a sudden change a kind of upheaval in your life that brought forward a spirit of humility within you. Except it came suddenly almost like a crash." Her fingers linger on the last card, not yet turning it over. "This card is the potential. What could be if you accept and assume control of your circumstance…" Her red fingernails edge the card before turning it over, TEN OF CUPS. "Peace. It's something you crave and if you permit yourself, something you may find. Family…" the word is said with particular reverence, "…a bonding within your family whether that's birth or not.."

Quinn's leaned forward now so that her head is propped on her palm, watching the cards carefully as her finger taps on the side of her cheek. She offers another short nod, eyes tilting up to look at Lydia for a moment before returning to the cards on the counter. She doesn't seem immediately sure how to react. "That's pretty interestein'," she says at last, grinning as she rights herself back up. "Particularly considerin' the question I had in mind. I think I like the thought of findin' some sort a' peace. Family." She lips lip into a warm smile as she leans back on her heels, rocking back and forth.

Lydia nods with a soft smile before her gaze moves to her arm. "I should finish making that solution and do what we need to make the cats behave." Her eyebrows arch expectantly before she shifts her weight from one foot to the other and retreats to the back to fill the spray bottle with water — lemon juice to be added after.

Quinn gives another laugh and nod, thumping back down on flat feet. "Please. Last thing I need is my hands lookin' like hamburger because Gabriel's having a fussy day." She smirks, looking over at the guilty cat, before she pulls her change purse back into her hand and draws out a ten dollar bill. "Thanks for the reading, Lydia. Somethin' t' think about. But I'll let you get t' that, and I'll finish with the new used books."

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