1964-01-20 - Bigger On The Inside
Summary: A Scarlett, a Marie and a Rosemarie walk into a comic shop…
Related: None
Theme Song: None
marie-ange rosemarie rogue 

The warming spell in mid-January brings out a number of weary students from hibernation. Another year, another semester. Artists in Greenwich are barely stirring, brought to the surface streets by hunger, boredom, and raging hangovers in the case of a few. But some busy bees have been out since the crack of 9 AM, plastering the wooden telephone poles in advertisements, slathering them on the peeling multicolored mosaics in front of buildings under construction, and distributing flyers at every coffee shop, bookstore, academic resource, art supply shop, cafe, and library in a four mile radius.

Behold the splendor, the wonder, of the MYSTERIOUS TIME MACHINE. As flyers go, this one is pretty simple, featuring a spinning clock, an hourglass, and plenty of cryptic terms like 'wondrous' and 'see what's inside!' The black stamped letters have a nostalgic printing press feel about them, the blue paper is just cool… And these flyers seem to be drawn to the epicenter of cool culture in America right here.

They also evidently have taken on a life all their own, blowing around and smacking into people's faces, ending up in their bags. They show up in the ladies' washroom for no apparent reason. Now you have a flyer instead of a napkin to go with that delicious croissant from Holy Grounds, the only church turned cafe in New York. Why, they even float around on the breeze waiting to pounce the unsuspecting. Or so it might seem.

Scarlett has her twenty-seventh flyer in hand, and all of them are slightly dog eared, trampled, and basically in a fine fettle. "Did you ever get the impression, mademoiselle, that someone is trying too hard to make their point? I think this time machine is begging us for attention, and as someone who is not particularly given towards temporal disruptions?" Her lips part, allowing a humming breath to saturate her French with merely the slightest note of discord. "They may wish to reconsider their marketing strategy."


The demure French girl has been spending a lot of time inside the apartment lately. In fact, a lot of time inside her room. Door locked, accepting the fate decreed by the cards; solitude. She was meant not to interfere for a time; in anything, really, and it was a command she obeyed as she always would.

But today was different. The cards had inally relented, allowed her to pursue outwards. Scarlett would have gotten a hug and a quick apology from the smaller redhead for the exile, she was more than happy to take the opportunity not just to get out of the room but out of the house, as well. "<Sometimes Scarlett, the hands of fate reach out to touch you rather than allowing you the liberty of seeking them out on your own hand.>" Marie replies, her lips curved up into a serene smile as she follows along in her traditional place; always walking a step or two behind, pale hands clasped together in front of her as she moves.


After fielding what has to be the umpteenth question about the flyers that are plastered on the light poses outside of the library and even fluttering inside on errant gusts of wind drawn through opened doors by entering guests, Rosemarie huffs a sharp sigh. She has one of the pieces of paper on the information desk-top before her. Picking at a little tear along one vertical side, she glances around and then up at the nearest clock.

What luck, her shift is done in less than five minutes. A quick clean-up of the desk around her, every pen and pencil in the holder, all the filing cards organized away in their boxes, and the brunette slips away from her seat before another patron can snag her for help in finding some obscure title waaaaay back in Economics.

"Mysterious Time Machine…" Rose's murmur is lost to the continual, low-speed movement of air around her as she exits out into the wintry courtyard. "Illy would love this." An air of mild melancholy hangs around her even as she makes her way to the nearest covered bus stop. The blonde Mystic has been away for some time on some mysterious errand. It makes her heart feel small and somewhat lost, but…at least this will be a story to share when she returns. Onto the bus she goes and it's about fifteen minutes of subjection to the general public (blugh) before she disembarks to the sidewalk just down the street from the address listed on the quadrupally-folded flyer examined once more.

There's a mingling crowd, of course, and all outside project a sense of wry disappointment. For Rosemarie, librarian and general bibiolphile, it brings a hesitant smile to her scarred lip to see that it's a comic book store, of all things. She slips up close, out of the way of passerbys, and attempts to see through the glass inside.


Wearisome burden of fate. What has destiny wrought in these past days and weeks but a strange collusion of idleness, silence spent in the corridors of Columbia or being canvassed by anyone with a need to know regarding the Asgardians. Strange tidings, but then, the realms gone out of kilter certainly require some additional tending by their habitual lord protectors, Lady protectors, keepers, and magicians.

Mysterious activities indeed.

Scarlett allows the throng to guide her towards the shop in question, though the eagerly chattering papers filling her hands all agree on one thing at least: location. The resident greeter and familiar huntress about Greenwich Village has little trouble finding the location, nodding her acknowledgment to Marie-Ange. It may be safer not to speculate on the purpose of inanimate objects or the will behind them. "I imagine they are paying well for the distribution," she comments, "though the Carnegie Library could not do better on its annual budget." A sweep of her hand seats another flying blue paper away from their path, the benefit of being marginally taller than the norm. Or a great deal more. As it happens, she eases her way through the mingled masses, headed straight for the door of yon mysterious time machine.

