1963-12-10 - Food and Fortune
Summary: Ororo and Amanda have returned to Amanda's home to warm up, when Forge turns up to have his cards read.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
amanda ororo 

[[inclue LogIcon name=forge]]

After a strange and cold and wet evening downtown (blame the freezing rain and a crazy man in white leather), Amanda invited Ororo to a safer, warmer place - namely, home. One quick teleport later, and Amanda and Ororo found themselves in the vardo (a traditional wagon) that Amanda uses as her home, for the sake of the circus. People expect things from a fortuneteller. The place is already warmer than the outdoors, but Amanda has a fire going in the wood-burning stove - it may be a traditional wagon, but there have been numerous modifications done to allow for year 'round living.

"Apologies for that. Quickest way home. I'm afraid all my tea is from Europe." Elsewhere, the circus' main show is going on, which is why Amanda allowed herself a quick trip into the city. Nobody would be knocking on the door for a reading in the meantime. Elephants and tigers are far more exciting!

Ororo is momentarily disoriented by the teleport, but she recovers quickly enough and seems pretty unperturbed about. "No apologies necessary, thank you for making the journey very short. And any tea will be acceptable." She doesn't really have a refined palate for tea. In the warmth of the vardo, she starts shedding layers, revealing brightly patterned caftan under everything, though she keeps the simple wool cardigan on as well after finding a place to drape her coat, scarves (yes, plural), and gloves to dry. "So you are … a travelling prognosticator?"

Amanda removes her jacket, hanging it on one of the hooks she has at the back of the vardo. "Sort of," she smiles. "I don't travel on my own; I work for a circus." A hand gestures towards the door as she goes through her cabinets for the needed items to make tea. And soup, possibly. There was mention of soup before. "The main show is on at the moment, so I didn't think slipping away for a little would matter too much."

Ororo ahs and nods, hesitating for a moment. "Is there anything I can do to assist?" If the answer is no, she'll pick a place to sit near the woodburning stove. Because it's warm. "If you travel with a circus… where are we currently?" She really hopes the woman isn't about to say something outrageous, like… Istanbul.

"If you could get the bowls in the cabinet behind you…?" Amanda smiles. She had a feeling that was coming. Then again, it's a fair question. "I think the place is called Westchester," she explains. Okay, so being in downtown Manhattan isn't exactly a 'walk around the city' distance. She teleported. But now that's probably obvious, right? "Ther was more room for Management to set up out here," she explains. Or so it was told to her. She begins puttering in front of the stove. Tea isn't hard to make. That ends up ready pretty quickly, and she exchanges a mug of tea for the bowls Ororo provides.

Forge couldn't particularly say what drew him to the Circus. He's never been one for such trivialities, but a somewhat uncertain dream the night before had a number of signs. Normally, he would have simply dismissed it, yet something in the back of his mind dragged him from his comfortable Manhattan abode. This more tumultuous time likely had something to do with it… but as he sat amongst the clapping and cheering crowd, the hapless inventor remained unmoved. After awhile, he ended up leaving the show early, hands thrust into his pockets as he strode around the nearby area — wearing a tan trenchcoat and black sweater alongside blue jeans. Somewhat inadvertantly perhaps he ends up near the vardo; looking it over with a curious eye.

OH. Ororo blinks twice — her version of surprise — then turns to pull the mentioned bowl. "Westchester is actually where I have been staying recently. A … friend of the family has property, and I am staying with him." She sets the bowls on the table. "I now find myself wondering how close you are to my friend's property."

"Oh. I have no idea," she admits. "We could find out after, if you like?" She doesn't know the area very well. Just a bit of examination of photos of the area, and a map, to get her to Manhattan. She wouldn't mind walking about for real. She pours herself some tea and takes a sip before turning her attention back to the small pot and the soup bubbling as the heat permeates the mixture. She tries not to use magic to help out whe cooking, but sometimes it's too tempting. Sometimes.

The outside of the vardo has a hand-painted sign, advertising 'fortunes told!' and random sigils and symbols people normally associate with "mystic stuff" - that is, what the unknowledgeable associate. A light - something akin to oil lamps, really - can be seen from the small, high windows. So someone's obviously home.

Forge walks up to the door, squinting at the arcane writings dubiously. Not that he'd recognize anything that wasn't shamanistic. Of course, his belief in magic isn't up for debate, merely the odds that whoever works in a circus actually possesses any! His fist rises up, prepared to knock, before hesitating. After a few moments, a clear 'Thud Thud Thud!' rings through the inside. Apparently, there's a visitor.

