1964-01-28 - What the Cards Say
Summary: Amanda cooks for Ororo and tells her fortune.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
amanda ororo 

It's that once-a-week thing that Ororo and Amanda do. Tonight, the Circus' 'off day' to give the performers a chance to relax, restock, and just enjoy themselves, Amanda insisted Ororo come to her place. She'd handle the food and the refreshments. German dishes, mostly, though Amanda has supplied the odd Romany fare as well. The drink includes chilled wine, if any is desire, though simple water and fruit juice is available (Amanda heavily favours the water heself, after one glass of wine, if it ends up being pulled out).

Throughout the meal, Amanda looks to Ororo, trying to gauge the woman's facial expressions, wanting to make sure she is enjoying the food. It's really the first time she's attempted to cook for anyone aside from herself. Somehow it is much more nerve-wracking than she thought it would be!

The wine can stay corked. Ororo opts for the fruit juice and the water, though doesn't really say why unless asked directly. She does, though, appear to greatly enjoy the food, even if she still tends toward maintaining a neutral expression. At the main meat dish, she can't help but ask, "I must know, what is this? I thought it would be beef, and yet it doesn't seem to be."

"No, you're right - it's beef," Amanda assures, smiling. "It's called Rheinischer Sauerbraten. Beef marinated in a vinegar mixture. That might be why the taste and look of it is fooling you." She gestures to the side dish on her plate (which is mostly gone, as she's devoured it eagerly). "This is Reibekuchen. It's a potato fritter." Amanda loves potatoes. Always has.

Ororo samples her own potato fritter and… "Mm. Unusual. But not bad at all." She is unaccustomed to potatoes, so finds them a bit bland on their own. The seasonings in the fritter though, most ceratinly make up for it." She thinks back on the extremely simple fare of her home village. This, as much as chocolate, would flabberghast the villagers. In the best possible way.

"And you cooked everything? I would like to reciprocate at some point," she says in an almost wistful tone."

"I had a little help," Amanda confesses. "It's been some time since I cooked sauerbraten. I needed some reminders and a bit of oversight." That explains the woman that was departing as Ororo arrived. "I'm glad you've enjoyed it. And I would be more than happy to let you reciprocate. Here or wherever." Her little kitchen is entirely at Ororo's disposal, if the need should arise. "I do have a little dessert planned too, but I wanted to make an offer, and I hope I'm not being too forward," she murmurs. "You seemed so fascinated by my cards…"

Ororo ahs and nods. "I would need a considerable amout of help. I… never really learned to cook beyond the simplest of fare." After all, roasting a small animal over an open fire, or cooking a stew over afore mentioned fire isn't really high end cooking. She nods at the mention of dessert — she's still not entirely accustomed to the western fascination with sweets, but she will happily sample them — but then pauses as Amanda mentions an offer and her cards.

"An offer?" Of course she was fascinated by the cards. They were exquisitely drawn from what she could see, and the fact that Amanda could interprest their faces into meaningful advice is almost tantamount to magic in her mind.

Amanda looks relieved when Ororo doesn't seem immediately put off. She stabs the remainder of the fritter a little inelegantly, but she doesn't seem terribly embarrassed. Ororo wouldn't judge for how she uses the utensils, right? "I could do a reading for you, if you'd like." She smiles before biting into the fritter, and speaks only when it's all gone. "No charge for friends, of course, so please don't worry about that."

There will never be judgement from Ororo regarding utensils. Her friend T'Challa had to TEACH her how to use them, and she was a teenager at that time. "A reading?" She's been around Amanda enough by now to knwo what that means, and she offers the woman one of her rare honest smiles. "I would be honored."

"Wonderful!" Amanda grins happily. "So we'll do that, and then we celebrate with dessert." She claps her hands together a moment before scooping her fork back up. There is food to finish. She is excited to do the reading, but she won't rush Ororo. Food shouldn't be rushed! "Thank you for showing me the place you're staying," she says suddenly. "The… Professor? He seemed like a nice man."

