Monday night, 11:35 PM. The moon sits high over the Asian city and a clear sky gives sight to a shimmering stars. Although nightfall, the balmy weather makes for a warm night. Temps: 17C/62F lows and 25C/77F highs.
skin credit goes to miss texas, custom structure scripts go to black, and the toggle cbox goes to subdevo. credit for mini profile goes to bee.
Maggie hears the bounce in Zach's step before she sees his face. She raises a brow incredulously. (Mad extra.) Upon glancing up, she's struck by Zach's twinkly eyes. Broad nose. Spritely disposition. Ahh, he's a baby...
"Just this please."
"Sure," she replies. Maggie takes the book with a manicured hand, scanning the price tag. The amount pops up on her tablet. (A book on folklore? Interesting...) Eyes snapping back to Zach, she taps into her divine sight. It's prying, yes. But Maggie likes knowing who steps foot in her shop. She won't snoop if the customer browses without buying; yet, anyone is fair game is they make it to her damn register. Information about Zach flutters through her mind.
Magical human. Lawful good.
Perfect. The Prophet offers the boy a half-smile. "Fifteen thirty." She cuts a glance at Arie through the stacks. (Are they peers or some shit like that?) Maggie studies Zach for a beat. Obviously, the twins need help figuring something out. It'd be ideal for Zach to grab his book and leave. Still, Maggie can't help herself...
"Ok, cool," Rylan says, happy that Maggie seems to have caught on. She turns away and makes her way to the register, Rylan close on her heels. He knows she's probably waiting for people to clear out before they go in depth on the real reason the twins are there.
It's not long after they arrive at the cash register when Zach comes up, quickly, ('He's in a hurry to get out of here... wonder what Arie said to him.') he thinks idly. He's fairly ready to get on with the night, and to do that he needs Maggie to be free from distractions. Hopefully she'll have some kind of knowledge about their Spider Demon, and in the best case scenario she'll do that creepy little magic trick of hers and get the twins some real information.
As the Prophetess cashes out the Shaman, Rylan cranes his head around curiously. Maggie's busy trying to make small talk with the kid. Meanwhile Rylan is trying to get a glimpse of the book that his brother's employee checking out. Though he has no room to talk (the last book he read was a two-month old magazine in a hotel lobby), he can't imagine the 18 year old reading anything incredibly deep. Still he flashes another cheesy grin in Zach's direction.
The shopkeeper finally leaves him be, taking with her one of the twins and the youngster as well. The faux smile Wolfgang kept on his face when mortals were around slipped away, returning his countenance to a blank slate. He places whatever book he was feigning interest in back on the shelf and begins to head for the door. It isn't until he comes around the other side of the aisle he's been standing in that he realizes, in all the marching to the register, that one twin has been left behind on his own.
Famine is able to differentiate the twins by their clothes for now. This one isn't who he got stuck talking with earlier. "You must be the brother who likes words in his books," he says, putting the smile back on. Although he was headed outside to stalk the place, there's no harm in hanging around for another minute or two. "I guess that would explain the interest in Greek myth." He points at the book in Arie's hands. "So, are you a believer or just enjoy a good story?"
The harbinger knew he was a believer. Anyone who knows magic to exist probably also knows that all the fairy tales from childhood probably have more than a hint of truth to them. But, hey! It was still a worthwhile exercise to see what this doppelganger would say when pressed.
"You must be the brother who likes words in his books. I guess that would explain the interest in Greek myth."
"That it would," Arie says as he thumbs through the pages of the Greek Myth eventually arriving on the myth of Arachne. He has a rudimentary understanding of it already. Woman pisses off god. God gets butthurt and curses her to teach a lesson. Still, a refresher could be illuminating... should he get a moment alone to explore it.
"Myths, past and present, are nothing more than a snapshot of a particular culture's values and the lens through which they view the world." The elder Weiss has looked up to the meet the stranger's eyes already, continuing to hold the book open as it awaits his studious gaze. "I just happen to find people's obsession with something bigger than they are and how that shifted over time from these gods-" he motions with the book. "-to the ones we worship today intriguing. The disconnect people have of shitting on the validity of one while simultaneously worshipping another is denial at its best. What's it to you?"
