Alexandra - Friendly Neighbors

From Masq
Date: Setting:

IC:  09/29/2008
RL: 04/06/2011

Old Friends Antique Dealership


 A glass-frontaged store that looks like it forgot to notice the past few decades. A painted-gold logo on the main front window declares it the "Old Friends Antique Dealership" and a vase filled with flowers has been painted on the front door in bright, cheery colors. A simple awning keeps the weather off the area right in front of the store, and a small windchime has been hung from the frame to tinkle in the breeze.


 Walking into this shop is like stepping into another time. An old-fashioned, spring-mounted bell jingles over the door to warn of customers, and the warm lighting is reminiscent of candles, the air thick with the smell of dusty cloth and old books. Shelves and racks are somewhat haphazardly stocked with all manner of items, with the only commonality among them being that none are of modern make: toys from the days of the Great Depression, clothing from the Prohibition Era, a timeline of soda bottles along the back wall, and books that may not have seen the light of day in decades. An old record player frequently supplies quiet background music, and there are signs that at least one cat haunts the place. In addition, tucked away off to one side, is a small display with a sign proclaiming "Homemade Herbal Remedies" and inviting interested customers to inquire at the register.
 The counter across most of the back of the store supports a fittingly antique cash register, and must have come straight out of some old bar, being deeply varnished mahogany polished until it practically glows, with a sturdy brass foot-bar in place underneath, though no stools are in evidence. One end is clearly designed to flip up to allow access to the back area, and a door behind the counter is marked with a weather-beaten "Employees Only" sign, the former sporting a small pet door near the bottom, the latter a hand-drawn smiley-face in paint.
Another day, slowly drawing to a close. The sun's been down for a good couple hours, though at this time of year that doesn't mean as much as it could. Dinner's been had, the nightcrowd is out doing their thing, and a certain antiquarian is puttering around her store straightening things on the shelves. It's not likely she'll have too many customers at this point in the day, after all, so it gives her some time to get some neatening done. Machiavelli, ever helpful, is asleep on the counter in a large fluffy lump of feline.

Into the antiquary enters the Pawn Brokers. Hand in hand with Trace, Deacon pushes the front glass door open and then holds it for the small woman who enters behind him. Both step deeper into the shop, looking around absently, as they approach the counter.

Trace is a quiet little presence next to Deacon, hr dark eyes flicking back and forth as she takes in all the curiosities.

Alexandra glances over as the bell on the door jingles, then grins and waves to the pair as they come inside, "Well, hello again. Good to see you." She sets the little ceramic animal she was straightening back in place and dusts her hands, wandering over, "Stopping by for business or pleasure?"

"Just looking around, seeing new business." Deacon states quietly, glancing up at the woman running the shop, though his eyes are almost immediately diverted to the cat resting on the counter. Then, only for a second, and he glances at Trace beside him. Again taking in Alexandra, "We are not interrupting your closing?"

"Kitty!" says Trace. She leans up and kisses Deacon on the cheek, then she lets her hand trail out of his as she moves over to the counter. She crouches next to it to put her on eye-level with the cat and reaches out to scritch his head.

The shopkeep shakes her head to Deacon's question with a smile, "Oh no, I usually stay open until around 9 or so. Part of being the owner is letting me set my own hours." She waves vaguely around the room, "Just cleaning up a bit while it's slow, I don't usually get many customers at this hour." Trace's greeting of the cat brings him to y-a-w-n and s-t-r-e-t-c-h as only large cats are able, the Maine Coon abruptly taking up far more space on the counter than he has any right to. A few sleepy blinks at the woman, and then he quirks an ear and starts sniffing curiously at her scratching hand, "Well, looks like he likes you. Machiavelli can be picky."

Deacon ambles over to the counter, nodding to Alexandra, "Da, is much easier when owning shop." At least for keeping hours, at any rate. While the taller of the twosome does not lower himself down to Machiavelli's height, he does test reaching out towards the feline. Slowly, like it might tear his hand off if he doesn't steadily creep.

"I like cats," Trace says to Alexandra, letting Machiavelli sniff her hand and then tickling his chin. "Pretty much any animal, really."

Machiavelli actually deigns to purr a little at Trace, though it's a lazy thing as befitting a beast of his stature. Deacon, on the other hand, earns a somewhat suspicious look, the cat's ears turning back. Not enough to indicate irritation, but that sense of uncertainty if he wants to put up with the man's presence. "It's been surprisingly busy here, lately. I knew the campus would bring in business, but I didn't expect as many as have been by. Lots of folks looking for gifts," says Alexandra.

"You will learning, quickly perhaps, Albuquerque is very strange city." Deacon indicates as he finally strokes his fingers down the cats back, once. Then he's stepping away, looking at some of the wares lining shelves. "However, is very strong Anthropology department at University, so shop like this is going to see many business from them."

"It's kinda like the upscale version of our place, so you'll get all the people who don't wanna come into the 'Zone," Trace says. She tickles under Machiavelli's chin, then along the side of his jaw.