Ororo is quite pleased to see Amanda so cheerful. She continues eating the rich and flavorful meal, nodding when Amanda mentions the Professor. "He is. He has been gracious and kind and generous, and he honestly cares about everyone he interacts with. It is a rare person that has that amount of compassion for everyone around them."

Amanda tries to be compassionate herself, though she can count the times she's failed. Perhaps she should talk to the Professor about such a thing.. "And the mansion was so impressive! I've never seen such a place before." Lacking a large area for the dirty dishes, Amanda simply takes her dishes to the 'kitchen' area in the back and slides them into a small basin full of water. She'll deal with them later. While back then she refills on water and returns to the table. "May I ask a question? What have you liked most since moving here?"

After finishing her meal, Ororo carries her dishes as well, and hesitates. She's entirely willing to help with the washing up, but Amanda doesn't seem to be angling to take care of it right now. She ends up putting the dishes in the basin as well witha hint of reluctance, and mentally reminds herself to help with the washing up later.

"Since I moved here?" Ororo thinks about that question for a moment as she settles back into her seat. "This is going to sound trite, but I think being able to see and feel the changes in the seasons so readily. Back home we have wet seasons, and dry seasons, and bountiful seasons, and lean seasons, but … the shifts in the weather are so much more noticeable here."

"I always wanted to visit Africa," Amanda murmurs. "It sounds silly, but when I first saw elephants, I just… I had to see where they came from. When I was little I thought that seeing their home, somehow, would help me understand why they got so big." Her shoulders lift in a shrug as she sits back down, producing the deck of cards as though from nowhere. Sleight of hand, perhaps? "Before I saw the elephants, it was just the name of a faraway place, and I wanted adventure very badly."

"I have never seen an elephant in person either," Ororo admits. "They do not frequent the area where my home village resides. I have heard though, that they are awe-inspiring creatures. Capable of being gentle or extremely brutal. And more than intelligent enough to choose when to use which."

She actually seems a bit excited when Amanda produces the deck of cards.

"You haven't?" Amanda considers. "Then perhaps I should introduce you to the circus' elephants come meal time. They're wonderful." She helps feed the elephants now and then, and she's grown as fond of them as she has all the other animals the circus cares for and trains. Carefully she removes the silk hankerchief she keeps the cards in, placing the deck on the table. "Would you care to shuffle?" she asks. "Or you can cut the cards however you'd like."

Ororo hesitates, looking at the cards. "I've never shuffled cards before." She figures, though, that it means to mix them up thoroughly, so she proceeds to spread them out all over the table and scoot them around before carefully pushing them all back together again. "… will that suffice?"

"Absolutely," Amanda assures. With the deck reassembled, she takes the deck from Ororo gently, almost reverently, judging by the way she holds the deck. She places it in front of her and simply flips the first card over, placing it in the middle of the space between herself and Ororo.

The Empress. "This is you," she tells Ororo, as she falls into the regular pattern of reading the cards for the querent in front of her. "A woman with a strong connection to Mother Earth, to the planet itself. Others might feel at ease when they can hide in a crowd, but you prefer nature, and are most calm when out in its presence, enjoying it."

She flips a new card into place, putting it overtop the first card, but tilting it slightly so the top card is askew from the bottom one. The Hermit, reversed - that is, from Amanda's point of view, the Hermit is upside-down. She turns the cards around so that they can be seen properly from Ororo. "But despite your preference for being alone, loneliness is an issue. As is isolation. In your homeland, people knew you, they understood you, and perhaps your need for solitude now and then. Here in America you are one of many, almost fading into the endless crowds, and you feel alone."

Ororo nods at the first card. That fits pretty well, all right. And then the second one hits closer to home. She glances from the cards to Amanda, now wondering if this is not more relevant than Amanda has let on that it is.

It's almost as if Amanda does not see Ororo's glance. Perhaps she does not. Her gaze is tilted down, towards the cards, even as her hand reaches for the deck again. She flips a card and, with the cards facing Ororo, places it on the left hand side of the first two cards drawn. The Queen of Wands. "This is you from the past… or I should say, how you were seen in the past. Something about you set you aside from everyone else. A skill, a talent - but despite this, they understood you." She mentioned that before, but this card, for Amanda, seems to reinforce that point. "Despite being different, you were part of the community. Accepted."

