Description: A team gets a couple more members than expected...
It's easy to say that Metro City has fallen on hard times. Even over a year past the invasion by Majigen, you can still feel the cracks (both literal and figurative) if you run your hand over the surface. Still, rising in the aftermath of the carnage, a new light has been born, a beacon of hope shining in the darkness.
"I'll have a large ice cap and a Boston cream," Alexis says, leaning on her elbows against the counter as the khaki-uniformed young man behind it turns to the iced cappuccino machine to start it up.
It's the only Tim Hortons in Metro City, built as a corporate concession during the rebuild after a sizeable charitable contribution from the Canadian company to the city's reconstruction efforts, and thus something of a slice of home to the Toronto native abroad.
Alexis' gaze turns up to a television screen on the wall flashing various tidbits about Tim Horton's, Canada, and fighters who've arranged sponsorships with the franchise. Something about a new 'Sasquatch' powdered jelly doughnut appears on the screen. Alexis barely notices, though; her attention is split between the TV and the doors to the restaurant. She's waiting for someone.
Fun fact: Tabitha has never been to a Tim Hortons before in her life.
There aren't many in Metro City (one, in fact, as Alexis has found out; Tabitha assumes Canadians draw their power from them or something and thus Americans don't want them) and she just never crossed its path. She doesn't go to Starbucks either, so that may be frugality rather than any particular dislike for the Canadian forces at work within.
And yet here she is, pushing the door open and stepping through it. Well, it smells good, at least, she'll give it that. Her eyes flick up toward the menu board for about one second before she looks around properly. It isn't hard to find her fellow fighter, at least. "This is the place?" she asks. Maybe she doesn't think the feel of a Tim Hortons matches Alexis' general attitude.
Alexis isn't too hard to recognize; she's wearing the same Violet Systems 'Official Corporate Whore' t-shirt and cargo pants that she was wearing last time she and Tabitha met. Well, technically, a different and identical outfit, now that it's an entire clothing line and she has backups. One might assume she's taking pride in the position. Fortunately, she's at least decided to add a belt to the ensemble, even if it's worn a bit loose.
"What, you never been in a Tim Horton's before?" Alexis asks, her voice a bit sabulous at the hour; something the frothy beverage being slid across the counter along with a brown-bagged pastry is meant to alleviate. "You want anything? I'll buy."
Alexis slides some change across the counter to the cashier, who looks at it dumbfoundedly for a moment. He looks up at her quizzically.
"Uh, what... are these Chuck E. Cheese tokens?"
Alexis scowls. "Oh, right. Not /actually/ Canadian." She pulls her wallet out of her pocket and flips a couple of green notes out of the billfold onto the counter. Turning to Tabitha, she adds, "I mean, we coulda gone to a bar, but I didn't feel like pulling out my fake ID, eh? Age limits in the States are bee-ess."
Tabitha is wearing different clothes, because she doesn't expect to be fighting anyone right now. Jeans and a tank top, in fact; no handwraps. Fortunately, her most notable feature (don't be rude; it's her hair) is just the same as it was last time Alexis saw it, so that's recognizable.
"No, I've never been here. And it's a little early for drinking anyway," Tabitha points out. "The ones I know aren't open yet." She knows several bars that won't bother to ask her her age if she shows up, though they're not exactly always nice places and she's not sure she'd want to meet someone there; they might get the wrong idea. Though with Alexis, it would probably be okay.
She looks up at the menuboard again. "I'll just have what you're having," Tabitha decides, not having much of an opinion on her first time in. And then, perhaps surprisingly: "Thanks for coming out."
"Alright, one more ice cap and another Boston cream," Alexis instructs the cashier, offering up some more American currency before returning her Canadian money to her wallet. She takes a long slurp from her frozen coffee and steps away from the countertop to sit against one of the tables, dropping the donut-in-a-bag beside her.
