2009-10-29: Blood And Ink

Starring:

Dani_V4icon.png Sydney_V4icon.png Alexandra_V4icon.png

Summary: Sydney and Alexandra come into the shop for their first tattoos.

Date It Happened: October 29, 2009

Blood and Ink


Slinging Ink Tattoos

It's mid-afternoon and Dani sits behind the counter, flipping through a tattoo magazine, looking over the designs in the book. Through the speakers in the shop, Shiny Toy Guns are heard from the remake of Major Tom (Coming Home). The shop is pretty much empty save for a few browsing the artwork on the walls.

Sydney taught at the university today. University days - and all of that early adulthood excitement and angst - lead to the most random ideas, like getting a tattoo. Not that she'd just come up with this. She's thought about it for weeks, but now is a good time to actually take action. And so she comes to Slinging Ink Tattoos with Alex in tow. She's dressed to teach; not the most professional look today, but just enough: well fitted blue jeans, a nice blouse, a black blazer, and a pair of black pumps. Her hair is pulled back into a tight ponytail. The door opens as the blonde urges her friend, "Come on, Alex! It'll be awesome! Just think of the possibilities!" Quickly she offers Dani a bright, infectious smile, "Hi!" And then she sees the bell. To ring or not to ring, that is the question… RING. "Sorry, I'm sure you have people do that all of the time… I just love these things…"

Like Sydney, Alexandra too had work today, albeit in a slightly more formal office environment. Whereas Sydney can get away with wearing nice jeans and sprucing them up with a blazer and all, Alex has had to go with the full shebang! Today it's a deep blue dress, some pumps, and no jewelry besides a ring on her right middle finger and some earrings. The workday was just about coming to an end when her phone rang with a call from Sydney. Her tone, at first, sounding panicked, but then resolving itself into excitement. Maybe that's why she met Sydney outside her building, where they nabbed a cab and hauled down to the tatoo shop. Unlike Sydney, she seems a little more reluctant to get her body inked, but Sydney's assured her things will be alright…with surprising ability to convince her that's the case! While Sydney rings the bell and chats, Alex just stumbles in behind her, massive handbag of wonders slung over her shoulder, looking around, before smiling at the clerk herself.

Dani looks up as the bell to the shop rings as the two ladies step into the shop. He smiles as he sets the magazine next to him and stands from the stool he was sitting on. "Hey. Welcome to Slinging Ink." He says to them. As Sydney rings the bell, he chuckles and shakes his head slightly. "No problem." His eyes move from one woman to the next. "What can I help you ladies with?" He asks them as he leans over the counter, resting on his elbows.

"Thanks!" Syd spouts with that same smile. "We want tattoos! Both of us!" She nods emphatically at this. Well Sydney wants a tattoo for sure. And she's excited about it. Her enthusiasm isn't anything unusual. "I was thinking on the back of my neck," she turns around to show Dani, pointing, "right here. Like not too big, but cool, you know?"

"Well…I guess I want one too…" Alex says, in a more reserved tone. "Probably in the same place…something similar, I guess. So long as it's pretty easily hidden. I told her that was important on the way over, since neither of us can really…you know, have the reputation of wild party-goers." For the most part, Alex just looks around at all the images on the walls, taking in all the flames and skulls and things. "Aren't those…characters popular?" she asks Dani, pointing to the collection of Japanese kanji on the wall.

Dani nods his head to the two girls. "Well, I can definitely help you with that." He says before he looks over his shoulder up at the Japanese character behind him, nodding. "Yeah. A lot of people are getting them now. Japanese influence I suppose." He says as he looks back to the two women. "Do you guys have an idea what you want?"

"Oh Alex, good eye!" Sydney observes as she turns around to examine the Japanese characters. She can feel her enthusiasm going down some, but she's still at least somewhat excited. "Well, I want something to do with joy. I have a lot of joy. And I give it away freely to everyone I meet." Interesting turn of phrase. Her lips curl downwards a bit as she examines the characters, but she's still smiling.

