Down On The West Coast, They Got A Sayin'

Lesson number two from her upbringing: Appearance, no matter what some people would be inclined to tell you, mattered.

Alright, sure, it was nice to think that external beauty was fleeting and that the soul could hold a deep fountain of appeal and so on and so forth. But, at the end of the day human beings (and by extension, were's) as a whole were fickle - as such, there was little shame in trying to sway their opinion in any way possible.

On the weekend's such as today, she allowed herself the luxury of dressing for herself - almost exclusively black and white in equal measure and with a deep seeded love for mixing soft with hard. Sharp lines with feminine fabrics, lace with leather. The work week was a little bit trickier, and generally required a keen eye to sit well with her and the standards she held herself to.

Black as an overall theme was out of the question, a little too drab and dismal in the face of the stories and feelings she dealt with on a day to day basis. White was clinical and made people clam up - too stark of a sight in the warm environment that she promoted within her office.

No, Monday through Friday was a swirl of neutrals with splashes of green's and blues, maybe a soft purple or plum from time to time. Definitely no red, that was far too aggressive.

From the looks of the small assortment of shopping bags that she kept in one hand, having had a rather successful afternoon so far when it came to building up that particular collection. Working her way from shop to shop along one of the busier stretches of smaller sized retail shops within Larkspur - a personal favorite area to prowl when excess income was burning a hole in her pocket.

Well aware she painted a near comical picture in that moment - a grown woman standing in the middle of a store, staring down two blouses as if she were trying to figure out which one of them could crack one of life's greatest mysteries. Both shirts oddly enough, seemingly identical save for the fact that one was a softer shade of blush while the other was a pastel blue hue.

After all, appearance mattered.

xx outfit

San Fransisco was a very different city than Cordova. It seemed obvious, but in practice the distinction between the two cities was dramatic enough that they also required their differences in attire. She currently had a job as manager of a boutique and part of that role was in knowing what sort of trends were popular in a city like this. For the most part, Cordova wasn't quite as free spirited and trendy as fog city, but she was noticing a distinct amount of more outdoor wear. She turned her nose up at it, but accepted this truth.

Greyson found herself shopping on day off. Well, less shopping as her closet was currently filled with all sorts of new odds and ends, but more-so scouting the department store trends and people watching to get an idea as to what types of fashion she should look for when restocking the boutique's shelves. Thus far she was entirely uninspired with the people she'd come across. Apparently there was some unspoken rule about dressing up as terribly as possible before going shopping. These people were downright tacky.

She turned her nose upwards at the crowds and instead took to weaving her way in and out of various clothing racks in whatever store she popped into. So these were the latest fashions? She was convinced she could pull out her sewing machine and design something far more refined and well done than a lot of what she saw produced en masse. Most of these stores were bland and uninspiring.

Greyson gave up on her trend hunt and instead decided to look upon the various clothes with a different eye. She'd shop for herself... or, considering the woman who was intently trying to decide between two blouses, she'd offer her own advice and assistance. Greyson hovered before adding her opinion. "The blush color," she mused, standing not far off. "The blue is a touch too cold for your complexion."

There was a flood of guilt for her moment of ignorance, an internal scolding as she was caught off guard by the sound of another woman's voice just beside her. Snapping her attention to her and raising a brow as she considered her appearance - as if the validity of her opinion depended on her own aesthetic choices. Seemingly satisfied with her qualifications, she picked up the blue option and set it back towards the front of the hook that housed that particular style. "You're probably right."

Picking up the warmer of the shirts now and hooking the hanger on two fingers before she turned her body towards the woman. Trying to play it cool in the face that there was something shockingly familiar there - the beast, of course - but it was something else on top of that. A familiarity that she couldn't place, more of a nagging suspicion than anything solid. In the face of saying anything and looking a fool, keeping that particular mystery an internal struggle for the time being.

"Do you work here?" Fairly confident she did not, asking it anyway in an effort to fill the following silence. Perhaps, if she spoke with her more the face would match up with a name. Adjusting a strap on a dress that was slipping off of a hanger, more so out of a general desire for things to be in order than anything else.

Probably right? Greyson raised a brow. She was right. She dressed people for a living. Herself mostly, but if anyone wanted her help she was more than happy to give it or silently judge. Sometimes not-so-silently. Either way, she knew what would look good or not on someone when she saw them. With this woman's snow white complexion, she had to be careful what she wore. With the angles in her face? Even more so. The blush was the better option.

When the woman selected the appropriate blouse, Grey gave a very I-told-you-so sort of shrug. She'd be happy with that particular color. As for the cut and fit? Well, that remained a mystery, but this individual looked as though if she wanted to pull something off she'd make it happen.

