Tarot and Pirates


delia_icon.gif lydia_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Tarot and Pirates
Synopsis Delia maybe puts her foot in her mouth, and Lydia performs a tarot reading for Odessa.
Date August 23, 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".

Sun beams flood into the large windows at the front of the bookstore. The open sign on the door of Ichihara was turned many hours ago, and for once it seems like the staff are getting a handle on the stacks and stacks of books that they're returning to shelves. At the rate things are being reorganized, by the end of the week the floor will be free of books much to Lydia's delight.

The blonde haired owner leans a single hand on that wooden counter as she pins those strays framing her face back. A single pin is clasped between her lips as she pries the other into her hair. Around it, she observes to Gabriel, "Don't look at me like that. It's not a plaything so don't think you can get your claws in it. Honestly, that's a cardinal sin." Her lips press into a small smile after the second clip is used, freeing her hands to offer the cat a scratch behind the ear.

Her appearance is relaxed, almost gypsy in nature. The colourfully patterned ruffled skirt falls to her ankles while the cream coloured tank she wears is embellished with a triangle-shaped lace. Again, she leans against the counter, reaching eye level with the cat that lays there. "Maybe you need something to play with… that isn't my hair…"

Thankful for the time away from cleaning and organizing dusty old books, Delia's been sent out to buy a few supplies for the little shop. She's been in an oddly good mood lately, not as sullen or as grouchy as she usually is. It's a wonder why her boss ever hired her in the first place, the recommendation from the cat probably helped a lot.

Rounding into the alley at top speed on her bicycle, she rings the little bell on the handlebars to scatter the strays away from the door. It was a mistake to open the can of fish and leave it there, but the young redhead never learns from her mistakes and it's repeated daily. Climbing off the bike, Delia locks it to one of the pipes running down the back of the building near the door and makes her way inside. "I'm baaaaaaack~" hooked to each wrist is a ligthweight plastic bag filled with various goodies. "I got tea, and cookies, and more tuna for the cats outside."

Hours left alone in Elle's apartment can get boring. Sometimes, Odessa wishes she had the power to speed forward through time, rather than simply stop it and prolong her agony. Clearly it's time to find a good book. She's dressed rather conservatively - for her. She isn't very able to hide in plain sight the way she used to, but there's no point exacerabting the issue with one of those lolita style outfits she's grown so fond of recently. Instead, she's got on a pair of (Elle's) skinny jeans, and a white tanktop with a black waistcoat decorated in silver sequins over the top. Her high heeled shoes are also covered in glittery sequins that reflect the light and sparkle.

The black patch over her eye is also trimmed in them. It's hard to forget a woman in an eye patch in times like these. Her face is pitted with a myriad of scars, some small and not. The worst of them being one across her throat, peeking out behind a black choker with a charm meant to resemble a nightingale hanging over the hollow. A second cuts across her mouth, marring what was once a pretty pout. A third is obscured by her bangs. The stark white hair pulled into a ragged ponytail doesn't exactly help her blend in, either.

Odessa's lips purse thoughtfully as she passes through the door of the bookstore, taking in the shelves and shelves of potential reading material. She inhales deeply, the smell of old pages and leather bindings bringing a smile to her face.

"Only the essentials," Lydia replies softly, while still leaning against the counter, although an eyebrow does quirk at the notion of the tuna. Lips curve into a tight smile before she hmmms. "Well, I feel like we should enjoy a well-deserved cup of tea." And then, as an afterthought, she adds, "And cookies, perhaps. I believe I have a kettle upstairs on the shelf to the right," her eyes close as she visualizes the space she's still reorganizing, her right hand lifts off the counter, "along with several teacups." Strangely, she's actually directing her employee to find said supplies, stranger when she hasn't permitted Delia upstairs before. The redhead complies, disappearing up that narrow set of creaky wooden stairs.

At the stirring of the door, however, the proprietor straightens, giving her tank a small tug, and smoothing out the lines of her skirt. Lydia's eyes linger over the figure who enters, taking special note of the attire, and even more particular note of the eye patch. "Welcome," her tone is even, but not without warmth.

"Is there something I can help you find?" Through a fan of dark eyelashes — her eyes narrow as she watches Odessa enter the space.