That statement, about giving it away freely to everyone she meets…it's more accurate than Alex could ever know. Heels clop on the floor of the shop as Alex makes her way over to investigate the pictures on the wall. They're all common kanji characters, for things like love, and hope, happiness, faith, etc etc. Nothing there that really resonates strongly with her, which she figures a tattoo should. "Are these…all the characters you have?" she asks, turning back to Dani at the counter.

Dani looks to Sydney. "Well, I could always do a birthday party scene." He says, jokingly. "But there is the Kanji for Joy." He says as he turns to Alex and shakes his head. "No. I can do any character." He says to her. "I will just have to go on the net and look it up for you." He says as he looks between the two women.

"Ye—ah, pretty sure you couldn't fit a birthday party scene on my neck," Sydney grins as she continues to look through the Kanji. "This seems like a safer way to go." She then turns to Alex, "Is there something significant for you? It sounds like they can do anything, so that's pretty cool…"

Of course there's something significant for Alex…something that's she's let define her life and her personality since…forever, really. Since college, in actuality. "I…think so, just give me a chance to figure it out." She's smiling a little now, reaching into her overly-large handbag and pulling our her netbook. It's her constant companion, pretty much wherever she goes, especially on a workday. She plops it down on the counter, and pops in her SPRINT WIRELESS INTERNET CARD, and gets herself online. A quick Google of kanjis reveals that 'rock' is better than 'earth,' and that about 6 sites (just on the first search results page) all agree at what the character is and what it translates too. Alex gets a good picture of it on the screen, and spins it around for Dani to see. "That's what I would like, please. Rock."

Dani looks at the girls as she gets on her computer. He chuckles before he turns his attention to Sydney and smiles. "Okay, well, I can draw up a few versions of the Joy Kanji and you can pick from those if you want. Is there anything you'd like me to incorporate?" He asks before he looks back to Alex as she finds what she wants. "I can do that too. Anything you'd want me to incorporate?"

Wrinkling her nose, Sydney tilts her head a bit as she considers whether she wants something with it. "Well, I think just black for me. I want it relatively plain, but still pretty. Like… pretty in its simplicity." She grins again.

When Sydney answers, Alex can't help but nod. "Yes…exactly how I see it. I want the emphasis to be on the character, not the intricacy of the tattoo…no offense to you!" she offers Dani with a smile. "Something simple, classy, and discrete. I have…a pretty professional job. Can't be walking around with tattoos," Alex says, knowing that Dani has no idea of her career, and not sure anymore if she told Sydney what she does or what her full business card says.

Dani nods his head as he smiles to Sydney. "Alright. I can do that." He says before he turns his attention to Alex. He smiles and nods. "Alright. I will get to work on some sketches, feel free to sit and wait. There's drinks in the fridge there. You can help yourself." He says, motioning to the mini-fridge in the corner. "I'll be back in a bit." He says before he heads into the back to work on the sketches.

"Thanks!" Sydney chimes as she pads over to the mini-fridge. Opening it, she extracts a water for herself, "Alex, do you want anything?" And then she adds for good measure, "I really like the one you're getting. The character is awesome. Nothing too intricate or basic." She's still smiling.

"I'll have…a diet soda…doesn't matter which sort!" With the offer to wait and sit, Alex grabs her netbook and meanders over to Sydney, where there's a chair or two near the mini-fridge. "It was either the symbol I picked, or this one," she says to Sydney, hitting the back page on the net browser in her tiny computer. It brings up a much less-intricate symbol…too simple to be appealing. "That one means earth. I figure they're enough alike that I should go with the prettier one." Of course, over here, they can talk in hushed tones about why they picked what they did!

Dani comes back out after nearly ten minutes with two papers. Each has three various versions of the same character, one paper being the Joy kanji and the other being the rock kanji. He moves back behind the counter and sets the papers down for them to look at. "Okay. Here's some ideas of different versions of 'em. I can do more if you don't like any of these."

Sydney extracts a diet COKE from the mini fridge and hands it to Alex. "Makes sense!" she nods. "I definitely like the one you picked better, too! It's just got more to it. And it's still significant, symbolizing you and stuff. And I think the joy one works for me. I like how it looks, and it means something to me." A nod is given at this as she takes a seat in the corner. After Dani returns, she stands up at the counter and examines the three characters for Joy, "I think… I think I like this one best. What do you think, Alex?"

