4941/=Thought for Food

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
=Thought for Food
Date of Scene: 30 January 2021
Location: East Village
Synopsis: At the Candle, Booke and Belle, Illyana learns about the power of friendship and tea!

... or encounters an odd, gray-haired girl who seems to know far, far more about dangerous books than she lets on. And tea!

Cast of Characters: Nettie Crowe, Illyana Rasputina

Nettie Crowe has posed:
    The Candle, Booke and Belle was on the first floor of an old building that, once upon a time, housed a stable, a flop house, and a deli with the worst pickles on the East Side. Now the building, with its round door on the front, housed a funky New Ager magic and tea shop.

    Upon entry to the shop, there are two steps down (and a small ramp to the side), and a long bar with an equally antiquitated register at the end, bolted well in place. There is an apothecary station with 'weigh your own' for common herbs, and then for the more rare -- or expensive -- it's labeled 'Please, ask my help!'

    There are cloaks hanging from the ceiling with price tags, an assortment of clear and smokey quartz balls. Books and books and books, some common to be found in a local Barnes & Noble, some that require a little more digging, and a few that ar emore than reprinted folios. Those are priced as marked.

    There is a rail of pick-your-own insence sticks, and cones by the bag. Smudging sticks are piled according to use and composition, and there are little jewlery stands with snakes, bats, pentagrams and ankhs.

    The place smells like a mix of rose hips and smokey dragon's blood, and is quite warm, thanks to the ever-present steam kettle with hot water for tea.

    And at the counter, a young woman with her gray hair tied back in a green bandana sits reading a trashy romance novel with a well-built man on the front ripping at the laces of someone's completely unhistorically correct corset.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
It may be little known to most of her peers, but Illyana spends very little time in Westchester. Requisite appearances to keep tabs on fellow students and associate with friends and adoptive family would lead anyone to believe she dwells outside the glamour and lights of the City That Never Sleeps. Happier to stay in the drowsy fields, among the privacy afforded by privilege and luxury -- a borrowed thing, but still her endowment.

They'd be quite wrong.

Walking these streets gives her a deeper familiarity, the kind of rhythms and patterns of urban life that get into the blood. Any girl her age, cusp of her twenties, raised in the city learns its neighbourhoods like the art of cat-eye liner, and she carries an effortless, cosmopolitan quality with her. A white mod swing coat and black boots defy New York's habit of miring people in grey slush, and make her stand out when she turns down the street and acknowledges changed signs, different faces. Something jars the Russian sorceress like a wiggly tooth. Slowing her purposeful prowl doesn't make her stride less ground-eating, her carriage any less commanding, self-possessed. But those frost-pale eyes dance from awning to signboard to door, seeking the differences from the last meandering patrol through a place almost called home.

Something borrowed, something blue, something troubled, something new. It takes a moment to reach the door, another to stamp her boots off. A light touch to see if the door's going to open for her, spellbound aura equalizing to stifled neutral.

Nettie Crowe has posed:
    The door, in fact, opens! Illyana would be bathed in the slightly moist warmth of the shop and tea counter, with bells on the door clanging happily -- little orangy brass tubes rather than jinglebells. Rustic.

    And just a little bit magic.

    The gray-haired young woman, looking maybe late teens to very early twenties ducks the boddice-ripper under the counter as her eyebrows rise up, and her gem-like aquamarine eyes settle on Illyana. She gives a bright smile, and in a slightly muddled British accent she calls out:

    "Hello hello! Welcome to the Candle, Booke and Belle. Coming in for a spot of tea, or are you looking for soethin' in particular?" she asks, standing at a proper attention, as if she's done it all her life. Those eyes do look Illyana up and down with mixed amusement and curiosity.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
The heat counterbalances the frosty chill outside, but nothing too unbearable for someone born to the shores of Lake Baikal. The notion of 'cold' when centigrade hides in sight of zero actively bemuses her, though her breath steams when exhaled through darkly painted lips. Just a suggestion of the cold, mingling with the charms of warm brass. A happy note.

Her own might be darksteel by comparison, or anthracite blended with adamantium. If only those inner chimes would resonate in kind.

The bodice-ripper novel is noted, as are the register, the scent of herbs and simples, all swept by the frosted look. Eventually her gaze falls to the woman about parallel to her own age, and she pauses, inclining her head. Barest measure of a nod there offers greeting, about as different from the warm smile as one can get. Cultural differences, likely immediately identifiable when her Slavic accent rears its hoary, bristling head. "Hello." In so much, so little. Pared sounds crack on her lips, voice roused from disuse. "You have tea?"

