1963-11-02 - A Feast of Asgardian Proportions
Summary: A Midgardian feast fit for a prince. Or one very hungry seer.
Related: Trick or Thor!
Theme Song: None
thor marie-ange rogue 

Thor has arrived.


Marie-Ange might wonder if she's died and gone to heaven, at least one imagined by the Normans. For Normans were once Norsemen, and their gods were not the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, nor was their cuisine always influenced by jolly dairy cows and chalk downs.

Scarlett has taken to baking enough to feed fourteen people, instead of one hungry French girl rescued from the streets and herself. Piles of honey-glazed sweet rolls, rhubarb cake, saffron pancakes and saffron buns, and deadly good almond caramel cake (toscakaka) under a pool of vanilla and lingonberries, sourced from… Best if you don't ask. Apple cake puddled under studded walnuts or hazelnuts and a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and brandy derived sauces. It isn't only sweets she has gone for, though the bread cooling on an open stretch of table speaks to that.

If not wandering the city with her camera, the bohemian has to find other productive ways to take out her stress. Yoga on a rooftop only lasts so long. Her rooftop garden is weeded thrice over, the flowers nodding off, and four buried runes to bring peace, protection, blessings, and favour on the household aligned on stones hidden under the greenery. In short, she's done about all she can do and it comes down to practicality.

That, and a bottle of cider rather than elderflower juice, while she grimly stacks another pile of moist, mouth-watering treats onto a platter. Half the building is probably communally weeping that she emptied her pantry for a pop-up bakery a la ancien regime d'Odin.


There are simply some very good things that came out of the Norse era. (Who wants to call them Vikings now? Or Berserkers? Or even the Varangians?) One is food. Another, drink. And a third? Story telling, and not just any stories. Epic tales of days when mists still obscured the land in some parts and was still creating land in others. Millennia in the making, to be served up in this day and age, echoes of life as it was.

So, then, it may not be strange (okay, it may) to first see two very large goats alight upon the roof (8 tiny reindeer? Hell, no!), drawing a chariot of some sort. A cart. And at the reins, a 'dressed down' large blond man with clear blue eyes. The night is clear, for the most part, so some might surmise that the Thunder god's thoughts run towards the more positive, if not pensive.

The bleating of the goats may be heard, the hoof-beats may also.. though what may trump it is a loud,

"Lady Scarlett, have you a moment of your life to spare with me?" Life. Time. Same thing, right?

Thor pauses, smelling the delights of the apartment and allows himself to follow his nose to the feast, the almost proper feast fit for an Asgardian set within.


Marie's found herself a more and more frequent visitor of Scarlett's apartment. Why? Well, good food and better company were /always/ a good reason to go to places, but there's been times when she's needed to recover — such as from aiding the Sorcerer Supreme himself in the park — and this was as safe a place as she knew.

Safe went a long way with Marie. Her cards would often agree with this. Which is why if she's not been chased out of the kitchen — entirely possible, especially when she'd be terribly tempted to try and snatch bit of the meal before they're ready, or just help too much — she's busy cleaning up for the meal in the bathroom. Either way, the little French seer is behind a door when Thor enters, and stepping out of it soon after.

"Scarlett, it smells so go—" was what she started to say, speaking her native French, but it's interrupted by a "Mon Dieu!" of surprise as eyes spy Thor. That was not expected. Royalty, /here?/ What is Scarlett not telling her? Turning almost instantly as red as her hair, hands move to her skirt and she dips into a formal curtsy in the Prince's direction. Head remains bowed, knees remain bent. She knows a thing or twenty about genuflecting.


The goats may have a veritable feast among the plants there, or possibility of poisoning from the various lovely grasses, profuse greenery, weathered flowers, and herbs that Scarlett raises. A few of them do not exist on this continent anywhere outside a greenhouse, imported by Lady So-and-so or some tycoon trying to reproduce Kew's depth and breadth. Hers is, to the core, a lovely display also doubling for sorcerous purposes, as no doubt refined quite a bit for Asgardian seidr. Blame excellent tutelage from the masters.

Pitter patter of less than little hooves stops Scarlett upon the quest to build a bread ziggurat. She finishes studding a few cranberries on the top, her gaze slanting upwards. "Marie, cherie, we have company. Royal company."

French comes as easily to her as English, a polish put on her second language these past few weeks. If it causes a smile for the first time in hours, all the better. The fridge is consulted, and the previous evening's roast plucked from the largest shelf. Into the overloaded oven it shall have to go.

Then she smoothes her bare hands over her braided hair, inhaling deeply to center herself. A dip of her knees delivers the same greeting. "Do come in, my lord, and join us. We have…" A veritable groaning table of food. Or four. "… An abundance. Would you care for something to drink? I have yet a few bottles gifted me from the last trip to your home, and one your brother was uncertain was safe for consumption. It spontaneously crystallizes its own ice, at the least."

It could be an odd trick of the light, but she does, at the very least, relax a measure. But then Thor is the heart of his own universe, yes?


It's this simple act of obeisance that had Dr. Strange so confused, but take that with Midgard having grown distant from the old ways, only echoed now in small countries distant. England. Norway. Sweden. Denmark. (Huh.. all the countries that seem to matter, then!) It doesn't confuse or vex the Crown Prince in any way, even here. It's something understood, something that simply is a fact of life, and at the honor, Thor rumbles a chuckle, "Please. Rise.. take your comfort where you may, my lady. Is the—"

Turning, Thor does find the object of his search, and he releases her, but in a different fashion. Simply by speaking with her. "Lady Scarlett. It seems you have been studying at the hand of Helge these last few days? What rich feast have you prepared…" Though, briefly, he cants his gaze upwards before, "They are under instruction not to graze upon anything while here. I brought for them their hay." Just in case she was worried.