Alex stands up and follows her to the counter, looking them over as well. "Yeah…I like that one the best too. How about for mine? I like the one on the right best." She points it out, the simplest of the three, all dark, broad lines and character accuracy.

Dani nods his head as he looks at the two and stats to cut out the ones they picked to make the stencils. "Okay. I'm the only artist working today, so who wants to go first?" He asks, looking to them

"Oh I agree. The lines are just a little more feminine," Sydney observes while tilting her head slightly. She glances at Alex and then back to Dani. "I can go first unless Alex is dying to. Don't need to though." She shrugs with a smile.

"Uh…that's ok. This was your idea, after all," she grins to Sydney, nudging her a bit in the side. "I've never even been around when one of these was done, so…I'm kind of curious to see how it goes!"

Dani nods his head. "Okay. Well, I need to make copies of your IDs and you both need to fill out the form." He says, pulling two papers from behind the counter. "This is a form saying that you both want these tattoos, you're of age and that you are not on any drugs or alcohol. We are not responsible if you are and you wake up tomorrow and don't remember getting them or don't want them anymore." He says as he hands them each a pen.

A smirk is given to Alex as Sydney is nudged, but she reaches into her purse and fishes out her license. Quickly she scans the form and then asks, jokingly, "What if I'm being drugged and I don't know it? It happens, you know!" She smirks and signs the form before getting an answer, promptly handing it back to Dani. "Where do you want me?"

Alex does the same, after pulling out a fat, stuffed wallet. Her ID is still her old Lousiana ID, but it is her. She just…hadn't had a chance to replace it after moving here. She takes the form and signs, of course, and slides it back to Dani. "Yeah, I'm curious to see this all in action."

Dani makes copies of the IDs as they sign the papers. He looks over to Sydney and chuckles. "We still can't be held responsible." He says to her with a smirk, handing back their IDs once they're copied. "Great. Seems everything is in order. Come on back to the room here. We'll get you all setup." He says, leading them to the tattoo room and starts to get all the ink and equipment setup and together.

Sydney follows Dani's directions and walks to the back room. "So … on the pain scale… 10 being the most unbearable pain you've ever had, and 1 being like almost no pain, how much is this gonna hurt?" She smirks before adding, "Not that it'll change my mind…"

Dani smirks as he looks to Sydney, leading them both to the back room. "Well, the back of the neck is fairly painful. I'd say a five or six on the pain scale." He tells her as he puts on a pair of rubber gloves and opens a new pack of needles for the tattoo gun.

Alex follows them into the back, clutching her computer still, clopping along behind in those heels. She holds her bag in one hand, practically dragging the thing along, since it's too heavy not to wear over shoulder! "Still that seems fairly painful!" Alex comments, taking a see in the observer's chair in the back, for situations just like this one.

"Yeah… more than I was hoping," Sydney admits, as she takes a seat. She's still smiling though. "How long will it take to heal? Like… when can I go in hot tubs and … wear necklaces again? Not that I actually go in hot tubs very often…" She wrinkles her nose at her own semi-nervous question. And yes, she's sending those slightly nervous, slightly excited vibes into the room.

From the corner, Alex can be heard clicking and typing away. "I…have a few sites here that give some care and advice tips. Suggestions to get it to heal correctly, and to keep it from fading from the son and all. I wonder if it's accurate though," Alex says to Dani, primarily. "You'll probably give us something like that anyway, I'd imagine?"

Dani nods his head as he looks to Alex. "Yeah, I'll give you some cream to put on it and instructions on how to take care of it." He says with a smile. He puts all the gear on a tray and moves it over to the chair. He pulls a stool over as well and sits down. "Okay. Lay down on the chair and move your hair out of the way."

"Okay," Sydney takes a deep soothing breath before she takes out her ponytail and then redoes it so it's a side ponytail. She lays face, down on the chair and takes another deep cleansing breath. "It'll be fine," she reassures herself. "Hopefully you'll still want one once I'm done," she teases Alex.

"Yeah…I hope so too. I'm not so big on the pain, clearly." You know, if that little gunshot scratch was anything at all. "Well, I mean, I had actually been toying around with this idea for a while, but you know…I kept wimping out. Just couldn't ever really justify it with work and all. I'm sort of limited in where and how big a tattoo I can get, you know?"

