"That and I might get bored if everything stays good for longer than a year."
<NYC> Inkline Studios - Lower East Side
The front room of Inkline Studio is small, and does not, particularly, look like a tattoo parlor at all. Framed surrealist oil paintings line the walls instead of the typical flash ink, although interspersed are a handful of tasteful, artistic photographs of various people displaying their tattoos that might give away the nature of this business. Black leather armchairs cluster around a low glass coffee table; large black binders that sit on the table contain portfolios of the past work done in the studio. A glass counter stretches along the length of one wall, a plethora of various body jewelry on display; the 'front desk' sits at the far end of the counter, computer and cash register and large file cabinet making up the work space. The piercing and tattoo rooms are in the back, brightly lit and sterile, with doors closeable for privacy.
This private back room of the studio is bright -- cheerful and brightly lit and crisply clean, walls decorated with photographs of heavily inked people in various states of undress, colourful fantastical paintings, old flyers for conventions, aftercare instructions. There's music playing -- 2 Chainz' "We Own It" segueing into David Guetta's "Blast Off"; evidently Jackson has a mix of /Fast and the Furious/ soundtracks playing right now. On a small table next to the comfortable adjustable-position chair in the center of the room, a large glass of cold water stands next to a small plate of snickerdoodles (some cinnamony, some chocolate.)
Jax's workstation has no food. Just a number of small ink cups that he's just measured out from pointy-nosed bottles of ink, a roll of paper towels hanging below the table, a spray bottle, needles still in their sterile packages, tattoo machines lying on the table. He's wheeling the station up alongside the bed with one foot, pulling his chair up along with it. The purple nitrile gloves he wears match his hair, today, peacocky in green and blue and purple -- his clothes are fairly monochrome aside from this, black skinny jeans and black sleeveless shirt studded with pyramid studs around its collar and sleeves. Heavy stompy boots on his feet. "You comfortable?" His brows lift curiously, his tone sounding genuinely concerned. "You just let me know any time you need a break, alright? It ain't no problem for me to to take a few whenever you need."
Anette has made herself pretty comfortable in the chair, wings tucked in neatly behind her as she leans back, wearing a tank top once again though her arm has been removed from the strap, ensuring Jax gets plenty of access to the scar and rest of her shoulder. And, most importantly, the cookies and water are well within reach of her good arm. While Jax prepared, she had earbuds in, plugged into her phone where she streamed her own music. Once he signaled he was about to start, she removed one earbud and turned down the volume just enough so her own music was only just audible and she could talk with Jax as needed.
His question of her comfort is met first with a raised brow, then with an amused grin and faint nod. "Yeah, comfy as I'm going to be. I'll let you know but," she says, glancing down to the very rough looking bite mark with a brief smirk, "can't hurt as bad as the reason I'm here." She wiggles a bit in the chair, adjusting her position one last time before he begins his work. "Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."
"Alrighty." Jax picks up a small packet, tearing it open to extract a damp swab -- it's cool against Anette's skin as he wipes the skin clean, first. Crumples this up to toss it away. A disposable razor is next -- cool as well, just a light quick run against the newly swabbed shoulder before he picks up the spray bottle, spritzing her shoulder lightly and pressing a thin sheet of paper with a stencil of her fiery design onto it. "D'you mind if I ask what it's from?" he wonders lightly, as he presses the stencil down to her shoulder. "The bite, I mean. I mean, looks like you you got yourself a /mighty/ big cat."
Closing her eyes and drawing her attention back to her music, Anette waits patiently while Jax prepares the site. Other than slight twitches at the initial coolness of the wipes and water, she doesn't react to the preparations, even managing to relax in the chair. At his question, she blinks her eyes open, glancing down to the bite mark almost instinctively. "A jaguar actually. A friend of mine, we were both sick with the plague. He can shift into animal forms and he lost control." She casually raises her free hand, examining the sharp talons at the end. "Not that I was much better to him." This is said almost casually, but the thin line she presses her lips into hints at deeper feelings hidden beneath.