Zach smiles widely as he hands Maggie his credit card. He doesn’t think too much of the price, the book will make a good souvenir of his time here in Singapore. It makes him half wonder where he’ll go next on his travels.
(Mum wants me home and in college by next year though…)
Zach practically winces at the thought. He’s not going home anytime soon, and even if he were to go to college he’d want to go somewhere a bit further afield – warmer. Brisbane maybe?
“Just a few months really.” The young shaman’s eyes shine brightly. “I’ve been travelling around with my mate, but we really liked it here so thought we’d stay awhile.” Zach’s gaze snakes over to Arie, and then finally Rylan. The latter of which is throwing a jovial grin his way.
(He’s so handsome.)
Zach’s eyes linger on the demonic twin, before quickly shooting back to Moira. “I err, work with Arie over there. Well for him. It’s a pretty sweet shop.”
Is Zach this upbeat all the time? A wry smirk tugs at her mouth.
“I’ve been traveling around with my mate, but we really liked it here so thought we’d stay awhile.”
"It's a beautiful city." Maggie bags Zach's purchase, remembering her own travel experiences. Adding stamps to her passport was an addiction. It made her reckless, naive. She steals a look at Zach's necklace, then reconnects with his smiling eyes. Knowing this kid has a restless spirit makes the Prophet, weirdly, protective of him. It'd be different if he were human, but he's not; Zach is magical and that comes with unique challenges.
Her smirk turns to a grin when she catches him admiring Rylan, of all people. Rylan?!?
Jesus; this child needs some mentoring. Her own eyes flicker to Rylan's smile for a beat. Well. He's not ugly, but she's still tempted to drag Zach off to the side and say, "Girrrrrl..."
“I err, work with Arie over there. Well for him. It’s a pretty sweet shop.”
"Agreed." Maggie cranes her neck to look at Arie. She frowns. Now Wolfgang has begun smiling, chatting him up. The fuck? (Buy something or leave!) Stifling an eye roll, Maggie hands Zach his bag; she can get rid of one customer, at least.
"Enjoy your night." (Don't get stabbed, Papi.) "And come around if you need help."
The lengthy tirade on religion and mythology drones on for Famine. The answer to his original question could've been a simple one, but this brother really had something to say about Greek myth. He hoped this wouldn't be the one he was recruiting. If so, Wolfgang was in for a long apocalypse.
Still, he had to feign interest. He nodded when Arie compared myths to being cultural snapshots. It sounded like something college students said when they got cold-called in humanities class. "Yeah, that really insightful," Wolfgang played the peer giving feedback. "None of it means much to me. I'm not a believer, I guess. But Hercules was one of my favorite Disney classics growing up."
With a quick glance at the watch on his wrist, the Harbinger created an out for himself. "I should be going. I hope you and your brother find the perfect book," he said with a smile and slight bow. It was the polite thing to do, anyway, before he exited the store for the sidewalk. He could hear the klutz checking out at the register, so it was time to set the plan in motion.
Rylan watches Zach with interest as him and Maggie go back and forth with small talk. He doesn't intrude, mostly because he tip-toes on egg-shells around Maggie Mora. She knows exactly what he is, they've worked together before, and between the two of them, they're polite enough. But they're never going to be friends, or at least it's not a likely path for them to take. Still, he isn't going to make matters worse.
Zach, on the other hand, his personality, from what Ry has learned, is much more like his own. Passing comments from Arie and observances from afar give the demonic-twin a sense of wildness and passion, of youth and fun, something that Rylan could identify with.
Though the younger Weiss brother likes Zach well enough, Rylan is starting to get antsy. The faster everyone clears out of the store, the faster the twins can get to the bottom of their spider demon mystery. Maggie, even without her gifts, is a font of knowledge , but Ry isn't going to pretend that if the Prophetess can get a "hit" supernaturally, that it wouldn't be big help.
As Maggie is tying up the transaction and sending Zach on his way, Rylan's eyes snap to the figure of Wolfgang leaving the store. The man still irks him, ('Well at least he's good and gone,') he thinks, his eyes following him until he's out of sight. Almost as if he's coming back to himself from a vision, he has to pull his attention back to the pair of people in front of him. "See ya Zach," he almost suggests having a few beers later in the week, but thinks better of it. Rylan couldn't always be counted on to be responsible, but at least in this instance, his curiosity about the demon at hand has his priorities straight.