Stepping forward, his manner and mien casual now, tones conversational, Thor continues, "Save that for when there is someone who must needs be impressed with the veracity of your message." Get 'em drunk. "I will have something born of the lands of Midgard, however. My brother enjoys… scotch?" Or was that brandy?


Well. Scarlett definitely knows Prince Thor. On top of that, a slight sidewards glance confirms that she knows how to act around the man, too. That's comforting. When the Prince addressed her? She smiles brightly. "Thank you, Your Highness. It is good to see you once again; I trust your travels went well?" she asks, taking a moment to straighten out her skirt before strolling across the room, closer to the other two.

There's a hushed, " «You also know the Prince?» " spoken in French when she draws close enough to the master chef of the evening, and just like that it's back to English. "Yes, we would be most honored if you joined us." Especially true since Scarlett gave the invitation first. Otherwise it'd be a bit tricky balancing the rights of the Host and the rights of the Royal against one another; not something impossible, but tricky indeed!

A glance is offered towards the kitchen, and then back towards the other redhead in the room. "Is there anything that still needs to be done?" Marie's always willing to help around the apartment, after all.


Ah, the absent truth: Scarlett as the girl Friday for the court of Asgard. "Yes," she murmurs in an aside to Marie. "Noblest soul in Midgard, but perhaps for the Doctor, and someone I would move mountains for. A good man, Thor Odinson. He also understands French."

Thor might be relieved that almost all the furniture can comfortably accommodate someone of his size. His brother is, after all, a tall man, and her furnishings have to stand up to her own demonstrated strength. See also jotun in the basement of the Wildenstein mansion.

"Scotch? For an introduction to it, single malt. I have just the bottle. Pardon me a few moments, I shall have to raid the cellar." Her 'cellar' in a Greenwich Village apartment cannot amount to particularly much, though the smaller room has a closet effectively filled by alcohol and exotic clothing designed to survive a variety of environments. Marie likely knows anything under a glittering jar isn't safe to touch. She does, however, return with a handsome amber bottle of single malt stamped by a yellow ribbon. "The very one." When opened, the rich aromas of a complex mélange arise: honey cake, toasted toffee, rich spice, and a whisper of sea spray.

If introductions are in order, the taller redhead provides them: "Thor Odinson, Crown Prince of Asgard. May I present Marie-Ange of France to you? And should this prove less than suited, I have many other bottles. Common form of payment for art, alas." Her smile widens a fraction, and she nods to Marie. "If you would find plates, go eat, the both of you. I shall get this poured properly." That means a proper glass, no ginger, and no business of ice. Ye gods, no!


Yes, Thor does understand French, and most all languages that is. In fact, the trick of All-Speak is that Marie will indeed hear her own language even if it's not spoken. Assuming, of course, the Thunderer believes it to be necessary. "Thank you, Lady Marie." They had been introduced, after all.

Thor wanders to the table set, finding pies, sweetmeats of all sorts, and some very reminiscent of ages past. One pastry is taken in hand and as Scarlett returns, a broad smile appears once again. "We have met, Lady Scarlett. At Dr. Strange's gathering regarding the dealings of demons in the Park. I have since heard their efforts were a success." He looks to Marie now, and his head cants, "With the lack of a request for aid, I will assume Lady Sif's blade was unnecessary."

The offer for food, well… Thor looks down in his hands; plates? What? One grazes and plates are for when one sits too far away from the feast table! "I.. yes, thank you."


Thor isn't an /unknown/ figure to her — though not far from that, so there's not a particular need to draw for insight into just who the man is… and Scarlett ends up providing it regardless. Which is almost as good as getting the information from the cards themselves — and the bit that they all share her native language? That's definitely filed away. It also makes her keep the further thought inside her head, given the possibility of such thoughts being overheard!

"We have indeed," she agrees, and mercifully, the Doctor provided insight onto his royal lineage, or Marie would've been mortified to find out later. "…but it is a pleasure to meet you under better circumstances, without the forces of Hell itself standing against us." That.. was frightening. But the cards said she had to be there. "We were fortunate to have some… unexpected aid," she replies, nodding her head, "There was a man who became five men," Marcus, "…and a woman who seemed as if she commanded the very forces of nature." Storm. "Such are the dealings of fate, however. When victory has been decided, it will occur regardless of anything which tries to change it." At least, that's her view on it!

Then the suggestion of plates, Marie nods, scurries into the kitchen… and returns with three. Thor is presented with his, first, followed by Scarlett. Just as Marie will wait for Thor to begin eating before doing so herself. It's simply how one behaves around royalty.


"I am glad the threat of that particular horror is ended. Having been given an especially personal insight into what dwelled inside, that will be enough for one lifetime." Scarlett speaks only briefly on her particular role in the business of the demon gate, though the shadow flowing over her expressive emerald eyes warns plenty. What consumes her with fear is not generally run-of-the-mill.

