Title: A Disturbance in the Cards
Description: Tag: Tarot
Nick Bates - March 27, 2012 04:35 AM (GMT)
It was in the lower seventies in New York today, but the man who walked down the street wore a leather coat regardless, seemingly uncaring of the warmth. At five feet nine inches he didn’t stand out in the crowd, but his was a face that when in repose held a coldness to it that made people step aside. That coldness that seemed a natural state for his features made it all the more surprising, the transformation that took place when he smiled. A warmth and charm poured in at that point that could set most people at ease very quickly. The man was very aware of this fact, and used it to his advantage.
His name was Nick Bates, and depending on who he was talking to he was either an undercover New York police detective or a rising star in the New York criminal underworld. He had taken on a long-term assignment to infiltrate a major crime family in the area, and so for the past three years Nick had worked his way through the ranks (sometimes by disposing of those who got in his way; something that the police superintendent would frown on and the media would be up in arms about), until he was closer to the top dogs than any other cop had managed in years. His was a life full of secrets, and there were a lot of things that a lot of people didn’t know. There was the obvious secret that his Mafia bosses didn’t know who he really worked for, but there was also the secret that his ‘real’ bosses at the NYPD didn’t know; that Nick truly was working for the Mafia now. Nick liked money, and the money he got working for the crime family was more money than he’d ever seen. He thought that nobody knew that he was serving two masters, that his secret was safe, but there was something that Nick didn’t know. Somebody else already knew all of his secrets.
That somebody was Raven Darkholme.
Mystique made her way down the sidewalk using Nick Bates’ leisurely stride. She didn’t look like the heat of the day affected her despite the appearance of a leather jacket because of course, she wasn’t actually wearing a leather jacket. The sun felt pleasantly warm on her skin and she was enjoying the day as she made her way back to the Brotherhood House. And it had been a good day. The undercover detective had some good contacts in both the NYPD and the crime family he was currently infiltrating, which is why Raven had started impersonating him to begin with, and today one of those contacts had pointed her in what looked to be a good direction for getting more information about the anti-mutant group she was researching, Humanity’s Guardians. Nick was definitely turning out to be a good persona to have; enough so that she didn’t even regret leaving him alive. Raven didn’t always kill the people whose identities she stole. Leni had been a special case, in that Raven decided that she wanted the use of the German secret agent’s identity for an indefinite period, and it just wouldn’t do to have two of them running around. Nick on the other hand, was more useful alive. She wanted continued access to his connections in the two worlds he was living in, and she frankly didn’t have time to keep the appearance of living the detective’s life; she still had the Brotherhood to run, after all.
So Mystique left him to live his life, just occasionally borrowing his face to conduct her own business. She knew about the double life he was leading; while on a job about a year ago she had come across Nick within the Mafia family and finding him an interesting man, did some research and found out who he really was. This made her want to use him as a persona, and so in doing some more research, which she often did before taking on an identity for a job, found that he truly was playing for both sides. He was very good at what he did, but Mystique knew that between what he was doing and what she was doing when she impersonated him, it was all going to catch up to him sooner or later and he was going to have a very bad day. And when that happened Raven wouldn’t shed a tear about it, wouldn’t feel a single bit of remorse. She would just move on and find herself a new mask to wear.
For now however, the mask she currently had fit very nicely as she moved effortlessly through the crowd on the sidewalk. Raven was passing a little shop when the name of the business caught her eye.
The Twenty-First Arcana
That sounded familiar for some reason, and she thought for a moment on where she could have heard it before when it came to her. The fortune-teller’s shop. A couple of the Brotherhood members had visited here, and the accuracy of what they had been told made Raven a little curious about the woman who ran the place. Was it possible that the card reader had a genuine gift? She knew such things were possible, having known and lived with the precognitive mutant Destiny. She knew some of the capabilities of such a power. The possibility that there might be someone with a similar power here in New York intrigued her, and Raven decided to visit the little shop and see what this card reader was all about. Perhaps she could even get a question or two answered.
‘Nick’ opened the door to the shop and stepped in. Looking around, at first glance he didn’t notice anyone and so he took another step forward.
”Anyone home? Raven asked, using Nick’s mellow, crisp tones, the New York accent he’d been born with almost completely trained out of his voice as part of his work of being whoever he needed to be.
Tarot - April 1, 2012 08:57 PM (GMT)
For once, Marie was wearing relatively less than usual. She'd managed to get down to a shirt, her skirt and the cycle-shorts (she didn't know if that was the correct name) she insisted on wearing underneath skirts. Too many times she'd encountered men who would do anything to get a peek at you, and whilst Marie was naturally all for a c'est la vie attitude to things, she preferred to be at least somewhat slightly in control of that aspect of life. Except, of course, when she stumbled into attractive, charming telepaths; Then destiny, fate or whatever it wanted to be called could do whatever the heck it wanted with her. Marie's cheeks reddened instantly at the thought of Charles Xavier, awkwardly running a hand through her hair as if to dispel her embarrassment over being attracted to such a man. Her hair, starting to curl slightly thanks to it's increasing length, had been run through straighteners for once, before being pinned back roughly in an aggressive, spikey bun. The weather today was a lot more reminiscent of the weather back home; A touch milder, for sure, given she had lived fairly close to the Mediterranean, but not exactly awful. It was warm enough, put it that way. And warm enough to bring out more customers. She'd made enough that she could actually do some decent shopping at a respectable market, this week.