Ororo smiles and nods to Amanda. "That would likely be best. It would be a much shorter trip home than returning to Manhattan and taking the train from there." She's about to say something more when someone knocks and she visibly startles.

An abrupt gust of chill wind cuts through the area, briefly buffeting the vardo and dying away again as quickly as it appeared.

The wind, not the knock on the door, is what startles Amanda at first. She saw a demonstration of Ororo's abilities earlier, but it's still a new thing to her. But it calms down, just as gives Ororo a reassuring smile. "Probably just one of the workers." She glances at the pot - still not reay - and so she heads for the door, expecting it to be someone she knows. "…Yes?"


Blink blink.

"Evening," she says to Forge, her Romany accent obvious even though her English is almost flawless. "I'm sorry, I wasn't expecting anyone to come while the show is still on…" She glances towards the huge tent to make sure that yes, the show is still ongoing. Still, there's someone there, and it is chilly outside. She steps aside and gestures. "Come in, I can't leave you standing in the night air like that."

Forge takes a step backwards at the sudden burst of wind, blinking in surprise with a mild duck. Taking stock of the surroundings, there doesn't seem to be any reason for it to have happened… if he didn't know any better, that would have added rather nicely to the magical appeal of the place. He recovers by the time the door is opened, and coughs lightly into a fist. "Ah." he offers, looking back to the tent as well. "Didn't mean to bother you outside hours. Really. I can come back later." Gloved hands raise, although it's clear that was a polite way of saying 'Sorry, I'll just wander off forever now.'

Ororo looks toward the door curiously but doesn't approach and doesn't speak up. She's staying close to this nice, warm stove. Though, if the man is a paying customer, she might should make herself scarce so Amanda can work. And with that thought in mind, she reaches to start bundling up in her coat again, even though it's still mostly soggy.

The noise from behind her makes Amanda turn to look back at Ororo. "You can stay, it's fine," she assures. "Please don't leave." Not with a soggy coat! And as for Forge, she turns back to him, gesturing. "No, it's fine. Come in, come in. It's cold out there." She'll go out and push Forge in if she has to! "You're not outside hours, I promise. I wasn't expecting anyone until the show was over." Really, she should still be 'in costume' but she took a chance. Ah well. "If you don't mind the plain presentation, of course, I'm happy to do what I can. Would you like a drink? Tea?" She gestures at one of the chairs in the front of her little home, part of a set of four around a round table.

Forge isn't so easy to sway with words. "No, no. You already have someone… and… ah…" Amanda takes it to the next level though by and lightly pushing, and he is somewhat awkwardly herded inside, walking up the steps with a stumble before standing at attention. "…hey." he murmurs to Ororo, before letting out a defeated sigh and shifting to settle into one of the chairs. "Well, I could use some guidance. I guess the fate of the cards is as good as any place to start." Although he seems to be looking at Amanda very closely. As if he's nearly seeing something else, but not quite managing. His head shakes afterwards, and he seems to be consciously ignoring it… of course, his own essence is thoroughly potent. That of an active, if long dormant, spellcaster of no small measure.

When Amanda asks her to stay, Ororo takes her coat off again and returns it to its place to dry before settling into a chair herself. She nods an almost regal seeming hello to the man, and then looks up at Amanda questioningly when Forge asks for guidance. She's the odd person out here, so she doesn't speak up. Oh, wait, maybe she should be minding the tea and soup. She stands again and steps over to the woodburning stove and tries to not look clueless. Emphasis on 'tries'.

If Amanda notices anything, she certainly doesn't say it. "Of course. That's why I'm here," she murmurs to Forge. Well, most people see her here as an amusement. Not very many take the readings seriously, but some do. "I'm happy to help." As she says this, she heads back to the 'ktichen' area to grab Forge a mug for himself, before glancing at the pot. She considers a moment, then nods and turns the heat down, before beaming a smile at Ororo. "Feel free to take what you'd like. And please, stay and eat. I insist." She'll probably insist on feeding Forge, too. Kind of nice to make things a little less formal, really.

She returns to the front of the vardo in a few quick stides and offers Forge his mug of tea before reaching for the cards at the center of the table, wrapped in silk. "Is there a question in particular, an issue at hand, that you wanted advice on, or would you just like an idea of what is in store?"

Forge reaches out to take the tea in a seemingly formal manner, if not one either party is likely to recognize. Dipping his head, a low sip is taken. "…mmm. It's good." And warming. Another sip, and he sets it aside. "I don't know. You are the professional. What do you think I need…?" This isn't entirely flippant. He's looking out one of the windows, expression faintly lost.