The creaking of the ceiling is indicative of the young redhead's exploration prowess, she's either not subtle, or really just doesn't know where she's supposed to look. It takes her about 5 or ten minutes before the stairs creak and a pair of faded and torn jeans come into view, then the rest of her; raggy t-shirt and massive amounts of wild red curls.

She's juggling possibly nine porcelain tea cups, some stacked, others hooked around her fingers by their little handles, and under the hook of her arm is an electric kettle. When she spots Odessa, she starts a little and drops one of the cups, smashing it on the floor.

"Holy sparkle-motion Pirates of Penzance…" she breathes softly, the censorship chip in her brain isn't working as well as one would hope. Luckily, she didn't say it too loudly, the customer may not have heard her. The redhead gives her a sheepish grin and sort of scoots to the counter to deposit all of the cups and kettle. "Sorry! Sorry!! I'll clean it up and buy you a new one! Promise!!" The customer is given a wary eye as Delia finds the broom and begins sweeping the little fragments of porcelain into a pile.

Odessa points her thumb back toward the door she just stepped through, vaguely indicating to the sign outside. "I'm just curious… Do you really do tarot readings here? I'm actually here to hopefully find a few good reads, but… I'm always open to new things." She shrugs and hooks her thumbs through the belt loops of her jeans.

Her expression falters when she does hear Delia's words, punctuated by the shattering of that teacup. One hand comes up to brush fingers through those white bangs a little self-consciously. Odessa presses her palm to the curve of her face, subtly making sure her patch hasn't gone askew or something. The reactions she receives are taking some getting used to, to say the least.

Odessa earns an easier smile as Lydia scratches Gabriel's ear again. Her chin drops towards her chest slightly before it tilts to the side. "We do. Well. I do. Tarot. Palms." She pauses while she glances at the newly purchased items. "Tea leaves." All of which are about reading people, and wholly understanding them; a hidden talent of the gypsy woman. "I am, however, more proficient at Tarot and Palms."

A quirked eyebrow is shot towards Delia following the comment. If the pirate-y thought had crossed her mine, she doesn't let on, instead sending her employee a very distinct, nearly maternal look.

The sound of the breaking cup is met with widened eyes and a tightened upright posture, but the surprise lasts but a moment. With a small twitch of her lips she shakes her head, "They're all mismatched anyways. Some old and chipped. I just find the older ones more beautiful — chips included. Harder to drink out of, but more beautiful than anything found in a store."

The crimson color of shame covers Delia's entire face and after she finishes sweeping the frangments into a pile, one hand rises up to push some of her hair back behind her ear. The young woman gives Odessa a rather apologetic smile she she sees the other woman's discomfort and she quickly tries to ease it by spitting out "It's okay. I mean, I think my ears are a different color than the rest of my face sometimes." True to her word, the redhead's face turns another shade darker and the one ear that is displayed has a sort of purple tinge to it.

"I uhm.. dustpan… gotta…" And without finishing her statement, Delia races to the stairs. She's halfway up when she pauses and comes back down. "Other way…" Instead, she hurries toward the back and the broom closet, keeping the door open to hide herself and taking her sweet time trying to find the elusive pan.

There's a metaphor in there somewhere about imperfect teacups and imperfect people. Lydia's likely even aware of it. The anxiety of the moment over her appearance subsiding quickly with Delia's fumbling apology. Odessa smiles to Lydia. "Would you have the time for one of those? I've never really… I used to read horoscopes when I was younger, but I haven't checked out anything kind'a mystical like this before."

Delia's apology is met with a small nod while Lydia bends down towards the stairs to pluck some of the larger pieces, one particularly large piece that still has the image of a purple lilac. Carefully she places the delicate china on the counter.

"It would be my pleasure to give you a reading," she answers Odessa smoothly, her hand sliding behind the counter to the deck of cards so lovingly wrapped in a red scarf that she used to wear as a shawl around her arms. The flash of memory brings with is a hint of reminiscence in that smile, secretive and tinged with a hint of sadness. She begins to unwrap the cards from their cloth home only to stop midway. "Tarot, then?"

Oh but Delia's not even close to finishing her apology. When she finally comes out of the broom closet and resumes sweeping the mess into the plastic pan, she sidles near Odessa. The broom makes little ssshhh ssshhh ssshhh sounds as she slowly drags it across the wooden floor. In the middle of one of the noisier sounds, she leans over slightly and murmurs very very quietly.