Arie stares after Wolfgang as the Infernal finally departs. The elder twin snaps the book shut and replaces it on the shelf. (You were right. What a weirdo.) He glances around as he makes his way to the front of the shop, ensuring that there aren't any stragglers to interrupt them once Zach has left.
He comes up to stand beside Rylan, sharing a look with his brother over their separately odd interactions with Wolfgang. Once the moment has passed, he shifts his gaze to Zach. "I'll see you tomorrow. Try not to be late, eh?" He says in a teasing tone as he leans on the counter. He wonders if Maggie will be locking up the shop after Zach leaves or if she'll wait until he and Rylan clear out as well. (Who knew that a small used bookstore would be so lively this late at night?)
“Awesome, thanks.” Zach takes the bag from Maggie’s grasp and brings it to his side. His amulet jiggles against his chest as he moves, a gentle reminder of home and his whakapapa. Yet like the Koru, Zach is on a journey of growth, strength and perpetual movement.
As Zach turns to leave, Wolfgang charges past and out into the night. The young shaman thinks nothing of it - everyone has places to be, especially at this time of night. Even weirdos like Wolfie.
(Hope Connor hasn’t started drinking without me. Last time he was wasted before I even got home.)
“Me? Late? Never!” Zach chimes sardonically as Arie teases him. “Bye guys, enjoy your night.” And with a gentle wave to Maggie and the twins, the shadow shaman exits the store out onto the sidewalks of Katong.
Maggie watches Wolfgang leave the shop. (Damn; I should've given him a card.) Lamenting about the loss of potential business, she shifts dark eyes to Arie as he approaches the counter. He's got such a confident, easy gait. Lil' cutie. She offers her a friend a quick smile.
"I'll see you tomorrow. Try not to be late, eh?"
While Arie busts Zach's balls, she rolls her neck, feeling the tension in her shoulder area. She grimaces; mama needs a massage, a joint and an orgasm - all things present company aren't equipped to provide.
“Me? Late? Never!”
Maggie smirks. She waves goodbye with her fingers, then leans over the counter to see the door shut. (Free at last!) Eyes widened, she ticks her eyes from Arie to Rylan. "Where were all of you earlier in the day when I was looking to upsell?" She shrugs out of her blazer, revealing a pair of smooth, toned arms.
Maggie lowers her voice: "I wanted to strangle the guy in the suit who was tryna cruise on a Monday night. In my shop. Go to the clubs, bitch." She shakes her head. "Sorry...
"That wasn't ladylike." (Not that I care.) She forces a smile. "What's up?"
As soon as Zack is out the door, Rylan's attention shifts back to the remaining company. When they're finally alone, Maggie let's a little more of her snarkiness show. It makes Ry grin. She may be prone to freaky prophetic trances, but her sense of humor amuses the demonic twin. He can't help but to say, "Ladylike? Hmmm, anyway, you think he was really just cruising..." He affects a shiver, a little act that doesn't take that much effort. "I'd ban him if he makes a habit out of it Maggs."
He casts a look around. With the time of night and the lack of people, the bookstore doesn't feel as hospitable as usual. Or perhaps it was still the remnants of his subconscious vexation revolving around the Spider Demon. ('Did you find anything?') he questions telepathically, looking towards his twin. It might be rude to exclude Maggie from the conversation, but Rylan's mental questioning of his brother is more out of habit than anything.
"He was... a bit out of place," Arie carefully comments, taking a moment to try and discern what it was about the man that had been so off putting. He's not even sure that he could pick him out in the crowd if asked.
"The monks sent us out to deal with a spider demon in the nature reserve the other day." His hand instinctively shoots up to forestall any potential interruptions. Whether Maggie was or not, it's a natural instinct to combat his ever talkative brother. "Already dust. We just want to find out what may have drawn it here.
"She was powerful enough to withstand Ry's flames." Maggie's seen Rylan's hellfire at work so he pauses to let that sink in. She would understand the implications of the context. "We had to cast a spell to vanquish her. You got anything that might be useful?"