None of them were anything special. Two whores, one man who was indulging in some very, very risky corporate embezzlement, another blackmailing his boss, and one whose details Marie had taken down because he was doing grotesque things to his youngest children; As much as she counted on a paedophile eventually getting caught out, she wasn't quite content to leave that one to fate. And so, an anonymous tip had been left with the relevant authorities.
There was no satisfaction in the act, of course, more just a sense that she had done the right thing. Marie sympathised ever so slightly with children, not quite ready for the crushing burden that was an ever-predictable life; This was thanks largely to her grandmother, who had saved Marie from what she knew would be a lifetime of misery moving from home to home. And so, Marie occasionally acted on her slight impulse to do the right thing. It was only equivalent to having Thanatos cut the throat of a rapist or having Psyche hurl a murderer off the edge of a building. It was the right thing to do. Cut out the middle man of letting the authorities handle such people, in which various crimes were lost in the joys of bureaucracy and the system, and even then, she didn't defer from whatever the universe had planned for her. She smiled at the concept, although inwardly, as usual, she wanted to cry at the futility of it all. She never had, however, and she never would. It wasn't worth crying over.
A sigh emerged, ever so slightly glum, as she reached up and adjusted her hair, before she heard the distinct jingle of the shop door opening; She was standing out in the back, basking in New York's, again, surprisingly enjoyable sunshine, and perked up slightly - either this was someone interesting or it was someone she could tear down and watch turn into a blubbering mess after they'd paid her forty dollars to do so. She was cruel like that, when she wanted to be. Sue her; There were worse people in the world. Closing the back door behind her, her boots clunked awkwardly on the lino-covered floor as she walked, quickly navigating around one spider-filled box - she shuddered at the thought - and stepping into the front of the store, where she naturally adopted her usual smile. Most appreciated that; She'd found the glum look didn't exactly bring in or keep customers. "Hello," she greeted - not incredibly brightly, but at least more positive than usual. He was interesting, at least - Marie sensed something mysterious about him already. That was a plus - for both of them, since it meant Marie was less likely to tear him down and leave him a sobbing wreck.
"Welcome to the Twenty-First Arcana. The only true authentic precognitive experience in the entire world," she boasted, although it sounded just hokey enough that she wasn't breaking any laws, "I'm Marie. What service would you be interested in, Mister?..." she trailed off, allowing him to introduce himself, even as she extended her hand to shake. Physical contact seemed to let her know a little more right off the bat, but it was a reading she was most interested in; Especially since.. Well. Hm.. She got the feeling that this was like.. A veil. A mask.. Maybe a disguise?
Curiouser and curiouser...
((OOC: Sorry it took me a while to get this down, Maggie!))
Nick Bates - April 16, 2012 04:21 AM (GMT)
Raven usually tried not to stereotype people as she knew from personal experience that one should never judge a book by its’ cover, but she was a little surprised to see a young woman step out into the room. She’d kind of expected to see an older woman, given the stereotype of the little old fortune teller peering over her cards and her crystal ball. A little foolish, yes, but she hadn’t been able to help herself. This was definitely not the stereotypical little old fortune teller though. But at least she wasn’t so astereotypical as to be, say, a perky blonde. That would have just felt completely wrong. No, this girl had the right dark and slightly mysterious look going for her that Raven was sure must help her do well in this business.
"Welcome to the Twenty-First Arcana. The only true authentic precognitive experience in the entire world,"
She managed to avoid a smile when she heard that. I highly doubt that, young lady Raven thought to herself. She already had intimate knowledge of what a true precognitive could do, without involving a single card. She gave the woman credit for such self-confidence, but she wasn’t about to set her expectations too high. So Raven took the young woman’s hand in her own, which of course was in the form of Nick’s well-shaped, strong one.
”Bates. Nick Bates.” ‘he’ replied, and smiled charmingly at her. ”And I’d like a reading please. It’s been awhile since anyone looked into my future, and I’m curious as to what you’d see.” A charlatan reading her cards would give her the usual mumbo-jumbo; health, wealth and maybe a tall dark stranger if he was lucky. But if she was the real thing? Than that would be another thing completely.
