Description: Steve finally decides to give the demon queen a call after their encounter in the boxing underground. The two decide to meet in person to discuss the terms of their continuing relationship. The question remains, what does Lyraelle want with the British boxer...?
It was the day after Steve Fox's emotional call with Mitsuru Tokugawa. The boxer had been brooding for a long time, shutting himself out as his public reputation was in tatters. Sure, Mitsuru's mom had dropped the charges and made an announcement- But most people did not see that. In the public eye, he is still a boxing pro turned kidnapper-
And that hurt, it really did.
But the conversation with the girl re-energized him somewhat, motivated him to take action again. He started off simple by cleaning his apartement, shaving his stubble- basic stuff he had been neglecting. But that evening, he had the desire to tear away the band-aid. Lyraelle had invited him to call, that was weeks ago by now. Digging through his multiple pants, he finally finds the note and number the demoness left him in one of the pockets- Crinkled, but legible. He stared at the number for a few minutes, before finally finding the confidence to tap it into his smartphone and ring the number. Assuming it would be picked up, the brit would speak.
"This is Steve Fox. What do you want?"
The discreet click of the answered phone can be heard as the call connects. These days, with everyone having gone mobile, it's increasingly subtle. Steve is the first to speak, though. It's a forward-foot approach.
The voice on the other end doesn't keep the British boxer waiting for long.
"Oh, Stevie~ Don't you know that's what you say when you're answering a call, not making one? You could have said, 'Hello, this is Steve Fox. Is Her Majesty Queen Darkheart there?' Or, 'Hi, it's Steve. Is this Lyraelle?' Or just, 'Hello, gorgeous~'"
The voice on the other end is unmistakably that of the object of Steve's ire; she puts on a faux British accent when speaking as the boxer - an exaggerated version of Steve's own. There's a sense of tormentuous delight in the demoness' tone.
"Really, though, Steve, it doesn't matter how you did it; you've made my day just by calling. It can really make such a difference when you just pick up the phone. How are you, Stevie? I've been missing seeing you~ I was so tied up with taking care of Mitsu-chan for so long, I barely got to see you. I'm sorry if my love for Mitsu-chan led to me neglecting you while you were locked away."
Perhaps the most frightening thing about the Demon Queen's rambling is the sincerity in her tone; it's hard to tell what's a taunt and what's honest, and it's hard to tell whether she knows herself.
"Tsch- You know why 'your majesty'. You asked me to call you, and here I am. And I'm asking 'why'. Haven't you tormented us long enough?" He shoots back, in anger. His voice is raised even further, at her next, sickly-sweet words. "Taking care? Taking care?! Do you mean ruining her life even further then her parents had done already?! How could you be so.. so- Twisted!"
Obviously, this is a subject that Steve feels very, very strongly about. "The girl has fallen from one terrible situation to another- Please, just let it be enough. Leave her alone. It's finally going better with her- Please don't.. ruin that." Is he.. crying? It rather sounds like that- Though it might just be the poor quality of his microphone. "Just.. Damn it!"
There is a pause, the boxer tryin to gather himself. "Blast- What is it that you want? And- To answer your question, I am rather miserable."
The voice on the other end of the line is quiet while Steve speaks, allowing him to vent his frustration and anger - and eventual plea. The tone it takes as it replies is as cajoling and soft as it is patronizing.
"Oh, Stevie! Do you really think that Mitsuru-chan would have been better off without me in there? You do realize that I had nothing to do with her being in there in the first place, don't you? I helped Mitsuru-chan achieve everything her daddy ever wanted for her, showed her all the love and tenderness and /approval/ that she was missing, showed her what would happen if she were the garbage can badass she dreamed of being... the existential horror of realizing what a farce it all was really wasn't my fault. I was just giving Mitsuru-chan everything she ever wanted."
There's a smarmy little chuckle from the other end of the line.
"And you and Minnie Mouse even got to be the big damn heroes at the end of it all. Well, that chapter anyway."