"tellherawomaninyourheadgaveyouacoupon…" it's uttered through clenched teeth, much like Yzma when she's trying to get Kronk to hit Kuzco, but there's no broccoli and there's definitely not a llama in the room. The redhead and the broom move away, much the same way as they appeared behind Odessa. To mask her little sort of apology, Delia begins to whistle to herself softly.

Odessa looks sceptically to Delia out of the corner of her eye, white brows knitting together for a moment. She then turns her attention back to Lydia and nods. "Tarot, yeah. And I'm supposed to tell you that a lady in my head gave me a coupon." She shrugs somewhat helplessly. Just repeating what I was told! "I'm not sure what she means."

An eyebrow is arched just as skeptically towards Delia followed by a shake of her head. Her lips tighten into a smile again as her fingers are raised over her mouth, but she stifles a single chuckle — the first in some time — before she takes the hint. "Delia appears to have a talent for subtlety." Her gaze sweeps from the blonde to the redhead, lingering there as she contemplates something. Again she shakes her head, just a little, before her dark eyes return to Odessa. "This one is on the house."

Carefully she unfolds the cards from that scarf, and oddly after doing so, she draws it around her arms while a single shiver travels down her spine. Goosebumps form along her arms and her colourful tattoos before she begins to shuffle the deck. Once semi-satisfied she carefully passes the cards to Odessa, "Cut the deck?"

Delia shoots Odessa a look when she's outed and just shakes her head as she finishes sweeping up the rest of the mess. Lydia's good natured ribbing earns a smile from her employee before the dust and china are poured into the garbage post haste.

Not wishing to interrupt the pair, the young redhead pulls one of her new guilty pleasures off the shelf and settles onto the stairs for a little light reading. With no other customers in the store, she probably has a little time before she's told to get back to work.

The book is flipped open and held in front of her face displaying the cover to the world. Fire and Ice a historical romance about a pirate maiden who finds love on the open seas.

Odessa approaches the counter and watches Lydia reveal the deck. Carefully, she reaches out with thin-fingered hands, carefully judging whether she wants to cut the deck down the middle, or leave it top- or bottom-heavy. She eventually settles on taking a little less than half off the top and setting it on the counter next to the remainder of the deck, uncertain if she's meant to stack it herself or not.

An apologetic smile is flashed in Delia's direction. If she's going to give strange directions, they're going to be followed strangely. Or poorly, really. Odessa watches the cards, and then Lydia's face with interest.

The deck is restacked by the fortune teller before she peers at Odessa curiously. Lydia's eyes narrow a moment, as she determines which spread to use. Not really having a question for the cards in mind, she chooses a five card spread in a kind of t-shaped cross. The cards are all laid face-down, showing that spliced helix on the back — the one symbol they all have in common.

The first card is turned. It's reversed. THE SUN. "This is the general theme of today's reading — essentially it tells us what's going on." Her lips press together as she ponders its meaning. "I believe presently you're having a reformation of sorts in your relationships. I wouldn't say failure as much as a kind of redefinition, a change within who you're close to and who you trust. I feel like there's been a change in your life and you're redefining who you are around it…"

The flipping of the pages as Delia quickly scans through the book slow a little as she gets to the meaty parts. Not those kind of meaty parts. Twisting to the side, she slouches against the wall at her back and places her feet up on the opposite wall.

The cat winds his way around the store and then hops onto the redhead's stomach, earning an "Oof— fat cat" and an absent minded scratch between the ears. He protests loudly each time Delia lifts her hand to turn another page. Unfortunately, she doesn't quite hear him as she's completely engrossed in how Velvet, the pirate princess, is managing to snag Rodrigo, the naval commander.

Odessa's visible eye widens a bit as Lydia explains the significance of THE SUN in reverse. She tips her head down and studies the cards intently. "You get all that from just one card?" From the note of astonishment in her voice, it sounds like the reading is ringing true so far.