"I do not," she replied when asked if she worked here. Considering her current attire, she sincerely doubted anyone coming to work at this particular store would put as much detail into their wardrobe as she had. "I manage a boutique in Belle Vista," she added, just in case it gave her any additional validity. "Hoping to own." Again an extra, albeit irrelevant, detail.

Brown eyes looked the woman over. She carried herself well. Perhaps too well. The way she non-chalantly fussed over the way a dress was hung suggested she was either a neat freak, meticulous about somethings, OCD, or some combination of the above. Unless she was reading her wrong, which was entirely possible. Still, when it came to fashion? "Are you revitalizing your closet or shopping more for fun?"

Hoping to own. Details like that always wrote themselves in the margins of her mind, little tidbits that seemed to be irrelevant but for some reason she clung to. At least this woman had aspirations, wasn't just coasting through life twiddling her thumbs - as far as Yana was concerned that meant something. "Might I ask what boutique? I would like to pay a visit if you're this helpful when you're not at work," Intrigued by both a new location to consider next time the shopping bug bit her as well as present company and that same nagging familiarity.

"Nothing as exciting as a style overhaul, I'm afraid." Glancing to the shirt in her hand and considering the way that she was dressed then and there. A stretch she knew, a disparity between the two that she did not need to go to a mirror to see. "Just out and looking for some new things for work purposes." A little caught off guard by the questions and the apparent interest in the rest of her impending fashion choices. "Why, might you have any recommendations?" Confident that she could handle dressing herself well enough but curious to see what a fresh set of eyes thought,

Clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth soon after, on the face of another embarrassing revelation. "I apologize, how rude of me. I am Yana, it is nice to meet you ...?" Not her most discrete attempt to dig for information, but it would make due for now regardless.

She wasn't expecting the conversation about her occupation to progress. Most people logged the information away and used it whenever was convenient. But since this woman was asking? Who was she to pass on an opportunity to advertise? "The Blackbird," she replied. "It's just a street over from Restaurant Row on Elm." To be fair, Restaurant Row was the unofficial name of that street, but since she'd moved here, most of the locals seemed to know what that meant more than the actual street name. "You should stop by. I think we have a few things that would really work for you."

She listened as this woman explained her situation. She was looking to freshen up her wardrobe with a few pieces here and there. Not to worry. A couple of new shirts would help, but it was the accessories that would make all the difference. It was quite amazing how one necklace could take an outfit from drab to fab. As for additional suggestions? "It depends. What line of work are you in?" From a quick assessment of her current attire, she supposed it was something professional. "Do you have any workwear restrictions?"

Greyson had lost herself in the possibilities. As fashion was a passion of hers, her mind often drifted onto the topic and left her forgetting the basics of human decency. Such as exchanging names. Fortunately, that task was picked up by her new fashion advisee who left her to fill in the blank. "Greyson," she said, extending her hand. "It's nice to meet you, Yana."

The Blackbird. It didn't bring to mind anything in particular in the then and there, but she trusted in her memory when it came to details. If she said she would look into it, than most certainly she would - whenever possible, she made a point to avoid lip service. "I am sure I will, it sounds promising in that case."

One brow barely raising as the passionately fashionable woman began a line of questioning, in equal measure surprised and impressed as she appeared to build a profile on her as opposed to just blindly throwing out suggestions and seeing what would stick. An eye for details - both fitting for her interests and appreciated. "I'm a psychiatrist with a practice in Cordova. Restriction wise, nothing outside of the norm, profession considered. But I do make a point to try to avoid looking too ah, let's say ... intense, during office hours." Something she was intimately aware took a critical eye to achieve with her physical appearance in mind, never mind the additional layer of complexity that clothing brought to the table.

Greyson - it seemed fitting from what little she had garnered so far, elevated above the drab realm of Jessica's and Jane's. Then again, there was a chance her opinion on that matter was skewed by personal circumstance. Taking Greyson's hand almost immediately and giving it a firm but quick shake: down, up, down, release. It was all muscle memory by now, a well practiced gesture. Prying her eyes away from her at the moment and surveying the wares of the shop as if she hadn't perused them already. After some conflict coming to terms with the fact that the name wasn't making any immediate connections, no specific page in her personal history text. Hell, at this point it could have easily just been a matter of having seen someone vaguely similar at some point in time.

Ahh. A psychiatrist. That probably shouldn't have explained anything, but it did provide a little insight as to why she seemed so thoughtful and well organized. Perhaps that provided a little bit of comfort to her clients. The more put together she was, the more sense of calm she could create in an otherwise chaotic life. It made sense.