There's a brief pause.
"Oh! I'm sorry, Steve. You mentioned being miserable. We should be having this chat over tea. That'd cheer you up, right?"
"Shut it. You did it to satisfy your desire for revenge. Why? Because we defeated you." Is what Steve says as a response. "And you toying with us- Knocking me into dreamland? Well, that did directly lead to Mitsuru dragging us into the Mishima Zaibatsu. But you wouldn't mention that. You leave out all the inconvenient details." Behind the phone, Steve shakes his head. "That was not heroic. I do not recall that memory with pride or satisfaction, but shame. For almost listening to you."
Throughout the conversation, his tone remains that of anger. There is a break, as Lyraelle makes the offer. "Tsch- Fine. We will talk in person- Yet in a public place, a Cafe. I ain't really have the cash to make a flight mind you- Afraid you're gonna have to come to the UK."
"Oh, don't worry. I love to travel! I'll find just the right place for us, Stevie~"
==*== THE NEXT DAY, COFFEE, CAKE & KISSES CAFE, LONDON ==*==
Steve has been granted his wish - a public venue for the private meeting. It's not an especially large cafe, but it's a welcoming one, with sweet and savoury treats and hot drinks available - and perhaps the most unfortunately cutesy and romantic name for a coffee shop in the city. There are no pink-haired celebrity succubi in sight by the time Steve will arrive - but there's a familiar distinctive-looking redhead in black leather pants and a white tank top with celtic knots tattooed in sleeves along each arm sitting at a table for two on her own, sipping on a Karma Cola while she thumbs through Hitter on her smartphone.
Steve will likely recognize the woman from before - the one who told him to call Lyraelle in the first place.
Steve was no fool, and he understood the disguise. It's the same as last time. The fact that it was Lyraelle, well- is quite obvious. The Brit had come wearing a light-blue blouse, closed somewhat low at his chest to give him a little bit of man-cleavage. Bellow that, white pants created a nice and 'summery' style. His hair had been cut to it's normal neck-length, slicked back state- Displaying his smooth shaven face in all it's 'glory'.
The boxer grunts, before walking over and scooting on the seat opposite from Lyraelle. A middle-aged Lady looks at him with disgust as he passes by: She must have seen the news when it first came out. The boxer sighs, before begrudgingly greeting the woman. "Good afternoon, 'your majesty'... How was the flight?"
Despite all of his Ire, he seems determined not to make a scene- at least start the conversation off 'normally'. Upsetting Lyraelle is not a strategic move, especially since he wanted to protect Mitsuru.
The redhead may have a striking appearance, even a similar physique to the Demon Queen, albeit in a different outfit - but she has a tough, rough-cut image that's very distinct from the pixie-pink and purple demonette. She looks up from her phone and cocks her head to one side as the boxer scoots into the seat opposite her, one eyebrow raising with a questioning look.
"Beg your pardon, mate?"
That accent doesn't sound like Lyraelle's - it sounds East End.
"You takin' the piss, or are you just daft? Shove off love, I'm waitin' for me girlfriend."
Scowling, she turns her eyes back to her phone and sips from her cola.
Is it really her after all?
"Gah? I.. am sorry?" The boxer looks utterly gobsmacked, as he stands up. "My mistake, yeah- I mistook you for my, uh.." He clenches his teeth, attempting to find a better term then the one that's popping up in his head. He fails.
"My date. Have a nice day, yeah?" The word is said full of ire, as he walks off to observe the café once more- Scratching his chin in confusion and looking around. "Bloody, what's she playin' at?" Checking his mobile phone... frustratedly. Making sure he hadn't missed any message from Lyraelle...
But Steve could swear, that that was the exact same person he met last time. Is Lyraelle just playing him again?
A couple of seconds after Steve gets up, looks around and checks his phone, he receives a text message:
DemonQueenLyraelle: Aww, so it is a date? <3
A second later, another one comes through.