”Surprise me.” …and maybe yourself…
Tarot - April 18, 2012 09:01 PM (GMT)
Marie managed to pick up on the slight surprise from this latest customer - she was hardly the standard-issue, stereotypical old gypsy lady with a crystal ball, after all; She loathed that stereotype, since often enough, it had little to no bearing when it came to genuine divination or precognition. Appearances had little - if anything - to do with what she did. But she liked surprising people. As much as Marie was convinced that every little fragment of every person's life eventually constructed the exact same puzzle, so to speak, she liked bringing something new to them, at least on her more positive days. It was her turn to be surprised a touch, however, when they shook hands.
As she'd theorised with Charles, physical contact gave her a little information, it seemed - it was part of the reason she had them shuffle her deck in the same manner a regular teller might - residue or some manner of imprint or blah blah science that they couldn't yet define, to rip a page from Charles' rather excellent book. But she was slightly confused when it came to shaking the hand of Nick Bates; It was like 'Nick Bates' was very much a real person, very real, but this wasn't actually him. Instead, it felt like a mask. A disguise or something along those lines. She gestured for him to take a seat, and offered him her reduced deck of twenty-two cards; "Shuffle, please," she instructed with a smile, taking them back when 'he' had done so. "You sound somewhat familiar with the routine," she suggested, hinting that she knew something was odd, "But here's a recap; Horse-shoe spread - my favourite for a general reading. Seven cards; past, present, influences, obstacles, expectations, best choices of action and outcomes, from left to right in order of what we'll look at," she explained, her tone suggesting this was very much routine for her.
She lay the seven cards face down, glancing up at the somewhat suspicious customer, before turning the card that dealt with the past over to reveal 'The World'; Marie gaped, almost hyperventilating, as she skittered back on the chair, falling off of it finally and staring up at 'Bates' with surprise, her mind flooding with this.. This person's past. All of it confirmed her suspicions - that whoever this was, they were not Nick Bates; That was.. More like a suit this person - Marie caught the name 'Raven', then 'Mystique' from the information she was receiving - but Bates was more like a suit they wore. Although it seemed he was real. Marie winced, the sheer amount of experiences she was getting vague bits and pieces of hurting her head a little. She stared still, her eyes narrowing piercingly at 'Bates'. Finally, she struggled to her feet, staring still. "You," she began, accusation almost in her tone, "Are not who you say you are. You've earned The World. The World symbolises fulfilment, the experiences of a life making you whole. You have enough experiences for several lifetimes, given the amount you've done, and are no mere dirty cop. Are you, Miss Darkholme?" she asked, cocking her head slightly.
Whereas there had been confusion over exactly what was going on with Charles when she had performed his reading, there was none of that here.
"I'd wager you have over fifty years to your name, possibly, more," she suggested, flinching slightly as she picked out a familiar face from the memories, "And you've met him. I've had the pleasure of his company. Charles is delightful, isn't he? Hm. Not so much for you. Always second best. Always the friend, never the lover. And then his friend treated you in the same way," she remarked, not being insulting, in the same manner that she had been to Mason, but slightly sympathetic. "You strike out on your own. You meet.. Hm. Someone like me, I feel. You take lovers. You have children. And yet you are always alone. Like a proud cat, you are always alone. I'm not sure if you prefer it that way," she remarked, "And now you come here. In charge of the same group whose members have unwittingly visited my establishment in succession. You lead this.. This Brotherhood. And yet, you are still alone, are you not?"
Nick Bates - May 27, 2012 05:43 PM (GMT)
‘Nick’ sat down, watching as the young woman gave an overview and began laying out the cards. While it was true that Destiny did not use cards, Raven had gone to fortune tellers a few times in the past, sometimes out of boredom, sometimes with others as part of a role she was playing. It was usually amusing, as the fakes were always obvious to her. And they were always fakes, with their little predictions of the future, her future happiness; usually pat cliché responses that Raven herself probably could have found off of a fortune cookie at a Chinese restaurant somewhere. Others were more creative and tried to seem more realistic by mixing up their responses; throwing in dark warnings of things to avoid, but in the end they were all fakes. Always.
The shock on the girl’s face was too deep, too real, to be scripted. And none of them had ever fallen out of their chairs before. A tingle of feeling wove its way through Raven’s nerves; part surprise, part excitement, part apprehension. This one was real. Nobody else could have seen past Raven’s perfectly crafted disguise to see what and who was hidden inside, and to call her by real name. The name that was known to few outside of the Brotherhood. And not only her real name, this girl saw everything. She read Raven’s life like an open book; what seemed to be every page lay bare before her eyes. Too many things that no one should have known; in fact Raven knew that nobody else knew, save for one or two select people. Her love affair with Destiny, the woman she probably would have spent the rest of her life with had things not gone so horribly wrong, her lost child, who if Destiny was right was still alive somewhere; these were things she had never told anyone else about. Not even Erik, when she had rejoined him after leaving Europe. Nor had Rogue ever been told that she had a brother, of sorts. There had never been a point, and Raven had determined that nobody would ever know about that loss, that she had ever allowed herself to be that vulnerable. No, these were secrets that Raven had planned to take to her grave; boxes wrapped in chains and buried in her mind and heart. But the graves were shallow, and occasionally she could feel the rattle of the chains as the ghosts within refused to let themselves be ignored.