"Hey, no problem. I mean, I'm not pissing blood anymore these days, so no hard feelings, eh?" The brunette extends her free hand to shake while she takes another sip from her drink. Pausing her cold coffee consumption again, she inquires, "So, what'd you hit me up for? I'm hoping it's not a rematch, no offense."
Tabitha accepts the hand. She has a firm grip. Nobody is surprised.
"Well, yes and no," Tabitha says with a laugh, leaning against the counter where she can wait for the ice cap - it shouldn't be long. "I actually did want a fight, but not against me. I'm guessing you've heard about the King of Fighters tournament, because everyone has heard of it, and I'm guessing you want to win it, because everyone wants to win it." Who would turn down that much money? It's more than Tabitha has ever /thought/ about having.
"I don't have a team," she says, bluntly, "and you're tough as hell. I think we proved /that/ last time. So I was wondering if you wanted to go at it. Because I'm willing if you are." Tabitha got the impression that Alexis may or may not have liked her very much (well, they only know each other from the Violet Systems match) but she /did/ respect her fighting skill, at least a little.
The Canadian brunette tilts her head a little, one eyebrow creeing slowly up her face while the other half is obscured by her bangs. "You want to team up for King of Fighters, too, huh? I... wow. Never would've guessed you'd ask me." She straightens up and blows her hair out of her face, sweeping it behind her ear with her empty hand.
"Actually, I'm already in a team with this fighter from around here named Aranha. He agreed that I could be co-captain, though, and I'd say we have room for one more. Actually, there's supposed to be one more on top of that, some 'dragon-like' guy, like there aren't a million of those. Aranha wanted one of us to meet up with him, so I told him he could send him here too."
She holds a hand out to Tabitha again, offering a smile. "But if you're okay with those two guys being on the team too, then I'll vouch for you. I like the way you fight, and I'm pretty sure the only other guy who's punched me as hard as you have is like, seven feet tall and four hundred pounds."
"I can quite attest to Miss Lovell's skill and toughness. Alexis, my dear, what /is/ that t-shirt you are wearing?" Comes the cultured voice of one Father Walter Bardsley as he stalks into said Tim Horton's. Today must be cultural exchange day, as he too has never seen one. Still, he's right up to the counter and ordering a coffee before the priestly dragon man is over to the two ladies.
The priest crosses his chest and he smiles a rather toothy smile to Tabitha. "Father Walter Bardsley, at your service. Good to see a certain delinquent rock star is making friends." The minor insults are said with an almost fatherly tone.
"So then, I assume this is to be our little band?" Or, at least part of it.
The name isn't unfamiliar to Tabitha. "Huh," she says. "Didn't know you were on a team. That might have gotten me to change my mind."
Tabitha thinks about that for a moment, then shakes her head. "Probably not. Honestly, I don't know a ton of people I'd be willing to fight with who would also be willing to put me on their team. I can work with him." She reaches out for the shake of acceptance. "And the... dragon-like guy, too." Tabitha's brows go up because she's not entirely sure what to expect.
Whatever it was, it wasn't Walter. He - "You're a priest," she says, surprised. "Alexis is going to work with a /priest/?" Tabitha looks from Alexis to Walter, and she tries, almost in vain, to fight back a grin. "I'm just surprised... I'm Tabitha. Tabitha Coren."
Alexis distracts herself momentarily with her cell phone, fishing it out of her pocket. She thumbs out a quick text message to Aranha's cell phone:
'hey u ok with a hot blonde joining us? she punches like a truck'
The text message is accompanied by a discreet photo of Tabitha and a link to the recording of the fight the pair had in the Metro subway for the Itinerant Compassion Project.
The sound of Tabitha's amusement and mention of a priest snap Alexis out of her distraction, and she looks up to see Walter.
"Holy shit, it's you!"
Alexis beams with the recognition, immediately moving to try and give the dragon-priest a hug despite reputedly not being much of a hugger. She glances over her shoulder at the back of her shirt. "What, this? Face it, it's not the worst thing you've seen me wearing," she says, before turning back to Tabitha.
