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Scoping for ink
Rune had been in Moscow long enough to know her way around pretty good. If she ever got lost she had a gps map tech in the bag slung over her shoulder. So far she hadn't had to need it except when she first arrived and studied the street layouts like crazy. But Moscow was a huge city, much bigger than anything she was used to back in the US. Most of her life Uncle Seth and her bounced from town to town, a mobile Atharim which lived on the road more often than the cabin she was actually born in.

One thing Rune did know was that if someone wanted to look for artsy stuff, they went to Arbat street. Which is exactly what she wanted to do! Therefore, she slipped on her sneakers, slung her bag over her shoulder, spiked her hair and got to walking. Which brought up a really good point, she was going to need to set up a more permanent place to live soon. The Atharim had a job for her, which meant staying in the city for a while. She was pretty excited about it, actually. But not as excited as finally getting the snake on her arm. Uncle Seth's was rad. Arbat street was not the place to get a tattoo (for mercy's sake, you'd think these people had never seen a girl with a hairstyle before! ... there were lots of staring...) but it was the place to meet an artist.

Old Arbat was among the main arteries to Moscow’s tourist heart, a clash of tacky souvenir stalls and eclectic street performers vying endlessly for space and attention along the wide walk-way. The mill of foreign crowds was dwarfed by the stark, pastel-shaded buildings looming high above, the intricate flashes of old architecture at their heights dissected with neon signage and the bohemian fronts of quirky bars, shops and cafes at their bases. It was always so busy, and never quiet – which, for Thalia, was part of its allure. English might be the official language of the CCD, but the odd resonance of guttural Russian supposedly added to the traditional air of Arbatskaya’s illustrious history. It blended with the chime of various musicians – today a man was playing a full sized piano beneath one of the lampposts designed to look like ancient gaslamps. She soaked it all in; the noise, the colour, the wafting scents of food (you could find pretty much any cuisine here), and bullshitted herself – as always – that half-remembered memories of the shifting blur of passing faces was why so many strangers materialised in her sketchbooks.

Made sense. Right? It was one of the reasons Thalia still came here so often, though it numbered one of a myriad haunts she frequented for similar reasons, because after six years in Moscow she understood why there were so few locals here for any other motive beyond making money; New Arbat attracted the affluent elite, and Tverskaya was the hub of shopping and nightlife. Old Arbat was like most eccentrics; walk its thoroughfare one too many times and its appeal began to fade like colour bled dry from the sun. It amounted to a charming and lively taste of pseudo history, or a vulgar and overpriced tourist trap – depending on your view – but for Thalia it was nostalgia; she liked its quirky jadedness. Once, she had been among the painters hawking their wares along the cobbled street, set up under the shade of a turquoise umbrella amidst an array of her work, swapping portraits for income. Strange, how in the age of instant-gratification tech, people still went crazy for something so old-fashioned as a black and white portrait of their own face, but good for her, since drawing amounted to pretty much the only thing she was good at. That and a part-time job at a local art café had been the only things keeping a roof over her head for a long time.

These days, though, she ran almost exclusively on word-of-mouth commissions, and no longer sold on the street. For that matter she didn’t work in the café, either (not officially, anyway), though it was where she was now, catching a leisurely dinner before she headed back to her studio. Artskaf was a small place, all cosy kitsch, deep colours and soft shadows inside, and its wide length of doors opened outwards to spill seating into the street. Comfortable stuffed chairs rounded the tables, angled towards the street entertainment. It looked odd, but that was kind of the point. Only one wall, the back wall, was painted stark white in blatant contrast to what was basically an emulation of someone’s front room; designed to catch the eye of passers-by if the scent of home-cooking and coffee didn’t. On it was a mini-gallery of local pieces, including one of her own; a neo-classical style portrait skewed with fantastical embellishments; the woman, her chin tilted defiantly, had burnished gold eyes and flowers for hair. It had been a parting gift for Alek, the proprietor and Thalia’s old boss, and was the only piece displayed that wasn’t labelled for sale. An investment, he always called it, and one he was so far unwilling to part with, despite some generous offers.