"I would suggest jewel tones then," she said off the top of her head. "With your complexion those would suit you nicely. Instead of reds, which would be too harsh, try warm magentas or purples. Emerald greens would be lovely. Deep blues and navy too." Greyson regarded her for a moment longer. With her dark hair? "I would probably stay away from an all black attire. Do you own any grey slacks?"

And there she went. Rambling again. If there was any question about it, hopefully she'd eliminated any and all doubt that fashion was near and dear to her heart. She realized she'd entered that personal stylist space without an official invitation. "You don't have to answer that. I got a little carried away." She adjusted her hat upon her head. "I'm sure your closet is just fine."

Most of the suggestions fell in the same realm of being as her current wardrobe, both a comfort for Yana and an accredit to the stylist's talent in regards to her apparent knack for dressing other's. Avoiding black, however - that was enough to make her take pause: Sure, it was probably true that it wasn't her best look - but it wasn't going to happen. At least not on the weekends.

"A couple of pairs - a few different shades of it. I'm not too partial to khaki as a personal preference. It puts a slight damper on things." Appreciating the apology for slipping into her professional state but waving it off just as quickly regardless. "Not at all, I appreciate the insight. It's too easy to get tangled in the intricacies of these sort of things." Considering herself to be elevated beyond novelty t-shirts and loud trendy leggings, but not at this level of attention to detail in regards to clothing.

Watching her adjust her hat and tapping her nails absently on the hanger still in her hands. "I do apologize for taking up your time, but have I met you before? You seem familiar ... have you worked anywhere else recently, within Larkspur perhaps?" Her own curiosity finally crumbling her resolve in regards to being discrete.

Khaki. That dreaded color. "Ew. No. Never wear khaki unless you're going on safari or working at Target." Those were seriously the only two places those were ever acceptable. Outside of that? No. They really should be outlawed as a fashion faux pas. They were offensive.

Dismissing the idea of khakis from her mind, something which still gave her cause to shudder, Greyson had a moment to appreciate that this woman seemed to value her professional opinion when it came to fashion and styling. Grey might have continued, venturing into the realm of accessories, but the next question gave her pause.

"Oh. No need. I barged in anyways," she somewhat apologized for as she regarded the woman a little more closely. Was she familiar? There was something in the back of her head that suggested there might have been some sort of nagging familiarity that this woman had with someone else she might have known. Perhaps that's why she felt so comfortable with intruding upon her shopping affairs.

"No. Just Belle Vista," she confirmed as far as her jobs in the area were concerned. "I just moved here from the Bay Area," she started and then realized, from her interactions with other people in this state, that they needed more clarity than terms that were common for people from NorCal. "San Fransisco. I had a boutique out there too."

It seemed that every time they came to a fashionable agreement, Yana felt a small increase in her confidence - glad to see she wasn't entirely insane in regards to her opinions on such things. Feeling her shoulders fall a bit anyway when Greyson confirmed that, no, she hadn't held any other position in the area. Pursing her lips and trying to think of some other potential passing, wondering now if she perhaps had seen her at some point in the halls of the building that the housed the practice or perha-Bay Area.

Before she had been curious, now she was outright interested and eager to learn more, though she reeled herself in to keep from seeming too easily excitable. "What a wonderful coincidence! I moved up here from San Francisco myself, ... I had family down there." Testing the waters and trying to place this particular face in regards to her mental scrapbook from the coalition. Cautiously optimistic that this woman seemed sharp enough to glean her meaning from that little tidbit of information.

"Perhaps that is where I've seen you before - it has been quite some time since I was in those parts."

Familiar in face, but as for anything else, Greyson wasn't piecing the clues together. She'd need to draw on her beast to make heads or tails as to what Yana was and Greyson still considered herself too new a Were to risk anything like that on even a casual basis. It crippled her somewhat, but she found it easier than chancing an accidental shift in public.

"Oh, that's nice," she said. "I didn't have family there. Lots of friends though." Too many friends maybe. She couldn't keep them all straight, which was likely why Yana looked familiar, but she wasn't putting all the pieces together. "You don't seem the type to hit up concerts of music festivals..." Why on earth was this woman so familiar?

There was both respect and disappointment to be found in how carefully Greyson appeared to conduct herself where beast was concerned. A part of her was hasty and wanted to get down to the nitty gritty in regards to their potential ties to one another, but she could respect this woman's resolve to be mindful of her surroundings. "We very well may have had quite a few common friends, I'd wager." One more shot in the dark before she would let that particular issue lie ... for the time being, at least.

"I spent a lot of time at the pier, actually ... There were a few venues there that were particularly typical stomping grounds for me." Back when she knew the area like the back of her hand, the coalition kept their affairs hugged tight to the coast. Money pouring in from sources that knew the booming markets and were closely entwined in them. There was a time where Nolan had been one of those - unsure if that was still the case following the uprising and overhaul of things since her hasty departure.