All said and done, though, she returns with a glass of scotch for Thor and one for Marie, if she is inclined to sip the libations. The nose on the scotch is almost as decadent as the various meal components themselves. "I have the roast in the oven, but it will take at least twenty minutes to heat. Enjoy what you would," she insists, "and don't worry about spoiling your appetite. As it happens Hilde gave me an idea and we refined the apple bread a fair bit. This keeps me occupied." Along with, say, worrying about the fate of the world.

All said, though, she lands in a chair rather easily, the skew of her legs angled sharply to the side whilst demonstrating a very upright posture indeed. "I should be grateful if the extradimensional invasions stop for a time. Though they do keep life interesting. I can see the thrill in defending one's people, or all Midgard. You have addicted me to a noble purpose, my lord. Something to put all my learning towards."

Scarlett sighs, eyes bright as she picks up a bun coated in a fine sheen of honey and toasted almonds. "Whatever am I to do with you?" You holds the plural form, as it happens. Because French is clear like that, whereas English is not!


Marie-Ange draws Page Cups.


Plates… and Thor takes it a little awkwardly and glances back to Rogue. It may, perhaps, seem rather small in his hands as he looks at the plate and back at the feast and back at the plate… and the feast. The pastry is set, then, upon the plate, and as he looks upon the offerings, he begins to pile.. and pile.. and pile until there is very little real estate left. Read: None.

And this is why plates are useless in an Asgardian feast hall but for decoration.

Thor has his 'snack' and wanders back to the sitting area, sitting down on the couch. "Oh? Commanded the forces of nature?" He's looking at Marie now, brows rising. "I hadn't felt anything like that.."

He looks to Rogue next, and accepts the glass as offered. "As for the invasions and expeditions, I believe the Jotun problem will be resolved quickly. Our visit to Vanaheim was a success, and I have it on good authority that we have their swords." He does bark a laugh and raises his glass towards the Lady Scarlett as if toasting her… raising his glass! "My brother has chosen his aid wisely this time." Of course, he has to take a drink, and while it may be something of a sipping beverage to some? A swallow is taken and in the next moment, the glass is emptied and set upon a surface with a *thunk*. "I can well see why this is a desired drink."


"You and I both," Marie agrees, crinkling her nose a little bit as she reflects on the times she had at the park. "…although, with all things considered… I am glad to have experienced it." Less for confirmation that demons are real, that part still unnerves her… but she's glad for the 'shove' into outing herself in front of Scarlett. It makes life so much easier not to have to hide that part of herself while trying to pretend that she's… at least generally normal.

Spoiling her appetite? Oh, she's not worried about doing that at /all./ It's here that she shows a certain kinship with Thor, as food is piled upon her own plate until there's no room left — and threatens the Asgardian's own plate for height! Granted, it's definitely possible to out-eat her… but given the opportunity, she'll always eat until over-full. It's a habit that's still strong in her mind, from the times when she didn't know when her next meal would arrive. Now? If she's hungry, she can mooch! …and Scarlett doesn't mind. It's pretty remarkable.

Plate and glass in hand — Marie might not be accustomed to drinking alcoholic beverages, but she's French; she's not /opposed/ — she makes her way to a chair as well, and settles down gracefully, keeping to a ladylike posture.

"I might have been mistaken," she admits to Thor, considering slightly. "…but the temperatures grew hotter and colder, the winds whipped around with a ferocity that I have not seen in this country… I can only imagine it was her doing." …of course, she's considerably clueless to who Thor is beyond visiting royalty, so she doesn't quite understand while Thor was surprised not to have felt it.

Then there's the subject of the future. Setting her glass down — after a sip of her own drink and a widening of her eyes; the taste wasn't expected. It's not /bad,/ though! — she digs out the little velvet pouch an draws. The Page of Cups. "The future holds joy for you, Scarlett. You have toiled hard, and now it is time to reap the rewards you have earned." Beam.

She takes a few bites. For such a small girl? She eats with quite the haste. A dainty haste, but a haste indeed. Then a glance is offered back to Thor, as if she's deciding whether or not to ask, before… "Prince Odinson, forgive me for my ignorance," she starts, biting her lip slightly. "…you mention many places with which I am not familiar. Asgard. Jotun. Vanaheim. …may I ask where these places are? I fear I do not know much geography beyond Europe." …at least, she doesn't have a lot of it /memorized./ It didn't seem the most important when she could always go look at a map, but she wasn't able to find these places last time she checked, either!


The cooling pie on the windowsill lends its wafting scent to the air, and the oven bubbles away with its secretive contents: the roast, liberally herbed and treated in the finest of ways to tempt the senses. From far below the Albert Chambers' highest floor, the usual music has been replaced by the sounds of life itself. Laughter filters through whispering leaves, and childish shrieks and shouts speak to a pack attacking some imaginary villain. "—get Lord Bath Time! You gotta hit him! Hyah!"

"You're stepping on my cape!

"Am not, Muscle—" "

"Oh no, I'm hit by his soap wave. Ow! Owww! Get him with your mallet, Mighty Th—"

Scarlett watches the piling on without comment, and in her own way, eases this by transferring sweetbreads and meats about until her oblong platter is revealed. This she hands around the table discreetly to the golden-haired god, abetting his appetite in the very worst of ways. Eat more, such gestures insist.

"There are further signs of disturbances, temperatures surging and the weather disrupted in localized areas. I would assume this is sorcerous, or someone's powers gone out of control. Columbia had a waterspout in the fountain, and New York University was hit by dust devils in November. Unnatural for the season," she shares that morsel of information, a somewhat worried expression upon her face. "Something else about snow dumped only down a single street. These are surges which disrupt the local pace of life, though injuries are minimal."