Today Thalia sat outside, since the sun was peeking a little warmth through the clouds; she was curled in a chair, the remnants of dinner on a table beside her, half watching as vendors rearranged the splendour of their wares and the crowds continued to ebb and thicken. Her current sketchbook was planted open on her lap, her satchel tucked down by the chair’s curling feet, and a mug of lukewarm tea balanced precariously on the arm – a mug because all the café’s cutlery and dishes were a mish-mash Alek called “vintage.”

She was doodling, though most people would not share her definition; they were too intricate for that, though since they took little effort on Thalia’s part it was what she called them. A couple of tourists had already flocked to ask questions, perhaps interpreting the sheer languidness with which she relaxed in her chair as indication that she was somehow part of Old Arbat’s eclectic collection of entertainments. A young couple, once realising Thalia was not one of the street’s many portraitists (though she did give them her card, containing an address in Tverskaya where she had a small collection currently on display) disappeared into the café’s cool and homey interior to order coffees. When Thalia turned in her seat, Alek offered her a grin and a brief thumbs up; she grinned back. She didn’t mind the interruptions; she didn’t come to Old Arbat for solitude.

Edited by Thalia, Jul 12 2013, 03:35 PM.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
Rune paused in a brief spot of shade and fanned herself. She'd been walking forever it seemed like, though really she hadn't left the few square blocks of Old Arbat all day, just snaked up and down all the streets, and doubling back to criss cross the side ones so nothing would be missed.

She switched the bag from one shoulder to the other, and tugged the strap of her tank higher from where it'd fallen, and gathered her bearings. She knew she'd walked by a cafe around here earlier, somewhere with an open door and comfortable looking chairs ..... and shade. She wasn't fantastic when it came to mapping stuff out in her head, but that was why she was wandering in the first place, so she put her hand to her eyes and squinted at one of the corner street-signs. Then she was set straight. The cafe should be around the corner.

She started to go, but immediately bumped into a girl she hadn't seen. The girl was maybe her age, but it was hard to tell with that smooth porcelain skin so perfect it looked like it'd never seen a makeup sponge or a sunburn in its entire life. Her size and outfit didn't help either. She could be anywhere from twelve to thirty years old.

"Sorry," Rune murmured as the other woman lifted her hands and started apologizing before quickly rushing onward. Rune was confused at first, but when the woman glanced over her shoulder to see if Rune was following, she got it then.

She just shrugged and carefully palmed the side of her scalp to see how her hair was holding up and went on her merry way once more. She caught a glimpse of herself in a passing window, which confirmed the palm's appraisal of hair-awesomeness, but also revealed why the woman was worried. A black tank, zippered cargo pants, and a sneaker-boots was not exactly haute coutoure in Moscow. She'd peter around Texas and nobody'd think twice. Oh well. Arbat better get used to it.

A few minutes later she was pleased with locating the cafe pictured in her head. Unlike this morning where people were coming and going rapidly for pre-work coffees, now the patrons were milling about. There were lots of tourists. There was also a girl outside who looked super comfortable and unlikely to be going anywhere anytime soon. To that girl, Rune must look like a tourist. Although, until she paid rent somewhere for more than a weekly rate, she technically was one.

Inside, she looked around at the space while waiting in line. It was legit cool, but not enough to make her want to investigate finding a place to live in this neighborhood. It was nice enough to visit, probably not to live. Besides, she had a couple of places around the city to investigate first. Also, she doubted the Atharim would pay for something this pricey.

"Iced tea please." She ordered at the counter. The man behind which leveled her with an annoyed stare. "Well whats the problem?"

"We have tea. No iced tea. If you want tea, I will get you tea." He said, and Rune looked up from digging in her back for her cash card.

"Do you have ice?"