"I can understand that," agrees Alexandra, leaning against a shelf and folding her arms, idly watching the pair of you interact with the cat. "No offense to your shop, of course, but that section of town's scary." She laughs and shakes her head a bit, "I'm too slow-blooded to work there, much less live out that way. You're brave folk."

"Not scary like where I am coming from. Tame." Deacon shrugs absently and kneels down to look at a particularly low sitting incense burner. Both arms hang at the wrist over his knees as he tilts his head one way, then the other, inspecting it. "People in Zone learn to leave shop alone, very quickly."

Trace chirps and purrs back at the cat, still scritching under his chin. Then she frowns a little, running her hand down the Maine Coon's spine. She seems to be paying more attention to the cat than the conversation between the other two.

Alexandra hms softly at Deacon's statements, then nods, "Your accent's pretty telling. I'm guessing you saw some action with the Bosnian conflict, maybe?" Pretty much as soon as the question's out of her mouth, though, the woman's lifting a hand to forestall reply, "Sorry, I don't mean to pry." Then she grins, "I just get curious, is all. And, well, you do strike me as being former military." Machiavelli, for his part, leans into the attention he's getting from Trace, grumbling low in his chest about something or other before sprawling out even further on the counter, as though declaring territory.

Deacon glances over to towards Alexandra behind the counter and is quiet for a lot longer than most would find socially acceptable. In fact, he seems geared towards not answering at all, until he resumes inspecting the small burner he was previously looking over, "Da." Simple answer to a difficult, complicated, question. Both hands slide along his knees, then he's pushing up from the crouch and moving to join Trace by the furry territorially sprawled Machiavelli.

Trace glances at Deacon, raising a hand to lightly scratch her forehead in an absent sort of way. Then she goes back to stroking Mac, taking the risk of tickling his furry belly. It's a risky business, you never know if the cat will deign to accept it or if you've just bought yourself a ticket to claw-scratch city!

Deacon's response doesn't seem to phase Alexandra in the slightest, and she accepts it with a simple nod and smile, apparently understanding there are some things people just don't want to talk about. Instead, she changes the subject, "If there's anything around that catches your eye, feel free to have a look. I don't put fragile stuff out on the floor until I've restored it enough for people to handle." Trace is not horrifically mauled, but she apparently has invited the cat to wrap around her hand, grab hold with all four paws, and play-gnaw at her fingers. His claws are in, though, and his teeth never break skin. Well, unless she freaks out on him, that is.

Deacon grows abysmally quiet. Not to the point to where he's devouring all sound or glowering indifferently with a hardened expression, but some topics leave an imprint, and that print lingers for a while. Glancing around, after nodding to Alexandra, "How much for incense burner?" Pointing to the particular one he was eying moments before. There is, however, one thing that can crack his mask.. and as he looks at Trace, he smiles. A distant sort of expression, but no less genuine, or accompanied by a wealth of emotion in his dark eyes.. at least until he turns his gaze elsewhere.

Trace grins and digs her fingers lightly into the cat's fur, tickling him harder. Even if he does bite or claw, she won't pull away. It's unlikely he'll get through her skin. When Deacon looks her way she glances back at him, almost as if she felt him turn her way, and she smiles back at him.

"For that one?" One of those designed to have the incense lit inside and have the smoke filter out through decorative holes in the cover, done in black metal with a firm, yet elegant style. "Call it... thirty dollars, plus tax?" Not a bad price, roughly equivalent to what you'd find a modern version going for really. The cat seems to be getting into his little wrestle with Trace, growling playfully and kicking at her arm with his backfeet, tail lashing against the countertop and earning an amused look from Alexandra, "He must really like you. Most people he's pretty snooty towards."

"Thirty dollars." Deacon dips his head and slides a hand into one of the pockets of his leather coat, pulling out a gangster roll. One of those thick knots of bills that's more hundreds than fives? Thumbing off two twenties, he lays them on the counter and pushes them over to Alexandra. The roll is replaced in his pocket and he heads over to the shelf to collect up his newly acquired burner, turning it in his hand slowly with an approving nod. "Do you have bag?" At the counter, setting the item down with his palm loosely wrapped about it.

"Arrrr... don't kill my hand..." Trace play-fights right back with Machiavelli, booping his nose with her finger. She doesn't seem to mind the raking of her arm, and she bring in her other hand to tease at his tail.

Deacon watches Trace play fighting with the cat and cannot help the half smile creeping onto his face. His hand remains lazily laying on the burner, turning it slowly with his thumb and pinky. "Perhaps we should get ominous looking cat for pawn shop?"

Deacon's method of carrying his cash brings a quirk of a brow from Alexandra, but no other commentary. Instead, she just collects the tendered bills and rings up the sale, the apparently-antique register actually printing out a receipt. Maybe the innards are more modern. "I can actually wrap that up for you if you like?" she offers with a smile, setting the receipt and change on the counter before fishing out a smallish paper bag, one of those types with handles. The cat's Great Fierceness and Deacon's comment makes her laugh, "Get one of those big white cats, you can be like a movie villain and pet it menacingly."