Finally, she brings herself to close the netbook, and slide it back into her bag. "But I mean, lots of people get these all the time, and they don't seem to complain too much once it's done, so…I guess it's worth it." Alex smiles reassuringly at Sydney. "Plus, when you have a tattoo design you like, you can't pass it up, right?"

Dani moves back into the room from the main office. He comes back, shaking his head. "Sorry about that." He says, taking off the gloves he was wearing and puts on new ones. He sits down at the stool and puts on the stencil, handing her a mirror and holds up another behind her so she can see it. "How's that?" He asks her.

"Yeah! If you've been thinking about it forever, it's the perfect time to finally get it done! Besides you've got guts girl, you can handle a bit of pain," Sydney beams as she closes her eyes with another cleansing breath. She glances in the mirror and nods a bit, "That looks perfect!"

From the observer's seat, Alex watches curiously. Of course, for the moment, it's not anything interesting, just positioning of the stencil, getting everything lined up, centered, rotated perfectly, etc.
Dani nods as he takes the mirrors back and sets them aside before he picks up the tattoo gun, testing it a few times before he dips it into the ink. "Okay. I'm going to start with a small line so you can know what to expect." He says to her before he leans in and starts to trace over a small part of the outside before he stops and sits back. "How was that?"

There's a small cringe from Sydney as the tattoo gun runs over her skin, but she relaxes fairly quickly. "Huh, that wasn't… too bad," Sydney replies. "Like, it didn't not hurt, but it wasn't really bad. Kind of like a cat scratch."

"Just like a cat scratch, eh? That's not too bad I guess," Alex says warily. After a few strokes, she gets up and wanders toward the tattoo chair, to watch more closely at how the needles apply the ink.

Dani smiles and nods. "Okay. Now the cat is going to be scratching you for a bit until the outline is done." He says before he leans in and starts to complete the outline of the design, his hand moving slowly so the lines remain straight.

"Yeah.. a cat scratch.. Okay," Sydney breathes, "This I can handle." She forces a weak smile. It hurts, but it's not unbearable.

Sort of hovering around, Alex continues to watch, biting her lower lip a bit as she watches the ink being deposited under the skin by the needles. "Wow am I glad I'm not squeamish about needles!"

Dani chuckles and nods at Alex's words. "I am. I hate getting shots." He says as he continues to work on the outline, pausing every now and then to wipe away the access ink and blood. "I start to get woozy when I get blood tests done."

Furrowing her eyebrows, Sydney asks idly (while trying to remain as still as possible), "How did you manage to get so… inked then?" That's the right word, right? This isn't exactly Sydney's subculture so she's not entirely up on the language.

Alex's eyes follow Sydney's question to the tattoo artist. It is a good question, given that he's pretty inked, all over it seems like! She doesn't say anything until he responds, if he does.

Dani chuckles and shrugs slightly. "I can get tattooed and pierced just fine. I think it's the fact that with tattoos and piercings, they're putting something into me and with blood tests, they're taking things out." He says as he finishes with the outlines.

"Huh," Sydney considers the words, "So how about vaccinations then? Do they make you woozy?" She bites her bottom lip. "If vaccinations scare you… maybe it's the medical profession where the real fear is." There's a pause before she apologizes, "Sorry, I'm a therapist. This is what we do."

Alex manages to stifle a little chuckle. "Yeah, but this patient seems normal compared to the others I've heard you talk about. He's like, on the opposite side of all the bars, right?" Alex's question is directed at Sydney, of course, since she recalls something about the woman being a therapist for prisoners.

Dani shakes his head. "Yeah, vaccinations make my dizzy so I usually don't go get them." He says with a soft chuckle before he switches out the needles for a head with more of them to cover more area. "But, I get dragged in, kicking and screaming and end up getting them anyway."

"Oh yes! Totally normally. Although, I get some relatively normal clients at the Distress Centre," Sydney quips as she continues to stay still. "But Alex is right, you're not crazy-crazy. Phobias are normal. Most people have them." She smirks and then observes, "Ahhhh, so it is the medical profession. Well, I'm guessing you probably avoid hospitals too." She grins. "Don't worry about it though, I'm terrified of spiders, and only because my grandmother was so she modelled the behaviour to me."