She leaned forward, elbows on the counter, the card perched between two fingers. "Here i'll help out. Iced tea is just tea with ice in it." Twin pink lines that were her eyebrows lifted as she nodded along, bright lips quirked playfully.

He didn't budge. "Do you want tea or not?"

Rune rolled her eyes and gave up. Freaking Moscow. "Coffee. Black." She swiped her card in front of the scanner and added, "No ice." The man didn't seem to find her joke too funny.

As she actually was here looking for artsy stuff, the display on the back wall drew her over while the man was pouring (and probably spitting in) her coffee. The centerpiece lured her in like a moth to the flame. The style was all swirly and decorated. But there were lines and shapes. It wasn't all smooshed and foggy like some painters painted, like they couldn't decide which color to use so they just used them all. This one, Rune could make out each individual flower, an actual flower, not just a smudge of a paint brush.

"Your coffee!" The man yelled and Rune rolled her eyes where he couldn't see it.

"Hey, who made that?" She asked while eyeing the cup for anything swirling like saliva, and gestured toward the painting.

The man pointed to the woman sitting outside.

There was no way to tell about the spit, so Rune was just going to have to go with it. Unfortunately, the coffee was molten lava hot. She half wondered if it'd be worth it: Hey? Do you think I could get a chip of ice for this? Its really hot. But in Moscow, the man was liable to pull a gun on her. And she really didn't want to have to deal with that at the moment. So, that meant letting the coffee cool off a bit.

She sat outside next to the artist. The bag slumped next to her feet, but she clearly wasn't going to let it out of her possession should anyone get any cockamamie ideas. The coffee went on the table, tendrils of steam curling off the surface as it cooled.

"That's your painting in there?" She asked, not at all worried about interrupting. "It's really cool. Are you like a famous artist or something," she added, the sarcasm bright in her eyes.
Edited by Rune Marx, Jul 12 2013, 02:02 PM.
“Absolutely Her tone was almost serious, but the peek of eyes from her sketchpad accompanied by the easy grin marked a jest. Thalia made a good living, in part thanks to a generous patron, but she didn’t exactly have cash spilling from her pockets, nor much weight to her name beyond certain circles. In a city like Moscow it was hard enough just to make ends meet, let alone anything else. For the average citizen at least. There were plenty enough of the obscenely rich new-elite living here too; good thing, really, because without them, someone like Thalia couldn’t make a living at all.

If she was annoyed to be disturbed, or offended by the brusque manner in which the American had plopped herself down, there was no indication. Her grin was affable, though not really in the way of someone reeling in a fish on a hook. She could have used the opportunity to spin a story; tourists were easy game, and Alek looked out for her as much as she did for him, but she didn’t, nor gave that impression. Not that Thalia was some moralistic angel, but she wasn’t a con artist either. And she’d never been much of a seller. During the process of painting the art was a part of her, as intrinsic as blood or breathing, but afterwards it was something else. Something wholly separate, and she liked to keep it that way. Some people waxed lyrical about their creations, but not her. Oh, when pressed she could come up with something suitably appeasing about the process, about the inspiration. But she preferred to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Thalia’s pencil twiddled about in her fingers, but she’d stopped drawing. The girl opposite was unusual, even for the Arbatskaya district. Curiously, Thal took in the sweeping lines of her makeup; the dark lines round her eyes and the bold hue of her lips. Her hair was fantastic, and the shaved side of her scalp looked soft as downy fur; Thalia had the ridiculous urge to touch it, though of course she didn’t. Even her brows were pink. Thalia appreciated aesthetics; especially the little details. It amused her how diametric they must look to passers-by; the American girl with her striking, harsh lines of style. The intimidating black and bold colours. The hair. Thalia with her rose-cheeked innocence, bare-faced of makeup (since she’d been working all day), and wearing the most girlish tea-dress and cardigan. She nearly laughed, but it probably would have been odd. Instead she offered a teasing grin.