Deacon flicks his eyes towards Alexandra when she mentions the movie villain and white cats, but it's with a distant sort of dry chuckle. "Da, please do." pushing the burner towards her with a stretching of his fingers that literally slides the metal object towards her across the wood. Hand free, he collects the change and pushes it down into a different pocket, again looking at some of the wares. This time those behind the counter on display.

"We'd need a big leather chair for that," Trace says. "Deacon would look good in it... and he has the accent." She eventually pries her hand from the cat, and there's no sign of scratches on any part of it. "He can sit with his back to the door and when people come in he can slowly turn around and be like 'I know what you are being to look for'." Her accent is terrible.

Trace's 'acting' just brings Alexandra to roll her eyes and shake her head as she gathers up the incense burner, pulling a few sheets of newsprint out from under the counter to start bundling it up before bagging it. The shelves behind the counter hold all manner of items without any apparent organization to them at all; old toys, a few pairs of shoes of various sorts, nicknacks. The only thing in common is that they all are rather battered, some looking like they were 'stored' in someone's attic for several decades at best. And then there's the shelf of Coca Cola bottles through the years. Machiavelli makes a disgruntled noise as Trace pulls free, sitting up and shaking his head before turning his back on the woman and starting to wash, tail curled around him to further complete the Snub. It isn't long, though, before Deacon's purchase is safely bagged up and she offers it across to the pair with a grin, "Here you go."

"It is not very sportsman to making fun of mans accent..." Deacon says to Trace with a grin barely, just barely, curling his lips a tthe corners. A hand slides along the WOODEN counter and up the smaller of the pairs arm, settling at the back of her neck where it squeezes lightly. His gaze shifts slowly over the cola bottles, until he spies one particular design.. Raising a finger to point up at it, "Is that nineteen forty seven coca cola bottle?" There's a... look.. in his eyes. Difficult to explain, but even more so to read, since there's rarely anything 'on' his face to read in the first place.

Trace flicks her hand out and briefly tickles at that spot at the base of the cat's spine that is pretty much guaranteed to provoke a response. Then she looks at Deacon as he asks about the cola bottle, and she slips closer to him, tucking in under his arm.

Alexandra looks a little surprised at Deacon's picking out of a particular bottle, and she turns to regard the shelf, visibly (though silently) counting from one end until she reaches the target, "Yup, it is." She grins over her shoulder and teases lightly, "You've got an eye for old soda bottles, Deacon?" Machiavelli has enough poise to at least take his sudden elevator-butt elegantly, pressing up into Trace's scratching fingers before turning it into one of those hips-up head-down stretches that seems to make the spine elongate by several inches.

Deacon is quiet, staring up at that bottle in a way that indicates perhaps he's looking well beyond the object, to another place.. or another time. Pursing his lips, he nods simply, once, "How much do you want for bottle?" The arm around Trace's shoulders curls in towards him, pulling her closer, head turning over to lay against her temple.

Trace slides her arm around Deacon's waist and cuddles in close to him, her other hand reaching up to lightly touch his cheek. She only has eyes for him for a brief span of time.

The antiquarian frowns slightly, considering the object in question. You can almost hear the adding machine going off behind her eyes. In the end, she names a price that's a little under what that particular style of bottle is worth on the collector-markets, but not so low as to be surprising. "You're the first that's ever asked about them, did you know? Most people seem to think they're just decoration."

Deacon may or may not be paying to the whole conversation. Wherever the sight of the bottle took him, it didn't leave much room for anything else. The rest of that sparse attention is on Trace, whom his kisses on the crown of her head, as he's fishing out that gangster roll. Twenty dollars, plus the change from his previous purchase. The exact reason for 'that' bottle, however, go unvoiced. There were older ones, likely some that were better collector items.. but he continues to cast his gaze up to it, almost as if instinctively drawn to the design.

"Can you wrap that up for us too?" Trace asks, glancing between Deacon and the bottle with a curious sort of expression.

Alexandra doesn't ask questions, though her eyes are curious as they rest on Deacon. She doesn't even ask this time before getting out the newsprint and bundling up the bottle, anticipating Trace's question with a wry smile for the other woman. She noticeably takes a bit more care with it than she did the incense burner from earlier, handing the bag across in both hands, "Here you go. Congratulations on finding it."

Deacon watches the entire process with a slow turning of his eyes, from retrieval, to wrapping, to bagging, and finally once it's held out to him. A long fingered hand slides around the handles of the bag and his brow begins to knit. A glance to Trace, then up at Alexandra, "Thank you." The second bag, the lesser of two finds, is taken as well. "We will get out of hair, let you close shop.. come by Lost and Found, sometime."

"Yes, please do," Trace says, nodding. "Maybe you'll find something there that you didn't know you lost." She smiles at Alexandra. "Have a good night!"