To Marie's question of realms, her mouth rises slightly. "We speak of other realms connected to my lord's home through Yggdrasil, the world tree. Think of them as separate worlds hanging like ripe apples from different branches. Midgard lies in the middle, hence its name as the middle world. He hails from golden Asgard, chief among them. Vanaheim is an allied dimension, known for its forests, the hearty and welcoming character of its people. Jotunheim, the mountain realm, is home to giants, the traditional enemies of Asgard, for they are often a warlike people. Peoples, actually; I know of at least six species, maybe more. I can draw you a map but I have a few illustrations done in better detail. "And this, specifically, is why Scarlett loves a particular library above all. A touch of wistfulness glimmers in the words, and only with effort she doesn't actually sigh.

More scotch is poured out for both, though she refrains. As the one required to deal with the oven, this is not unwise. Another bottle of something quite different in character will follow the waters of life, anyways. If they both end up roaring drunk and happy under her watch, all the better.

"Sometimes, I feel I have rested too much, Marie. Though your cards speak wisdom through you enough, so I shall abide. Mostly." Scarlett's smile tips brilliant. "Hard to promise when friends give me purpose. Including…" A pause follows, and she shakes her head, those magnificent braids twisting like the Norns' weaving. "We are going to celebrate in December properly, aren't we, my lord? If so, I have preparations to make for the next blot."


Beyond, in the distance, carried upon the waves of air, "Moooooooom! Tell him it's a hammer, not a mal—"

The passing of the plate with yet more food! Delightful, and Thor is more than happy to add it to his hoard, which even now is being attended to. He's leaning forward, food in hand (what's a fork?), and is watching Marie pile her plate almost as high as his own. Brows rise before he laughs, "A Lady after my own heart.." He didn't know those of Midgard would pace him with feasting! "Shall I introduce you to a friend, then? You and he would be great friends, and he could regale you with moments of feasting best left forgotten by the rest of us."

It's the curiosity, however, in the naming of the Realms that Thor looks to Rogue, and when her explanations begin, he shakes his head. "Paper, please.." Thor rises from his seat, searches out a pen to put to paper, checking first to see if there is any writing. He stares at it blankly before he looks back to Marie and sits down beside her. He begins to make a shape, a poorly rendered tree. "Your world, a Realm we call Midgard, is here.." and he points. "On this Tree." The way he says it seems to underscore that capital letter, and he points to Rogue as she names it. "In its branches are other Realms connected then.." And with each messy circle, he begins to name them, just as Rogue does, writing them down, but in a decidedly DIFFERENT language and letter. "These two Realms are Vanaheim here, and Jotunheim, a world of giants. Asgard is my home, here.." As if that'll help?

Thor rocks his head up to look at Rogue once more, and a lopsided smile appears, "Lady Sif has plans, aye. I am just the muscle. She wishes to find the log. And the grandest log it shall be for our blot."


The thoughts of crazy weather phenomena give Marie pause. Could it be that woman's doing…? She'll have to keep an eye out. Honestly, the shorter girl has bared witness to weather she would not have expected to… but this was a new country. She's honestly not sure what's normal and what isn't in many ways, and weather is one of them. Needless to say, the fact that she chose the part of America where so many super-powered individuals tend to gather is messing with her perception of the country majorly.

"Any friend of yours would certainly be welcome as a friend of mine, Your Highness." she replies, beaming brightly. The mental thoughts of such foods? If she wasn't eating already, she'd probably be salivating at the thought of it. …the tricky part will be remembering moderation once she's managed to regain a proper weight… and to discover just where her metabolism lies on the spectrum.

…then as the pair try to explain the Realms to Marie… she looks between them. Trying to take it in. Watching the drawing take shape. "So.. realms are worlds…" she starts out, letting her finger trace along the paper as she tries to put it together. "…and we're /here,/ connected by this Tree," …the capital of that letter was heard! "…to all of these others." she repeats, brows furrowing and nose crinkling for a moment. It's time for more drink!

…if the goal was to get Marie drunk? Well, she's certainly on her way.

"…I'm not sure I understand, though. This tree, the… Iggydrowsy." Pause. That didn't sound right. She slows down her speech to try and do better. "/Yggraisins./" …clearly, that sounded a bit better to Marie, as she nods to herself. "…if it's big enough to connect worlds… why can we not see its branches?" she asks, looking between the two for a moment, before a lightbulb hits her. "OH! It must grow into /Africa./ I've never been to Africa, so that makes sense!" …she hasn't been to a lot of places, but that seems the most likely place to her at the moment. Then she's looking back down to the paper, and pondering again. Pointing to Midgard's location. "…so I see Earth… you know, Midgard… does the Tree connect to the moon, also?" she points towards another realm entirely, not being able to read the strange glyphs Thor drew. "…is it here? That looks kind of like a moon…"

… then the talk is of celebrations. December would be a reasonable time for the fun to arrive, and it's clear that it's being planned. The cards never lie. "It is wisdom best listened to, yes; and far easier to listen to when the tidings are good!" She's seen this first-hand, from the few people she's done readings for.


"Hammers high! Get him, Lord Bath Time is— we're all wet, who gave him a bucket?"

The consensus is a shouted chorus: "Nooooo!"

Girlish laughter is merry and spry, not a cackle, but it might as well be.