Ororo nods to Amanda, then serves herself a modest bowl of the soup and a mug of the tea. She hesitates, then moves to sit by the stove instead of closer to where Amanda and Forge are, again not wanting to intrude. The man seems truly lost and in need of advice and she doesn't want to ruin his chance at getting some valid guidance.

She's not American, and therefore NOT a skeptic.

Amanda unfurls the silk wrapping and shuffles the cards. "If you're unsure, a general 'what's my future' is generally best," she says before passing the cards to Forge. "Cut them wherever you'd like, if you please." At that point she simply withdraws her hands and allows Forge to make the call.

Forge knows very well magic exists. It is fate, and destiny, that he has always been against. Turning back, he looks down at the deck before extending his right hand. A single finger taps the top. "I'll stick with what was already dealt to me, I think. I can't know if cutting them will help or not, can I?"

Ororo eats quietly, soaking in the warmth from the stove and not realizing her hair is growing fluffier the more it dries. She's listening curiously despite resisting the urge to get a look at what the pair are doing.

Nodding her head at the acceptance, Amanda smiles and retrieve the deck, putting it to her right. She chooses the first card and flips it over, placing it between herself and Forge. "This represents you. The Knight of Wands Reversed. You are a man of progress and creativity, ready to fight with mind and words… but in this position, you are frozen by indecision. Something is causing self-doubt and uncertainty." She doesn't even look at Forge to gauge reaction. She reads the cards. That's what's important.

She flips the next card over and places it overtop the Knight of Swords, at a 45 degree angle. "The King of Swords. The Warlord. Normally a man of intelligence and strategy, but here it is your challenge. Someone you can or do view as a tyrant, blocking your progress in some way."

The next card she flips to the left of the center two. "The Hermit. In the past you have sought solitude, separated yourself willingly, or something about you has caused others - family, community, or something else - to stay away from you."

Amanda reaches for the next card, placing it to the right of the two center cards. "The Queen of Cups. A woman of regal bearing, nobility, and a strong intuition, a connection to nature and the beyond. In this position, I would guess she will step forward as an ally to help you defeat what challenges you."

"The Star," Amanda says, flipping the fifth card above the center. "That which challenges you seems like it has ripped or stymied your creativity. You want it back very much."

The final card gets placed below. The overall design is a simple cross. "The King of Cups. In the end, you want others to see you as a trustworthy man. Honest, professional, and creative. You want to be able to be creative while maintaining an authority over the creations, to make sure none are harmed. This King is a man of authority, and wants to protect those in his care."

Forge strokes at his chin, looking down at the cards as they are presented. He's aware, generally, of the trick to reading cards. Being vague, and relying on the person who is the target associating the specifics within themselves. Usually minimally. The first one, though, is rather spot on. Moreso than he expected. The second, of course, immediately brings to mind the Government. Yet that's not a man, is it? Hmm. The last one causes him to scratch the back of his head, a bit too specific a reading it feels to be blindly given. Few would attribute to it as strongly as him. "I see…" he finally allows. If anything, it's made him more troubled. "Most of it I understand… or can summise. But… I already knew it. Does that mean what I fear is what's happening on this road?" He taps the Queen of Cups. "Except this one. I guess this one I have… some trouble with…" The only view of it he has seems highly unlikely. But then he grunts slightly. "Still. I didn't mean to, uh. Cause your guest to hide in the corner. You can join us, Ms…?" He beckons at Ororo.

"This could be someone you know only vaguely, or will meet in the near future," Amanda explains. "This position in the cross only means 'in the future', I'm afraid. It's not more specific." She turns to look at Ororo, beckoning her over along with Forge. "Please join us?" If Forge doesn't mind, she certainly doesn't. "You caught us coming in to warm up," she explains to Forge. "We knew just how cold it is out there; that's why I couldn't turn you away to go stomping back into the night. Which reminds me, since you're a guest…" She didn't quote a price for a reading, did she? And she insisted Forge come in from the cold. "Are you hungry at all?" She retreats from her chair to get herself some of the soup she left on the warming stove.

Forge shakes his head. "I'm a customer. I shouldn't be accepting charity." He digs around for his wallet, and pulls out two crisp twenties. They seem barely used, if at all, but are clearly genuine. He places them atop the cards. "I guess I'm left with more questions than answers, but the future's a malleable thing… that's what I've always believed going forward. Suppose this just proves it."

Ororo does get up and move to join them when they both invite her. "I was not hiding so much as enjoying the warmth from the stove." And her fluffy fluffy hair reveals how close she was sitting to said stove. She looks at the cards curiously just before Forge sets the twenties on top of them. "I have never seen this manner of divination before. Is it common in the America?" Yeah, her accent is giving her away again.