Raven started when the girl mentioned that she had met Charles. So much time had passed since she had seen the man she’d grown up with as a brother, but from whom she’d wanted so much more. She almost envied the girl having seen and spoken to him. Once in awhile the temptation came to try to see him, talk to him. What kind of reception would she get if she walked up and knocked on the door of his school, which had once been her home? It couldn’t be good. She had turned her back on him to join Erik, and so had become his and the X-Men’s enemy. And Erik…
Always second best…
As unnerving as it was to have her past exposed to this person, it stung to have her see the unrequited love she’d had for the two most important men in her life. Raven was a strong, beautiful woman with an amazing gift, but that hadn’t been enough for either Charles or Erik, she herself had not been enough, and while she did find love later on with Irene, the prior heartache was not something she’d wanted anyone to know about, least of all a little fortune teller in New York City. Be careful what one wishes for, hm? Curiosity had brought her in here, but then again she’d never expected to find someone with actual power. But what to do now that she had? Part of her was tempted to quiet this girl who had seen far too much. Having dealt death for so long, Raven knew how to do it quickly and painlessly, the girl wouldn’t even suffer. Leave the body here at the table or maybe lay her on the floor, take any cash on hand to make it seem like a robbery gone wrong. It was New York City and nobody ever saw anything here, but if someone had seen her go into this building then it was Nick Bates that they’d seen; the blame would be put on the crime family that he currently worked for and he’d be read the riot act the next time he spoke to his superiors at the NYPD. The real Nick would be completely clueless as to what they were talking about, but that wasn’t Raven’s problem and frankly she didn’t care. The man was far from innocent and if she helped bring about his eventual demise, all the better. It would be a shame to snuff out a gift as good as this person had, but Raven couldn’t have someone out there knowing as much as she did.
A realization stayed Mystique’s hand however. This girl was the real thing, she had the genuine power to see. If her ability to read the future was as good as that to see the past, she could be of some use. There was this little problem Raven still had…
”You, my dear girl, are amazing.” Raven said with genuine admiration, and as she spoke her voice changed, from Nick’s deeper voice to her own husky tones, and she shifted back to her own blue self while sitting in the chair. If the girl had seen this much then she might as well see the real Raven Darkholme. ”I have not seen ability such as yours in a very long time. Which you obviously know already. You can see so much.” Too much, too much…you say I’ve earned The World, but what has it gained me, that I remain alone? she thought to herself, and her tone intensified. ”But let’s see how far you can go. I think you can guess what my question is; Charles’ friend, where is he? Will I find him?” Irene had seen probabilities, and dealt out only enough information to guarantee that what she had seen would pass. Raven would not allow that here. If this young woman had any information that would help her find Erik, then she would get it from her.
Tarot - June 2, 2012 07:17 PM (GMT)
Marie was genuinely perturbed, to a degree by this. Man.. Woman sitting opposite her. It was beautiful and weirdly alarming, the span and length of her life, the things she had seen, the people she had loved. It utterly defied Marie's notions of average lives with everyday pieces and people who aspired to nothing. It was just.. It was difficult to even begin describing to the other woman, which was why she gave a much more concise summation than she usually would. She didn't really have much of a choice, otherwise summarising Raven Darkholme's past properly would probably take several hours and more than a few drinks of coffee, and Marie wasn't entirely convinced either of the women in this room had that much time on their hands. She certainly didn't, and from what she had seen of Darkholme, she didn't like having her time wasted either. And as such, it seemed more effective to Marie to pick out the things that would let her know that Marie was not some mere idiot pretending she could scry - and that instead, it was absolutely the real deal. She had thought Darkholme knew the second she fell out of her chair, however, such was the sheer impact of the older woman's life and the things she had been through. Marie knew for a fact that they would break a lesser person.
As she continued to talk about Darkholme's life - in particular her sadder moments with Charles and this.. Erik, whom she was seeing rather a lot of through the people she was meeting - she felt rather tense, suddenly, as though she felt Raven suddenly had.. Ill intentions for her. It was just a feeling, but it was particularly strong - she couldn't confirm anything until she got to the present in terms of the cards she was working with, but if it was the case that Raven planned to snuff her out because of what Marie had seen, then it felt.. Well, rather unfair. She had, after all, been asked specifically to do this for her. Still, the moment passed, and as she spoke, Marie began to wonder what the current form the woman took meant to her; Who was Nick Bates? Was he even real? Did he have a life, or was he entirely fabricated by Ms Darkholme here? It was a fascinating concept, and one Marie thought she had seen only in the films - almost like a spy or something along those lines, only a little more authentic than say, your James Bonds or your Jason Bournes. An entire life potentially usurped or even fabricated? Truly fascinating, to Marie, and whilst Raven spat in the face of Marie's own feelings when it came to the nature of lives and the people who lived them, the idea that she could perhaps completely take over someone else's life merely added fuel to Marie's fire, in that respect.