Scarlett contributes to the definition easily enough, and checks the scribbles of a rune. One shall not correct the slope or slant of a prince publicly, or rather correct her own understanding. She taps the top part of the tree. "The worlds contain more than a nation; they contain the space around them, too. They have their own stars, their own sun, their own sky. Though I suppose the ones which exist inside other realms share those traits."

The look to Thor for clarification is not unkind; Scarlett surrenders to the man with a thousand years of education about the places that are his. Maybe they both wish Loki were about to clarify. "Ljosalfar — the light elves — dwell here in Alfheim; elf home. I have yet to see it. There, below, is the corresponding Svartalfheim, dark elf home, where their kin the dark elves dwell. Nidavellir, where the dwarves reside, straddles this part of the tree." In the interests for clarity, she adds those. "There are a number of other places, like Monaco to France, separate but a principality or a city-state of a sort. I have yet to determine whom to plead my case to avaunt to a few of these. Though, no, you cannot quite see the branches of Yggdrasil where they link, but they do exist. At least I'm fairly sure they do."

Louis' ears may or may not be on fire purely at this point.

Happy news will serve her nicely, though, as an interlude to turn away from a lesson of learning for something far more exciting and nourishing to all.

"I admire this commitment to obtain the very best log for the blot! No doubt it will be snowy as winter can be." She brightens to this, and rests her chin upon the brace of her fingers for a moment. "Are there other traditions to follow? I shall assure you two gain tickets for the parties I am invited to; there are a good many worth going to, and they are lively rather than dull. Plus, food. Feasts come with the next two holidays in abundance. We have our harvest fest at month's end, and then Yule, of course." Scarlett will destroy one of those slices of rhubarb cake, and the vanilla sauce attacked by a fork has no hope of surviving except in droplets. "Have you ever seen the tree raised in Rockefeller Square? It's a lovely, glittering thing they string lights upon. With any luck we can all attend and admire the effect; it's well worth it." Thoughts are turning, turning still… and the wheel grinds its way onwards, a date with destiny scarce three weeks out…


Thor chuckles and puts the pen down and away before he moves the paper. "They are worlds unto themselves, just as Lady Scarlett says. Far distant to travel, yet only a thought away for those who know of them. But," he raises a finger, "Not all are to be visited. Even I would be most unwelcome on a few of them, though they would have little recourse but to greet me properly." Prince. Of Asgard.

Rogue's clarifications are good enough for Thor and he nods his head in the explanations. Sometimes a simple representation works best; particularly for a young woman who knows little outside her life. "You should have no fear about their transgressions, however, Lady Marie. None should cross again." Should being the operative word.

With thoughts turning towards the holidays coming, Thor first takes his refill before laughing, "A feast again, then. And our Yule. There is another day beyond that I wish to hold here. Or, perhaps, in the lands where we used to sail." Thor's Feast Day… the closest thing that can come to a 'birthday' that they have! "I will be sure all can attend."

To hear tell of the preparations for Yule, well… "A tree? I have not. You all do celebrate with trees? I should like to see how that is done. Of course, we will be sure to give our presents." Even the ancient Norse did that… but in their case? Gold coins.


In truth, Marie's still having trouble putting the pieces of the puzzle together — she's closer, but she isn't quite /there/ yet. "Aha… I think I understand." Truth, she /thinks/ she does. But it's really hard for her to wrap her head around the concept of realms; truthfully, she'd have trouble wrapping her head around anything larger than the solar system. Part of how she was raised, but.. then there's also the concepts of Heaven and Hell. Places connected that can't quite be seen. She'll connect the dots and have all the more questions later on as a result.

"I fear I don't have any parties to invite you both to…" Marie admits, crinkling her nose a bit. "…but if either of you need assistance with the preparations, I would be more than happy to assist." …then a look over towards Scarlett.

A blink. Another blink. Widened eyes. "…this Rockefeller tree, does it also connect worlds…?" It sounds really pretty, though. Almost like a Christmas tree, and from the sounds of it, this one is one they /can/ see!


Trees and holy trees, they are a recurring pattern through western culture. Again and again they appear, from the huge Norway spruce to the household options.

"The Rockefeller Tree is only a very large Christmas tree, usually about eighty feet or so? It stands in front of a skating rink. The city will light it at the end of November. Come to think, the tree should come in the next…" Wheels spin, ideas flare, and then she puts her hand over her mouth as thoughts collide wildly with possibility. "My lord, how would you like to present a gift to the city? You know, they probably have not selected the Rockefeller tree. As I understand, they scout out for the largest spruce they can find, and it's quite the production to bring into New York. Had you any desire, you and your brother might consider seeking one as a gesture of goodwill. Anyone can gift it, and it would certainly gain positive attention. Or, failing that, you could erect an equally large one on the property and let everyone marvel."

Mischief or diplomacy; let that settle. It wouldn't be a log, but her fingers ease as she pushes her chair back and attends upon the oven about thirty seconds before the timer goes off with a noisy, cranky buzz of a metal bee. The door pulled open, she peeks in and withdraws the roast in its lidded pan, and sets that to cool. Also coming out: a rather peculiar roll of sorts, one that needs to cool on account of the berries and other good things stuffed inside it.