DemonQueenLyraelle: The flight was whatever. Planes are less cool when you can fly on your own :P
There's a giggle from behind him - and if he looks back at the redhead, he'll see that she's stifling another one with a free hand. The expression has gone from edgy and hard to mischievous and entertained, practically falling against the wall beside her chair with amusement at her own sense of humour.
"Get back over here, Stevie! I was just teasing. How did you like my London accent?"
The redhead straightens up, crossing her legs at the ankles under the table as she smiles warmly at the Brit.
And his own words come haunting him! Looking at his phone, then looking back. He looks rather- As the brits would call: 'Really F***ing Miffed!' "I shouldn't have- I bloody knew it!" He says out loud, loudly! Drawing the gaze of a few other persons sitting at the tables. He stomps back over and sits down, blushing from the humiliation. "It ain't a date- I just had to explain sumfin to what I -assumed- to be a stranger! Bilmey."
What a terrible way to start things off- Even though he was aware of Lyraelle's tricky nature, he'd been had. "The accent was good, the rest wasn't.." Though he admits that fact- She does a mean impression! His frown doesn't fade though, as he sighs- Gesturing for a waiter to come over by raising a hand. He smiles at the boy. "Could ya' get me a cuppa tea? Earl grey, please- Sugar and milk." The young man beams a smile, before: "Yo- You're Steve Fox, Arent' ya?! I tell you, I've never believed those accusations! I've been by your side all along, y'know! It's unfair how the mainstream media-r
"Shhhhh!" The boxer interjects the fan, shaking his head before. "Sorry, you're a good kid. Is more that I don't wanna call too much attention, y'hear? Gladly talk later though- just in the middle of.." He gestures between Lyraelle and him with his hand. Starry-eyed, the boy nods- Returning to the cafe's interior to relay his order. When the peace is found, Steve sighs- looking away from the demoness.
"Aww, what a good role model~"
The redhead sets her phone down on the tabletop and leans forward, elbows resting on the table in front of her. Even though the skin she's wearing isn't her own, she wears it well - her posture perfectly poised to flaunt her figure, her smile brilliant - everything about her posing suggests that this /is/ a date, and that she's very into it.
"You don't have to be shy about it. Cheer up, Stevie! You know what a lot of people would do for some quality alone time with Her Majesty?"
Still smiling, she props her chin up with her upturned palm, eyes twinkling.
"It's a shame that you can't afford a plane ticket, even though you're so popular with the boys and the girls. Don't you have anyone to sponsor you, or has that all dried up nowadays?"
Her teeth graze her lower lip as she shifts her posture, tilting her chin up and looking down at Steve's face. "You're not still sore about that fight we had, are you? I mean, you could have avoided it just by agreeing to take a selfie with me. Kinda ironic that all it took to get you to take me on a date was giving you my number~"
"Im this instance, I am not 'A lot of people'." Steve says, voice dripping with poison. "Those people do not know you for who you really are- They know you as the bubbly internet persona you show them."
"You can keep up that damnable teasing, but I will not acknowledge this as a 'date'." He shakes his head, while the demon queen asks that question. One on his legs get folded over the other, as he uses his elbow to lean on the table. "People in the public eye still believe me to be a kidnapper and potential abuser. My reputation is in tatters, my parents won't talk to me and I've been banned from the major boxing circuits." He scoffs, a wry smile twisted on his face. "What's that popular term, nowadays? 'Cancelled'? Yeah- That."
"All my days are miserable now, truthfully. Get stares all the time, get called out- All that lovely stuff. Makes me not want to leave the bloody house any mor'." He looks genuinely said at explaining all of that- To some degree, he is venting to Lyraelle. Though he gets back to his senses right after. "Maybe I could have. But knowing you, I suspect that would have cost me my friendship with Mitsuru. You would have made sure she'd have seen it- I did not want to make that sacrifice. And, this -isn't- one! I prefer talking in person, is all."