"Oh, gosh. I guess folks got themselves into all /kinds/ of mess back then, huh?" Jax peels the stencil away from Anette's shoulder, tossing it and the razor both in the trash and leaning back to let it dry. He picks up a packet of ointment, flicking it idly in his hand while he looks at the new outline on her skin. "I -- I hope he's okay now, though?"
"You're telling me," Anette says with a chuckle, resting her hand back against the arm of the chair. With the stencil removed, she glances down to the outline, smiling softly at the image. "Yep, still love it. Oh, he's fine," she says, leaning her head back again and looking up to the ceiling with an amused grin. "Bastard has a healing ability, too."
"Oh, good. That's -- good. I just. if y'all were both sick, it --" Jax doesn't finish this thought, just shaking his head. He tears open the packet he holds, squeezing a small dollop of ointment onto the tip of one gloved finger to rub it over the stencilled image. "Always good to know folks made it through that. With a minimum of --" His lips press together slightly, head shaking as he picks up one of his machines. "...Biting." He pulls his chair closer to the side of Anette's, the buzz of the needle starting a few short moments before the scratch of the needle touching her skin.
"Yeah, I uh...it was scary. Wasn't sure I was going to make it through myself." At the sound of the machine starting up, she falls silent, breathing slowly and steadily, eyes still focused intently on the texture of the ceiling. The touch of the needle gets a sharp gasp, but she behaves, forcing herself to remain still. Once the initial surprise is over, she relaxes again, her breathing becoming more natural. "Worst part was not knowing who to trust. The whole thing escalated because I refused to see someone. Didn't know who to go to."
"The city wasn't exactly a shining beacon of safety, yeah." Jax's voice is quiet, over the steady hum of his needle. "I kinda -- burned my house down a little bit." He sounds juuust a touch sheepish, himself. "I'm glad you made it through, too. /Kinda/ hoping New York takes a break from apocalypses. Apocalypsi. Apocal... gosh. Who knew we'd need to know how to pluralize apocalypse?"
"I've done a lot of crazy things but...burning my house down has not been one of them. Yet." Anette sneaks a quick glance over to Jax's work, eyes quickly darting back to the ceiling. "Oh god, don't jinx it. I don't think I can handle another apocalypse so soon. At least give it a nice, clean, uneventful year before we're all fighting for our lives again, yeah?" Her eyes dart down to Jax for a moment before she speaks again. "Good to see you made it through in one piece, too."
"In my defense, Dusk was trying to kill me at the time." There's a hint of laughter in Jax's tone, though his smile is a little wry. "Think there was a whole /lotta/ biting going on those days. Thankfully I /only/ burned down our house and not -- him." Not so much laughter in that statement. Though the amusement has returned, slightly. "One year? I'm dreaming big. I'm hoping we get through the rest of the /decade/ before fate decides it's time to destroy New York again. I can be an optimist, right?"
"Really? Dusk? I can't even imagine him trying to zombie eat you, he's such a sweetheart," Anette says, that hint of laughter in her own voice as well. "In my defense, a year is pretty big for me. I'm happy when a week goes by without chaos and mayhem." A sly grin falls on her face. "That and I might get bored if everything stays good for longer than a year. I'm not used to things going well."
"Well," Jax sounds /totally chipper/ with this bright reassurance, flashing Anette a cheerful grin, "ain't nothin' to say that you can't invite /tons/ of chaos an' mayhem into your /own/ life. Just so long as it don't rain down on the city entire we can still reach for that goal, right?"
Anette can't help but laugh, genuine and loud. "You just might be the first person to tell me to invite chaos into my own life. Usually people are trying to get me to cut back." The grin remains as she casually reaches for a snickerdoodle cookie, taking a small bite. "I'll try to keep my chaos contained at least."
"I /am/ an artist. We ain't highly known for our sound judgment." The amusement has definitely returned to Jax's tone, warm and bright. "I mean, if you need someone to spice your life up with colour or fun or -- well. Chaos. Sure. But. Practicality, not so much." His teeth press down lightly against his lip, eye focused on his work as the needle traces its thin dark lines into Anette's skin. "Somehow, though, I don't think you're gonna need to worry about life around here ever getting /boring/. One way or another."