But reheated, delicious beef? Forks ready. Knives set. Carve! Or rather, pull off the lid and simmer along with the goodness of it. "We raise trees and decorate them inside, or outside. The customs vary; electric lights have become popular. Ornaments of glass, ceramic, wood, yarn or handmade options strung about it, shining pieces of tinsel, sometimes even fruit and flags, and popcorn. Ribbons, if you are stylish. It becomes quite the competition." There, she said it, perhaps kindling something along with tricks for treats, that came days before. "On Christmas morn, families open presents that are left under the tree. It's truly one of the finest parts of the season, the lights and the scent of the tree, if you have one." Two of three probably have not, or do not, given the circumstances.

"And Marie, your presence is enough." Or her presents. Either way. Scarlett wields generosity easily; the carving knife? Here, Thor…


Thor doesn't worry about Marie trying to put things in their places; either she'll get it or she won't. Instead, he smiles at her before he rises from beside her and crosses the room to follow Scarlett to the edge of the kitchen, drink in hand. His plate is almost completely emptied; how'd he do that already?

"They search for a tree? That I shall tell Sif, and she can go in search of one. She will be doing so anyway, and finding two should not prove difficult." Of course, bringing it back won't be easy— goats. Of course. It'll be a whole lot easier than bring back, say, 370 dead and butchered reindeer. "I think that is a good idea. We shall gift it. I will send a raven to …" Uh.. "I will speak with Loki." Sounds better. "And we shall put one at our apartment… and one here? The task shall fall to the ladies, then, to adorn it in the proper style of Midgard." Of course it will.

The food coming from the oven smells… amazing, and Thor's smile turns lopsided, "There.. set that upon the table. Let it cool for a couple of minutes before we set to carving the beast." He looks over his shoulder towards Marie and nods, seconding the sentiment, "I would wish your presence at these revelries, Lady Marie/"


"Aha!" /That/ she understands. She grew up in a convent, so Christmas was a big thing in her life. Not quite the traditional Christmas like the one that the taller redhead goes on to describe — which is why she immediately hides behind her scotch, taking a longer than usual sip. Seeking the comfort that good alcohol can bring, the escape from thoughts that goes along with it. When Thor finishes the first plate? …well, Marie's still working on hers. She's not as quick an eater as he is, but she's quicker than she looks like she would be! "Then my presence you will both have."

She'll bring presents, too. She'll just have to figure out what to bring, what she can scrounge up. Though the ideas are already floating in her head, especially as she considers the people she'd be going to the parties with.

Besides, as Thor mentioned, someone has to decorate the trees. That's something that she can handle, if the royalty is far too busy.

…which brings another thought to her rapidly drifting mind. Scarlett's connection to the royals. Is she a royal of some kind? … or something else? Green eyes linger on the other woman while she tries to decide this in her mind.


Some things can be properly ascertained by a guess, and Scarlett has learned more than a little about the body language and silences that accompany people. Her survival sometimes depends upon reading a situation right. At the instructions for where to place the roast, she nods brightly to Thor, her hair tumbling around her shoulder.

The trivet will have to be pulled along, but she can manage a single roast one-handed without the least bit of concern, which does make for a slightly impressive sense of homemaking skills. This is about the only kind she has; the taller redhead excels in other ways, but baking and feeding herself is an essential skill. "There, it looks lovely. We had some last night, but I find meat heated up gives exactly the proper sense of home to a building." Certainly it smells good.

It better, she treated it like a damn king until it ended up in the oven the first time round, using a recipe of French extraction, if only to make Marie happy. (Food heals all troubles, mostly.)

"I should be glad to help decorate, though we will leave you to crown the trees appropriately. Stars, snowflakes, crowns, dolls, they are all used. I have a notion…" It rhymes with Kvoldir. "That you might be the tallest of us, and have the easiest time of it. Though whether Hrimhari's story about the caged lights are true, perhaps we will have a tree of glowing crystals that glitter like the night for you. There is, after all, a tunnel with such?" Scarlett's gaze slants towards the window, and she grins at Marie. "Suppose we were to compare two trees, one with glass and crystal all over it, and another with electric lights, and see which comes out the better? It could be a game, with an appropriate prize. Among these friends, alcohol might go well. Or possibly a very good scarf or cloak." Bright red capes for the winners! Mayhap Marie is more crafty than the bohemian.

"In a way, you are like family, Thor. So I commend them to you, Marie, as very good people. Ah, and that's the sausage rolls done." How she knows is a mystery, but Scarlett pulls out that last tray and doesn't even bother to see if they are cool; she munches one into her mouth gleefully.


"Lights. I… am certain I may find some within the palace walls as well. Perhaps I shall ask Mother for something." If Frigga can't find something that lights a night that can be placed upon a tree, no one can. "We will claim our own tree as well." So the Asgardians shall decorate their tree with the trimmings of home!

Once the meat is set down, the knives are picked up once it's all allowed to settle. "I will find something to put atop the tree." A little created toy Mjolnir? Maybe?

As the meat is sliced, Thor calls out, "Lady Marie. Come and get some of this meat. It looks as fine a cut as any I have seen, and the smell of it should call an army of Midgard's finest to the hall. Come!"

The statement, however, regarding his being very like family gains a brief dip of his head and he looks at Scarlett with a canted head. He chuckles and finally inclines his head, "You do me honor, Lady Scarlett."


"Doubly on me," murmurs Scarlett almost under her breath to Thor, but it's relevant. Marie is likely to hear, anyways. "My own people are lost to me, an unknown thing."


