A grumbling sigh left the stout woman as she counted change back to a customer, watching one of her generic dolls leave the shop with narrowed eyes. She'd need to make a run for more joints from the toy factory soon. They made quality parts and she'd been buying from them for years. Her stock on dolls was low, something that warmed her and annoyed her all at once. Now she'd get to make more, but it meant she'd have to close her shop's doors for a day or two while she created them.
Walking to the window that overlooked her corner on the cross of Angel Street and Butterfly Lane she pursed her lips. Watching all the young college students make their way down the brightly lit alley, laughing and chatting with each other. She envied them their youth, something she was far lacking at her ripe old age. Her mind drifted to the sign she'd had made a year after she'd opened the shop.
Sales had been down and she couldn't afford to close the shop doors now. She'd have new stock in soon, something special one of the popular locals was sending her, but until then she'd be low on income. Lilithan chewed the though over, brown eyes hardening as she watched a student walk buy wearing one of the other shop's uniforms. It was time.
Hobbling over to the desk that housed the register, she reached behind it, grabbing her diamond oak cane and a dusty sign. Moving back to the window, she brushed the black sign off, shoving it in a corner of the window closest tot he door before storming off.
Read the sign, the words painted in swirling red that had faded from being dirty for so long. Lilithan didn't think she'd ever used it before, so it was no surprise the sign was in such bad shape. She grumbled to herself the whole way back to her stool behind the desk, running calloused hands over charms and trinkets in a familiar fashion, straightening and righting items that had fallen out of line with their brethren. A luck coin that had fallen from a bowl placed back with the others, a jar of lifting feathers fluffed, a twine bracelet for remembering put back on the small stand, the rest straightened on her way by. It was a familiar routine for her, something she did daily. Something she wondered if another could get used to.
She had just opened the till to count the money when the small clay chime above the door rang the arrival of another customer. Mentally tallying her place, Lilithan closed the cash drawer and lifted her eyes to take in her guest.
Lilithan and Fena
Lilithan sighed and opened the drawer again, picking up where she'd left off in her counts.
"Fena. I should have known." She mused, blowing a stray hair out of her eyes as she chose to ignore the younger woman who was now wandering her shop with familiar eyes.
"Lilithan. How are you today babulya?" The blue haired wind sorceress asked, smirk curling plush lips as she looked on fondly at the older woman. A wrinkled nose met her question and Fena chuckled to herself. "What, no love? Come on baba, I wanna hear you complain, it's the highlight of my day." She continued, moving away from the wooden disk charms that removed stains when waved in front of them. She set her hip against the counter, taking up her usual spot with her chin resting in her hand as she watched the older woman. Lilithan's expression twisted further, but one who knew her could see affection softening her gaze as she paused her counting once again to face the girl.
"That brat from the Cathornes was here again today, demanded one of the lollies I keep for the good children. You know, the ones that turn your mouth colors?" Fena's smile grew, eyes dancing with mirth as the old woman went on.
"But baba, you hate children." The biker teased, laughing quietly at the outraged expression that shifted wrinkled features.
"I know! But the brat doesn't seem to get it!" Lilithan raged, hands flying up in the air before she cracked her cane against the floor to make a point, huffing her grievance before glancing sheepishly at an empty jar that sat next to the register. Fena followed her eyes there, brow arching as the corner of her mouth hitched into a surprised smirk.
"Baba, all your lollies are gone." Fena gestured to the jar with a slender finger. The old woman's smile was pure evil.
"We'll see how his parents like his sugar rush, should land the little devil in deep trouble, it should." She smirked, cackling gleefully as Fena shook her head, laughing as well.
"You're pure evil baba." Fena smiled, affection in her eyes as the old woman settled back, a happier expression on her eternally grumpy face. 'Lilithan probably likes the child.' Fena mused mentally, 'The boy most likely reminds her of herself when she was that small.'
Shifting the conversation, the younger woman pushed away from the counter, spinning on her heel and pulling out a dark wand made of African Mahogany to twirl in her fingers. She grinned as the old shop keep arched her brow suspiciously, lips pinching down at the corners as resignation filled her eyes.
"What?" She asked, voice flat.
"Want me to sweep?"
"No." Was the firm answer, Lilithan turning back to open the cash drawer once more. Fena pouted.
"Why nottt?" She asked, dragging out the word in the way she knew annoyed Lilithan.
"Because why." The lip pushed out further.
Lilithan sighed and faced the young woman again, brow arched in a way that hinted that Fena was missing the obvious.
"Because I just straightened up and I can get it later." She explained, saying each word slowly and with careful patience. Fena pushed her bottom lip out further, earning herself a taste of her strawberry lip gloss.
"I'm just trying to help baba." She complained, playing the part of the whiny child she knew Lilithan loved. The old woman snorted.
"You'll help my merchandise right onto the floor. No Agrafena, I'll get it later." She turned once again to the money, intent on finishing her task this time. One weathered hand snuck under the desk and she slid a blue lolly across the desk to the blue haired wind maker. "The new models are where they always are, feel free to pick one of the smaller ones. You'll owe me for it later."
A bright smile bloomed across Fena's expression, eyes bright as she leaned over the counter to kiss the woman on the cheek.