The proprietress has all the room in the world to answer that, but the arctic blonde steps onto the first path of politeness, commonly bound by the disclosed appreciation for the brew. "A black without anything smoky, robust?" English fits oddly to the structure of her translated thoughts, but such is life.

Nettie Crowe has posed:
    "A black tea without smokiness, something robust, hmm --" she considers, turning to look at the many drawers behind her as she thinks.

    "Aah, I think I may have such a blend in mind -- cherry or citrus? Or perhaps more earthy notes from licorice, sweetness of hoarhound? Or perhaps -- mmm..." she considers, tapping her chin a moment, and then procures a small box from the side.

    "A special blend. Now, most Russian and Northern teas are smokey in nature, they blend with different smoked flowers -- this one? Unsmoked." she states, producing a waxed cloth bag, and she draws an earthy green mug.

    "Not one of those delicate teas, this blend." she states, "And it takes some powerful flavors to stand out against this particular variety. I'm curious... most don't care for this one." she states.

    Boiling water is poured into the cup to warm it, swished and then put to a bucket to water plants with. The tea is delicately scooped into a teaball, measured carefully.

    And when the water is poured, the tea is very dark in color as it stains the water, strong and earthy.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
The patient look from Illyana might be misinterpreted as cool, remote. A snowy night beside Nettie's sunny afternoon, though her colouration is such she ought to be sunnier than she really is. Not quite given to interrupting, her laconic nature blooms in the silences between Nettie's guesswork.

She listens, though. Assuming anything else would be a mistake, as she hangs back from the counter and remains rooted lightly in place. No need for support there, though her gaze browses the cabinets and countertops in discreet array behind her pale bangs.

When the decision is made, she nods. Just the once, a distinct abbreviated gesture, and then her gaze travels to Nettie. "Thank you." Manners will be owed even if it's a brisk, terse statement. Not intentionally rude, but then, a good many children of the Russian heartland aren't known for their lengthy conversations. Correspondence, literature? Another matter. All that pent up energy goes somewhere.

She hooks her thumbs in holes cut into her sleeves, easing into motion past Nettie. "Not many would use hoarhound. Too much chamomile and peppermint, da? Like nothing else can be used." Her movements slip towards books, past a table of herbs, the measured advance like she worries the thing might flee.

Nettie Crowe has posed:
    "Well, if I were to pair this with chamomile it would be lost. Peppermint cools it, but I find that pairing with hoarhound creates something wonderfully Earthy and dark. Perfect for reading a horror story --" she gives a slight smile as she sets the mug on the counter with an amused smile.

    "... or perhaps getting lost in one."

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Chamomile's flavour scorned? Perhaps, but only for familiarity. Contempt is born out of such miserable fields, after all, if overtilled and underliked.

"A horror story?" A look thrown back over the slope of her shoulder is telling, the profile of the sorceress stamped hard against softer, warmer woods. "Do you prefer those?" Words that come stained with samovars and War and Peace's native tongue, bleak shamanic chants and inscrutable femme fatales lift how they will.

Nettie is observed again, though she reaches out to trail her fingers against the spines. Not fully touching, though. That might betray too much of an intimacy for unknown partners, volumes that might get her through a long, chilly night. Like she wants the spark and snap to bite. Little interest flows for the paperback, the common volumes at B&N or Books A Million. No, much better to filter through the older offerings, dog-eared or dusty, printed or purporting at antiquity. Her fingers curl, flex, feeling contours of something that bites.

Nettie Crowe has posed:
    Not scorned, but understood that sometimes you need a heavier combatant.
    "Books are a special kind of magic, wouldn't you know it?" the shopkeeper states with a muted voice. Her interest in Illyana piqued as she watches the quiet sorceress.

    "Is there a paticular subject you are researching? I know most books in my collection like the back of my hand. Reprints of griomores from the 1900's. One or two folios from the 20's -- in Italian, admittedly. Hard to find in their original texts." she states, leaning against the edge of the counter.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
A heavier combatant, a good way to put it. One worthy of the effort, if they were to cross blades for literary purposes.