It doesn't take much to make Marie happy; the girl who has little is thankful for everything she's fortunate enough to receive. In the same way, she's definitely more than willing to take what she's given. So she's definitely going in to take her fair share of the meat.

"You will handle the top, and we will make the rest of the tree pretty." she agrees, lips curved into a smile that's just a bit too wide. Alcohol's influence. Even her gait is a little unstable, not the graceful movements that the seer's more accustomed to making. "Or trees. Pretty trees, pretty people~" she sing-songs a bit, before flumping back into her seat with all the grace of a falling brick.

Yet, somehow she manages not to spill her food. It's a talent.

"I'm glad to be around such wonderful people." …and yes, she did hear. There's an urge to go hug, but… /food./ It smells so good. She's going to pay attention to it right now. "Family is made by blood and also by choice, so be sure to choose wisely~" she adds, before stuffing a large piece into her mouth. Yum!


It is Scarlett's privilege to see others content. That they happen to be two of her favourite people in any dimension pleases her all the more.

A healthy slice of meat lands on a plate she pulls down from the cabinet, humming her way through and around the Asgardian and seer. Another long fork set beside the roasting pan gives an opportunity to pull away generous sections marbled with just the right amount of fat to assure the roast never gets further than medium. She has a preference towards rare over smoking and black, so that expresses itself in the tenderness of the reheated meat.

"We very clearly have a plan. A party to decorate, and light being the blessing of our friend. Sif to find the trees, and your brother, my lord, to supply whatever amuses him." Scarlett's brows arch slightly at that, and she helps herself to a few of the roasted vegetables alongside the meat. It's rare to actually watch her dine in quantity, but she neatly devours whatever is put in front of her with the single minded focus of a snow leopard when she wants to. And being lithe as she is, the roast hasn't a chance.


Thor hands out the meat and sets some aside. His, too, is of the rare cut, and pulling some bread from the board, sops it into the red juice, soaking the goodness. He follows back to a place where he can sit and enjoy. "Clearly. Discover a grove where we can find the finest of trees. Donate one to the city, set ours, one at our residence and one here. The ladies to decorate, my brother to do what he wishes, and I will set the caps to each." Because, fly. And that's his job.

"Then, festivities. You shall teach us what it is we should do for this. I would learn at least some of the customs here."

The Thunderer looks at the wobbly young woman, and her pronouncements bring a laugh from him. "Family is precisely that. By blood and by choice. Brothers are born of a battlefield and by happier occasion."


"Would you like to learn of the customs now or later? It is customary to make delightful alcoholic drinks, heated up, and drink them. Roast chestnuts over bonfires, though this is hard to do in the city. Sing drunkenly and tell stories, have a fire in the fireplace but those are rare in the city too. Hang mistletoe from a doorway and kiss whomever of the opposite sex stands under it," Scarlett ticks off the possibilities one after the other, her fingers curling lightly. "We come together to celebrate company. It is sometimes common to go door to door and sing traditional songs, and in return, those who listen to you sing pay you in chocolates, fruit, and drinks. Sometimes hot chocolate, milk, or libations for the adults. Which we all count as. Ah, there is also laying out cookies and carrots for Santa Claus — Father Christmas — and his reindeer in anticipation of feeding them when they arrive in the middle night to leave presents."

Her slice of meat has no chance at all of surviving the assault, though she has manners fit for the highest tables, and no telling why these are encoded in her nature. The redhead glances to her shorter counterpart and smiles, seeing all there is well. "It is a convivial blot. Sometimes there are games, and wars if it snows. Throwing snowballs at one another, seeing which team strikes the most hits. Then someone goes and animates a snowman to win, and it turns into a ruckus." She is smiling at saying this, clearly anticipating how it falls. "The aspect of giving gifts as an exchange is more popular than the religious aspects of the holiday. Sometimes it becomes purely opulent, gifting as much as possible friends and family. Though I do keep with stockings; they have smaller gifts, too. Oranges, games, the like. At least, that much I can remember."

Or the other souls do. No matter.


Thor listens, and some of the traditions are sounding very familiar to him. "Shall we add ours, then? We'll have goat for meals and prepare the skins.. perhaps for our small Thor, should we find them again? So they can go from house to house to sing and tell stories." A Viking Christmas.

He looks and sounds enthused for the holidays now, and finishing his food, he sets the plate upon a small table, grins and looks around. "I look forward to this. We will decorate the house within the city, and make it as grand as possible. Our tree. Festivities in the evening for as long as the holiday is, and gifts. I shall start my craftsmen in making toys such as our children play with, swords.. all manner of things."


Marie-Ange draws Ace Cups.


As Scarlett goes on through the various traditions, Marie nods along, she's head of most of them — although the kissing part turns her a deep red that gets hidden behind scotch once again. A nice long drink to hide the blush. It's not quite at the point as when Roberto was making his moves - which got shot down by the cards - but the thoughts in her head do the job well. There's a glance offered down to the pouch — the Ace of Cups is drawn. She decides this means more alcohol is needed, and finishes her glass on that note.

"I… do not remember anyone /animating a snowman/ in my history, but America is different, yes?" she asks of Scarlett, then looks back over towards Thor. There's a little fit of giggling, before she nods. "It will be most wonderful!" …and that brief break in eating was brought to you by festivities. Now it's back to our main course. Nomnomnom.