"Love you babulya." She called, grabbing the sucker and tripping over to the corner that housed her favorite hobby.
Model planes, trains, cars, and everything model dominated the small corner, the one thing Fena spent enough money on in the store to keep it's shelves stocked with more. She looked hungerly over the new models, debating mentally on what one she wanted. She smiled, settling as she picked up the small Messerschmitt P1111 model plane. The picture on the front was examined closely before she flipped it to mentally catalog the parts, making her way through memory back to the front desk.
"Find something?" Lilithan spared her a glance.
Fena answered with a noncommittal hum, still reading. The old woman shook her head at the blue haired woman, smiling to herself as she stuffed the last of the bills into the drawer and shut it. Turning to Fena, it was Lilithan's turn to prop her chin in her hand, waiting patiently for the girl to confirm her choice.
She never did pick up one she didn't want.
Finally the girl nodded, smile spreading across her lips as she looked up from reading the parts.
"Thank you baba." She grinned, tucking the box under an arm so she could pull the wrapper off the sucker. Stuffing the sweet into one cheek, she handed the wrapper to the waiting hand and started making her way out. "Dedulya should be stopping by sometime this week to restock, I saw him a couple of days ago and he looked far too excited to be going anywhere else..." Fena's words trailed off as she caught sight of the sign in the window, eyes widening in surprise. She snatched the faded card up, flipping it to confirm it had the same thing printed on the other side. A firm hand filched it from hers as she turned to face the now grumpy looking old woman. Well, grumpier.
"Not a word."
"You know Zoia would be more than wiling to help-" Cherry-wood eyes flashed, thick lips curled in distaste.
"That's a lie and you know it. She'd get sick of it after three days and be a pain to work with after that. I need someone that's going to stick around, at least till the end of this semester." Lilithan explained, staring Fena down. The girl hesitated for a moment, meeting the gaze with one of her own. "Not. A. Word." Lilithan repeated and Fena relented, holding her hands up in surrender.
"Fine, but don't blame me if she complains that you didn't ask her first." The blue haired girl sighed, backing towards the door. Her serious expression relaxed into a grin once again as the shop keep tucked the sign roughly back into it's place, huffing her displeasure. Fena lifted the box from under her arm, waving it slightly to get Lilithan's attention. "You have my number if you need to get ahold of me for that favor, otherwise I'm off." The earth sorceress nodded, already starting back towards the desk, waving one uncaring hand, wooden and clay beads of her bracelets knocking together as she dismissed Fena.
"Yes, yes. Now get out of my shop." She huffed, already ignoring the younger woman. Fena smiled and ducked out, the small clay bells jingling her exit.
The 26 year old half skipped out of the shop, switching the cheek her lolly was tucked into before making her way to her lovely bike Sashia.
"Hello lovely." She purred in Russian, gaze soft as she stroked a hand across the handlebars. Sighing and done with her greeting, Fena flicked open the saddle bag closest to her, slipping the model airplane into the endless bag before latching it again and stepping away from the black bike and blue bike. "Be back in a bit, I'm feeling a bit peckish." She explained, slipping her wallet out to glance at what she had on hand. She'd been paid the day before, so she knew she should be fine, she just couldn't remember how much Zoia had said she'd borrowed.
Agrafena's lips quirked.
She had fifty dollars left.
She needed to talk to Zo.
Sighing, Fena shrugged. She had more than enough for a meal. She tucked her wallet back in her pocket, the chain that latched it to her belt chattering as she started her walk to The Bar.
It was her regular haunt, along with the wand repair shop and Lilithan's general store. She hadn't been to The Bar in a couple days though and she was craving their bread sticks. A smile curled plush lips when it came into view, her thin form slipping through the door as someone else left. Fena found her place in line, standing behind a guy that smelled like her dedulya's place. She smiled slightly to herself, assuming he must work with animals to smell like that.
She shifted her leather jacket, covered in patches and badges from her history with various biker gangs, a small patch on her right lapel bearing the symbol of the Vitam et Mortem. It was a little warmer in here than it had been outside and she was starting to feel the effects. A delicately fingered hand lifted, fiddling with her mother's dog-tags in a habitual motion as she looked around the restaurant. The cork board in the corner drew her eye like it always did, Fena noticing a new flyer pinned to the loaded bulletin board. She was close enough she could read it and decided to, already knowing what she wanted to order and not needing to look at the menu.
A thin brow arched, lips pursing thoughtfully as she tugged lightly on the dog-tags. 'A boarding offer? I could really use a new place... I'm pretty sure Vahn was thinking about moving out too.' She thought, tossing the idea around in her head as the line moved steadily forward, Fena following without really paying attention. 'The old place was ok, but I really need to get out of that neighborhood. The landlord is a bitch.' She scoffed to herself.
Pausing for a moment she snapped a picture of the flyer, ignoring the man grumbling irritably behind her about holding up the line. She looked down at the picture, reading the phone number once through before repeating it to herself as she typed it into her contacts, labeling the new entry 'Potential Roomie' before closing her phone and glancing up at The Bar's front counter. She smiled, nodding at the old man before rocking on her heels, waiting her turn so she could get those damned bread sticks already.
She'd give the potential roomie a call when she left.
(dedulya/deda : grandfather or old man babulya/baba : grandmother or old woman)