15239/Summer Solstice Humpday

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Summer Solstice Humpday
Date of Scene: 21 June 2023
Location: The Magic Box, Sunnydale
Synopsis: Molly visits the Box.
Cast of Characters: Willow Rosenberg, Molly Carpenter

Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Humpday. And not the usual humpday! Today was the Summer Solstice. Which almost made up for the fact that Willow was working on her day off. Almost.

Even though it was the beginning of summer, Wednesday was the lowest day of the week for traffic and sales. Practically all year round. Usually whoever was on dusted the shelves, and faced the books - that kind of thing. But Willow was working the night before, so she's got most of it done. Which meant the whole afternoon surfing the net.

Well, almost.

Willow had one task - and only *one* task - to see if she could get some more information on the book that had been bothering her lately..
Molly Carpenter has posed:
Litha. The Summer Solstice.

It was weird to think that, right now, in the Nevernever, the balance of power of two Courts of Faerie were exactly equal -- or as approximately equal as they could ever be presumed to be -- and it was just now tilting from the Winter Court to the Summer Court.

Cool. Terrifying in the like.. /big picture/ way. At least Queen Mab wasn't at the height of her power, anymore. But still cool. Titania wasn't like.. a peach or anything.. but she wasn't as butt-clenchingly terrifying as Mab.

What were we talking about again?

Oh! Supplies!

Enter one Molly Carpenter, a six-foot-tall length of slender twenty-something with shoulder-length hair dyed on ombre of dark roots, white shafts, and pink tips, and dressed up like.. a biker. Which might make sense, considering a moment ago, there was the rumble of a motorcycle just outside.

"Gum arabic?"

She's reading to herself from a paper list she has in her hand when she pushes through the door, her eyebrow narrowed.

"Cow's Tongue? Is this like a Soltice joke?"

Once she's fully inside, she closes the door behind her, and only then does she fully look up and around herself, blinking as she takes the place in.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
Cow's.. tongue..??

*blink blink*

This wasn't the usual customer for the Magic Box. Most often customers were looking for some New Age book, and something to do with paganism. Things that had nothing to do with actual magic!

But this woman..

A cow's tongue? Willow wracked her brains. Nope.. not anything she was familiar with. It must be folk magic? She could see that. Then again, there were tons of spells that she wasn't familiar with. And the Box's regular clientele hadn't asked for something so.. esoteric as that.

She spoke up, "Blessed Summer Solstice! Can I help you?" Seeing there weren't any customers in the store /except/ Molly, she felt comfortable being much more open about her pagan roots, and quite possibly magic items. The magic items she will see. (Because, while the Magic Box sold such items.. they didn't advertise them, nor sell them to every Tom, Dick, or Harry.)

Willow giggled at the job she made to herself. Harry.
Molly Carpenter has posed:
Shelves New Age books. Amulets and loose gems. 'Warding' and 'shield' bracelets (for costume purposes only -- if you wanted a warding bracelet, those took /work/). Some sundries and reagents, but.. this was a gift shop for the casual consume. Not, like, a 'magic' shop.


"Damnit, Harry..."

Molly crumpled the paper just as Willow spoke up, and her eyes lifted, surprised, their bright blue depths warm, though.

"Blessed be," she returned the greeting, friendly even though her eyes danced with a bit of humor. She had, after all, just been punked.

"I.. don't think so. My boss is.. just kind of a jerk, sometimes," she laments. "I /thought/ he sent me on an errand, but I guess he was just trying to get me out of the office, because.. yeah. Unless /you/ can think of a good use for cow's tongue, I'm pretty sure I'd be better off at a butcher. And, even then... ew. I should have looked a the list before I left. Leave it to Dresden to invent the 'Summer Solstice Prank.' Which, I swear, if this becomes an ongoing thing.. he will /rue/ the day." She wrinkles her nose. "Rue it, I tell you. The gauntlet has been thrown."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
At the familiar response, Willow beamed. Then again - in the shop? Most of their New Age customers considered themselves pagan. She, herself, was Wiccan - besides being a witch. And there was a big difference!!

The pagans - especially Wiccans - believed they could do magic, but if you looked at them with mage sight there would be no stirring along the ley lines, for example. Not to knock it! The magic of people reaching out to people had its place.

Like prayer!

Still, "And Blessed Be again! Wait a minute? Dresden? Harry Dreden? Old guy?" (in his 30's!!) "Kind of cranky? Can't use anything more technological than a rotary phone? That Harry?"
Molly Carpenter has posed:
Molly wasn't precisely Wiccan. She was.. well.. she was a /Wizard/, which was different. Somehow. She still wasn't precisely sure how magic 'worked' except that it.. did. She had just gotten back from a /really/ long cross-country trip where she was recruiting covens into their Paranet (Paranormal Network). So, lots of Wiccans. And /everybody/ felt better when you came into the coven speaking the same language.

"Tall, long coat, long hair, surly and kinda fugly, carries a big staff..."

Molly beams, intentionally adding /all/ of those extra descriptors for no reason other than just to get jabs in at Harry remotely for sending her on a wild goose chase LIKE A CHILD.

"That's the guy." Molly points, finger-gun style, and clicks her tongue. "I'm Molly, his apprentice. Wizard, not.. PI. Well, I mean, both, I guess, technically. I don't have a PI license..."

She's rambling, and she realizes it. So she blinks and fixes her smile.

"How do you know Harry?"
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"That's him." And by the solemn look that was as close to a happy smile and Harry she could get. "He scares me." Not like John did in the beginning. With him she tending to draw him and called him by Mr. Constantine. Until he insisted not to (or else he wasn't going to listen to her).

How did she know Harry? That was the question!

"Uhm, that is.. I.. I mean.."

