One Wish At A Time


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Scene Title One Wish At A Time
Synopsis Abigail Beauchamp returns to Roosevelt Island to ask for a favor regarding one of her friends…
Date September 4, 2009

Ichihara Bookstore

There's a saying that many people have applied to different difficult situations over the course of history, most recently the plight of New York City.

Time Heals All Wounds.

In the microcosm of New York's post-bom troubles, that phrase couldn't be truer than on Roosevelt Island. Where just months ago the tiny island wedged between Queens and Manhattan seemed to be desolate and without residence, the construction and opening of the Suresh Memorial Center on the island's southern tip has begun a shaky but steady revitalization process for the small community. While the streets are still largely untended and in disrepair, signs of activity on Main Street of surveyors for road crews give an indication that just perhaps the liveleyhood of this little island is going to change.

It feels like less time than it's been since Abigail Beauchamp first came here, since the torrential downpours of summer gave way to her exploring the fringes of the city on her vespa. But now, with summer fading away much like the sun, warm and golden on the horizon, the crisp signs of fall's approach in the dry air give way to feelings of renewal and hope for change.

Maybe time doesn't heal all wounds, but that in itself is part of the reason she's driven out here again. Past the men in orange vests surveying the roads, down the bumpy and cracked length of Main Street, the Ichihara Bookstore stands as a testament to the tenacity of some inhabitants of Roosevelt Island to stick out any changes that may come their way. The sotre itself has hardly changed since Abby was last here, only the iron and stained glass lantern hanging above the door a heartwarming reminder of both friendship forged, and the unspoken gift of the shop's proprieter; a woman who discretely grants wishes to the unconscious mind.

A genie of the modern age, and a cramped bookstore her lamp.

And tarot cards that tell the future. Supposedly. If you believe in that sort of thing. But like Joseph said, it's just cards and Abigail doesn't place her faith in cards. She places her faith squarely in the lord above, and the people around her. Not chunks of cardboard printed with ink in the images of important figures.

The scooter came to it's putt putting stop in front of the store, shimmering pea green with it's matching helmet in it's legal and customary spot on the blonde's head. She'd called ahead, warned the woman that she was coming. So she could close up shop and flee if she so felt inclined. But Abigail was of the impression that there was not much that would make Hokuto Icihara flee. Lazarus secured, things stowed in the seat and said racing striped helmet pried off her head and under her arm. "Ms. Icichara?" Southern twang reverberating from the doorway. There's a lot less water dripping down off the young woman. "You're not like, sleeping or hiding from me, please please by the heavenly lord above, be not hiding from me"

"If I were hiding," comes a chirping voice from — the ceiling, "I'd be somewhere a bit lower to the ground!" Perched on the top of a tall ladder, one leg crossed over the other and arms grasping up towards light fixtures in the ceiling, Hokuto is performing the precarious balancing act of replacing light bulbs in a high ceiling. "You know, now that the electricity is on regularly here, I'm finding myself with all manner of things I never thought I'd have to do."

Screwing the bulb into the fixture, Hokuto quirks her head to the side and flashes a cheerful smile, sliding her legs down as she turns around, beginning to climb back down the ladder with the dead bulb in hand. "I'm not sure if those light bulbs had ever been replaced." Her brows rise and fall in a teasing expression. "I got one of those, corkscrewy spiraly ones from the store. They're supposed to last several years!"

"Several years or so many hours. But they don't take into account being in a bookstore, or that electricity will go on and off or that there might end up being a short and poof, suddenly there's something broken in the bulb" Abigail offers up by way of explanation. "I'm glad that you have electricity now. You won't need to worry about heating tea" Hair is back in a ponytail, high, bouncy, a bit of curl in the end. Something out of a stepfordesque style really.