Her cheeks reddened slightly when her skill was complimented, since it was genuinely rare that someone perceived what she truly was and was able to compliment her on that - normally, they seemed to perceive her as being rather gimmicky, someone who simply got lucky, or they didn't even question how she did it - just what she was saying. It got very dull, very monotonous at times, and as someone who was.. Well, she wasn't going to say she was proud to be a mutant, but it was, it was something she took at least a pinch of pride in, just like her heritage in general, really. It was satisfying to be something that the other ninety-five percent of people like her - who claimed to be fortune tellers and seers and scriers - did not have. It separated her from the pack. "I know. She was perhaps not your greatest love - I think you had perhaps been burnt too many times at that point to.. Well, truly believe anyone could love you like you loved them.. But you were close. And in the way that you wanted, for once," Marie replied gently, not looking to earn Raven's ire by bringing up painful memories, but more confirming that she knew what Raven meant. "As for me, I get the feeling you think I know a little too much?" she suggested with something of a mischievous smile in place. "If that is the case, my apologies, but I am only doing as I have been asked," she reminded.
It was, after all, hardly her fault when she gave the person she was doing a reading for exactly what she wanted.
Raven's next question. however, caused Marie to think for a long moment, and she took in the sight of Raven as she did so; Lord help her, it did not surprise her as it probably should, somehow? After so long summoning Thanatos, encountering people like Charles, meeting someone like Raven - who was utterly beautiful and unique and further contributing to Marie's semi-dissolved notion of all life for every person on the face of the planet being exactly the same - it wasn't even so much as a hurdle for Marie to conquer, more.. Well, it was just something interesting happening to her, really. She did find Raven incredibly interesting; She wanted to ask 'why the blue skin, the red hair?', but supposed it was along the lines of what Charles had tried explaining to her - a scientifically explainable mutation. "That is the question, isn't it?" she replied, not turning over Raven's second card, yet; "As I say, I've met Charles. We did something similar to what you and I are doing now. And I can tell you that Erik is with him," she stated flatly, "But.. Consider this. Charles has changed in his... Absence. Not even he knows what to call it. Let us assume that Erik has changed too - become younger, become.. Different. Would you want to risk him not being the man you once knew and alienating him, or do you think it's best left alone? Think carefully, because it may affect other elements of this reading, and I may be able to help you more dependant upon what you say.."
Nick Bates - June 26, 2012 06:19 AM (GMT)
Despite the fortune teller…no…not a fortune teller; this girl was something else, but exactly what, Raven did not know yet. She was inclined to say precognitive, like Irene, but so far she had only shown an incredible ability to see the past, which a good telepath could do as well; it remained to be seen whether she could see the future. And it was the future that Raven needed. She was aware of her past; painfully aware in too many cases. But it had served its purpose in showing her that the girl was what she said she was and more. Now that that was established they needed to get to the real meat of the matter.
Ah, did she have to bring Irene though? It was like picking at a wound she’d thought was scabbed over, turned to scar tissue. Raven supposed that in a way she was right. Her love for the blind mutant had not had the intensity that she’d felt for Erik, or even Charles; she had looked up to both of them so much. Irene had been different; theirs was the love of equals, and for loving her exactly the way she was it was all the more precious to Raven. It was definitely not something she wanted to talk about, not with anyone, especially a strange woman she didn’t know, in a fortune teller’s shop. That was her own fault though, wasn’t it? She’d been the one to allow Pandora’s Box to be opened.
And the fortune teller reminded her of this too. Raven knew she was right. Besides, there was still the little question the girl had not answered yet. ”Yes you have.” Raven replied. ”You did your job a little too well I think. I did not expect someone of your talent when I came here.”
Finally the young woman got down to what Raven really wanted to know, but as she should have expected, the answer made no sense, and only created more questions than it answered. Typical precognitives…always wanting to keep the waters muddy instead of letting us see clearly she supposed she understood why they did it. If someone knew the future, what if an action they either did or didn’t take due to that knowledge caused that future not to happen? It made sense in a way, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t annoying.
So what did it mean? Erik was with Charles. Okay, fine, she should have expected that as they were always close, closer than she had been to either of them to her great frustration, but what was this business about them being….changed…younger? That was impossible. The girl had to be talking some kind of precognitive mumbo jumbo, similar to what Irene did sometimes; saying one thing but meaning something completely different.
”You’re not making any sense.” Mystique said in frustration.
”Younger? What is that supposed to mean?” Because of her mutation she knew that she aged slowly and could always keep a youthful appearance if she wanted to; she knew that she outlive both Charles and Erik, probably several times over. They however had no such ability and were both men well advanced in years. There was no fountain of youth.