The woman's green eyes remain ever-locked on Steve as he rails venomously against her, even as she takes a long slurp of her Karma Cola through her eco-friendly straw. The amusement doesn't leave her lips until he starts to vent his frustrations at the turns that his life has taken. Her expression is genuinely sympathetic - slumping against the table with a pouting expression as her lips curve into a petite frown.
"Aww, sweetie! You don't deserve any of that! It's such bullshit, the way that the public will just turn on someone for something that isn't their fault. They should be treating you like a hero; the way you fought to protect Mitsu-chan was so brave~ Especially when she was being so violent. Remember how she punched me first?"
She pulls a face at the memory, one hand moving to her chest in sympathy for her past self.
"And then she shot you, right where it hurts...!"
She crinkles her nose as her sympathy is turned back on Steve.
"And then attacking you, when I was trying to help you out... you must be some kind of saint to want to protect her after all of that."
The changeling pulls her seat forward with her ankles, leaning closer to Steve over the table.
"And instead of being rewarded, you're getting punished. I may not be the nicest person - I mean, being a soul-sucking demon and all - but even I don't think that's right."
"You are twisting the story, Lyraelle- And I think you're well aware. Mitsuru acted that way because you did everything possible to make her angry- envious. Admittedly, I don't think Mitsuru should have gotten envious." Steve furrows his brow, frustrated. "And it disturbs me that she looked at me with such a lens- It disturbs me that she thought I'd look at her with such a lens- That I'd look at her like she's a woman." At that point, the waiterboy, dressed in a suitably pink shirt for the establishment, comes back with Steve's Tea.
"W-Would you like anything else, madam?" He would ask, looking toward the demoness.
Steve would wait until he's gone, before continuing. "But she's a girl- Almost still a child. I truly don't understand the girl sometimes, but I hate that she felt jealous about me." His rant comes to a pause, attempting to angrily take a sip of tea, but- "Ka- Hot, hot- hot!" He sets the cup down- he would have to wait with the tea.. and now his tongue hurts. Jeez. "But all of that, and it doesn't change the fact you provoked her. Subsequently got upset that she kicked your ass, and then took out that petty, petty revenge on a /child/!" Steve slams the table with his palm- Before strategically deciding to lower his voice again as notices others looking their way. "True, it is unfair- It is bullshit. It's rubbish that I find myself in this position. But you know what, your majesty?" His face twists into a grin, leaning forward in tandem with Lyraelle.
"I say it was bloody well worth it."
"I'll have a hot one - make it a cherry mocha, with whipped cream and sprinkles," the redheaded woman requests of the waiter, folding her hands across each other and smiling sweetly up at him. She turns her honeyed attentions back to Steve, and something in her tone sours slightly.
"Who's to say who's twisting the story, here? I was just playing my part, teasing her a little - I never knew Mitsu-chan would react the way she did. I'd never met the girl, after all. At least now you can move on and have a healthy relationship, thanks to me."
When Steve slams his fists down on the table, one of her shoulders sinks slightly, causing a strap of her top to drift down it as her eyes flit askance.
"Saying I provoked her, and didn't have a right to get upset because she kicked my ass - that sounds a lot like victim-blaming, to me. Haven't you thought about how /I/ feel in all of this?"
Her green eyes flit up to meet the boxer's as he gets close - and there's almost a vulnerability in them, one that's seldom seen; the Demon Queen persona would never allow for it.
"But I don't really want to talk about Mitsuru right now... I want to talk about you."
She leans ever closer, lowering her voice to a more intimate level so that the pair can't easily be eavesdropped.
"I want to talk about what we can do for each other... and what I could do to help you feel a little less miserable. It's the least I owe you, for getting caught up in all this."
The waiter nods, blushing a little at the Demon Queen's smile.
Steve's brow furrows at her explanation, hand trembling. "Gr-- Lets move away from this, sure. We will not agree, and I think I want to punch you for what you just said. I gave you my piece of mind. As long as you leave her alone, I am satisfied." He cups his hands around the tea, enjoying the warmth before bringing it up- blowing on the hot liquid before taking a small sip of the sweetened tea. Attempting to calm himself down.