"They can be." A process of her research requires the cross-referencing by the slow traverse of a shelf, sinking underneath to assess the next row. But the focus singles back on a humble trio of mismatched volumes, sussing out whether the rough-edged pages or even, smart binding warrants further exploration. Carefully she extracts one of them, wiggling it side to side, seeking some indication of resistance. Through a series of gentle shifts, it might choose to come free.

It might not. The cool nip against her fingertips connects to something, and she in turn arches a brow at it. "I read anything. Whatever interests, da? Do many people read the old grimoires? Italian ones?"

Her brows mildly arch, but the stark sparking where she pulls her hand back almost indicative of cutting her palm. Or a paper cut. But it's one she reacts to, quick, intent.

Nettie Crowe has posed:
    "Those who know what they're looking for, mostly." Nettie replies, her eyes narrowing a moment.

    "... now, how did /you/ get here?" she questions quietly, no longer talking to the Russian Sorceress. She slips out behind the counter, approaching where Illyana has retracted to the book. There is intent behind how she walks. Surefootedness and ease brought about by experience beyond her appearance.

    "Were you hurt by it?" she questions gently, offerring a hand out to the other magic-user, gray eyebrows rising up.

    She smells like tea, and citris... and graveyard. That sense of cobwebs sweeping past your nose.

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Fingers sting and flesh quivers, not quite burning, but pricked by unseen needles. Where circulation recoils, Illyana brings her hands closer to her lips and blows across the offending digits. Bestirred to narrow her gaze speculatively, the pale frost-blue eyes might just be peeling the book's covers and pages back. Stripping its protections.

No logical answer to that question, for perhaps even a foreigner can guess it's not her being questioned. That book hums with a stamp of celestine on the spine. Humming, almost, smug in its own right. Her shoulders shift, tense and slid away. Nettie can dance around the steady, unmoving pillar that she embodies.

"Nyet. Not entirely." Fingers curl, flex, testing. Her aura's discharge simmers away. If there's a concentrated effort to tease out the cool, burning edges of her aura, far more lies visible to the Sight. Citrus scent matched to the cool leather, sandalwood, and something brimming with wild darkness. Potential, mana in a massive wellspring. "You should not carry it without gloves, maybe."

Nettie Crowe has posed:
    "Probably not, but oh, to try." Nettie gives a wry smile. She reaches to a different volume, meticulously copied, and removes from it a vellum outside, using it to guard her hands as she goes to try and remove the offending book.

    "I don't usually make a habbit of the more dangerous items in this part of the store -- goodness, what if one of the wee babies got a hold of a Hand of Glory? Or a murderer's skull? That might put me in a variety of bad pickles." she states with an odd note of mirth to her voice.

    "I'm Nettie, by the by. You seem to be someone who knows what You are Looking For." she comments, her gem-like eyes sweeping to Illyana. "Your tea will get cold, miss."

Illyana Rasputina has posed:
Her assessment comes quite plainly, flattened a touch to the end. Illyana shakes her hands a little to the side, headed back to the counter where Nettie examines the book. Small pinpricks sting and burn, simmering away in a way she's prone to simply ignoring the lesser discomforts.

"A Hand of Glory? No one sells this, da? A joke?" It could be a particular joke going right over her head. Still, a fine line appears between her knit brows. "Skulls are common ornaments. But a book, candles, a crystal wand? Not so much." She rolls her shoulders mildly.

The teacup will satisfy being captured, fingers folding around it. Inklings of discomfort tighten her grip and no more. "Da, it might. Unfair to you." A sip follows, thoughtful and presiding over the flavours in the tea leaf liquor released to her tongue. Hips shift, her position contrapposto, heel lifted slightly. "Nettie." A name repeated. "Illyana." A little bob of the cup adds to that halfway greeting. "Sometimes I know what I look for. Sometimes it looks for me." Or it hides, hissing, buzzing.

Nettie Crowe has posed:
    "No, good God I hope to never come across something like that again." the Brit replies with a dry note. "Last time it nearly cost -- well. I'm sure there'll be another time to swap stories." she gives a bit of a grin.

    "Sometimes you don't look for it, or you try to avoid it, but it slithers around your ankles like a snake, and robs you of your breath like a bitter cold wind off the sea. And then you can't ignore it, because if you do..."

    She wraps the vellum around the book in question. She takes a length of twisted cord with a sweet smell, and she beinds the vellum around it.

    "... you lose something bigger than yourself."