As for leaving things alone…? ”And I have to see him. There are things that he left unresolved.” The Brotherhood Raven saw no point in trying to hide it from this girl who saw too much. Yes, she was practically in charge of the Brotherhood right now, but that was in large part because of her position as Magneto’s second in command, with his authority present in the background even without his physical presence. If he decided to not come back, what would happen? Raven couldn’t be sure. It was his vision that created the Brotherhood in the first place, he was the driving force behind it. And while she probably could continue to hold it together on her own for awhile, as most of the membership would follow her lead, if Magneto abandoned them completely it would eventually come down to civil war. There would be nothing to stop Quicksilver from making a move against her, to overthrow her and take over himself. She would not let that happen. She had to find Erik and convince him to return.
”I will take the chance. Just tell me where they are.”
Tarot - July 6, 2012 09:29 PM (GMT)
Marie did naturally not mean to hurt any feelings in terms of what she saw and what she stated; She had, after all, been asked to make some display of her abilities, to tell this person about themselves, and naturally, she had merely done as she was asked. Marie did not consider herself the guilty party, here, but at the same time, she was not without sympathy; That was a relatively new trait of hers, picked up, she surmised, through her encounter with Charles, who, whilst not entirely converting her from her old perspective, had shown her that particular people were worthwhile. And Irene was perhaps something that she shouldn't have brought up, it at least proved that she knew what she was talking about and was authentic and correct. "So few do, I'm afraid," she remarked, "But part of the deal is that I basically have to make myself out to be some manner of sideshow idiot in order to draw customers in and to keep the police at bay," she explained. "As it is, however, I apologise. I don't mean any insult or upset feelings when it comes to the things I say. But when someone requires proof of my.. Authenticity, the things closest to someone's heart are often the easiest things to use, in that sense," she told Raven, her expression and tone sincere to what she was saying.
And despite her abilities, the older woman doubted her; Marie grinned, and yet her expression suddenly became stern when the woman told her she wasn't making any sense. "No." It was a flat statement with no room for argument; "I am making sense. It is you, despite everything you have seen, everything you've done, everything you can do, that doesn't have an open enough mind," she stated plainly. "I see fire. I see life. That is tangled with however they became young once more. It obscures it. Hides it from view? But does it matter? The 'how' of their being younger should be far less important than the fact they are," she continued, feeling that Raven was focusing too much on things that did not matter, rather than the things that did. After all - though she wasn't willing to reveal what had happened with Charles' reading to Raven - she had not seen him becoming old again. As such, in Marie's eyes, whatever had made that wise professor young again, and brought him into her life - it didn't matter. But she supposed that was partially down to her 'fate' based perspective on things.
"He might see things differently. If he's anything like Charles, he shan't even remember the Brotherhood, I imagine. Or want to."
Harsh, but true. Charles had clearly sought to separate himself from the events his... Um.. 'The Professor' had been a part of - possibly so he could experience this new chance at life with a little more ease and less expectations on his shoulders, and she hadn't even met Erik Lensherr, but she imagined that, with the knowledge of the things he had done - if not the emotional contexts attached to them - that he would not want to deal with the Brotherhood any time soon. Still, Raven was decisive and beautifully powerful, Marie found, and willing to make choices that might have had others wondering what to do for days. Marie shrugged, sighed, and looked at Raven; "If Erik is with Charles, then where would Charles be?" she offered slightly cryptically, "He would be at Xavier's, of course. You can take the man out of the school, but you cannot take the school out of the man, I believe the expression would be," she remarked wryly. "If you're going to leave now, then I would wish you luck, but I don't believe in such a concept, I'm afraid," and a sly smile formed on her face.
"As it is, however, we're barely a seventh of the way through your reading."
Nick Bates - September 8, 2012 05:00 PM (GMT)
The girl was right of course. Raven had only brought this upon herself by coming in here; although the argument could be made that most fortune tellers were frauds, so it came to be expected that that was the norm, rather than the other way around, but still, she had been the one to step inside the door and leave herself open to the other woman. It didn’t mean she had to like it. But then, these folks never promised a happy experience, now did they? At least the real ones, the truly gifted who actually saw, they did not. No, whatever else she might be, the girl was honest. And Raven’s long-time experience in reading body language told her that she was being sincere about not meaning any offense with her reading. She was right. It was the most private things, which were usually the ones that hurt the most; that were usually the most convincing in showing the truth in cases like this. It took a sharp sword to crack the shield of unbelief, and the wielder could not be blamed too much if that sword struck a little too deeply.
With a faint nod, she accepted the girl’s apology. ”Very well. What is your name?” Raven inquired curiously. ”I think it only fair, since you know mine.” And this business of being the ‘sideshow idiot’, as she called it; this was completely wrong. There was a true gift here, and the fact that it was being wasted on the average human was practically a crime. There was the tickle of an idea in the back of Raven’s mind, but that could wait until they’d finished the business she had come here for.