"Is now a bad time to talk? Because if you want, I can go make myself scarce for a bit and come back later, I don't mind. I don't have anything to do and I don't have to be at the bar for a few hours really" She gestures with her one hand towards the door, other gripping the helmet to her hip. "I see you got the lamp. I didn't expect that you would hang it up out there. But it looks real nice there"

"You talk a lot…" Hokuto notes with a quirk of her brows, bare feet landing down on the hardwood floor with a thump. Rolling the dead lightbulb around in her hand, she pads across the floor, walking on her toes past Abby, and deposits te bulb into a plastic waste basket with a crinkling clunk, looking back over her shoulder with a playful and teasing smile. "I already closed up," but forgot to turn over the sign or close the door — typical. "I wasn't expecting you, though. I mean, before your phone call that is."

Turning around and folding her arms across her chest, Hokuto leans to the side and rests her hip against the old wooden counter. Something about her that Abby hadn't noticed before, is perhaps thanks to the low-cut white tanktop she's wearing; a tattoo, something elaborate with hard black lines, only the top of which is visible above the cut of the top. Whatever it is, it's just bigger than fist-sized and settled in a rather conspicuous spot for casual viewing.

"What brings you by, Abby? It's good to see you, but…" her head tilts to the side, "things have been a bit jumpy lately, and you've got that look about you that says business, not pleasure."

There's a soft huff, not quite laughter from the blonde. "It's a habit of women from down south. I can ill a conversation for eight minutes back and forth with my momma just saying the words 'mmhhh hmmm yes indeed' and not get tired" The grim smile though, the she offers up to the other woman, her gaze dipping momentarily to the tattoo before she focuses on the womans face proper.

"What you did for me, that thing within my dreams? Guiding me to that sanctuary? I need you to do that for a friend. A friend who really.. needs that peace who's gone through something worse than.. what you saw with me"

One dark brow stays higher than the other, and Hokuto leans away from the counter and gives Abby an inspecting look. "This is where I say I have no idea what you're talking about," her smile turns a bit wry, "but maybe we're past that point?" Furrowing her brows and slipping past Abby again, she makes her way around the counter and walks over to a calendar on the wall, running her fingers over it before glancing back at Abby. "Trauma is difficult, depending on the person their trauma can outweigh my ability to persuade their mind. It depends on how open they are to suggestion, how much they want the pain to… go away."

Biting down on her lower lip, she turns entirely and folds her arms. "It's not a no, but it is a— it's something. I'm going to ask you a few questions," her brows furrow together, "and depending on what you say, I might noe even be able to help. So, can you be up front with me?"

"I'm Abigail Beauchamp. It's sorta, my thing, to be up front, most of the time. But i'll do my best. Ms. Ichihara, if you can't help her, there's other avenues that she can go down, that she can use. I didn't even tell her about you other than I was going to see someone I know who might be able to help her. For all she knows, it could very much be my psychologist that i'm seeing and not some woman who managed to.. "

Managed to do something that involved an evolved ability. "Feel free to say no, I promise that i'll not throw any fits unbefitting a southern belle"

"There's a quiet smirk of Hokuto's lips and a shake of her head, she circles the counter again, then turning her back to it, boosts herself up to sit on it, one leg crossing over the other, hands folded in her lap. "These questions, they're important. Normally I don't worry myself about it, but if your friend— if she's gone through as much emotional duress as you say, it's important. Do you know if she has any evolved ability to influence the mind? Telepathy, emotion manipulation…" her eyes wander from side to side, considering the different possibilities, "anything of that nature?"

"No. Just sound. She's an audiokinetic. She can manipulate sound" In case the woman doesn't know what that means. "A registered audio kinetic with the NYPD. She let me stay with her once I was brought back from the island and helped me to not wake up everyone on the block whenever I woke up at night. I'm trying to.. repay the favor"

There's a slow nod of Hokuto's head, eyes fluttering shut as she does, a thoughtful expression. She's quiet for a moment, and when her eyes open there's a soft, very gentle smile on her lips. "It shouldn't be a problem then. Your friend, do you… have a picture of her? Something that belonged to her, or osmething she might have touched recently? It helps, to narrow out the minds in sleep if I have something approximating them, something I can reach out to, sort've like a familiar smell to me."