"The little boy outside from three streets over? I know his mother somewhat; she occasionally sings at one of the cafes with another group." Oh yes, and the tales of Mighty Thor and Muscles Thor and Mrs. Thor will soon enough be spreading among the tiny folk of Greenwich Village. Their battles shall be waged atop the snowbank and the slushy bench, striving to capitalize on Lord Bath Time's recent weakness because it's too cold outside. "Goat is not the typical meal, though by all means, prepare what food reminds you of home. We usually venture out with a ham, or a turkey." The glance upwards checks Scarlett's curiosity, only a little. "Have you sampled turkey before? It's a large bird, with quite the thick breast and legs, so the drumsticks are far larger than chicken. A rather American favourite, though well and satisfying. Perhaps we ought to take you to a deli. I had a fancy for pheasant, but that's a much lighter flavour."

As long as no one brings in a narwhal, it's all in a day's fun.

Or bring the narwhal, but damn straight Scarlett gets the horn tusk.

Someone will have to replenish the alcohol. With an eye to the whisky bottle, the bohemian rises from the table and takes it, instead supplanting it with, of all things, seltzer water and a dash of lemon, a twist of orange juice, and a dollop of honey. That will be put in front of Marie, to see to her liking. "I do like your idea very much, my lord. It sounds joyous, and we can always use some of that around the house."


More alcohol! Wasn't Sif saying something about wanting to get the Thunderer roaring drunk? This isn't one of those times, however. That will come later, and no doubt during the festivities during the Yule season. It is far and away more than time for everyone to literally eat, drink and be merry, perhaps creating such a commotion that those of Midgard will once again add stories to the Eddas regarding himself, Loki.. and new 'characters' will find their way in!

"Goat for Yule is our tradition. Stories and songs in goatskins as well. You will see. It is a grand time." Uh huh.. and Thor begins his cross towards the table once more to load more food onto his plate. A grand feast for those of Midgard and an appreciated meal table for those of Asgard. It is most thoroughly appreciated. Once his plate is filled, he's ready to sit back down and simply enjoy the company, though with an added request.

"Upon your time, Lady Scarlett.. I do have one request of you." Thor goes to get his drink refilled as well, so he's got all within reach. "I find myself lacking in certain things here. One of which is to read your language…"


Needless to say, Marie's definitely not going to be going anywhere tonight. She's succumbing more and more to the libations as the minutes pass, and while Thor may not be getting drunk tonight, the seer's already far down that path. "Food is wonderful. That is all~" Marie sing-songs, poking her fork at another bit of food, lifting it to her mouth… and then setting it back down. Oh yes, she's reached that point where she just can't fit any more.

…it's such a good feeling to be able to have again.

The new drink offered by Scarlett is taken and sampled in kind, the French girl keeping a happy little smile on her lips. "I like grand times." Hiccup! …she'll probably be out like a light shortly here. At least she's in a comfortable spot!


A good thing they have a skald and one very helpful seer in residence, then, though one has much higher alcohol tolerance than the other. Marie might be called on to dance with a lampshade. Scarlett will simply remember, recount, and practice.

Seeing Thor go for more entitles the lady of the household to smile indulgently, and go about peeling an orange for herself. It's one of the thinner skinned varieties, not the satsumas bound to show up from Japan in about a fortnight, but close. She tears away the dimpled flesh, leaving behind the sweet sections to be pierced by her thumb and segmented out into wedges. One of them will be crushed over one of the honey-streaked morsels of goodness, a complementary tartness to alleviate the saccharine measure. "Of course, your highness. I should be happy to help you achieve what you lack. Say what you need, and I'll do my best to help."

'Please kill that demonic tortoise.' 'Hold the other end of this tripwire.' 'Please tell Heimdall I'm not doing anything suspicious, and jump up and down in that short skirt for a moment?'

All the reasonable requests of a Midgardner.

"English is the common language here, though Marie and I speak French, and a good number of other people use different letters and words. But we can start with English. I myself am getting reasonably better at your tongue, so it only seems fair. I would enjoy improving my own skills, while assisting with yours."

Marie might just curl up and pass out at any moment, and it falls to the taller to assure all is well with her guest. Including being tucked under a ridiculously bright and happy afghan if necessary.


Every last one of those is a reasonably request made of one of Midgard! Thor just won't put that in writing, however.

"English," the Thunderer repeats. "I would learn that, then. There are many things that I do not know because I cannot read those runes." And, yes… he's really bad. "In turn, I will teach you … would you like to know the language of those, they were called.. Vikings? Norse? Or are you looking at Aesir in order to read our books?" Thor knows the answer to that, but he's asking anyway.


Now, the drink is set down, and Marie makes herself cozy against the chair. "Reading shows the way to the future others cannot see." is half-mumbled… and just like that? The shorter redhead is out like a lightbulb.


Scarlett smiles, tipping her head upwards. "I will teach you English, then. Twenty six letters, those are not so difficult to learn. It will be a bit more to read, but we can do this quietly and you can shock them all by reading a newspaper." Alas, if only it were so easy to cheat and use means other than hard work! Too bad; her gifts line up in other directions without petty theft. "I can already read Old Norse. Badly, but I can do it." Columbia might as well give up on the four books she borrowed from the library. She will likely be one of the few people in her generation fluent in a few months' time, committed to it by hook and crook. "Are you permitted to teach me Aesir? If not, then I would ask you correct how I sound. It will be fun. I shall reward you appropriately and when you master things, you will have feasts." A grin follows. "Perhaps all the foods beginning with the letters you've learned."

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