“Ignore Alek. He’s not fond of Americans.” That sort of prejudice wasn’t exactly uncommon, particularly in the heart of the CCD, though this one didn’t look the sort to be phased by it. Best way to be, really. Thalia shrugged and curled her hand around her mug, but paused when she realised it was stone cold. Huh. She leaned forward to place it on the table instead, using her empty plate for a saucer, and then sat back. “I did do the painting, but I doubt Alek’s looking to sell it. I think he’s hoping it might be worth something one day.”

Alek’s painting was one of those, the necessary ones that burned a path through her skull and squeezed everything else out until it was given a channel. When she started, occasionally she had vague notions – a feeling, maybe, or an image that often had little to do with the finished piece. Sometimes she worked with a blank mind, answering only to the blind press of compulsion guiding her fingers – though that she’d never even told Aylin. It was like there was a part of her brain locked behind a door, and she didn’t have the fucking key. Not a pleasant feeling; the chilling sensation of thought working outside the realms of your own consciousness. Certainly not something you shared with your shrink sister.

Even now, when she looked at the woman’s face, her eyes like two gold pennies, she remembered the force that had compelled her: a wolf running through a field of wildflowers – dashing, really, playful as a pup in spring. Not that Thalia had ever seen one aside from in a zoo, and she certainly didn’t expect that they frolicked like this one, whether it was spring or not. The presence of the flowers ran a clear parallel – and Thalia liked flowers anyway, particularly poppies, but the wolf? No idea. Just some twitchy tick of her brain, apparently. The gold eyes, though; in Greek mythology, pennies paid Charon for passage across the river Styx, and some burial rites, in mythology at least, saw the coins placed over the eyes. She’d almost certainly read that somewhere; it had probably stuck in the back of her mind.

“I’m Thalia.”
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
A big smile melted off Rune, dripping sticky and inviting as an ice cream cone in Georgia. ”Don’t worry! I’m not too fond of Americans either. So loud and annoying!” She burst out laughing, and shot Alek a glance over one shoulder. The sudden eruption of laughter outside made him look up, but he scowled and went back to work.

Rune dabbed at something at the corner of her eye, careful to not smudge the pencil-thin graphite line rimming her lids only to attempt a few lid flutters to get whatever had floated into her eyeball on out of the way. ”I’m Rune. Rune Marx. It’s good to meet’ya Thal-i-a.” She emphasized Thalia’s name, trying to make sure she repeated the pronunciation correctly.

”I’d totally love to have it, but its ok, I probably couldn’t afford it anyway. That and I also have this other issue of not having a wall to hang it on....I’m still looking for a place to live.” Rune carefully tasted the coffee then, more like inhaling the very surface than actually taking a sip, and briefly watched the people crossing the street nearby. A little spot of red rubbed onto the cup when she was done, but she didn’t seem to notice.. “It is great though. I love the flowers. And the style! It’s perfect! You should think about doing tattoo design.”
Thalia laughed too; a surprised, pleasant kind of laughter, and quick as that she decided she liked this girl and her brash sense of humour. Her head bobbed back in time to see Alek’s scowl, and she offered him an impishly apologetic grin - which he, of course, made a point to ignore, gruff old bear that he was. The furrowed brow and severe expression were not entirely for show, but the ire only ran skin deep. It was his default; particularly with foreigners he did not like. That had included Thalia, once. She sat back, amused by Rune's delicate handling of her name; like it was something fragile to the taste and easily broken.

"Just moved to Moscow, huh?" The question was rhetorical, more a musing. D-I was the CCD's beating heart, and just as it drew reams of fascinated tourists, it also attracted those looking to make it their home. Thalia was one of them, though in truth she had chosen to study at Moscow State in order to follow her sister's footsteps rather than being lured by the majesty of the city. Initially, anyway; it was inured in her by now, its beauty and inherent contradictions a part of her marrow. She didn't know what she'd do if Aylin ever decided to relocate; follow, probably, though the city would be a difficult place to leave.