"Possibly..." she considered, trying to think on where they might have run into each other in their past lives. School... no... She'd been in for fashion and this woman was a psychologist. Very different classes there. She hadn't been a customer or Greyson might have remembered... She was going to need another hint or two if she was going to solve this six degrees of separation kind of a game.

Okay. The pier. With venues. Greyson eyed her curiously. "I'm guessing not Pier 39... the tourist trap with the sea lions..." which, honestly, was the only notable pier in San Fransisco worth visiting unless. "Oh." Okay. Greyson had a moment of feeling dumb. She lowered her eyes, hiding behind her hat as she drew on her beast for a more contextual clue. Cheetah. "Oh!"

She chased the beast from her eyes and lifted her gaze back up towards Yana. "You mean that pier." The cheetah pier. The coalition pier. That pier. "Yeah. I spent some quality time there..." All the puzzle pieces were slowly falling together. "Wait. You're the one. Fuck. I'd heard rumors one of you guys headed this way. That's why I'm here. Are you the one they were talking about?"

She saw the light bulb moment unfold and felt her own body relax further, smiling wider still and laughing at the shared history - if however brief it may have been. A rare moment in which she didn't look particularly stern or hardened, jovial in light of the potential of some semblance of a common thread. Preparing to move conversation (as subtly as she could manage) to sights and person's from that time and place, to try to glean some understanding of how things had changed since her abrupt departure.

As though it were an illusion to begin with, the smile fell as more pieces seemed to click into place for Greyson - Yana's brow furrowing as she considered the somewhat veiled choice in words. "Well, doesn't that sound alarming ..." Glancing about to make sure they had not drawn any attention with their apparent loitering. Setting her new found blouse down for a moment to rummage through her purse for a card and a pen. "Listen, no pressure - but I would love to hear more about these rumors and the people speaking of them. I imagine one of these clucking hens may be male and have a distinct interest in horrible novelty T-shirts?" Watching from the corner of her eye before she secured a business card.

Bearing down in her non-dominant hand to jot down her cell phone number on the back before she offered it out to the other. "Even if you'd rather not discuss it, then it would still be nice to have someone to share a deep seeded disdain for khaki with."

Their conversation seemed to take on two parallel lines of thought. Grey, with her disbelief that she'd randomly encountered the Cheetah that had led her out of SF. Yana with other reasons that kept her own thoughts obscure as she fished around in her purse for a pen and, oh, a business card. Grey's hand dropped to her purse as she fell silent and let the other woman speak about an individual with tacky fashion.

"It's possible..." she thought on it. Grey'd never been a very involved member of the coalition mostly because she'd been new to that life and had found it easier to stay on the outskirts with all the "change" that had been happening. She hadn't wanted to be caught in any of it. "I'm pretty sure I just overheard something in passing..." She couldn't be sure.

When the gift card was offered, Greyson accepted it. She pulled out her phone, inserted the contact information, and shot back a text so they'd have each others names and numbers. "Yeah. I'd love to chat more," she said feeling like she might have accidentally tumbled into something larger than she knew. Fortunately, she was saved when the conversation of khakis was revived. She smiled. "Add coffee to the mix and I'm in. Too many people do not know how to dress themselves."

"No worries, I'd love to pick your brain about summer trends anyway." It wasn't an inquisition, she had no intention of trying to bully the other cheetah into anything. And hell, if she hadn't made an immediate impression on Yana, she was fairly confident she did not hold much sway in the coalition back in San Francisco. Well, at least not the old one.

Patting her pocket when she heard her phone ping to alert her of the text message and nodding simply in response. Good, that at least was squared away. "Coffee can definitely be arranged. ... Thank you for your help." Picking the hanger back up and swinging it on her fingers a bit for emphasis as to her meaning. "I look forward to hearing from you." Reminding herself one more time to stay patient - to keep still and wait, that no good came from clumsy unprepared pawing at things that remained pipe dreams for the time being.

Greyson laughed. Oh yes. Fashion was her area of expertise. "Bright colors. A single exposed shoulder. Florals. Anklets." She hadn't quite gotten on board with those styles yet. Then again, they were still in that weird spring stage where deciding what to wear was a challenge. "The 80's are making a comeback." She wasn't sure how she felt about that yet.

Yana picked back up the blouse and offered her thanks. Greyson nodded. They had probably overstayed their welcome in front of this particular display. "You as well," she replied. They had each other's number and communication went both ways. "Enjoy that blouse!"

With a quick good-bye, Greyson ventured elsewhere. More trend hunting. Maybe even a little shopping for herself.

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