Beginning to sway from side to side on the countertop, Hokuto's brows lift up again, lips pursed in thought. "To spoil a trade secret, it's how I found you that night after you got the reading. Sometimes I… find people who are asleep, and see how I can help them. Other times," her head quirks to the side, "I follow a trail of breadcrumbs home. I'd say I hope you don't mind, but given that you came to me for a friend, I'll assume you weren't too upset. Some people— their reactions differ."

"You found me through the cards?" She could be angry but it would be pointless. And rude. Looking the gift horse in the mouth. "Yeah. Flint wasn't too thrilled. He just.. " Well, she won't get into it but the look on her face tells a story if one can interpit it. "It's a fresh.. fresh thing for her, little over a week. I dunno if that will hamper or not. But I thought perhaps that the sooner you could help her the easier it might be help her unlike me"

Thoughtfully chewing on her lower lip, Hokuto's eyes uplift to the ceiling. "It was more meeting you in person, but having the cards around and having done a reading for you helped with finding the, ah— " her nose wrinkles, "you know it's really hard to describe what it feels like to find someone's dream. Like— the feeling you get being in a place you use to live? Maybe something like nostalgia, but not quite. It's— " she smiles, faintly, "well, you get the idea."

"I'll help your friend," Hokuto notes witha tilt of her head, watching Abby carefully, "if you can supply me with a picture, or something to find her more easily by, otherwise it might take me a few weeks of feeling around for the proper mind in a city of— well— many people with trauma." Despite her business-like demeanor there, Hokuto's expression turns a bit playful and impish as her eyes lid partway. "Since you're here… how're thing with you and mister Scruffy?" There's a teasing tone to her voice, playful and happy.

something of Liz's, something to find her more easily. "How about an address? Would that help. I don't have a picture of her, but if I gave you the building she lives in, does that wo-" She just did not ask about Flint.

Abby's cheeks heat, blood rushing up and towards her face, spreading down her neck and disappearing below her tank top. "Things are.. Things are.. have you visited him lately? He was asking me if I got strange dreams while I had the… Kami.. gift in me. I thought maybe you had visited him again. He didn't.. like it the last time much" Abby digs through her bag for a notepad and a pen so she can scribble down Liz's name and the name of the Dorchester.

Snorting out a laugh, Hokuto grimaces and taps her fingers on her chin. "You know what— " she leans across the counter, stretching out like a lazy cat, grabbing a slim spiral-bound notebook with a pen slid into the binding, and holds it out towards Abby. "Give me her address, I think I can make that work…" There's something going unsaid there, but her mischevious smile makes it a little unclear as to exactly what.

"As for your friend Flint," Hokuto's lips spread into a more Cheshire smile. "I haven't visited him persnally, no. No more so than inviting him into your dreams, he seems like a private man and— " her eyes narrow, finally thinking about something Abby said. "Life— Kami?" Both of her dark brows lift up, and there's this unusual expression that is somewhat inscrutable, as if she's having a hard time telling whether Abby is being genuine or ironic given her surroundings.

She stops writing the address out on her own notepad and opts to take the spiral bound book. A flicker of blue eyes meet Hokuto's a frown crossing her features along with a nod as she clicks the pen and starts to scribble Liz's name, address, everything right down to the apartment number. "That's what someone I knew called it. A spirit, or an angel. He kept calling it a Kami though."

The expression on the woman's face is genuine, if she was lying then it would be fairly evident that the young blonde would be lying. Liz's address is recorded, book closed and slid over. "Have a book on kami's?"

Biting down on her lower lip, Hokuto's brows furrow as she slides off of the counter and takes the notepad, glancing down at the address before handing it off to lay on top of the counter. "I have a book on Shintoism," she notes with an incline of her head, "which is where the term Kami comes from. It's a word used in religious animisms, that everything in the world has a spirit, a life-force…" Eyeing Abby again, she grows silent, then after a moment of inspecting the blonde — and finally noticing her tatoos with a quirk of a brow, turns back towards the shelves.