It looks like a building. Glass window, cheeky blue door, man in a fascinating trench coat with an abundant rainbow-coloured scarf, as rainbows in rust and carmine, orange, , and goldenrod go — flapping about as he addresses the crowd: "Yes, we're open! All are welcome, all are invited. Come in, bring your companions, and mind there's more space than you can see out there. I assure you, you'll all fit. Just mind the beams and bits of shelves. Place has a mind of its own, it does…"


Marie's very rarely the type to question fate beyond simply asking what it holds. She's content with vague answers most of the time, and when more detailed answers — or instructions — are given, she simply takes them as they come, content for the clarity. While she's learned more of the city over her months here, allowing Scarlett to take the lead is the natural response for multiple reasons; one being that the French girl is a follower through and through, the other being that the taller woman simply knows the city better. Inside and out, if Marie had to guess.

"<Indeed, it must be quite the boon to the printers involved.>" Marie agrees, offering a smile. That itself could be fate's reasoning; the cost of the job might have put just enough money in a person's pocket that they're able to venture forth and start the business that their heart's always desired; perhaps leaving the world of printed paper behind to venture forth as a sculptor, delivering their gift to create such lifelike marvels to the world in the forms of angelic statues to aid in laying the deceased to rest.

…or ensure the living never blink again.

Either way, the jovialness of the curiously-attired greeter is responded to with a polite little bob of Marie's head, she doesn't ask questions now either — simply makes her way inside the place. Her reasons are clear as crystal and as clouded as a day of heavy fog all at the same time. Who knows what a girl distracted by so many bright and colorful pictures might bump into.

Or who, indeed.


The man with the oddly-patterned scarf is given a judging look that ends in Rosemarie moving to retreat inside. He's a bit much for her, too loud, too…weird. In her mind, a shop is a shop is a shop and its dimension are set with the blueprints from which it's built.

With shoulders drawn a bit higher, the attempt to make her way into the shop is met with moderate success. Said shoulders can't seem to keep to themselves, however, and a mis-timed step brings her to abrupt contact with another shop-goer, one red-head an inch shorter than her and with a dreamy air about her.

"Oh!" Immediately comes the blush to her freckled cheeks and at her ears; she's mortified to have jostled the other woman so hard, even if she didn't mean to. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to bump into you." The air is close in her, warm with bodies, and she wishes now that she hadn't come inside. Going against the flow would mean more contact and she can already feel her blood pressure rising.


Yon charismatic ideologue of the weird and wondrous raises his hands to greet those within, and somewhere, a nerdy teenage boy sighs, and wishes he'd never, ever given this idea to his idealistic big brother fresh out of MIT with a combined MBA and something insanely technical, like rocket science or paleoastrobiology, the study if plants or animals once upon a time came from the stars. No doubt his parents are just thrilled with the kids' choices.

They're on the right track to get into the Mysterious Time Machine, even if two thousand years of a vigil by the fake Egyptian statue peering out the shopfront window confuses what the contents of the place may be. Four colour panels are certainly among the other memorabilia on display, but there are sci-fi magazines, fantasy paperbacks, and a few posters of ubiquitous Brits boldly striding across weird landscapes in bubblehead masks or armour that looks stolen from the janitorial closet. The layout of the shop does make sense for his warning though, given the front half swings around a staircase, which gives it a shape like a J or a G, with an additional lobe crammed with tables, seats, and stuffed shelves. That would be the reading library, while the front half is much more a temple to the colorful and mysterious world of comics. Not that anyone would know anything about that, much less they're the digital incarnations of the paper worlds printed by Mr. Kirby and the One Above All. Too meta? Too meta.

Scarlett eases her way through, prepared to leverage her height and impeccable manners to get herself and any others through. Nothing like a pile of 'Pardon me' and 'Excuse me' or 'Pardonez-moi, asshat' to hurry along the intervening barriers. She slips up the steps and pauses when the expected footfall doesn't, and instead an exclamation rings out behind. "Mm?" A look back assures those verdant eyes, too bright to be purely innocent or natural, flick betwixt Third Redhead of Hell's Belles, and the librarian. "The doorway is about as wide as a postage stamp. Would we learned to build things a bit more to human scale now, instead of the eighteenth century, no?"


Fate had a way of stepping in sometimes, when meetings were meant to happen. That way usually involved a collision, and it's only those years of dance pratice that keep Marie from tumbling to the ground at the physical shock of bumping into someone else.

There's a moment of confusion. Then embarassment, with green eyes looking terribly apologetic and hands going up to plead her innocence. "Oh, non, non! It was my fault, mademoiselle, truly, I was admiring the artwork and…" …that's Marie. More interested in the pictures on the covers than the stories told inside. Then again, compared to her own life and those that weave around her… what /could/ compare suitably? "You have nothing to be forgiven for, so I cannot forgive." she assesses, offering a quiet smile.

Then attention turns to the newest speaker and one of Marie's very first friends in the city. "Normally a narrow door is not a problem, but…" she reaches out to draw fingers across one of the covers; a sci-fi comic depicting a monkey riding a rocket throughout the cosmos. "…the whimsey of the artwork on display is hard to draw the eyes from, oui?"