She tilted her head at the admission of shallow pockets, and though she did not intend pity, a little sympathy might have sobered her expression then. She did not envy Rune her house-hunting; Moscow was not kind to those who did not have plenty of money, or the skill and luck to procure it quickly. Those who won its favour it rewarded lavishly, but those who floundered in its cruel beauty were crushed as carelessly as an insect under heel. In that shadow lay Moscow’s Underground, a place Thalia had never had the misfortune to visit.

If Rune had been here more than five minutes, she’d have already discovered that the central parts of the city were heinously overpriced. Only the very rich lay claim to property around here, and most of the apartments - especially in the Arbatskaya district - were, inevitably, short-term holiday rentals rather than long-term accommodations. If she was looking for somewhere to rest her rucksack, she was in the wrong place. Completely. Which probably meant something else had tugged her heavy-booted feet to Old Arbat.

A smile quirked Thalia’s lips as that something else shunted not so subtly into the conversation. Tattoo design? She had, actually, done just that, though only for herself. The tattooist had made some adjustments to accommodate the space on Thalia’s back - some of it had just been too detailed to ink on skin, or needed tweaking to better fit her contours - but it was a decent likeness, and more importantly had served its purpose. She’d felt every single bloody line in every single one of those relentless eight-hour stints, so deeply trapped in the horror of her own mind that the tattooist had thought she'd fallen asleep (really?!), but the agony had razed the image from her mind. Finally. She hated pain, squeaked at paper-cuts, but that torture had been worth every single dollar.

Thalia’s eyes lidded a little in open, amused suspicion. "Well, I’m not a tattooist. The canvas is very different," she said, slowly. Teasing acknowledgement of what she thought Rune was angling for with all those decadent compliments. "Though, if someone asked it of me, well, I wouldn’t be adverse." She grinned. "So what exactly did you have in mind?"
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
It didnt even occur to Rune that Thalia might not chuckle at her joke. It was funny! Americans really were loud. Which is what made them awesome! Yah! But, like Thalia, she had to admit Moscow wasn't the worst place to be.

Then it was Rune's turn to chuckle, and her imagination buzzed over to a day (somewhere between Dayton and Toledo) when her and Uncle Seth came across a tanner, at least, thats what Rune called it. It fed on humans, dead ones thankfully, there was not much worse in Rune's mind than something that ate its meat fresh (which is exactly why she tells snobby waiters to shove it when she burgers well-done.... or eats in diners only.... diner cooks only knew well-done, which suited her just fine). Like so many others, it skinned the flesh and hair off its steaks before carving them up. And apparently it liked to stretch and dry the hide like leather-makers of old. The gore and freezer of man-steaks, and butchery knives never bothered Rune, but the drums of skin stretched across the top, well, she put an extra umph in her swing when she lobbed off the thing's head.

So, yeah, the canvas was different. But didn't the Indians used to paint on animal hide-canvas? Way way back in the day? It worked pretty good, actually. But Thalia probably wasn't being literal, and Rune's chuckle reflected her conclusion.

"I've been in Moscow a while for work, and didn't know they were going to have me stay until a few weeks ago. I could pay you. It won't be much, see, because I have to save for the actual tattoo artist and all that, who, i'm sure, will have some great ideas for how to put an extra spin on anything we come up with, unless you know someone down with taking a transfer off your drawing, but......."