Slipping down an aisle, Hokuto continues to talk, padding barefoot along the hardwood floor. "Shintoism is a very old, very traditional Japanese faith. Your friend is either well read, or very traditional," her head dips down into a nod at those words, fingers perusing hardcover books as she breathes in a slow, contemplative breath. "Most of the books I have on the topic presume some familiarity with Japan's culture. It's somewhat heavy of a topic, but— " her eyes narrow, reaching out to pull a slim hardcover. "There's some highschool-level reading material on the subject that's pretty light and hits all of the basic principals. It's still a kind've dense read, but— " she turns around, book cradled in her arms, "informative?"

"I think my friend is both.. traditional and.. well educated. Very uhh, he likes old things, likes to.. travel to places and get information. He calls it a Kami, said it was old. Very old, far older than me. Heck he asked if it talked to me. As if I held conversation with it. Hello Abigail, how are you? Pretty good Life Kami, I healed some not good people today' Ohh, that's fabulous Abigail, glad to see you are putting me to good use!"

Abigail looks over her shoulder at the raise of brows, ceasing her little faux conversation with her and there's the heat again. "They have meaning, that tattoos. Two of them. Third is.. a strange night and too much to drink. But it has meaning from the person who gave it to me." Abigail follows Hokuto towards her bookshelves, listening as they go to her rattle off about the Shintosim. "Highschool text is better. I wouldn't be able to probably understand any other one" Would it help? Or better, would it help Flint? "Any other books on the subject, of Kami's, Japanese or no? About umm… Abilities?"

There's a fond smile as Hokuto gets distracted. "I've one too, a— tatoo that is." She gestures to the black inking on her upper chest, "it's got a personal meaning too…" But no indication of what. "I got it when I was— Wait." Hokuto finally puts two and two together and stares at Abby, then the front door, then lowers her voice as she leans in towards the blonde.

"Are— are you talking about an ability that can… an ability that can move from person to person?" Narrowing her eyes, Hokuto bites down on her lower lip, and from her expression there's something in her features that hopes its something otherwise, as if she knows what it is Abby's talking about.

Furrowed brows, moue'd lips, those not so vibrant these days eyes that look warily towards the asian woman.

"Uhmm.. yeah. Supposedly. I mean. Supposedly. It kinda got .. forcibly taken from me, but my Japenese friend said it does.. that.. in.. reaction to someone else who has the .. oppos-" Abby's head cants slowly, inch by inch to the left, waryiness turning to worry. "Ms. Ichihara.. is there something you want to tell me?"

"Francois Allegre." Hokuto states the name plainly, if not hushed. "I read a story, similar to what you're talking about, years ago. My mother owned a journal written by a man with that name, it was a journal from the sixties. It— it had a wide divergence of topics, but what you're talking about strikes me as remarkably similar. I just gifted that journal to a young couple that came in here not that long ago. It… had a personal meaning to them, and I presumed it would be best served in their hands."

Swallowing awkwardly, Hokuto glances up at the door to the store again as a cool evening breeze blows in, and then back up to Abigail a moment later. "There were suggestions of something like this happening, but…" biting down on her lower lip, Hokuto watches Abby carefully, weighing how much to share and how much not to. "It— might be a coincidence."


It's like some little dagger just found it's way to lodge into her chest and suddenly make it very hard to breath. "His last name was Allegre?"

Biting down on her lower lip again, Hokuto's brows furrow and her eyes shut slowly. "I… I'm sorry I— may have overspoken my boundaries by bringing this up. You… you came here to discuss a friend, not dredge up the past." Opening her eyes, Hokuto offers a faint smile towards Abby, looking over to the notebook on the counter, then back to the blonde with that weak expression still thinly painted across her lips. "I didn't think…" she shakes her head, "I just didn't think."

"I was five when I met him. My Dah tells me that. Five and he was in the woods and he was hurt. Hiro says he had the Kami. That he passed it on to me. I think it was a gift, something from god. Had to be, because I don't have the gene that those who are evolved have. My dah, he says I came back yelling about a man named Francois who was hurt and yet, when they got to where i'd left him there was nothing except for blood and my box of raisins." Abby licks her lips. "Who'd you give this.. journal to? Do you remember?"