"Walter and I go back. He, uh, mistook me for a hooker in Tokyo, so I mistook him for a dragon-shaped punching bag. Now we're friends!" she laughs awkwardly. "I didn't realise it was him that Aranha wanted to team up with, though." She looks back to Walter. "Tabitha wants to join our team, too. There's four slots per team, so if Aranha okays it, then we're good to go, if you're okay with teaming up with me."
Walter outright laughs. "Your reputation precedes you, Alexis! A pleasure, Miss Coren." The priest's eyes, thankfully, stay quite up. A gentledragon, this one.
And then, hugs! The taller dragon priest lifts up Alexis just a little for the hug, and then sets her down. Then he's leaning his suitcase against the table.
"Not the most glorious of introductions. ...Sadly enough, that is true. One of these days, I am like to get you into a nun's habit. Though I fear it shall burst into flames."
A nod to Tabitha. "You certainly look competent. Anyone who has Alexis' vote, has mine. How about a spot of sparring after all of this, hmm?" Smile!
Tabitha doesn't read Alexis' text because it's not sent to her or anywhere she can peek over Alexis' shoulder (not that she would). It's for the best.
Tabitha isn't sure whether to laugh or not, so she settles for keeping the grin. "Oh, I see," she says, and she actually /does/; lots of fighters get their start by beating each other up. Look at her and Alexis, after all.
She gives Walter a long, long look afterwards. She might be trying to figure out /what/ he is as much as who... but apparently she reaches a decision she can live with, because she gives a slight nod. "I'd love to," she says. "Maybe not immediately. It /is/ early, and I didn't bring my handwraps... though I could make an exception if I had to."
Meanwhile in Southtown:
Aranha was in his apartment which he maintained as a way to keep close to Bastion Village when he needed to take care of business in the city. He had just got done with a few fight hall fights in Southtown and was getting ready to get ready to rest up and check in on the village in the afternoon. That's when he receives the text.
After a few moments, he reads it and sees the companion picture. That's when he sends his response.
'nice. im familiar with her. i try to keep up with all the mc fighters. im good with her joining'
Right after that, he moves to his tablet and brings up a list of Tabitha Coren's fights. He wants to have another look at her fighting.
"Well, I am considering a new image. Sexy nun does seem like a logical step forward from Catholic schoolgirl," Alexis remarks about Walter's plan to establish fashion control on her. She steps back from Walter and Tabitha to give them room to introduce themselves while she checks her phone once more. She types out a quick reply.
'omg why didn't u tell me it was walter!!!11 hes the best priest ever neways k think we're all good'
Alexis grins as she looks back to the pair. "Kick ass. Aranha's cool with you joining, Tabs. I'll get us all registered, then we're set. So, bar? Spar? I think I heard one of those and they both sound like a good next stop..."
"Bah, as though you could fill one out properly! Maybe in five years!" Reeeach, noseflick! There's what seems to be a tail flicking happily behind Walter. He pauses, blushes, and hides it again.
Tabitha has him grinning though. "Right! Bar, then fighting, then possibly bar again. Cheers!" He raises his...coffee. Close enough.
There are a few easily accessible recordings of Tabitha's fight; she's been involved in SNF and various leagues in the past. She's been a minor brawler in Metro City for a while but over the last few months has managed to make it big, or at least bigger; she's a rather straightforward boxer who seems to prefer single powerful knockout blows when she gets the opportunity, and has a killer guard game. Tabitha has never been in a really big-name tournament, but maybe it's time.
"I'm pretty sure Catholic schoolgirls don't wear shirts like that," Tabitha points out. "Or at least not when the school staff can see. But hey, you do you. I'll stick without it, I think." She doesn't comment on Walter's response - it wasn't addressed at her, though if it did she would have a comment.
"Suits me if you want to go to the bar tonight. Then we can figure out the rest of it. I'd be happy to take you up on it," Tabitha says, with a grin and raising her own coffee.
Log created on 10:29:13 08/01/2017 by Tabitha, and last modified on 15:30:08 08/01/2017.