"You must understand that I do not really want your help, Lyraelle- I cannot forgive you, even.." Yet, Steve isn't sure. Lyraelle has a lot of power, power which is something that might lift him out the shadows- Set right his image. "But.. I will hear you out. It would be a waste to not do so. Is there anything you had in mind? I would provide ideas, but I'm out of those."
One might wonder, with the number of minions that she has at her beck and call, why the Demon Queen would put so much time and effort into trying to draw out the belligerent boxer's compliance, or recognition, or... whatever it is that Lyraelle really wants from him. Somehow, she's unfazed by the declaration of desire to punch her - even smiling a sly little smile. One that grows when he finally cedes that inch of ground by saying that he'll hear her out.
"Glad I could pique your interest, Stevie~"
Of course, the proverbial mile is insinuated by the temptress' triumphant tone - but Steve might expect that by now, given the multi-faceted perspective he's been given of the Demon Queen even in their few interactions.
"I was planning on writing you a blank cheque, here - you can take a minute and let your imagination run wild," the red-haired lady cajoles as she leans back in her chair and crosses one leather-clad leg over the other. "I know you probably haven't really let yourself think about what I could do to help you feel better, before - at least, not in any ways you're likely to admit." The tattooed girl folds her arms behind her head as she gives a cheeky smile.
"So, just take a sec and focus on me - what could I do for you?"
The woman's green eyes glint.
"Or, if you want to look at it another way... what would you like to do to me?"
Steve huffs, as she continues to tease in that triumphant manner. Though the boxer decides to listen to the Succubus- He does not expect to accept anything from her.. but you never know. Sipping his tea, his cheeks reddens slightly at her.. implications. He glances away, intentionally not taking the invitation to 'focus on her'.
"Like I said, I would like to punch you. That's what, and that's all. But I will not." He shakes his head. "That is not why we're here."
"And I will not respond to your seductions. I made that mistake once- and we payed dearly for it." He takes a long gulp of tea, setting down the cup with a loud *thump* "You know what? I take my curiosity back. I don't want anything from you. I don't want your money- I don't want anything of you, except one thing- Promise to leave Mitsu alone. I want to hear that from you, say it-"
"Promise that much, and I will forgive you. You won't owe me anything, and we can walk away after finishing our drinks." Steve is already halfway there, on that front! Brits like their tea.
The red-haired changeling smiles like the cat that's eaten the canary at Steve's reaction to her offer, still lounging in her cafe chair as her gaze remains on Steve, contrasting with his own willful aversion.
"Hey, all I did was offer to let you do what you want to me. If you took that as me trying to seduce you, then I'd say that that says more about you than it does about me~"
The woman leans forward over the table again as Steve starts to recant his interest, her green eyes looming ever closer.
"You keep contradicting yourself, Stevie. You say you want nothing from me, then you demand I stay away from you and from Mitsu-chan - and we both know that neither of us would be satisfied with that. We both have too many frustrations that need working out~"
Scarlet locks spill to one side as she tilts her head, trying to catch Steve's gaze with her own.
"So, I vote that we finish our drinks here, then we find somewhere we can work out our frustrations... I'm sure you know a good place or two around here for that kind of thing."
As her cherry mocha arrives, she gives a warm, grateful smile to the waiter-boy, then raises it up and blows cool air on the steaming drink.
The Brit grunts, that was intentional- He knows it. But Lyraelle wouldn't admit as such. I mean! 'At least, not in any ways you're likely to admit.' That is a plenty obvious implication... is it? He ignores the fact, wanting to adress the more important parts of her words.
"Sure- Fine! That was poor wording on my part. Though don't think you know that wouldn't satisfy me- We have defeated you... twice, actually. Why would I not be satisfied to that? Do I truly come across as that blood-thirsty?" Steve jests, partially. "Come on. 'frustrations that need working out.'- Stop pretending these things ain't intentional- Blimey. Be more clear in what you mean, that would make this conversation a whole lot less obtuse."