She scooched her chair sideways to better face Thalia, sending the iron legs scraping obnoxiously across the sidewalk. She held up her arm as though to wave goodbye, but instead pointed just above the wrist. "I want a dragon-snake thing looped in a circle eating its own tail, but not just that. I want it on some sort of great background. You know, bright and colorful and intricate and detailed. Not all fuzzy and abstract. Shapes and lines and design."
Ouroboros. She liked the image, or at least the cyclic nature it represented. It came up countless times in the mythologies she'd used to love as a kid, and she'd always found its concept soothing. Thalia peered at the arm Rune held up, lips pressed faintly together in contemplation. There were few approximately flat parts to a person’s body, and that messed up composition in ways she wasn't used to dealing with. Plus, it wasn’t the biggest space if Rune wanted detail; a design too big would begin to wrap around the gentle slopes of her wrist, diluting the power of the unbroken circle. Too small, though, and the image would just blur to obscurity. Thalia wasn’t exactly sure where the distinction lay – it wasn’t something she had ever need to concern herself with in her own work, when the canvas was both flat and at a size of her discretion.

"It’s a small space. If you had it wrapped like a bracelet you might get more mileage out of a detailed background. Well, if you wanted it to look like a cuff, or the beginnings of a sleeve anyway. But it wouldn’t necessarily be obvious what it was supposed to be. Except when you’re waving." She grinned, glancing up briefly as she flipped over a new page in her sketchpad. Along the edge of the left page, trailing upwards, she wrote a series of words in a loopy script: ouroboros, wrist, bright, colour, detail. The last word she scribbled an underline. To her mind the simplicity of a circle was at odds with the boldness Rune wanted; the ouroboros was simplicity; unyielding, unending. Beginning and end, not middle; except as the infinite. Adornment would just obscure the cleanness of something ancient and primordial, if handled incorrectly.

"Are you wedded to the circle? Like, can the snake be knotted? Create some colour and complexity that way." She drew a quick example – a flowing, looping pattern not unlike Celtic knotwork. Putting a fussy background behind something like that would weaken the bold majesty of it as much as it would the traditional circle, but even alone it would be brash in its beauty. The coiling would allow for a longer body, more detail, without stretching it around the wrist and losing that perspective of continuousness. But any tattooist could fashion something similar, and would do an excellent job of it. Rune didn’t need Thalia for that.

She tapped her pencil thoughtfully, pondering the great white spaces of the pad laid out on her lap. Open pages flickered a thousand remembered readings in her mind, searching for inspiration. Usually she did this the other way around; actually searched – physically searched – for explanation to the things she drew, as if doing so forged solid links of reason and logic to the inexplicable. But it served the other way too. A few languorous spirals accented her thoughts, filling those dead spaces of empty as her mind hummed, then delivered in offering: the Norse god Jörmungandr. The World Serpent. Her head tilted, considering, and grey eyes finally lifted from her musing.

"What kind of background do you have in mind, Rune? Like an actual image?" She sat forward a little, leaning over her work keenly now that a distinct image took shape. The ouroboros itself was thin and simple, its tail and head meeting at its apex. Scant detail echoed indication of its scales amidst the blackness of its body, but its purpose was to frame the image within. To illustrate what she meant, she filled this example with poppies curving at the base of a tree which reached spindly naked limbs to the serpent's head and swallowed tail. In shades of graphite, the rough sketch was not exactly the bright and colourful image Rune had described, but it gave an idea. The inky black of the snake was intended to contrast with the vivid colour and detail of the picture within, just like Rune's Kohl-heavy eyes and fantastically bright lips. That had been unconscious on Thalia's part, though she recognised the parallel now; it prompted a pleased smile.

"Dunno how much you’d get on a wrist, though. Unless you were willing to have it somewhere else. I think you could probably do something with decent detail on your inner forearm, but obviously a tattooist is going to be able to tell you what's best. I might know someone, if you want recommendations." She effortlessly shrugged off what fell outside the realm of her expertise, and offered the sketchbook over so Rune could have a look that wasn't upside-down. If Rune liked it, she'd need time to come up with a proper design - and indication of what imagery she wanted inside the ouroboros frame - but if not there were a plethora of artists in Arbatskaya she could ask instead, and Thalia would take no offence. Business was business.

