"I'll need a raise if I have to speak in riddles or rhyme all day."
<NYC> Daemon's Books - Clinton
Tucked between a cafe and clothing store, one might miss the shop. The inside is reminiscent of a small town library, very seldom full of people and dusty. Though it's one of the few places where you can find gems such as 'Three books of occult philosophy' and 'A study on occult science'. The checkout counter is also home to a number of different pieces of jewelry and charms.
The end of the day is coming around and it's starting to cool off outside. Inside the bookshop, however, it's downright chilly. There's about an hour until closing time and the shop is deserted, almost. Behind the counter is a /very/ obvious mutant in a slim fitting black suit with a bright red tie. He's flipping through one of the old books, nodding along to Hells Bells, which is being played quietly over the store's speaker system.
The door opens to admit a young man whose gait tells of barely contained glee. His brown hair looks a remarkable mess for being so sort, and there's an excited gleam in his bright green eyes. He wears a light blue jacket unzipped over a black t-shirt with the silhouette of man clutching a book to his chest, engulfed in abstract orange flames, and faded blue jeans torn where the cuffs drag on the ground around sandal-clad feet. "Hi!" he bobs his head in greeting, then casts his gaze around the shop, his grin broad and happy. "Oh, wow! Oh, *wow!*"
Behind the first man, a second -- if he has /glee/ it is considerably more contained. Lucien's dirty-blond hair is tousled in that /just/-so way that implies a good deal of /product/ keeping it a Very Precise Mess. His clothing is simple -- tan twill trousers, a grey button-down, grey loafers -- but hangs well enough to suggest it may have been tailored to his fit in contrast to the other's dragging-scuffed jeans. His expression is reserved, gaze sweeping the store with a muted curiosity. If there /is/ a resemblance between the pair it lies in the vivid green of the eyes that land on Jason -- pause there for a long moment.
Lucien's hands fold behind his back, one hand clasping around the opposite wrist as he pulls in a slow breath. The fabric of his shirt tightens slightly across his chest as his shoulders pull just a bit straighter. "You act," he says, mildly, "as though you had never been in a bookstore before."
Jason shifts his attention upward as the door opens, flashing the entering pair a warm smile. "Howdy, howdy. Anything I can help y'all with this evening?" He closes the book in front of himself and straightens up a bit, tail peeking up behind his shoulder and swishing slightly.
"Well, I've never been in *this* bookstore before." Matt rises onto his toes to peer at some of the higher shelves. "I'm not looking for anything in particular," he tells the shopkeeper, "just noticed this walking by and *had* to check it out. But don't worry, give me a few minutes and--ooh!" His fingers delicately pry a hardbound copy of AOS's 'The Focus of Life' from the shelf. "I've never had the chance to read the original!" He drifts toward the counter. "How long have you been here? The shop, I mean."
The surface of Lucien's mind shivers briefly, then tightens down smoother into unruffled calm once more. "It is a bit -- on the nose, no?" His eyes drift away from the counter, back to the front of the store. "This whole notion of the occult as demonic --" One hand turns upward in a small shrug, his fingers spreading. "I suppose it does play to a certain market. Still." The smile that ghosts across his face is polite. "It is always nice to find more resources."
"About fifteen years, but I just got the job not too terribly long ago." Jason replies before looking over at Lucien. "Yeah, and then the owner hiring me on. Guess he was just playin' on what people already just assumed about it all. Regardless it got me ah job where I don't have to work in the back because of how I look."
Matt shuffles back toward Lucien without looking up from the book he had found. He presses his shoulder to his brother's, perhaps to show him his prize (see how awesome?!). "I'm guessing that doesn't spare you from any number of completely ludicrous personal questions. Anyway, classically speaking, daemons were all manner of nature spirits," he adds cheerfully. "So it's a name that appeals to multiple sectors of the market, I'm sure. Speaking of which, *do* you have anything in ancient Greek? Preferably primary sources, though there've been some decent Hellenic reconstructionist texts published in the last decade or so..." He's already wandering back toward the shelves, eyes questing.
"No, I suppose you do not have to work in the back, now. Lucky, that." Lucien's lips compress as Matt sidles up to him; he leans slightly into his brother's side, tipping his head down to look at the book Matt holds. Then looking back /up/ as the elder Tessier wanders off, again. "-- Oh. Dear." Slowly, his hands unclench from behind his back. One hand lifts, pinching at the bridge of his nose. "/Do/ you have anything in ancient Greek? I suspect I may be here a while, if so. Thankfully my evening is quite free. I did not quite expect to spend it falling down this rabbit hole but --" The slight lift of his brows, lift of his shoulders, has a general air of what-can-you-do.
"We might, if we do they'll be somewhere in the back." Jason turns to point to the back wall in question. "If we don't, we should have a few copies of the Arcana Mundi floating around. Though the stuff up front here is more pseudo-science and modern grimoires. Have to actively look for the better stuff, guess it's that way so only people who are seriously interested on the topic pick it up."