The next card, once flipped, goes on the opposing side of the first two cards. The Ten of Wands. "The near future on this path: responsibility, dedication, hard work. You have proven yourself capable of these things before." Her index and middle fingers of her left hand jab lightly at the table, poking above the first two cards. "These are burdens you take on easily. There will be more to come, and you will taken them on because it is something you are used to and capable of doing."

Amanda draws a card, placing it above the Empress and the reversed Hermit. The Moon, reversed. "This is your deepest hope when it comes to your isolation. You want release. Release from it and the fear it brings."

Another card, below the original two. The Hierophant. "And your true desire for this journey? To be as accepted and recognized here, among your peers, as you were at home. Perhaps not even as recognized. But you want, you wish for that acceptance. Perhaps even right now you feel as though you're the oddity standing out in the crowd, and for just a little, when you must interact with the crowd, you would like to blend and be accepted."

Watching each card revealed, Ororo becomes increasingly unsettled. How can Amanda know so much? Sure, she's told her about her home village, but for the sake of caution she left a LOT of details out. The card about decidation and hard work does not faze her, she's been prepared to earn her keep since she chose to leave her village and come to America.

The Moon confuses her, though. She doesn't feel like she's isolated. Not really. But the last card… as Ororo is looking at it the wind kicks up outside, going so far as to having a bit of sleet spattering against the walls.

Shifting where she puts the cards, Amanda's focus seems to intensify, as she tries to ignore the weather outside. It happens, she knows. Weather gets worse. To Ororo's right she places four cards in a single column, starting closest to her and moving closer to herself. Strength. "This is how you will - no, how you must - proceed through the difficult times ahead on your path. Be the rock of courage, the example for others. They will see you and draw strength from you, and in turn support you."

As Amanda puts the next card down - The High Priestess - her expression changes. Somewhere between surprise and.. expecting? She has noticed this card has come up frequently in readings, especially lately. She has her own suspicions… "A young woman. You might to have yet met her, you might know her already. She stands between two worlds, the mundane and the arcane. She can show you that reality is not as simple as it seems, and she can - and will help you when you need it."

The Three of Cups. "One of your hopes for this path." It is a drum she's beat time and again, but the cards seem to stress how important this is. "Acceptance within the community you belong to here. Your desire to make friends that understand and accept you."

The Sun. Amanda blinks. Oh so rarely does it pop up like this. It's not an unpleasant surprise; it makes her smile. "The cards are being quite forthright; they indicate that despite the hardships thrown your way, you will find success."

The wind dies down again as Amanda goes on, adding more cards to the tableau and explaining as she goes. She notices a repeat of the them of acceptance and friendship. That can't be coincidence, can it?

Who knows? Amanda's never sure herself. She falls silently, but doesn't move to take the cards back, knowing Ororo wanted to inspect them last time she was around when a reading was done. "… I know that didn't really seem exciting at all," she murmurs. "But I promise people do get a thrill out of it." Moreso in America than in Europe. At least back home people see it as a parlour trick.

"That was … strangely very accurate in places." Ororo looks over the cards again. "Can we discuss each in more detail, perhaps?"

Amanda smiles and nods. "Certainly. Which one can I answer questions about?" She assumes Ororo will simply go in order, but of course, it's also possible she doesn't need more information on every card.

Apparently, Ororo doesn't need info on every card. It might be telling that she doesn't give the very first card a second glance. It's almost as if that was a given for her.

"The Moon. You said Isolation. In what context do you mean?"

Amanda looks over the cards with a sweeping glance before focusing on the Moon. "Taking everything else into consideration… I would guess in this case it falls into the 'isolated despite people around you' type of isolation. When someone doesn't fit in anywhere, even in a big city such as New York." She leans back and reaches for her drink, asking, "Do you have other questions? I'm happy to answer." She smiles reassuringly, enjoying Ororo's company and answering any of her further questions across that evening.

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