Normally Mystique would argue that she had a very open mind. One could not help but being flexible in their thinking when they could be anyone, but apparently she wasn’t being flexible enough? Despite her argument that a retreat to youth was impossible the girl insisted that she was right, and given how alarmingly accurate she had been so far, Mystique found that she had to give her the benefit of the doubt. She wasn’t sure what this whole business of fire and life meant, but if it resulted in such an amazing transformation in the men she’d known for so long then it was something new and unfamiliar to her, but that wasn’t even the most important part anymore. That could be questioned later, once she’d found them again. And she could find them now, which was the important thing. She knew where to go, and it was rather galling that Erik had been almost right under her nose the entire time. There was a very long talk to be had with that man. Raven didn’t care what had happened to him, or how young he was now in appearance; how dare he abandon her, leaving the organization he’d started behind for her to keep the pieces together? Whether it was because he believed she could do it or because he just didn’t care anymore (which sounded like the more likely option given what this girl was saying), he had a lot to answer for. And she would get those answers.
”What he wants or remembers doesn’t matter.” Raven said, speaking frankly as there was no point trying to hide anything from this girl who could see everything all too clearly; more clearly than she herself could, obviously. ”He has responsibilities and decisions to make.” …before what? Before he decides to go skipping off with Charles into the sunset? Was the unpleasant thought that came into Raven’s mind. If Erik was so changed now, which would explain why he had never bothered to return to the Brotherhood or even tried to contact her, would he even want to come back? Was he finished with them? With her? That thought was disturbing, and to a degree painful. She was not in love with him any longer as she had been in the past; those feelings had left when she met her now ex-lover in Europe, but Erik had long been one of her closest companions, one of the few people she considered a friend, as well as her leader; the man she’d turned her back on Charles for because she believed in him and his cause. She’d helped him build the Brotherhood, stood by him for so many years; the idea that he could just walk away stabbed her deep inside. But that wasn’t the first time he’d turned his back on a friend, was it? They did the same thing to Charles so long ago. So was it her turn now? If so, so be it. Mystique still believed in Erik’s cause, now more than ever with the way the world was changing. Mutantkind was in danger and someone had to stand up for them, strike against those who would wipe them out. And if she had to lead the Brotherhood alone then she would do that. But first Erik had to clean up the mess he’d left behind. He either had to pick up the reins he’d dropped or help cement her power as the leader of the Brotherhood. She couldn’t have a civil war among the ranks, which is what would happen if he left completely.
Raven looked down at her cards, the one card that she’d turned over looking back up at her. The World. There were still six more cards left, but she had the answer to her question now and it felt like she had the world in her hands to deal with at the moment. That was enough for now. She could always come back another time and finish the reading, and to talk to this girl. There was a lot that they could discuss, and Raven wanted to make her an offer. But not right now. Right now she had unfinished business; business that had been left undealt with for far too long, and she wanted to concentrate on that right now.
”I think I’ve learned enough for now.” Raven said, getting up from her chair.”I believe I will come back another time to finish the reading however. What do I owe you for now?”
Tarot - September 23, 2012 03:51 PM (GMT)
Well, at least the other woman seemed relatively accepting of the fact that Marie didn't mean any harm when it came to the memories she had been dredging up; Again, she had simply done as asked - there were instances where Marie was more than happy to nail the person she was performing a reading for, to make them feel awful, but she actively sympathised with Raven, and the fact that it tied into the complicated - very complicated - histories of Charles and Erik, the latter of whom she still hadn't met - made her a lot more respectful than she usually was with the normals that came into the store. "Marie. Marie-Ange Colbert, in full," she offered, not entirely sure she agreed with Raven's assertion that it was only fair she know Marie's name, since she was fully aware of the power Raven had, and the power she essentially wielded in leading the Brotherhood of Mutants in Erik's absence. She wasn't entirely certain she wanted that raining down on her head if it happened that she did upset Raven, or that the older woman wanted to coerce Marie into joining the group; At the same time, Raven didn't seem to have those intentions.
The threat of it was still present in Marie's mind, but the more she thought about it, the more she figured that if Raven were to approach her with a civil offer for joining her Brotherhood, then she might be willing to accept it. The improvement of conditions and some manner of better funds than she had now would be a necessity before Marie would even think of accepting, of course. Whilst she was proud of her status as a mutant, she wasn't going to put it before herself and what she saw as an acceptable standard of living; What she had now was barely acceptable, and if Raven couldn't, in time, offer any better, then she was unlikely to accept. Lost in thought - really rather selfish and self-centred thought - Marie looked up when Raven went on to insist that Erik had responsibilities and decisions to make, regardless of his current status. "I'd think about whether that has more to do with the Brotherhood and it's stability under your own leadership, or whether or not it's more about you and what you want from him," Marie suggested, knowing she could potentially incur some wrath that she didn't quite want there, but at the same time, she wasn't entirely sure Raven had the Brotherhood's best intentions in mind. "Just.. Nevermind," Marie remarked softly.