The name Hiro causes Hokuto to tense, subtly, creases at the corners of her eyes that show her age just a little more than normal. She swallows, dryly, and feign a smile as she turns back towards the counter. "You know them…" she admits after a moment of thoughtful consideration, "or I think you do, from what I've seen in your dreams and theirs. Eileen Ruskin and…" the last name comes much harder, "Gabriel Gray." Brows furrowed, Hokuto closes her eyes and tilts her head down and away from Abby, hiding her face behind a curtain of inky black hair.

"I… think perhaps I might have said enough unintentional truths for one night. If— you're curious about the book, you can always try and speak to Eileen. She comes by here from time to time, if you don't know her too well." Wen Hokuto looks back up to Abby, there's a fleeting look of something troubled behind her eyes. "I'll go see your friend tomorrow afternoon."

There's abject relief on her face. "I know them. I know them both. Too well some might say" Ones tried to kill her how many times and she's save the life of the other. "I know where to find them. Or at least get a message to them" A slender hand - the rest of her not as so slender as she might have been. Some would argue she's STILL slender, thin as a reed, but that's a different thing entirely - reaches out to touch the woman's shoulder. "Hey, it's okay. I'm … I think I know why they showed interest in it. It happens, how were you to know that I'd… know a Francis or that i'm…" The carrier or was a carrier. "I'd still like to get the books and whatever you charge for helping my friend"

Eyeing the book, Hokuto arches one brow and tilts her head to the side, angling away from the previous topic to something more business-like. "That one's used, so— " she glances over at the shelf, as if the lack of signage or indication of price would somehow help her, "we'll call it seven dollars, and you promise to come back some time with your friend Flint, so he can get a reading." There's a scrutinizing look from Hokuto at that, a point she doesn't seem too willing to budge on.

Any sternness, though, is lost in the gentle smile she offers to Abby afterwards. "I'm sorry that I don't still have the journal. I— maybe it was supposed to go to you. I'm not really sure… I feel like I might've made a mistake, and— " she shakes her head, grinning faintly. "Seven dollars and your friend. Deal?"

"I have no promises that I can get flint here, unless I bribe him with my body" That might work. "Bribe him with something. Food's not working, he's turning down dinner." But seven dollars is fished out from her purse and the wallet within with the ease of someone used to juggling many things and multi-tasking.

"Don't worry, about the journal, really. Like I said, I know them. I'll ask if I can see it I mean, hey, I've saved both their lives. They owe me" Yes, Abigail healed Gabriel Gray and she lives to stand in front of Hokuto. Not something that many people can boast about. "Surely they'll let me take it to like a Kinko's and get a copy made" Maybe something in it would help Flint, maybe…

Hope against hope. Maybe it would give a hint as to how to get it back. Wistfulness colors her voice.

"Kinkos," Hokuto echoes with a teasing tone, "I guess that would do the trick, wouldn't it?" Managing a lopsided smile, the bookseller brings herself to sit back up on the counter again, breathing out a heavy sigh as she does. "If Flint doesn't agree to come by, ask him if he'd prefer if I'd come to him. I'm… well, the tarot reading is more an excuse for nosy curiosity about the two of you." Feigning that she's not the little matchmaker that her mother was, Hokuto's brows go up in an amused expression, offering a kind smile to Abby in return for the time spent here.

"Your friend, ah— the one I'm going to help?" There's a pause, an awkward smile curled up on her lips. "What's their name?"

"Don't knock Kinko's. They can copy anything." She's gathering up her used textbook, sliding it into her bag. "He needs to meet you anyways. Could invite you to my place and get him there." She's formulating a plan. "Elisabeth. Elisabeth Harrison. A Detective with SCOUT and well deserving of any help that she can get Ms. Ichihara. I promise you that. I've sat with her, through a couple and they're.. nasty. She's drinking a glass or two of alcohol every night, just to get to the point that she'll sleep." Which isn't exactly good, not if the woman gets on real drugs instead of this self medicating.

"I should go, I got appointments and such. Things to do, people to see. But I'm glad I got out here. I'm glad that you got some electricity finally. Don't go breaking your neck on the ladders when you screw lightbulbs back in."

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