Matt follows in the direction Jason points, lips pursed in silent appreciation. "I don't personally hold much to the notion that older means more 'authentic', *or* that such sources should be kept out of the hands of dabblers." He still does not relinquish the first book upon which he had seized, hugging it to his chest now in a manner rendered perhaps slightly disquieting by the subject matter of his shirt. "Modern grimoires? Are we talking more like new translations, or new *material*?"
"Tch." Lucien scoffs quietly at this, slowly drifting after Matt, though never quite catching up. "Everyone knows you are not a /true/ witch until you hoard your secrets jealously. The Dark Arts are not to be shared with just /anyone/." His tone has dropped lower, heavy and solemn. "You need to be at /least/ a level eight warlock before you can be trusted with the real lore."
"Little bit of both, but the newer stuff is just variations on the older stuff." Jason answers Matt's question before nodding solemnly at Lucien's comments. "I wasn't trusted with running the shop alone until after a blood sacrifice, a ceremony where they bonded a new athame to me, and promising that I'd go home and study at least twice a week. I'm supposed to only speak in cryptic riddles starting next week too, and to use secret passages so customers think I'm in more than one place at once. You'd think running a bookstore would be easy."
Matt slaps a hand over his mouth to muffle his laughter (perhaps he forgets this this not a library, after all). "Don't worry, you're doing great. I can tell because my power level is over nine thousand." He turns and flashes a goofy grin at Jason. "So, anything you would specifically recommend? Some special gem I might miss? Cryptic or not, you know the shop better than we do!"
Lucien turns, at this. Just slightly; a quick glance back towards Jason, a very slight twitch at the side of his mouth. It isn't enough to be properly a /smile/, really, but the corners of his eyes crinkle, a touch of humour warming them. "Do not forget the ceremonial robes."
Drawing nearer to Matt, he plucks the book from his brother's arms, picking it out from where Matt clutches it to his chest. Carrying it back to the front counter, instead. "I will be especially impressed if you deliver your answer in riddle form."
"It was either riddles or rhyme.. I'll have to consult a higher power before I change how I speak to customers. But Liber Al vel Legis is always a good read, if you haven't already checked it out. Or Lords of the left-handed path." Jason suggests. "But regardless, I'll need a raise if I have to speak in riddles or rhyme all day."
"Pretty sure we have a copy Book of the Law..." Matt relinquishes the book easily despite. "...or three?" He darts Lucien a questioning eye. "But Lords of the Left-Handed Path might be good to have on hand for my class." He taps his chin thoughtfully. "Trying to draw on a wide variety of sources, it's a survey class on the history of paganism. Which casts a pretty ridiculously wide net." He goes to the counter as well. "It would take some serious acting chops to speak in spontaneous riddles *or* rhymes."
Lucien slips his wallet out from his back pocket, leaning with one elbow against the counter. "It may be good to have the materials available for students who are interested, regardless of whether you manage to cover /every/ part of pagan history in a matter of a few months. Add them to the library, perhaps, if there is a gap there?"
His lips twitch a little bit more noticeably when Matt joins him at the counter. Kind of /thin/. Kind of wry. "I am a door to boundles worlds of treasure. Your mind, the key to wisdom beyond measure. I have much to tell you, but have no voice." He plucks the book up to bap it against the back of Matt's /head/ before handing it over to Jason for checking out. "And if you doubt /my/ chops you have made the wrong choice."
And it's about the time Lucien starts rhyming that Jason seems to click and realize who he is. "I can't believe I didn't recognize your face when you walked in. I've been following the theater for a while." He shakes his head a few times before reaching over to take the books and ring them up. "Always wanted to act, but gave up on it when I sprouted horns." He lifts his shoulders in a slight shrug, "C'est la vie. Have social anxiety real bad anyway, so probably for the best."
"There's definitely some gaps in the library's range of literature on non-Abrahamic spirituality in general," Matt agrees with an easy smile that turns ever so subtly smug when Lucien obliges with a demonstration of his acumen. "Bravo!" He accepts his bapping with equanimity. "And I wasn't *doubting* you, just keeping you sharp." To Jason, a bit more soberly, "Thank you for the recommendations. For what it's worth, I find your conversation very entertaining. Though..." His smile returns, if faintly. "...I hope your boss doesn't actually try to put you up to anything like *that.* I mean, really. Being in more than one place at once is taxing enough."
"You would be surprised how many people can command an entire theatre but offstage struggle terribly with interaction. In a way putting on a costume makes it a good deal easier." Lucien inclines his head slightly when Jason mentions following the theatre. "But you have seemed perfectly adroit, conversationally, here. I have no idea if you still have theater aspirations -- and I certainly won't pretend it would be /easy/ -- but of all the places on earth to have them, New York is the one where there is, at least, a thriving community already for mutants in the arts." When turns over his credit card to pay for the books, he turns over a contact card with it. Takes the books in return.
"I might have to look around and see if there are any amateur groups looking. Bit young for most the professional shows looking." Jason runs the card before returning it, "Would you like your receipt?" He asks, holding it up for appraisal.
"Never too young or too old," Matt reassures him, smiling again. "You'll have to update me...because I'm sure to be coming back here quite a lot! For totally professional reasons, of course. Think of the children."