She had only been about to warn or remind Raven that Erik could be angered to the point where he might do something drastic, but the older woman knew that already, surely; She had known him for so long, after all. Marie was... Merely worried. But Raven was older than her, wiser than her, and again, had more experience in handling Erik, so she supposed that if she was going to confront him, then the older woman would be fine. As such, Marie watched the woman rise, slightly dismayed that they weren't going to continue the reading. For one, Marie might've had more advice as to how things might go, and what Raven could try avoiding; Of course, Marie's interest was more the fact that she was greedy and wanted to know more about Raven, but then she felt Raven would take that as a compliment. Maybe not. Marie frowned briefly, before rising to stand opposite the older woman, still observing her thoughtfully. A smile twitched into place when Raven suggested she might still return to finish her reading, and it was that which influenced Marie's answer when it came to notions of cost and how much she was owed;
"I'm not in the business of charging money for work half-finished," she stated simply, "When you come back, when we're done? Then we'll discuss how much you owe me," she continued, smiling still, "But.. Well, I have to say that if you're considering some manner of an offer for me, you might like to hurry. There are others circling." That was simple enough and it clued Raven into the fact she was not the only one who had a distinct interest in Marie.
"Well. It's been an experience, Miss Darkholme. Good luck with Erik."
Nick Bates - October 27, 2012 04:15 PM (GMT)
(OOC: Wow I’m an idiot. I *just* noticed that Marie gave her first name when she first introduced herself to Nick. And SO many apologies for the lateness on this.)
”Mademoiselle Colbert.” Raven acknowledged politely when the girl introduced herself fully. She was curious about Marie’s origins, where she had come from and how she managed to find her way here; most likely just trying to find a better life, like so many that came to New York. But that was a conversation for another time; Raven had more important things to do than sit and have tea and chat with a fortune teller, even if she suspected Marie could tell her some very interesting stories.
This politeness left her however when Marie started questioning her motives on why she wanted to find Erik. What she wanted from him? What the hell was that supposed to mean? Did she think that Raven was still pining after the man after all this time? Not hardly. There was still some affection there; she had known Erik for most of her adult life, which spanned a rather considerable amount of time, after all. It was only natural that some feeling remain in that regard. And her commitment to what he believed in and had created the Brotherhood for remained. No, he and Charles could have each other. Were welcome to each other in fact. And if there was some bitterness in that thought than she just ignored it, like she tried to ignore anything else that threatened to cripple her emotionally. Raven just wanted to be able to move forward, and get out of this holding pattern she was in with Erik being gone.
”What I want….” Mystique said tightly, ”..is to know if I should be preparing for his return or focusing on leading on my own. It would hardly look good for the leader to come back only to find that his second in command had completely taken over in his absence.” Although it would certainly serve him right she thought to herself. Part of her was tempted to just announce to the Brotherhood that Magneto had left them and that she was now taking over, which might even work assuming Quicksilver didn’t drag the entire group into a bloody civil war (and she meant that in the literal sense), but would leave her without a leg to stand on if Erik decided to come waltzing back in. Would he see it as what it was, which was basically Raven having to make the best of a bad situation and doing what was needed to keep things going? Or would he see it as mutiny? Hopefully the former. Raven was not afraid of very many things, but deep down part of her did fear Erik, and what he could do when truly angered.
She merely nodded when Marie said that she would charge her when they resumed the reading. And resume it they would. This girl had an amazing gift, and Raven was curious to see what else would be discovered in her own cards, now that she’d found someone who could truly see what was there. But there were other things that needed doing right now, and she knew where to find Marie, right? The hint that others were after her as well was not surprising, given that Marie had already met Charles. Raven could make her own offer as well, but ultimately it would depend on what Marie wanted out of the world for herself. This was not someone she could try to deceive.
”I will not make you an offer right now.” Raven said. ”But I will give you time to think, and then when I return we will finish my reading, talk some more, and then I will make you an offer. Don’t worry,” she continued with a slightly mocking smile. ”..it’s not one of those offers you can’t refuse, but I would advise thinking hard about it before doing so. How long will it be before someone else figures out that you’re more than just a little fortune teller? And when that happens, do you want to just hide away in a school, or actually help do something about those who would destroy you, destroy all of us who have gifts? Think about it.”
And with that Raven changed back into the form of Nick Bates. The older man smiled pleasantly down at Marie. ”Thank you for the reading, Ms. Colbert” she said with his voice, before taking the girl’s hand and kissing it in a gentlemanly fashion. ”I look forward to seeing you again soon.” And with that Nick turned and strode out of the shop. Raven ignored Marie’s comment about luck, although she knew she was going to need lots of it for where she was going to have to go soon. She was going home.