Listen Willow, the lady works for him. And she claims to be a wizard.. Wait a minute! Turning on her mage sight, she confirms that as well. (Because, let's face it, no one tells a tale about Harry with that much detail. Unless they were insane.)

She stopped herself right there.

"My beste was going out with his brother. I visited him a couple of times. I don't think he liked me. Maybe because I do magic on my computer? Oh! I'm sorry. I'm Willow."
Molly Carpenter has posed:
Molly smiles. "He's a big teddy bear. Don't tell him I said that. I don't need him getting all mushy. I'm already his best girl friend when it comes to relationship problems. Do you have any idea how awkward it is to sit and listen to him talk about his girlfriends-plural?"

Her eyes glint with warmth, though, rather than any sort of disdain. Also.. note the space in girl friend. See it? That little space is call the FRIEND ZONE.

With mage sight, it wasn't just Molly herself that glowed with magical energy, it was her leather biker jacket, laced with layers upon layers of protective enchantments as well as her tattoos that acted as foci, storing massive amounts of power for use when she called on them -- tattoos that were currently covered up, and yet still radiated underneath the jacket as if they were glowing from within.

Once Willow was done 'checking her out,' her lips tugged into a smile.. and then her entire face turned into surprise.

"Thomas?! Your bestie was going out with Thomas?!"

Well.. who hadn't? Even Molly had.. well.. tapped that. Ahem.

"Who's your bestie? Thomas has.. I mean.. there have been a few.." Shut up, Molly.

"It's nice to meet you, Willow. You do /magic/? Like.. magic magic? Or like.. you're a wizard with tech? But not really a wizard... why are all of our euphemisms MAGIC related?! It makes it so confusing to... Wait, you visited Thomas? And /Thomas/ didn't like you? Or Harry didn't like you? I think you're cute as a button, so I don't know what their problem was. He's seeing this girl named Faith, right now, and well.. you want to talk about somebody that's hard to like."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Was. It's a long story."

What in Willow's life didn't come with a long story? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. That's what.

"It would have been okay if you were dating him.. I mean.. I shouldn't have talked about him until I knew your relationship with him." And she chewed her lower lip. Was she nice about Harry? Oh dear.

"Harry. I mean, when Thomas started going out with Buffy, I don't think he liked me either. I'm not the kind of girl that he likes.. He.. I mean.. Uhm.. Well Buffy seemed to like him? Though, since recently, I'm not so certain about that either. Thomas wouldn't like me as a bedmate. He thinks I'm too uptight. And frankly, I wouldn't want him either."

But the bit about Faith caught her off guard, and she giggled, before she shook her head. "That figures. I thought he was sleeping with Faith. If you can't have Buffy she's a pretty good substitute. Until you know her. Buffy and Faith are so entirely different. It's hard to explain. They do the same job, but that is as far as it goes."
Molly Carpenter has posed:
"Oh, we're not. It was a bad idea in the first place, and then my dad caught us playing hide the cucumber.. and he's sort of one of the three Knights of the Cross?" A holy wielder of one of the three named swords forged with nails from the actual crucifix. Yeah, it's a real thing. "Anyway.. as I talk about it.. I think I still owe Thomas a new table.."

Molly's smile softens apologetically. Talk about having long stories.

"/Harry/ didn't.."

Molly's eyebrows rise.

"Okay. You've gotta stop like... caring whether or not Harry and Thomas want to sleep with you, because one.. No. Just stop. Thomas is a White Court Vampire and Harry's hung up on a cop, except he can't remember her right now, so he's dating this stage magician named Zatanna.. it's a whole thing."


"Two. /I'm/ standing right here, and nobody's asked me if /I/ want to sleep with you." Beat. "Just sayin'."

She grin.

"So, you're besties with Buffy? We should talk. I need to talk to Buffy, too. I have something I think I want to try, but I need to talk to Harry first so that we don't.. like.. get murdered for doing it. Long story." Again, talk about long stories.
Willow Rosenberg has posed:
"Zatanna was going out with John for a while." Willow rolls her eyes. Then blinks. "What makes you think I'm worried about Thomas wanting to bed me? But, well.. Ok. Normal people.. I mean.." Then she stops. "You know, Buffy - the /real/ Buffy wouldn't have cared if Thomas wanted to sleep with me. I mean, she did, but for a different reason. You know?"

Suddenly things seemed to have clicked for Willow.

"It's like while the rest of the world kept on growing - she didn't. She was like she had been in highschool. Worse though. I can't put my finger on it, yet."
Molly Carpenter has posed:
/You know?/

Molly looks a little deer-in-headlights.

"..Do I know?... /Should/ I know?"

She can almost see the click when it starts to side into place for Willow, and she's trying, but she's still lost.

"..Buffy's acting like she did in high school? I mean.. a lot of people do that. I'm just not friends with any of them. For a reason."
Willow Rosenberg has posed:


"My bad. I was thinking out loud. I was trying to tell you that I don't care about whether or not people live Thomas find me beddable. I was trying to fit in where I thought you were. Sorry about that too." An apologetic wince. "Thomas is not my type. Even if he weren't a white vampire. I never could be close to someone who could turn my desires on or off without my permission."

Yes, apparently Willow did experience a portion of his powers. For him, he was joking. For her, she still shuddered. And all the time she kept thinking: what if he wasn't joking?

*shudder* Indeed!

"But I got thinking, Buffy was so possessive. On the one hand we were supposed to want to send Thomas the 'hie thee' message, but he wasn't supposed to respond. I mean he /was/ but not. The way girls are in highschool. It occurred to me, those four years of university were like Buffy was standing still. The world went on without her, but she was rooted to the ground."

She quickly shakes her head.

"It doesn't make sense though."