"I pretty much have to be drugged to fly. And I'm not really crazy about swimming, in the ocean primarily," Alex confesses, since that seems to be the popular thing to do.

Dani chuckles and nods as he dips the gun into the ink again. "At least I'm normal." He says with a soft chuckle. "Well, relatively normal." He says with a smirk. He starts to fill in the outlines, the extra needles making quick work of it and soon, he's half way done.

"What's normal anyways?" Sydney asks as she keeps still. After a few moments she asks, "So what's the most unusual tattoo you've ever done?" Talking distracts her from the pain.

"Maybe one of those full-body deals, huh? Like the leopard spots or whatever! That's way too crazy for me to even think about. I'd never get a job anywhere in my field if I looked like that!"

Dani chuckles as he shakes his head. "That's a tough question. There's so many. One I had to turn a woman's… you know…" He motions down towards his lap. "Into a butterfly, another the guy wanted 'If you can read this, you're standing too close' right on his ass."

"Wow! Not what I'd expected! Huh," Sydney stifles a chuckle of her own to avoid moving. "Were they at least quirky clients? Or were they like suburban next-door-neighbour types?"

Dani sits back, removing the gun from her skin as he thinks. "The girl was a school teacher if I remember right, Kindergarten." He says with a soft chuckle. "And the other guy was a biker, so that wasn't too odd."

"The school teacher is a bit of a shock. Did anyone come in with her, or was she totally alone?" Sydney fishes for more information. "I know it seems silly, but it makes a difference. Like if her significant other was with her maybe she was pressured. If a friend, she might have lost a bet… but if she's alone. It was for her." She half-smiles.

Dani shakes his head. "No, she was all alone." He says to her as he goes back to work. "It was a great day for me though." He says with a soft chuckle as he continues to fill in the lines.

"One of those 'I love my job days', huh?" Sydney stifles a chuckle again. "I can't imagine it was a quick job either." She bites her bottom lip. "Alright… how about your most complicated tattoo - what was it of?"

Dani chuckles as he shakes his head. "That would be this guy who wanted the entire cast of the Simpsons on his back. I had to do a ton of research for that one." He says with a soft sigh.

"That would be huge! Hasn't that show been on like twenty-some years?! The number of characters would've been insane!" Sydney continues to bite her lip. "How about…. hmm…. I think I'm actually out of tattoo questions." There's a pause. "Ooo. Piercings. You guys do those here, right?"

Dani nods his head as he looks at her. "Yup. Any piercing is just $20." He says as he finishes up with the coloring in of the kanji before he starts to add some highlights to a few areas.

"So how many holes have you put in a person at once? I'm assuming at least two because lots of people get their ears pierced," Sydney considers with a smirk.

It's just about the time that Dani is finishing up the kanji that Alex wanders back in from the main room. Seems she had wandered off through all of this, either because her curiosity about how the tattooing process goes has been filled, on because the sight of all those pistoning needles has put her off or whatever. But she returns from the main room with another cold bottle of water for Sydney to enjoy after getting her ink. "Whoa…walked in on the worst part of that conversation!" Alex says, at the mention of putting holes in people. "But in all seriousness I guess that's part of the job too, based on your price list out there in the main room?"

Dani nods his head as he chuckles. "Yeah. I've put so many holes into people, it's not even funny." He says as he looks up to Alex as she returns and then looks back to Sydney as he wipes off the ink and blood. "All done." He says to her handing her the mirrors again before positioning the other so she can see the finished product.

Sydney perks up and peers into the mirrors, "That. Is. Awesome." She sits up from the seat, and turns to show Alex, "What do ya think?" She beams as she takes the water. "So… still up for it Alex, even after having watched the process?"

"Well…yeah, of course. You dragged me down here so we can both get them, right?" That, and Alex really and truly wants one too, deep down, even if she doesn't admit to it. It just took Sydney and her (literally) infectious exuberance to get her down her and ready to sit in the chair!