She sat back, flexing her fingers gently with her other hand, pencil discarded for now in her lap. "Work, you said? What do you do?"
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
When the crew returned from his homeland he was surprised by what arrived with them. His father sent every item he requested and much more. In a quick note his father simply wrote, "I feel the doom upon us, carry on the family name!" Not sure what that really meant he first focused upon the ship that the crew and supplies arrived in. It was not his fishing trolley but the the boat his father had built. Built for luxury, built for speed and built for defense, this one gift gave him a cold lump deep in his heart.

He quickly dispatched the the crew to the recently purchased house, tho rundown it was quite pricey. After a few days of giving instructions for both the house and the underground he decides he need change of scenery.

Since His "home" was on the edge of the older part of the Arbat he decided to simply be himself this time. Dressed in simple dungarees and a tee shirt he went exploring.

He simply walked, always watching, he was learning the people more than the streets. Several times he felt "cold chills", odd but passing. Passing one of many Cafe' he noticed 2 women chatting with a gruff fellow in the background. Both woman held a deep beauty but in two different ways. Both was formed of art, one creates the other displays, he could suddenly feel the heat of his own tattoos. He secretly wished he was dressed nicer, then smiled a crooked smile, I am who I am. He leans against the wall close to the woman, the gruff man instantly takes a defensive stance. Nodding to him Manix remains relaxed while he dribbles out a little of his "magic".

Very quick, then he withdrawals the "magic" he heard very little, but he heard what was important "work and money". Leaning there he pucks out his pipe and tamps in some tabac, placing it in his mouth he does not lite it, just leans and wonders How long before they even see me, or should I just say hello Deciding to be the creepy spy vs scaring the women by speaking up , he waits.
The wide-eyed look of surprise crossed Rune's colorful lids and pink brows. Thalia sure knew a heck of a lot about tattoos! Which made Rune look the girl over for a second time. Thalia had long, flowy hair that looked like she washed and went, not that it wasn't stylish! Rune would have died to have such naturally pretty hair like that. Paired with the tea-dress and cutsey little cardigan, Thalia was downright dreamy. If it weren't for her accent, she'd fit right into some country western dance hall in the States, probably somewhere down south, like Alabama.

"You must be english, right?" Rune nodded to herself like she were the detective at the table. Honestly she wouldn't be able to tell the difference between any accent from that part of the world, but there were distinct differences between east and west Wisconsin, however. But then again, Rune spent a lot of time staring out the window at those green hills.

Thalia was an interesting cat then. "I could go for a sleeve." Rune started to answer, pondering her own wrist, "well maybe half a sleeve to start." Should probably start small. Or work on it in layers. "Other shapes are cool. It doesn't have to be an exact circle. And it could even be integrated into the background." She trailed off, thinking about what kind of background to put on it. She even started looking around for inspiration. Flowers puffed up here and there. Which was surprising for Moscow's core, but Arbatskaya was different like that. A shade of civilization in an insane city. It was about then that she noticed the guy leaning against the wall twirling a pipe all ... like what's his name.. Dean something or other. Even down to the bad-boy vibe t-shirt. Rune studied the way the guy stood. Very confident. Not at all worried about anything.

She flashed the guy a glossy liipped grin and motioned at Thalia to look his way, but obviously kept up their previous conversation. "A picture of something. I don't know what. Something pretty, but badass pretty, like I really loved the flowers for hair on your painting. Not that I want the snake to have flowery hair." She laughed at the image. The snake (or dragon, she wasn't married to one or the other).

She barely thought about the answer to her work. Truthfully she didn't have a 'job' but she did seem to spend a lot of time doing the same thing over and over. But the established answer rolled off her tongue like it had for so many other people over the years. "Extermination and inspections. Nothing glamorous. Pretty gross, most of the time, actually. You should hear some of the stories though." She laughed and cast that guy a look out the corner of her eye one more time, then booted her bag a little bit closer to her feet. Within easy swiping distance if necessary. "Do you have other work? Or just the art-stuff?"

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