"The cards speak differently to different people. As the first card in this layout, this one sets the tone of today's reading. Had you come with a question specifically for the cards then, perhaps, it would be different. I do readings for myself and they vary considerably," Lydia explains, neglecting to mention her ability's influence in any of this. The second card is then turned. The JUDGEMENT card — this one upright. "You had a rebirth of sorts in your past which is influencing your current situation. It's what's influenced those relationships and created that redefinition."

The third card is then turned, THE CHARIOT, once again reversed. "I believe you're going to experience some imbalance in the not-distant future. The cards want to warn you against expectations that are impossible to meet."

Odessa's comment about her reading cuts through the dreamstate Delia's in while getting to know how well Velvet and Rodrigo know each other. She smiles a little and watches the two women at the counter with a bit of interest as until the curiosity of what is happening with all that fire and ice gets the better of her. "Oooo Rodrigo~" she sings quietly to herself as she reads more of the book.

A flush comes over her cheeks and she quickly turns the page, issuing a harrumph to clear her throat. "Gabriel, you're too young to see this kind of thing." The young woman murmurs as she covers the cats eyes with one hand. For that, she earns an angry yowl and a scratch to her hand. "Fine, see if I care if you get traumatized for life."

Now Odessa's lips part to make an astonished 'o' to match her gaze. "Wow," she utters under her breath, stopping herself before she reaches out to trace the border of one of the cards. Delia's quiet musings almost draw Odessa's attention, causing the woman to turn and tilt her head toward the redhead slightly, but her gaze never leaves the cards, except to flit upward to watch Lydia's face.

"Gabriel," the painted lady chides the cat. Not that it matters, the cat will do what he wishes; this was his roost far before she was here.

Lydia watches Odessa in between her turning and reading of the cards, her dark eyes watching with quiet satisfaction with each turn and the Odessa's tell. The fourth card is now explained, "This one is your blockage. The thing preventing you from meeting your goals." Finally, she flips the fourth card, revealing THE HERMIT. Her eyes move back to Odessa. "I'm inclined to believe there's some kind of… advice that you're following. Someone's counsel or perhaps — perhaps your own counsel like your desires aren't prudent and you're exercising an unusual amount of discretion."

The last card is regarded with some weight before Lydia's red fingernails even touch its edge. "The last card in a five card layout is the potential in the situation. What could be." Carefully, she flips the card. TEMPERANCE. Again her eyes flit away from the deck to the woman across from her, "Maturity and balance, and perhaps, if you're so lucky, some measure of peace."

Indeed, the cat only flickers a momentary glance at the mistress of the bookshop before he's turning circles on Delia's stomach and paws down a place to rest. "Oof— Ow— Not so sharp— Yagh— " Delia's protests as the cat attempts to knead a softer spot for itself.

"Pth— Pth— Tail!" that's a little louder. Gabriel's butt is in Delia's face and she's trying to shove him away with one hand, trying not to lose her place with the other. The cat is picked up and tossed a few feet away, only to run back to the redhead for more attention. It's a fun game for him, not so much for her.

Odessa lingers on THE HERMIT for a few moments, letting its meaning sink in before she turns her gaze back to Lydia in acknowledgement that she's still listening. Rapt with attention, even. Her explanation of TEMPERANCE has Odessa's brow furrowing, sucking in the inside of her lower lip to worry between her teeth.

"That's good, right?"

The cards are recollected and Gabriel is shot another disapproving look before Lydia's attention returns to her customer. "There's potential for calm. I think that's always a good thing. Perhaps it's the only thing any of us can hope for in these times. When everything is so uncertain peace has more merit than most can imagine." The shawl is slipped off her shoulders, exposing those tattoos once again before she carefully refolds her cards within it.

"The cards speak as they speak. They can talk to your current situation and direct your actions accordingly." Odessa is issued a tight lipped smile and tilt of Lydia's head. "Trust in who you are. And live in that temperance. Find that peace."

Odessa nods her head slowly, considering what she's been told. "Thanks. That was… really helpful, actually." She pulls a twenty dollar bill out of her pocket and lays it down on the counter, pushing it toward Lydia. Shen she plucks a book seemingly at random from the shelves. A romance novel, much like what Delia's reading, though perhaps without the pirates. "Keep it," she says about the money. "I'll definitely be back."

With one last parting smile, Odessa is turning on her heels and walking out the door with far more of a spring to her step than she had when she first came in.

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