Dani smiles as she starts to clean off the tattoo, applying some ointment to it before he covers it with plastic wrap and tapes it in place. After that's done, he switches out the needles, putting the used ones in a red plastic bio hazard bin. He throws away the used ink and towels before he setups up a fresh setup for Alex. "Okay, you're up."

"Excellent!" Sydney chimes as she opens her bottle of water and sips at it. She grins as she gets to watch now. Oh the curiosity.

Alex nods, and has to lift up the hem of the blue dress a little bit as she slides one leg up and over the tattoo seat. It's one of the sorts where you sit with your belly against the padded back, straddling it. She takes a handful of her hair, and unlike Sydney, she just puts it up in a loose bun on the top of her head, thanks to some convenient hairties in that back of wonders.

Dani gets all the equipment together before he puts the stencil on the back of her neck, the same way he did with Sydney. He then gives her the mirror to look it over.

Just like Sydney, Alex makes sure it's centered and positioned correctly on the vertical for her. When she feels the location is just right on the back of her neck, she gives him the ok to tape it down and get to work. "Oh lord…I hope this doesn't hurt too much…" she groans out, closing her eyes and getting steeled mentally for it.

Dani smiles and nods after he puts the mirrors away. "Okay. I'm going to do a small line with you too so you can see what to expect." He says before he leans in and starts one of the small lines. He sits up after he's done. "How was that?"

When the needles first make contact, Alex gasps, so maybe that's not unexpected, and he knows to sort of pull back when the needles touch so the line isn't messed up! "O-ow," she says, reaching back to touch it, before she thinks better of it and stops. "I guess Sydney's right…it kind of hurts a little, but not too too bad. I should be ok."

Dani goes through the tattoo, working on the outline of the tattoo. Once that is completed, he switches to the bigger needle tip and starts to fill it in. He fills it in completely before he adds the last few finishing touches. "There we go." He says after he wipes off the blood and ink, letting her take a look with the mirrors.

"Wow…looks just as good as Sydney's!" Alex exclaims. While hers is more traditional, less ornamentation and more a square, traditional-looking design, and Sydney's is more modern-feeling, Alex still looks really pleased. "So…we just follow the instructions to a tee and we should be ok, right?" she asks, pertaining to the little brochure about tattoo care she had been reading out in the main part of the shop when she drifted off.

"Oooo! I like it, Alex! It's very you, and the pain wasn't so bad, was it?" Sydney beams as she stares at the tattoo. She's holding another diet COKE for Alex (just like Alex had done for her post-tattoo).

Dani smiles as he cleans up and nods. "Yeah, I'll give you the instructions and some of the ointment that I put on there. Just keep it covered for a bit, taking hot showers and all." He says, putting some of the ointment on Alex's tattoo and covers it in the same way he did Sydney's.

Alex nods and stands herself up from the chair. She looks a little drained from the ordeal, and, leaving her hair in the bun on top of her head, stretches out a bit. She looks eager to ante up, learn how to take care of this thing, and get herself home for dinner (or somewhere else, depending on what Sydney prefers)!

"Thank you very much for all of this! We appreciate it," Sydney chimes towards Dani. She reaches into her purse to produce payment. Like Alex, during her friend's tattoo she drifted away. Except in Syd's case it was to the ATM for cash.

Dani leads the two to the front counter to let them pay. He gives them everything they need to take care of the tattoos. "Okay. It'll be $20 each, but since this is your first tattoo, I'll only charge you guys $10." He says to them as he gathers everything for them.

Alex looks pretty pleased at the discount. "Wow, that's really nice of you, thank you so much!" she says over the counter, with quite the smile on her lips! From that swollen bag, she pulls out that fat wallet, crammed with her ID, checkbook, ATM card, and two credit cards or so. She manages to produce the single bill she needs, and hands it over to him. "Well, thanks for all this. You're quite nice, since we're first-timers and all!"

Sydney grins, "That is wonderful! Thank you! Maybe I'll even come back and get another." She grins and also produces a single bill to the tattoo artist. "Thank you so much. Really. They look great."

Dani smiles and nods. "Feel free to come back anytime." He says, taking the payments and giving back the appropriate change. "I'm glad that you both enjoy your tattoos." He says to them before he sits back down, offering them a wave.

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