Oh, an accent - French? Quiet interest takes a bit of the sting from embarrassment and Rosemarie nods, following the red-head's line of interest to said poster. In turn, she tags along in the shift of focus towards the taller red-head, perhaps a friend, who also has somewhat of a French accent. Oh wow, two in one day! Maybe…maybe if she gets very brave, she'll ask what part of France they're from — but only after she apologizes a few more times and slows the beating of her heart.

"Yes, everything is new and distracting. Still, I should be watching where I'm going." Ivory teeth nibble at the scar site on her lip before she attempts a friendly smile; it comes out far more hesitant than she wants. If only Illyana were here to bolster her confidence! "I came here to see the books. I didn't think it would be comic books. I should read the flyer more carefully next time, I guess." Cinnamon-brown eyes shift beyond Scarlett and into the depths of the store, busy as it is. Onwards, brave one, into the storm! "Do you two read comics books or…?" The question is left hanging as to allow expansion. She tucks a lock of chestnut hair behind her ear, trying hard to keep up with social nicities and not melt away into the background. As if she could; she's only an inch shy of the Bohemian's height.


Once, whimsy might have turned Scarlett to smiling at its existence, but less so now than in the past. What is whimsy when the wonders of the upper heavens have crashed to earth and left her terrestrially bound while beloved visions are sealed off from those tormented, celestial mirror eyes. It hurts, in a way, to acknowledge the changed pace of matters, especially when confined. Confinement for the herald of times past and future never bodes well. She gives Marie a smile all the same, anointing Rosemarie — another of the same breed of flowers, but one more easily bruised than the surprisingly tough alpine variety — in the sweep of her wide-eyed, curious regard. "They have other books here, by the look of it, and you could always convince them to carry something more esoteric? Of all places, this is one certain to cater to a broad selection." Her accent calls her English, if English had a surprising nuance that blended Savannah with Kent, and possibly had a recent Norse invasion. What covetous cravings still burn in her soul — and they do, fiercely, ferociously, a sky fire with no outlet manifest except to act as a catalyst — it is not audible. Not truly.

But the girl burns, anyways. "I read everything I get my hands on. A fault of too much time. Columbia will do that to a girl, I fear. I study there, and the hours are rigid only if you let them be. Free your mind in search of knowledge, and you soon discover it exists in every corner, every rooftop, and especially beyond the reaches you thought it would be found within. A jewel that catches your eye is well worth a little stepping outside the unfamiliar."

Shyness she wouldn't know if it slapped her, called her Susan, and said they were married.


Oh yes. Marie has that accent, and it's still quite thick despite living in he city — perhaps a fact which can be blamed on the bohemian herself, serving as a mirror to the delightful mode of speech to help perserve the smallest girl's cultural uniqueness. Rosemarie's words bring enthusiastic nodding from Marie, "They have quite a few books, non?" Then the question about comics specifically. Growing up in a convent, comics were not on her exposure list in the slightest. To the point that the word itself is unfamiliar, /especially/ in English. "Comiss?" she tries, brows knitting together. "Com… OH! Comets!" She must have misheard slightly. Clearly.

"I have not read much of your… space-books," she admits, pursing her lips together. "Reading your language… it does not come as easily as I would like, sometimes." …and especially in books where they'll use high-tech jargon that'll confuse poor Marie on multiple levels. "Perhaps Madamoiselle Scarlett…?"

…and then Scarlett's confirming exactly what she had thought; Scarlett reads /everything./ The great many books found back at the apartment were proof enough of that fact. Marie's tried, but it's still a slow process, especially with other readings taking precedence. "…also, my name is Marie — what is your name, Mademoiselle?"


Ah, a fellow bibliophile! As the taller red-head expands on her time spent when not at her studies — Columbia, how prestigious! — Rosemarie nods to encourage the conversation along. Maybe she won't even have to chime in if she keeps bobbing her head politely enough. Blame her time spent entirely within the demesnes of Greenwich Village as child and library as young adult to misidentifying Scarlett's accent. A curse of her upbringing. With enough time, she'll change her mind perhaps to mainland Europe as a whole for the origin. Throw a dart, maybe she's right? The joys of being naively American.

Marie's accent is harder to follow, unfortunately, though her confusion regarding the artistic books vs the celestial bodies is adorable in its way; it does make the brunette mindful of enunciation as she replies, "Marie, nice to meet you. I'm Rosemarie." Her eyes shift to and meet the startingly-verdant gaze of the Bohemian much-studied. A proper introduction is expected here.


Bibliophile, bibliophile, bibliotheque! Wait. They are all present here for their reasons, most of all because the love of the written word and its expressiveness captures a joie de vivre. Who can not help but dance among the stacks or twirl in pirouettes beneath a grand window, rejoicing in a first edition of something, or a second print run on a particularly treasured old novel that hasn't been dog-eared to death. Le Guin, Asimov! What possible powers could they serenade with Tolkien or the rest of those damp squibs from Oxford?

In short, she's something of a girl in a candy store, searching for something to devour in her proximity. The other two are welcome to seek and to search, to read and to admire. "Scarlett. A pleasure to make your acquaintance, enchanted. I scarce quantify as anything thrilling here, admittedly."


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