The brit sees the waiter-boy off with a smile and nod of his own. "Thanks, lad." Steve does meet Lyraelle's Gaze. "I assume you are proposing another fight.." He thinks for a bit, before blushing slightly again- frustrated, but.. "Kh- Maybe. It's been a while since I had, well, any interesting bouts. Tis' just been underground matches for petty change, for the most part."
The fox flashes a smirk. "Suppose I might be more bloodthirsty then I thought, eh?"
There's a brief flash of intensity in the emerald-green eyes of the shapeshifted succubus as Steve mentions defeating her - not once, but twice - asserting that he has no reason not to be satisfied by that. She keeps her cool, though - or, it may be more fair to say, refrains from letting the heat that she practically emanates boil over, keeping it at a sultry simmer.
"Oh, come on, Stevie, you know I like to leave things open to interpretation~ It's much more fun to see where other people draw their lines around me. It's like poker; the fun is in keeping people guessing. They don't hold world championships for being lucky."
The redhead licks a dollop of cream off the surface of her drink and sits back in her chair, making an 'mmm' sound as her tongue disappears back into her mouth. Her smile broadens as the Brit admits that he's more interested in working out frustrations than he initially let on.
"I think you're probably a lot of things you're not admitting to yourself, Stevie - or maybe I'm just more irresistible than you thought."
She gives Steve a wink.
"And before you go getting spiteful, it's totally too late to backtrack on admitting you're interested."
She wraps her lips around the straw and sucks hard on her cherry mocha - nearly finishing it off in one slurp. It seems that the demonette has a high tolerance for heat, to no one's surprise. She slaps her hands down lightly on the tabletop as she perks up, back arching.
"So! Where do you propose we go for this venting session?"
"Of course, both times were fights where we outnumbered you- two to one. I bloody hate to admit it, but I don't see myself standing out victorious in a one-on-one. Gonna try though." Steve smirks, apparently having cemented the idea as a plan. "Yeah, right. I have no interest in you except as a fighter now."r
The englishman gulps down more tea- only about a 4th of the cup is left. "And I won't go back on what I said. As you so eloquently put, we will have this 'venting session'. Though on the condition that.." Sharply, he looks up at Lyraelle- Narrowing his eyes in suspicion. "You still haven't promised. You keep avoiding answering my request to leave the girl alone. What are you up to, Lyraelle?"
The final fourth of his tea is taken care of, in a final big gulp- He wipes his mouth with one of the accompanying tissues, scrunching it up and tossing it into a nearby trashcan. "But if you agree, we can go to Fitzroy Square Garden. It's only like, a two minute walk- and the name describes it well. Good field of grass, plenty of space. Usually fairly empty. It'll work."
"Are you trying to say that you're only interested in me if I put my usual outfit on?" the red-haired shifter wonders aloud with a tilt of her head, still otherwise holding the pose that she was holding before as she bats her eyelashes with an innocent expression. "It sounds like you're trying to exchange a favour from me for a favour from me, Stevie. You want to punch me, and you want to me to promise to leave Mitsu-chan alone."
Taking out a small clutch, she removes a piece of mint chewing gum from it and pops it in her mouth. She smiles a somewhat eerie smile at Steve as she chews it.
"I'll tell you what. If you can beat me, fair and square, you can make one demand of me. If I beat you fair and square, I get to make one demand of you. If you want another shot after that, you'll have to challenge me again, on the same terms."
The tattooed temptress pushes herself up from her chair, taking out a fifty pound note and placing it under her mug before she starts smoothing down her clothing, leaning her face down close to Steve's.
"Otherwise, we just do this for our own fun and health."
"No need to decide now. You can think about it on the way there~"
Log created on 13:03:18 07/09/2021 by Lyraelle, and last modified on 18:04:48 07/10/2021.