If only one thing can be told by looking at the cards, it's that they're very old. Well taken care of, but the designs mark them as definitely not modern. Amanda tips her head forward at the offer of money. "Thank you very much. You really don't have to, but I appreciate the generosity." She accepts the money and it vanishes beneath the table. "In America? I'm not sure," she admits. "My family has told the future in this manner for generations." Magic goes back in her family - among the women - a long ways back.

Forge just gestures in the air dismissively at that. "I have little use for my petty cash…" He gets an alottment of it. Usually he never even registers the 'recreation' fund and it goes unused. One of the cards is picked up and looked at closely. These do not look like the sort intended for parlor tricks. "In my tribe, we did a similar reading. Nine cards drawn, revealing your spirit animals. They were what guided you on the Great Mystery. Abilities, talents, challenges. I had it done for me on my Earth Walk. It is why I stopped here. I know the guidance of the cards. …You did not seem to treat them like a trick. I am sorry I was a sceptic. Genuine powers or not, you take it seriously." He sets it back down. "So you are not from here…? I apologize if some Americans can seem — unkind. You learn to ignore it."

Ignore being turned away from a restaurant. Not likely. But, she doesn't mention that aloud, even if there's the faint noise of the wind picking up outside again for just a moment. "I have seen divinations before, but never done with cards." She sounds … fascinated.

Amanda assembles the cards into a deck anew and offers the cards to Ororo. "Would you like to see them?" She has nothing to hide. They are cards, and definitely not trick cards. "What kind of divinations have you seen?" she wonders, curious. Forge's explanation gets a slow nod. "I've heard of similar methods. I have never seen them before, but if there was ever a way, I would enjoy it very much. I like to learn how others do things." Hence asking Ororo what she's seen. The question gets a faint frown, but Amanda ends up shaking her head. "No, I'm not from this country. This is the first time I've been here, in fact."

"I am new here as well," Ororo offers. "Our village holy man would sometimes use polished stones with marks on them to divine when to expect rain and similar events." She mimes with her hands. "He would toss them in the air, then look at how they fell."

Forge is easily seen by Ororo to look… jaded. Bitter. Both hands folded beneath his chin. After all, he is not only ethnic like the girl, but of one with a long history of subjugation in this country. At Amanda's question, he offers a wan smile. "I … never reached a level of training where I would feel comfortable doing it for another." Amanda is given a nod, too, even though the question was more directed at Ororo. "I hope it does not turn either of you aside too much. I have… been here my whole adult life." He's quiet then, for long moments. "I must say…" A glance to Ororo. "You seem… well attuned to the spirits." Another to Amanda. "And you… I'm not… sure…" Again a strange sense to his eyes. But he suppresses it, all the same. He COULD clearly look upon her as she is, a great magician, but is actively not. Yet her presence is so potent, even he can't fully ignore it.

"Turn me aside?" Amanda's not sure she understands, giving Forge a quizzical look. The fact that Forge can sense something about her produces something of a smile from her, and surprise as well. "You're not sure? What is it you see?" She's not ashamed of her talent by any means, and Ororo has seen her sling a few spells about. Still, she's curious. She's said so enough. "If you can describe it, of course."

Forge hardens his features. "From—From what is good here. Everything worthwhile. It can be hard… is all I'm saying." Doesn't seem to be a topic he enjoys, clearly, so he shifts away. "…I'm fairly sure what it is." Forge says, eyes remaining closed. "But I won't look upon it, all the same." When they open once more, the half-awareness to the mystical realm is completely gone. "Thank you again, for the reading. …I think I was meant to meet you tonight. I'm not sure for what end, but…" Maybe she'll end up the Queen of Cups? "I'll let you two get back to business. Not sure how useful it might be to your trade, but." He offers a business card. There is a tribal eagle upon it, like one might find on a totem. EAGLE PLAZA. Technological solutions. A number, and an address. "Show that there, and you can meet me. I'd consider myself fairly talented." He pushes up to his feet.

Amanda accepts the card, looking it over before she pockets it. "You're welcome to come back," she tells Forge. "If you need someone to speak to, I'm more than happy to listen." Hey, she offered the same thing - a friendly ear and a warm smile - to Illyana minutes after the ruler of Limbo attacked her, why wouldn't she offer it to someone that has been a lot friendlier? "Don't hesitate." She then stands and weaves around the table to open the door for Forge.

Forge dips his head towards Amanda, obviously curious. "I might…" he offers, before stepping down and back into the cool air. Adjusting his trenchcoat with a glance to the stars, before striding off to leave the pair to their interrupted conversation.

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